Thursday, December 10, 2009

Life list checks and planning for the future

Christmas sneeks up on me quicker and quicker each year. This past month I took advantage of everyone's good health and decided it was time to check some things off of my life list. Tricia and I finally got the chance to go to New York together. It was my first time there ever and I was most excited to finally see where Tricia lived, ate and hung out while she lived there. I was really surprised when I was there how much I felt a part of the "big lights" in New York and not like a tourist and also how safe I felt. We had a surprising number of celebrity spottings - mostly due to the fact that Tricia had us staying at and eating at the places where they were. I was only half a day in before I was already talking about us making this an annual trip.

Next the family went out to Kananaskis for the Long View christmas celebration. Talyn wanted to live in the pool, I wanted to casually stalk the actors staying there - only a first name is needed - Lenardo and Ryan got to relax and play some poker. We don't have any family that lives here in Calgary, but Long View has done a great job of filling that gap for us.

The following weekend, my mom, Talyn and I all flew to Toronto for Breast Fest Film Festival and for the premiere of the documentary I was in. Growing up, I always wanted to be famous and perhaps act in a movie - in that dream having breast cancer wasn't a part of it, but I'll take what I can get. One big check on the Life List!

Then Ryan, Talyn and I enjoyed a week in Mexico back at the resort we went to 2 year's ago. The resort continued to impress us and Talyn made some new friends there - as did we. It was funny but most of the people we hung out with were from Canada. The kids were so close that when they'd see each other at breakfast or lunch, they'd ask if the other was going to "THE club" later? That's what they called the Kids Club!

In Mexico I had some time to relax, re-charge and think about the past few years. One of the biggest things I realized is that ever since my first diagnosis in Fall 2006, our family has stopped planning for the future. It's as if we are living like the future isn't a good one for one or both of us and so there was nothing to plan for. It was a year ago today that I got the terrible call from the hospital that Ryan had had his seizures and our lives took a really hard turn.

In just one year, Ryan is doing so much better and although he gets MRI's every 2 months, they continue to be so good, that I feel that it's time to start planning again. That starts with Ryan getting his license back on Saturday. This is a huge step of confidence for us all with his medical condition and will give our family back a lot of independence.

My life these days is less and less about cancer and I really like that. I do work with Rethink to help others going through this tough time and want to use what I learned to help them, but want my body to forget that it ever had cancer. What this hard few years has given me is the opportunity to experience some really great things. It has pushed me to make my Life List an evolving one and one that I try to work on a bit every day.


  1. There are many joys when kids are around and one of them is their fearlessness in meeting others. Thanks to Talyn and Calum we, the adults, got to meet and spend time together--a bonus for us! And it's not often we meet someone, especially a couple, whom we easily and naturally connect with.

    And thanks for reminding me to take some time to consider my life list. Your words are inspiring.

    Hugs from Toronto,
    Caren, Paul, Cal and baby Miles

    PS. Doesn't New York rock! I love that city.

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