Watching the cookie crumble

So it’s time to write this post. The truth is, it’s a post in limbo . . . and I know I should remain the constant optimist and punch back my fears and continue to hope for a miracle, which I am doing, kinda, but I’m also crying about every hour on the hour.

Unfortunately it’s not my style to hold things back. It’s not good for me. Not healthy. Which is why it’s time for this post.

This past week I had the joy of being at a cottage for several days. It’s this amazing place up north a little from Ottawa into Quebec, on a lake called Lac Blue Sea. (I think that’s the name, at least). The cottage we stayed at with my family was amazing. It was clean and mould-free and there were kayaks that my husband and I took out every day, and my mother and I took out together as well. We would  paddle into this big lake and then just sit there, floating only a little above the water in what was a beautiful stillness. Loons dipping into and out of the water, fish flipping through the surface, trees guarding the shore . . . it was a slice of heaven.

Then on Thursday my husband and I jumped into the car and headed back to town for what was meant to be a routine oncology appointment. We were shown into the room, and given a seat – and there was this poster on the wall opposite of two dogs running down the beach. And I said to Zsolt, “Geez, if he gives us bad news all I’m going to associate with this moment is that dog’s butt.”

I’m a damn idiot.

In walked Dr. Canada, and he began talking in second person, say ‘we decided at your last visit that you should get pregnant, and we thought you should get scans first.’  Then he sat down opposite me. He passed out our MRI results (since I always request copies of my results) and said they were fine.

Then he says something like, “now I don’t want you to get very upset, but there’s an abnormality in your CT scan on your lungs.”

Which basically amounts to tiny spots on my right lung, where my breast once sat as it filled up with cancer.

So la, la, la, several minutes later I’m crying and Dr. Canada is writing me an anti-anxiety prescription while my husband, Zsolt, is trying to absorb the conversation. To put it in Dr. Canada’s words: “It’s not a slam dunk,” and there’s a chance it’s not cancer. But also as he said, cancer would be the “highest probability.”

You ever heard of that molecules of emotion book, about reprogramming our RDNA, and therefore changing our situation? Well, thinking of that I want to say this isn’t cancer in my right lung. It’s just scar tissue left over from pneumonia and not caught in an earlier x-ray. That’s what I want it to be. I want to NOT have cancer in my chest. FUCK OFF cancer drama.

But I’ve been crying ever since that meeting. And we’ve been basically devastated. It’s Zsolt’s birthday today. He is the love of my life, and his being born is the greatest gift I could have ever received. I love him, I love him, I love him. So, you can understand, that the concept of leaving him absolutely terrifies me. We decided we need to learn more before we panic further. And also, I should probably stop thinking about death. And I’m avoiding Dr Google best as possible. But there’s something in my lungs, and that something is located awfully close to another something that had to be surgically removed via mastectomy.

This is a weird feeling. I’m not taking that anti-anxiety med, I’d rather cry my way through. And Zsolt, my wonderful Zsolt, he is doing so well. Whether we are emotional, or smiling for each other’s sakes, or smiling for real in a moment of distraction, he is doing so well.

Zsolt: Happy birthday. I love you and that is one thing that will never, ever change. Sorry for the crappiness of today’s celebration, but being together really is the tops, no matter what else is happening.


Prayers, crossed fingers, and good thoughts for a glorious miracle are very much welcome. A miracle would be awesome. Also, a cure for cancer would be awesome as well.

47 thoughts on “Watching the cookie crumble

  1. Catherine: We, all of us, Katie, Samuel, Gabriel and me love you so much and are channeling all of the very best healing vibes that exist. Keep the faith and we’ll be sending all power to get cancer to just completely get the fuck out of your way. Seriously. Much love. Many hugs. Much more love.

  2. It’s been awhile since I have visited your blog… I know exactly how you are feeling, the same thing happened to me – they found a spot in my lungs as well. Cancer is such a bitch! This september is going to be 5 years! I have decided to do the week-end to end cancer this year since like you I really hope for a cure (I just hope I am able to raise the $2000 needed in order to participate)
    Will keep my fingers crossed and say a couple of prayers.

  3. Catherine, I am sorry you have to go through this…and we don’t know what “this” is yet. I’m voting for scar tissue. If you really don’t want to take the anti-anxiety pills, you should at least let me buy you a cup of tea. Something about tea makes you feel like you can handle anything…which of course is true.

  4. Your posts already show how strong you are. Whatever it is — and my vote is also for scar tissue — I have no doubt that you’ll handle it like a champ (and kick its ass, if necessary). *hugs from a stranger* (I mean that to be cute, not creepy! 🙂 )

    • Thanks Allison. I like the title of your blog, by the way. It’s entirely relatable! Good luck in your writing and publishing, and thank you for your comment. Don’t worry, it wasn’t creepy. 🙂

  5. my dear Catherine,

    I am so sorry for the fright and upsetedness you are going through. I am so glad that you have your wonderful zsolt to be so understanding and love you so much. as soon as you read this, go right into his arms and give each other a few minutes of holding each other close. I will be sending you waves and wave of the light of love and hope to stand together in, and to guide you both to find your way through all this fucking cancer hell. I will also hold onto the vision of scar tissue – it does make sense and I hope with all my heart that you find out that is what it is.

    love, XOXO

    Karen, TC

  6. Catherine, I am sad to read you are dealing with this uncertainty. The waiting is the hardest part. Recently my mom had some tests because she was coughing and the X-Ray showed what looked like spots… which could mean lung cancer. So she had a CT. We spent a very stressful week imagining the worst… and it turns out she simply has tiny air pockets, which her doc said are common and can be caused by pollution of all things! (I know this sounds a little crazy but he is a very smart man.) Hang in there. I’m putting my money on air pockets! 😉 PS A cure for cancer would most definitely be awesome.

  7. Oh Catherine, this post brought tears to my eyes. I’m shaking an angry fist at the universe for you. Fuck off cancer!!
    You guys are obviously such an amazing couple and you’ll get through this with love and humour, whatever it turns out to be. Obviously, I’m rooting for scar tissue, but just as a reminder: after I was given the ‘all clear’ with my cancer, I had malignant spots removed from my lungs FIVE TIMES, was given a terrible prognosis, and…well, that was twenty years ago. And I’m still here. Thinking of you and sending so many good, healthy vibes from the UK.

    PS: The description of your time at the cottage made me homesick, just a bit!

    • Thanks for your comment, Sadie. Five times, wow – and now you are here 20 years later. I’m so glad you are, and thank you for sharing that story. Sorry to have made you a bit homesick. Canada will be here waiting whenever you need it. 🙂

  8. I had (have?) spots on my lung and liver, both of which scared the bejesus out of me. They’re too small to biopsy but just knowing they are there, located in the places most commonly associated with recurrence, continues to scare the bejesus out of me. It’s small consolation, but I do know how you’re feeling, and I think you’re handling it just right: cry all you want/need to, hug your sweet husband, and drink lots of tea (personally, I would go with something stronger, but you’re more restrained than I!). Know that your blog friends are here for you no matter what happens next.

  9. Oh Catherine – I am just catching up and gutted to read your post, I hate what you are going through. I am also voting for scar tissue, air pockets or some coffee grounds which have gone astray – anything but freaking cancer. My face is screwed up willing, wishing for some other, innocent cause. Your blog friends are here for you for sure, and sending hugs to you and Zsolt and a belated birthday wish to Z. Take care, keep on cherishing each other and throw a few plates at the wall why not! Holding you close and thinking of you. xoxox

  10. Oh my gosh, I am so sorry to read about this. I am going with the scar tissue too. I always say until someone tells me otherwise, it’s not bad news. It sort of helps. Sort of. And as you might have guessed by now, I’m a big believer in crying (and cussing if need be). Bless that man of yours for loving you so much and for being your rock. You two are awesome. You’ll both be in my thoughts as I wait out here with you – along with all the rest of your blogosphere buddies. Hugs.

  11. Hi Catherine,

    Sending you loving energy for healthy lungs, a healthy body, an anxious-free mind, and a spirit filled with love. If you don’t want to take the anti-anxiety medication, try Bach’s Rescue Remedy or something similar that Tony may recommend … the Bach’s tinctures always work for me.

  12. Wow…. Sorry to hear about all this. I remember you as a young girl- does not seem fair you have to deal with this. Sending you positive thoughts and prayers. From reading this, I c an tell you have amazing strength.

  13. Praying for you, your dear husband, your medical team, for wisdom, clarity, peace, and that sweet miracle. We can all identify, and our best hopes are with you. Hugs and love to you both.

  14. I am so sorry….It may sound weird, but after my cancer came back this year after only 3 years of being clear and I opted for the mastectomy, part of me feared that since I was removing my breasts, if cancer came back it would be in a place that would no longer be “easy” to treat (as if any form of cancer treatment is easy–hardly! It all stinks!). I totally understand your dread and the flood of emotions that comes over you, but I could never understand what you are dealing with–each person’s cancer experience is their own (and they all suck!). Live every day, one day at a time. I wish you many more–you need to have more days at the cottage and build those memories.

  15. Grrrrrrr. Asshat cancer. It just sucks. I had a mammogram last year with two funky spots, ended up as scar tissue and blood vessel, but it was agonizing to wait. I did take the anti anxiety med though. I know a little of the torture of waiting. I hope, hope, hope it will be scar tissue, air pockets, dust, nothing. But in the meantime, hold your Zsolt tight – and cry and rant if it helps. Wishing you the most negative of results (as in a big fat nothing).

  16. Thank you for sharing where you are with such eloquence and vulnerability. Cancer sucks so much. I hate that you are dealing with this latest round of uncertainty and fear. I’m praying for scar tissue or an issue with the scan. Sending love, light, and birthday prayers your way. Terri xoxoxo

  17. Dear dear Catherine, my best wishes and prayers for you and Zsolt. I’ll go for the coffee spots Phillipa suggested… and if that doesn’t work, a scar tissue will do.
    Sending big hugs and healing energies
    and a song for the birthday boy and his beautiful wife –

  18. Dear Catharine
    Yes this is all part of it isn’t it!! The waiting game wondering what’s next. Last year I was told told I had non calcified nodes on my left lung, was re-scanned 6 months later they were still there no changes no growth. I actually forgot they were there. One step at a time. These are things we don’t expect to hear or want to..Live your life..We do find the strength to handle things as they are thrown at us sometimes with a punch. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Where in Canada are you from? My blog used to be Life in Transition I have now started Unending Cuts…. Love Alli xx

  19. Catherine, I am so very sorry to hear this. Even if it turns out to be “nothing,” I understand the blow to the stomach you feel. I recently had a scare, a new lump, which fortunately turned out to be benign. I felt myself numb over at times just to survive the day. I’m hoping you get the news that I did. No matter what happens, you have my thoughts, prayers, good vibes and love. I wish I could reach out through this computer screen right now and hug you.

  20. I hate it when doctors say, “Don’t get upset.” That’s for them of course – they don’t know how to deal with genuine, justifiable emotion. Being upset is totally rational and reasonable – even though it’s important to remember that nothing is known yet. I’m hoping hard that you find out – and soon – that all is well. False positives show up all the time. It could well be nothing.
    But you are strong and you are loved and those things will continue to be true, not matter what comes next. And those things, as you know, make a world of difference. Please keep us posted. I’ll be thinking of you lots.

  21. Catherine,
    Sending you many many good thoughts. Miracles happen everyday, sometimes you have to look for them as they can be small. I think the love you and Zsolt have is a miracle – for the two of you to have found each other in this vast world!
    Celebrate that, his birthday and Canada this weekend.
    Take care. Think of you lots.


  22. Pingback: Weekly Round Up: The Why Blog Edition | Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer

  23. I am so sorry to read this and I am hoping it is just scar tissue. The waiting is so difficult. I can’t get that dog out of my mind either and I am going to hope and pray for this to be something else. You have the right to scream and cry and every emotion you need. I sending as many positive and loving thoughts to both of you. xoxoxo – Susan

  24. Catherine I’m sending you as many positive vibes, love and prayers as I can muster your way. I’m sooo gutted you have to ride the rollercoaster of wait and see, and I’m hoping for the best outcome. I hope your answers come soon to save you from the wait and the wondering, the what-if’s that destroy any peace. Thanking that you have the best support right by your side too. My hubbie also takes the place of any drugs when its tough. Lots of love precious lady. xx

  25. So sorry to hear what you are going through. I am wishing you and your family many more happy times at Lac Blue sea. All my best from Scotland to you and yours. Xxx

  26. Catherine,
    I got a beautiful card in late-January from a family friend (and BC thriver extraordinaire), while I was stressing over a blip on my first post-mastectomy mammogram, about the waiting time being so very hard. Wish I had the card with me as I travel, because the words made me feel so much better and I want to share them with you. Anyway, hope this blip is simply scar tissue, coffee grounds or an air pocket!!! Sending hugs and positive energy! I’ll be thinking of you later this week as I kayak with my husband up north (northern Michigan) at the Cottage. 🙂

  27. Sending you SO MUCH LOVE!!! I am on anxiety meds because I live in fear of the cancer returning. I think hearing the C-Word a second time would be worse than the first time. I’m not going to bother to tell you to think positive, but do love the hell out of everything you still have in the meantime. Ginormous internet hugs ❤

  28. Catherine,
    I’m sitting here with tears streaming down my face at all of this. I’ve had my own crisis unfolding that has nothing to do with cancer and I’ve been primarily OFFLINE. Baby Girl… I LOVE YOU….. Anything I can do… just yell…


  29. Catherine, I’m just catching up on these posts now. How has this been happening since June and I’m only finding out now… I feel like such a terrible blogger-supporter-friend. I’m thinking of you and Zsolt lots tomorrow and plan be way more pro-active following these posts. As always, you manage to catch the pain and poignancy of the moments you write about with a light-hearted outlook. Keep writing if it helps you… and I’ll keep reading!!

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