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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