Michelle Burke:  

Halifax, NS
Cincinnati, OH
Halifax, NS
St. Pius XClass of 1977
St. john's, NF
Xenia, OH

Michelle's Story

Life sure can change. My husband, Marc, passed away (age 52), Sept.13 after being diagnosed April 17, 2012 with metasis to the brain of stage 4 adenocarinoma (lung cancer). We were together 26 years, married only 3 years ago ( we had to be sure, ha,ha). We met in Halifax (going to Dal and working for Angus Reid, the pollster), and moved in together only 2 weeks after we met...but it felt right and we were each other's best friend. We lived in Montreal and later in Ottawa, where we both worked for the Federal gov't but more than 16 years ago with Marc's support, I switched careers and became an elementary school teacher. Now, I'm figuring out my new life. Lot's of learning and new experiences. I miss my Marc very terribly sometimes, but I do realize I have been very fortunate in many, many ways. We had many rich and full memories and we learned a lot from each other. We both have known true deep faithful love for so any years. And both fought very courageously to continue our lives together. There were very, very few clear signs of his illness... He walked 5k to and from work and was still doing the New York Times crossword in early March 2012 (even with a gigantic tumour in his both hemispheres of his frontal lobe), the only thing I can suggest is: 1) please ask for chest X-ray if you are diagnosed with wa...Expand for more
lking pneumonia or bronchitis (Marc had both of these in the last 10 years...but hey what do expect if you live with a grade school teacher, maybe the cancer which was on the outside of his lung would have been seen much earlier), 2) be ware of changes - Marc's eyesight seemed a bit wonky...we thought it was a problem with his adjusting to bi-focals/progressives for the last few years (in Jan. his optometrist said his sight was fine, but had we seen a optamalogist then may be the cancer would have been caught in time), in late 2011, he started having headaches regularly and went to see his GP, who thought it was hereditary as his mom suffered from migraines, and finally, if someone starts having difficulty eating and finds they are beginning to wretch (with or without vomiting), this could be a sign of brain distress/swelling or a brain tumour (the office admistrator at the school where I work mentioned to me about her daughter being misdiagnosed from the vomiting/wretching as anorexia nervousa and that she had had a very complicated benign brain tumour). So now I'm taking some time off school to become more acquainted with who I am now. I love to be active from badminton, volleyball, a little yoga and even some golf, and to travel and cook. I will stay in Ottawa, and return to teaching probably in Sept. 2013.
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