Monthly Archives: July 2011

When You Can’t Go Home

After 23 days in the hospital, I expected breaking free from the grounds would be glorious. I pictured a rush of adrenaline and those tingly feelings you only get when returning home after a while. But honestly, none of that happened. Being home for 60 hours was just plain weird.

First, you must understand that I was admitted to hospital under emergency circumstances. I had a blood clot in my jugular vein that was no joke. I asked my doctor if I could at least go home first to change out of my work dress and into some comfy yoga pants. He pretty much said “Get straight to the hospital, do not pass Go.” Ugh.

So my first few days in the hospital were busy and stressful as I gave instructions to my stressed and clueless (sorry!) family. By now, I think we’ve got it figured out. But those first few days were beyond confusing as we figured out how to deal with what was going on.

I’d previously debunked the old saying that “You can never go home.” Because going “home” is precisely why I moved back to my hometown of Moncton over three months ago. It was always my home, even after spending 7 years away. Moving back to the city felt right, and I felt nestled into the groove I was meant to be in.

But there is something strange about coming “home” after spending 23 days in one building. Not off at university, or the big city, or travelling. I’ve been in Moncton the whole time, and yet leaving those hospital walls I was so quickly rushed into felt strange. I’d become accustomed to my hospital routine. As much as that routine drives me nuts (two words: urine hat) leaving it didn’t feel right either.

If there is one thing I’ve learned after my 60 hours at home, is that home will never feel like “home” again. Because even though the places and spaces all remain the same, I have changed far too much over 23 days for me to view it as I once did.

Curling up on my mom’s couch used to make me feel safe and invincible, in a little bubble of love, just my mom and me. But those feelings have been crushed by the presence of cancer. I am no longer safe no matter where I am. Space can no longer influence my well-being, because I don’t know what my well-being is anymore.

So while my weekend escape was indeed wonderful, it was also a wake-up call. My life is forever changed and I will never, ever, view the world like I once did. It will take a long time for me to grow accustomed to my new settings. It’s one thing to have your old life taken from you in one fell swoop, but adjusting to this new reality is one tough pill to swallow.

That is the honest reflection of my time at home, but don’t get me wrong, I still desperately needed it. A weekend at home to feel almost like a normal person before I start my months of chemotherapy.

Yup, I dressed up every day, wore make-up, and straightened my long natural locks. It was a treat after living in grimy hospital clothes for so long!

I start chemo today (!!) and fully expect to be on my arse with sickness for the next few days. I can’t imagine I will want to open my laptop, so any e-mails and messages may take several days to respond to. Also, I’ve pre-scheduled a few blog posts to go up. I’ll be sharing some small “short stories” I’ve written since being admitted to hospital. I will however probably be updating my Twitter if you want to check out how I’m doing there.

More than ever, be sure to make it a great week!


Where My Feet Have Been

Consider this my version of Chuck Taylor Tuesday. A little peek at what I’ve been up to so far this weekend during my great escape from the hospital.

Breaking free from the IV pole has given me a lot more mobility.

I’m not allowed to do anything strenuous because of those pesky blood clots and cancer around my beating heart. And trust me, after another month with cancer, being home allows me to see just how my health has deteriorated. But that hasn’t stopped me from moving around a little and soaking in the fresh air.

So no 4-mile jogs or trips to the gym (ha!). But a short and gentle stroll with the poodle is more than welcome.

Afternoon visits to Nana’s include tea, digestive cookies, and a quick catnap. 

First thing I did when I woke up on Saturday? Make pancakes!

I was scared that I’d be addicted to sleeping pills after almost a month of taking them. But it only took me an extra 45 minutes or so to quiet down my brain enough to fall asleep. I slept in a little and immediately took to the kitchen to make apple buckwheat pancakes with a bit of Vega vanilla protein powder added.

Lunch was the best one I’ve had since being admitted to hospital – homemade pasta from a family friend. With spinach, shrimp, feta, tomatoes and olives.

Dinner of course happened at one of my favourite restaurants in the world – Calactus! With my dad:

I opted against my favourite veggie burger in favour of the Club Flute and some raspberry green iced tea.

Oven baked wrap on handmade chapati bread with veggie pate, mushrooms, tomato, carrots, spinach and their crazy delicious tofu cream sauce.

Archie, my mom’s poodle, doesn’t leave my side when I’m at my mom’s. He either really missed me, or knows something is up. Probably both.

As fantastic as being home has been so far, it’s been really, really strange. But I’ll share more on that later. For now, I have a Sunday to enjoy. I’ve got 24 hours left of freedom.


Not only did I get a day pass – I got a WEEKEND PASS!! Don’t have to be back to the hospital until Monday morning, apart from quick daily visits to get my blood thinner shots. I’ll also start chemo some time Monday.

Biggest to-do this weekend is see the new Harry Potter movie. Otherwise, I’ll be building my strength for Monday. Have a great Saturday!!