Great Acts of Kindness

In my life, I have known a lot of sick people. I know the ups and downs of dealing with a friend or family member who is not doing well. I’ve experienced a lot of sadness as a result of people I love being sick, and happiness when those people, sometimes, get better.

Never, in my short 25-year life, have I been on the other end. I never knew what it was like to be the sick one, or what the view from the hospital bed looked like.


It’s strange. I watch the people around me react to what is going on with me and it’s just all so strange. Sometimes I feel bad about being the one causing so much concern and grief. And then other times I realize I am the one on the receiving end of the worst of it, and dammit I don’t need to put up with any more crap than I need to.

This new perspective is why I feel very weird talking about my own fundraiser. I’ve championed many causes over the years, but never did I think one of the causes would be my own. Just add it to the growing list of outer-wordly events I’ve experienced since being told I have cancer.

This all happened without my knowing. I still don’t know who did what but I hear there was an amazing outpour of support from the blogger community. Can’t say I’m surprised, because I’ve been part of this particular blogging community for a few years now and know it’s filled with the bestest people ever. Please go to this page to learn more about it!

Susan Banner 550x169.jpg

As many of you know, I just started a new job, and like many people my age with cancer, am not yet set up with proper health insurance. Because I don’t have a diagnosis yet, I’m still not positive what parts of my treatment will be covered under Canadian medicare. But not all of it is, and depending on my reaction to treatment, I may require very expensive drugs.

Many people have contacted me wanting to know what they can do or how they can help with my situation, well this is it!

Any remaining funds will go towards the Moncton Hospital’s oncology ward. They are in dire need of a few upgrades, especially in their kitchen and family room. I know it’s more common to give money to societies and organizations, but I now realize how important it is for people like me, stuck in the hospital because of cancer, to have simple comforts available to them. The oncology ward still uses a VHS player! After meeting so many very sick patients in the ward, and the families that spend all their time with them, I know they deserve better.

I want to send out a big thank you to all the bloggers who organized this, especially Janetha, the bloggers and companies donating their goods to be auctioned off, and those of you who plan to participate! Thank you for making a very shitty situation a whole lot easier.

I also want to let you know that I (clearly) came out of surgery okay yesterday. The surgeons say they were able to find an enlarged lymph node in my right armpit that will hopefully provide enough live cells to make a formal diagnosis as to what kind of lymphoma I have. We should hear something by Tuesday.

Unfortunately, they hit a nerve taking the node out, which is quite common for this kind of surgery. But it means I’m going to be numb and tingly in my right arm for probably several months. Moving my right arm around at the shoulder is quite sore now. It will pair nicely with my bum left elbow.

I came to the realization last night that I just had TWO surgeries in ONE week. I am feeling rather beat up. But despite the cuts and bruises, I am still pretty intact mentally and emotionally. A large part of that is thanks to the people in my life who stand by me every day, in person, and in spirit.

Posted on July 9, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 33 Comments.

  1. As a fellow Canadian I understand that even with insurance the financial costs of your situation will be high. I will be happy to participate in the fundraiser. All the best – thinking about and praying for you often.

  2. susan. I’m so glad that we are able to help you. I remember when I had my injury (in 2000) & I was amazed at the cost of the initial of the hospital stay & was then hit with the shocking cost that a 8 month stay in rehab was. I’m living every day with an impossible amount of costs that scare the bugs out of me when I get the bill so I know how scary medical costs are.
    I’m glad the bloggers are helping you out. it’s brilliant. I love them!!

    you have a gift coming from me, so keep an eye out. hugs & kisses!
    p.s – I’m thinking a visit might be in my future plans.

  3. Oh you are ON IT, woman! Thanks. I know so many people who I couldn’t reach will want to be a part of this. No shame in promoting your own fundraiser! Haha.. you gotta throw that shy thing out the window sometimes :P

    I love you to infinity and beyond!! Buzz Lightyear style.

  4. Like I said I’m here, get used to it (I’m not that queer so I left that part out). I really hope my recipe wins that contest because helping you would be the best prize! I know costs can be so hard. My dad is still paying off my mom’s bills and she died 13 years ago. Granted, this is America and our health system is a douche bag.

    Anyhow, I love you and I’m here to support!

  5. You’ve inspired me so much recently, and are in my thoughts every day. I’ve already written a post dedicated to you today, and have donated to the fundraiser. I’m so happy that there’s a way for me to support you! You have love being sent your way by people (like me) who don’t even really know you. I hope that by knowing that, you put even just a little bit more oomph in your fight! Sending only the best wishes your way, love. <3

  6. Wow. This is incredible! The people in your life are incredible! And they are responding like that because YOU are incredible! SO cool to see this response, Susan. :D And 2 surgeries in one week? …I’ve already said it: you’re incredible. ;)

  7. I’m glad that you made it through the surgery alright, and I hope they got enough to make a proper diagnosis!

  8. I’m so excited for The Great Fundraising Act. The blog community makes me so happy. Thinking about you!

  9. i am really excited about the fundraiser. thinking about you every single day!

  10. You are amazing and strong!

    All of us bloggers are here for you and I am so proud to be part of the fundraiser, it is really amazing how beautiful the blog world is! We will all together raise above and beyond what you will need!!!

    get lots of rest girl : )

  11. Yay of course we are all doing it because you deserve it! It’s amazing how much the blogging community feels like a family. This makes it feel even more so. Ever since I got the email a few days ago, I get teary just knowing all the amazing support that is out there for you right now!! :)

    Much love!

    ps. So glad surgery went well.

  12. SO happy to hear your surgery went well!

    Susan, you’ve inspired me long before your recent health issues emerged and I know it’s the same for many others. We all love you so much and you deserve all the support in the world!

    Janetha’s been good at keeping this under wraps for the last couple of days, but I’m glad the “secret”‘s out!

  13. Susan I am so glad you now know about Janetha’s plans and everyone who is rallying for you behind the scenes. If you only knew how many emails were flying and how much love we have for you, and how we are trying to WILL this cancer away, well, I think you know already :)

    Take care of yourself. Two surgeries in 1 week. My god.

    And thank you for commenting on a recent post of mine. Lovely but please save your strength honey!!! :)

  14. I’m confused. What wouldn’t be covered with your treatments? I’m in Canada too and I’ve never known anyone who has had to pay a penny for cancer treatment. Does it just vary from province to province?

    • Nancy, it may vary province to province as medicare is regulated provincially. Some chemos are completely covered, other chemo “cocktails” include drug ingredients that aren’t covered. Additional meds like anti-nausea pills, blood thinners, and steroids (if I need them) aren’t covered either. I’ve heard it can at least expect it to cost around $350 a month, for six months. I’ve also been warned by the hospital counselor that I may require an immune-boosting shot after each chemo treatment to increase my white blood cell count, and each shot can cost $1,000. That could add up to a lot if I’m doing chemo weekly or bi-weekly! I really won’t know the details until I get a diagnosis, know what treatment they’re putting me on, and know how I react to it.

      • Wow, that really sucks! :( I didn’t know that coverage varied to that extent from province to province. :( Here’s hoping that that the chemo that you need will be completely covered.

  15. I’m not surprised about this at all- you are so loved and the blog world is so wonderful!
    I am excited about the Great Fundraiser – I just think there needs to be another calendar ;) !!!!
    Praying for the best news possible on Tuesday!

    • I thought about that too, but realized that the calendar was born from my Dad having an eye for the ladies! ;-) That’s what made it meaningful. Perhaps we can have a different calendar of Susan’s cute single doctors, male nurses and orderlies?

  16. I know I am more than happy to help you! I posted about your situation and supported your fundraiser! I was so excited when I saw Janeatha set it up.

    My prayers are with you for Tuesday! <3

  17. I just found your blog through the fundrasier banner, on one of the blog’s, and as a cancer survivor I am telling you, YOU WILL MAKE IT THROUGH!!!! You will, one day like myself, look back at this and laugh at the times you had in the hosptial, and the gross hospital food, at how it all seems like ages ago, and now you are living proof that you can make it through! One thing my dad always used to tell me is, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and each step you take, in defeating this monster, you are one step closer to seeing the light and the end of the tunnel! I wish you the best of luck my dear, and I know you will join the cancer survivor club soon!!!! :)

    If have any questions that doctors can’t reallyrelate too, or just wanna talk to someone who has been in your shoes before, you may email me @

    • I really like the concept of each step being a step CLOSER to the the end of the disease. When I found out this week that Monday’s surgery didn’t provide a diagnosis and I needed another surgery this week to take out lymph nodes, I saw it as a step back. It was probably the most defeated I’ve felt so far in this process. But really a second surgery was just another step in the right direction :) Thank you

  18. I am so thrilled about your fundraiser and am honoured to be a part of this community and participating is the VERY least I can do!!!

    I’m sad that your other arm is now somewhat impaired. Like GIVE THE GIRL A BREAK, GOD, mm’k?! *hugs*

  19. If I could send money I would, but know you have my prayers and thoughts!

  20. Hey – so many positive thoughts coming your way from Ottawa. Will definitely be taking part in this fundraiser. You are SO strong! XO

  21. Yay, of course I’m in in in! We have some great ‘prizes’ that Derek has up his sleeve and I’ll whip together some nut butters and I was thinking of packaging my protein muffin mix (as I have for myself at the ready in a jar at home)…plus I’ll be donating as well. It’s the least that we bloggers can do for you when we feel so helpless being far away.

    Re. your lymph node/nerve- shit that sucks. I also wanted to just mention (because I have like no knowledge about this) but can you inquire if you are likely to get any lymph edema in your arm like breast cancer patients get when they get lymph nodes removed? The reason I mention it, is that you can be more aggressive sooner with preventing problems if the same sort of thing is likely to happen- ask about it and let me know.

    Love you girl- hang in there. Fingers, toes, paws are crossed for Tuesday’s news.

  22. I found your blog through the fundraiser the other day and almost slipped up and mentioned it in the comments section! I think its AMAZING that so many people are coming together to help a fellow blogger, just makes the world a little bit better if you ask me ;)

  23. i am thrilled to be a part of this effort and think everyone that has banded together for this is just amazing. you deserve it, every effort!

  24. After being gone over 10 days on vacation, I went straight to your blog to see how you were doing. After seeing this, this just warms my heart to pieces. You bet your a$$ I wil be making a donation and participating in the fundraiser.

  25. We’re lucky enough to have cancer treatments covered (at least here in Ontario) but prescription drugs can get to be ridiculously expensive if you don’t have externded health care. It’s a shame. I would be willing to pay higher taxes so that even drugs would be covered by the healthcare system.

  26. We’re lucky enough to have cancer treatments covered (at least here in Ontario) but prescription drugs can get to be ridiculously expensive if you don’t have externded health care. It’s a shame. I would be willing to pay higher taxes so that even drugs would be covered by the healthcare system .

  27. Awww, how sweet is your friend Janetha. That is just so nice, what a fantastic idea. Someone I’d love to support!

  28. we are SO privileged to put this together for you! it is truly our honor.

    love youuuuuuu (despite those crocs ;)

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