Post Treatment Jitters: Back to Work

At the point, during my cancer treatment, that we were confident I would not imminently die, I began to feel that my diagnosis had been my personal wake up call. The God that I had spent the better part of my life rejecting, had put a serious smackdown on me as if to say, ‘You can’t live like this anymore. Get your shit together or you are done for’. I did not take this message lightly. In fact, I spent the following two and a half years working hard at living a healthier life. Getting on track looks different for everyone. The reality is, I had managed to succeed in some areas of my life. I had a great job and was well respected in my industry but I had not honored my body or my mental health over the years. Read more to find out how the hard work of the last few years has paid off as I returned to work after cancer treatment.

(In)Coherent Ramblings and Renewed Focus

Happy New Year! Yes, I realize it’s twenty four days into the new year but do you think good wishes for the new year will ever get old this year? I think not. We have weathered the worse storm my generation, the one after me and before me will every experience. While there were aContinue reading “(In)Coherent Ramblings and Renewed Focus”

2020: The Embodiment of Contradiction

I continued to ask myself that question, ‘What the hell is going on?’, in the years to follow, but the things that would stir the question became the most trivial of things. I mean, a bad breakup with an unknowingly mentally unstable partner or drug deal gone bad were not scenarios anyone chose to find themselves in but knowing the backstory at least made it make some sort of sick sense. But a 10 car pile up on HWY410 because someone didn’t like the guy in front of him only doing 20 kilometers over the speed limit had apparently become an acceptable reason to cut 4 different cars off with the staunch intent of getting in front of said 20km over speeder to give him the finger and cut him off…or maybe just shoot him. In my very humble opinion, what I continued to see happening around me, and maybe even in my very own car when I was the one being cut off and finding myself uncontrollably screaming expletives with my little human in the backseat saying, ‘What does (insert four letter word here) mean Mommy?’ was a strong indication that society was spinning out of control. Something had to give.

Three Years Later

It was three years ago, right this very moment, I sat on the side of my bed, covered in bruises, blood vessels bursting, hemorrhaging, on the phone with TeleHealth to ask them if they thought I should go to work or not. I intended on going. I had already missed a full week in the office for the muscle I had locked in my hip days before. I didn’t want to miss anymore time at work.

It was easy to pass it off as not a big deal. Like I was being a big baby. I should just suck it up because duty calls.

How I Took My Life Back From Anxiety After Cancer

I allowed the emotions to visit me because it’s healthy to remember from where and how far you’ve come. Not only to pat myself on the back for my progress but also as continued motivation.

I only stayed there for a very short while; a few minutes at best. It’s not healthy to stay there any longer. It’s in the past and serves no great purpose. Instead, I began thinking about what it took to break the anxiety. Not only learning the lessons of how to be healthier mentally but also to begin putting those lessons into practice.

One of the things I promised myself was I would never lead my life with fear again.

What Caribbean Culture Untaught Me About Myself and Racism

The performer on stage started pointing to the right and repeating the same words and on the third repeat, five hundred people rushed away from me, and just then, someone grabbed my arm and flung me into the crowd as they, and then we, bounced across the dance floor and in that very moment, a warmth washed over me and I felt like I was home.

Learn about how Caribbean culture gave me a safe and loving space to discover my own mistakes and how it helped me find the courage to be a better human.

In Pursuit of Repressed Emotions: The Journey Back to My Authentic Self

I used to live life in a box. It was pretty from the outside. Well decorated. It might have looked like the kind of box others might like to live in. I went to lengthy measures to ensure it was well maintained. Inside of that box was all of my fears and on the edgesContinue reading “In Pursuit of Repressed Emotions: The Journey Back to My Authentic Self”

Cannabis You Say? No Thanks, I Don’t Use Drugs

Imagine spending the vast majority of your adult life with an utter disdain for the one thing that may ease your chemotherapy side effects; Cannabis.
In this article, we explore my past relationship with cannabis, getting over biases and explore the medicinal use of CBD oil and all I’ve learned about it so far.
Included are also some links to information related to tax deductions, ‘Compassionate Pricing’, what’s happening with insurance providers and the Michael G. DeGroote Cannabis Research program at McMaster University.

Survivors Guilt: The Precipice of Self Sabotage

When I received the conclusive diagnosis that indeed, I was suffering from was Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia, I was told repeatedly over the next 4 months of treatment, ‘Of all the leukemias to have, this is the one you want to have!’.  I think the intention of such a comment was to make me feel comforted.  However, the mind of a newly diagnosed leukemia patient, fighting for their life is a complex one.  Initially, I didn’t really have any thoughts about this.  I just kind of figured it was what it was.  I couldn’t give my leukemia back and I didn’t get to exchange it for another one anyway soooo, there wasn’t a ton of value in such a statement. However, as the weeks and then months rolled by, it crept into my thoughts often and eventually it hit me; I felt guilty.

7 Tips for Coping with Emotions During & After Cancer Treatment

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, the incidence of developing cancer increases after 50 years old.  However, approximately 10% of people diagnosed with Cancer are young adults. They are falling victim to cancer as well, and they are faced with a slew of unique challenges as a result.

When I was in the hospital, I met a 31 year old man named Mat.  He is a father of two and a police officer who was diagnosed with Acute Myelotic Leukemia a month before my own diagnosis.  He was physically fit, went to the gym regularly before he fell ill, ate healthy, was not a smoker and didn’t drink.  Yet, there he was.  After two failed rounds of chemo, he had a stem cell transplant in April 2018.  How could someone so young and healthy be in such a position?