And the Call Came

I’ve been waiting for the phone to ring since waking this morning. Shortly after noon, it went off and the display read QEII. This is the call. “Hello, may I speak to Ward O’Hara?” I say, “This is me. I’ve been waiting to hear from you.” At the other end I hear, “This is Anna ….  Read More

First Time at the Pump

This bell sits on the counter of the nurses’ station in the heart of the chemotherapy common clinic on the 11th floor of the Victoria Building in the Victoria General Hospital. Every patient sees it each time they enter the clinic and look forward to enthusiastically ringing it at some time in the future. To ….  Read More

Iron Man Will Glow in the Dark

Hemoglobin Treatment I’m not inclined to display pictures of myself but I’m feeling really good so it just seemed the right thing to do. Yesterday I had a chance to get some flying time in. I’m not sure who snapped this picture but that’s a pretty good side of me. If you read my post ….  Read More

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 expected victims. A sea of beds filled ….  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