Celebration of Catherine Claire Brunelle

Dear followers,

We hope you’ll join us as we celebrate Catherine’s life with stories and whimsy on Saturday, August 19th, from 1 pm to 3 pm EST at the Richelieu-Vanier Community Center located at 300 des Peres Blancs, Ottawa, ON, K1L 7L5.

If you can’t be with us and would like to be part of the celebration you can join us through a video link by registering here: https://app.webinarjam.net/register/1841/f8a53a4289

Donations to Amnesty International Canada and Rethink Breast Cancer would be appreciated in lieu of flowers.

Thank you!


Last Post – 144 months and 1 week


I am writing this to thank all of you. Thank you so much for following along this journey. I’ve been lucky, not many diagnosed with breast cancer and reoccurrence live as long as I did. Some only get months. For me, it was years.

It was trips to Europe. It was a writing career. It was becoming a podcaster. It was buying a car. It was watching my husband thrive in his work. It was paddling the waters early morning in Balaton. It was cottaging with my family, and playing games like Telestration. It was meeting all your babies! It was working at the library and seeing how they support so many. It was landing a dream job with Amnesty International, which justified how following your joys can actually lead to concrete ‘grown up’ good things. It was family reunions and cousins and aunts and uncles. It was buying a couch! It was facing fears. It was Claire Never Ending.

It was time with my Dad (wow we are so alike). It was time with my Mom (and shows we watched, the comfort we shared, the support you gave). It was time with Daniel (the car rides!). It was time with JP (the kindness and love). It was time with Catherine (the tea we drank!). It was my fellow writers, Ulrike, James and Kate (and how we believe in each other). It was meeting Kevin. It was time with my long-time friends, seeing how they’ve grown, and Christmas’ Eve Eve.

It was Zsolt. It has always been Zsolt. Everything, every second, instant, thought, laugh, cry, comfort. The way he smiles when he walks into the room. How his face changes when he thinks. His wonderful height, and how I can cuddle up into his arms. How much we have in common. How much we love each other. How you are my very very very best friend.

And it was all of you too, who wrote to me in the comment sections or read along quietly. You made the hard days easier, and my random thought experiments acceptable. It was fun to write with you. I’m grateful to know you were all out there, and in some ways my words left an impact. That was your gift to me.

Thank you.

I’ve been lucky. I got to have so much. I got to have you.

This life has truly been a win.

Stay Hydrated

I am typing here to you with some burnt fingers and a 3:00 AM knowledge that I should be sleeping. But When the doctor prescribed at big steroid boost, it is hard to stay asleep, unless that sleep gets read weird.

Therefore after attempting to follow one of the first commandments of palliative – get rest – I am attempting another: stay hydrated. Apparently i am not so good at it because I just dropped and cracked a glass tea travel mug. Burnt some fingers too. The even would have happened regardless of the time of day. I poured myself a second cup. The idea here is that I stay hydrated BUT don’t over water myself, as I has been done a lot tonight. Loads of ice chips and cold drinks. Mostly water, also some clever juice and fizz combos. Attempting to slow this down, i am trying to tea and type. So far the tea is working – i have not touched it – but the type is keeping me awake.

Yesterday, or rather Tuesday now, came two separate visits from a nurse and a chemo home doctor later. While I am gracious for both, they are way more harsh than Dr Canada ever was. Though maybe all this will change as we get to know one another. Anyhow, it was tooooo much and truly draining. Hopefully this set up bit goes steadily, and I don’t fully lose my mind.

There are good, smile moments too…floating in the pool, dancing again with Zsolt, and even eating eggs. Just here is a challenge. We will work through it all… even the broken tea travel glass mug current sitting in my sink.

Good morning.


Good evening. Following this rough night where only a hot shower was the cure, we had a lovely day. Friends took us for ice cream, Z&I picked up medications, I bought a cane, we rolled in my rental chair around the grocery store, and went to get pizza. Tonight upcoming be what it may, today was actually fun. 🙂