Wednesday, January 22, 2014


January 2014 marked a grand milestone.

I have probably walked past this sign for the last time. (So I took a commemorative photo. Natch.)

Yes, it's all come full circle. May of 2014 would mark three years since the very beginning, and here I am, a few months shy of that and leaving—for likely the last time—the very genetics department that enabled me to diffuse my cancer bombs.

I was there for my annual breast exam as a part of the Ontario Breast Screening Program, but seeing how the docs involved could easily stick their hand into a box of implants to get an idea of what I'm sporting, well, they've effectively discharged me from the program.

I'm to have my regular physicals through my own doc, perform a cursory sweep monthly that will count as my breast self-exams, and call the genetics department yearly to hear if they've had any new research on my particular variant of the BRCA2 gene mutation.

No more appointments with the genetics department. No more OEBSP exams. No more chatting with genetics counselors and making a game of shocking them with morbid humour...

It's done.

Every step of the way I've encountered quality people—from the genetic counselors, the administration, the surgeons and doctors, the nurses, you name it. Knowing that my relationship of patient care with these people is ending is far more saddening than I'd anticipated.

It's odd to get to the end of an anti-cancer journey and be sad that you've come to its end. Of course I'm glad the procedures were successful—my chances of getting breast cancer are less than any woman walking this earth—but there's a melancholy note to this leavetaking nonetheless.

And of course the last person I say goodbye to is one of the very first I'd met. One who made me welcome and ensured I felt part family and not simply another patient pushed through a gauntlet of medical care.

Shemila, I'll miss you. As always, madam, you are a delight. Thank you.

Thank you, everyone.


  1. Congratulations!! What a wonderful thing to be able to say farewell to it all.

  2. Thanks! I'm rather impressed with how far we've come, even though it's a rather anti-climactic place. :)