Tag Archives: cancer

Brief Thoughts for Bowie

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The stars will look very different tonight as I never thought David Bowie would die. During my present spontaneous, David Bowie YouTube marathon I feel compelled to say some brief words. But, in reality, I can’t even speak, let alone write. We’ve just lost our heroe, and a true icon has fallen, though his work will live on forever.

Bowie knew.

He knew that time was waiting in the wings. He said he’d never tour with his last album Blackstar which was just 7 tracks long. The legend timed it all to be completed on his birthday, which he survived by three days.

It’s both sad and remarkable that he made art out of his death. But, did we expect anything different? He is the kind of artist whose influence reverberates like an atomic blast in an ocean of lesser talents. From pop to soul to R&B with flavors and colors of everything in between. Throw a rock at any musical artist and deep inside you’ll find Bowie. 


An icon, a music legend, a poet and a great human being died today. His timeless lyrics live on. Thank you, Mr. Bowie. Godspeed. Onward and outward, Major Tom.

Rest in peace, you amazing, amazing man.

There’s no sign of life. It’s just the power to charm. I’m lying in the rain. But I never wave bye-bye. But I try, I try”.

 

 

Dear Santa – Gifts for Patients, Survivors and Caregivers?

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Cancer Always Calls Collect – Part 2 – Dear Santa – written in 2012

I saw a Dear Santa mail box today and decided I might as well write a letter. I am looking for a miracle and maybe the spirit of Christmas will help me.  I never thought I would be doing this again. Who knew I would be hand-holding someone else through chemo and watching the dark cloud of cancer hanging over another member of my family.

Everyone looks at me like the wide-eyed faces of a Keane painting, thinking that I can provide the answers and a cure. We all know that sometimes miracles happen, and sometimes they don’t. Some days are good, and some days go by slowly as the fatigue sets in and he realizes that he is fighting cancer.

He was always a winner, yet life is now denying him, which is harder to digest than the food he sometimes painfully consumes. His eyes lack light, and sometimes flashes of anger fill the room. He has become a shell of what he once was. We both know the odds, and he quietly says if he survives all of this it is because of me and how I have taken care of him.

Once again they all think I can provide positive results and I silently shake my head. Through the years I have felt it was always my fault, but if he dies will it be upon my shoulders once again?  All I can do is provide what I know – love, compassion and a lot of hard work. We all know that’s not enough, and if I fail what will I tell the others? My stomach rolls and fear sets into every vein of my body. No one seems to understand how accountable I feel, and quickly I push the thoughts under the nearest invisible rug.

I know Santa does not exist but I  will write the letter anyway, because I need hope.  I am not and cannot be the answer – after all I’m only human.

 

So how can you remember those who have passed, and those who have survived? What would make a wonderful gift?

Run, don’t walk to Valley Granite and Tile on Bridge Street in Carleton Place. You know the place owned by our very own Carleton Place super heroes Lisa and Brad Occomore?

Mystic’s Haven and Valley Granite and Tile have teamed up for a CANCER FUNDRAISER! For every wine glass, coffee mug or beer mug, $8 from each item is going to the Cancer Society. Each item sells for $15 each. You can have them personalized and your choice of ribbon color! Stop in to Valley Granite & Tile to order your glass!!

Someone will love you for this perfect gift. Trust me!

 

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127 Bridge st in Carleton Place
Carleton Place, Ontario
(613) 492-2522

 

October 13, 2013 – Thanksgiving– Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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To all those suffering from cancer and to those that take care of them.. My utmost respect and love. Posted for Breast Cancer Awareness Month 

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Part 15 – October 13, 2013 – Thanksgiving

I watch him slumped over in the chair as the day comes to an end. It has been just a little over a year that he was diagnosed, and now we embark on his estimated final year.  No one can tell you when you are going to die, but I wonder if he is grateful for each moment of life he has been granted. If it were me, I would be taking life moment by moment, complaining very little, and being thankful for the little things that mean a lot. If anything I would appreciate my pulse each and every day.

As I watch him sigh, I know he must be scared living each day like a game of Russian Roulette. Does he close his eyes at night and wonder what the future might bring? Is he happy that he has overcome a lot this past year?

We both have our good days, bad days, and weary days, but each day I get through them and become stronger. I try to spread my spirit to him, hoping even a fragment might help his thoughts. Be thankful for one more day that is added to your life I tell him. Enjoy the morning light and the moonlight, as the light allows him to continue to shine through the darkness of cancer. Life isn’t meaningless, even if you are sick.

Don’t be angry with the world I tell him, because each added day is gift – not because you need it, but because someone else needs you. In the end your family is your legacy and today on Thanksgiving we are grateful for the days, weeks and months that have been added to his life. There are 1,440 seconds in a day, and I am using one right now to say thank you and overjoyed he is still alive.

Please support Rachel Rachel does not have breast cancer–but she and her family need our help.
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My Pink Frying Pan that Cooks Nothing but Hope For Breast Cancer

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This was my pink frying pan that I bought years ago today for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Anytime that I glanced at it I thought of all those that have been ravaged by this horrible disease. No matter how hard I tried, I could not bring myself to use the pan. I did not want to scorch the sides, mimicking cancer invading the body–nor did I want to get the pan dirty. But then I asked myself if cancer was clean. If the pink colour faded from washing, would the hope of a cure fade too?

I looked at it day after day, and thought that if I did not use it, I was giving up hope for the pan, and for the people that suffer from breast cancer.

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Finally I took it down and laid it on the stove. I watched the butter melt with tears in my eyes. I cooked slowly with it, and thought about how silly I had been. I use it everyday now in celebration for those I do not know, and for those I do.

I wondered about my breast cancer survivor friend Liz back in California. I haven’t heard from her in a very long time, and wondered if the pink heat has entered her body once again. This morning I sent her a package of love.  I inquired if she was okay, and told her how worried I was. I just have to have faith that she will continue to be a survivor,  just like the frying pan.

After all if you don’t have faith, then what do you have?

Absolutely nothing. No cures, no hope, and an unused pink frying pan.

We’ll find a cure for breast cancer, we just have to continue the fight. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

This morning I saw that my son had  spruced up a special car for cancer. I sat in my car with proud and happy tears in my eyes. For every car Motorhouse Mitsubishi on Hwy 7 in Carleton Place sells this month they will make a donation in honour and support of those affected by this terrible disease! Schuyleur, your Dad and my late family would be so proud. I know I am.

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Calling All Angels in Your Little Black Dresses

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Photo–May 19, 2013 —“My friend, writer Susie Lindau, wrote a blog yesterday called The Boob Report – Roadblocks and U-Turns that caught me quite off guard. To my shock she has been diagnosed with breast cancer and life has “flicked her off the stage” as she said. The same words I heard years ago about a different part of my body were spoken to her in very much the same way.” Update- she not only survived but I cannot keep up with this woman.

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It’s almost September 19, and Carleton Place’s Little Black Dress event is quickly approaching and it’s sold out. The organizers are looking forward to seeing everyone looking fabulous in their black dresses. Some of us don’t believe in little black dresses and have huge black dresses-so make a path for me. There is one name that always stands out for me about this event– Carol Dryburgh. She is a force to be reckoned with and kicks cancer in the butt each time she speaks about it.

It is no secret that I have lost each and every family member to cancer. I am the last one standing and figure I am here for one reason or another. (discuss among yourselves) I have also been a caretaker a few times and written a book about it. Most people don’t understand what the journey is like to take care of someone with cancer. When someone has it the whole family and everyone who loves them does too.

Max Keeping once told me cancer was nothing but a bully. You never really lose to the word cancer. The word after all is just a word, not a sentence. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live. Carol Dryburgh is that example, and if you could not get a ticket to this years — there is always next year. Donate donate donate! I am sure she is still looking for door prizes!

“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” – Winston Churchill

To my friend Heather Curry Whiting- the strongest person I know.

Buy Linda Secaspina’s Books— Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac– Tilting the Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place and 4 others on Amazon or Amazon Canada or Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street in Carleton Place

Toonies For Krista Lee

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People think of history as memorizing names and dates, but it’s much bigger than that. It’s about who we are and where we come from. People really haven’t changed for hundreds of years. We’re human, and we have emotions.

Terry Fox passed away on June 28 1981.

Drop into Krista Lee’s store Apple Cheeks and drop off a few coins in Krista’s and Izzie’s  box for the Terry Fox run!

Apple Cheeks Facebook page

Apple Cheeks

53 Bridge Street , Carleton Place, Ontario K7C 2V4

613 451 2769

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“We are all born and will all die – no getting out of the fact. Our culture’s dread of mortality keeps us from experiencing all that life has to offer by making us terrified of confronting the final nature of our existence. Everyone does it differently, even from death to death, and we can never really know how we’ll deal with it until we’re confronted.”  Linda Seccaspina from the book “Cancer Calls Collect”

Buy Linda Secaspina’s Books— Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac– Tilting the Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place and 4 others on Amazon or Amazon Canada or Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street in Carleton Place

Carleton Place Flushes Cancer

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                                                                          Relay For Life


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PLEASE NOTE: You can host THEIR traveling potty for a donation to our team. Contact Lesslie Williams 613-253-1357.Relay for Life in Mississippi Mills will be June 5, 2015. Always looking for new teams, participants, volunteers and survivors.

After a loved one died I wrote a book called “Cancer Calls Collect.” It was the filth time I “tried to save” someone from cancer. Unfortunately my personal statistics are 0-0.  But, I felt writing the book might help others that were caretakers or involved with someone who had cancer. No one knows what you go through, and most times it is a helpless feeling. You always feel like you are standing by yourself on an island out to sea.

Part 21—February 8, 2014 — “Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep” 
As I watched him search for eternal sleep, his life seemed to be passing him by as he whispered names from time to time. I have seen death many times, but I cannot imagine what it is like to experience it. My late sister needed permission to die during her last hours and I was chosen to give her the peace she needed. Why do we need permission if the end is near? Our mortality is finite, but the experience of passing is so different for each individual.
 
Does cancer carry any dignity at all?
 
 
We are all born and we will all die – no getting out of the fact. Our culture’s dread of mortality keeps us from experiencing all that life has to offer by making us terrified of confronting the final nature of our existence. Everyone does it differently, even from death to death, and we can never really know how we’ll deal with it until we’re confronted.
 
 
In the end nothing could bring him back because I tried. All those weeks and months, yet all I have left are the tears and memories. He said when he asked the final questions to those in charge he was confused. Answers were given quickly, but he wondered if they were the correct ones, or were they just covering up what they didn’t know? They can tell you anything, but in the end– result of impending death is always the same.
 
 
Dying is such a private and very lonely process. The stages of emotions that I have witnessed my loved ones experience from the time that they receive the horrible news, up to the time of their last expiring breath, never gets easier for me to witness.
 
 
As far as those dying from cancer, the mortality rate of cancer has been on the rise for many years from 79 deaths per 100,000 in 1914, to over 350 deaths per 100,000 recently. It is a horrible disease and the toll it takes on not just the individual, but all their loved ones is incredibly hard. To this day the FDA has yet to license a cancer remedy on the basis of improved quality of life; so we continue to share this disease with  courage, dignity, and above all, love.
 
 
Be at peace my love.
Linda Seccaspina Cancer Calls Collect
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Holiday Greeting from Someone Who Writes too Much

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If you know me you get way too many Facebook notifications and emails. I write too much and really can’t really stop. I guess I’m on a mission to get the word out there. The word is– live for each second, and don’t miss a thing, because if you blink, just once– it could all go away in a minute’s notice.

Be thankful for one more day that is added to your life. Enjoy the morning light, and the moonlight, life isn’t meaningless. Even though my opinions may be opposite to yours, I try to understand. Though our ways may differ, they come from the same place, our hearts. Sometimes in life you might have to start over. Keep fighting- as it’s all about surviving. We just can’t worry life away now–time is fleeting. No matter what you celebrate–enjoy the day, and hug your family. Each minute is worth it!

Photo of the Knight Family 1956 Cowansville, Quebec.

Arthur and Bunny Knight (parents)

Fred and Mary Knight (grandparents)

Linda Knight (me)

Baby Robin Knight

All have succumbed to cancer, except me. So I write to keep memories alive. At this point in my life it seems to be everyones:)

To quote  Max Keeping on Angelo’s Obituary: “Cancer is Such a Bully”!  May we send our love in droves to Max as well as our families.

The Emotional Crowded Houses– St. James

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The Emotional Crowded Houses

Three other stories about St James in the book “The Tilted Kilt”

This is from my book “Cancer Calls Collect”

Pushing the large doors open I felt rivers of emotions fill my inner soul. I shouldn’t be here I thought to myself, as I knew I was setting myself up. I sat in one of the pews, stared at the stained glass windows, and tried to hold back my tears. People were going to wonder why I was back in town so soon, and I had yet to tell anyone what was really going on. For days I had spoke of family emergencies and real estate deals to those that asked, but I kept the truth inside my heart. I knew he didn’t want the whole world to know his deadly secret, and I respected that.

I glanced through the hymn book and was thankful it wasn’t Sunday with organ music attempting to pull more tears out of me than what I was presently trying to hide. Not wanting anyone to see the distress I was in I kept to myself, and looked at no one. I knew the time was coming when I would have to release the inner sadness, but I just didn’t want it to be today.

As people came in they stared at me, and I had a feeling some knew my secret but were too kind to ask. Time seemed to move by at a snails pace, and I kept lowering my head so no one would see my tear-stained face. Taking deep breaths didn’t help, and I wanted to sob for a very long time. When I finally pulled myself together it was time to meet and greet. Someone I had known for years asked me point blank why I was back. The world began to spin, and I could no longer hold it in and I looked at her and said quietly.

“He has stage 4 cancer.”

Arms curled around me as I cried, and they all enveloped me with a fog of love and compassion. An older woman slipped a small good luck stone from Ireland into my pocket and told me to keep it near always. As I put it in my pocket they said in unison,

“You’ve come to the right place!”
But had I? Could these people take away my fear and sadness and give him back his life? Where had they been during my other pivotal points of darkness? As I watched the last breath leave my sister’s body years ago I remembered having to ask everyone to leave to give her peace for her last moments. Yes, we need helping hands to aid us in our time of need, but in the end we have to learn to accept and deal with the inevitable all by ourselves because there will always be battles ahead.

“It doesn’t matter to me what you believe in- it’s what gets you by.”- Linda Seccaspina

Photo by Linda Seccaspina of St. James Anglican Church, Carleton Place, ON