Monday, August 17, 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Bike Trip

Almost a year ago (Aug 25) Carman and I set out on our bike to 'runaway' to Radium Hot Springs. I had my biopsy on Aug 22nd and we were advised it would take about a week for the results. I remember being hopeful that it wouldn't be cancer and we thought getting away would help make the 'waiting' go faster. Unfortunately, we made it is as far a Rocky Mountain House Tim Hortons when we got the call to come back. The results were not good and instead we were on a trip up to Edmonton to meet a surgeon.

I can't believe it has been a year. I one hand it has went very quickly and I am thankful I am still alive. Should I have been diagnosed prior to 1996 I would probably have been dead by now. On the other hand, there have been times were time stood almost still. When I got diagnosed I heard people say 'cancer is hard', 'it is a battle'. I have yet to still find an adequate description of what it feels like to deal with this disease. The initial shock alone is quite something - unbearable. But you just keep putting one foot in front of the other. For me, I preferred just being in quiet environments. Usually I have the TV going or radio on just to have noise around me, but while getting treatment over the past year I preferred to have things quite and still around me.

If I can be frank and honest, I really didn't want to be around a lot of people. I didn't like how they looked at me. I've never liked people feeling sorry for me, and I certainly didn't like it now. I am looking forward to when my hair grows back because then I think people will once again see me versus seeing the disease. I am living with cancer, not currently dieing of it.

On a lighter note, our first destination on our motorcycle trip was Radium Hot Springs. It was a goal I had set to soak in the springs when I got better. The next day we made it as far as Nelson, BC. I was pretty tired so a cruise through the town and walking across the bridge for supper was the extent of exploring this great town. Carman and I would love to go back and stay a week there sometime. Can I mention that on our way to Nelson we stopped for lunch in Kimberly, or should I say 'mini Switzerland'. I tried Schnitzel and I think I'm good for a lifetime. We left Nelson in a bit of a hurry as there was a high probability for rain all day. Unfortunately we got nice a wet for about 2 hours before we reached Nakusp. Carman's hands were so cold he couldn't tell if his finger was touching the signal button or not. Getting wet and cold was certainly not enjoyable, but my comment to Carman was: "It beats chemo'. The third night was in Revelstoke and the 4th night in Canmore.

On our way to Canmore we stopped by Lake Louise and saw a grizzly bear in the ditch. Carman was adamant that we turn around and take some pictures, but I wasn't a keen. Reason #1 - we were on a motorcycle and the bear was fairly close to the road. Reason #2 - the camera was in the pack which would require one of us to get off the bike to get it. So, no stopping for bears. Future travel Rule #1 - always keep your camera on your person.

For those who read the last post, pleae note that Carman did pay-up on his bet. I got a nice pendant from the Rock and Gem Shop and a hoodie from the Hemp Store. I'll post a picture of me wearning my winnings in the future. I think an account of me being in a Hemp store may also be worth a good laugh.

This first picture is of me, my sisters, and my dad in front of Radium Hot Springs. I was probably 6 years old. Tara and I are wearing jackets my mom knit. If you look closely you can see the badges she would sew on them. It was also a family thing to give 'thumbs up' when taking pictures - especially for Tara. It came from The Fonz off Happy Days.

Not much as changed a the springs since as you can see from our current photo.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Would you do it?

Here's me feeling like a kid again. I remember going down this slide many, many times when I was younger.

You forgot to pack your bathing suit, the water is from a melting glacier, and your pride is on the line. For the guarantee of a hemp/recycled pop bottle hoodie and a piece of jewelry of my choice at the gem store in Banff, I laid my chubby, bald self down.