Sunday, 22 February 2015

An Attitude of Gratitude

The last couple of months have been an absolute whirl wind. Appointments, interviews, photo shoots, charity hockey games and all the while training.

The charity hockey game was absolutely amazing. 40 players took shifts and played for 250 hours. More importantly they raised $1.1 million for the Cross Cancer Institute for some vital equipment. Dr. Brent Saik did the first World's Longest Hockey Game to honor his father who passed away from Cancer. Shortly after that his wife passed away from cancer and his mission was clear. He was going to help everyone he could in his fight against cancer. This most recent game was the 5th edition and each time it gets better. I referee in my spare time and was honored to referee the final shift of the record setting game, mostly because it gave me the opportunity to the thank the men and woman who took 10 days out of their lives to help people like me.

Hugging Brent Saik

This is all really fun but my hope is that from all of this exposure my message doesn't get lost. You need to pay attention to your body and get your regular check ups. The ability for them to cure cancer in the early stages is absolutely amazing. BUT, they have to find it. Don't be afraid to stand up to your doctor. Insist on getting a scope. You don't have to be passive in your care. Too often we just take the opinion of the first person and just accept it. 

I've mentioned before that I religiously listen to the Adam Carolla show. A daily podcast that is hilarious but also has some amazing insights. Adam's side kick Bald Bryan is living with a brain stem tumor and his book Shrinkage details his entire fight against cancer. In his book, one of the things he mentioned was visualization, which I do anyway, but also talking to your cancer. I really liked this idea. I told my cancer out loud, "Thank you cancer, you've shown me what's truly important in life and given me the opportunity to talk to people and help them. But you can go now." This felt great but the guy sitting next to me on the bus seemed freaked out (I kid I kid). 

Kim and I have taken a holistic approach to beating this stupid disease and I really feel like it's working. Of course I'm getting the chemotherapy, but I'm also taking natural supplements, doing yoga with Kim and meditating at night. This has allowed me to make cancer a part of my life rather than what my life is all about. 

The greatest opportunity I'm getting is one I've created myself. The #cancercanthackett tour this summer is going to be an amazing opportunity to reach tens of thousands of people. I've picked 8 races (possibly 9) across Canada that I will be setting up a booth and talking to people about screening and prevention but more importantly, I think, showing them that cancer doesn't have to change who you are. 

I'm so happy to have sponsors on board as well. XTERRA are sponsoring me with wetsuits and swim suits, Sugoi is doing custom clothing, Hoka One One is supplying my shoes and Coloplast is providing cash to make it all happen. The best thing about these sponsors is that I used all of these companies' products anyway. They've just decided that my project is important enough to support it.  

My training is finally getting back on track. I had a bit of a tough time getting back into running. I realized afterward that I had been going too fast and burning out quickly which made me angry and got me down. I decided to slow down and my minutes went way up.    I'm really kind of starting over but that's ok. Finishing an Ironman now is a whe new challenge. I'm not sure how many people actively on chemo have completed one, but I'm not one to pay attention to averages or stats anyway. If I was I wouldn't have done a half marathon at 300 pounds or an Ironman at 285 pounds. 

Kim and I are really in a good place now. We've gotten to a place where we can openly talk about all of the possibilities and we're totally at peace with where we stand. 

I'm hoping you'll continue to follow along and more importantly, getting your check ups! 


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