Fall is here and I have mixed feelings! I wouldn't necessarily attribute it to the weather change itself, but rather to the fact that the year is almost over. It’s been a year of emotions and surprises and frankly speaking, I wouldn't be shocked if someone out there, somewhere, already began their holiday shopping. At this point, anything goes.

The last few weeks have been a rollercoaster of emotions for me. I had mentioned in my last newsletter that I was invited to speak at a Trillium Health Partners fundraiser this month. I walked in and out with no interruption. My main goal going in was to be able to deliver an impactful story and somehow garner some audience interaction. Success!! The occasional chuckle, the laughs, the intense stares. It felt great knowing that I was able to share and deliver my story in such a powerful way. Also, you better believe I ended it off with Bob Marley's "Three little birds" because we all know you can take the Jamaican out of the island, but you can’t take the island out of the Jamaican. And if the experience wasn’t already inspiring enough, Trillium raised $84,000 that same day! Just how amazing is that? I’m glad I got to be a part of it.

One piece of information I don't believe I've let you in on since the surgery last year, is this: I've been in constant pain or discomfort every single day. Everything hurts. If it's not one part of my body, it's another. Believe it or not, the treatment area is still swollen. A whole year later! I get it. They cut right under my arm and it makes sense that all that muscle is still in its healing stages. But like really, can I catch a break? Sleeping throughout the entire night comfortably is almost impossible. I'm constantly switching sides, trying to make myself comfortable, yet nothing works. I can't sleep on my stomach which happens to be my favorite sleep position and so I’m forced to toss and turn all night long.

I know that it will take a while for the pain to subside but I can't wait to have a chat with my oncologist in November to get a glimmer of hope, because I need it. I almost feel like the tin man in the Wizard of Oz with every movement made. My joints are sore and every motion comes with some level of pain. I've had to find ways to workout in the middle of all this because I knew I needed my joints to function properly. As much as I'm feeling stronger with my workouts, I feel like I am ready for some normalcy. I am almost at the point where I've just had it. 

As if that’s not enough, next month is my birthday and the first time in my life that I'm not able to do anything. I am BIG on birthdays. I usually celebrate mine throughout the entire month of October. Last year was bad enough because I had just started chemotherapy. It was my 40th birthday and I didn't even get the chance to live it up. I remember asking my Oncologist my drink limit just to have him look me in the eyes and say "you can only have a maximum of two drinks". The first words out of my mouth were "how large can those two beverages be?" I think he thought I was being funny at that time, not realizing I was being completely serious! I was a good patient, but that was last year. This year was supposed to be the make-up year. I know my family will try to plan something to help cheer me up. But it's cold and it's going to make me feel way worse because as much as I know they're trying, it just won't be the same. This friggin sucks!  Are you into birthdays as much as I am? Do you try to celebrate all month?

I don’t mean to rant, but I don't feel normal and the world isn't normal anymore. I’ve tried to remind myself to breathe, and that everything will be okay. It's going to be okay, I know that. But maybe what I really need right now to help keep my head up, is one of the two drinks the doctor suggested I could have. I’m no longer on a two beverage limit!!! Yaay for silver linings. I know I said 2020 wouldn't get the best of me, so I still have 3 months to make the best of it.

First things first, I am excited to be able to participate virtually in this year’s CIBC Run for The Cure! I plan on walking in a park to get my 5K distance in. There’s still time to donate or to join our team to help make a difference!  Click HERE for more details!

Talk soon!