Ah, radio silence . . . or rather, blog silence. For the past little while I’ve taken a break from the blog. Not because the blog was overwhelming, but because I was overwhelmed. However, we’ve just returned from a pause out west. This fishing trip had been planned ages ago, and so I decided not to cancel – in fact, it’s probably for the best that I didn’t since one thing after another was beginning to grind me down. We needed the break.
Here’s the real, real, real truth: I am not good at this. I’m just plain terrible at it. And of course it will all work out somehow, but I don’t know how people do it – and I’m not just talking about the cancer stuff, though it’s the biggest challenge, but the life stuff too. The highs and lows and curve balls and backtracks and ambitions and workloads. I’m just feeling kinda garbage with all of it. I guess that’s why spas were invented, and tea with friends, and duvets, and hugs.
So that’s all I’ll say about it. It was quite surprising and knocked me off guard as it happened. I’d quite like to stop that from happening again, if I can see the signs ahead of time.
For the past several days Zsolt and I have been on a bear hunt. It started in Calgary and a drive with my friend out to this beautiful lake Kanananananananasksis. Or something like that. We’d packed our inflatable canoe with us, and were ready to sail except the winds and rain stopped us from heading out. So instead my lovely friend took us on a very slow drive through the back-country where we hoped to spot wildlife. It didn’t happen, however. Though apparently the next day they had to close that park because a grizzly was spotted eating a carcass.
From Calgary we took our rental car up to Banff. Banff is a National Park in Alberta, and it’s lovely J There’s a very touristy village with help wanted signs in all the windows – so if you are looking for a rocky mountain adventure, they have vacancies. However, no bears were spotted.
From Banff, we drove up to Jasper – a town embedded in my heart from trips as a child and a summer spent working for their tramway back in 2001. This is a far less commercial village, except for the souvenir shops all selling the exact same crap. We stayed here a couple days and drove from one waterfall to another, all the while going 30km/hour and looking for bears. Still nothing. But, we did find elk, thank goodness for that.
Here in Jasper I finally was able to canoe on Pyramid Lake, which had a been a day dream of mine way back in the chemoland days. Except instead of feeling that freedom and lightness I’d so craved, we were wrapped up in layers of warm clothing, praying it wouldn’t rain on us. There’s a strange niggle with this new diagnosis that I can’t shake off even in the best of moments. It’s just there looking at me. And whenever I look back at it, it sticks out its damn tongue.
To be honest, I’m a little exhausted lately – even on the trip I was exhausted – and it can largely be attributed to that tongue sticking-out, shoulder sitting, moment-spoiling little mental reminder I can’t seem to shake off. The way I see it, I’ve already lived 2 years with this bull shit cancer, and they were 2 of the sweetest years I could have asked for. Now that I know it’s there . . . why can I not get back to that sweet spot?
After Jasper – which involved a ridiculous canoe packing episode where we folded, jumped on, climbed over, sat upon and crushed our canoe into the suitcase – we went to Vancouver. In Vancouver we had one day of sunshine where Zsolt and I rode a two person bicycle. Now THAT was fun. 🙂 There’s no being distracted or getting teary when you’re trying to balance a bike between two people while watching the stunning scenery and taking in that ocean air. It still makes me smile.
Following Vancouver, we met up with my parents and little brother (the real purpose of this trip) to go fishing. Okay, I didn’t fish. I went to cafes and had cups of green teas. But the guys went fishing with HUGE results. So even if we never saw a bear, at least he did witness a dinosaur fish.
And now we are back and the real world continues. We’ll see how this goes, and how I manage. One day at a time, eh. Plus, now that I’m back, I get to enjoy piecing together the prizes and construction for the book. Tomorrow I’ll meet with Ian to talk covers, and I’ve already got an ISBN sorted. When I think of my book – like really think of it and imagine it – it fills me up so much with that splash of goodness and lightness . . . kinda like biking around Stanley Park on a bicycle built for two.
So here we go – moving forward into autumn and the upcoming new year. We will see what happens next.
P.S. Wendy Nielson has featured me on her blog this month as she shares stories of those faced with breast cancer. Check it out, she’s done a lovely job with our interview. Also, It’s now breast cancer awareness month, and that is fine if not also kinda exhausting. There are places where awareness is hugely needed, and there are places where we could move beyond awarenss. Cancer is a tricky little bugger whether it’s impacting children, women, men, pets or anything. It’s heartbreaking as any other life-threatening illness is heartbreaking. And breast cancer is not what you think it is . . . it’s not six months of treatment and life moving forward. Okay, life moves forward, but for 1 in 3 women like myself, it’s also cancer moving away from the breast area and into other vital organs of the body. There is no cure, and treatment options are shit. So if you want to support a cause this month for BC, that’s wonderful. Please check before you buy pink, so that the money you give (whether you decide to fund research, emotional support, awareness of ‘ahem’ metastic breast cancer, or even better finding cures) actually goes toward those goals and not just people’s piggy banks. That’s all I say here today. Thanks!