Introducing Heather, Cameron and Lily Von St. James – a very special family.

Heather is  very special lady, strong and courageous.  Heather’s husband, Cameron, contacted me and asked if I would post information about  the Mesothelioma Awareness Day that they put together with the help of Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance.  Heather and Cameron are trying to get 7200 voices talking and sharing about this rare cancer to represent the 7200 hours that the average mesothelioma patient has to live.   They are not asking for time or money, they are asking for your voice.  Please share this on your blog or facebook page and be one of the 7200 voices to get people talking about this horrible, rare and little known cancer.

Please go to: mesothelioma awareness for more information.

Heather’s blog:

Cameron’s blog: cameron

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”
― Oscar Wilde


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s been a long time since I’ve posted a blog about my hockey team.  As most of you know I play hockey once a week with a women’s league.   I started last September, never played hockey before and the last time I skated probably was when I was 10 years old.  It was a challenge and pretty intimidating at first.  My husband and children talked me into playing and at first I thought I needed to have my head read as I have enough to do with the boys and their hockey.      For some unknown reason I accepted the challenge, I think it might have something to do with the fact that as  little girl I wanted to play a sport, not any sport in particular, just wanted to be part of a team.  Never happened, too many things going on in my parents’ life.   My husband kept telling me that once I got the skills out of the way, like skating without falling down, puck handling and passing, he figured I’d be a decent hockey player.  Last year I spent most of the year trying to not get killed on the ice, being in the right position and hearing the whistle when I was off side!  Being severely hearing impaired it’s pretty tough to do.  This is the part of my personality that I think my husband understood when he said I could be a decent hockey player.  After I got over the initial couple of games and feeling completely out of my league,the battle started.   Ever since I can remember when life presents a challenge and my first reaction is to back away, something inside me snaps and I go to battle.  The earliest recollection of the “battle and never let them see you sweat” thing happened, I think I was between the age of 7 or 8 years old.  I say this because my parents separated and divorced when I was 8 and at the time of this memory my father was still living with us.  There was this kid on my block and I still remember his name  – Allan.  Red haired freckle faced little bastard, he constantly said mean things to me, told me how ugly I was, made fun of me in front of the kids on a daily basis.  Even though he scared me, anger overcame my fear and I would usually come up with some kind of comeback.  This was the never let them see you sweat thinking.  One day he got physical and it took me by surprise.  I just got away from him and went home.  Funny thing back then, I never thought to tell my parents.  That night I went to bed and that’s when the battle syndrome started, I went over in my head what I could of done, what I should of done and imagined that he hit me and how I handled it.  I played this in my mind until I once again met Allan on the battlefield.  Like usual I ignored him but he couldn’t just be a nice kid and play, he started the name calling again and then he hit me.  I don’t even remember what went down, I just remember standing there with my hands balled into a fist and he was running screaming for his mother.  A good soldier doesn’t wait for the enemy to re-group, so off I went…  His mother showed up at our house and it turned out my father knew everything and saw from our living room window the whole show of Allan hitting me and me standing up for myself.  He essentially told Allan’s mother what he thought of her and her son and told her to get off his property.   He closed the door and told me he was proud of me for standing up for myself and he didn’t think I’d have any more problems with Allan.  I often wonder if Allan got the better of me if my father would of intervened or let me learn my lesson!

This battle thinking has helped me get through a few obstacles in life, I hit the obstacle head on and then regroup and hit it again.  I now know that this is why my husband encouraged me to play hockey – he knew I’d go to battle.  After talking to my brother on Friday night and listening to the trials he and his wife are going through (as written in Dear God), I headed to my game on Sunday night with a heavy heart.  I almost didn’t play because the game was Sunday night at 10:15 pm and I was feeling tired.  It then occurred to me that my sister-in-law would give her right arm to be able to go out and play hockey, so the battle began.   The team I play for has never won a game, this is my second year and we’ve never won.  Last year we were losing like 17 – 0!  Pretty bad I know but we’ve got a few newbies mixed in with some good hockey players and the teams we play against have more good hockey players than newbies, so we lose all the time.  We’re all a  bunch of hard working lady hockey players and we keep playing hard even when we lose.  That night when I got on the ice something snapped in me and the battle began. We were playing  lady sharks and let’s just say they are a bunch of Allan’s.   Standing on the ice, I imagined all the players as cancer and to get the puck from cancer was a good thing.  God help cancer when he tried to take the puck from me.  I think all the girls were thinking like that Sunday night because we came out fighting hard and none of us gave up on the puck.   Next thing I knew we scored and at this point we were losing 2 – 1, but it was still first period.  As the game went on I aggressively went after the puck and each time imagined I was taking out cancer.  Once I got the puck I managed to pass it the girls who could do something with it and we came pretty close on a few more goals.  Second period I found myself skating to the opposite team’s net with the puck and just when I was lining up the shot, one of my teammates came along took the puck and scored.  I guess you could say it’s a debate whether I gave her the puck or she stole it – doesn’t matter as far as I’m concerned, together we tied up cancer.  Now it’s 2 -2 and we’ve got to hold cancer off for another period.  We made it to the end of the game and held that bastard cancer off and beat him in overtime.  First win for us ladies  – I think I was screaming the loudest after all in my head we won the battle, we beat cancer.  Too bad it’s not this easy in real life..



A couple of months ago I wrote about my brother and his wife coming to visit us from Toronto “feeling at home”, it was a really good visit and we had so much fun.  This is my brother’s second marriage and due to the miles between us and just everyday life, I haven’t had a chance to see my brother and his wife as often as I would like.   Over the last few years I’ve only met his wife a handful of times, but it seems like I’ve known her forever.  She’s just that kind of person, charming, intelligent, genuine and she can handle my brother which brings her up a notch in my books.  In no way is this a knock to my brother’s first wife as I’m very fond of her and I will never forget all that she did for my mother in her final hours, but unfortunately the marriage just didn’t work out.    My brother is extremely outspoken and I love his outspokenness but lets face it not everyone does well with outspoken people and there are times we outspoken people have to learn to be a little less us…  I know I’m one of those outspoken people and I’ve gotten myself in more shit over the years than I can count.  What I find amazing about my sister-in-law is that she accepts my brother’s ways and loves him for who he is but she knows exactly how to handle him and get this – he listens!  The reason he listens is because he has complete respect and love for his wife and you can see it, you can feel it.  This is why writing this breaks my heart, just over a week ago my sister-in-law became ill – she went to the doctor and they gave her antibiotics.  However her illness did not go away it got worse.  She went to the hospital and she was diagnosed with pneumonia, she doesn’t just have pneumonia she also has leukemia.  We’ve all heard how far they’ve come with curing leukemia and the medical community certainly has.  Unfortunately, that is if you have the right leukemia!  My sister-in-law has acute leukemia and it’s very aggressive.  To put it in a few words – she is bloody sick and fighting for her life.  The best scenario right now is remission and that’s what’s going to happen – the leukemia will go into remission.  The pneumonia is a big problem as she is undergoing aggressive chemo leaving her body not much to fight the pneumonia with.  This blog is dedicated to things in life that make me smile – this latest event doesn’t make me smile but when I think of my sister-in-law – I smile.   I don’t know why we human creatures do this but when someone is really sick it’s at this time we say the things we should have said when things were well.  Let’s face it when life is good we take things for granted, but this past summer I should have said this to my sister-in-law:

I really like you

You are a bright spot in my brother’s life

You are bright, articulate and charming

You are genuine – the real deal

You can put my brother in his place like nobody else can

You have wisdom beyond your years

I completely respect the person that you are

I enjoy spending time with you

My children and husband really like you

My mother-in-law says you’re neat – which is a huge compliment

Ok – let’s face it – if I said this to her over wine she would have thought – what a weirdo and a drunk too!

The hospital that my sister-in-law is in is world renown for their treatment in cancer – so she’s in good hands.  The only thing to do is wait and pray so  here’s my open letter to God:

Dear God:

I know you can hear me and this prayer is not for myself, my husband nor my children, this prayer is for Sandra,

and I’m asking for you to take a minute out of your very busy schedule.  She’s really sick God and she needs your help,

I’ve already asked you to send angels and I think you have, as her body crashed the other night due to the rounds of chemo and

someone was there to watch over her.  Please have your angels watch over my brother as well as he is exhausted and emotionally depleted.

I know you receive thousands of prayers similar to this and I know you listen and you treat all of  your children the same.

Please add Sandra to your list of many and take care of her during this turmoil.   Please heal her body, her mind and make her

whole and well again.  Thank you for your time God as I know how much work

you have to do….

Always, it is in you I trust.