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The Ottawa Hospital Regional Cancer Centre presents
ought to check out New column: Just Wanted to Help Fondation du

A Message from
Dr. Hartley Stern
Since integrating with The vice including physicians, nurses, ad- closely with other regional partners Ottawa Hospital last Jan- vanced practice nurses, social work- including the Community Care Ac- uary, the Cancer Centre has ers, spiritual care providers and secre- cess Centre, Sisters of Charity Health made great strides in taries. The team provides multidisci- Service and the Hospice at Maycourt.
streamlining cancer care in plinary advice in both the inpatient We are taking a lead role in local and Eastern Ontario.
and outpatient setting to facilitate and regional palliative care network plan- support the work of the patient's pri- ning and held a daylong retreat held In a little over a year, we have been mary oncologist or physician. The in January that has left the team in- able to include a number of aspects of team works closely with the primary vigorated and committed to taking a cancer care into one comprehensive care team, patients and families to en- leadership role in education and re- program. Last year, integration meant sure comfort, compassion and dignity search in the field of palliative care.
that prevention, screening, ambulato- for complex symptom management ry care and a portion of in-patient The changes we're seeing in the and end of life care.
care joined forces. Soon after pallia- palliative care structure, along with tive care followed and, just weeks The team respects and promotes the current move towards regionaliza- ago, the Cancer Centre joined includ- ongoing open communication tion in health care will result in ed the remaining in-patient care unit amongst patients, families and health stronger partnerships, increased coor- and bone marrow transplants. It has care providers.
dination and enhanced care. This, been a wonderful and exciting year of combined with recent investment in This is truly good news as recent forging new partnerships and of tak- cancer surgery by the Ministry of recommendations from Cancer Care ing the initial steps towards our goal Health, will allow the Cancer Centre Ontario and Ministry of Health have of streamlined care.
to continue to lead the changes to- given priority to palliative care. The wards the most efficient and timely One of the most important changes Ministry's initiative to establish re- delivery of high quality cancer ser- for cancer patients and their families gional palliative care networks pro- vices in Eastern Ontario.
was the inclusion of palliative care in vided the impetus for the team to re- the program. Recognized by the World examine its role, vision, mission and Health Organization as an "approach model of service delivery. As the that improves the quality of life for largest palliative care consult team in patients and their families," it is an es- Canada, it is critical that the team Dr. Hartley Stern, sential service that deserves increased uses its resources to ensure best prac- Regional Vice-President attention, funding and support.
tice and maximum effectiveness of The Ottawa Hospital Regional care for its patients.
The Ottawa Hospital's Palliative Care team is a specialist consult ser- Our Palliative Care team is working

The Ottawa Hospital Regional
Cancer Centre presents
Life with Cancer The Ottawa Regional Cancer Centre Foundation Dr. Douglas Gray, Co-Chair Jamie Milner, Co-Chair Linda Eagen Volume 9, Issue 1
Shannon Gorman Ted Johnston Gail Macartney • • • • • • •
Diane Manii Allison Neill Christine Penn Letter from the Editor
Tom Sparling Dr. Hartley Stern "I've just seen Challenge magazine, and I wanted to tell you." I've had a number of visitors and phone calls lately saying that. The comments were from people I've known for a long time, but who had- Louise Rachlis n't been aware of my connection to Challenge. They hadn't seen the ART DIRECTOR
magazine, because they hadn't needed it.
Chris Macknie But then, while visiting a sick friend, or accompanying a relative to the Cancer Centre, or going to an appointment there themselves, they Challenge.Life with Cancer had come across the magazine and picked it up to read.
is produced in co-operation with the And they had kept reading. It was there when they needed it.
It's a good feeling to know that in the crush of what can be cancer in- CanWest Publications Inc.
formation overload, we are here and able to help.
In this issue, you'll find information and personal stories on many kinds of cancer, and For more information or to advertise in this magazine, call: particularly this issue, testicular.
The Ottawa Regional
We hope you'll find it useful.
Cancer Centre Foundation
Telephone: (613) 247-3527
Fax: (613) 247-3526
CPC Publication Agreement #40017370 Revenue Canada Charitable Registration No. 898311170 RR0001 • GST #89831117ORT The Ottawa Hospital Regional Cancer Centre Civic Division • 190 Melrose Ave., Ottawa K1Y 4K7 – Valberg Imaging General Division • 503 Smyth Rd., Ottawa K1H 1C4 A program of The Ottawa Hospital Affiliated with the University of Ottawa Challenge.Life with Cancer is published by the Ottawa Regional Cancer Centre Foundation.
Editorial in this publication is not intended as medical advice, and publisher disclaims any liability for use of medical information or any damages that may arise from reliance on such information.
Material from this magazine may be reprinted with written permission of the Editorial Board of the ORCC Foundation.
Fondation du
Challenge • Spring/Summer 2005 3

Letters from our readers
Editor, Challenge I met while I volunteered at TOHRCCas well as some current and past pa- This past summer presented a cou- tients. It is a small world! ple of different opportunities for meto move back into the work force after Some also have since commented my medical retirement.
upon the Challenge magazine.
I was offered a chance to travel to I hope in a small way that this arti- Jordan to assist the Canadian Govern- cle also has been a positive contribu- ment in the training of new Iraqi Po- tion to the great work the foundation lice cadets, however as one would does for cancer patients in Ottawa and imagine, my wife and family were not the surrounding areas, through the too keen on Dad being away. I too re- Cancer Centre, its great staff of physi- considered what life had dealt me cians, nurses, technicians, support through the past 26 months so I de- staff and volunteers.
Please count on me to join in as a It was the next week that an oppor- volunteer for the Telethon again this tunity opened at Algonquin College year. Let me know how I can help! and within two weeks I not only wasback teaching, but I took on anotherrole as coordinator for the newly ex- Thursday in the Upper Ottawa Valley panded two-year police diploma pro- and loving it.
Pete Thompson was the cover story gram at the Pembroke Campus.
Being at Algonquin, I have met a on the previous issue of Challenge So here I am Monday through great number of caregivers of patients Magazine. Editor, Challenge When my son read the article (Challenge, Fall/Winter 2004), hiscomment was "I'm reading the arti-cle, and it seems like it happened toanother person. It appears to havehappened so long ago. You're back toyour old energetic self again." Since our last chat we were blessed with a second grandson. I had a won-derful summer of cycling, socializing,weekend guests, and family dinners. Ilogged in close to 8,000 km on mybike. I cycled with the Ottawa BicycleClub, and participated in the 15 kmtime trials in Ottawa, and the hilly 40km time trials in Calabogie. My hus-band and I are looking forward to awinter of skiing and part time ski in-struction.
Mary Ajersch, right, with her daughter, son-in-law, his daughter, and the dog.
I have to point out a slight oversight in the article. There's a photo of me, Thanks again for your time, and my daughter, son-in-law, his daughter, continue your good work.
and the dog. Under the photo it states"The Ajersch children, Peter, Jennifer,and Michael." Most people wouldn't notice, but our family is teasing Peter, (Note: See a further letter from saying he's the young girl in the Mary on page 18 of this issue.) Challenge • Spring/Summer 2005

Volume 9, Issue 1 – Spring/Summer 2005
• • • • • • •
Two generous people, Matt Salvatore and Chris Jurewicz, get together and charities benefit Offering security and hope for the future Ignoring the odds
Barry Bokhaut celebrates ‘5 Alive' A little slice of heaven
Cottage Dreams creates precious memories Book Reviews
Jean Seasons reviews testicular cancer autobiogra-phies, and What About My Kids? is launched as a parent resource. SHOULD KNOW ABOUT A Helping Hand
The special nature of the Hospice at May Court TESTICULAR CANCER The Foundation Pages
Adam Hendriks stresses Many exciting upcoming events the importance of early checks, Keeping Spirits Up
and other important advice Mary Ajersch shares her experience and advice On the Frontier
Dr. Lorimer explains clinical trials Just Wanted to Help
Challenge introduces a new column FOR EARLY DETECTION by writer Rosa Harris-Adler Support groups
and information services
Challenge • Spring/Summer 2005 5

– photos by Ashley Fraser, Ottawa Citizen A few weeks after surgery, Adam Hendriks was thrilled to be back playing beach volleyball.
Climate change regulator
weathers testicular cancer
By Louise Rachlis
had become inflamed and sore." Because he needed five weeks to recuperate from the surgery, he was He grabbed his home medical book The week before Adam thrilled that half way through his trip and went through the symptoms of Hendriks has his operation he was able to be playing beach vol- testicular cancer. To his dismay, "I for testicular cancer, he leyball again.
found I had every one of the symp- held a party and 40 friends He chose to do his six weeks of ra- diation every day, right after work.
He went immediately to the doc- "It was a going away party for my "During the surgery I took a week off tor's office so the doctor could take a testicle," says Hendriks, 30. "We and went stir crazy. I like to work and look at it. The next day he was in the called it Happy Testivus." hospital getting an ultrasound, and The previous June, the government two weeks later he had the surgery. "It A senior policy analyst with the employee had noticed that one of his went really fast." Department of Natural Resources, he testicles was a bit larger than the other is helping to establish greenhouse In March, his cousin was getting one. "I didn't think much about it," he gas regulations for large industry in married in the Dominican Republic says. "I didn't pay any attention to it." and so Adam requested to start radia- Over the next few months, it got tion after his return from the wedding.
For the radiation, he had outlines of bigger. "By November, I noticed it was He began radiation the day after he the radiation zone drawn on his body still growing, and after the holidays it got back, March 22nd.
with a marker. "The radiation zone Challenge • Spring/Summer 2005 "The radiation zone
drawing looked like

the province of Mani-
toba, so one day for
fun I drew in Ontario
and Saskatchewan
so they'd laugh when
I took my shirt off .
It was a lot easier
than I thought it was
going to be."
drawing looked like the province ofManitoba, so one day for fun I drewin Ontario and Saskatchewan sothey'd laugh when I took my shirt off.
I really liked going there, because thetechnicians who set me up were great.
It all went really well. It was a lot eas-ier than I thought it was going to be." He had done his research and while he knew his chances of beating thecancer were good, "you're still con-cerned." The doctors had told him he'd feel nausea and he'd lack energy. "Howev-er, my energy levels were really ‘Happy Testivus' party signalled Adam Hendriks' positive attitude
good," he says. "I joined all my sports in fighting his cancer.
leagues again – but the nausea was akiller. It was a feeling I was not usedto and not very fun. It makes you feel Warning signs of testicular cancer gross all the time. You don't feel likeeating or drinking. That was the Having the following signs and toughest to deal with. You can't tell symptoms does not necessarily what it will be like until you start mean that you have testicular can- discomfort in the back cer. They could be caused by other shortness of breath problems, so see your doctor to be Now feeling great, he advises other sure. Testicular cancer in its early breast tenderness or enlarge- men to check themselves regularly.
stages may cause: "Because it grows gradually, youmight not notice it," he says. "Once I a lump on the testicle which It is recommended that men do knew I had testicular cancer, I objec- is almost always painless monthly self-examination for the tively checked and could see how following warning signs: feeling of heaviness or much bigger the left was than the dragging in the lower ab- right. How could I have not known a lump in either testicle sooner? You don't really think about any enlargement of a testicle it. The lesson is – if there's something a dull ache in the lower wrong with you, have it checked." abdomen and groin a feeling of heaviness in thescrotum He says he sprains his ankle doing sports all the time and doesn't bother pain or discomfort in a testi- Advanced testicular cancer that going to the doctor, just drags out his cle or in the scrotum has spread to other parts of the pair of crutches. "But this is different.
Have it checked." enlargement or tenderness ofthe breasts Challenge • Spring/Summer 2005 7
Father campaigns for early attention to
signs and symptoms of testicular cancer
By Louise Rachlis
put into a bone marrow transplantprogram that lasted until July.
" Iwant something good to Things appeared to be going well come out of this," says John and Scott decided to reapply to Car- Landreville, handing me leton University to enter second year.
clippings of his handsome However, in late September, his mark- son, Scott, who died of tes- ers were back up and Dr. Segal his on- ticular cancer in his North Gower cologist told him there was nothing home in 1999, one day after his 22nd further that could be done for him.
"The Ottawa Cancer Centre had An avid hockey fan, Scott had cele- been in consultation with Dr. Larry brated an early birthday in an Ottawa Einhorn at the University of Indi- Citizen box suite at the Corel Centre anapolis, and so we arranged a con- watching the Ottawa Senators, sur- sultation in Indianapolis in early Oc- rounded by family and friends.
tober, 1998, and arrangements were At the end of his life he spoke pub- made for radical surgery to remove licly of his battle in the hope that part of one of Scott's cancerous lungs other young men would watch for the in late October and to remove part of early symptoms. Testicular cancer is the second lung and the abdominal usually curable if detected early.
tumour on November 23rd." The ‘good thing' that John Landre- About a week after his second ville is hoping for is to find a way to major surgery, Scott was told by Dr.
have information tags with the signs Einhorn that the markers were back – Dave Chan, Ottawa Citizen and symptoms of testicular cancer in- up and that he would not recover. "We cluded in men's underwear from the A Senators' hockey weekend
returned home and Scott showed cheered Scott Landreville days
factory, the same way there is breast great courage and character." before he died six years ago.
cancer information with some He died on Tuesday February 2nd, women's lingerie.
and take him to see his GP. "When I A recent study found that the rate arrived at 3 p.m., he was coughing up "He had a great weekend of hockey, of testicular cancer has increased by blood. I immediately took him to the meeting the Senators and going to a 60 per cent in Ontario since 1964.
ER at the General Campus of The Ot- game at the Citizen box with his Scott said he had ignored the early tawa Hospital and by 5 p.m. he had friends and family," says his father.
symptoms of the disease, not realiz- been diagnosed with advanced testic- "There was a lot of publicity which ing they were signs of cancer. He also we all hope raised the level of aware- said social taboos made it awkward Scott had a tumorous testicle, a ness of testicular cancer. I tell my for him to talk about the problem.
mass in his abdomen and his lungs wife that ‘if ' is the biggest little wordin the English language. Early detec- During the summer of 1997, Scott were cancerous. The Beta test for fe- tion is the doctor's best tool in the bat- Landreville was working long and male hormone is a standard marker tle against cancer." hard as a student painter.
for TC and the normal male level isaround 5. Scott's level was 10,000.
Sponsors interested in supporting "He was never a robust young John Landreville's ambition to have man," says his father, "and he seemed That evening Scott admitted that he testicular cancer information tags in- to tire easily. In retrospect, he had had suspected that something was cluded in men's briefs at point of sale several slight symptoms should have wrong for over a year, his father says.
should contact Shannon Gorman at been red flags, but there was not one "Denial is very common with all the Ottawa Regional Cancer Centre significant thing that caused much types of cancer. His girlfriend later Foundation at 798-5555 ext. 10453 or told us that he told her he thought hecould have cancer. Could she have John Landreville at waterboy20 On Sunday, October 19th, Scott felt helped? She was only 16 at the time." or by cell at 1-613-229- sick and weak while helping his fa- ther move a heavy beam in their yard.
Scott underwent an operation to re- "I told him that I would make an ap- move the tumourous testicle and was pointment with my doctor as soon as immediately put on chemotherapy possible, and he agreed." that lasted until early January 1998.
The following Wednesday, he was His tests looked good, but in March to meet Scott at Billings Bridge Plaza the cancer reappeared, and Scott was Challenge • Spring/Summer 2005 Two charities benefit from student
and purchaser' generosity
tus. When he knew my chemo was Unique ad space coming to an end, he called to see donated to The Ottawa how I was doing. And my whole ex-perience through this process has Hospital Regional been like that. The staff and nurses in Cancer Centre's the chemotherapy treatment unit areamazing." It was just after his operation that By Louise Rachlis
he and his wife found out she waspregnant with their daughter, Han- Who says advertising doesn't nah. "The timing was interesting as well, because the cousin of my An Algonquin College student neighbor four doors down who lived rented the advertising space on his in the Toronto had been diagnosed forehead to the highest bidder, and with the same thing and had the enabled two charities to reap the same operation. She had offered his phone number and e-mail addressfor talking to him about it. He was Student Matt Salvatore plans to just 33 years old and passed away, give the money he raised on eBay so that was another reason I was in- by selling advertising space on his terested in purchasing the ad space." forehead to Operation GoHome –but The Ottawa Hospital Regional "I'd seen several auctions on Cancer Centre also benefitted from eBay, including one for a Nebraska the ad space.
man who rented his forehead for a – Wayne Cuddington, Ottawa Citizen No sweat:
month to an anti-snoring medica- Thanks to henna painting, The winning bid was placed by Matt Salvatore was able to use his head tion for around $40,000 U.S.," says Chris Jurewicz of CS Consulting and promote Challenge magazine.
Mr. Salvatore, 23, and a first year Inc., which does web application public relations student. "It has development. A cancer patient, Mr. Jurewicz offered the dis- since spawned other auctions, but I don't know of anyone play space to The Ottawa Hospital Regional Cancer Centre.
who has done it for charity previously." "Both my parents passed away from cancer, and so that was His effort was part of the 17th annual fundraiser of the Al- in the forefront of my mind when I saw the article in the Cit- gonquin PR students, which has raised over $80,000 over the izen describing how Matt was offering advertising space on his forehead," says Mr. Jurewicz, who turned 50 in January.
He said he would put an advertisement, in the form of a He e-mailed Matt that night and explained he would like sticker or semi-permanent tattoo, of the highest bidder's to ‘give back' to TOHRCC. He put in a bid and won the right choosing on his forehead for two weeks, from March 21st to to advertise.
April 4th, intending to wear the advertisement everywhere Mr. Jurewicz was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last August and ended up in the Civic campus of the Ottawa Hos- The only restriction was that the sticker be nothing illegal pital for surgery. He had follow-up chemotherapy which he finished March 18th, three days after his wife Sarah gave Matt graduated last year with a Bachelor of Arts in soci- birth to their second child.
ology from Mount Allison University in Sackville, N.B., and Before being diagnosed, he had been feeling nauseous, then decided to attend Algonquin to acquire more ‘technical' itchy and ill, getting very yellow and jaundiced, but figured it must be gall bladder, which his sister had.
"This is a win-win situation for two charities and the Finally he was admitted to hospital and within a week after young adult community," says Shannon Gorman of the Ot- the discovery of a tumour at the head of his pancreas, he had tawa Regional Cancer Centre Foundation. "We intend on surgery to remove it. The surgery is called the whipple oper- using the advertising space to promote this edition of Chal- ation, an eight-hour operation to remove part of the stomach, lenge Magazine, which features an awareness campaign on the duodenum, the gall bladder, the head of the pancreas, and testicular cancer. It is our hope that with Matt wearing the then re-connect everything.
magazine's name on his forehead around Algonquin, it willgenerate enough buzz to encourage young readers to pick up "Operating surgeon Dr. Richard Mimeault of The Ottawa the magazine and learn the warning signs. It's definitely Hospital was excellent," he says, "an excellent surgeon, but unique and we are grateful to Chris for thinking of us." also a great human being. There were three evenings in a rowwhen he called just before he went to bed to check on my sta- Challenge • Spring/Summer 2005 9
Sperm preservation
is insurance for the future
By Norm Barwin, MD
RNA and DNA. chemotherapy strikes Semen preservation should be car- not only cancer cells but healthy ones ried out as soon as possible before One of the major resea- as well.
treatment commences, as radiothera- sons for semen preserva- py or chemotherapy ca not only re- tion is cancer, and the duce spermatogenesis, but also in- advances in cancer treat- The most toxic are Chlorambucil creases the risk of mutations in sper- ment and the major de- (Chlorominophene or Leukeran) and matogenesis and even in mature velopments in reproductive technolo- Cyclophosphamide (Endoxan or Cy- sperm. It is by far preferable to see the gy have enabled many couples to have toxin). Cumulative doses can produce couple before beginning any treat- azoospermia which may regress after For patients with malignant tu- several years, although not in my ex- There are two reasons for this atti- mours, semen preservation cannot be perience. Most alkylating agents are reduced to a simple storage operation; teratogenic in animals and almost cer- the psychological context cannot be tainly in humans as well.
1. At this time there are no risks disregarded. The perpetuation of life, regarding the offspring.
with the anguish of death in the back- ground, is strikingly epitomized by 2. It is of fundamental importance to These are not teratogenic, but may this procedure.
prepare the couple psychologically produce dominant and lethan muta- for the future with full explanation For the procedure to be approached tions which are revealed by early and of the process and techniques of correctly, experience is an undeniable hence unrecognized death in the em- semen preservation and husband prerequisite, but it is also necessary bryo. Similarly, recessive mutations, for members of the medical team to not immediately detectable, may be act in perfect concert with coordina- discovered in the individual several Semen preservation has a profound tion of the participants, each being re- years later or several generations later.
effect on the emotions of the person sponsible for one phase of the proce- or couple; in particular that of the dure and delivery.
man who is directly concerned with The most toxic effects are produced Effect of Treatments the disease, and for whom it permits by the association of Actinomycin or the possibility of offspring and bio- Andriomycin and Radiation. Experi- ence in young children who reached adulthood after treatment with combo Semen donation should be integrat- ed into a medical and psychological It is currently recognized in clinical treatment for Wilms tumours, lym- whole. The surgeon, radiotherapist or practice that radiation therapy may phomas and bone tumours, is that no chemotherapist can suggest the not result in infertility, especially in a children were born, whereas of those person with previously good fertility.
who received single therapy, 50 per semen preservation, but only the cent had children with no increase in physician who collects and analyzes This is the result of the progress perinatal mortality, malformation rate the sperm can finally decide for or made in the design of radiation or morbidity. No malignancies were sources, and the skill of the radiother- seen in the children born of this series apists in cancer treatment centres.
of patients. (Jaffee 1975-Journal of Semen should be collected once the orchiectomy is performed, and the It is recommended that pregnancy histological diagnosis is made, and a not be attempted for 18 months after Indications for
prognosis can be given to the couple.
radiation therapy, as there is a slightlyincreased risk of miscarriage, still It should be carried out 15 to 20 births and congenital abnormalities.
Cancer of the testis more than any days after the orchiectomy, and after Of all testicular tumours, seminoma is other tumour should alert the general two to four days of abstinence. If the most responsive to radiotherapy and practitioner and the surgeon to con- sperm count, volume and motility are offers an excellent recovery.
sider semen preservation. The explo- satisfactory, and if the post thaw test ration from which the treatment plan is positive (20 million and 40 per cent follows is to determine the extent of motility), four to five ejaculates are Chemotherapy is used as an adjunct the surgery, and if orchiectomy and saved in specially marked straws col- to surgery and radiation and the ef- lymph node dissection is planned fol- lected at two- to four-day intervals.
fects on spermatogenesis are less well lowed by radiotherapy, chemotherapy known, as it affects only cells in the or hormonal therapy depending on These straws are labelled with the period of activity through action on the pathology.
patient's name and date of birth.
Challenge • Spring/Summer 2005 It is important
to point out that in
most cases with
one testis remaining,
hormonal levels
unchanged so that
hair, beard, libido
and in most cases
erectile function
Technique of insemination
Once there is good recovery, the fe- male partner is assessed to ensure shehas no obvious infertility problem,and that her fallopian tubes are patentand that she is ovulating, then the pro-cess of insemination may begin.
On the fertile day, the couple have an ultrasound to determine the matu-rity of the "follicle" and the thicknessof the lining of the uterus, a singlestraw is thawed (having been con-firmed by the couple for name anddate of birth on the straw).
The contents of the straw are aspi- rated into a disposable catheter con-nected to a syringe.
A speculum is introduced into the vagina, exposing the cervix (muchlike a Pap test) and the partner is en-couraged to gently inject the sperminto the cervix once the physician has Dr. Norm Barwin advises that sperm banking be carried out as soon
placed the catheter.
as possible before the beginning of cancer treatment.
A non-absorbable sponge, covered A special cryopreservative agent with plastic and attached to a string, is with a glycerol base is added to the inserted into the vagina ensuring the sample to protect the sperm from Once the treatment is complete, the semen remains in the cervix. This is damage and increase the viability of patient should return to the clinic left in place for one to three hours and the sperm. There is a two part process then removed by the patient once she after six months to a year to have a for this procedure, having first im- has rested for 10 minutes.
semen analysis; bearing in mind that mersed the straws in their canes into there may well be some genetic muta- Semen preservation performed ac- liquid nitrogen vapour and then after tion in the semen following treatment cording to these guidelines offers the one hour immersing the canes into – so utilization of the frozen sample couple security and hope for the fu- liquid nitrogen, where they remain may be preferable.
until required. It is important to notethat every specimen reacts differently It is important to point out that in to temperature change and that freez- most cases with one testis remaining, ing may reduce sperm motility to 30 hormonal levels are unchanged so to 40 per cent. The difficulty in prac- Norm Barwin MD Fertility Centre tical terms lies in having this amount that hair, beard, libido and in most is in Broadview Medical Clinic, of time available and requires the co- cases erectile function are maintained operation of all members of the med- (unless there has been extensive Challenge • Spring/Summer 2005 11
Testicular Cancer Book Reviews It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life, Every Second Counts,
Hollywood Causes Cancer,
Reviews by Jean Seasons
to share the responsibility with them.
"Had I lived twenty years ago, I would Check it Out
The one comfort a patient have been dead in six months," he who has been diagnosed with cancer can have is the Sources of information on
The title of his second book, Every support of someone who dealing with cancer in our lives
Second Counts, pretty well sums up has been in his shoes, how he feels about life. He talks about someone who knows the fears – the his fear of the cancers' return, the re- dark nights of the unknown. It helps sheer power of that indomitable spirit.
lief of his five-year check up, the for- too if that person is a role model like And, hey, he's back in that bike sad- mation of his Lance Armstrong Foun- Lance Armstrong or a celebrity like dle. Even if you have never ridden a dation, a charity to aid the fight bike in your life, you have to be against cancer. (You can find full de- Everyone on the planet knows of tails on his website.) the courage Lance Armstrong has We learn all the details of his diag- nosis: the spread to the liver and the But interwoven through his account shown in his magnificent showing brain, the choriocarcinoma (a very of his illness and what he does with (and winning) in the last six Tour de aggressive, blood-borne type of can- the rest of his life in both books, is the France runs, of his resolve to do it a cer); the search for the best treatment story of the Tour de France. What an seventh time and, of course, his win- and the best doctors; the fear that he intriguing tale that is – the machina- ner's yellow jersey mirrored in the would not be covered by medical in- tions, the sheer grit, the team work, yellow "LiveStrong" bracelet, worn surance (here, we can be thankful for the politics – absolutely fascinating, by as many athletes (and ordinary our health system); the unswerving worth a read even if you've never had souls) who can manage to find one.
support of his best friend, his mother, cancer. And you might find more than His first book, It's Not About the his girl friends, his biking pals, the you want to know about his personal Bike, is a painful read because he ontological nurse. And the constant life – the in-vitra fertilization, the ar- spares the reader none of the ordeal theme running through the book: tificial insemination procedures that he went through but it is an inspira- there is nothing wrong with seeking a produced his three beloved children, tion because he seems to have beaten cure from a combination of people the eventual estrangement with his impossible odds, often seemingly by and sources, but you, the patient, have wife. This angry, hyper-active, under- Challenge • Spring/Summer 2005 privileged kid's fight for glory and eventual "discovery" in Hollywood, had been asking myself since I was a survival makes for two books you will the disasters of his film projects there.
grade six kid in the school gym pon- find hard to put down.
At least he is very candid about it all.
tificating about the nature of hu- Tom Green's title, Hollywood And then we come to Monica Lewin- mour." One wants to wish him well. If Causes Cancer, pretty well sets the sky and the hand-bag caper in town a you love Tom Green, you will love his tone for his book. His testicular can- few years ago, and – of course – Drew cer was hardly trivial, no cancer ever Both authors were helped in their is, but on the scale of Lance Arm- When he slows down by Chapter 9 writing: Lance Armstrong by Sally strong's, it's way down there. He dis- to talk about his cancer and his rela- Jenkins, a columnist for the Washing- covers cancer, is operated on, is very tionship with Drew and Hollywood, ton Post; Tom Jones by Allen Rucker, frightened, and gets well.
then he does become truly reflective the author of #1 New York Times The book itself is really a biogra- and, well, normal. It is not a pretty bestseller, The Soprano Family Cook- phy, and Tom is still not very old. He picture he draws of Hollywood soci- book. The books are available from starts the first chapter off with a bold ety and the goings on. But Tom is a the Ninon Bourque Patient Resource type report card comment from his survivor, too, and he finishes the book Library at The Ottawa Hospital Re- sixth-grade teacher and then takes us with "I'm now back in Hollywood gional Cancer Centre.
on a long wandering account of his and . it is exciting to have been given peccadilloes, the antics that bring him the opportunity to do a nightly show.
to Ottawa stages and television, his It answered a lot of questions that I Jean Seasons is an Ottawa writer. • Cancer Centre staff members, past What About My Kids?
and present, including the authorLinda Corsini, Marisa Akow, DianeFord, Debbie Gravelle, Gail Mac-Cartney, Diane Manii, Liane Mur- New resource phy Christine Penn, Maggie Tabalba,and Dr. Eva Tomiak.
for parents • Community members including Amy Laird, Chris Marin, Louise Rachlis, with breast cancer Tamara Annis, Jennifer West (and our By Lois Crowe
mascot Callum!) and Rosemary Williams.
• Community partners, including the "What About My Kids?" is the Arnprior and District Breast Cancer name of a workshop for parents led by Support Group, Breast Cancer Ac- Linda Corsini, a social worker at The Ot- tion, Canadian Cancer Society's tawa Hospital Regional Cancer Centre.
Reach to Recovery Program and The experience of leading this the Ottawa Women's Breast Health workshop, which Linda started in 1996, encouraged her to gather the • Our funders, including the Canadi- wisdom that emerged from these an Breast Cancer Foundation, the group discussions into one resource Ottawa Regional Cancer Centre for the benefit of all parents diag- Foundation and St. Matthew High nosed with breast cancer.
Cancer affects kids as well as par- parents to worry about their children We would like to extend a special ents. We are often asked by parents to when a parent is diagnosed with thank you to the students and staff at help explain their breast cancer diag- breast cancer. Managing these con- St. Matthew High School, who last nosis to their children, and we have cerns and communicating with their year donated $10,000 to help make found that, given the right tools to un- children during their illness are the this project a reality. These funds derstand their condition, it is better basic themes of this book.
were raised as part of the World's for parents to share that information While What About My Kids? is in- Record Bear Hug, a unique event that with their children themselves.
tended to help parents with breast raised over $100,000 for research and Although each family will have a cancer and their support partners, it patient care at the Cancer Centre. We unique approach to dealing with the can also be helpful for parents with are most appreciative.
situation, we hope this book will be a any form of cancer or life threatening We anticipate the book will be useful guide. We also hope that older available to Cancer Centre patients in children will also use this book as a The material presented in What English and French by this summer.
tool for understanding what is hap- About My Kids? is based on the gen- pening to their family.
uine collaborative efforts of many Regardless of how old their chil- people and organizations.
Lois Crowe is project manager dren are, it is natural and common for The list is long and includes: for What About My Kids? Challenge • Spring/Summer 2005 13
The Hospice at May Court
– A very special place
By Martha Nixon
to understand what was happening and what would happen.
Iwould like to speak of my expe- Every support we needed was close rience with the Hospice at May at hand – information in the library, Court, because it became an food in the kitchen, a bed to sleep in oasis for our family, an oasis at Support when it's needed
if we wished to stay overnight.
the end of a difficult journey through the desert of illness. And I In short, palliative care that truly setting was equally impossible as a will tell you my story, to be sure that met its objectives of comforting and place where Sherril could have peace, supporting my sister, making it easy you know it can be your story, should family and individual caring. With the for her son and daughter to hold her you or your loved ones need it to be.
help of the hospital social worker, and hand, for her husband to keep his vigil My involvement with this very spe- much discussion with doctors, we beside her and for her siblings to cial place began about two years ago.
were blessed to find a bed open at the share in these moments. And for the My sister, Sherril, had been diag- Hospice at May Court. This place, coming together of the family, nosed with a brain tumour in July of upon arrival, became an extension of through the sharing of these mo- that year, and it was predicted that home, comfortable and safe.
ments, in ways that my sister needed within months, she would die. This to experience, despite being unable to As we saw Sherril lovingly settled experience was a very intense period communicate this to us.
in to a sunny corner room of the Hos- for our family, trying to manage care pice, the contrast with the chaos that Out of the sadness and grieving of at her home, watching the brain pres- had surrounded her the night before that time, I cherish the memory of this sure affect her personality and antici- in one of our stressed hospitals, was time. For I recall the gentleness, the pating how to make her comfortable striking. Here, fresh flowers from the solace, and the love that was sur- on this journey that was not of her garden decorated the room, and a rounding my sister and all of her hand made quilt covered the bed.
loved ones. And I consider the Hos- Family could sit by her at all hours, pice almost a sacred place, where you Early in September, a hospital stay and be handed a cup of tea or a bite of learn that death need not be feared became inevitable, and it seemed lunch by a caring volunteer. A nurse and that life needs to be lived to the death was on the horizon. For a vari- was quietly ministering to Sherril, re- last moment.
ety of reasons, taking her home be-came impossible, and yet the hospital assuring us, the family, and helping us Challenge • Spring/Summer 2005 Four palliative care
programs at the Hospice
By Alexis Danic
The Hospice at May Court is a community-basedorganization committedto providing support andpractical help for people and their families who are facing alife threatening illness. There arefour community palliative care pro-grams offered by the Hospice: Home Support offers emotional
support and practical help to peoplein their homes and also providesrespite for the patient's family. Pa-tients receive weekly visits fromtrained and dedicated volunteerswho are supported by a professionalstaff.
Day Hospice offers a day each
follow-up is also available. Services your gift will be appreciated.
week for patients, providing diver- are offered on individual basis or sion, physical care and emotional Anyone may make a referral by group settings for adults, youth and support. Patients are picked up in calling 260-2906 ext. 226 the morning by volunteer drivers, For more information visit our and then spend the day at the Hos- Residential Hospice provides
website at www.hospicemaycourt.
pice with activities and a light nine end-of-life beds for those in the lunch, returning home at the end of final weeks of their illness that do not need to be in a hospital setting.
Family Support helps family
There is no charge to patients and Alexis Danic is Communi- members and friends caring for families for Hospice programs, but cations & Events Coordinator someone diagnosed with a life- we do hope that you will consider at The Hospice at May Court. threatening illness. Bereavement making a donation – large or small Challenge • Spring/Summer 2005 15
The Ottawa Regional Can
Here are the members of the 2005
ORCC Foundation Board of Directors
Foundation staff members: Left to right, front row, Jessica Lackie, data
Michel de Champlain,
entry clerk; Rita Cuccia, database and finance co-ordinator; Chantale Hend- Board Chair
ley; administrative assistant; second row, Linda Eagen, interim executive di-rector and Courage Campaign Director; Melanie Yasinki, major gifts officer; The Foundation thanks its hard- Christine Ladouceur, in-memoriam program co-ordinator; and back row, working volunteer board members: Annie Parker, special events co-ordinator; Shannon Gorman, director, re- Michel de Champlain, Board
source development, and Laurie Macdonald, Courage Campaign assistant.
Chair, General Manager, The Mead-
ows Golf Club; Stewart Ash, Partner,
rector, Canadian Bar Association; dinator, Provincial Affairs, Canada's Gowling, Lafleur, Henderson LLP; Guy Legault, President & CEO,
Research Based Pharmaceutical Rabbi Reuven P. Bulka, Congrega-
Canadian Payments Association; Companies Rx&D; Gary Seveny,
tion Machzikei Hadas; Linda Eagen,
James Millar, President, The Millar
Past President, President & CEO, Al- Ex-Officio, Interim Executive Direc- Corporation; Jamie Milner, Vice-
terna Savings; Dr. Hartley Stern, Ex-
tor and Courage Campaign Director, Chair, General Manager Enbridge; Officio, Vice-President, The Ottawa ORCC Foundation;, Antonio Es-
Deanna Monaghan, Treasurer, Part-
Hospital Regional Cancer Centre; table, Manager, Radiation Therapy,
ner - Auditing and Government Ser- Michelle Valberg, President, Valberg
The Ottawa Hospital Regional Cancer vices Consulting Ernst & Young; Imaging; Rob Woyzbun, President,
Centre; John Hoyles, Executive Di-
Walter Robinson, Vice-Chair, Coor-
The Marketing Works Inc.
Challenge • Spring/Summer 2005 ancer Centre Foundation
O'Brien & Friends Join the over 1,000 rider for the 6th The Holes for Hope Golf Tournament Annual Motorcycle Ride for Dad on will take place on July 15th. Saturday, May 28th and tour through For more information or to register the Ottawa Valley. The 8th Annual O'Brien & Friends contact Melody Lachance at For more information visit www.
Golf Tournament & Barbeque will be held on June 18th, 2005 at the Irish All proceeds from this event will be Hills Golf and Country Club. directed to prostate cancer research For more information contact and education.
Terry O'Brien at 599-4956 or & Health Club Inc. 728-3571 ext. 292.
Meadows Golf Classic Alterna "Do it for Dad" The Astral Fitness & Health Club Inc.
Run and Family Walk Golf Tournament will take place The 5th Annual ORCCF Meadows Golf Classic will be held on Monday, Join us at Carleton University in May 30th, 2005 at the Meadows Anniversary Park this Father's Day For more information or Golf & Country Club, 4335 for the 8th Annual Alterna "Do it for to register contact Astral Fitness Hawthorne Rd. Your registration fee Dad" Run and Family Walk. & Health Club Inc. at 831-2348 of $160 includes, 18 holes of golf Events include 10km and 5km timed (shotgun start 1 p.m.), a BBQ Lunch, runs and a 2km family fun walk. Volley for Cancer golf cart, dinner and prizes. All proceeds from this event will be To register or for more information directed to prostrate cancer treat- Volley for Cancer will be held contact Tina Ferrone at 822-2582.
ment and research at The Ottawa Saturday, August 20th at the Hospital Regional Cancer Centre. Earl Baker Park at the Morrisburg 2nd Annual Herman To register please visit Waterfront. The event will run from 8:00 a.m. until midnight. Quest for a Cure For more information visit The 2nd Annual Herman Hansen Brockville Prostate Memorial Golf Tournament will take This two-day, 50-hour, non-stop race place on Thursday, June 2nd at the will take place in the Ottawa area.
Emerald Links Golf & Country Club.
The teams will travel a total of Registration is at 10 a.m. and dinner 250km throughout the region. will be served at 6 p.m. Fees are Each team, using self-propelled $150 per player which includes, golf, means, will travel by canoe, open The Brockville Prostate Cancer power cart, box lunch and prizes or water swim, portage, hike, Research Tournament will be held $50 to participated only in the dinner orienteering, mountain bike and in August. All proceeds from this and Silent auction. by rappelling down a fixed rope. event will be directed to prostate All proceeds from this event will be For more information contact Vicki cancer research.
directed to the Ottawa Regional Laymann at 728-4585 ext. 232 or Cancer Centre Foundation. For more information contact email at [email protected].
For more information please visit Cathy Hamilton at (613) 342-7883. or call (613) 290-9481.
Charity Golf Tournament Rotary Club of Ottawa The Lindsay Service Charity Golf South Charity Golf Day Tournament will take place on The Annual Betty Tweedy Saturday, June 4th. All proceeds The Rotary Club of Ottawa South Golf Classic will be held on from this event will benefit Brain Charity Golf Day will be held September 15th, 2005 at the Tumor Research at The Ottawa at the Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club Meadows Golf & Country Club. Hospital Regional Cancer Centre. on Monday, June 27th. For more information contact For more information or to register For more information contact Bina Chohan at 834-8596.
contact John Service at 761-3906.
Bernie Igmundson at 822-1064.
Challenge • Spring/Summer 2005 17
‘I treasure each day I have
out here – for I know not
what the future brings'
The last issue of Challenge had an article on Mary Ajersch's recoveryfrom bowel cancer. Mary has kept intouch, describing her winter at SilverStar Mountain in Vernon, B.C., andher planned return to Ottawa in April.
Here's her update:
For awhile, I thought we might not spend the winterhere. In October my six-month CT scan indicatedthat I had unusual lesions in my liver, which warranted a MRI.
Two hospitals had a six-month waiting list. Miraculously, I was ableto be scheduled into the QueenswayCarleton in their new MRI clinic. Itwasn't until two days before our de-parture that results indicated no ma-lignancy. Phew! What a relief.
Winter was all the brighter this year for Mary Ajersch and her husband
Life is really great. I feel well and after her previous bout with bowel cancer.
have lots of stamina. I treasure each Both my husband and I are part- day I have out here – for I know not time ski instructors at Silver Star Ski what the future brings. The view from School. Ours is one of the best ski the mountain top is breathtaking and schools in Canada. I instruct three ever changing.
days a week, and am always available We can see the snow covered Keeping Spirits Up
for private lessons. I especially enjoy Monashees in the distance, and often teaching Ladies' Day on Tuesdays.
there are white, fluffy, clouds in thevalley. The hoar frost deposits onto During sunny frigid weather we ex- This is our fourth winter here. I'm the fir trees and creates white "snow perience sun dogs – tiny ice crystals knowledgeable about the area, and ghosts." The ravens play in the ther- that reflect the sunlight to create ver- feel like one of the locals. We have mals overhead.
tical rainbows.
many friends in the ski school and inthe area. Our social life is quite ac-tive.
Hard to believe that at this time in 2003 I was undergoing my secondchemo treatment. I was experiencingits awful side effects – blistered lips,dry gray skin, weakness, and dietaryand bowel problems.
Little did I think I would feel strong and healthy again. But here I am, ski-ing every day, either downhill orcross-country, and enjoying everyminute of it.
Five things I wish I knew earlier in life
By Mary Ajersch
My friends are like my personal Just like my real garden, they're flower garden.
not regimented in rows, they're scat- My daughter Jennifer asked me to tered all over to create a profusion of They come to me as a small seed send her "A List of Five Things That brilliant colour. They come from and I plant them into my garden of I Know Now That I Wish I Knew within my family, from all walks of Earlier in Life." life, from all ages, from all parts of They start to grow and blossom the country. Sometimes they're My first item on the list was: into very rare varieties; no two are I now know the value of a colon- alike. I care for them through good Sometimes they disappear for oscopy. I would have requested my or bad weather, I appreciate them, I awhile and come back. Some are first one when I was 50 and then enjoy them, I share myself with very deeply rooted. Saddest of all, is every five years after that. As a re- them, I tend to their needs, I write to when a much-loved flower dies and sult, I would have avoided bowel them, I talk to them, I give them my leaves forever.
surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation I have been blessed with a won- Sometimes I neglect them for a derful friendship garden. Each flow- The following is another item on while, but I always make sure I get er is unique and will always hold a back to them. My friends are peren- special place in my heart. Each flow- nials. They're there for me year after er has a spot in my ‘Happy Com- I now know that it takes years to year, in glorious colours. They bring acquire true friendships.
much happiness to my life.
Go the healthy way:
Eat well, live well
and feel great
Are you looking for in- or ‘dietitian'are professionally reg- cannot call themselves dietitians un- formation about healthy ulated terms. A dietitian has at least less they have been certified. Nutri- eating but confused four years of university study plus a tionists working in government about all the different dietetic internship and/or a master's agencies are the one exception be- messages you hear? degree in nutrition. After this, a di- cause they are registered dietitians.
etitian must write and pass a national It is hard to know where to turn exam. The dietitian is then awarded When consulting someone about for the answers. Which diet is the a license to work using the title nutrition related information, ask best? Are trans fat really bad for Registered Dietitian (RD).
for her/his qualification. It is better me? What about low carb diets? to talk to a registered dietitian. Be In Ontario, the term ‘nutritionist' We are bombarded with nutrition especially aware of nutrition advice is not professionally regulated and and health messages almost every given by someone who may also be there are no minimum qualifica- day. Your best and most credible selling something, or information tions for someone to call himself or source for nutrition related infor- from a less reputable web site.
herself a nutritionist. People who mation is from a registered dieti- work in health food stores, in stores For more free information on this tian. Sometimes messages from specializing in nutritional and diet topic or other nutrition related mat- nutritionists can be different than supplements, fitness centers, and in ters, please call the registered dieti- information from dietitians.
some private businesses may refer tians with Ottawa Public Health at The terms ‘registered dietitian' to themselves as nutritionists. They 613-580-6744 ext. 23403.
Challenge • Spring/Summer 2005 19
Clinical trials:
What doctors say
By Lois Crowe
The clinical trials research program at The OttawaHospital Research Centreis a strong and vibrant pro-gram, offering alternative treatment options to many patients.
In fact, many doctors in academic centres like TOHRCC consider clini-cal trials to be part of the standard ofcare for their patients.
"This is part of our common ap- proach to the management of a pa-tient's disease. This is what we doevery day." "Patients in Eastern Ontario are ex- tremely fortunate because they have alarge academic cancer service," saysDr. Glenwood Goss, the head of Med-ical Oncology. "An integral part ofimproving patient care is research and Dr. Susan Dent, Medical Advisor to Clinical Trials
development. At TOHRCC we have awell-developed, highly academic,group of oncologists who have a keen comfortable 25 per cent. Clinical tri- "We've made great advances in the interest in cancer research.
als, on the whole, offer a higher stan- treatment of cancer and these ad- dard of care to patients." vances have been made through the "Consequently, our patients are for- contributions of many thousands of tunate to have access to new and "Clinical Trials are very carefully individuals, but we know that not all novel treatments within the context of regulated," said Dr. Dent. "Most peo- cancers can be cured. We need to con- well-regulated clinical trials.
ple have heard about things that go tinue to work to develop these new wrong, but those really are the excep- "A particular strength of TOHRCC therapies and treatments." tions. Every study is given a thorough is its new cancer drug development review by our Research Ethics Board.
program, allowing patients access to Studies sponsored by pharmaceutical new anti-cancer drugs that are not companies are monitored regularly to available to many other patients in make sure every thing is being done Canada and around the world. Clini- correctly. Our research staff is well Lois Crowe is Ethics Liaison, cal research at TOHRCC is part of trained and keep careful track of ev- Clinical Trials, at The Ottawa standard patient care." erything that is done.
Hospital Regional Cancer Centre. Dr. Laval Grimard, the head of Ra- diation Oncology, and the only pedi-atric (child) radiation oncologist in "Physicians should consider all the
the National Capital Region, consid-ers that the adult population is years treatment options for a patient,
behind the pediatric population af- including any clinical trials
fected by cancer where the majorityof children are treated within the con- that may be available."
text of a clinical trial. "The number ofadult patients entered in clinical trials – Dr. Susan Dent,
should double every two years," he Medical Advisor to Clinical Trials
says, "until it goes from the currentseven per cent of new patients to a Challenge • Spring/Summer 2005 Ignoring the odds
to celebrate ‘5 Alive'
By Barry Bokhaut
formed that I was in the throes of amajor heart attack. I was injected with It's terrifying to learn that you a medication to thin out my blood and have cancer. It's even more dev- flush out the clot that was causing the astating when you learn that heart attack.
you have almost no chance of Keeping Spirits Up
The pain in my chest did not sub- surviving your disease.
side. That afternoon, while in inten- "Barry, it's a bad kind of cancer to sive care, my doctor gave me the good have", my doctor stated as he solemn- news. Because of a cancellation, he ly informed me that I had esophageal could perform an angiogram. He cancer. He assured me, though, that would run a wire with a miniature with surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, camera on it through a vein in my and luck, I had a chance of survival.
groin up into my heart to see if therewas any blockage. If there was, he Shortly after my diagnosis I looked would perform an angioplasty, to up the esophageal cancer mortality break it up. Problem was that because rates published by the Canadian Can- I had just had the blood thinning med- cer Society. For the past five years the ication, the odds of a complication rate has been in the high nineties to and my bleeding to death were drasti- over 100 per cent. That means that very cally increased. If I didn't proceed few people, if any, survive for more immediately, I would miss the oppor- than five years. I chose to believe in tunity for the procedure. I was back the adage "there are lies, damn lies, on that terrifying roller coaster.
Barry Bokhaut and his wife Barb
and statistics," and to ignore the odds.
enjoy a recent Florida holiday.
Once again, I closed my mind to the I climbed aboard the roller coaster Five years ago, Barry was diag-
odds, and gave him the okay to oper- called cancer, and began to experi- nosed with esophageal cancer.
ate. Good thing, as there was a signif- ence the incredible highs and lows of goal with the readers of Challenge icant blockage that he successfully re- the cancer ride.
magazine in an article that was pub- moved, reducing the chance of perma- On May 15, 2000, with my fear at a lished in the 2002 fall/winter edition.
nent damage.
crescendo, I was wheeled in for Unbelievably, I'm closing in on my surgery. Most of my esophagus and the I was doing everything that I could goal of being cancer free for five top part of my stomach were removed, to improve my chances. I was follow- years. While I'm not my old self, I'm and what was left of my stomach was ing a healthy lifestyle and exercising surviving, and I'm thriving. If God pulled up into my chest. In the recov- regularly. I tried acupuncture, hyp- continues to bless me, I'll have beaten ery room I counted ten separate tubes notherapy and Chinese herbal po- the odds and will be celebrating my running in or out of my body, which tions. I was being followed by a doc- five year anniversary, my 5 Alive, on had lengthy incisions on both my front tor who specializes in nutrition, and I May 15, 2005. I'll be surrounded by and back. My surgeon was able to put was following a diet to try to increase the family and friends who have been his hand right through my body. It was my weight to what it had been before so supportive and so understanding.
incredible, but my recovery was rapid, surgery. The increase in weight would We won't talk cancer or recovery, or and I was starting to feel better. Then I hopefully increase my strength and statistics. We'll just party.
was subjected to 25 sessions of radia- tion, administered concurrently with While grateful for my successes What I've come to understand over chemotherapy. I could only endure two these five years is that as implausible and hopeful that everything would of the four scheduled chemotherapy as it may seem, however dire the situ- work out for the best, I dreaded en- sessions. I was being hurled down the ation, no matter how bleak the prog- countering the looming enemy, recur- steepest drop of that roller coaster. It nosis; there should always be room rence. I worried about the second was tough going but I started to im- for hope. Yes, the statistics may say shoe dropping. I was hit full force in prove, very slowly.
that you have very little chance. The May of 2002, but it was a shoe from stories you hear may confirm that It took two years, but I finally start- an entirely different pair. I experi- others haven't made it. But no matter ed to feel that I was recovering. I set enced a bout of severe indigestion; how small the odds, if its one chance myself a goal. I was going to make it not uncommon because of my com- in a million, then here's a chance of for another three years. I read that if I promised digestive system. Con- survival. And all you need to survive survived for five years, my past histo- cerned because it was more pro- is one chance.
ry was wiped clean, and it would be longed than usual, I drove to the hos- as if I never had cancer. I shared my pital emergency, where I was in- Challenge • Spring/Summer 2005 21
Donated cottage vacations
enable cancer patients to
enjoy ‘a little slice of heaven'
Sitting on the dock of their Ontario's majestic cottage country donated cottage, Susan McLellan watches as her10-year-old son Myles casts This one-of-a-kind program has the line into Drag Lake.
captured the imagination of many cot-tagers, whose kind offers have made "It's just what the doctor didn't Cottage Dreams such a success.
order," she says happily. Myles is inrecovery from brain cancer and is the "As a life-long cottager myself, I first recipient of the Cottage Dreams understand the benefits of being at Recovery Initiative program.
the cottage and how fortunate I am tohave had the experience," says ‘Cottage Dreams' is a charitable or- founder and executive director, Seana ganization that offers recent cancer O'Neill. "This is how the idea of Cot- survivors the opportunity to getaway tage Dreams was born. Being at the to a donated cottage for a week of rest cottage is all about kids playing, dogs and relaxation. After a year of emo- enjoying paddleboating, nature walks jumping off the dock and barbeques tional, physical and financial chal- and euchure tournaments with great- that never end. It's a little slice of lenges there is a light at the end of the The McLellans were one of many Further motivation for creating The light is a week spent at the families taking part in the Cottage Cottage Dreams is that Seana's moth- lake, relaxing among the pines and Dreams program that visits several of er is a 17-year breast cancer survivor Challenge • Spring/Summer 2005 and the O'Neill family has lost twouncles to the disease.
"As a life-long
"Like myself, many of our cottage cottager myself, I
donors have first hand knowledge ofhow this disease can affect a family," understand the bene-
she says, "and I find that their own fits of being at the
participation is to honour someonethey've lost or to celebrate their own cottage and how
successful fight against cancer. It is fortunate I am to have
quite moving, and it is with the gen-erosity of those who are fortunate had the experience."
enough to have a second property thatwe can move forward." – Seana O'Neill,
To date, approximately 200 cottage Founder and executive director,
owners have donated a week's stay to Cottage Dreams participants.
For their generosity, donors will re- donated cottage in Parry Sound. It Scotia and New York State, future ceive a tax receipt based on a current was an especially poignant placement plans for expansion include ski market value assessment of the prop- as the cottage owner recently lost his chalets and other recreational proper- erty for a one-week rental period and own young wife to breast cancer and ties across Canada and the United a Certificate of Participation from was happy to help the best way he Cottage Dreams to proudly hang at their cottage – but most importantly is Cottage Dreams has received its the priceless feeling of giving from The Cottage Dreams program is charitable status from the Canada available to Ontario residents of all Customs and Revenue Agency, thus ages who have been out of active allowing tax receipts to be issued for All cottage properties will be treatment (chemotherapy, radiation all donations.
named in the Cottage Dreams insur- and/or recent surgery) or in remission ance policy during the donated week They are currently seeking private (on a case by case basis) for up to and will be cleaned after the guests and public funding to help them place nine months and have given permis- have departed at no cost to the more families into more cottages. "If sion for their physician to confer with people are interested in becoming in- the Cottage Dreams physician.
volved, we encourage them to visit The criterion for cottages is a work- The only costs to the applicant are our website or call us," says Seana ing telephone, no farther than 45 min- groceries, transportation and sun- O'Neill. "We gratefully accept all do- utes from a hospital, indoor plumbing screen. "This one of a kind program nations and we know that each and and direct road access. Cottage has met with great enthusiasm from every dollar or cottage will make a Dreams has had an extraordinary year cancer support organizations and that culminated in the first place- health care providers," says Barbara Although Myles didn't catching the Irwin, Program Manager, Cottage big one, he left with something very Valerie, a 39-year-old breast cancer Dreams. "With their continued sup- precious – memories that will last a survivor and program participant port and guidance, we look forward to writes: "I hope you realize what a accommodating many more families truly wonderful thing you have done Currently offering properties across For more information please visit She, her husband and two toddlers Ontario as well as properties in New- or call (705) recently spent a fun-filled week at a foundland, Alberta, Quebec, Nova To advertise in the next edition of
Challenge . Life with Cancer
contact Shannon Gorman at: The Ottawa Regional Cancer Centre Foundation
Telephone: (613) 247-3527
Fax: (613) 247-3526
Challenge • Spring/Summer 2005 23
New drugs for cancer treatment:
Where do they come from?
By Ian Lorimer, Ph.D.
The last year has seen some real progress in cancer treatment.
A new drug, known as erlotinib, has been shown to prolong the life ofpatients with lung cancer.
Another new drug, known as temo- zolomide, has been shown to prolongthe life of patients with brain cancer.
In both cases, this progress has comeafter decades of frustration. In bothcases, while the drugs help patientslive longer, they are not cures, andthere is therefore much more work tobe done.
An interesting question to ask at this stage is: how did this successcome about, and will this give usclues as to how to achieve evengreater successes ? To look at thisquestion in more detail, I'll focus on A normal, healthy cell (top left) has only a small amount of EGFR activity.
one of the drugs mentioned above, er- Some cancer cells have too much EGFR, or have a mutated
lotinib. This drug works by selective- EGFR (shown in green) that makes cells grow in an
ly blocking the activity of one of the uncontrolled way to form a tumour.
roughly ten thousand different proteinmolecules that are found in a human only a subset of lung cancer patients, cell (see picture). This protein is On the Frontier
and may affect how these patients re- known affectionately by scientists as spond to drugs. "Cancer" is really an EGFR, which stands for epidermal umbrella term for a huge number of growth factor receptor. It sits on the different diseases, and every day we Where pioneers forge new paths
surface of cells, and sends signals into learn more about the complexity of in the battle against cancer
the cells instructing them to divide this problem. This then, is a third les- and produce new cells.
son: cancer is a very complex set of How did we find out about EGFR? then binds to other cells. The diseases that is unlikely to yield to a First another molecule known as the molecule that it binds to on the sur- single miraculous cure.
epidermal growth factor, or EGF for face of cells is the EGFR mentioned With the recognition that EGFR short, was discovered. This was dis- above. With the discovery of EGFR misbehaved in some cancers, sending covered in 1962 as something that in- and the development of tools to study out aberrant signals to cells to divide duced precocious eyelid opening and it in more detail, it became apparent uncontrollably, many people became precocious tooth eruption in newborn that in cancer cells the EGFR often excited about the possibility of devel- mice. Dr. Stanley Cohen, who was misbehaved badly, sending signals for oping drugs to block its activity. Drug awarded the 1986 Nobel prize in cells to grow and divide in an uncon- development involves a complex mix- medicine for this discovery, said in trolled way. This realization came ture of scientific, medical and eco- his Nobel lecture that he did not fore- roughly twenty years after the initial nomic issues, and all of these must be see a role for EGF in cancer, so the discovery of EGF, which brings us to dealt with if a drug is to be successful.
rest of us can also perhaps be forgiv- second important lesson: research The key scientific issue is how to de- en if the connection is not immediate- sign a compound that will block its ly apparent to us. But this is a very To this day we are still learning target (in this case EGFR) effectively.
important lesson: major research ad- about new ways that EGFR misbe- The key medical issues are whether vances that impact our daily lives haves in cancer. Just last year two the drug will have undesirable side ef- often have seemingly very humble groups discovered new types of muta- fects and whether it will be effective.
and obscure origins.
tions in EGFR that are found in lung The economic issues arise because EGF is secreted out of cells and cancer patients. These are found in most drug development involves pri- Challenge • Spring/Summer 2005 vate companies that need to invest around the world. One of these, re- ness mismanagement led to the fail- millions of dollars in development ported last year, was a Canadian-led ure of this company and jail terms for costs in what can be a very risky busi- study of the EGFR inhibitor erlotinib its CEO and one of its better known that showed convincingly that lung investors, Martha Stewart. Sadly this cancer patients who took this drug delayed development of what still ap- Many experienced people felt early lived longer. Thus, over forty years pears to be a promising drug for treat- on that it would not be possible to de- after the initial discovery of EGF, we ing a number of different cancers.
velop traditional types of drugs that now know that inhibiting EGFR can worked against EGFR, based on a What can we learn from the above? at least slow the growth of some number of assumptions that appeared In the end, research does work. It is human cancers.
to be very logical at the time. In the often slow, often painstaking, and can jargon of the pharmaceutical industry, The development of EGFR-target- have many dead-ends, but ultimately it was thought that EGFR was not a ed drugs gives us an example of how it works, even against a problem as "druggable" target. Fortunately, not things can go right in drug develop- difficult as cancer. I believe that we everyone believed this and a number ment, and also how they can go have good reason to be hopeful for of groups went on to design what wrong. The most spectacular example even greater successes in the years to have proved to be very selective of the latter is the case of the compa- EGFR inhibitors. These have now ny ImClone, which was developing an been tested in many clinical trials EGFR inhibitor as its lead drug. Busi- The Journey A brain tumour patient submitted this piece about over- One day, I saw the tiniest flicker, a pinpoint.
coming her "mountain." I was curious and went to investigate. Slowly, I inched myway towards it. I pushed rocks aside. The glow was giving Our journeys begin the day we are born.
me strength I had forgotten I had.
Along the way we will encounter paths, forests, streams, "Keep going," the light said whenever I laid down.
rivers, hills and mountains. Because we are individuals, ourjourneys will all be different and yet the same.
"I'm tired, hurt, can't you see that," I cried. "Leave mealone." Although there may be obstacles there will be guideposts tohelp us along the way.
"Rest, when you are tired. When you are ready, I will be hereto guide you. Don't look back, look forward." We skip, jump, run, sail, climb and stumble blindly throughthis journey called "life." Some days are bright, while others A day dawned brightly; a warmth enveloped me. I was out of My last journey took me along many paths. There was a time Ambling along the path once again, I came across the most I was able to hop, skip and jump over streams and if I felt so beautiful bubbling, gurgling, laughing stream I had ever inclined, I could sit and play in the laughing waters.
seen. This is not a stream to jump over, I thought to myself.
Then I came upon a mountain, and it was the largest, high- I jumped in and laughed along with it, sending sprays of est mountain I had ever seen. It loomed in front of me. "Isn't water into the air that danced in the sunlight, sparkled like there an easier way?" diamonds, music in the air.
After searching, I knew I would have to climb it.
A whisper on the breeze told me I was not alone; my guide-posts were with me. Some old, some new, they, too, were I began, one foot in front of the other. Another mountain, I laughing and dancing.
sighed. I yearned for the laughing brook.
A beautiful voice sang out Mahal Kita. [Mahal Kita is taga- The mountain was hard to climb; there were crevices and log for ‘I Love You' - Ed.] places where no hand or footholds were to be found.
They had never left.
After falling several times, I heard a voice say "keep going.""Easy for you to say." I do not know where my next journey will lead me. But myguideposts shall always be with me, in everything I do and "I HATE THIS MOUNTAIN," I shouted.
everywhere I go. They are part of me.
The path twisted, and I found a cave. I crawled into the dark.
I wish you all safe journeys, laughing brooks and posts to I stayed there for a long time. I heard a voice cutting though the darkness: "Come out." "There is no way out." "You are not looking in the right direction." Challenge • Spring/Summer 2005 25
Seeking sustenance by
bonding in cyberspace
Last year, Rosa Harris-Adler, the confidence and authority – with wit, Editor of Ottawa City magazine, elegance and knowledge – that I was called up Challenge Magazine to offer inclined to trust what he had to say.
her services, "gratis." She just wanted It was through Elliot that I found a to help if she could. National Cancer Institute trial in Ot- We feel fortunate to have Rosa writ- tawa that looked promising for my ing a column about how cancer af- brother – a trial Lew's own doctor fects all of us, whether we, or people knew nothing about. Forget e-com- claims most people within six months we know, are the patients. merce. For my money, this type of in- of diagnosis. In the wake of the horri- formation exchange is the most vital If you have a question or a topic for ble news, I did what I do to make use of the Net.
"Just wanted to help", please e-mail sense of the senseless: I researched. I Rosa at [email protected] , researched my heart out, to be honest, And I just loved Don, the leader of and we'll try to cover it in our next as if I were going to be the one to find the group and its inspiration. He'd sur- the cure that everyone – the bio- vived for five years with the disease, chemists, the geneticists, the research something almost unheard of. He was The truth is, I didn't hit it scholars, all the other devoted rela- inevitably upbeat and full of useful in- off with Marc at first. I tives – had somehow managed to formation about the latest journal found him whiney – and miss. And that had led me to PANC- findings and relevant new Web sites.
New-Age whiney, at that.
When Don disappeared from the He went on at great length an Internet chatline filled with bleak group for about two weeks, you could about shark cartilage, megavitamins souls – people like Marc, from Holland, feel people at keyboards across the and crystals, about the power of pure whose wife Lucy was wasting away.
world holding their breath. We were and positive "energy," about the heal- afraid to ask one another where he'd Scrolling through the 30 or 40 e- ing nature of dreams. Not someone I gone. And indeed, he'd had a relapse, mail messages I got daily after I sub- would seek out at a party, I thought to he told us when he finally reappeared.
scribed to the group, I began to avoid myself. Too Left Coast.
Now, he was back in fighting trim.
Marc, who always posted five or six But he was the first person I'd en- of them. Time was short and I had no Certainly, the worst aspect of this countered there, and you know how it is use for hocus-pocus, for snake-oil "party" was the turnover rate. When when you're in a roomful of strangers: cures. There was nothing virtual Elliot left without a proper goodbye, I you bond quickly with anyone who about the desperation in his blow-by- knew why. He needed to mourn alone.
pauses to give you the time of day.
blow accounts ("Lucy gained a But I missed him nonetheless. Andwhen Marc's wife Lucy died, I found It didn't help that this was the pound! She seems to be responding to myself shocked by my own intense grimmest "party" I'd ever attended – the powdered echinacea!") and it grief. He'd been my first friend in our an on-line cancer support group. I'd made me angry because I feared what sad little corner of cyberspace.
found the site on the Internet after my was ahead for Lew. I was also impa- dear big brother Lew was diag- tient with those given to today-is-the- The outpouring from the list was nosed in August 1998 with genuine. Someone posted a letter to pancreatic cancer – a aphorisms (Well, yes. Who needs to him. It said: "We really don't even pernicious and par- be reminded under the circum- know what Lucy looked like. I picture stances?) And I had little time for her as blonde, with a sharp nose and people who used brackets and colons fine, long fingers." Marc, who had to make smiley faces at the end of "talked" non-stop, never wrote back.
their messages.
The trouble with virtual communi- I gravitated more toward Jennifer, ties is that they can be deleted.
from San Jose, who faxed me 45 pages I lost my brother in October 1999 of data on a treatment that was about to and left PANC-ONC myself without a come on line. Not to mention Elliot, word. My stranger-friends across the from New York, whose mother was world had helped sustain me through fading. He'd explored all the drug trials a difficult period. There was a com- taking place throughout North Ameri- munity there, for a time. But I let ca and had posted summaries of them them disappear into the ether. I want for us, along with his own thumbs-up to thank them now for being wherever or thumbs-down assessment of their worth. Didn't know him, of course,from Adam. But he wrote with such a
ferraris and
family doctor

By Mary Pat Arnett
many major diseases in-cluding heart disease, cancer, According to a recent poll, and diabetes. Get started on the some 44 per cent of road to good health. Take time away Canadian men agree from the computer and TV and be ac- with the statement "I tive 30-60 minutes every day. Older never ask for help from men need to incorporate more out of protecting your health. Know a doctor unless I am very sick." strength training to combat that loss of what to talk about with your doctor, muscle mass as they age. Eat less As well, 37 per cent said they put know about risk factors for disease meat and more fish, vegetables, fruit off seeing a doctor when they have a and take control of your own health.
and fibre, and talk to your doctor as if medical problem.
he were the mechanic in charge of The Bodyworx: Men's Passport to Heart Disease is Canada's leading your car and its warranty.
Health gives you important informa- case of death and accounts for 37 per tion to ask your doctor, recommends Know the symptoms of heart attack cent of deaths in men each year. Too steps to a healthier lifestyle and pro- and be prepared to get to the nearest often heart disease presents no warn- vides information on health issues emergency department immediately.
ing signs; truly a case of what you pertinent to men. For your free copy In the case of a cardiac emergency, don't know can hurt (and potentially call Ottawa Public Health Informa- early intervention can mean the differ- tion at 580-OPHI (6744) ence between life and death. Calling Men informed about their health 911 or your local emergency number status, such as those who know their for help and starting CPR (cardiopul- Mary Pat Arnett is a Public Health cholesterol level, blood pressure, and monary resuscitation) will increase the Nurse with Ottawa Public Health. about other risk factors for heart dis- chance of survival. CPR is easy to ease, have more control over their learn – encourage your wife, girl- health. Just like taking the car in for friend, children and best friend, get an oil change or 24,000 km checkup, your teammates up to speed and talk to men need to take themselves to the workplace colleagues about taking a doctor's office to make sure every- CPR course. They could save your life.
thing is running smoothly.
The following warning signs of a The lifestyle choices we make play heart attack may be mild or severe: a role in the onset and progression of • Pain – sudden discomfort or pain that may be in the chest, neck, jaw,shoulders, arms or back. It mayfeel like burning, squeezing, heavi-ness or pressure and does not goaway with rest • Shortness of breath or difficulty • Nausea or indigestion • Sweating and cool clammy skin • Fear, anxiety and denial Just like an automobile
Your health is your most prized check-up, you should visit
possession. So make family doctor the doctor regularly to make
visits as much a fixture as football sure everything in your body
and Ferraris and take the guesswork is ‘running smoothly'.
Challenge • Spring/Summer 2005 27
2005 was our most successful telethon yet Thanks to our amazing volunteers, generous donors, community and corporate
partners, and the staff of the Cancer Centre, the 8th Annual Cancer Centre Founda-
tion Telethon was our most successful yet. You donated over $1.9 million that will
have a direct impact on patient care, treatment and research in our community.
Challenge • Spring/Summer 2005 Support Groups and
Cancer Information Services
serving Eastern Ontario
• Purpose: Dedicated to improving diagnosis, "I am not sure how this group works but I know it does. treatment and quality of life to people withVON Hippel-Lindau Disease (VHL) If someone comes in with a particular worry we are • Toll free US Hot Line Support at 1-800-676- able to help them. I know this group has helped me • Contact: Tania Durand @ (613) 622-7976 (during office hours) or email @ [email protected] when I've been worried. It feels comfortable here." – Support Group Participant
Cancer Society Program)
• Purpose: A toll-free telephone support ser- It is well documented that people One of the major benefits is that vice that matches people with cancer and living with cancer benefit enormous- joining a group lessens the isolation caregivers with trained volunteers who have ly from speaking to others in the and anxiety of dealing with cancer.
had a similar experiences.
• Support is usually provided within 48 hours same situation.
Many of the groups raise awareness • Contact: 1-800-263-6750 The support groups listed have all and fundraise for research and ser- Canadian Cancer Society –
been developed to offer patients and vices. This is another way of gaining Cancer Information Service
their families support and information.
control and finding hope.
• Purpose: A nationally bilingual toll-free ser- vice offering comprehensive informationabout cancer and the community resources About Face
available to cancer patents, their families, the • Purpose: To offer support to people with general public and health care professionals.
facial differences.
• No regularly scheduled meetings.
• Provides information about all types of can- cer, from prevention and diagnosis to treat- • Contact: Anne Charbonneau @ (613) 837-7154 ment and supportive care.
• Hours: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. • Contact: 1-888-939-3333 Arnprior & District Breast
Support when it's needed
Cancer Support Group
Candlelighters Childhood
• Purpose: To provide support and encourage- Cancer Trust
ment to breast cancer patients in the Arnprior Breast Cancer Action (BCA)
• Candlelighters is a not-for-profit, volunteer and surrounding area.
• Meet every third Tuesday of the month, 7-9 p.m.
• Purpose: To inform, educate and support organization. Mission: To enhance the lives • Arnprior and District Hospital, John Street, women and men living with breast cancer, of children with cancer and their families their families, and the community. Provides and to promote awareness, understanding • Contact: Elta Watt @ (613) 623-7455 one-on-one peer support.
and education of this devastating illness.
• Support and Resource Centre, 739A Ridge- • Provides young people, and their families, a vari- Barry's Bay Cancer Support Group
wood Ave., Riverside Mall, Ottawa ety of services through three separate programs: • Purpose: A support group offered to patients, • 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. - 5 days a week.
support; education; and public awareness.
families, caregivers and survivors of the • Contact: (613) 736-5921 • Contact: Jocelyn Lamont, Executive Director, Brockville Breast Cancer
• Monthly group meetings, individual support Colorectal Cancer Association of
Canada – Ottawa Support Group
• Contact: Norma or Ralph @ 613-756-2759 • Purpose: To provide support to women, who Bereaved Families of Ontario,
are newly diagnosed with breast cancer.
• Purpose: To provide support and information • Meets the second Thursday of the month, 7-9 p.m.
to those living with colorectal cancer, their • Trinity Anglican Church, George Street (red families, friends & caregivers.
• Purpose: To provide mutual aid/self-help fol- door), Brockville • Meets 2nd Tuesday of each month, 7-9 p.m.
lowing the death of a loved one. Also provides • Contact: Carole @ (613) 923-5017, or email @ • Viewing Room, 2nd Floor, The Palisades, education in anticipatory grief situations.
[email protected] Other contacts are Wendy 480 Metcalfe Street, Ottawa.
• Meets the first Tuesday of each month, 7-9 p.m.
@ (613) 342-5078 or Renee @ (613) 923-5865 • Contact: (613) 839-2075, or the Colorectal • St. Timothy's Presbyterian Church, 2400 Alta Cancer Association of Canada at 1-888-318- The Canadian Thyroid Cancer
Vista Drive (downstairs hall) 9442 (e-mail: [email protected]) (website: • Contact: Hilda @ (613) 567-4278 Support Group (Thry'vors)
Bereaved Families of Ontario,
• Purpose: A small informal group providing Courage Canada – Ottawa Branch
online support, friendship and guidance to Cornwall & Area
• Purpose: A self-help group offered to people thyroid cancer survivors through email with post-radiation treatment.
• Purpose: To provide support, information contact, with occasional meetings.
• Contact: Anne @ (613) 737-7882 and education to families following a death • Provides information, including referral to and/or terminal illness of a loved one.
outside sources, in dealing with diagnosis, Dundas County Hospice
• Bereavement support, groups, telephone help treatment and management of thyroid cancer.
• Purpose: To provides support to anyone with • Contact: Diane Dodd @ (613) 836-3996 or a life-threatening or terminal illness and • Children/Youth programs also available 416-487-8267, ([email protected]) (web- their family/caregivers • Bereavement Support and Resource Centre site: On-line sup- • Bereavement support • 144 Pitt Street, Cornwall, Ontario • Library material for loan • 9-4 p.m. (5 days a week)• Contact: (613) 936-1455, or email at bfcorn- Canadian VHL Family Alliance –
• 4324 Villa Drive, Williamsburg, ON• Contact: Reina DeJong @ (613) 535-2215 [email protected] URL: www.home.coge- Ottawa Area Branch
Continued on page 30 Challenge • Spring/Summer 2005 29
Continued from page 29 Ottawa Hospital – Library
(The) Hospice at May Court
Services – Regional Cancer
Caregiver Support Group
Program Ninon Bourque Patient
Resource Library

• Purpose: Provides a relaxing environment to individuals caring for a loved one who has • Purpose: To provide up-to-date cancer infor- been diagnosed with a life threatening ill- mation to cancer patients and their families, ness. Provides an opportunity to share expe- and members of the general public.
riences with other caregivers in a discussion • Main Level, 503 Smyth Road, Ottawa group or one-on-one.
• Monday - Friday, 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
• Individual support offered by staff and volunteers • Contact: (613) 737-7700, ext. 6980 • Reiki, foot massage, art and resource centre Ottawa Hospital Regional Cancer Centre
• Monthly information sessions presented on Social Work Support Groups
specific topics.
• Purpose: To provide ongoing support groups • Meet every Wednesday evening at the Hos- offered by TOHRCC Social Workers: pice (114 Cameron Ave.) from 7-9 p.m.
1. Adult Brain Tumour Support Group
• Contact: Anne @ (613) 260-2906 (Please (a support group for people with brain tumours, and their family/friends) • NOTE: A PROGRAM GEARED TOWARDS • Meets the first Tuesday of each month, 7-9 p.m.
• Ottawa Citizen Building, 1101 Baxter Road Living with Cancer Support
Marianhill Palliative Care Unit
• Contact: Diane Ford (613) 737-7700 ext.
Group of Brockville
6685; Kathleen Greene (613) 820-4289; • Purpose: This support group offers a continu- Linda Durocher 737-8899, ext. 78053.
• Purpose: A self-help group for people living ity of accessible care with a holistic approach with cancer, their families and friends.
2. CHEO to TOHRCC Bridge Program
which addresses both the spiritual and the • Meets the first Tuesday of the month, 7-9 p.m.
(a monthly orientation workshop for medical needs of people with terminal illness.
• Bridlewood Manor, 1026 Bridlewood Drive, young adult survivors of childhood can- • Three private meeting rooms for confidentiality cer, who are in transition from their pae- • Offers a home-like atmosphere • Contact: Canadian Cancer Society (Unit diatric team to their new adult program) • 600 Cecilia Street, Pembroke, ON Office in Perth) @ 1-800-367-2913, or Betty • This program offers a chance to meet • Contact: Cathy Brennan-Hogaboam @ 613- Gilbert @ 613-342-7609 TOHRCC staff, understand long-term 735-6838 , ext. 316, or you may email Cathy effects of cancer treatments, and meet Living with Cancer Support
@ [email protected] Website: other young adult survivors.
Group of Eganville
• Family members welcome.
Multiple Myeloma Support Group
• Meets first Friday of each month • Purpose: A self-help group for people living • 12 noon to 1 p.m.
with cancer, their families and friends.
• Purpose: A support group for lymphoma • Supportive Care conference room, First • Meets the second Wednesday of the month, 7 p.m.
patients, their families and friends.
floor (behind Module A), General Divi- • Action Centre, 68 Queen Street, Eganville • Share your experiences and learn from others sion, TOHRCC, 503 Smyth Road, Ottawa • Meets the fourth Tuesday of each month • Contact: The Renfrew County Unit of the (excluding December), 4 - 6 p.m.
• Contact: Linda Corsini @ (613) 737- Canadian Cancer Society @ 1-800-255- • The Hospice at MayCourt, 114 Cameron 7700, ext. 6856.
8873, or you may contact Marcia @ 613- Street, Ottawa, ON 3. Coping with Cancer Stress
625-1268 or Helen @ 613-628-3236.
• Contact: Teresa @ 737-0648 or Carol @ (a 4-week classroom style course for men and women with cancer, and their Living with Cancer Support Group of
Mississippi Mills and Carleton Place
Nu-Voice Club of Ottawa
• This course is of particular interest to • Purpose: To meet with fellow laryngectomy • Purpose: Participants in this group will be those patients who are newly diagnosed.
patients to discuss issues of concern and supported and encouraged to work through • Learn methods of coping with the emo- share information.
issues while living with cancer. Sessions will tional aspect of cancer as well as stress • Meets the fourth Wednesday of each month, include topics of interest geared to the par- ticipants, videos, guest speakers, etc.
• Contact: Diane Manii @ (613) 737- • Refreshments provided • The Ottawa Hospital, Civic Campus, Mau- 7700, ext. 6852.
• Meets the fourth Tuesday of the month, 7:15 rice Grimes Lodge, 200 Melrose Avenue, 4th 4. Connextions 18-35
p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
(a monthly support group for cancer pa- • Almonte United Church Parlor, 106 Elgin • Contact: (613) 798-5555, ext. 13416, or by tients age 18 to 35 years of age, who email at [email protected] cope with special problems regarding • Contact: Canadian Cancer Society (Unit Office relationships, self image, education, ca- in Lanark, Leeds and Grenville) 1-800-367-2913 - "Time for Ourselves"
reer and lifestyle changes) or 267-1058, or e:mail @ [email protected] • This support group offers an opportunity • Purpose: A support group that encourages Look Good . Feel Better Program
to meet others, discuss/share experi- the participant to share his/hers concerns and ences and explore coping strategies for • Purpose: A support group for women taking feelings with others.
self and family.
cancer treatment and wanting to know more • Meets every Thursday, 10:30-12 noon • This course is of particular interest to about facial skin care, makeovers and op- • 8th Floor Lounge (Rm 8230), West Lounge, those who are newly diagnosed.
tions for hair loss. Free workshop Contact: Ottawa Hospital, General Campus • Learn methods of coping with the emo- (613) 737-7700, ext. 6455 • Contact: Hilary Graham @ (613) 737-8899, tional aspect of cancer as well as stress • PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED • PLEASE CALL TO REGISTER • Contact: Diane Manii @ (613) 737- • Every second Tuesday of each month, 2-4 p.m.
Ottawa Hospital – Library
• Ottawa Regional Cancer Centre, 503 Smyth Road • REQUIRES PRE-REGISTRATION Services – Regional Cancer
• Every fourth Tuesday of each month, 2-4 p.m.
Program – Beattie Library
5. Family Matters
• Maurice Grimes Lodge, 3rd. Floor, Ottawa (a monthly support group for all persons • Purpose: Although primarily intended for Regional Cancer Centre, 200 Melrose Avenue.
with cancer and the adults close to them) Cancer Centre staff, the Beattie Library is • Learn the impact of cancer on you and Lymphoma Support Group (LSG)
open to patients, healthcare workers in the community, or to anyone who is researching • Purpose: A support group for lymphoma pa- • Learn coping skills cancer information.
tients, their families and friends.
• Meet other families like yours • Beattie Library, 503 Smyth Road, Ottawa • Share your experiences and learn from others • Contact: Linda Corsini (613) 737-7700, • Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 12 noon/1 - 4:30 p.m.
• Meets the first Tuesday of each month • Contact: (613) 737-7700, ext. 6984 • Contact: 224-8509 or 232-7795.
• REQUIRES PRE-REGISTRATION Challenge • Spring/Summer 2005 6. Healing Circles
Prostate Cancer Association of
United Ostomy Association
(a support group for patients undergoing • Purpose: To provide support and education treatment for cancer) to people with ostomies, as well as the pub- • Learn about the mind-body connection • Purpose: Provides support and information, • Learn relaxation and imagery techniques interacts with the health community, co-op- • Meets the third Thursday of every month • Contact: Liane Murphy @ (613) 737- erates with groups having similar interests, (except July and August), 7:30 p.m. - 10 and promotes awareness of prostate cancer.
• REQUIRES PRE-REGISTRATION • Meets the third Thursday of each month, 7-9 p.m.
• Canada Care Medical Centre, 1644 Bank • New members start time is 6:30 p.m.
• St. Stephens Anglican Church Hall, 930 Street (Bank and Heron – behind Canadian 7. Healthy Living for Women with Breast Cancer
(a support group for women with breast • Contact: (613) 828-0762; Website: • Contact: (613) 447-0361 VON Breast Cancer Network
• Meet and receive support from other Reach to Recovery (Canadian
women with breast cancer Cancer Society Program)
• Learn about diet, exercise, Lymphede- • Purpose: To provide emotional and practical • Purpose: To provide information and hold ma, and other issues related to healthy information to women undergoing treatment discussion sessions for cancer patients and of breast cancer.
their loved ones.
• Share wisdom and learn about coping • One-on-one peer support with a trained • Meets every third Thursday of the month, 7 breast cancer survivor • Contact: Michele Holwell @ (613) 737- • Contact: (613) 723-1744 • VON Office, 2nd floor, 205 Amelia Street, • REQUIRES PRE-REGISTRATION Renfrew County Prostate Cancer
• Contact: Stephanie Ruckstuhl, @ (613) 932- 8. Living for Today
(a weekly support group for men and • Purpose: A support group to assist men with VON Prostate Cancer Support
women living with metastatic or recur- prostate cancer and their families and to in- crease their ability to cope with this disease.
• Share thoughts, emotions, information • First Wednesday of the month, 7 p.m.
• Purpose: To provide information and hold and experience.
• Renfrew Victoria Hospital (cafeteria) discussion sessions for cancer patients and • Develop coping strategies for getting the • Contact: (613) 432-6471 or (613) 432-6911 their loved ones.
most out of each day.
• Meets every second Thursday of the month, Renfrew Victoria Hospital
• Contact: Diane Manii @ (613) 737- Cancer Support Service
• VON Office, 2nd floor, 205 Amelia Street, • REQUIRES PRE-REGISTRATION • Purpose: Supportive care assessment for all newly • Contact: Stephanie Ruckstuhl, @ (613) 932- 9. Now What: Life After Cancer
diagnosed cancer patients and their families.
(a 4-week support group for those who • Offering support and teaching with regards have dealt with cancer and have com- to diagnosis and treatment West Quebec Cancer Support
pleted the treatment) • Assistance and referrals for other community Group (Alymer Sector)
• Learning and sharing experiences related • Counselling and support re: living with can- • Purpose: To provide support and encourage- to "getting back to life" after treatment cer and associated fears related to treatment, ment to cancer patients/survivors in West • Dealing with ongoing medical issues recurrence and survivorship Quebec, as well as to provide a forum for • Returning to work and other activities • Contact: Renfrew Victoria Hospital, Oncology discussion. We now have volunteers to pro- • Coping with emotional challenges Clinic, Renfrew Victoria Hospital, 499 Raglan vide one-on-one support for specific types of • Contact: Michele Holwell @ (613) 737- St. N. 613-432-4851, ext. 123 or fax at 613- cancer as well as ongoing support in other 7700, ext. 6188.
• REQUIRES PRE-REGISTRATION • Meets on the first Tuesday of every month, Renfrew Victoria Hospital
10. "What About My Kids?"
(a monthly workshop for parents living Palliative Care Services
• Aylmer United Church (in the parlour), 164 with cancer - both ill and well parent) rue Principale, Aylmer, Quebec.
• Purpose: Multi-disciplined team approach Note: Support persons are all encour- • Contact: 819-682-4453 for people with a terminal illness in a hospi- aged to attend.
tal, community or long-term care facility Willow Breast Cancer Support
• A helpful workshop to consider before • Pain and symptom management, patient and and Resource Services
children and youth attend Kidz Time family consultation and support, scheduled workshop program. (see listing for relief for families and caregivers by trained • Purpose: To provide information, support Youth and Family Circles).
volunteers, grief and bereavement follow-up and networking to those women with breast • Understand affects of cancer on your • Renfrew Victoria Hospital, 499 Raglan • Support from trained volunteers who have • Communicate with your children (big or • Contact: Connie Legg, Palliative Care Coor- experienced breast cancer themselves.
dinator @ 613-432-4851, ext. 217, or fax @: • Contact: 1-888-778-3100; Website: • Resources - when and where to go to get Youth/Pelvic Pouch Group • Purpose: To provide education and emotional • Meet, share wisdom and concerns with support to those who have had pelvic pouch • Purpose: A weekly support group for women or ileostomy surgery, with particular empha- • Contact: Linda Corsini at (613) 737- who are newly diagnosed with breast cancer sis on the problems of the young.
7700, ext. 6856.
(6 weeks in duration) • Contact: Jennifer Bisson @ 839-7424 or • REQUIRES PRE-REGISTRATION • Become a partner in your health care• Develop new coping skills Rachel Seed @ 832-3522.
11. Youth and Family Circles
• Find out about community resources (a monthly workshop for children and • Learn methods of relaxation and imagery youth, ages 8 to 18, who has someone • The Ottawa Regional Women's Breast Health Centre If you would like your Support close to them living with cancer) • Contact: Sabrina Goan @ (613) 798-5555, or Information Group men- • Understand cancer and the changes in tioned in the next edition of • Learn "what/how//where" to obtain as- Sylvia House Hospice Program
Challenge.Life with Cancer • Purpose: To provide in-home volunteer support, • Meet others like you caregiver support and bereavement follow-up.
contact Brenda Moore, Educa- • Learn about cancer and the ORCC • Day Hospice: Meets each Tuesday tion Department, The Ottawa • Meet TOHRCC staff and tour the centre.
• Bells Corners United Church in Nepean • Contact: Linda Corsini @ (613) 737- • 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Hospital Regional Cancer Cen- • No charge for this service.
• Contact: (613) 599-9272 tre at 613-737-7700 ext. 6587. • REQUIRES PRE-REGISTRATION Dr. Hartley Stern, head of The Ottawa Hospital Regional Cancer Centre, is shown here during a surgical procedure. Photo: Jayne Balharrie


Looking after diabetes A guide for patients A Guide to your Diabetes Management During Ramadan A Guide to Your Diabetes Management During Ramadan IntroductionIn the UK there are 2.9 million people diagnosed with diabetes (Diabetes UK 2012). Many of these people are Muslim and will plan to fast during Ramadan.

THE ENTERPRISE EXPLORER Issue 1 – Autumn/Winter 2014 Message from the Chair Surgery Opening . Welcome to the first issue of the Enterprise Practice Patient Group newsletter, which we hope you will find interesting and informative. Our main objective as a Patient Participation Group (PPG) is to enhance services at