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Blog Family Life My Story Update

Thank You

Sometimes these two words just don’t seem to be enough when trying to convey your heart on a specific matter.

Often, our words are inadequate to describe how we feel about a particular person or thing.

Over the past 9 months, our family has been loved, supported, and cared for by so many people. Our families, friends, acquaintances, our kid’s school, church family, and even complete strangers have gone out of there way to help us during this time. It has been overwhelming and quite humbling to experience such generosity!

From the new back to school clothes in September, to the numerous gift cards we have received – they are all greatly appreciated! All the cards, phone calls, and text messages we have received have helped profoundly with remaining positive during this time.

You just never know when your words may bring healing into someone’s life.

It is stressful enough having to deal with cancer, let alone everything else that happens on a daily basis. Paying bills, finances, working, getting the kids to and from school, appointments, enemas, treatments, watching our kids, and everything else that happens can be somewhat taxing. It is obvious to me that wouldn’t be able to do what we are doing even if we didn’t have the support from so many people!

So, THANK YOU!

Love,

the Sabourin’s




Journey Life Update

de·pres·sion

dəˈpreSH(ə)n/
noun
1. 
feelings of severe despondency and dejection.”self-doubt creeps in and that swiftly turns to depression. 

Have you ever been there?

Depressed.
Alone.
Isolated.
Hopeless.

I can remember a time in my life when I actually thought I was untouchable. There was no way a guy like me would ever struggle with depression or be diagnosed with cancer. It was just not possible… or so I thought.

It’s hard to admit our weaknesses. We don’t want people to see us for who we really are:
Broken (but not in a bad way.
Messy.
Needy.
Scared.
Lonely.

Jamie has struggled in the past with depression. She talks very candidly about it, and how God has brought healing to her life. Does depression try and wrap it’s coils around her every once and a while? You’re darn right it does! But she keeps fighting! We have had many interesting, and difficult conversations on this topic throughout our marriage. In the past it was a topic I struggled to identify with as depression wasn’t something I had experienced before.

That all changed recently…

I don’t know the exact date when it started, but it was like wearing a 250 pound soaking wet wool blanket everyday. It was horrible. I had absolutely no motivation, and my outlook on life had become pretty bleak. Depression had moved into my life.

One hour would be long enough – let alone having to live with depression for a month or two. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like if it was a life long battle. My heart goes out to those who constantly and consistently battle depression. No one should have to ‘do life’ alone, but that’s what depression does – it separates and isolates.

Talking about it was the last thing I wanted to do.

Thankfully it didn’t last long. I didn’t have to take any medicine for it, or didn’t see a doctor about it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking out help. For me, it was like someone had removed the soaking wet, wool blanket from me. It feels like I can finally stand up straight. I am motivated to get back into the swing of things, and my outlook began to change. My heart is full of vision again!

It’s only been a few weeks now since I started feeling better, but I am SO thankful for His grace & mercy!










Health Journey Update

Getting Over My Fear Of Food

There once was a time in my life (only 9 months ago) when I paid absolutely no attention to what foods I was eating. I grew up in a home that taught the importance of the four major food groups, but didn’t really follow the guide to nutrition. As all parents I am sure, mine did the best they could with what they knew. It’s the same for all of us.

We only know, what we only know.

I have been married to my wife for 11 years now. Even when we were dating, Jamie would talk about the importance of eating healthy, and paying attention to what we put in our bodies. I unfortunately never listened – until now. I am thankful for all the learning we have been doing. I was such a lazy person before. I didn’t care, or have a clue where my food came from. All that mattered to me was that it tasted good. When I look back on my life – food had become an addiction – it literally became a cancer.

Since the diagnosis, we have learned, and digested an incredible amount of information. My brain still hurts from all the reading, watching we do. It’s been good though. One area we have spent a lot of time learning about is nutrition. Not the nutrition classes we had when we were in grade school, but fascinating and complex truths about the importance of nutrition in our lives. Unfortunately, myself and countless others have ignored this aspect of truth for far too long, but thankfully it is never too late to start learning.

I immediately cut everything out of my life. No meat. No diary. No sugar. Everything I knew about food crumbled before my eyes. Life was about to take a drastic change. Drastic times call for drastic measures don’t they? So, basically I lived on juice for the first 4 months after the diagnosis. Secretly, I had become afraid of food. I thought that whatever I put in my mouth could have the potential of causing more cancer. The mind plays crazy tricks on you when you filled with poison from the chemo. I wanted nothing to do with food. It had become my enemy. It was responsible for my cancer. Now this was how I used to think (kind of). Let me explain…

Opinions are like belly buttons – everyone has one.

I have no concrete evidence on the cause of my cancer. Just an opinion.

I don’t think anyone is the absolute authority on how and why certain cancers form or when, where, and in whom they do. Cancer seems to be quite mysterious to some, and to others – the cause of cancer(s) is pretty obvious. I am more of the mind set that believes many of the leading causes of cancer are found in the foods we eat, beverages we drink, and numerous everyday chemical invested household items that are stored in our cabinets. This is just one part of the problem. There are other reasons why people develop cancer. Family genetics, our living conditions, the environment, did we or do we smoke, health, nutrition – the list goes on and on. All of these, and more, are factors which contribute to the possibility of one developing cancer. We obviously don’t have the time to unpack each one of these subjects.

Hear me out… I’m not a radical. All I am saying is that I think it is important that we should spend some time educating ourselves. Start somewhere. There is so much to learn, so don’t get overwhelmed. Find trusted resources to educate yourself with. Ask questions. For me, as I became more aware of what I ate – I slowly became less afraid of what I eat. I still have my days, but they are few and far between. I have developed a desire to become more informed of my food. Where it comes from. How it is processed…which we don’t really want to eat processed food, mind you, the conditions it is grown in. For far too long I have lived with my head in the sand. I am thankful I have finally taken it out.

I want ‘food to be my medicine’ (Hippocrates), not be the cause of my death.




Blog Journey Life Update

9 Months

It seems like we have been doing a lot of celebrating around the Sabourin household as of late.

My birthday in January.

Nola’s birthday in February.

Memphis’s birthday in March.

Our Anniversary just yesterday.

And now…

Well, today it has been 9 months since the diagnosis.

That’s a big deal to our little family!

We are so thankful for everyday. We are grateful for all the love, and support we have been shown since day 1 – it has been overwhelming at times. We honestly believe God is answering your prayers, and ours. Stop please keep praying!

The Bible tells us to: “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12)

I love that!

We need to make each day count!

Live life to the fullest – whatever that looks like for you.

I have been learning about how to make each day count through this journey. To be honest, I never really paid attention before.

So…

I have been alive 14,655 days today – how old are you? Let’s start making each day count!




Health Journey Life Update

More Tough Words & Some Statistics

It is amazing to read statistics about how many people are affected by cancer. The unfortunate reality is these numbers are not accurate. What do I mean? Cancer doesn’t just affect the individual – it affects everyone and everything connected to, and attached to that individual. Maybe you have read some of the previous posts where I share about some of the struggles we face with my diagnosis? If not, you can read them here and here.

The other day, I experienced another tough moment with Nola. Don’t get me wrong – there are a lot of great things happening in our life – but this is a fresh memory I wanted to write about. Nola had soccer practice the other day, but she didn’t feel comfortable with me taking her. I was in the bathroom when I overheard her say – “Mommy, I just feel more comfortable with you.” “I don’t want dad taking me because I’m afraid he may pass out again.”

Those words cut like a knife.

She doesn’t know I heard her either. I just laid there on the bathroom floor – crushed!

I don’t blame her. She has every right to be scared after witnessing her father pass out in the middle of Castle Fun Park. It is just difficult as her dad to see her struggle like this. It just seems so unfair. It breaks my heart to know that she is scared to be alone with me. I know it won’t be like this forever, it’s just tough seeing you kids trying to make sense of everything. She is 9, and none of this makes sense to her or her brothers.

Cancer doesn’t just affect the individual – it reaches into, and affects everyone and everything that is attached to the individual.

Below is some information I found from the cancer.ca website.

Cancer Statistics At A Glance
Cancer statistics tell us how many people in Canada are diagnosed with and die from cancer each year. They show us the trends in new cases and cancer deaths. Cancer statistics also tell us the likelihood of surviving a cancer diagnosis and the number of people who are alive after a cancer diagnosis.

Canadian provinces and territories collect data on cancer cases and cancer deaths. These data are combined to provide a picture of the impact of cancer for all of Canada.

Incidence and mortality
Incidence is the total number of new cases of cancer. Mortality is the number of deaths due to cancer. To provide the most current cancer statistics, researchers use statistical methods to estimate the number of new cancer cases and deaths until actual data become available.

An estimated 196,900 new cases of cancer and 78,000 deaths from cancer will occur in Canada in 2015. (The number of estimated new cases does not include 78,300 new non-melanoma skin cancer cases.)

Cancer is the leading cause of death in Canada and is responsible for 30% of all deaths.

Note: The total of all deaths in 2011 in Canada was 242,074. Adapted from: Statistics Canada. Leading causes of deaths in Canada, 2011, CANSIM Table 102-0522

It is estimated that in 2015:
* 100,500 Canadian men will be diagnosed with cancer and 41,000 men will die from cancer.
* 96,400 Canadian women will be diagnosed with cancer and 37,000 women will die from cancer.
* On average, 539 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer every day.
* On average, 214 Canadians will die from cancer every day.

Lung, breast, colorectal and prostate cancer are the most common types of cancer in Canada (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer). Based on 2015 estimates:

* These cancers account for over half (51%) of all new cancer cases.
* Prostate cancer accounts for about one-quarter (24%) of all new cancer cases in men.
* Lung cancer accounts for 14% of all new cases of cancer.
* Breast cancer accounts for about one-quarter (26%) of all new cancer cases in women.
* Colorectal cancer accounts for 13% of all new cancer cases.

Trends in Cancer Rates
Cancer is a disease that mostly affects Canadians aged 50 and older, but it can occur at any age.

Across Canada, cancer incidence rates vary because of differences in the type of population, risk factors (including risk behaviours) and early detection practices. Similarly, rates of cancer death vary because of differences in incidence, but also potentially differences in access to and outcomes of cancer control activities (for example, screening, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up) across the country.

Chances (probability) of developing or dying from cancer
Based on 2010 estimates:
* 2 out of 5 Canadians (45% of men and 42% of women) are expected to develop cancer during their lifetimes.
* 1 out of 4 Canadians (29% of men and 24% of women) is expected to die from cancer.

Prevalence
Prevalence is the total number of people living with a diagnosis of cancer at a certain point in time. This statistic can be useful in planning healthcare services for people recently diagnosed with cancer and for cancer survivors.

In 2009, about 810,045 Canadians diagnosed with cancer in the previous 10 years were alive. This represents about 2.4% of the Canadian population or 1 out of every 41 Canadians.

The number of newly diagnosed cancer cases in Canada is increasing, but survival rates are also increasing. These improved survival rates account for the growing number of Canadian cancer survivors.

Survival
Survival is the percentage of people who are alive at some point in time after their cancer diagnosis. There are many different ways of measuring and reporting cancer survival statistics. Most survival statistics are reported for a specific time period, namely 5 years.

* Based on 2006–2008 estimates, 63% of Canadians diagnosed with cancer are expected to survive for 5 years or more after a cancer diagnosis:
* Survival rates vary from low to high depending on the type of cancer. For example, based on 2006–2008 estimates:
* The 5-year relative survival rate for lung cancer is low (17%).
* The 5-year relative survival rate for colorectal cancer is average (64%).
* The 5-year relative survival rate is high for prostate cancer (96%) and breast cancer (88%).
* Between 1992–1994 and 2006–2008, survival rates increased from 56% to 63% for all cancers combined.

For more information, go to Canadian Cancer Statistics publication.

References
Read more: http://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-101/cancer-statistics-at-a-glance/?region=on#ixzz46SpIDCrQ