What comes next? I don’t know.

Yesterday was one I’d like to forget forever. At about 6 AM, I woke up Zsolt with a hard cough. I woke up myself too! The cough, unfortunately, was very, very unhealthy. Like, get to the ER unhealthy. It was followed up by a kind of gurgling in my lungs.

Pretty fucking scary, I have to say. After a day in the ER at the General in Ottawa, with a few tests and a lot of waiting, plus a visit from various doctors, the reality was confirmed – one of my lung lobes had collapsed. The treatment I’m on isn’t working. Hasn’t been working for a while, and so the problems have been growing – most recently blocking one of the airways into a lung area, hence the collapse. And it’s time to jump ship to different options. This a point in the road I really didn’t want to reach. I didn’t want to get here. I don’t know how it will go down.

But I do love my life, and I love my work, and I hope this new treatment option – the scary C word,but considerably more light in dosing, plus possible radiation to the trouble making lung lobe blocker – will have the effect of pushing back the damn progression, because then I can carry on as I’d like. Apparently a range of doctors will be meeting to discuss my situation, and come up with a plan on how best to tackle this. In the meanwhile, I am breathing fine. The lung doc says I’m compensating remarkably well for the loss of the lobe.

Anyhow, it was a scary day. Perhaps even scarier for my husband, who was left alone after I’d passed out from panic at 6 AM and managed to get me the needed help – he laid me out safely and called 911.

My parents and he stayed with me all day in that small, quiet, and thankfully uneventful ER room. They were with me when I received the news of the progression and its ramifications, and they are with me in what needs to be done moving forward. Together I am certain we will make the best of this. I’m lucky for all of this love and support.

One day at a time, one challenge at a time.

But holy shit, life is fragile.

It’s Cancerous: A Love Story

I wrote this ‘game’ in the summer, and intended it for #metastatic breast cancer day (i.e. stage 4) during this month for #breastcancer awareness. It’s still in its rough form, but I’ll share it because that was why I wrote it, and believe me it wasn’t so easy to write. This isn’t everyone’s experience, and to be honest I have purposefully given it a vague ending – to be interpreted as you like. But it springs from very real frustrations. The options are not easy, and not enough.

So, play if you dare.

Click here: It’s Cancerous: A Love Story




Almost Canadian

When I pictured the location of Zsolt’s citizenship test, I liked to imagine some place like the Museum of Canadian History – with its massive atrium and totem poles, and a view of the Parliament building that really says, “oh, Canada!”

And perhaps for the citizenship test, Canadian olympic champ Jon Montgomery from the Amazing Race (Canadian Edition) would be standing in the middle of the atrium as Zsolt descended down the escalators into the main hall, and in his hands would be the applicants’ first clue cards. Grabbing the yellow paper package, Zsolt would rip open the clue:

Who is the Canadian hero known around the world for his cross country marathon to beat cancer?

“Terry Fox!” Zsolt would say to himself, and then he’d be off to the Terry Fox statue opposite Parliament Hill for the next clue, racing against others would-be-Canadians of all colours, cultures and religions. In this race, there are no rules, and Zsolt steals a cab from another contestant, apologizing as he does so in the proper Canadian manner, and then zooms across the bridge into Ottawa – bribing the taxi driver with a twoonie and a loonie (so, 3$ all together) to put pedal to the metal. Finally, after a series of clues that has him and thirty other contestants racing from historical landmark to government structure to Canadian heritage site around the city, they finally all find themselves vying to get up the Peace Tower elevator, where at the top all the family members are waiting to cheer on Canada’s winner of the Amazing Race Canadian Citizenship Challenge!

As we all wait and hold our breath in anticipation, the elevator digs – and out steps . . . Zsolt for the win!

Because that would be awesome.

However, it was still very exciting when my husband received a letter from immigration in the mail inviting him to participate in a multiple choice test at an unremarkable government building. It was recommended Z study the guide, Discover Canada – and so that’s what he did. We read through it together in the evenings, and he studied during the days. The afternoon before his test, he answered ~400 multiple choice questions online.

Of course, were he to fail he could just take the test again – but sometimes it’s just easier to get things done the first time around.

Then, on a lovely Thursday afternoon, we went to the very unremarkable government building next to a very loud highway, and he entered a room with a test and a pencil, then came out twenty minutes later – answer a few questions in an interview – and voila! Test done!

He scored 20/20, and I’m totally proud of him. I then forced him to pose with his Canada scarf wrapped around his neck. But we were both into it, because it was VERY exciting!

Zsolt is Happy

And now we simply wait for the ceremony invitation to arrive in the mail. I’m glad it is all moving along. Sooner than later, Canada won’t just be Zsolt’s home – it will be his country.


And if you’re wondering, Hungary and Canada allow for dual citizenship. This is a good thing. Maybe one day I’ll get to be as much Magyar as Zsolt will be Canadian.