Peter – More on Dear Lois

I want to thank everyone who read my latest column and gracefully ignored the several egregious punctuation errors I made. In my defense, I was typing in a hurry, with a Cat on my lap. I sent it to some of my relatives, so many in fact that Facebook thought I was spamming and kicked me out! If you’re reading this and you like it, follow the instructions to follow us. We have some damned fine writers on this blog, and your eyes and ears will thank you!

Lois is dealing with her cancer diagnosis with a courage which I am completely in awe of. I have been by her side as much as possible, between that and looking after our two Cats. I apologize for not getting out and about to see shows lately, but frankly I come home and just crash from stress and exhaustion. I’ve recently missed some great shows including Blackdog Ballroom and Nikki’s Wives. I post a daily update of her on Facebook and show her the results. It cheers her up so very much.

Lois is the most loveable person I know a). She is so undemanding that all the hospital staff are happy to be assigned to her room. She did complain  to me about the bland hospital food, but I am sneaking in contraband, much like James Garner’s character in “The Great Escape”. ( It is my pious hope that the hospital doesn’t have a Facebook page. ) Thank you all for your good wishes and positive thoughts, they really do mean a great deal.

Now I’m going to write about Lois’ earlier health issues, because I think that this needs to be written, this story needs to be told, because we’ve all had someone close die from cancer or are currently battling the fucking disease.

Lois was on holidays in late 2015 when she observed something irregular about her body. She called her doctor to set up an appointment. In the meantime, she had an appointment at the pain clinic at St Mike’s on January 12, 2016. I went with her. She complained of chest pain and mentioned it to the nurse, who promptly ran us down to Emergency.

A Stent

She had had a heart attack, they put a stent in and kept her hospitalized for a few days. Proof of how thin the wire we walk on in Life is, I said to her later “If that had happened the day before, you’d have woken up with a chest pain, taken a couple of Tylenol, gone back to bed and probably never woken up again.”

Some time later, she went to see a different doctor about what she had discovered towards the end of 2015. It turned out that she had an aggressive cancer, which they had discovered relatively early. She underwent a robotic hysterectomy on May 27, 2016.I was there ….and I cried. She was assigned a course of radiation therapy, which began the week after I retired, so I was able to attend all of her sessions.

When you’re in a situation like that, you think you’re alone.

You’re not! So many people for me to bless during this wild ride. The doctors answered all our questions in plain English and never once treated a question as a “stupid question”. The hospital support staff are so kind b). The Canadian Cancer Society is so good at arranging volunteer drivers.

c). Even the other cancer patients are awesome. The first time we went for radiation therapy, it must not have hard to pick us out. A couple were leaving and the female came over and squeezed Lois’s shoulder. She said “Don’t worry, you’ll be old pros at this very shortly!” I regret not getting your name, but ma’am, you made a huge difference in the midst of a very scary time for us both.

And my buds in the world of indie rock! Your genuine concern has really helped as we face these uncertain times. I especially want to mention a friend who went above and beyond, not for praise, but because helping out was the right thing to do. I find that I have to frequently use the word “humbling” to describe having you all as friends.

Lois did her bouts of radiation therapy like the champion she is, and they ended on Reg’s birthday. One day she wasn’t feeling well, so she called in to postpone her treatment by one day. She got off the phone, saw me chuckling and asked what was up. I replied, “Do you realize what you just did? You called the hospital and told them that you were too sick to go there today!” She chuckled.

She has been to a number of doctor’s appointments since then. I promised her at the beginning that she would never leave an important doctor’s appointment and walk out into a waiting room full of strangers. I go with her, and if I can, I go right into the appointment. I act as her eyes and ears and fill in the blanks where necessary. One time, her doctor asked if she had had any other medical procedures. Lois said “No”, but I reminded her of her hysterectomy. The doctor said “That’s a medical procedure!”, so I scraped my chair, reminding the good doctor that Lois was not only a little stressed out, but that Lois was not alone in the room.

The doctor asked when the hysterectomy had been performed. I replied with certainty “May 27, 2016.”

When we left the appointment, Lois looked suspiciously at me and asked “Is that an aircraft date?” Looking hurt, I replied that it was the birthdays of both my nephew David and my sister Elizabeth. d)

So we press on. The courage that Lois displays on a daily basis leaves me in awe. No other way I can describe it. I’ve tried, without success.

Next week I’ll write about Canadian Music Week.

See you soon.

  1. a) Anyone in my circle of friends who knows her loves her. Anyone in my circle of friends who doesn’t know her loves her because I love her.
  2. b) My love for my dear Lois swelled when I was at her bedside and a nurse asked her what she liked to be called. She replied simply “Lois”.
  3. c) They always show up on time. On one occasion, Lois asked one of them why they volunteered. He replied “I just like to help people.”
  4. d) I neglected, in the interests of self preservation, to tell her that it was also the date of the first flight of the McDonnell Phantom II, Mrs Montreuil’s little’s boy’s favourite aircraft.


4 Responses to “Peter – More on Dear Lois”

  1. Roxanne Tellier Says:

    we’re all pulling for the both of you, Peter! 😉

  2. Nancy Bradd Says:

    Wow Peter, I am in tears, both sad and happy …Lois is for sure an amazing and wonderful gal 🙂 I pray at the end of the day she gets better and if should I ever face this battle she is fighting that I am as strong and brave as she has been! Of course, having your love and support from you, Coco and Reginald the Majestic in her court has helped tremendously!

    I pray the rest of her journey goes smoothly for her, and you! I cant believe we communicate more now than ever in high school …I wonder if Steve Taylor see this as I think he would enjoy your articles and stories. Will ask him next time we speak 🙂

    Happy Easter weekend to both you and Lois 🙂

    p.s. quite an effort to type with your right arm in a cast..but I have learned we are stronger and more resilient than we know until put to the task 🙂

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