Sunday, January 10, 2021

DYING OF BREAST CANCER

Yes, I am dying of metastatic breast cancer. I was quite surprised myself when I found out, especially since a CT scan done November 27th showed no progressions. That same day I had my fourth and last session of BCCA Music and Art Therapy, and found it hard to complete. When one has MBC (metastatic breast cancer), often we blame ourselves for not having the energy to complete a project. On the 4th of December I spoke with my pain clinic BCCA doctor and still did not realize that things were going wrong. 

Early in the morning on December 17th, I had an MRI. The next evening, we got results that showed leptomeningeal disease (cancer in the brain), which leads to a fast death. I had been suffering from a light headache and occasional nausea for a month but chalked that up to psychosomatic illness. I  woke up on the 19th to nausea and vomiting and that continued daily. Thankfully I had started counselling before I found out. It has been the best thing I have done for myself in a long time, and for everyone else. 

December 31st I went to the BC Cancer Agency to begin palliative radiation, and then was admitted to the oncology floor of the Jubilee Hospital in a special unit for palliative patients to complete the ten treatments of radiation. On January 8th, I came home to die. As I left, my radiation oncologist, a woman from Iran, said a few weeks to two months. I began to receive home support almost immediately and now receive it three times daily. 

My whole family is here. Steven is here from Australia, in quarantine at a good friend's AirBnB. The head of the Island's palliative team has given exemption for Steven to visit on the deck outside with a mask on, and he will come to live with us in 8 days. Andy flew from Terrace on the same day, the 4th. And Mary has been with us for several weeks, taking on a lot of the care. 

It was scary to hear the news at first and I became disoriented during the treatments and did not even know where I was during my time there. Thankfully I am better now at home though there is no question that my cognitive skills have deteriorated.



I took this selfie of myself wearing new self tied scarf sent by my cancer buddy Elderberry Dec. .25




30 comments:

  1. So thankful to get to know you through this awful journey of cancer. Will be praying for you and your family for peace and comfort in the days to come. Know how much you are loved by all
    Of us hotties and by God.

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    1. Crazy times and hope to get closer to vaccinations too.

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  2. Dearest Marian, sending you and your family our blessings as you transition home. May you be held tenderly by the love of your family and many friends. God Bless.

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  3. I love you so much Marian! You are absolutely the strongest woman I know! I’ve always had so much fun with you when we’ve been together. You’ve been so strong through all this, even though you were in pain, you kept your head up and didn’t let it stop you from doing the things that you wanted to do. Not an easy task. Seeing you go through this is so heart wrenching. There just aren’t enough words to express how truly amazing you truly are and how much I love you! Please know that you’re in my thoughts every moment of every day.

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  4. Thank you for this blog Marian as we weren't really sure what was going on. You are an amazing, strong woman Marian and I am so glad you have your family with you on this journey. Please stay strong and remember that you are loved by us and many others. Love David

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    1. I hope we can see you after this lockdown. It is funny when I think back to why David wonders why I can get the MRI and only a couple of months. And here we have been for over three years and had the opportunity to sailing with you even.

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  5. Thank you for this blog Marian as we weren't really sure what was going on. You are an amazing, strong woman Marian and I am so glad you have your family with you on this journey. Please stay strong and remember that you are loved by us and many others. Love David

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    1. So happy to have them here and you as my friends too!

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  6. No words. We never got to meet but I think of you as a friend. A tough time ahead but so much love and support is flooding your way. Butter lamps on for you, my friend.

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  7. Dear Marian- You have been on my mind a lot lately. Thank you so much for sharing this journey- it has meant a lot to me. I will also remember our sharing another journey, to Iran- good fun in better times.

    I find consolation in that you have such good care, both professional and from your loving family, and that they are there with you now. I am with you in spirit and send love and light, dear friend.

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    1. I continue to be happy for many things including having our time together in Persia/Iran!

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    2. Thanks for our time camping in Iran/Persia! It was a special trip being so taken care of with as we camped among Nomadic women and kids who were more amazed by us than them.

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  8. This may appear twice b/c Google is wonky...Marion you have epitomized courage, strength and a fighter’s stance throughout this battle of cancer. You are a woman to have in one’s corner whether it be school board, sailing, trekking, politics or being a mom. Thank you for your transparency during your battle. This is not our forever home. Praying for your Homecoming as you will. E surrounded by loved ones cheering you on.

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  9. Oh Marian.... so much love coming to you from all us Cochrans... what a lovely, funny, giving, courageous and thought provoking friend you are.
    I have been thinking a lot about our shared memories from the beginnings with our sweet girls to correspondence thru the ‘away’ years to sharing the big Nepal adventure...
    Thank you for bringing such inspiration and joy into our lives.
    X

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  10. Your sparkle is certainly shining through your very tough ride as you continue to educate and enlighten us. You have created an awesome family and a fine adventure for every one around you. Be satisfied that your life is to be admired and envied. Thank you so much fir your care of us!

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  11. Your sparkle is certainly shining through your very tough ride as you continue to educate and enlighten us. You have created an awesome family and a fine adventure for every one around you. Be satisfied that your life is to be admired and envied. Thank you so much fir your care of us!

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  12. Marian, I am cathy67 from "canadians in british columbia". I am always encouraged by your courage and strength. Yeah, that is the group we never wanted to be, but it is so warmful, my websister, I wish we can meet again after lockdown.

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  13. Hey Marian,

    Thank you for sharing your story. You have been an amazing example of resilience, strength and positivity. I have learned so much from you and am grateful to have met you.

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    1. I am so glad to have been able to help teach someone who has so much good to pass on Ana. Vital Heath Pharmacy was one of the most important decisions I have made and before your time. Thank you!

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  14. Hi, it's Margaret, moth from BCO.
    Well fuck this news. Hugs to our fave bc girl. You've been such a great support and source of info. You've truly made an impact.

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  15. Marian, We didn't know each other well, but I always enjoyed our brief encounters when you came in for your eye exams. Your courage and positive attitude were inspirational. Your are in my thoughts. God Bless. Kendra O

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