To My Brave Celiac Friend on Mother’s Day
To complicate matters, her cancer diagnosis coincided with an out-of-province transfer for her family. Their Ottawa home had been sold weeks before, and there was no option but to proceed with the imminent move. Just 48 hours after having sat together on her front steps, we shared a very tearful goodbye.
Once in Victoria, British Columbia, Micheline underwent a double radical mastectomy followed by chemotherapy. Almost 5,000 kilometres (3,000 miles) now divided Micheline from the support of extended family and friends. With her husband and children by her side, Micheline bravely put up the fight of her life.
She put on the biggest pair of boots she could find and proceeded to kick the big ‘C’ to the curb.
She faced surgery, surgical complications and chemotherapy – all with the fiercest determination and an astonishing ability to see humour in everything. Our phone conversations were loud, long and full of laughter. I’d often hang up feeling better, wondering how my friend had ended up comforting me when my intention had been to console her.
Just two weeks after her last chemotherapy treatment, Micheline chose to return to work. This was an important part of her healing process; keeping life as normal as possible helped Micheline to stay focused and strong. ‘Normal’ during this time of recovery included returning to work as a nurse, attending to as many parenting and household responsibilities as she could, and her situation was compounded by her husband having to leave on a five-month military deployment.
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