Monday, December 7, 2009


It's funny you know. Every step of this cancer "journey" has been a trial of varying degrees. Most of it manageable with sleep, or tears or medication or gnashing of teeth. If you have read this blog from the beginning then you know the horrors I went through.
Tomorrow I get to take another step. I got a call to see my gene counsellor and I assume that I will receive the results from my long awaited breast cancer test when I see her tomorrow. I won't be holding my breath given the massive screw ups the cancer centre has offered me in the past. Maybe she just wants to have tea. ;)

Let's just assume shall we that my gene test result is sitting on her desk tonight and I will have the results in my hand by 2-ish tomorrow? That's my hope anyway. If I have the breast cancer gene I may likely choose to have my other breast removed among other things because my risk for more cancer would be higher.

I've been thinking lately, about 2009 and 2008 and how things simply must get better soon. '08 was my year of having cancer, then 8 weeks after chemo ended the press started talking about a recession in Canada. Sooo, '09 has been the year of desperately tap dancing to keep my business afloat and my store from going under. I was angry for awhile... thinking how unfair it was that the recession came right on the heels of a major personal health upheaval. Really? I kept saying... really???
Right after cancer you give me nail biting financial strife and many sleepless nights wondering what the future is supposed to hold for me, my business and my son.
Now... I say BRING. IT. ON!!! Because I can take anything! and this time I am a force to be reckoned with!

2010? Do you hear that? I am not going to take your crap!

Over the last few weeks I have been watching a new friend of mine on one of those reality shows where they are stranded in the jungle with very little food or amenities. Their only option to get food was to do these crazy challenges like eating cockroaches and untying knots in pools full of baby crocodiles. Watching the TV show (suspending my disbelief of course)I saw my friend go through all manner of emotional and physical states in 20 days some of it heart wrenching some if it exhilarating as I watched him survive hunger, conquer old fears, endure bullying from other participants and in the end come out saying what an amazing experience it was and how he has grown and changed for the better...

I know already that having cancer clarified a lot of stuff for me personally. I believe that seeing my store through a recession will allow me to have some more clarity professionally... boring perhaps but really, really huge for me.

Are you listening 2010?? I ran the gauntlet of 2008! I drank the cockroach puree of 2009... I punched those stupid crocodiles on my way into the depths of hell and I am still here!

I am sooo ready to be voted off the island and get back to normal... whatever that is..;)
I'll keep you posted about the gene test tomorrow...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

3 years

3 years ago today my beloved Mummy died after a long, long 5 years with cancer, chemo and all the horrors that go with that. There but for the grace of God..... but anyone who reads my infrequent blogging knows that I am still here... alive and kicking. But today's blog is not really about me.
Because I live in the house she spent her last days in I see her in everything and life has thrown me some curve balls lately so she is closer than ever.

My dearest Mummy, I have you with me with every stir of a pot, with every thread in a needle, with every clank of a glass. Your words spring from my mouth and my son looks at me like I am crazy, just like I must have to you....I have collected people in my life who say canny, and besom and twee and my chip pan is full of lard. My dishes aren't done, and I work too much but the food is good and I am teaching Luke to cook. Now because of a strange but neccesary turn of events in my business I will be following in the footsteps of Grump(my Mum's Dad for those readers who don't know), Uncle Gordon and you and with your old black hairdressing scissors in my hand I'll be cutting hair. There are lots of moments I wish you were here. There are lots of moments I know you are here and with every snip I have a feeling I will know more and more....

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Chemo Curly? This event is for you!

Dear CurlFriends, Curls in Disguise, Chemo Curly's & WavyCurls too,

I am so crazily excited to tell you about this event I can barely type! My Friend, Curly Mentor, the original DevaCurl Angel Lorraine Massey is coming to see us at our boutique in Dundas! On October 25th Lorraine & her amazing staff "Curl-Man" David will regale us with curly tales, tips & tricks to help you live frizz free no matter how curly or wavy you are! Bring us your curls, whirls, nappyness and all & we'll teach you the magic of the Deva! Leave your blowfryers and your troubles at the door, we'll spoil you with curly deals & a refreshment or three!

Bring a canned good to donate to the local food bank & we'll trade you for one of our favourite bathing treats.

I cannot wait to see you & all your smiling faces to greet our guests! More details and RSVP contact below... Yours as always, Noëlle
Want to reserve your free spot at the CurlyCon?
You choose- October 25th 1:00pm or 3:30pm to reserve by phone 905 627 9379 or email or use this link to the website...
Watch this video for more info on DevaCurl!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

New Day !

My friend Jenny is hoping today is a New Day....I guess she had a crappy one yesterday. The words "New Day" always make me think of this song...

I first remember hearing it when my beloved Dissipated 8 sang it at Middlebury... and listen to it on an ancient scratched CD when I need to. The song ties so many people and so many memories together it is hard to even know whether it is actually memories I think of when i hear it or I just sense the many faces and landscapes pass through me as I hear the words and music. The Mountains, my many many friends over many many years... and it has become one of my fave songs that is also tied to my breast cancer years... as some of you know my doctor gave my a semi official cancer free status yesterday... or as I like to call it... No Evidence of Disease (aka NED) So, today truly is a New Day!

Someday, maybe me and some of my many many friends could get together so I can get a chance to sing it...if, I could actually get through it without crying that is...
Cheers to a New Day! For Jenny....and for the memories of Yolande and RanD because you are part of all my New Days

Friday, August 7, 2009

A Woman's Work ....

By the time you read this, I'll have an IV needle in my arm... or maybe I'll just be sitting in a waiting room, waiting for someone to put a needle in my arm. Today is my last cancer treatment. Barring anything unforseen, and of course assuming that I don't get cancer again... I won't have to be back in a cancer treatment chair ever again.

I just finished watching my favourite TV show a few hours ago.
So you think you can Dance... have you ever seen it? I started watching it last summer when I was in chemo. It made the summer pass a little quicker, getting excited every week about the dancers and who would dance what style and how well. There was a brief time I though I wanted to be a dancer, and this show has stoked that fire a little. I don't watch much television and this show made me fall in love with a show for the first time in a very long time. This season a choreographer named Tyce Diorio created a Dance piece dedicated to his friend Michelle who has endured Breast Cancer. In the audience when it was performed again at the finale tonight? Christina Applegate, who was diagnosed when I was in chemo. She was crying, I was crying .. lots of people watching the show were crying.

Skip the talking at the end, if you want to... and yes, I wish it was the original Kate Bush version of the song too.

I wonder, if I saw this last year while I was still in hardcore treatment how I would have felt. I wonder if I had seen this before I got cancer would I have really felt much at all. I wonder, if cancer had never touched me, where would I be?....who would I be?....What is this failing business, this chapter of cancer ending.. what is it all about? Where is it all leading me?

This morning, I found the hairdressing scissors that my mother used to cut our hair my whole life. She cut my customers hair until a few months before she died from cancer. 3 summers ago I watched her health decline after 5 years in chemo. I was there everyday through every step of cancer treatment and her death process.
Last night someone told me I should be using those scissors to start the next phase of my career.

This afternoon I chatted with one of the favourite people in the neighbourhood of my store. His wife has terminal cancer, she has had treatment after treatment after treatment. I looked into the eyes of a man exhausted by the pain of watching his wife suffer, he saddened himself by the fact that he was grumpy today when she never complains about the daily injections, nurse visits and dressing changes. I told him I get his part in the cancer stuff... and for the most part.. I get hers too.

Tomorrow I pack a gift for another cancer friend in her 3rd summer on chemo.

Today I met a customer who was diagnosed with breast cancer soon after I was...she disappeared after her treatment started. I worried about her. I was very excited to see her!
Her newly grown hair looks like what we refer to as chemo curly....

I wonder if she'll need a haircut soon.....

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Want Cancer!?

Tanning Beds deadlier than ever suspected!
Tanning Beds As Deadly As Arsenic and Mustard Gas
Check out this link...
skin cancer jumps by 75 percent

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


... Yolande said it best.... her Dad was dying and I was telling her about something not very nice someone said to me ... she said " no negative thoughts, we don't have room for anything negative"
Yolande died on the 4th of July 2006... just a short few weeks after her Dad. I guarantee you Yolande will stand by me with this post.

I don't like the media, I don't read newspapers, or headlines, or watch the news EVER. I think most of the lies and the way the truth is spun to sell advertising is shameful. I don't check the weather, I don't read People magazine.. I think it is all a big waste of time. Since being involved to a great extent with social media I am exposed to a lot more news. Happily, it comes as little one line blips that I can choose to read more about or not.

This past week I have read countless comments about the death of all the celebrities. I grew up watching Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon seemed to be a gracious and lovely host who had a long long life. Farrah Fawcett...I still have all my books and of course the Charlie's Angels t-shirt I begged my parents to buy me at the EX. Cancer took you too young, and everyone knows what I think of that fecker cancer...One day I'll watch your documentary about your travel with cancer, but for now it's too soon while I wrestle with the same devil. Michael Jackson...well... I'll get into it about him... but I liked him too.

I've been thinking about this post all week, the day that Farrah and Michael Jackson died when the nasty and negative Michael Jackson comments started. It has astounded me how incredibly mean spirited some of the comments and jokes have been. The thing that upsets me most have been the comments from the people on FaceBook that I have allowed to be in a list called "friends" many of the comments have made me think twice about who I really want to be friends with.

I was a half black little girl when I first saw Michael Jackson on TV. Like many many girls in the 70's and 80's Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 were amongst our first crushes...I was more partial to Donny Osmond, but had a soft spot for my early crush on MJ my whole life. Those guys were on my first digital clock radio, in my first Tiger Beat magazine, on my Saturday morning cartoons, they were the posters on my wall and the pictures under my pillow at summer camp. MJ and Donny never called me racist names on the playground, never teased me for wearing purple socks, or hand me down clothes. In a world where I was lonely they were there.

As I am typing this, my friend Randie who died on July 1rst from Breast Cancer is being remembered in a memorial service by her friends and family. Randie was in my support group, but we never met... and I miss her.
Today someone said to me on FaceBook when I commented on his badmouthing the coverage of MJ's service "Enjoy your grieving process for someone you did not even know"
As I said... Randie and I never met.. and I knew her for a much shorter time than I experienced Michael Jackson in my life. Randie, I have a feeling... although I did not "know" you ...that in the heaven that I believe in... you will find Yolande, and my mother and a heck of lot of other people and all of you... will be walking... MOONWALKING with the beautiful Mr Michael Jackson.

The things people say, the mean things people type... actually scare me sometimes.
If someone from your street that you did not like died, would you sit and complain about what a jerk he was and say how you "don't understand why anyone would mourn him"? ...NO, you would just not attend his funeral, and perhaps feel bad for his children. So WHY is it ok for you to talk about Michael Jackson like that? I certainly hope I don't get on your bad side.

"Why should we care about him, it's not like he cured cancer or something?" No..he didn't but he gave millions of his dollars away to honourable charities.
"He was a Pedophile" .. well, that was never proven...
"I never liked his music" soooo, why are you even talking about him???? (I bet you a cocktail that you danced to his music at least once in your life)
Truly people, do you not have anything better to do with your time than to go on about someone you "did not know" or even like?

Don't get me wrong. I am by no means perfect. I complain about my doctors on this blog, on twitter I criticize how people park, or drive or dress.. but honestly..I don't think I use people's names or make mean comments or jokes about anyone after their death. Ok, sorry I lie mother was a royal pain in the ass and I say so but she knew I loved her.. and she knew I thought she was a pain in the ass...

I grew up in a house with very little money, but radio and TV were pretty much we listened and watched... I never owned a new record until I was about 11(Patsy Gallant, 1976's Are You Ready For Love?, with the disco single "From New York to L.A" yes, I still know all the words) I had an Osmond's album from a Garage sale... and I bought a Jackson's greatest hits cassette in the early 80's and learned all the words to Ben 10 or so years after it was released. We watched videos when MTV had free weekends on Canadian TV or on City TV's "The New Music" and we tried all the dance moves ...Didn't everyone who saw MJ do the first Moonwalk on TV try it in their living room that night??

Anyone who has ever desired to dance on a stage and tried to get even close to any of MJ's steps knows he was a genius in that realm. I spent a lot of time on dance floors in high school wearing one white glove and a bow tie dancing for hours... and having other people ask me to teach them how to do the robot, or the moonwalk. Was I good? Who knows... the only thing I cared about is that I was dancing. From the minute I was allowed in 7th grade to go to school dances, I was dancing. I didn't care if people teased me about my outfit, or the music I liked because I was dancing... and in my head I was in the happiest place I could be.. and Michael Jackson was on the speakers on many of those nights.

All I know for sure is that Michael Jackson meant something to me. Did the media blow MJ's death out of proportion? Sure, but they do that to everything. Personally, I think a football or hockey or golf game on the front page are annoying, but when your FaceBook status goes on about some game or player or other.. I refrain from calling you names for liking those sports.

All your comments have made it clear that you did not think Michael Jackson was perfect....Do me one favour?? Call me on the day that you are.

Monday, July 6, 2009

It's always something...

Today I feel like I can never get ahead.. financially or emotionally. I also feel like I am a whiny pain in the ass on this blog because I whine about the fact that I can never get ahead financially or emotionally.

Yesterday my precious post chemo gift kitten got really lethargic and was acting strangely, and today she is at the vet getting tests run.. since whatever is wrong has stumped the vet. Is it wrong for me to feel really really angry that not only do I have to deal with yet another financial set back with the vet bill... but also face the fact that my kitten may be soooo sick I will have to put her down? All my fault likely... I totally and utterly forgot to get her shots done...we wanted to let her have a litter of kittens and so I never took her to the vet... and I swear to GOD.. ya you.... GOD!!! that I completely forgot about the shots I was supposed to get. She kept running away and we were always so happy to get her back.. and she has been such a fun thing to have about the house with my cancer and my failing business and all it.. I just plain forgot.
What the hell is God trying to test me with anyway....For GOD'S sake... gimme a break already!!!

One of my Breast Cancer buddies died last week... she was diagnosed at the same time as all of my cancer sisters....and now she is gone. Gone from her 6 year old, gone from her husband, gone from everyone else who loves her..

I could bore you with a list a mile long to tell you all the crap that sets me back week over week over week. Heart tests are going badly, Heart tests are fine, Can't pay the rent, flood at the store, flood at my house, cat ran away, no money for groceries, can't sleep, sleep too much, can't find a babysitter, can't afford a babysitter, can't buy stock for the store, have too much stock at the store collecting dust, new bath product store opens two doors away, Someone dies, someone else dies...another local store scoops one of my product lines, toothache, earache, and on and on and on...

What is it all about? Am I at fault for all of this? Do I care too much? Maybe when all warm blooded creatures come near me I should just ignore them.. I certainly spend a lot of time mourning them, worried about them, feeding them....waiting for them...

Sometimes I am just tired. Not body tired... just emotionally wiped off the map for a few hours while I nurse the kick in the gut all these things do to me.

My mentor wonders why I don't get enough done in a week. I wonder how I even get out of bed at all.

I 've played Job in an early posting... I think I've survived the 10 calamities...someone hand me a hammer and call me Noah because building an ark would be easier than this...

I was in this musical a long time ago..still know every note..

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Summer School Math Class..

80 x U=/>ellenoire1

This morning while working on the finances for the store I realized something. If 80 of my customers came in and spent $100 I could pay the rent this month. I can hear you gasp from here… wow, that’s a lot of money!
Yes sadly it is.
I’ll tell you the story, so you will understand.
I have explained how small retail works on this blog before, but I’ll give you another quick version. In a normal retail (in a small company, that is less than 5 years old) year you sell as best as possible and spend all year using up what you saved during Christmas sales until the next Christmas season. You pay the bills, your staff and the little left over is for the boss. If you did your job right you end the year with little or no debt… and start all over again hopefully growing sales every year…. At some point in theory you become profitable that all the time spent pays off.

Last year when I had cancer I spent more than is normal both paying medical expenses, and paying for extra staff to keep the doors open while I was ill. We started this year in a bad place because bad weather and the recession killed our Christmas season. By February the savings were gone, and we have been struggling ever since. We have been digging a deeper and deeper financial hole every week.

This past weekend we booked a festival booth and paid for the booth and a lot of extra stock… but the organizers did not promote the area we were in so we lost a large amount of money because we sold next to nothing. This tore through most of both the little money and the goodwill from lenders that we had left. Sometimes, something little like this is all it takes to sink the proverbial ship.. and take a business down. We are perilously close to being on that sinking ship.

So today while working on the finances for the store I realized something. If 80 of my customers came in and spent $100 I could pay the rent this month. This means simply that with 80 people buying $100 (or 160 people spending $40, or 320 people spending $20 and so on.. ) I could pay back the friendly lender that helped us with the festival, pay the staff, the phone bill, and the rent…. This won’t pay all the debts… but that is for another blog, another day and another equation… today.. it is 80xU= ellënoire wins and gets to go on for another few weeks...
The whole store is on sale, so your $100 will go a long way…

P.S. While I was writing this entry.. a friend just spent $100… so now it is 79xU!!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Don't you forget about me...

Just a quick reminder... I am in the store pretty much every Wednesday and Thursday and Curly rescues are on most Saturdays and by appointment too!
Custom perfume blends can be any day by appointment. Tell me when I can make you look better, feel better, and smell better!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The store has $8 and I have $4

The funny thing about success is that the things it leaves you are not always helpful with the bills. This last few weeks has been a little nuts. I will post more about it later so you can understand just how nuts.

This past weekend was our first big festival of the year. Street festivals, triathlons and the occasional indoor show are our best(so far) marketing tool. We can talk to hundreds of people in a crowd that are out looking to learn more, and buy things along with attending whichever event they are at the show for. At these shows we offer sampling and demos of our bestselling products to encourage people to buy on the spot of course, but also to let them know about what we do and to help them become a devoted regular customer.
I wonder sometimes if customers ever realize how hard it is to get a show or festival ready for the public. Since we make many of our products the first step in the plan is to decide which selection of products to make and in which fragrances we should make them in.. then we decide which of our brand name products will work well with our brand. If the show is in front of our store we have to make sure the whole store is fully stocked as well as the tents.
So as an example,imagine if you will: think about all the things that you need if you are planning a birthday party.
You want to make a birthday cake(baking is a lot like making bath products) and you need 12 ingredients, but you have to go to 4 different stores to get each ingredient. You want to decorate the house, but have to go to one store for the tablecloth, one store for the cups and another for the streamers for the room... oops and also the balloons are only available in one store on the other side of town
they are only open 3 days a week and keep strange hours.

This is what it is like stocking the store and getting all the ingredients to make the products. On top of all this? You only need 1 pound of flour but the store makes you buy 10 pounds!

So to make what we need I have to buy too much because there is no choice from the suppliers. We have to make more than we need to make the booth and store look full because customers like displays and buy more if things are attractive. There is one big cash outlay..
Customer service is a HUGE detail for me.. and I make sure we have enough staff to take care of as many people as possible. We sell more with more staff to talk to people, and we can make more people happy with the interaction and information we share... which means they should come back to buy at another time.. Lots of staff for a festival is key.. another cash outlay.

Planning and preparation take a lot of time and staff hours. Designing and Printing cards and flyers, Posting notes and stuff on facebook, the blog, writing up advertising, supervising the staff making the products.. Do we have enough bags? Tissue paper? Credit card slips, pens, tape, rope for the tents..and on and on my list goes.
All of the staff time and all the little things cost money... and more cash flies out the window for prep for the festival...

Getting the picture yet? I know you have to "spend money to make money" but you all know how much time and money my cancer cost the store.. so there is not much left in the bank to do all this with. So at the end of the festival planning and execution what is left? Well, we had to borrow money from a friend to pay all the upfront costs *money out* We had a busy weekend at the booths so the place looked busy and people are still talking about it... *money in* We sold enough to pay for the ingredients we used to make the products we sold(though we only sold about 25% of what we made) *money in* We sold enough to pay for all the staff in the booth and store and the staff prep time.. *money in* Today... we have to pay the staff, and pay the friend back for the loan *money out*... (don't forget we did not sell all the stuff we bought for the booth, so we don't really have enough to pay the loan back)
The math at the end of all of this? With the staff paid and the expenses paid... we made $8 at the festival last weekend and there is not enough left over to pay me for my time. The fridge is almost empty, we have been making bread and cookies instead of buying them. I have no choice but to buy groceries this week... from money in the store's account that should be used to pay some other bill. Because the $4 I have left in my personal account is not going to get me anywhere... remember the birthday party example? Ya, I think that version would have been more fun...

There is no answer to this... I wanted to write about it... this life is far from easy.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Why do we go to Funerals?

Being raised in the house with a Dad who is a church organist who is a priest's kid (PK, as they are known) himself in a house that was about 300 steps from the front door of our church we knew the in’s and out’s of church rules pretty well. Little did I know, that the church rules I was raised with were not the same as everyone else’s, but that is a conversation for another day. Starting at a very young age I went to funerals because I was told. Mostly I was not expected to attend unless it was a relative or someone I knew well who had died. The first one I was expected to attend was for Emma. I asked not to go, but my memory says my mother told me I had no choice but to go. Emma was 9, I was perhaps 13 and she was my friend. I was shattered when she died, and I hated every second of her funeral for a lot of reasons and I didn’t quite understand the loud party that was held afterward. I only went because I was told.

I attended a funeral at St James Church today for Heather, the young lady I mentioned in a previous post. 33 years old, diagnosed with a horrible cancer that began much the same as mine did from what I have heard. I didn’t know her well. I thought of her often as I learned news of whether her treatments were effective or not. Every time I saw her parents around town when they were not away visiting Heather I was eager to ask questions, but always regretted my eagerness when I saw the look in their eyes as they went to answer. Each time I saw them the news got worse. I felt guilty, but hoped that somehow by asking the news might get better. Did I hope Heather would get better so her lovely parents would never have to answer the annoying “How is she?” questions ever again. Yes. Did I hope Heather would get better so I could stop being fearful for myself and my cancer outcome? Perhaps.

Losing a child is a heartbreak I hope to never completely understand. That statement is selfish that I know, but being selfish is a something I struggle daily to explain to myself.
I felt selfish about being there today. Part of me wonders why I went.

Why do we go to funerals? I was raised to believe that you go to support the living through a difficult day. You go to celebrate the life of the person who has died. Sometimes you go because you are told….

So, I went today to support the parents, her partner and her siblings

Heather’s parents were a part of my life many times every week in and out of church and school. The mother whose Girl Guide Leader voice will be forever in my head when I pitch a tent, or tie a reef knot or build a fire. The father whose stern teacher voice was often heard in the halls of our high school.. (and the totally different man’s voice I was privileged to know in years of singing in my Dad’s choir together).
The “children” may not have many memories of me, but between Guide outings, babysitting them and seeing them at church on Sundays I watched them all grow up.
I briefly met Heather’s steadfast partner who stood by her through her cancer trials and broke down while talking to him. There is a bond I feel with cancer patients that is inexplicable that should be obvious. But anyone who can stand by a cancer patient and help them through the process of living through treatments and beyond has my lifelong respect. There are few jobs harder in the world. Being the patient is the simple part.

I went for all of them.

Most of the Funerals I have attended have been at St James Church. It was the church I grew up in, it was the place I attended service after service, Guide meetings and choir rehearsals and teenage dances and youth group events, sleepovers, dinners and on and on. I was there at least 3 times a week from my earliest memory until I left for college. There are a lot of ghosts in those rooms, and a lot of memories…. It is the place I had it all, it is the place I lost a lot…

One of the things that will always be painful in being at St James is being there when my father plays music there. You see, I was young… 9 I think when his employment ended there. Until recently I don’t think I really understood how deeply that situation must have affected me. I have always known that hearing Daddy play at St James and other church situations made me cry, but didn’t really know why…. Still not totally sure…

So today, at Heather’s funeral I purposely chose not to sit with my Dad. The building, the people, Heather dying from the same disease I have… I knew hearing him sing and stuff would make it almost impossible… Without knowing the layout of the church (it changes every season) I ended up not only sitting near the choir, but sitting a few rows behind my Dad, near a piano. I knew he was playing the recessional on the organ, but I figured I would handle that.
I wept a little during the poems and kind words, I cried some during the hymns… then Daddy started moving around after communion talking to the organist and I wasn’t sure why. Then he sat at the piano, a few feet from me. Turns out he played the piano as part of one of the last hymns. The piece was one I had sung at our local church youth camp. The camp Heather and I both attended years apart from each other (unbeknownst to me until I heard a camp story in the homily)

You shall cross the barren desert,
but you shall not die of thirst.
You shall wander far in safety,
though you do not know the way.

You shall speak your words in foreign lands,
and all will understand,
You shall see the face of God and live.

Be not afraid,
I go before you always,
Come follow Me,
and I will give you rest.

Blessed are your poor,
for the Kingdom shall be theirs.
Blest are you that weep and mourn,
for one day you shall laugh.

And if wicked men insult and hate you, all because of Me,
blessed, blessed are you!

Be not afraid,
I go before you always,
Come follow Me,
and I will give you rest.

If you pass through raging waters
in the sea, you shall not drown.
If you walk amidst the burning flames,
you shall not be harmed.

If you stand before the power of hell
and death is at your side,
know that I am with you, through it all

Be not afraid,
I go before you always,
Come follow Me,
and I will give you rest.

As you can imagine this finished me, I was gutted. The place, the people the music. My Dad playing 5 feet in front of me, the situation ….I had to stifle my sobbing… just to keep singing ( I have a thing about forcing myself to sing through tears, long story) I felt so selfish and caught up in my own grief and fear, my own history and baggage. I shouldn’t be feeling all this stuff at someone else’s funeral. Sitting alone, in that familiar place in a room full of people I knew, but few of them my friends I wondered if I should be there at all. Why was I there? I didn’t really know her. Some people asked why I was there, how I knew her… All I could tell myself is that I knew for some reason I was supposed to be there. I never thought to not go.

I went to support the living.
I went to celebrate the life of Heather.

I went… because I was told.

Monday, May 4, 2009


Someone I know died from Breast cancer this weekend. I didn't know her well.
Her dad sat across from me in choir practice and her mom was my Girl Guide leader. My other Girl Guide Leader was her Godmother. I babysat her when she was young which means she is 5 or so years younger than I am...
She got sick before I did, and if I recall correctly they found metastasized cancer in her brain soon after her diagnosis. Mets doesn't ever look good, but brain mets is one of the worst from what I understand.
Her parents have been back and forth across the country many times to be with her through the process of surviving treatment and the process of dying. The look in their eyes broke my heart when I saw them over the last year. Broke my heart and made me wish this wasn't happening to them... or anyone else. Part of me felt so terribly guilty that I am doing ok so far and she wasn't. The old " I wish the floor would suck me up ..."rather than look in their eyes kind of feeling.
I get that survivors guilt is a very real thing, and this is not the first time I have felt it.

There are no answers as to why her (or anyone else) and not me. I guess the only thing I can only keep wishing is that things can be different ... soon... for the people who are getting diagnosed in the future, for the people who have mets now...
for me.
Cancer Sucks... I did not know Heather well, but I thought about her everyday... and I will be at her funeral trying to remember not to ask God "Why not me?".

Thursday, April 30, 2009

My fave drink this month!

For energy and health with no sugar, no stimulants, no caffeine!

Just in case you missed it!

Join our newsletter email list and see the latest product info and sales! Lots of great deals this month, news about Carol's Daughter and other new things you may not know about. Please forward this to a friend!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

had to post this.... alligators... yup!

So tonight I read this... it is written by a woman ( who I do not know FYI) on my fave Breast Cancer support site who has Stage 4 metastasized breast cancer. That means her breast cancer has spread to another part of her body: this is generally considered incurable.

She wrote:
Spent some time at the SYC Friday night with my loyal sidekick. We ran into a woman down there whom I adore...a true LADY in every sense of the word...someone I aspire to be like when I "grow up". And this woman said to me, "The thing that amazes me is every time I see you, you are smiling-and genuinely smiling." I said "That's because when everyone sees me, I'm not wrestling alligators...let me explain..."

Eighteen months ago I received the mind boggling news that I had been chosen to wrestle alligators. I have no formal training in wrestling alligators, had never studied the technique, and--let's face it--was often chosen last in gym when picking teams. Still, the telegram came and wrestling alligators it was. My life continued on the same course, except for periodically I would have to excuse myself from the norm, leave the room, and wrestle alligators. My friends and family are not allowed to come watch my matches, and I try to tell them about them, but the words are often hard to come by.
Going for monthly IVs which render me on the sick couch is difficult. Going for scans every three months to monitor the beast is excruciating... and getting harder and harder each time. I cannot even begin to describe the fear and anxiety that accompanies a late-stage cancer diagnosis... yet, I continue to try.
People look at me funny when I try to explain that I wrestle alligators on the side...surely I must be joking...I look too good (too healthy) to be serious. I don't APPEAR as though I've just returned from a death defying match. Still, if you look a little closer, I am somewhat disheveled, move a little slower, and the sparkle is sometimes a bit duller than it used to be.

I try to remember with everyone I encounter, that we all have our alligators to wrestle. My hope is that one day I'll be standing with my fellow Hot Cancer Babes at a huge yard sale...a yard sale jampacked with alligator shoes, belts, handbags, boots, etc. Until that day, we will all continue to hold hands and get back out
there in the ring.

So, my fellow bloggy readers, I hope that this rang true for you somehow.... or helped you understand a little. For me, it reminded me that given the cancer I got and how I feel right now... today, I am still one of the lucky ones.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Back in the Cancer Centre for my tri-weekly visit

The IV is in. After today I have had 12 Herceptin doses with only 6 more to go. No blood today, just the IV poke… a little painful but no big deal. The piano player in the lounge area was playing depressing music again; there’s nothing like a little Danny Boy with your cancer treatment!

I have so much to write about both here and in my other blog, but I got really sick last week with a devil of a cold/ flu thing which is still hanging around. I was eyeing that souvenir bottle of Neupagen (the white blood cell booster) I kept after my last chemo, hoping for something to boost this immune system. Instead I downed tons of my Monavie, lots of extra VitC and some elderberry juice.

I started on a new daily thing of drinking an apple cider vinegar cocktail which has helped with the illness too. Two teaspoons of Organic ACV, 1teaspoon of local honey (local is best to combat pollen allergies) and lot of water in a glass. Yesterday I added some fresh lemon juice which made it extra tart. Sucking honey through a straw is not easy; I have to juggle the recipe a bit. It is supposed to help with the potassium loss from drinking coffee, so I drink one or two a day.

This week I am going to get my first pedicure since last fall when a lot of my toenails fell out from chemo. I just realized the other day that my fingers are no longer numb either. Not sure when that stopped. This past Wednesday or Thursday was the one year anniversary of my first chemo, and the one year mark of the beginning of the group of women that I hang out with over at It’s funny you know, all these anniversaries. The further away I get from active treatment the better I feel, but somehow it seems almost scarier. Now I get to walk amongst the “normals” as if nothing is different about me. I try to go into social things and not talk about cancer all the time but it’s hard. Last week I was at a party, but only a few of us there knew about my cancer. Until one of the people in the know talked about my hair coming back, which took a few minutes for me to realize how it must have seemed like an odd comment to someone listening in. Imagine hearing.. oh your hair is coming back in so nicely..... and wondering what the heck to say or do if you don't know the story.

Then there is the issue of me being a magnet for cancer patients coming into the store to talk about cancer. I am happy to do it, but man 3 cancer talks in a day certainly messes with a work schedule. I am trying to learn how to get more done in a day with a schedule and goal setting and such. I am not good at being organized, and I don’t really like it either. Since the store is so slow I have no choice but to maximize the staff hours and my time and that takes planning. The store is so slow I am beginning to wonder how much longer I will be able to keep the doors open. My fear of rejection and lack of organization makes it even harder to push people to buy. There are only so many ways you can present a sale. Let me know if you have any brilliant marketing ideas! I am open to anything!

My herceptin is done, I am off!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

sick and not sick

Last week I went to the doctor for a bunch of things. None of them cancer related. How strange!
And now for something completely different? My doctor actually talked to me like he knew who I was. Since day 1 it was my family doctor who has taken better care of me than anyone else.
Today I have a terrible flu/cold bug, headache, body ache, nausea etc. I am whacked out on (pain and cold) meds and napping all the time. Remind you of anything? The funny thing is today( or maybe tomorrow, I have to look it up) is the first anniversary of my first chemo. The physical feeling of flu is actually quite similar to the symptoms of chemo. Gratefully, the horrible side effects are not here.

As you can imagine, trying to run the store while sick at home is not easy. I had to either close the store or call my assistant in from a day off. Luckily today my staff agreed to sacrifice his day off. We have never been able to afford to have an extra trained person on staff so if I am sick and my assistant is committed elsewhere we have to be closed. That is the only option. Tomorrow we'll have to see what happens.
The recession is hurting the store enough, we certainly cannot afford to close the store just for illness. We are lucky to still be open.
This week we get to work on a project planning our presence at the Busker festival. Unfortunately that is the same weekend I am hoping to attend the 20th class reunion of my college class at Middlebury College in Vermont. None of my classmates have seen me since my surgery and chemo. I really want to be there. Since we have no backup staff doing festivals at the best of times is not easy. We bring in at least 5 extra people to help us work the almost 30 hours that the festival needs to make it happen. We managed to get the store and all the festivals through last summer with me in chemo. I made an appearance at each festival when I was up to it and worked at the store for 2 days a week(most of you know this already). The idea of having me gone through one festival seems like no big deal, but my parter/ mentor Tim has always been at the festivals whether I was or not. Our original plan was to have Tim come to the reunion with me. Soooo, the idea of a festival without me or Tim there makes things much more complicated. I have decided that somehow or other we will get the store through the recession.
I am not sure how, but somehow I will get to my reunion and I am going to do everything I can to get Tim there too.
Let me know if you have any bright ideas about running the festival without the 2 senior staff in town.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Damn I hate this place! Stupid Cancer centre!

Herceptin appointment March 31rst.

I get blood work and the nurse has to dig around to get the vein to work, so now I will have a big honkin’ drug addict bruise on my arm. Then I see a different doctor from normal and he races through the appointment and tells me he doesn’t “need “my blood. He said some doctors order it by routine, but he doesn’t need to see it.

Then the chemo nurse (I get my non-chemo treatments in the chemo room, fun huh?) can’t get the vein for my Herceptin IV and digs around for the vein soooo… and of course she has to ask me about the port AGAIN!

I swear, if one more stupid chemo nurse asks me why I don’t have a freakin’ port I am going to scream. This time I actually almost cried when telling the story about how my idiot doctor never bothered to ask me about getting one until the night before my last chemo!! I would have refused a port if she had asked…. But bloggy readers… you may remember that the doc asked me “is your port in ok?” which was the first time she ever mentioned a port to me in almost 5 months of appointments.

So, back to the "I don't need your blood" craziness... if I don’t need blood drawn every 9 weeks, why the heck are we wasting Hospital resources to do it? In a centralized medical system like Canada has where test results are months and months behind you because of lack of staff/ money etc would think the docs could get their plans and stories straight!

Nurses arguing with me, Doctors racing through my appointments God willing I never get cancer again or ever have to deal with the horrific hell hole of a hospital ever!

Am I oversensitive, or is this all normal treatment and no one else says anything about it?

Are Canadians too damned nice for their own good? Their own health?

If you don’t complain about a health care system that you pay for everyday whether you get sick or not….

This is the link I am poking into today

I read about it in the waiting room. Apparently the Canadian system is not implementing World Health Organization guidelines for controlling cancer in advance through education, screening and diet etc. Will I be surprised if this is true?


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

busy busy busy!

Lots going on with the store, the house, the purple juice biz and cancer treatments!
Herceptin yesterday, Tasting party tonight. If you are local to Dundas and want to learn about the juice that took me from chemo tired to normal Noelle pop by the store anytime for a taste! Tonight at 7:30 we are having a special expert come in to talk about the product.
Call if you are up for it!
905 902 6647.

Love to all my Cancer Blog followers!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Cancer Party!?

Cancer is such a fecking downer I think every good test result should be a celebration!! What the hell is wrong with the Doctors and Medical personnel?
* in your best "I hate my job" whiny droning voice* say this..without smiling...
"Hi Noelle, you called to ask about your test results?" "well, your ejection fraction from January was re-calculated from a 49 to a 50
(why the heck they did not call me back to tell me this before I do not know) and your test from this week was still at 50"
I said... so, there has been no change at all since this scare of my heart function dropping from this drug all started?
*back to bored drony voice*
"yes, it stayed the same in November, December, January, and February"
I said.. "That is good news!"
She said *one more time with the drony voice folks* " yes, that is good news"

HALOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Nurse what's your face!!!! You just told me that the heart tests that I have been having monthly to make sure I don't have a HEART ATTACK from the anti cancer drug you are giving me are staying steady... when for the last 2 months there has been strong concern about my heart test scores continue to drop.

You people need to learn how to be happy for your patients!!!
Emotional distance is fine to protect yourself from bad news, but hell! Can't you get excited about delivering good news??

So, I am having my own private cancer party today!
Good test results in the heart dept mean I will likely be able to keep taking this drug to protect my body from this nasty protein Her2neu thingy.
Yay Herceptin!!!
Yay Heart tests staying the same!
Poop on bored, jaded medical peoples!!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Event at the shop!

What’s more important than your health? Absolutely Nothing!
You’re Invited to a
Tasting Party
Share a Free Sample of the juice with the #1 Super Food, the Açai Berry! Find out how to look younger, feel healthier and have an overall sense of well being…..
Date: Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Locations: Ellënoire Boutique 41 King Street west, Dundas 905 627 9379

Time: Presentation starts at 7:30pm

Speakers: JoAnne Spilatiere, Tom LaForme, Karen Dupuis, Noelle Smith

“I take pride in endorsing the product as a consumer and an athlete who’s looking for every health advantage” Jason Sager, Cannondale Cycling Team

“ it helped me get back to my normal energy level after cancer surgery & months of chemotherapy so I could run my store and work 12 hours a day at my store in the Christmas season” Noëlle Smith, owner Ellënoire Boutique, Dundas

Rainbows are visions

Hi everyone. I wrote this earlier this week for FaceBook. I am going to copy it here for a bunch of reasons: I don't feel much like writing. I am a little tired, a little annoyed with the cancer stuff this week(more on that later, I just got off the phone with yet another rude person at the cancer centre) and I just found out an old friend died today. Not someone I knew well, not since I was a kid... just someone from an important place...

So, here is your challenge.
No, it does not involve telling me what google tells you what you need. It does not involve me asking you to give me one work answers about anything or telling me 25 things about yourself.
It's actually a little dumber than that...

I don't watch many movies, so I am not doing the challenge about how many movies I have seen. I saw the tail end of the movie "The Breakup" tonight and caught the title music. There was a version of "The Rainbow Connection" that I had never heard before. You know that song?(like or hate it).. the one Kermit sang in "The Muppet Movie"?
I loved this version by an a capella group called the Tone I found it.. and it made me cry. That ridiculous song has made me cry for as long as I can remember. I found a ton of versions! I guess I never thought about it.. but I guess a lot of people like it.. or something...

Your challenge?
Find me a version that doesn't make me cry. Here are the ones I have so far...

The Original:

Kermit and Debbie Harry:
Dixie Chicks:

Kenny Loggins and Thomas the Tank Engine?? :

Willie Nelson... can make me cry??

Heartland Men's Chorus:
(nice clean Harmonies guys!)

Tone Rangers from the movie:
( love these guys! as always addicted to a capella music)

ok.. it's your turn!
Ya, I know this is a ludicrous challenge!

So, there it is. My lazy blog post for the day. I hope Brian's family can see the rainbow today. More later or soon.. or something.
Love, Me

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

To Foob or not to Foob?

I don't really have a question... it is just a funny thought. As I have told u bloggy readers b4 I only wear my foob(fake boob=f-oob) when I feel like it. My foob is heavy and strangely enough droops more than my real one. It hurts to wear on my scar somedays and some clothes just do not work with the mastectomy bra. Wait... who the hell am I kidding? Some clothes don't work with the mast bra, or the foob! So last week I went back to working out regularly. I have been doing Pilates since the fall, but the store has kept me so busy I have not had time to do much else other than the occasional snowshoe trip down the rail trail. My Pilates girls know about the cancer and I just show up with no foob and no one says anything.
My trainers gym is pretty quiet, and the women there know me. Until yesterday my trainer had a new student work with me. It was a high school aged boy who comes in to help and learn. Poor kid did not know where to look.
Tonight at Pilates there was a woman waiting for the next class to begin while we were still working out. It is a pretty open concept studio. Again, she did not know where to look. Funny .. you know. I don't care at all what people think, and will continue to do what I like but I wonder. I wonder what goes through peoples heads when they look at me in a little black tank top all flat and deformed( my underarm area is very swollen from the lymph node removal and sentinal node biopsy a feckin year ago!)on one side, and pretty much normal on the other. Not that I did not know this, but I guess I don't look like the typical BC patient/ survivor/ warrior whatever.

New Blog for ellenoire

I will not be abandoning this blog I promise!
but I have created a new blog just for the store
Check it out!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

more questions?

My Breast Cancer Support group keeps making me do these!!!
I think there is some religious thing to do with my name ;P

Last night in the car, it was some Fiddle music that made me do it.

Sometimes, but mostly when I use a fountain pen. Come to think of it, I need a new fountain pen.

Links Spiced Ham with Garlic aka Krakowska with Garlic
One boy

Maybe, but man I would get tired of my long ass stories!

Occasionally( see #1) but I cannot hear it. I am the Ultimate straight man. Who’s on second? Then WHO is on third? Really Sarcastic people rarely stay friends with me. I do not laugh at their jokes and I always think they are mean to me...


Not likely…

Sugary Cereal: Captain Crunch, Healthy cold cereal: Alpen with Hemp Seeds

Sometimes… mostly.

Incredibly, but I fecking hate it when people tell me I am

Baskin and Robbins Daiquiri Ice, and Ben and Jerry’s Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz, and anything by Berthilon in Paris

The way they walk, then Hair, then shoes, then eyes

Red, or Deep Fushia
I’m too short and my boobs are too small…. Umm oops.. I mean my boob is too small. Oh and I yell at my kid too much.

Who the Hell is Paul McKenna?


An orange
The Radio. I am at work so it is boring music.
Dark Purple

Today? Labdanum or Boronia
My dad

One of each please. No neighbours at Either

Sports on TV suck, but if I have to … Triathlon, Running, Cycling, X-country skiing

Dark Dark Brown

Only fun ones when I go out

Filet Mignon Medium-Rare, Curried Chicken, PB and J

Scary Movies annoy the hell out of me.

The Other Bolyn

Pink LOL!


Mostly I only let people touch me because it makes them feel good with rare exception.
My favourite button says “Don’t you dare Hug me!”
Chocolatey stuff, but I am VERY fussy about the quality so I mostly make my own desserts.

Umm… only stupid people would choose only one. EVERYONE should be doing both

Both, on at the same time

Emma, Jane Austen

No Mousepad

Silence or no man made sounds. The Silence of Nature is good

The alarm clock


Loire Valley, France

Lots of them

Saskatoon, Saskatchwan

Dundas, Ontario

Ugly grey with black trim

Cars have colours? It is just a box with wheels that gets me places
No, and this one took me three tries because my browser kept locking up.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Video about Obama by my friends the Hillary Step

stuff about me chain note from FaceBook

This is a chain note; I've seen a couple of variations. I keep meaning to do this and never get my thoughts together to get it done.
Once you’ve been tagged, you're supposed to write a note with 16 (or pick some other number) random things about yourself. They can be trivial or momentous. At the end, choose 16 (or however many - see above) people to be tagged. But: you have to tag the person who tagged you. (Heck, I tagged you because I want to know more about you!)

1) I have spent no less than 5 hours thinking about what to write in this note. I do this a lot: postpone projects big and small because my head thinks about them sooo much and how to make them right I never get them done at all. I do this with everything: what to wear, what you think of me, what to do with my time. Most people don’t think I care about what other people think…. I think I care too much!

2) I could never be in a relationship with anyone with a peanut allergy. I would starve if it was not for peanut butter. Preferably no sugar added, crunchy with homemade jam on brown bread. I will occasionally go back to my roots and eat one with commercial crappy PB, store bought jam on white bread... but those only taste good if I have Campbells soup to go with...this is what I ate for almost every lunch during elementary school except for the store bought jam part. My mom always made jam which was often so runny it ran down your arm when you ate a sandwich.

3) I would really love to live in a house where it was neat and clean and things were put away but I don't know how. I did not grow up in a very organized or clean house both of my parents sucked at it. I liked growing up in a chaotic house because it was fun... but man that place was a mess! I wish someone (who would not throw all the stuff I love away) could come and teach me how to have a clean and organized house.

4) Every day I think how cool it would be if Colin and Justin came and redid my house. Just like everyone on their TV show I would be scared they would give me an orange bedroom or a beige living room or something else hideous. I took pictures of my house a year ago to send in to their show. See #1 for the reason I have not sent them in yet.
I think Colin and Justin are totally amazing and their Scottish accents make me miss my Mom.

5) My favourite colour is purple. The kids in school thought I was weird that I did not like blue or pink or other boring colours. Yes, I liked Donny Osmond, still do. I wore many pairs of purple socks and went to summer camp once and slept with his picture from Tiger Beat magazine under my pillow.

6) I swear a lot. No big surprise to anyone who knows me. My mother did too. Kerry Freeman and I decided in grade 6 I think it was to swear. We were on the playground after school one day and decided together to start swearing.

7) Bad manners make me blind with anger and I pray that bad manners are one of the things people don’t think I have. I want to run a manners school for kids. This generation makes me crazy. My parents were hardcore about manners: eat with your mouth closed, talk softly, walk quietly etc. Ironic that my mother drank and swore like a sailor and my father thought (and still does) it was ok to answer the front door in his underpants.

8) I am going to post this on my blog. Everytime I write something on FaceBook or to my support group and copy it onto my blog I feel guilty that I am not giving everyone original material and being lazy about not spending the time on each separate medium.

9) I love to sleep but wish there were 24 hours in a day. I stay up very late each night ( go back to #1 to see what I do with that time) watching bad TV, surfing the web, working on my business and playing with bath products and stuff.

10) I am teaching myself to like taking baths. I own a company that sells Bath products and HATE taking baths. I wonder if I could make a fortune creating a bathtub that I found comfortable enough to stay in for more than 10 minutes

11) I think I am lazy, I NEVER get enough done in the course of the day to feel satisfied. Going to bed before everything is done feels like failure to me. See #9.

12) I have a very addictive personality but learned a lot about myself when I gave into cigarettes and cocaine. Cigarettes were cool and tasted good…Cocaine made my never quiet brain get quiet but never for long enough. I quit Cigs for my kid. I quit cocaine because it made getting anything done totally impossible and holy shit the people that I met while using it were complete morons. I don’t like morons.

13) I always feel like I have useful info to share with people that would help them ie: stop using sulfates in your hair and it will look nicer, you will run faster if you learn chi-running, you will lose weight if you follow the program I used to lose 40lbs, Your curly hair would look better if you learn my way etc etc. Now that I run a business that I can share info with people that will help them I feel guilty that I will make money helping them. I try really hard not to tell my friends about the stuff I know or can do that would help them because I don’t want them to think I am trying to make money off them. .. But then I get mad that they are doing stuff the hard way and wish I could help them… and then I feel guilty…. Which is why I suck at marketing my company.

14) I want to start a group for people with cancer in my area that helps cancer patients exercise together during and after treatment. My mom started a group for stay- at-home mom’s to exercise together and it is still running 40+ years later. I have an odd feeling the groups will end up being similar.

15) I like you, lots and lots of you. I cannot mention/tag all the people I like in this note. I have a blog post I want to write that makes all the people who read all the stuff I write to tell them this. See #1 about this… I have been thinking about this post for months….
On the flipside I am deeply, painfully sad and angry that I lost some people from my life when I got cancer. I have always been known as the person who stays in touch with everyone from all parts of her life. When I got sick I could not keep this up. FaceBook helped but I did not have the time to do it. I am really mad that some people just did not bother to keep in touch with me while I was sick.

16) I think I am not very smart. Although somehow I have managed to run a business for the last 8 years with no real education I still think I am dumb. I only barely made it through high school and failed out of college. In hindsight I know it was because I was bored and thought everyone else.. mostly my teachers were dumb. Sadly, since I was raised to believe authority figures are to be trusted I actually listened when those same teachers told me I was dumb…..

17) I wish I could sing more. I wish I was better at singing in public. I sing alone all the time. I was in a choir from the time I was 4 until I was about 28. I sang a few solos here and there but when I tried to sing at weddings and funerals and stuff I start to cry for some unexplained reason. I know for sure it is some deep emotional reaction I have no control over. I might need shock therapy so I can sing solo in public...

18) I think I took this exercise too seriously

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama day!

Wow what a day!
The Day Obama won was a good day. Today, watching him getting sworn in to office was a great day. I am an American. I am a woman. I am a child of mixed race parentage and I am black. In case it passed you by, the name of my company "ellenoire" tells you so. I closed the store for 2 hours to watch the inauguration with my father(the black, and only living parent) and son( who was a little confused by his mom and grandpa crying though when he fell asleep during Obama's gorgeous speech he was upset that he had missed some of it)

So far I have felt most like staying at home all day and watching the news, but am at work. Yes, I could watch streaming news all day, but I do really have work to do. Truly, I wish I was in a bubble where everyone loved Obama, and ...each other.
I have read some Tweets(the mini blogs from and had some comments from people being negative about the fact that the press is making a "big deal" about the fact that Obama is black. "Why can't they just talk about what a good president he will be instead of always talking about him being black?"

Halloooooo! have you people been asleep??? Obama won the presidency for many reasons.
There is no question in the mind of the people who voted for him ( no matter what their skin colour) that he is a good man. There is no question in the mind of the people who voted for him that he was the best person available for the job. ONE of the many things Obama is, is Black. There is no question in ANYBODY'S mind that he is black. The reason he got the job was for what he said he will do, and how he chose to speak to ALL people. The reason today is a day like no other is not just because he is a good man... it is not just because we hold out hope that he will create the change he says he will try to create . Today is a day like no other because he is BLACK!

Anyone I know over the age of ..perhaps... 35?... could never before today confidently say that they expected to see a day like today! An American President with even one drop of black blood? NO WAY!! You have heard of the "one drop rule" right? That one drop that made kids on my playground in Dundas, Ontario Canada in the 1970's and beyond call me NIGGER!? ( ya ya, I know.. I "don't look black")That one drop that made boys in high school and college stop considering me date-able when they found out my father was black!? That one drop that made my very light skinned Grandmother lie about her background so she could work downtown Chicago at a better job she would have had if she had admitted she was black. WE HAVE A BLACK PRESIDENT IN A COUNTRY WHERE BLACK PEOPLE WERE CHAINED IN SHIPS TO BE ENSLAVED!!!!!!!
Don't talk to me about it not being important to mention that President Obama is black!!!!!

If you still don't get it.... then read(or rent the miniseries)Roots or even better.. Read the new book "The Book of Negroes" (called "Someone Knows my Name" in the US, NZ & AU)

I am tired and I have to work until very late tonight. I pray for their sake that no-one says something dumb to me about Obama being black tonight or they will get it with both barrels from me!

Today is Obama Day!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The State of my Hair January 13th 2009

the other boob? In sympathy or what?

Ok... so today my right(and only)hurts a bunch! WTF?
I am hoping it is just the onset of my "menses" because they keep threatening!
Tomorrow.. not today which I thought but the leap year confused me... is my 1rst cancerversary. The 1rst anniversary of my diagnosis. I will write about it more later or tomorrow. Boob to the right of me! Stop it! stop it! I meet the surgeon next week, so I will ask him...
In the midst of writing this a breast cancer 'survivor' came by the shop and noticed the bald pic by the front counter and told me she has it twice( there, but for the grace of god..) and is about to have the 10th anniversary of the second time.
more later...
For those of you who want to know more details about Monavie in the short term feel free to email me at with questions. I will blog about it later too. Later Bloggy babies!

Monday, January 12, 2009

funny year funny year

I just found products on my website that were updated last year... saying they would be back in stock for the "new year" not only does that not bode well for business... because clearly no one has ordered those products for a long time..... aaaaand.... the fact that this year of cancer hell has been sooooo nuts that I did not notice that I had not taken those notices off.
Groundhog day I tell ya....
2009.. I am Bill Murray baby!

Friday, January 2, 2009


Last year... beeeeeefore I got my cancer diagnosis I wrote this on my Facebook page...

I will compete in at least 3 triathlons
-ok, I was in 1

I will buy this house from my mothers estate
-I did this!!

I will make my company 'ellenoire' more successful than ever before
-ok, I tried, but cancer, snow and "recession" issues put a kibosh on this

I will make a better website than it is right now
- I tried this too, time and money(or lack thereof) made this difficult

I will travel to somewhere really amazing - I went to New York like I do every year, I went to Vermont like I would like to every year and I spent Spring and Summer at Camp Chemo.

My resolutions this year?
I would prefer to remain cancer free.
I would be pleased to get in better shape than I am now.
I think it would be fun to compete in some races.
I like to travel, I hope I can afford to do some of that.
I plan to make time to hang out with friends as much as possible- here, there and anywhere!
As long as I have enough money to eat, buy a few nice things and keep this house anything else means I am rich!
Das it!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Auld Lang Syne

Last night I cried when Auld Lang Syne came on the stereo at the house we spent the last hours of New Year's Eve at.
In my family at New Years eve(most especially the ones with the Scottish side of the family this song was always sung) but in my memory we often listened to a recording similar to the one I found on youtube. The American Guy Lombardo version was not part of my tradition. The song is always sung in Britain at big concerts like the "Edinburgh Tattoo" and the "Last Night at the Proms"
Of course no one sings all the verses, but my mother always sung it with the "proper words" in her Scottish accent. I provided a translation from the traditional Scottish for you below. Many New Years eve we watched a show like this on TV, and she sung every word, often weeping through her singing. Skip to time stamp 7:30 if you just want to hear the audience sing Auld Lang Syne. Otherwise watch the whole thing to experience what some Scottish Hogmanay Nights would have been like at my house.

And for auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne,
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days o' auld lang syne.
And surely ye'll be your pint-stowp!
And surely I'll be mine!
And we'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
We twa hae run about the braes
And pu'd the gowans fine;
But we've wander'd mony a weary foot
Sin auld lang syne.
We twa hae paidl'd i' the burn,
Frae mornin' sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar'd
Sin auld lang syne.
And there's a hand, my trusty fiere!
And gie's a hand o' thine!
And we'll tak a right guid willy waught,
For auld lang syne.

Here is your translation.
And for old long past, my joy (sweetheart),
For old long past,
We will take a cup of kindness yet,
For old long past,

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
And days of old long past.

And surely you will pay for your pint-vessel!
And surely I will pay for mine!
And we will take a cup of kindness yet,
For old long past.

We two have run about the hillsides
And pulled the wild daisies fine;
But we have wandered many a weary foot
Since old long past.

We two have paddled in the stream,
From morning sun till noon;
But seas between us broad have roared
Since old long past.

And there is a hand, my trusty friend!
And give me a hand of yours!
And we will take a right good-will drink,
For old long past.

Open Letter to my cancer "Support Group"

My Lovely Ladies,
Today is the first day of a New Year. Recently mentioned as Two Thousand and Fine, a year to end Two Thousand and Hate!
While much of 2008 was difficult (to say the least) Getting cancer brought me many things, most notably you. When I began my regular trips to the website where we all met I hopped around from one Discussion Thread to another... and after awhile I settled comfortably in the daily(sometimes more than once per day) visits to the "Starting Chemo May 2008" group. I still popped my head into the April group where I started, and some of you had already moved to the May group and some of the April's have joined us or kept tabs on us all the way through. I still feel like I am cheating on my April girls( because that is when I started) sometimes, but found so many deeper connections on the May thread ... I still go back to April to say hello.

My Dearest May Flowers you made this trek through cancer treatment a joyous experience. You have made every poke and prod at the hospital a community event where I could physically go alone but emotionally travel safely holding hands with each of you. I sat in the chemo chair talking to you, playing cards with you and just smiling at you knowing it was all going to be ok. Every lost hair, every ache and pain every hour of fear and dread I knew I was safely buoyed by your spirit.
Dear missed RanD and smiling Sable baking up a storm. My Otter furiously researching our every query where our medical teams were failing. Karin and her drive to bring Rock back to us with the many pics and pigs. My Kerry Lamb roaring in like a beaming Tazzy Devil making us roll with laughter. Angels having to travel so far to complete treatment and Gracie having to wait so long for yours to be over. My Sueper Siouxie on her porch in Texas/ Georgia. My Rock stomping around New York in her Crocs with Pam at her side. The Dogs and Kittens, the shingles and scabs, the boats and neighbours and swimming and camp chemo and shovels galore I will never forget a moment Each and every one of you each and every word in the 4000+ posts we shared have been the ingredients to my Cancer Salve, my very special Balm of Gilead.
Though cancer has interrupted our busy and colourful lives' in a most unwelcome way meeting you all was a the unexpected gift along the way and I yearn for the day we all get to finally meet.
May 2009 be your best ever, and you have my love and support through every step, cancer related or otherwise.
I hold my glass to you ....