You have Cancer, maybe, nope …what?….!

Sometimes it feels like there are no words to describe how something went down, but then as I sit here there are so many words competing to make it to this page.  Regardless of all of the intelligent possible openers the only way to start is to say Holy Shit Batman, that was a f’n emotional ride!!!

To make the back story as minimal as possible I will cut right to the chase. For just about twenty years now I have had digestive issues. I call it “tap ass syndrome” <<warning – some may find the following gross>> meaning the liquid shyte comes out as fast as water from a tap.  Medical folks call it IBS.  I have had multiple colonoscopies, endoscopies, CT scans and ultra sounds over the years. I’ve taken foods out and brought others in.  Gone on meds, off meds. Still the same result – tap ass.  It makes face to face business encounters and social eating events stressful at times but for the most part I’ve learned to manage my issue. That said, sometimes it gets in the way of everything.  Be it cramps or shooting pains or bloating like I am nearing my third trimester there are times I become, as my mum would say, utterly useless… Two weeks ago I was in agony. I could feel my insides aching and every now and then it got so intense the feeling shot down my right leg.  I woke up the Friday morning and knew something was wrong and I took myself to the urgent care centre nearby.

There are times I could complain about an emergency room encounter, however, this was not one of them. Within three hours I had been assessed, blood and urine tests completed and had a CT scan.  It was amazing. That would have taken me about half a year to acquire via my family doctor. As an example, I saw my family doctor in July and she referred me to another gastro specialist. My appointment is December 18th….

After the CT scan, however, felt like forever. You haven’t changed in the way you feel but now you don’t get to lie down. You are sitting there on a hard chair against a wall (near the clean linen rack) rammed beside others also waiting on their findings.  Usually when you are waiting in the ER they just blurt your results out for all to hear (sometimes you feel like a dumb-ass like when they tell you its just a sprain vs a break or to put polysporin on it… ) In this case, I was called away to get my results. That doesn’t happen. I also wasn’t the next in what would be the sequence we went in. Up to that point everyone pretty much got them in order of who had gone in for their scan. I was about six people away from what should have been my turn when he called me to join him down the hall.  He spoke so softly saying they found something serious. I needed to have further exploration and so I would be hearing within a day from a gastro specialist who would perform a colonoscopy immediately.  I remember staring at his glasses and listening to him say something about how I am too young for colon cancer but it was important it be addressed right away…. He then shuffled me back to where I’d just been sitting to wait for paperwork.

I felt like everyone was staring at me. They weren’t , they were inside their own heads wondering what he could have said to me, what that could mean for their results. I know my face would have revealed what I was feeling. I was shocked.  Forty has meant cancer for people I care about. Some of them are not here anymore after dying horrible cancer deaths and so using that word just as I turned forty meant it could be real…  and of all cancers it had to be my ass. If you knew some of my relatives you would know that even if it were terminal, there would be ass jokes….it’s one of they many things I love about them.

CT Scan Results

CT Scan Results

Fast forward a few days and I had my colonoscopy. I was awake this time. Not my favorite – I prefer completely unconscious with no view of my colon. One, you can feel it. Two, you can see it. I watched my colon on the screen. I think she said twenty five feet were viewed but I was on drugs, it’s a blur. Why they share so much with you when you are whacked out watching your freakishly long colon is beyond me.

Long story short – diverticulosos perhaps? I have inflammation, spasms and another label but NOT cancer. NO CANCER. Who cares about the rest? For days this was what was wearing me down…what if… what then? Everything else is manageable.

So what then does this really all mean? A wonderful woman said to me this morning that “digestive issues reflect one’s inability to digest something in their life right now.”  She knows me well.  It’s so true.

I’ve been thinking about this for days. I’ve been given this gift of time to heal right now and I’m focusing on more than just my gut.  I am making significant changes in my life.

Basically, I am claiming back my life.

I’ve spent the last few years working towards several goals and I achieved all of them. I also opened and small coaching practice which I run in addition to my full time position. I have been fortunate to connect with some amazing clients. The past few days I realized how much I have enjoyed this, and, that I do not want to continue. Although it is very rewarding work I want those hours back in my personal life. I work early mornings or evenings with my clients and although it has benefited my career, my finances, my ability to provide for my family – I’m closing my “office” doors.  I am fortunate that I love what I do by day and I am able to use all of my learning/development.  It’s either or and so I’m choosing to put the pause button on this one and to shift my time.

I want to play more. I want to take more half days off, take the kids out of school and go play together.  I want to go on more of their school trips and not feel guilty about what I’ve left behind for a day at work. It’s one day. It’s time to end all of the little stories I tell myself about why I just can’t…. yes…. I can.

I want to make the time to create the foods I need to nurture and heal myself. It’s easy to do when I am not working, it’s hard to do when I am. I want to create a better balance. Tying into this, I also need to give myself more credit for what I do accomplish. I am a driven person and I always see potential to grow / maximize / enhance.  We rarely eat anything from a box or can or picked up/out….we make fresh meals three times a day.  I have to remember to be kind to myself about what I am achieving versus the one thing I did not. Negative self talk leads to an angry ass – completely avoidable by choosing another way. I do not have to put this kind of pressure on myself.

I need to pause and ask myself if the action I am taking is one of self – love or not.  In every sense. Money cannot buy this time back. Yes it can buy awesome things like Jamaica trips and a new pool in the backyard BUT I’ve been pushing myself this way for three years and clearly my ass cannot handle it. Your body will always reveal the truth about how it has been cared for.  The key is to create a platform that, in every sense, creates a balanced life.

Sitting here now with days between all that happened what amazes me is what came to mind when I was worried about having to deal with something that could compromise my life. We are constantly reminded, sometimes a little more bluntly than other times, of all we have in our lives. When we forget or let things get in the way the universe reminds us. I’ve clearly not been paying attention and so this time it took more of a screaming effort vs a gentle nudge. It’s up to me to make this lesson stick…this one is worth it.

Be well.

N.

A game changer…

Clearly I am leaning towards more the of the sucking side in terms of having lived up to my promise to self to blog more.

I made a few such promises to myself. One being blogging, I do love writing. The second being exploring different ways of working out. I’ve grown away from the gym environment lately.  I love weight training, I’m just not digging the gym itself.  And so I have been. It’s been fun. My third, my game changer is this:

Play More

 

Two simple words have changed the way I am experiencing my life.

I am really enjoying my time. I’m relaxing on things that used to make me uptight ( laundry) and just giving myself permission to take time out and play. The kids and I have ” wii battles”.  They may be six and seven but they are fair game when it comes to wii!

We’ve been enjoying board games or just playing outside in the snow. Regardless of what I’m ignoring in order to create time to do this, I’m really happy right now. I know in a blink of an eye these moments will pass. I see my eldest already wanting more time with her friends vs her amazingly cool mom.  It’s going to happen and there isn’t much I can do about that. That said, there is much about what I can do now. And so I am, one playful moment at a time.

I’m really grateful I took the time out to write for myself today. That said, I’m anxious to log off and get back to playing. Just writing about it confirms that this new motto is changing the way I feel about my life. I’m experiencing it, not just navigating through it.  This is new for me. It’s my new norm…I’m absolutely loving it.

Log off time!

Wishing you a wonderful and playful day,

N.

2012

When I sit here and think about last year, what an adventure!

It started off amazingly. We took our first ever family vacation to Disney in Florida. Awesome.

Shortly after we returned we discovered my hubby has cancer. Skin cancer. The same as his father who passed away from cancer.  Not so awesome.

My colicky baby finally stopped screaming – THANK THE LORD – ALL LORDS!

I returned to work post mat leave – semi awesome depending on what’s happening. I miss being at home focused on only the kiddos.

I began and completed my courses for coaching.

I opened my practice and began certifying myself as a coach.

I discovered something about myself. I’ve been struggling with what it is I wanted out of my workouts/my physical self. I’ve previously always had specific image related/strength related goals. I can sculp myself into what I choose, but the results weren’t coming. My effort inconsistent  I realized it isn’t really my goal anymore. I don’t care about that, I see through it. I recognize the behavior and mindsets within myself that are damaging. Not just to me, but to my children, society at large. I am participating in something I don’t truly believe in – fitness. Wellness – yes. What is now identified as “fitness”, NO.
I’ve grown tired of seeing women working out in bikini’s with curves that cannot be made by Momma Nature herself with headlines like “fit women can be curvy”.  I am cautious on how I present this material as this is a non-judgmental statement and yet people I adore may be offended by my statements.  That is not my intention.  It’s how women in “fitness” are being presented and what women are sculpting themselves into that worries my soul.
What it is is that I want more for us. I know we are worth just as we are, we don’t need anything else. We don’t need boobs, tinted eyelashes, laser treatments, botox… We just need to be okay with ourselves. We are damaging our souls by following this path.
And so in this 2012 adventure of mine I have created my way of participating in change. If you believe in something and it’s cause and fail to take action on it why bother thinking it? It’s just a random passing thought then….
I have stopped acting mindlessly and started living on purpose.  I am bringing myself into the moment as much as possible. I want to be present in my life, not just running on auto pilot. This is what 2012 stirred up in me, advanced action.
My tiny steps towards my ultimate destination weren’t effective. It’s time to take bigger ones. Drastic ones. Whatever comes of it is still one step further than where I am now and that is exactly what I am aiming for. Movement. Purposeful movement.
I know exactly what I want in my life. For myself, for my children.  This clarity is new for me. Maybe as I was in baby making mode and distracted by screaming colicky babies BUT whatever it is, I’m clear now.
I’m also so grateful for my hubby.  I feel like this really strengthened this past year.  He’s amazing.  I’ve known he was amazing for years but it’s easy to get distracted by what is happening in the house.  I’m making a greater effort to be just as focused on us as the kids.  It’s lead to a great year. What should be the seven year itch has been more like a  honeymooney year. It’s been awesome.
And last but not least, I’ve learned that the greatest gifts I have in my life need to know they are my greatest gifts regularly.  Anything can happen in any given moment that removes your ability to speak this truth for yourself.  We have the gift of today, let’s celebrate it.
2013…this seems so “spacey” ha ha.  Back to the Future was one of my favorite movies and this was beyond the future they traveled to ha ha!!

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Now only if I had a flying car………

Be well.

Mad luv

Happy New Year!!!

Blind to the obvious…

Once a summer, in July, my hubby and I receive a “pass”.  It’s an over night babysitting gig via my hubby’s mother. We are not in the habit of rejecting this type of generosity as once you have a third child, babysitter’s disappear.

July is both my husband’s, as well as, my birthday month. It’s also our wedding anniversary. It’s the perfect reason to leave over night, that’s for sure!

I will say, my mother in law was awesome. She arrived at 8am Saturday morning and told Dave and I to take off.  We were out within twenty minutes.  I don’t recall showering at that speed in a long time but I was really impressed with our ability to exit quickly and fully prepared!  We had not yet packed before she arrived. Really an amazing accomplishment, I was very proud of us.

Our check in time was 3pm. It was 8:30am. It was a gorgeous summer day. The sun was shining, the humidity was non existent.  It was hot, cloudless and gorgeous.

After first having stuffed our faces in at a local breakfast place, we opted to hop on a boat and head over to Toronto Island.

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Toronto, ON

I have not been to the Island in years. Many, many years. I was a kid.

It is so beautiful there.  Dave and I loved the boat ride over.  We were kid-less and so the mission was to hit a patio and have a beer immediately. It was just past 11am.

We arrived and immediately claimed the last of the waterside tables.  We sat here for a few hours enjoying pints and sharing some food.  It was fantastic. I miss this grown up time. Where you can just sit back and not worry about washroom trips, who peed their pants, why is the baby screaming, why aren’t they eating and what not.

We didn’t have to drive. We had no time lines or schedules to adhere to.  For the first time in ages, this was just “us” time with no agenda.

That first stop at the restaurant pretty much set the tone for the day.

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My handsome hubby waterside on the patio….

We wandered around the island, soaking in what we both forgot existed within our little universe. After returning via boat to the city we just wandered around the water front. Again reminded of what’s been right in front of us the entire time.

It was absolutely gorgeous. The day was awesome. Pints on different patio’s. We ate well. We met up with friends and then spent our evening alone together.  The Royal York hotel was great (location is amazing for wandering around).

Not only did I re-discover Toronto, I was reminded of how much fun it is just hanging out with Dave.  We enjoy each other. We like spending time with each other.  Get away’s like this allow you to really, really have fun with one another. We were only away for just over 24 hours and I feel so very full right now.  We’ve been smiling all week.

Or maybe our bodies just don’t know how to respond to actually sleeping.  One passes out quite heavily post many pints a’wanderin’ the town!!

I was really impressed though with our ability to plan ahead.

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First time ever having breakfast delivered to the room. Ridiculous amount of money for a bran muffin and fruit BUT worth every penny for the carafe of coffee!

Not only did we sleep in ( just past 8am!! MIRACLE. Can’t believe we made it that late!),  but we didn’t have to feed people. They fed us. Amazing.

I’ve got so many ideas on how to spend time with the kiddos now that we’ve seen all that we have. Family bike rides on the water front. Ferry rides, family bikes ( 4 ppl bikes) and picnics on the island.  I love how inexpensive these ideas are AND that they remind us all that has been in front of us the entire time.

There’s so much more than the hustle and bustle available to us.

I will also say of myself this past weekend, I ate well. Really well. We found locations with organic chicken breasts and salads…I felt so well.

Beer and salad. Yum.

This love of mine…

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The date stamp is wrong…never did figure out how to fix it on that camera ha ha!

‎7 years ago around this time in July while at a friend ‘s wedding this pic was taken. We were caught up in ourselves in this moment and had no idea the photographer was up to something. Moments later the woman in the corner of this pic and her partner approached Dave and I and stated that she could feel how in love with each other we were and how lucky we were to have found that in each other. SO I thought she was probably faced and friendly but now I suspect she was a coach ( as one I am now aware of the awareness one has when tuned in to other people deeply and as the Bride and Groom are both coaches surrounded by coaches). As our 7 year anniversary approaches I am more in love with my hubby than ever. I am so fortunate to have discovered what could be if only we allow ourselves to be. I don’t know what compelled me to share this in this moment, but if you are sitting on the fence about something or running from your own fears – don’t. When you truly allow yourself to be and allow others in – amazing things can happen. I am truly blessed. ♥ Don’t tell him I said nice things. I may have to take it all back if he becomes irritating with a big head later……

Non-workout awesomeness…

The clock is ticking and life as a corporate mom ( all mom’s are working mom’s!) draws near.  I decided that instead of working out and/or running around and getting all the errands I really do need to complete before 6pm tomorrow, that I would slack, accomplish nothing and just pamper myself instead.

It was awesome.

I’m somewhat feeling tense as I now have a crap load to do tomorrow BUT today – awesome.

As a result of this weeks pampering, I now no longer resemble some sort of wild animal (with crazy hair and fuzzy legs) and instead resemble a groomed women.  I didn’t realize how far I had let my self image go…. sCaRy. It doesn’t take very long to turn into these wild beasts…especially when not paying attention.

Pedicures, hair cuts, caramel highlights, eye brow waxing, facials – I’m “a lady” again! It’s probably been a year I think ha ha ha, except a few weddings and outings in between where in I pulled myself together in the final hour.

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Presentable again!

Next step: clothing shopping this weekend. The hubby and I are headed south of the border for a mass shopping spree. The family needs clothes and we are all getting some. The kids aren’t coming (YAY! Did I say that too loudly???).  Mom and Dad are getting away solo. I can’t wait.

For the first time ever we used Hotwire. We successfully scored a great deal on the ugliest hotel I have ever seen (be it on line images, however, it is seriously unattractive). Electric blue bedrooms with bubbles on the wall await us. Who cares! The wine will blind me. It doesn’t matter how much we have, there are no kiddies to tend to in the morning hee hee…..

I am really looking forward to seeing what size I am and how clothes fit me.

So for now, with my awesome toes and fresh hair, I must cook dinner.  It doesn’t matter how awesome you look standing in the kitchen, the kiddos only care about what is for dinner and how soon will it be ready.

I hope that the weather is as spectacular where you are as it is here. It’s 23 degrees Celsius in March. How incredible is that!! It should be 5 or 6 degrees. It really lifts the spirits when spring finds a way into your life again.  It was a great winter, that said, I feel the energy of spring returning.

Off to the kitchen I must go. One of the kiddos has discovered that Mom isn’t paying attention. The gig is up as they say, back to work I must go.

Wishing you a wonderful day,

Nicole

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