…I encourage you to bring photocopies of photographs of people, places and things that are significant to you. The pictures can be of things you love, loath, learn from or look forward to. There will be an opportunity to include these images and feelings in your art-making process.
Last Thanksgiving came just days after Andrea’s diagnosis. We went to Quebec City for a family vacation, two months in the making. While we weren’t our usual jovial selves (under the circumstances), being away from home pulled us sufficiently out of our routine that we were able to lose ourselves for brief moments, forgetting about the road that lay ahead — moments like when we were on a tour of the Citadel, the Musée de la civilizations and at that great fondu place for lunch (whatever it’s called).
There’s so much to be thankful for this year, much of it has already been expressed here. Obvious things like our great support network, the amazing health care system, Andrea’s strength and attitude and ESPECIALLY good health. All of these combined to make this a particularly momentus Thanksgiving. Of course, the fact that I didn’t ruin the turkey was a huge relief, as well.
Last night during our Thanksgiving dinner, I reached beyond our usual thanks to acknowledge my work colleagues for their support and mentorship. I’m lucky to work with amazingly smart, talented and creative people — incredible strategic thinkers, all of whom I’ve learned from since joining Fleishman-Hillard 10 months ago. I wish them and their families the kind of connected Thanksgiving we enjoyed as a family this year.
This gathering of young breast cancer survivors, researchers, medical professionals, support organizations and decision makers from across Canada offers workshops on advocacy, alternative therapies, creative expression, yoga, medical research, sexuality and psychosocial issues of young women after breast cancer as well as belly dancing, good food and more.
I’m nervous and excited — and completely grateful to have received a scholarship to attend (and to Laurie for letting me know about it).
Last week — as part of my new risky living — I joined Toastmasters. I was scheduled to present a “thought-for-the-day” at today’s Thanksgiving week meeting. But it was canceled so I’m sharing it here…
A year ago today, as I left a meeting of the EDC Charitable Campaign, I got a call.
It was my doctor telling me “I’m afraid I don’t have good news. It’s cancer.”
I listened. I texted Mark. I scrawled a few notes.
Then I excused myself from the office and walked home.
I thought that was the end. The end of me.
But it wasn’t.
I’m still here. And I’m stronger, happier and more grateful than ever.
None of us knows what tomorrow will bring.
But we do know what we have right now. Our families. Our friends. Our working limbs. Our pain-free, healthy bodies. Our peace. Our freedom. Our homes. Our incomes.
Thank you for the research you have made possible.
Thank you for the spirits you have raised.
Thank you for the families you have buoyed.
And thank you for all the little girls who may live without breast cancer’s shadow.
My sincere thanks to all of you for your generosity and your moral and financial support: