Sunday, June 22, 2014

Then and Now by Jude Pittman

December 31, 2008, a date I’ll never forget.  My mom, Lillian, my husband John and myself, spent our usual quiet evening watching the ball drop in Times Square – where it’s 2 hours earlier than it is here in Calgary, Alberta. Then off to bed.  I took a quick shower and when I ran the sponge along my left side, I felt something strange on the side of my breast.  

Mom had breast cancer when she was in her early 50’s, so I’d always been aware of the risks, but at 65 I wasn’t really thinking about it too much – or I hadn’t been until I felt that lump.  It was the size of a golf ball, and when John felt the same sized lump, we both knew life was about to change.  Boy did it ever.  By the end of February I was recovering from the surgery that removed my left breast, and in May I started a rigorous round of very aggressive chemo-therapy.

 (Chemo is not glamorous)

Biopsy results had revealed that my cancer was what they call “triple negative” a virulent, fast growing cancer that was very difficult to treat. In fact, if chemo didn’t work there weren’t likely to be any other options.  The good news was that we’d caught it so fast there was no lymph node involvement – a fact that probably saved my life.

I’ve now passed the five year survivor mark, and I’m four years out from having a breast reconstruction – using my own body fat.  I’m one of those who rejects almost anything put onto or into my body that isn’t self-propagated, so an artificial implant was not even to be considered.  We’ll just skip right over that pain and all the nasty little side roads, like stitches that wouldn’t heal and reopening wounds.  The really important thing was I survived and I felt great.  Oh, and I still kept working at my full‑time job as a legal assistant right through it all.  Thanks to the awesome lawyers that I worked for and a husband who took care of anything and everything I needed in order to keep me well.

Fast forward to 2014. Not only am I feeling great, but last month in company with three other awesome women, I’m a proud representative of the Province of Alberta as team provincial ten pin bowling champions.  Considering that five years ago I didn’t expect to ever lift a bowling ball again, this is an amazing experience for me.  I haven’t checked, but at 70 I’m probably one of the oldest 10 pin provincial champions they’ve had, but didn’t want to inquire and draw too much attention to that fact.  I don’t know what the rules are, but wouldn’t want Bowl Canada to decide I was “too old” for the team.

2014 Alberta men’s and women’s provincial ten pin champions.Jude on the far right.

So, as this blog is posted (thanks Jamie) I will be in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan bowling against the other nine provinces for the Canadian National ten pin bowling championship.  Wish me luck, and I’ll be sending Jamie an update.  As long as I play well and don’t let my team down I’ll be smiling like a Cheshire cat just to think what I’ve been able to do in these extra years the Creator saw fit to grant.

Publisher and author

Jude Pittman is part of the publishing team behind the very popular Canadian publisher, Books We Love Ltd.  

Publisher Jude and Marketing Manager Jamie longed to see authors treated like the professionals they were, and after years of acting as promotion agents for a large number of well-known authors, they decided it was time to take Books We Love to the next level.

Both Jude and Jamie are romantic suspense and mystery authors, and they believe in treating authors the way they like to be treated.

Jude's mystery series, Deadly Secrets, Deadly Betrayal and Deadly Consequences (featuring P.I. Kelly McWinter) as well as a special edition, Jude Pittman Triple Threat, have all been published by Books We Love and are currently available at Amazon in electronic or print formats. Jude’s latest work, a novella entitled, Bad Medicine is also available at Amazon.