I’ve heard from a few of you asking how I am, so I’m finally getting to my computer with some free time to get back and connect with you all. In short, I have been very well. Here are some of the details.
About two months ago, my wife and I joined a gym. It was long overdue for both of us, and I have loved getting more physically active. I’d much rather chase a puck around the ice than lift weights, but it is a necessary step to increasing activity and ensuring that at some point next hockey season I’m back banging around some of my buddies. As my activity has gone up, so has my appetite, and thus my weight as well.
You may remember that for a very long time I was 50 pounds down from my weight at the time of my original diagnosis in 1998. I was hanging around 170 for a long time, not much movement, and entirely due to my lack of commitment to put weight on. That has changed, and so has my weight. I’ve put on and kept on 10-12 pounds and another 10 or so would be great, as I don’t need all of the weight back!
I haven’t had blood work done in a while and am planning to get back in this week, but my last many checks have been stable. I get asked all the time how I’m doing and what the status is; I feel like a broken record as I always say “I’m still here, takin’ it one step at a time.”
As I’ve said before, every one of us are living a day at a time, but I have a heightened sense of that. While I carry on with normal plans and activities, the thoughts of relapse pop back in once in a while just to remind me.
In the past many months as that has been happening, I’ve been practicing with myself to test how I really feel about that. The fear is present, but not consuming, and I was asked by a student a couple of weeks ago what I’d do if my cancer came back. I responded by saying “I don’t know,” because I really am not sure. And I’m certainly hoping I don’t have to find out!
I’m still finding it difficult to maintain that balance, and travel certainly doesn’t help, so I’m working on ensuring I take time to recharge after a trip, and, when possible, rest up before as well.
The months of April, May, and, so far, June have been incredibly busy for me on the work side, both when at home and travelling, which I’ve done a fair bit of lately. It is a challenge trying to grow an organization from the East Coast of the country, and while the Internet and phone are great ways to connect, they in no way compare to face-to-face contact. I’m sure high school students wouldn’t think too much of a presentation via conference call! Such is life at this stage.
My phrase of the season is “imagine if you were the only car dealer, banker, grocery store, whatever, in Canada, but the vast majority of your market was unaware of your existence?” That very much is RealTime Cancer’s reality; we are the only organization striving to be a national resource for young adults dealing with cancer, and that is a huge opportunity. Our two big challenges are finances and awareness. We are working on both.
We’ve launched our first-ever community appeal. It is another step towards stability and down the path of organizational growth and maturity. As we reach out across the country, particularly as we’ve done in the past three months to establish promotional partnerships with cancer centers and organizations in almost every province, the financial side of the operation needs a boost to ensure that we’re able to provide the support to both the portal, the Retreat, and continuing to grow the school program. So much to do sometimes it can get overwhelming, but then, fortunately, I’m good at pulling myself out of the situation and breaking it into really easy, doable issues.
There’s no real magic to the task we have in front of us, it just requires good planning, which we have. We just approved our strategic plan on Friday, so all that’s left is the hard work. I happen to love both.
Hope all is well in your world and I’m sure I’ll be back soon as I have another message half-written to send later this week.
Live life. Love life.