By Sandy Webb October 27, 2011

Memories come in many different shapes and forms. The things that can trigger a memory are numerous…a smell, a song, a book, a movie or television show and sometimes they just happen. There are childhood memories, high school memories, college memories, early adulthood memories, memories of finding that one true love and memories of your children.

I have lots of TJ memories; we spent 16 years creating memories. No, not all are good memories. It is impossible to put two stubborn, head strong, independent people together and not expect some volatility, but we did love each other very much and I have many more good memories than bad ones.

The memories that hit me the hardest are those that come out of the blue. It is usually a day that I am merrily going along in my new life and BAM! I have a déjà vu moment. The memory coursing through my entire body…I feel it everywhere. Suddenly I can no longer think about anything else, I become almost transfixed, I retreat into my own little world. The memory seems so real, so vivid, TJ is with me…I feel as though I could reach out and touch him. [...] continue the story

Good Enough

AMS – Mimi Divinsky Awards. 2008 award winner Dr. Merrilee Brown reads her story.

These awards honour the late Mimi Divinsky, a family doctor with a special interest in narrative in family medicine.

More from the College of Family Physicians of Canada

Getting Back To ‘Normal’

By Sherry Abbott August 29, 2011

Recently, I’ve been revisiting the findings of our 2010 national survey of women with cancer, and thinking about how so much of what women told us mirrors my own experience. It got me to thinking about the things women with cancer want. Of course, there are things we all want — a self-clean bathroom, the perfect pair of jeans, great boots — but a cancer diagnosis changes everything and suddenly and somehow, for awhile anyway, many of the things we once wanted aren’t very important anymore.

In our survey, women told us that more than anything, they didn’t want the people around them to treat them differently just because they had cancer. I remember very well the overwhelming need for life to be as normal as possible (which was virtually impossible at best) during my cancer journey. For me, this meant getting up every morning and attempting to brush on touch of mood-lifting blush, pencil on some eyebrows, spritz on some of my favourite fragrance and, of course, put on my wig, just so I could start my day feeling a little more like myself. It wasn’t that I looked pretty, but somehow investing the time and [...] continue the story

Centering Ourselves as Patients

AMS – Mimi Divinsky Awards. 2008 award winner Dr. Suzanne Walters reads her story.

These awards honour the late Mimi Divinsky, a family doctor with a special interest in narrative in family medicine.

More from the College of Family Physicians of Canada

Faith Hindering Diabetes Care

dLife investigates how some children have paid the ultimate price for their parents’ religious views.

Ebb & Flow; Storytelling for Cancer Survivors

The idea for this film came out of Mike and Bonnie Lang’s experiences facilitating adventure trips, retreats and conferences with young adult survivors. Through the many conversations and group discussions with survivors, they realized how much each person’s story was able to help others and they were always amazed at the wisdom that came from the sharing those stories. Mike and Bonnie recognized that many young adult survivors didn’t realize they had a profound story or did not know where to start when sharing their story.

The goal of this film is to look at the stories of young adults with cancer using the concrete five phase story structure as the framework. Through the film we hope to encourage survivors to view their lives as epic stories; stories that need to be told to others so that the wisdom gained from the journey will not be lost. We understand that life is complicated and cannot always be categorized into five simple phases, but we think it is a good place to start.

We hope you enjoy the film. Know that your level of connectedness with the film may depend on where you are at in your cancer journey. We encourage you to [...] continue the story

In Rachel’s Own Words…

By Brooke Hasch October 26, 2011

A former world-class ballerina is facing a life and death situation. Rachel Phillips and her husband Steven have ties to the Tri-States, but for the last few years have spent most of their days in a Vermont hospital.

Rachel suffers from a rare degenerative, and in her case, deadly illness.

From the Royal Ballet in London to the Kirav in St. Petersburg Russia, Rachel Phillips has gone toe to toe with some of the world’s best dancers. About three years ago, a life threatening illness stripped her of her ballerina title.

“We met at a conference. This young ballerina did this incredible leap in front of me during a dance presentation, and I couldn’t believe she was off the floor about 50 inches. She landed and turned and smiled at me,” said Steven Phillips, her husband of 13 years.

Three years ago, Rachel began suffering from a constant headache, unbearable aches and pains throughout her entire body and cough that wouldn’t stop.

“I’ve seen her cough for 3-days straight, night and day. Nobody could explain it, and finally we began seeing specialists to tell us what the problem was,” said Steven Phillips.

Doctors diagnosed Rachel with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, or EDS. It’s a [...] continue the story

Janice Dean Speaks on Living with Multiple Sclerosis

Janice Dean goes public with her MS on Fox & Friends.

March 9, 2008

What it’s like having MS

Everyone with MS goes through different things, this is an explanation of what I go through, and maybe to show you what many others go through also?

February 24, 2007

Multiple Sclerosis: It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint

“Multiple Sclerosis: It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint,” is a short film following Sarah Mead, winner of the Real MS: Your Story competition, as she prepares for the 2010 London Marathon.

February 2, 2011