Monday, January 25, 2016

Legacy & funeral

Some big names in music died in early 2016 most of them as a result of cancer, Bowie arguably one of the biggest names. Most generations knew him from his music, fashion and later marrying Iman. Celine Dion's long time manager and husband, Renee Charles, was laid to rest in Montreal with a grand funeral.  With these entertainers and so may other regular day people losing their battles it got me thinking as to how I'd be remembered and what my funeral would be like. 

A friends dad passed away a couple weeks ago so I attended his funeral in support of her. He was 91 so had a long life but suffered in the end with Alzeimers. I have a dear uncle also going through this and seeing how hard it is on their loved ones just makes me think cancer is the better of 2 evils. As sick as cancer can make you and take your life, at least you leave feeling love. Illness has no face, just pain. 

I don't regret not becoming a mother 99% of the time, but when I think of legacy, children is the first thing to pop in my head. I'm not a David Bowie leaving a mark on the music of today and tomorrow so what am I to leave behind?  How will I be remembered?  Will I be remembered?

I thought a lot about this last year when the doctor explained if cancer was to come back in my groin there would be no further treatment, that I would die.  I've had as much radiation and chemo as that area can handle. I was told this around 730am and I'll never forget calling Erynn to have her rush to hospital to stay with me until my family arrived. It was a day I'll never forget, a day that really showed me mortality and a day that cancer scared me the most. I tear up just thinking about it. 

As much as I've set goals for 2016 with education and employment, I think my biggest goal should be my legacy. I want my nieces and nephews to always remember the fun "date days" I took them on, my friends & their kids the cards I sent and my family the goofy times we shared. Once I'm working again I want to make people smile and have them tell their friends I changed their day. If I can leave moments like this behind me I will be a happy woman. Just being kind. Kindness is contagious. 

Now when it comes to my funeral, let's keep it real. I want bling and a party. Oh and a park bench would be great too!  I want a slideshow showing only good photos of me through the years so please be selective of 19-22 as my girls and I had a lot of fun and we had a lot of bad hair (didn't think so then did we. I blame Madonna). Now I'm not planning on going anywhere any time soon, I've got a legacy to build, but just read it here first!  My blog....part of my legacy. 




Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Late night

It's late, 3am to be specific, and I can't seem to fall asleep. Some nights I hear every thought or idea and have to get it done or write it on a post-it note, stick it on my mirror above my keys, reminding me to do it later! 

Today my amazingly beautiful Kate Spade gold polk-a-dot 2016 agenda arrived (c/o a birthday Indigo gift card thanks so much) and after picking the perfect pen, I started to write in birthdays.  I'm happy to say I have lots of friends & their children to send cards to, but once you start you can't stop or at least I can't.  I went through last years calendar, a note pad, sent a few "remind me emails"  and hours later all was recorded.  

Card sending is a lost art. A thank you note, an invitation or birthday card makes us all smile & I'll always send cards for that exact reason. I'm often asked why I don't use my iphone calendar. I do for some things like sporting event times and maybe a gathering or 2 but there's nothing like seeing it on paper. I feel very old school in a techie world where I communicate via social media more than a phone call, but I open my agenda every morning just like Facebook and get a feel for my day. Look ahead a few days and see what's happening. Maybe put up another post-it to make sure I don't forget, especially if it's mailing a card. 

Now to fill my polk-a-dot agenda pages. I feel ready to work again on a PT basis in a low stress role close to home. It doesn't scare me necessarily but I get anxious. I've kind of created a bubble around me and think it's time to pop it & blow another.  I'm more nervous than I thought as I'm struggling with this goddam sentence....but I have to move on to this next part of my journey. No joke, a tear just rolled down my cheek. It's so hard to explain why. It's like I learned how to cope with being sick, then coped with treatment, then healing and now a new sense of normal. Buying a winning lotto ticket seems to be in order tomorrow. Could you that would be a headline "recent cancer survivor wins millions and builds commune" #stayclosetohome

Oh my goodness it's now 4am!  I've read this entry over & over, I'm sure it's fine to post. I'm either going to fall asleep to Gilmore Girls on Netflix or I'll just close me eyes. I'm hoping to just close my eyes. Night!




PS - Blog has exceeded 37,000, thank you!

Thursday, January 7, 2016


The dictionary definition for milestone is as follows:

*a stone set beside a road.....oh shoot not that one!
*an action or event marking significant change or stage in development 
That's the definition I'm looking for, thank goodness as the last thing I want to do is seek rocks alongside a road! LOL

I always knew and even wrote about milestones before, they'd come and go, but today it really hit me. Facebook sent me a notification via a link called 'on this day' reminding me that last year I was still in hospital dealing with a terrible infection post tumour removal. But there I was taking the time to write a status that my dad got the hospital TV set up so I could watch the Canucks play. I was in so much pain but was doing my best to stay strong and optimistic through it all. 

I had my monthly checkup today. It went well. My doctor told me I could come every 3 months for my PET scan and physical results. This is huge in my recovery. Since diagnosis I've either been at the Cancer Agency daily or monthly. Wow...last year and this year. Crazy. Mom and I spoke of this great news on the way home and of course both of us were excited. But once I walked in to my place the tears were flowing. Obviously these were good tears but I don't think I really understood how hard December and January really were for me last year.  I'm glad my positivity and humour helped keep me upbeat during the battle but man today was rough. 

I'm cool to remember more milestones of this past year, I just hope they don't all hit me this hard. The next memory will be of hyperbaric treatments which was really cool and I feel a big part of my healing.  The beautiful blue scrubs and plastic helmet were super attractive (not) but the people I met and lessons learned were fantastic. People usually don't know what hyperbaric is so I just mention the Canucks used to use back in the day and folks seem to catch on. It all gets back to hockey somehow right?

I've always said I'd give back when I could and make this terrible time mean something. I've applied to school and changing my career this fall but firstly I'm fundraising for the month of February directly for the BC Cancer Agency. These people, this place, saved my life and some of yours as well. We need to keep helping others. Any donation you can make would so be appreciated. Cancer affects 1 in 3 Canadians so let's make a difference. Not everyone might be saved but at least we will continue to have the resources to try.
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I must say it's been quite the day, but what a great way to start 2016. Time to make some new milestones!




Update Dec 5th

Sorry I am a day late! This is from Carly yesterday :) Pic 1 was taken months ago and shows how big my hernia was. It was even bigger at...