Author: Phil O'Hara

Hemoglobin Update

This is just a quick message to let you know that my hemoglobin count this morning was 84 (in the US that would be 8.4). As a reminder, for a man my age it should be between 120 – 140 so it’s still low but not critical. It is critical when below 70. After the ….  Read More

What Goes Around Comes Around

My friends in America might not realize that after 9/11, Canadian Blood Services (CBS) set up extra donation locations from the Pacific coast to my home on the Atlantic coast in Nova Scotia. Along with many colleagues at Dalhousie University, we lined up to donate blood for the victims. A sea of beds filled the ….  Read More

Learning to Live

I’ve used the expression “teachable moments” frequently in the past few weeks. A teachable moment is an unplanned opportunity that arises where a teacher has a chance to offer insight to students. Where I find myself right now is clearly unplanned and I will have some insight to share about my battle with cancer. But ….  Read More

Remarkable cancer Care in Nova Scotia

In the picture to the right is the collection of items I got from the cancer clinic yesterday. For anyone heading into treatment, there is a huge amount of reading material and massive array of support resources available. Perhaps more importantly, there is a common theme throughout all this literature encouraging every patient to take ….  Read More

Radiation Oncology

Educating a Future Cancer Survivor Meet Dr. Raviya Singh and Dr. Helmet Hollenhorst. Today’s session was to educate me about the radiation treatments. The appointment started with a Resident, Dr. Singh. She provided my wife Janet and I with a lot of information. In human-speak, you can find my interpretation of our conversation below. I ….  Read More

In Good Hands

Meet Dr. Alison Wallace, a Thoracic Surgeon at the Queen Elizabeth Health Sciences Centre in Halifax. Today (January 13, 2020), Janet, my sister Mona, and I met with Dr. Wallace to learn more about the status of my cancer and my treatment plan. Last night my good friend Richie texted “How was ya Phil.” He ….  Read More

Hello Bill

“Many people feel that the dimes are a sign of communication from someone that has passed on, letting them know they are not alone. Some other interpretations of finding dimes are: – Someone or something is trying to get your attention. – Guidance or validation that you’re on the right path.” I found the passage ….  Read More

PET Scan

A positron emission tomography (PET) scan is an imaging test that uses a radioactive drug (tracer) to detect disease. In my case, the disease is cancer. The tracer was injected and I spent an hour relaxing which allowed it to circulate via the blood system to tissues throughout my body. The tracer collects in areas ….  Read More

Pulmonary Function Test

Today I had a Pulmonary Function Test (PFT). This is a non-invasive procedure to determine how well my lungs are working. There are four diagnostics: lung capacity lung volume rate of flow gas exchange My place was in the chair shown above, take the tube in my mouth (a sterile mouthpiece that is attached to ….  Read More

Overwhelming Support

Since sharing my upcoming cancer battle, I have been overwhelmed with messages of good will and encouragement. The sign Alexis is holding in the picture reads “We support Phil.” When I saw this posted in Instgram and Facebook, I teared up. This is so special. As well, as a show of support, Alexis shaved his ….  Read More