Luke phoned us yesterday morning with the sad news that his coach, Jack McGetrick, had died early that morning. Jack had been diagnosed with cancer shortly before I was. When we had to call Luke ... so far from home ... and tell him over the phone that I had breast cancer, it was one of the most awful things I've ever had to do and I was so grateful for Jack and Bart (assistant coach) for being there for Luke, both of them having some particular insight. While Jack continued to coach all last year ... not missing a game or practice the whole time he was under treatment and in pain ... he was unable to be there this fall. He'd been in the hospital this past while and the boys from his lacrosse team all took turns going up to the hospital to see him, making sure someone was there every day.
Jack had prostate cancer and it had spread to his bones already. I know he endured a lot of pain but fought through the pain and the treatments "like a machine", as Luke described it. I know his team was in awe of him and were blown away by how tough he was. I know they were very fortunate both as players and as young men to have him for a coach and mentor. I was very fond of him, too. Every year when we went there to see Luke, Jack always made a point of speaking with us and was very personal and down to earth. He was a very kind and caring man. Very honest and straight forward during the recruiting process, too.
I'm so sad that he lost this fight. People who fight as hard as he did and with such an incredible, strong "never give up" atitude and healthy, active lifestyle, should win over cancer. Ron would fall in that category, too. Another example of life not being fair.
My heart goes out to Jack's family ... his wife and 4 kids ... and to the lacrosse community.
Breast cancer motivated me to start a blog, mostly to keep track of everything for myself but also to allow family and friends to keep up to date about my progress. My blog has evolved and so have I.
Now, along with my continuous breast cancer experience, I also blog about my kitchen experiments, my return to quilting as therapy, and my return to full-time work.
I didn't realize when I was diagnosed that breast cancer and the treatments would take so much out of me and that the effects would be so difficult and last so long. That said, I'm glad to be alive and now I need to leave a legacy. Time's a wasting. Must make quilts.
Breast Cancer (booooo) was the opponent. I hope I won. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2009. I had a sentinel node lumpectomy later that month and on June 10, 2009, I started Chemotherapy followed by radiation treatments - the last one being December 20, 2009.
I thought it was all over. The cancer part seems to be over so far but I hadn't anticipated the awful effects of Arimidex (the aromatase inhibitor/estrogen blocker) that I started taking after chemo. The effects were long lasting and really awful. And then both my shoulders became frozen. I see that frozen shoulder is not uncommon for women who have been through breast cancer treatments but nobody seems to know why. And now I'm on Tamoxifen and there are the side effects from that, which are much milder than I had with Arimidex but at this point I don't know what's caused by either of those drugs or what might be the lingering effects of chemo and radiation. It's a much longer haul than I initially understood.
This blog has been my game's colour commentary starting 6 days before the kick-off of my first chemo treatment. I hope I won. That's the funny thing with cancer, though. You don't know for sure. You just have to be cocky enough to act like you've won.
Everyone who visits here has been on my team (because there's no "I" in "TEAM") and this blog was for them to to follow the game plan and the progress. It turned out it's also been therapy for me and a record of so many details I forget because of the also unanticipated "chemo brain". One thing I know for sure is that I wouldn't have made it through this without my team of family and friends. Thank you! Thank you! THANK YOU!! We're here. We Might Have WON!!
To learn the details about my particular discovery of my tumour and my diagnosis and treatment, please read this.
If you're more interested in my new quilting hobby, visit my blog that's supposed to be JUST about quilting at Peace.Love.Quilt.