Thursday, 12 April 2012

I am cured of cancer

Well now I have the result of my treatment - I have been completely cured of Stage 3 Oropharyngeal (tonsil) cancer. And I know you've all been thinking of me at different times since my journey began last November. And I know that has been part of what has given me the strength to make this journey when I didn't know where it was going to lead to.

When I started writing this post I began to look back at each of you, and what you have achieved in the same time period as my treatment - Nov 3 2011 to Apr 12 2012.
  • My son Erin quit his job and moved in to take care of me for the first two months of my illness
  • Sabrina and Colin, and Lily and Matt, got engaged
  • Stephen Wilson moved in with his beloved
  • Daryl and Dayna were married. The bride was beautiful!
  • Marlena had her baby boy Stokeley
  • Stephanie was Marlena's birthing companion and started a new personal development program
  • Martine bought her house and Mark and Sarah bought their house and Marianne's daughter purchased her first home & moved into it on Feb 18
  • Ashley has been accepted at Sauder School of Business
  • Lily started Paramedical school
  • Tammy completed her MA in psychology and Carol completed her MA in counselling psychology
  • Pet is slowly working her way up the health-care ladder
  • Lois and Rick went to Washington
  • Someone at work was let go
  • Karina started doing Standup Comedy and Competitive weightlifting (a natural fit)
  • Matthew took hundreds of photos of the kids
  • Jim sold Gabby's (my local pub) to Ricky
  • Diane Matthews made shortbread cookies
  • The very motivated Mary graduated from U of T, has been accepted into a Speech and Language Pathology Program and most recently played Played Amber Von Tussle in "Hairspray". And she's on a 4 month tour of Europe.
  • The very motivated Donna started doing Osteo Pilates at Pilates Emporium; put Ian and herself on Weight Watcher's; and is going to training with Ian for their new business
  • Tara did her first feature
  • The very busy Andrew James Paterson travelled to DokFest in Kassel, Germany for a world premiere of his video Roman Spring Leakage, coordinated the 5th annual 8 Fest for small-gauge film in Toronto, and wrote an essay on the history of the Images Festival for the catalogue of their upcoming 25th edition.
  • Greg helped his mom sort through and catalogue his late dad's vast body of artwork
  • Peter had his knee surgery
  • Kat has been supporting someone near and dear to her who was in an accident that has bizarrely resulted in permanent physical disability, and trying to help them cope, mentally and physically.
  • Sandra launched the new brand and welcomed a new baby into her cousin's family
  • Terri turned 50 and became a Nana to beautiful Adalyn Kate born on Dec 9
  • Lisa finished her screenplay
And every week my mother and father drove 2 hours each way to bring me chicken noodle soup, and love.

The energy of this life force is a mighty river, greater than Niagara or the Amazon, and we are all being pulled along in its power. That is what makes community. We would all be happy if we could live forever in that time when everything is perfect but that can never be. In our journey through life the good times never last, but the bad times never last either. When we harness that energy, good or bad, and move it in a new direction, that is when we become difference makers.

Today I give thanks that I got my life back. But more importantly, I celebrate all your lives, and the lives of those you know and love. You are all been so supportive during my journey, and every kindness has made a difference.

But I have to say my biggest hero is my daughter Chloe, who has been living with a crippling form of arthritis for over a decade. For me, every time the pain got too much to take, I just remembered what Chloe goes through every day was that much worse. And I sucked it up, and manned up, for her.

Thanks to the radiation oncology team of Dr Andrew Bayley and the chemotherapy team of Dr Lillian Siu, the technicians at the linear accelerator treatment unit #5, and countless others at Princess Margaret Hospital.

1 comment:

  1. Alan, I am beside myself with happiness. When I read your post, I didn't know whether to cry or jump and down with glee. All I know is that a good friend will be in my life for many years to come.