Sorry for the long delay in updates.  The days just seem to get busier and busier and it is tough to find time to sit down and write.

We have passed the half way mark in treatment!  The first few weeks went really well with Bill suffering few side effects.  However, as expected week three arrived and things got much tougher.  In addition to the regular side effects of fatigue, weight loss and hair loss Bill is now also dealing with swelling in the brain due to the radiation treatment and the side effects of the high doses of steroid used to control the swelling.  Routine tasks are very challenging for him as he gets tired so quickly and the swelling has again resulted in an increased level of confusion.  We were warned by the oncologists that this period of time would be very hard but it is impossible to really understand just how hard until you are living it. 

Bill takes oral chemotherapy 7 days a week and has radiation 5 days a week.  Almost every radiation day we have a second appointment, either with a nurse, doctor, the pharmacy or for a blood test.   There are a whole team of people who oversee Bill’s treatment and he is fully assessed each week to ensure that he is ok to carry on.  The care at the Victoria Wellness Center (aka the Victoria Cancer Center but we prefer to think of it the other way and have thus renamed it) is excellent.  The medical staff are dedicated, patient and knowledgeable and there is a volunteer program full of wonderful people who make being there every day a bit more tolerable. 

Throughout this time, through a number of waiting room conversations, I’ve encountered amazing stories of human spirit.  People who have fought and beat cancer several times, people whose bodies have waged war against them who simply refuse to accept defeat and keep on fighting and winning against the odds.  It is inspiring.  As for us, every day is different, some better, some worse, some much worse.   We are getting through the weeks day by day, sometimes through the day just hour by hour.  But we are getting there and we are not giving up hope.  Bill continues to handle everything in his usual stoic way and with such incredible grace.  His courage makes me so proud.

Many thanks again for all the kind thoughts and messages and to the people who continue to help our family.  The assistance with dinners, childcare, housework, yardwork, birthday parties, flights, appointments, special letters and gifts to the kids, research and information about clinical trials and alternative treatment options – all of it is what is getting us through.

 And to my amazing sister in law and my friends who have organized things from afar and given up their holiday and vacation time to fly out and help us – I know I don’t say thank you enough but I think it every day. 

9/15/2011 03:12:26 pm

Congratulations on making it to the half-way mark! You both show such strength and determination to beat this nasty disease. Thinking about you every day and hoping for more "better" days. xox

Ron Reichert
9/15/2011 04:21:41 pm

i am amazed with the way u 2 are dealing with these challenging times. Send positive vibes to all of you. Hugs

9/15/2011 04:55:34 pm

Continuing to send positive thoughts and well wishes your way.

Lisa Lafrance
9/16/2011 12:44:18 am

Thanks for the update. Thinking of you every day and always sending healing vibes your way. Hugs from Calgary.

9/16/2011 02:23:58 am

Hi, Bill & Maureen,
I'm a friend of Joelle's and I just wanted to let you know that you are in my thoughts every day.
Sending love from Atlanta, GA,

Paul Roach
9/16/2011 03:00:37 am

Hi Bill & Maureen,

Thanks so much for the update! So good to hear that the half way mark is behind you and great to hear how strong and positive you BOTH are going through this.
The good vibes are coming your way at high speed :)

Paul & Shawna

9/17/2011 12:50:27 am

thanks for the update, thinkin about you guys and sending positive vibes from out East

Zoltan Miklos
9/17/2011 03:13:32 am

Thanks for the update. We're still praying for you.


Elizabeth Lunn
9/17/2011 03:31:40 am

Maureen...... So glad to read your update. You are amazing. I send my love and prayers as you progress hour by hour. You are such comfort to your soul mate.
Elizabeth Lunn

9/17/2011 11:18:40 am

Good to get the update Maureen - Thanks! Not a day goes by that I don't think of you and your family, and that somebody at the office asks about you. Half way mark behind you - hang in there - you guys are both amazingly strong. I'm sure your stories and your ear are appreciated by others at the Wellness Center - love then new name! Still happy to clean your van - perhaps next weekend. We're doing the Terry Fox run tomorrow morning. take good care.

9/18/2011 06:55:51 am

Hey Maureen: Wow - what pure strength & support you both personify. I think of you both every day, and know you'll get through this. Take good care & know you are in our thoughts & conversations daily!

Christine Kwan
9/18/2011 12:38:42 pm

We're thinking of you guys every single day.

Sam brennan
9/18/2011 04:54:36 pm

Thank you for the update. Know that you, Bill and your children are in my thoughts and prayers daily. I cannot imagine the strain you are all under. Tell Bill I miss handing off an airplane to him, and to keep fighting. He and you are an inspiration. Stay strong and know that there are many people praying for Bill. I love the fact you have renamed the "wellness centre" .

Hugs and prayers from Calgary,
Sam Brennan

Caroline & Dave Selvage
9/19/2011 07:17:07 am

Hi Bill and Maureen,

It is Caroline and Dave from the Solay. We have just heard about the battle that you are all fighting and wanted you to know that we are sending our thoughts and prayers your way. Stay strong and stay positive. It sounds like you are all doing an amazing job through this journey.

Caroline and Dave (and Natalie and Austin too!)

Jackie Laprise
9/23/2011 03:19:37 am

I worked with Bill for many years at HA and he was always such an awesome guy and an awesome pilot. Sending big healing thoughts your way, Bill and family. Fight hard, Bill!

Jackie and family

Neil Aird
9/24/2011 03:07:21 am

Hey Maureen & Bill

thanks so much for the update, have never stopped thinking about you two (+2). Ian Beatty from Port Hardy (Beaver pilot/photographer) was here this morning visiting and he joins me in wishing you the best for treatment and I agree "Wellness!" So glad you are having the care you deserve.


9/26/2011 03:45:51 pm


You have always had the positive attitude, determination and focus to achieve your goals and succeed. Keep that attitude and you WILL beat this. My thoughts are with you.


Roberta Matheson
9/27/2011 12:20:18 am

Bill, Maureen and Family,
I have never had the opportunity to speak with you directly but I am sure at some point Crew Scheduling changed your original work in order to cover some Irops that may have happened. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family! Continue to stay positive and strong and know many hugs are coming your way! Westjet Crew Scheduling - OCC

Lin Enger
10/5/2011 06:25:02 am

Dear Bill,Maureen and family.
I am a flight attendant with Westjet and have had the privilege of working with Bill many times. My nickname for Bill is "Billiard". I always admired how much he loves his little family and couldn't wait to show pictures and talk about you all. My husband and I had the pleasure of meeting the four of you on the little ferry to Saltspring island one beautiful sunny day. We are sending our positive thoughts to you all. Wishing you peace.

Chris & Carolynn from Solay
10/5/2011 06:33:34 am

Dear Maureen and Bill,
We haven't seen you guys since you moved to Victoria, but holy your kids have grown up cute. We want you to know that our thoughts and best wishes are with you and your family, and also what an inspiration your grace and courage are to us.

9/7/2013 03:52:44 pm

This blog is pretty interesting, will add a bookmark, thanks.


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