Happy Belated Thanksgiving!

Sorry guys, I am a little late. But better late than never, right?

I just didn’t want to give up the opportunity to wish all of my loyal followers a happy belated thanksgiving. Hopefully you all enjoyed a wonderful weekend with family and delicious food. I certainly did.

In the spirit of the season of gratitude, I wanted to point out some of the things that I am grateful for over the last year.

I am thankful for my adoring and amazing hubby,

I am thankful for my loving and fantastic parents,

I am thankful for my brother who always keeps me on my toes,

I am thankful for my awesome and kindhearted in-laws that rock,

I am thankful for my wonderful family and friends who are always there for me,

I am thankful for the medical system we have access to,

I am thankful for the doctors that won’t give up on me,

I am thankful for my neighbour and my best friend’s mom for making me great little caps to wear since I lost my hair,

I am thankful for my best friend Julie as she comes over and feeds me,

I am thankful for my cousin Sandra and all the mani’s and pedi’s,

I am thankful for all my amazing blog followers,

I am thankful for the kindness and generosity of strangers,

I am thankful for everyone who generously donated towards my treatment,

I am thankful for my friend Sharon for starting a fundraising page for me,

I am thankful for the daughter of a friend of the family who decided to pass on having party favours for her confirmation and instead gave the money to me for my treatment,

I am thankful for chocolate croissants,

I am thankful for my favourite TV shows as they keep my night time TV obsession alive,

I am thankful for delicious food that makes me happy,

I am thankful for the peacefulness and tranquility of the cottage,

I am thankful for fall fashion, I mean who doesn’t love boots and pretty sweaters?

I am thankful to all those that work very hard to make things organic and natural,

I am thankful for being able to share my story publicly,

I am thankful that my brain still functions, well at least kind of,

I am thankful for everything that still works on my body,

But most of all, I am thankful to be alive in order to enjoy another Thanksgiving 🙂

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THANK YOU!

Health, love and gratefulness.
xo

Happy Mommy’s Day!

To all of the wonderful mothers out there, especially you, MOM – this one is for you.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

Love you Mommy!

Love you Mommy!

This post is super sappy, so don’t say that I didn’t warn you.

I am extremely fortunate to be surrounded by such strong, amazing women. My mom, my grandmothers, my aunts, and now even my mother-in-law. You always hear those stories of nasty “mothers-in-law” from hell. I can’t even fathom this situation as my mother-in-law is absolutely wonderful. I couldn’t have picked a better one even if I tried. I truly hit the “motherload” with all of the amazing mothers in my life, and I love them all dearly.

Okay, so I may be a bit biased when I say that I am truly blessed with having the absolute GREATEST mommy in the world. But she so is! And yes, I call her “Mommy”. She is the strongest and most courageous person that I know. I have always been told how brave that I am, well, my bravery doesn’t stand a chance when compared to that of my mother.

She has been the rock for me and my family for 33 years. When I think about Mother’s Day I begin to think about the pain and hardship that my mother was forced to endure over the course of my life, but yet how she handled every difficult situation with courage, wisdom, and an abundance of love.

No mother wants to witness their child sick; however, my mother had no choice. She’s been watching me through sickness for 30 years.

At the tender age of 3, she watched me lie in a hospital bed while undergoing surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments over the course of two years. And sadly she hasn’t stopped watching her daughter face illness ever since.

Me and Mom (before treatment)

My mom was the brave soul that had to force feed me food as a child when I didn’t want to eat because my throat was so badly burned from the radiation treatments.

She was the one to hold my head up while I vomited from the chemotherapy.

She was the one to hold my hand while watching me get poked and prodded with needles on a daily basis.

She was the one that learned how to clean and disinfect my port for chemo.

She was the one that watched me as my body slowly deteriorated from the toxic treatments administered.

She was the one that nursed me back to health when I was too sick and weak to even stand upright.

She was the one to constantly remind me of how beautiful I was with or without hair, unscarred or scarred. (She still reminds me of this.)

She was the one that allowed me to cry when I needed to cry and to laugh when I needed to laugh.

She was the one to tell me that everything was going to be okay.

No one teaches parents how to parent. There is no training involved. Under the best of circumstances, it is an extremely difficult job, now imagine your child has been diagnosed with cancer.

The oncologists tasked my parents with the increasingly difficult undertaking of caring for a child with cancer while at the same time ensuring not to treat me differently. They did this so that I would one day grow up to become a strong woman. So, naturally my mom had to travel between being the “good cop” and the “bad cop” so that I wouldn’t grow up to be a big wimp.

Having given up her full-time job so that she could stay at home to take care of her sick child, my mom managed to find the perfect balance between the good and the bad cop. She provided me with a wealth of love, support, and affection while also making sure that she was tough, stern, and strict with me. The cancer card does not seem to work so well on my mom. She did not want me to feel like I was different than all of the other boys and girls out there just because I had cancer.

For years my mother has had to witness the toll that this illness has taken on me. Though she always managed to be my pillar of strength no matter how it must have killed her inside to watch my body, mind, and spirit ache.

Now my mother is forced to watch this same destructive illness slowly try to take her daughter away from her for good. No mother wants their child to die before they do, but for my mother, this may be an unfortunate reality. No one knows. Like always though, my mom is fulfilling her motherly role like a true champ. She seriously needs a ‘Mother of the year’ award, or perhaps 33 of them!

There aren’t really any Mother’s Day cards that say “Mom, thanks so much for taking care of me and helping me deal with this stupid cancer” or “Mom, cancer sucks, but you rock!” or “Mom, I hope I can be a terrific mother like you someday, but I won’t have the chance cuz cancer happened.” Perhaps these cards exist, but I couldn’t find them at Hallmark.

So Mommy, the best I can do is tell you how much I love you and appreciate all you have done for me over the years. You have shaped me into the young woman that I am today. I wouldn’t be here without you (no, seriously I wouldn’t be because you gave birth to me, remember?) You are the greatest role model, and I strive each and every day to not only make you proud, but also to walk in your footsteps. And let me tell you, these are very big shoes to fill. No matter what the future holds, I know I can get through anything with you by my side. I love you MOMMY! xoxo

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Love, health, and awesome MOMMIES!
xo

Happy Birthday Audrey!

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Beautiful, elegant, stylish, graceful, compassionate, kind, loving, and a humanitarian – these are just some of the traits that are often attributed to the legendary Audrey Hepburn.

Anyone who knows me knows that I absolutely adore Audrey Hepburn. Given that today, May 4th, is her birthday, I thought I would dedicate this post to her.

Audrey Hepburn was a screen legend (ranked by the American Film Institute as the third greatest female screen legend in the history of American cinema,). She was also one of the world’s most prominent fashion icons (was placed in the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame). Not to mention that she was (and is still) considered to be one of the most beautiful women in the world.

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Despite her awards and accolades, one of Audrey Hepburn’s most notable achievements is that she embodied compassion and humanitarianism. She was just as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside.

A truly exquisite woman, one who deserves to be looked up as an inspirational figure.

Unfortunately, in 1993, Audrey Hepburn succumbed to cancer. This dreadful disease ended the life of yet another amazing individual. Despite her illness, Audrey Hepburn continued to advocate for the less fortunate, and she gave a voice to those who were voiceless. She made an impact on the lives of others and created a legacy that remains alive today.

She has inspired me, not only with regards to beauty and fashion, but in all aspects of life. She has taught me to love and inspire those around you, to advocate for causes that are dear to your heart, and to have compassion for those that need it. I’m doing my best, Audrey.

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There are countless days when I feel upset, frustrated, or hopeless, but then I recall the wise words of my all-time favourite icon, and I try my best to carry on.

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I believe in miracles too.

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Love, health, and living life the Audrey way!
xo