The Part Where I Got Invited To The Purple Party

One normal afternoon in October I received one of the best emails ever.  And no, it wasn’t an email from my favourite store telling me about a 50% off sale; it was an email inviting me to the legendary Purple Party by Childhood Cancer Canada! Yes, the Childhood Cancer Canada. I mention them a lot in my posts, they’re pretty incredible.

Welcome to the Purple Party!

Welcome to the Purple Party!

Anyway, the reason for my surprise/happiness was because I had wanted to go to the Purple Party last year, but tickets range from $100-$250! For those of you who don’t know, the Purple Party is an event that takes place annually to raise money for childhood cancer. They have food, an open bar and a live auction. However, the brief synopsis of the event did not prepare me for the night ahead. It’s the event of the season. It’s a place where you’ll find Canadian stars like Yannick Bisson as well as Olympic gold and silver medalist Brian Price.

But better than that; you’ll find the real stars of the night: childhood cancer heroes.

I didn’t know I would be walking into one of my recurring day dreams, yet there I was. Myself, my two sisters, my best friend, and now, you. So kick back, relax, and prepare yourself for a night filled with laughter, food, drinks, and inspiring people. You’ve been cordially invited to the Purple Party. Continue reading

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The Part Where People Asked Me To Talk About It

Wings of Hope book

Wings of Hope book

Like Elsa from the popular Disney movie “Frozen” I learned to push things away and not talk about them at all. I learned to let things go. However, in the beginning of May, I got asked to talk about my cancer journey. Childhood Cancer Canada was asked to have one of their scholarship recipients speak about their experience with cancer at the Wings of Hope book launch.

At first I was scared. I didn’t know what to say, or how to say it. Then I finally agreed. Continue reading

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The Part Where People Asked Me About “Cancer Perks”

If you haven’t heard of John Green’s best-selling novel, The Fault in Our Stars– also known as TFIOS- then you’ve probably been living under a rock. If you have heard of the book, or now, movie but have yet to read or watch it, then don’t read any further because there will be spoilers!

Basically, the story is about two teens with cancer who fall in love. What I like about the novel is the fact that it doesn’t have the ending you’d expect. It’s raw, and real. Throughout the novel, Hazel and Augustus, the protagonists, talk a lot about life as cancer patients.

Source: The Fault in Our Stars

Source: The Fault in Our Stars

Hazel has cancer, but it is under control, and Augustus is in remission.  At one point, Hazel describes herself as a grenade; saying

“I’m a grenade and at some point I’m going to blow up and I would like to minimize the casualties, okay?”

When I first read the quote I was shocked at the fact that I could relate to it so much. When you have cancer, or are living after cancer; you never know what the future holds. It’s hard for you, but it’s also hard for the people you love if anything happens to you. So you try not to get too close; which is what Hazel tried to do.

In the end, Augustus ended up getting cancer again and passing away. Hazel did not die, but near the end we could see her condition worsening, so we assume she also passed away.

Despite the very heart wrenching, and sometimes realistic ending that Hazel and Augustus recieved; they raised a very important question that I get asked incessantly:

Do you get cancer perks?” Continue reading

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The Part Where People Said “I’m Glad You’re Not Sick Anymore”

I spend about $500 dollars at the dentist annually. This amount is after I get re-compensated by my insurance company. The amount is for cleanings and fillings and all that jazz. I have to get these simple procedures done at a hospital by specialists because of the extensive damage radiation therapy had on my teeth/gums/nerves.

Something that people do not mention often are illnesses that you may experience after cancer. There are complications, sometimes severe, that cancer patients experience after treatment. These complications can be worse than having cancer. It is important to stress that not everything can go smoothly when remission kicks in.

On average I have:

  • one MRI
  • one CT scan
  • maybe two ultrasounds yearly

This year I had:

  • three MRIs
  • two CT scans
  • four ultrasounds
  • one biopsy
  • one swallowing study
  • too many blood tests to count

Continue reading

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The Part Where Everyone Said “Kids Will Be Kids.”

I promise I will try not to make this post a sob story:

I met a therapist at Princess Margaret Hospital last year who mainly sees cancer patients. She is also a psychology professor at UofT St. George. I told her that I had been bullied since I had come back to elementary school, and the bullying had lasted up until high school. I was expecting her to be shocked; however she simply nodded. She told me that most of her patients got bullied for having cancer. Continue reading

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The Part Where Everyone Called Me “Survivor”

I don’t like the word “survivor.” I know you’re probably thinking that it’s wrong of me to say, but I can back myself up. The definition of survivor from is:

“a person who continues to function or prosper in spite of opposition, hardship, or setbacks.”

Now, while I agree with the literal definition of the word, there is so much weight that the word carries. When people hear the word survivor, they assume that whatever the person has survived is behind them. When people hear that I am a cancer survivor, they automatically say “I’m glad you’re okay now!” People never really talk about what survivors go through after. People don’t really talk about Childhood Cancer either. We are never surviving; it is always in the past tense. I’m here to tell you my story. Continue reading

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