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Tonight we celebrated Sean’s birthday in a traditionally nontraditional way. Greek food. For a man who didn’t like to profess to having favourites, this was something he enjoyed immensely as a family in those moments when he wanted to celebrate a victory or to even embrace a defeat. He would have been 42 today. It’s a far out emotion. Unlike my shallow self, he loved birthdays and the entering into a new year of life. I panic with birthdays. I panic with the inevitable process of aging. But 42. I think of the dreams he had and the visions, the endless vision he had for our family, for our community, for the church, and for every person he befriended. It was nonstop…and it is mind blowing how that the vision has stopped in time- to some degree- when he died at 40. Life has continued to move forward, of course, and I do believe we are beginning to learn the rhythm to this unfamiliar tune. Tonight after putting the kids to bed, I saw that it was only River who drew pictures in the birthday journal we made for Sean last year. Nola said earlier she wasn’t ready to write in it and Memphis, well, he’s a thinker. I don’t want to put pressure on the kids to have to do anything. I want to leave this journal as mere option- write it or not. Be free. My heart broke for River, though. He was quite young when Sean was diagnosed and really witnessed a lot of the gruesomeness sickness does to one’s well being. He missed out on a lot of the fun things his dad did or at least would have remembered him doing. To have been a 4 year old with a dad too sick to play or to go on adventures with, he seems to have this unspeakable grace for the whole thing. Does he not remember how horrible it was? Or perhaps he only remembers how loved he was by his dad and those other things don’t really matter to his young heart. I am not sure. For this Dennis the Menace meets Tom Sawyer boy, there is a kindness and an inner strength I pray continues to grow and develop with whatever diversity comes his way. God I pray he would remain grounded in the solidness only love truly can instil.

Family Life Personal

Ash Monday.

I remember November 18th well. It was a Friday and I went to a cremation place to pick my husband’s ashes. I remember what I was wearing. The weather. Who I was with. I remember I did not drive. My friend Lizzie was my chauffeur for two weeks after his death. After we picked him up, we went for pizza. The day before I had shopped for the outfit I would wear to his funeral. When I got home, because my house was in the process of being absolutely renovated, Sean’s dream, I put his ashes in a storage place in our basement and didn’t look back. And I hadn’t looked back at that white linen bag with the cardboard box containing the urn with his ashes in it so carefully placed, since then. Until yesterday.

Yesterday morning, I woke up before six, went into the basement, removed Lacrosse sticks and school projects from the hiding void. I grabbed the white bag and the weight of it all surprised me. I remembered the great details of our waiter and the exact lunch and beverages Tiffany, Lizzie, and I shared that day in November, but the weight of these ashes? No. I was surprised how heavy they were while putting them in the trunk of my vehicle. I knew Monday the 21st of August, I had to spread his ashes. It was time and it was what I had told him. August. It was in August we had difficult conversations last year about where he would love to be and it was always in August we would be together as a family enjoying our favourite place to rest.

My hands shook uncontrollably as I really faced the box for the first time. I cut through the tape with the scissors and had to break to stare in awe of my hands trembling. I walked away for a moment to collect my thoughts and pray under my breath…It was time. I didn’t want to deal with it, I really didn’t, but I had to. This is how life is sometimes. There are moments when we just have to seize it and not refuse or run from it. Death is the only guarantee we have in this life. No escape. No denial. Only acceptance. I just didn’t know that I would be doing this at 38, that’s all. However, like his death, this day now too has sealed us. A connection that is beyond tangible. A marking, an awareness, and a depth that only death, tragedy or even trauma brings. I don’t walk this journey alone. I know that. I have not once thought it. Can everyone relate to it? No. But that is okay. I don’t need that, what I need is presence, and sometimes that is all anyone really needs.

Blog Life My Story Update

Almost One Year Later

I can remember a time when I didn’t think this day was possible. Tomorrow marks one year since our lives were radically altered. That day is still so vivid in my memory banks! I find it somewhat difficult to articulate the range of emotions and feelings I experienced that day! If there was just one – I would say anger!

My anger was directed at myself and God! How could He allow something like this to happen? Doesn’t He know who I am? After some time, the anger I felt was now directed at myself. How could I allow this to happen? Why didn’t I act sooner? Why did I eat so horribly? On and on it goes.

If I was honest – I would say that the anger is still there – but not to the degree that it once was. Nobody wants to live with cancer. It is such an unwanted houseguest. It barged into our lives without any announcement and it moved right in. Everyday since the diagnosis I have been doing what I can to evict this horrible disease!

Throughout this year I (and my family) have experienced many highs and lows. We have felt the incredible love and support from so many! Our family and close friends have been amazing! Even complete strangers have embraced us! It has truly been a difficult, yet life changing experience!

There are not enough words to describe the support we have been shown. It has been overwhelming at times, but it is just what we have needed. We have also experienced heart ache through this experience. We have suffered loss, but sometimes in life ‘things’ need to die in order to usher in new life. We have learnt so much through this process which we hope to share with anyone who wants to listen.

This journey is far from over, and I am ok with that. Obviously I have my days and I wish things were different, but I know there is a bigger picture to view. We take each day that we have and try to make the most of it! No matter what – our hope lies in Him!


The Truth About Cancer

Nearly a year ago I was introduced to a powerful web series called, The Truth About Cancer. This is a 9 episode documentary which you can watch all 9 videos below. I hope you enjoy, and I would love to hear your thoughts.


The Cost of Cancer

Let’s just say it isn’t cheap.

Lately, I have been searching Google for some financial help, but to no avail. It amazes me that there isn’t much out there when it comes to assistance with dealing with cancer from a natural perspective.

Befor I continue any further, I want you to know this post is not meant to be taken as a complaint, or am I wanting anyone to feel sorry for us. We made this decision! This is a post about the path we have decided to go down regarding the treatments I undergo for Stage 4 Colon cancer. We hope this will also serve as a help for those who may be seeking information or guidance.

Since July, 24, my treatments have cost nearly $90K. Yes, you read that right. Ninety thousand dollars, and we are not done yet.

It’s hard to wrap my mind around that number – especially knowing that 60% of that money has been given to us through incredible, loving, and generous people. When this journey first started we had absolutely no idea where the finances where going to come from, but we trusted God. It hasn’t been easy, but He has been faithful.

In my search of help, it has been very difficult to find any. What makes it even more frustrating is the lack of options we have when it comes to cancer treatment. Why aren’t there grants for those who decide to go in a different direction when it comes to their personal choice for medical treatment?

Watch this video from the CBC about the Cancer Society spending more on fundraising than on research.

Anyways, I hope to meet with some local MLA’s soon to discuss the possibility for possible financial help. Not just for our family, but for the countless families that have chosen a similar path as us. The reality is, naturopathic treatments are gaining momentum amongst the general public as a viable option to treat their disease/symptoms.

Besides the weekly expenses for my treatments – we still have a life to live. A mortgage (we even had to remortgage recently), daily bills, groceries, school, and everything else that pertains to life. It can feel like we our drowning at times as the debt rises. As overwhelming as it gets sometimes we wouldn’t change anything. We are constantly thinking of new ways to generate an extra income to help cover the ongoing costs of my treatments (if you have any ideas, let me know.)

So, if you are considering naturopathic type treatments to treat something you are dealing with, here are a couple of things you should know:

1. It’s not cheap.
2. It’s a marathon, not a 100m dash.
3. They are not popular.
4. They work!

What would you do?