No one hands you an instructional manual when you are diagnosed with cancer. Yes, sure, doctors do their best to prepare you for the upcoming battle, but nothing can fully prepare you physically, spiritually, and especially mentally for what you are about to face. You can read books, ask questions, watch testimonials, and do whatever else you would like to do, it still won’t be enough to fully prepare yourself and your family. This isn’t a 100 metre sprint. This a life marathon we are now running.
I have written many times in the past about this journey being a bit of a roller coaster ride. I’m not a fan of roller coasters. I have been on a few in my lifetime, but you won’t see me running to stand in line for a ride. The last few days have felt like a horrible, roller coaster ride, and all I want to do is get off.
I know all of this will pass, but the toll it takes on you can be overwhelming at times. For me, the battle is always in my mind! Even earlier today, I envisioned myself waving a white flag. I felt like I had come to the end of my rope today. I had no energy, and my body has been aching for a couple of days. I had let my thoughts get the better of me. When you allow your thoughts to run rampant, you are headed for a world of trouble. Trust me. I know.
It is a constant fight to remain optimistic, but fight I will! You can count on it.
As my mother Patricia would always say,
“Don’t worry, this too shall pass!”
Have you ever had an uninvited guest show up at your door? What do you do? Do you let them in or do you make some sort of excuse and close the door? Well, recently I had a visitor knocking at my door. It happens sometimes. Sadness, depression, anger, on and on it goes. They want you to come out and play with them. Or better yet, invite them in and let them get comfortable. No. Donâ€™t do it. It isnâ€™t worth it. Yeah but! No. Shut the door! I canâ€™t. â€œThey look so lonely outside,â€ you say to yourself. â€œJust for tonight.â€ â€œI will tell them to leave tomorrow.â€ You donâ€™t though. They move right on in and make themselves at home. Sadness tried to do this to me the other day. She kept knocking on my door. She was relentless. I got up off the couch and inched closer to the door. Her knocking became increasingly loud and forceful. I reached for the knob of the door to let her in. I couldnâ€™t take it any longer. She needed to come in and rest for a while. I welcomed her in as if she was family. She brought with her a dampness, that filled the room. At first I embraced it, but after a while it became too much for me to bear.
I needed her to leave. Immediately. She wasnâ€™t welcomed any longer. I wanted her out. I asked her to leave, but she wouldnâ€™t. She was cunning. She knew what to say to me, but I needed to resist her temptation. I asked her again to leave. This time with a little more authority. She realized I was serious and got up immediately. I told her she wasnâ€™t welcomed here any longer and not to ever come back. She turned and walked towards the door. I opened it for her. She paused and reached for my hand, but I brushed her away. â€œGet out!â€ I said and she walked out the door.
I am thankful that I didnâ€™t allow sadness to stay too long. I find it hard sometimes though to ask her to leave. I donâ€™t know about you, but I can enjoy her company from time to time. I know I shouldnâ€™t make friends with her, but she can be quite enticing at times. I am so very grateful for a wife and friends who constantly encourage me to keep my head up and keep fighting. Who help me close the door on sadness when I may not be strong enough to do it. So when sadness or â€˜whateverâ€™ comes knocking on your door, donâ€™t answer it. Tell it to get off your property immediately. Youâ€™ll be better off.
Humans are incredible! Have you ever stopped and thought for a minute or two just how awesome we really are? Stay with me for a second. I am well aware that in this world there have been inconceivable and horrible atrocities carried out by humans over the years, but let us not focus on them. Rather, let us fix our attention on all the incredible humans who have made this world a better place.
As I sit in treatments 16 hours a week, I have had the pleasure of meeting some incredible people. People who are fighting for their lives on a daily basis. These individuals are not alone. Behind each one of them are families, friends, and support groups who are willing to do whatever it takes to see their loved ones become well. Recently, I have had the pleasure to meet two extraordinary men who are up against some pretty big odds.
Stan (not his real name) has been diagnosed with brain cancer and just had a tumour the size of a medium orange removed from his brain. He is a fascinating man. He is optimistic that he will beat his diagnosis. He has made some drastic changes in his life to give himself the best chance to live. He has a very loving and supportive wife who is with him every treatment. Remember, we are here 16 hours a week, working at getting healthy. It is so encouraging to see and hear the love and the support they have for one another. Stan is one incredible human!
Pete (not his real name) has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. His story is very raw, and powerful. He is an older gentleman who was recently married. While away on his honeymoon, he became ill. When they arrived back, he made a doctors appointment to see what was the problem. After some testing, it was confirmed he had cancer of the pancreas. He had been given only months to live. What makes this story heart breaking, is that this is his wifeâ€™s second marriage and her first husband passed away because of cancer. Obviously, she is devastated about the news of her husband, and I think Pete is hurting deeply for his wife as they walk through this difficult season. You can see the pain on his face and the hopelessness in his voice when he speaks. Although they face this difficult time, they remain vigilant, and are doing all that they can to give him the best chance at life. Pete and his family are incredible humans!
What about you? Do you know any incredible humans? I would love to hear about them.
Last night I took my sons, Memphis and River to their very first NHL game. It was a pretty big deal! Memphis is the biggest sports fan out of the two of them, but they both had a fantastic time! It was so satisfying watching them react to everything. It was priceless. We created so many memories last night and that’s what I keep on planning to do with my wife and kids. Here are a few photos from the game last night.
It has been quite some time since I last wrote an entry. So much has transpired since I last wrote anything I almost don’t know where to begin. Every day I continue to regain my strength (mental & physical) and appetite. It feels amazing as I begin to get back to ‘normal’ again. I am getting into a routine with all my treatments, but it is crazy busy. It is a full time job and then some getting healthy. To date, this is what I am doing in regards to my naturopathic treatments on a weekly basis. I spend 4 hours a day Monday to Thursday doing a lymphatic detox. I do Vitamin C IV therapy twice a week and they may increase in the coming weeks. The final treatment I have is every other week. I do a local regional heat therapy. You can read more about it here.
Our family has been overwhelmed by the ongoing love and support we have been shown. We are blown away everyday by the tangible ways people are loving on us. We also feel carried and supported by your prayers and warm wishes. Please continue to pray for us as we battle on.
I have been really encouraged by getting back to Alexander Elementary. I have been a volunteer at this amazing school for a couple of years now and it has been an real honour to walk beside some amazing people. I am very excited to get back there on a regular basis. We are planning some fun events over the Christmas time, so stay tuned for more updates.