The Unexpected Tranquility of Ovarian Cancer
The Teal Diaries
by Jacqueline Chartier
2w ago
When I was younger and healthier, I remember how much I was always in a hurry. I often filled my days with endless commitments, I would typically rush through my day with goals to achieve or promises to keep. Living with cancer has forced me to slow down, it’s taught me to appreciate the quiet, peaceful moments and the simple everyday routines that enrich my life. Canadian singer-songwriter and author, Jann Arden, recently wrote about why she has chosen to slow down and take her life more unhurriedly. She once kept up a frenzied pace of tour dates and other music industry obligations. While A ..read more
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Starting 2024 With Hope and Optimism
The Teal Diaries
by Jacqueline Chartier
1M ago
In my opinion living with cancer is one of the most difficult and brutal things that any person will ever have to face, to have cancer is to live moment by moment and it’s not always easy for us to look toward the future. Still, I feel I’m in a better situation than many because I’ve been in remission for eleven years. My long remission and the fact that my city, Calgary, Alberta, intends to open a new state-of-the-art cancer centre this year has me facing the New Year with hope and optimism. The Arthur J.E. Child Comprehensive Cancer Centre At some point in 2024 I’ll witness the grand openin ..read more
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I Asked My Body What She Needed
The Teal Diaries
by Jacqueline Chartier
3M ago
In my introductory blog post, published more than ten years ago, I familiarized readers with the concept of “embracing the new pretty” in the wake of my uterine and ovarian cancer. Basically, this involved trying to come to terms with the physical changes to my body due to cancer treatments, an issue that almost all women who have had a major cancer diagnosis experience. For many survivors the changes can be profound and emotionally devastating. In the event of uterine or ovarian cancer, transformations to a woman’s body will typically include a permanently and severely scarred abdomen as wel ..read more
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Respecting the Person Behind the Cancer Diagnosis
The Teal Diaries
by Jacqueline Chartier
5M ago
Sometimes the health care system and the medical establishment are especially challenging to our mental health—we are made to feel anonymous and are often reduced to nothing more than numbers or charts, it hurts that we are being robbed of our individualism. I was personally made to feel an acute lack of identity when some nurses and hospital workers didn’t call me by my correct or preferred name. Their error would stem from the fact that I’ve always been called by my legal middle name, and not my first like most people.  Loss of identity is the heart-breaking reality for many cancer pat ..read more
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Temporary and Permanent
The Teal Diaries
by Jacqueline Chartier
6M ago
One of the most heartbreaking lessons that I’ve acquired so far from my cancer journey has been that cancer can result in abandonment. Like the majority of cancer survivors, I’ve experienced the inevitable loss of some of my long-time friends and acquaintances. I’ve gradually been able to accept that these people where not meant to support me or to be with me and that perhaps they lacked the strength or the spirit to remain as I confront the many challenges of ovarian cancer. Indeed, some relationships can’t weather a storm and are only temporary, while others are able to withstand numerous h ..read more
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Another Trip Around the Sun
The Teal Diaries
by Jacqueline Chartier
8M ago
As a cancer survivor I have a tendency to divide my life into two parts—in my mind there’s a well-defined partition, a psychological wall separating before and after ovarian cancer struck me almost 12 years ago. The truth is none of us escape cancer unscathed, it’s a life-changing and life-altering disease. Some cancer patients even describe their experience as being reborn and staring life anew.  Each July as my birthday aproaches I’m grateful to be alive, but also uncomfortably aware that my cancer could easily recur. The reality is that another birthday, another year on this ..read more
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Defeating Cancer Misinformation
The Teal Diaries
by Jacqueline Chartier
10M ago
I know what it’s like to be diagnosed with a terrifying, complex, and potentially life-threatening medical condition — I’m an 11-year survivor of endometrioid adenocarcinoma. When I first learned that cancer had invaded my body, I was shocked and devastated. There was also the concern that as a newly diagnosed patient I had insufficient knowledge about cancer, or more specifically gynecological cancer. I’d never even heard the term endometrioid adenocarcinoma, so I knew next to nothing about my disease or how it would be treated. But then when I struggled on my own to find information or to l ..read more
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Healing Through Words: CanLit and Cancer
The Teal Diaries
by Jacqueline Chartier
11M ago
In my recent blog post Reading Through Cancer, I underscored the importance of books and literature and how these have helped me to cope with my cancer diagnosis. In this post I’d like to celebrate literature that is Canadian, or CanLit for short. I like it when this genre is defined simply: “CanLit is writing by people connected to this country (Canada), by birth or residence, and a dialogue between author and reader.” In my case I think the relationship I have to my country’s literature is quite complex, I’m a Canadian, a woman and a cancer patient. My personal interpretation of C ..read more
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We Can’t Pretend It Didn’t Happen
The Teal Diaries
by Jacqueline Chartier
1y ago
Covid was, and still is, a global tragedy – yet three years into this pandemic I rarely hear people discussing its lasting impact on humanity. It wasn’t long ago that the novel coronavirus and the threat that it posed consumed our daily newscasts, I watched as briefings from government officials occurred almost daily and we cheered for the doctors and nurses working to the point of exhaustion on the front lines. The most important question now is why aren’t we talking about it anymore? On the surface many low risk and younger people have resumed their pre-pandemic lives. In the three years si ..read more
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Cancer and Other Complications
The Teal Diaries
by Jacqueline Chartier
1y ago
As ovarian cancer invaded my body, at one point I was given no alternative other than to live without eating solid food for a month. Although this experience was eleven years ago, it will always remain one of the most vivid and horrible memories from my cancer treatment. Looking back, I’m rather proud of myself and the fact that I accomplished what was necessary to survive. In the end, I was capable of enduring something that not many other people have had to face. How I came to require NPO (the medical abbreviation for nothing by mouth) on my chart for a month is a complicated story, but sti ..read more
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