Happy Canada Day!


“Sometimes, music is the only medicine the heart & soul needs”… This track by Boston Bun ‘Spread Love’ caught my attention with its humorous clip, but the music pulled me out of a funk. Music and good friends.

So I guess the Chemo juice is a bit stronger than I remember. Going back to treatment after two months off the nasty stuff. It really knocked me around, and still is, I think.

Enough of Captain obvious. You already know Chemotherapy isn’t much fun and plays havoc on our bodies. My daughter says I have super powers, like a superhero thanks to a book called ‘Cancer Hates Kisses’ more on the book another time. I’ve been in hiding too long to do a book review for you. I’ll tell you about the book another time. Point being, I wish I had the super powers she thinks I have.

Cancer Hates Kisses - Jessica Reid Sliwerski

Cancer Hates Kisses - Jessica Reid Sliwerski

I wish I had the super powers she thinks I have.

I’ve mentioned this before, and I’ll say it again no doubt. But Cancer doesn’t just effect the patient. I get to take meds for my pain, everyone else just has to deal with it. This disease is effecting my whole family, I wish I could hide them from it, but in one way or another it’s eating away at all of us. The stress effects us all, and we all deal with it in different ways.

I was using the app Headspace to do some meditation the other day, inside the app there is actually a course on ‘Coping with Cancer’ and something the instructor Andy Puddicombe talks about, is that no single case of Cancer is alike. We all experience the journey differently, and I’d 110% agree with that. I’m sure medically doctors can slot you into categories physically, but mentally I totally agree with what my buddy Andy mentioned.

I’ll be straight up with you. These last few weeks have been the toughest on me emotionally, so much so, I went into mental hiding. Well physical too. Unfortunately, I did not want to see anyone or talk to anyone. Writing a post for you guys to read has been on my mind, but to punch a few keys on my laptop felt impossible. My bed felt like the safest hiding place.

I guess what I came to realize during this little episode of depression, is you can’t rely on others for your own happiness. Sure so many make me happy, especially the funny friends & family, you can always rely on them for a laugh. Haha No, in all seriousness, what I mean is, if you find yourself putting your happiness in something materialistic or someone, quite frankly what happens when that something or someone is gone? The happiness also disappears, so why set yourself up? I hope I don’t sound preachy, but it’s something I feel I’ve learnt the hard way. Because when that happiness is gone when you need it the most, trust me, no pill is going to fix that pain. So, what am doing? Focusing on better days. Re-focus on positive, those positive vibes and what is important to me the most; family. My family.

In my little silence, I took the time to observe and reflect how I am spending my time, and at the end of the day my kids are the most important thing to me in the world, and making memories, spending time with them (when I can) is my priority. Ok, enough that. Time for some fun facts with my Oncologist.

So we teleconferenced with my Oncologist, literally just before I had a hit of the Chemo. We teleconference because it saves us driving for an hour and a half for a meeting. God bless technology. Anyway, this was the first time I’d spoken to the Oncologist since they discovered more Cancer in my abdomen. He was just as shocked as we were about the discovery, yet had a plan all ready, to eliminate it. Which is basically, Chemotherapy for 3 to 6 months. They’ll do a check at the 3 month mark no doubt. If I need more after 3 months, so be it. The goal is that my body responds well to the treatment, enough so, that my liver health is brought up enough, that I may qualify for surgery. So, I’m looking at Liver surgery to remove the Cancer from the Liver, and presumably at the same time they would remove the colorectal cancer and do what’s called ‘Sugar surgery’ to remove the Cancer from the abdomen. From my understanding, the Cancer on the abdomen is like an umbrella of tissue that holds your guts together. So this “sugar” surgery will eliminate that. What I like is, my team has a plan for it all. Which gives me confidence in them and their work.  But, this ain’t no sprint, this is a marathon and those surgeries are in the distance, too far away to be worried about. What I need to do is focus on what’s right in front of me, take one day at a time.

Lots coming up this week. Wednesday is Chemo round 7. Or is it round 8, I’m not sure. But I’ll clarify it for you soon.  Thursday I have a scheduled follow up meeting with the surgeon who discovered the Cancer on the abdomen. Friday, I’m consulting with a new GP. Friday we’ll likely discuss meds, because I have been on the same medication for pain etc since December. It seems the ol’ body is building a tolerance, so its time to re evaluate that in my opinion. Whatever gives me quality of life, I’m happy to try or take. So I’m curious to see how Friday pans out. It would be great to minimize the amount of meds I need to take!

So it’s July 1st. Canada Day. Very similar to Australia Day or July 4th in the states. Plenty of family fun to be had, and I was looking forward to taking the kids to the annual Canada Day parade however, last night I was ill, spent the whole night keeping the toilet warm. Wasn’t exactly how I wanted to spend my evening. Anyway, I’m a little slow of the mark today because of last night. But I’m determined for this cancer to not dominate my lifestyle. I’m the boss of my life, well JC is, but I can take the drivers seat and tell Cancer to sit in the back (and be quiet). That said, I’m off to make memories with my kids and family.


Happy Canada DAY everyone!

Dave GillhamComment