My adventures in the lands of Cancer and Switzer.

My name is Nicole, although many people call me Nic. I’m a Canadian expat, living and working Switzerland for the last decade. Moving here with my two amazing kids as a single mom has been quite an adventure. The land of the Swiss is full of wonder and wondering, fascination and frustration, chocolate and cheese, mountains and molehills. Together we have explored Europe, made friends, laughed, cried, yelled, yodeled… And after a few years I met a great Dane, who was here kind of for the same reasons (minus the kids) and  soon, along came our wonderful Danish-Canadian-born-in-Switzerland boy, Elliot.  Raising Elliot, Jesse and Daniel in a trilingual home in a small village on Lac Leman overlooking the Alps has been an adventure in itself, but to make things even more exciting, in September 2011, I noticed a lump on Elliot’s abdomen that led to a rush visit to the pediatrician… Fast forward 8 months as I write this intro, and I have gone from being a soccer-mom to a cancer-mom, and Elliot is doing fine with 5 more rounds of chemo to go. His cancer is a rare form of kidney cancer called Wilms Tumour, and it had spread to his lungs, making it stage 4. He is now in remission, but the treatment’s goal is to cure him.

The cancer world is a strange place, but not always as tragically unhappy as you might think. I certainly knew so little before entering this world, and although I would not wish this on anyone, I am trying to make a reality out of that saying we always hear that “cancer is a gift”. Have to admit I wish I had been given the receipt for this gift, so I could exchange it for, oh, say, a food processor or a pair of socks, but hey, no refunds, no exchanges. So here we go.


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One thought on “My adventures in the lands of Cancer and Switzer.

  1. Dear Nicole
    As you may remember we met a very long time ago. I have kept tabs so to speak on your life and your boys from the family back here in Nova Scotia, mostly from Kenny and Frankie.
    I did not know about your son Elliot. Now I do. I thank you for sharing your story. For most of us it’s terrifying, sad, emotional, and perhaps difficult to fathom a parent and child accepting and then going forward in the treatment and recovery to follow. I feel somewhat closer to you and the whole family by hearing your experiences on your blog. We too had a niece go through a similar experience while only three years old. Childhood leukemia. She survived and went on to live a very full and active life thanks to modern medicine and a very strong and vibrant heart of a child whose only ambitions was to meet another day to see mom and dad … and to play and laugh as other kids do. We want you to know, Brian and I, that our prayers go out to you Nicole and little Elliot. Stay strong and keep your story going. I’m sure it’s strength for others who are about to enter that some road you began eight months ago.
    love to all
    Heather and Brian Peveril

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