Dream Creator

Dream Creator
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Just a small town Canadian dreamer... This started as the diary of a young woman's experience with breast cancer and continues 5 years later as the diary of a woman, like many other, who has decided to take her lemons and make lemonade. **If reading this blog for the purpose of learning about my breast cancer experience, PLEASE START AT THE OLDEST POST (October 2009) AND WORK YOUR WAY FORWARD**

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Balance and Fulfillment

Balance and Fulfillment...the key to Harmony and in turn Happiness.
Sounds easy?
Not really...
I went to my first counseling appointment a couple weeks ago.
She asked me why I was there.
I told her..."Because people told me I should get counseling, it's the responsible thing to do...?"
I didn't really feel like I needed to be there...after all, I have blogged from the start, shared EVERYTHING about my breast cancer experience with WHOMEVER would listen to me and I have had a kick-ass support team of family and friends since the very start! I feel like I rode the waves pretty darn good. BUT, people said I should go, that I wouldn't want to think I was ok and have something sneak up on me down the road that I hadn't dealt with...so I went.
It took my counselor and I a while to figure out what my issue was, what my GOAL was, or in other words what my worst fear was that she could help me with (I guess there needs to be a more specific reason to see a counselor than just having HAD breast cancer).
That issue or "worst fear" turned out to be the fear of going back to who I was "pre-cancer" and not taking what I learned from cancer as a gift and applying it to my life.
Basically, all of those "Ah-ha" moments I had, the ones I excitedly blogged about...seeing the beauty in things, slowing down life and appreciating the little things etc etc...well, my fear is I will forget those things. I will slump back into my old life and lose sight of whats important. I am afraid I will stop feeding my soul. I am afraid I will stop getting to know my kids, I am afraid I will start "fretting" over money again, and weight and stupid things that don't really matter!
I freaked out a bit over this fear, for a little while...and then doors started opening for me.
I speak to my God know more than ever and I speak clearly and when I am finished speaking, I TRUST that he will grant me the path and things that are best for me. I TRUST that everything will happen for a reason and work out in the end.
It is this relationship with my "God" that started opening doors for me.
I decided to go back to work as a hairstylist...something I am good at and let's me use my creativity without insane pressures placed upon me from employers and corporate standards. Freedom to make people happy, and beautiful, by using my artistic ability on my OWN terms...this is really important to me. I have been back at it for just a short time and I am at peace everyday I am there. It feels good and it feels right and I am grateful for that.
Another door that opened for me was a few career opportunities related to the hair industry. I have been approached about becoming an educator for a specific color line, which is a great honor and an awesome opportunity...I am not sure if I am going to pursue this path or not, but regardless, I know it is an option and it is there if I ever want it. The other opportunity is to take some training in wigs. How to tailor wigs, cut and style wigs, pick then out for people upkeep and so on. I think this sounds good to me. I remember way back when my mom went to get her wig...we went into this fab salon and the owner had a little wig area and provided uncanny service to us both emotionally and superficially...I remember thinking THEN that that was something I would like to do, because it must have been so rewarding for her. I wanted to be the lady who made people feel good in their LOWEST time...this opportunity could be part of my way of giving back and could be a benefit financially as well...I will look further into this option.
Another door...well, the opportunity to be the new "facilitator" of our little local breast cancer support group. This may be an option for me in the coming year, and I think this would be another great way to "give back" and do my part in helping others...there is a lot of new info out there and I would love to share it and bring in some newer members to join us.
Then I was approved for the grant to attend the Young Woman's Breast Cancer Conference in Toronto...need I say more??! The networking possibilities are endless...I would love to come away from that with a job in the field...it would be a dream to be paid to help this cause so near to my heart. Even a chance to help without pay would be great so long as I didn't become overloaded and have it take away from my job and family and support group...balance, balance...
The point is, right now I am content. It is exciting to see all of this opportunity arising for me and I am thankful. I know I am not capable of doing everything and maintaining balance, so I will peek thru each door and trust my God and my gut and know that the doors that are MEANT for me, will be the ones I keep open.
Either way, the odds for me gaining fulfillment are looking pretty darn good right now.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What ISN'T New?

A brief outline of what is new since we last blogged...
  1. I had an amazing summer
  2. I decided I was going to go back to my true love of hairstyling. I am currently working part time in a salon as a chair renter (and loving it!)
  3. I had a different job offer related to the industry
  4. I applied for a grant to attend the Young Woman's Breast Cancer Conference in Toronto....and I was accepted for FULL FUNDING!
  5. I attended our first of the season breast cancer support group
  6. I was asked to possibly take over leading the support group in the new year.
  7. I was asked to speak on the radio this coming Friday to kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month and a local fundraiser for it (I accepted!)
  8. I read Eat Pray Love and connected with it ( I will learn to meditate, it's on my to-do list!)
  9. I met with a councillor to talk about my journey and I will continue to see her every 2 weeks.
  10. I found out my my mothers genetic test results for the BRCA1 gene were positive so it looks like I most likely have the gene as well...(I will find out within 2 months)
So as you read, I have had some major happenings this past 2 months...I will have to go deeper into a few of these things in future posts...and plan to. All in all though, life is pretty good right now and I feel like I have found a good balance.

August Pictures!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Well well...I am going to attempt a post here and forgive me if my computer dies mid sentence.
August was the month I crammed ALL of summer plans into, seeing as my surgery at the end of June put a bit of a damper on July.
Cancer can't stop me from having fun, I'll find a way!

So what has happened since I last wrote?
Well a lot of trips and events and such, and a lot of emotional ups and downs as well...plus an important medical update.
What should I start with?
Let's do the fun stuff.

A few months ago I won a fishing trip to Campbell River.
This was on my "To-do list or my "bucket list" whichever you prefer. So it was a big event for me...and it was a blast. We flew on a little airline out of Trail and let me tell you, when we pulled up to the terminal (a metal shed that looked like a barn) I looked at Kerry and he said "Don't worry, that's not the terminal." and of course, it was.
It had mismatched old thrift store furniture from the 70's and looked like a frat house. It had a little basket of chocolate bars on a table with a sign that read "this concession works on the honor system, please leave a dollar per item in the basket" I must admit, it made me chuckle. I mean I am small town, but this was REALLY small town!!
The plane was tiny too! We had to duck to get in and almost had to duck while we were sitting! I had a great view of the cockpit and pilot (as there wasn't any door to the pilots quarters)
The town was nice, and the fishing was EXCEPTIONAL! It was the best Salomon run in years and we met our quota for Sockeye within an hour or so...
I really loved the fact that fishing is a lifestyle in this town. Everyone just kind of hangs out on the docks, cleaning their boats and gutting their fish, drinking beers and bragging to their friends about their daily catch. Kids fishing off the docks with their bag lunches. It was inspiring and I felt for a moment like I could live that way.
I loved the experience and hope to be able to do it again one day.

When we got home, I put in a load of laundry, hit the sack and the next morning the kids and I were off to Faulkier to camp for 4 days.
Tukaluk campground is just outside of Nakusp and about 2.5hrs from Nelson. My bother in law's mother owns the campground and we are treated like royalty every time we stay. This time we were meeting my sister and brother in law and my niece. I just felt I hadn't done much camping yet this year and I wanted to get another little trip in before the summer was over.
It was nice. A lot of relaxing, a few campfires, a couple beers and even some beach and a swim in the lake. PERFECT.
I read a book when I was there, it is a true story about a woman with bi polar disorder from Alberta and her struggle with it and how her father found a cure for her, but the government wouldn't approve it EVEN though it is all natural and works!! In fact not only would they not approve it but they tried to stop other people from using it...
Bureaucracy. Makes me think about chemo and the cure for cancer...if they really found one, would they really tell us and put it out there for us to use?? I think cancer generates a lot of money, I mean chemo is $10,000 a bag. And with all of the BILLIONS of dollars put into research, we haven't found a cure? Maybe. But maybe not. Get's you thinking at least.
The property of this campground is magical and everyone who goes there comments on how well they sleep. Babies, adults, insomniacs, they all rave about the energy there.
I tried to take my time when I was there, to soak up the moment, and all of the beautiful things...really take it all in. I think I did a good job.

We had a wedding when we got back from camping.
The couple who gave me the Machhu Piccu photo were back from their trip and got married on a beach in Nelson. It was beautiful and the bride flew in on a float plane. The arch they had on the beach, was decorated with cedar boughs, flowers and a few of the things the lucky couple likes doing together. Mountain bike tires and climbing equipment. It was really cool.
I got a bit jealous thinking about it. I have always wanted to be the active couple. I blame it on having kids and little time, and I blame it on not being naturally athletic, but I think those are all cop outs. Am I just lazy? Or am I afraid of something? Or maybe deep down I don't think I am worthy of that lifestyle. I am not sure, but I have always wanted to be more active and fit and I just cannot force my ass off of a couch to do something about it. I mean, we hike, but it's minor and it isn't all the time. There is definitely room for more.

The day after the wedding, my daughter and I drove up to Kelowna for a doctor's appointment and my cousin's birthday. Another thing on my "To-do list" is to spend more time with family that I don't see very often. It was really nice to go out for dinner and see my cousin and my aunt and my other cousin's wife and kids. It felt comfortable and I wished that it could have lasted longer. I will male a point to see more of them.
The doc appointment was good. My plastic surgeon was running about an hour behind (as usual) and so I missed meeting my other surgeon. Doc looked me over and said everything looks great! I am supposed to go back in 4 months for areola tattooing. I am still not sure if I will or not. It doesn't really seem like I need it. It looks pretty normal without, because the scars are around the areola area and therefore it makes it look like a change in pigment. Anyway, we will see...

The day after I got home from Kelowna we left on a road trip to Seattle and then up to Victoria for another wedding. My husband wanted to take the scenic route and drive thru the states, hit Seattle and then up to Victoria on 2 ferries...this was a good idea!
Seattle was AMAZING! I didn't think I liked cities anymore, but I enjoyed our time in this one. Kerry drove us downtown to our hotel (in which he said he chose the CHEAPEST one downtown) this made me very nervous, however, it was beautiful! We stayed at the Warwick and it was top notch with a beautiful view and right in the heart of everything. We only stayed one night but we got to experience so much. A nice dinner out...Pike's Place Market and SAM (the Seattle Art Museum) featuring my FAVE singer Kurt Cobain of Nirvana and one of my fave artists...ANDY WARHOL. It was very serendipidous really, or maybe I just manifested it, but if I could have picked 2 people to be featured at the museum, it would have been those 2 people. Another "I love my life" moment.
Pikes's Place Market was out of this world. If you haven't been there...GO!!! A gigantic maze of vendors and gourmet food, artsy wears, nostalgia and character. Day of the Dead items, GIGANTIC produce and huge beautiful bouquets of flowers for PENNIES! Old magic shops, a store selling JUST wind up toys, a funky old barber shop, the BEST clam chowder in the world..Piroshkis, the first Starbucks EVER! On and on and on...it was absolutely FAB! As I strolled around inhaling the scents of cotton candy and fresh ground coffee, I realized how grateful I am to be alive, and how important it is to experience new things. I was on a high.

When we were on our way to the market, is when I noticed the SAM and the headline "Kurt"...I just looked at my husband and we both knew it was a must do. Because the museum is an ART museum, it wasn't featuring shadow boxes of Kurt Cobain's old clothes and guitars, it was a cornucopia of many artists tributes to Kurt Cobain, his talent, his music, his life and his death. When entering the exhibit there was a gentleman guarding the entryway who while I was taking a photo of the signage, proceeded to tell us that we would not be allowed to take any photos of any of the Kurt exhibits inside. The first exhibit was may favorite. It was a padded sound like room/booth decorated as though Kurt had just been there. There was a light bulb dangling from the ceiling, flickering. There was a microphone stand in the middle of the room. There were lyrics with drawing on looseleaf. Nirvana was playing loudly from the stereo, though it was a screetching, mishmash of songs. The whole scene was very eerie and I loved it. There was a video that one artist made where she videotaped herself and her kid jumping on a trampoline, then she took the 8mm tape and soaked it in the infamous (from Nirvana lyrics) penny royal tea, bleach and cherry flavored antacid. They played the video on a white screen. There was a framed sketch that Kurt drew, there were various paintings of Kurt. There was a photograph of Kurt's crime scene that a Paparazzo must have taken, with his sneakers showing while he lay on the floor dead. The artwork was not exploiting the death but rather the disturbing nature of those who have exploited his death. Why would anyone take such a photo, I think that was the point. There was a silent video of a woman dancing in a mall to both Smells Like Teen Spirit and then a Marvin Gaye song...you had to guess what song she was dancing to at what time, by her movements....it was all very creative and gave me my fill. the kids liked it to.
The Andy Warhol exhibit was cool...lots of his prints were there, and some photo booth photos of Lou Reed and Edie Sedgewick and other muses of his. Very Cool!
The Trip from Seattle to Victoria was sweet. We got to ride 2 ferries and see lots of cute little towns that I would just love to explore. We passed by Forks (Twilight) and drove right thru Port Angeles to take the ferry (also Twilight affiliated) so that was pretty fun.

Our visit in Victoria was fulfilling. We stayed with my Aunt and Uncle and my little 6yr old cousin that my daughter hit it off with right away. The property we stayed at was very nice. 3-5 acres of forest in Metchosin which is just outside of Victoria. The house was beautiful and the yard was enchanting. It was a very nice visit. The wedding we attended while in Victoria was great also and one day we drove to Naniamo to visit my grandparents who are getting closer to 90 now! It was very nice to see all of our family and made the trip very meaningful. I always love going to my grandparents. They hava house right on the ocean and it brings back my youth every time we go. This time was extra special because sometimes when you are going thru treatment you stop and wonder if you will ever experience these things again. It was nice to. And it was nice to relive the excietment of flipping rocks for crabs, through my kids. As much as it aged me, it reminded me of what life is all about.

The trip home was fine, always a bit rushed but I always love looking out the window, checking out everything and sometimes staring out into acres of forest, wondering what it would be like to be in that exact spot, right in that moment. What does it look like there? How magical is it? Thousands of acres of land that we may never step foot on. It makes me feel very small, and I like that. One eerie thing we experienced on our drive home was by fluke. Kerry had to stop in Hope for gas and as he pulled off of the highway we passed a motel called the Thunderbird Motel. I felt sick right away. This was the hotel that the infamous "friend of mine" (the Calgarian who became VH1 reality star) hid for days from the police and then ultimately hung himself. This guy was accused of killing his wife, and then cutting her fingers off, removing her teeth and stuffing her in a suitcase. He was an old friend of mine from Calgary...I guess I wouldn't call him a friend necessarily but he was an acquaintance and I had socialized with him on more than one occasion, even attending a dinner at his home with his family shortly after he attempted suicide and decided to become a Christian and change his ways....it was sad.
As we drove by the hotel I said a prayer.

All in all the trip was one of the best yet. I crossed about a hundred things off of my "to-do/ bucket list" and I felt fulfilled when we got home. I will post some photos in my next entry.

So as you can see I have gotten my computer back FINALLY and it is in good working order. There are so many things I need to tell you all and I will be posting like a maniac over the next week to try and catch up. It's good to be back. I missed it.

Sorry!!!! My computer is broken and won't let me blog!!! I can only write in the title slot for so

...It's been a long time baby!

My computer hasn't been working...none of them.
The lap top is on the fritz and the desk top won't let me log into Blogger!
When I have tried using my son's IPOD Touch, it won't let me type anything except a Blog title!!
I think the universe is against me blogging right now.
I will blog as soon as I get my laptop fixed, there is so much to write about!
It has been an exciting month....