This month I had a real scare. I was at a client site doing some work and then met Nagib for lunch. As we were having lunch, I realized that I had trouble seeing. Everything was hazy and I couldn’t see anything in the distance. I figured that I had been working late hours and my eyes were probably just a bit tired. A couple of days later, I went to a seminar and was shocked to find that I couldn’t read the Powerpoint slides. I actually wondered for a moment if I was going blind. The very next day I went to see my friend and optometrist, Dr. Areef Nurani. After a thorough examination, he told me that I had totally scratched my cornea.
The good news is that this was something that could be fixed except it would take some time. My eyes felt like someone was rubbing them with steel wool; the pain was unbearable. And my vision was seriously compromised so driving became problematic. When I called Sabrina to tell her, she reminded me that the elephant that she had adopted with Afzal some 5 years ago, Kainuk, had also injured her cornea when she accidentally struck her eye with a tree branch. She wondered if I had done the same thing! And then, she had the nerve to suggest that perhaps I should put some socks on my hands to prevent me from scratching my eyes. No sympathy there! My scratched cornea then turned into a full infection which needed to be treated with antibiotic drops. Once treated, I needed anti-inflammatory drops to heal my eyes. This went on for a couple of weeks, and my sight has now almost returned to normal. My optometrist’s view is that the infection occurred because my immune system is severely compromised.
This month, I also started on a breast cancer medication, Letrozole, as I am estrogen-positive. My oncologist, Dr. Robson, said that it is important for me to be on this pill for 5 years to prevent a recurrence of the cancer. The problem is that I
hate don’t love this pill – it’s causing me bone pain. And, fatigue is a huge problem (probably due to my low hemoglobin count). I run out of spoons easily before the end of the day. Opting out of this pill is not an option so I have to find a way to give it a chance and to embrace it. I am working on this.
I continue to go to the hospital every 3 weeks to get an IV infusion of Herceptin. This will continue until March of 2017. In addition, I am booked for an echocardiogram every 3 months to make sure that my heart is functioning well, as heart muscle damage is a potential side effect of Herceptin. It’s all connected. The good news is that the Herceptin infusion is going well and the echocardiograms show that my heart is just fine.
One piece of really good news is that my multiple myeloma is behaving very well. I had an appointment recently with Dr. Tiedeman, my superhero oncologist for Lymphoma and Myeloma at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. He said that my myeloma numbers were “too little to be seen”. It is these small miracles that make life so precious. Oh, and my hair is growing back, and I’m having fun with it (like having my hairstylist Afsaan do speed lines).
So, it’s been a month of doctors and hospitals, of ups and downs. I have continued to work through this time and have tried to maintain a positive frame of mind. And in spite of the challenges of this past month, if I were to rate my life on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the best), I would, without a doubt, rate it a 10! I think this is because I have so much to look forward to: Sabrina, Shayne, Afzal and Fareen are coming home in December, and my heart is so full with anticipation. Nagib and I took off to Niagara Falls for a couple of days this week to celebrate 36 years of “going steady” (we started dating on November 20th at 3.20 pm at Founders College at York University).
I am engaged on a couple of projects that I am loving. One of this is the “Munira Bra”. If you haven’t already bought a Munira Bra, please consider buying one. It is a great bra, and 50% of the proceeds go to North York General Hospital (NYGH), which is looking to raise $100,000 for a biopsy table for breast cancer patients. To order the bra, please go to knixwear.ca. The bras will also be sold at NYGH, in the lobby, by the gift store, on December 6th, from 10 am to 4 pm.
So, all in all, Life’s Good. There is something hopeful and magical, and certain, about the sun rising every morning. I look forward to each day with such joy as it is a chance to reset life, choose your path, move forward and embrace life with your whole being. I can’t wait for the sun to rise tomorrow again and discover more gifts from the universe. Life is
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