Archive for 2018

The Ocho

Wednesday, June 20th, 2018

It always stuns me, slightly, to return to this blog and see how much time has passed since I last posted. If I’m not posting here, it’s generally because life is busy, rushing past at the speed of light, and I’m hard put to find the time to breathe, let alone blog.

June is always very full. It marks the end of each school year, as we stand on the cusp of all of our summer adventures, with short weeks of glorious hot weather ahead of us, complete with lake swims and ice cream. We’ve got outdoor birthday parties and long, light nights for soccer games. We’re back on our bikes, waiting for Toronto’s pools to open, and gearing up for summer camp.

But I’m always thoughtful in June too, and a little sad, and a little wistful. Because today is D-day, and when June 20th rolls around, I think back to that horrendous day that still feels like a black blot on my brain, 8 long years later. It was the day that we took Gavin to emerge at Sick Kids. It was the day that we finally did a CT scan. It was the day that we found out he had a brain tumour. It was Father’s Day.

This year, in 2018, Father’s Day didn’t fall on the 20th, which is great for us.

8 years! We had no idea, then, what the future would hold. It was a time of great fear, and also of great joy. On June 22, 2010,  the Bean’s tumour was removed through epic surgical feats. So for me, June 20th and June 22nd are always those days.

Although today is Wednesday. Today is dropping the kids off at school and programs, and having a nice coffee with a friend. Today is getting stuff done, and not worrying and not fear-ing. And the 22nd is Friday, and it will be going on a field trip with my son’s grade 4 class, and attending an evening soccer game in the park, with all the other normal families and kids, and we will blend in and look like them, although I sometimes feel that there is a huge, blaring, neon arrow above our heads, flashing, CANCER!!

Because, what we’ve seen has shaped us, and the fears of what will be shape us too. But the past is behind us, and the future is not known, so I do my very best to live in the moment, and to live a most ordinary and magical life.

And my life is absolutely both of those things. I attempt to approach each day with gratitude, deep gratitude for another year, and deep gratitude, that, scan by scan, Skye still shows no signs.


So the days whiz past, in a blur of the usual hectic family life, swim lessons and piano recitals and trying to figure out where all the time goes. Some of those days still have to be spent at the hospital, and in appointments, and last month, the Bean had a few nights’ stay at the HSC, due to a particularly bad episode of CVS. These days, whilst upsetting and difficult, are becoming rarer.

Gavin’s last scans were in January of this year, and all was well. Skye had hers then too, with the next round coming up next month, in July. She is such a beautiful, happy and active 3-year old that I can’t bear to entertain the possibility that something dreadful is brewing. I tend not to think about or focus on her scans until the day is upon us, as otherwise the anxiety is too much to live with.

So, to bring my focus around to the good. 2017 was a huge year in our lives, with lots of travel – Hong Kong, Europe and Australia, yes!! – and a big home reno project that went on for far too long, as they so often do, but resulted in some great changes on the home front.

2018 has brought more stability and exciting new changes: Gav will go to sleep-over camp for the first time this summer. (Two weeks!) Skye will begin school in junior kindergarten in the fall. These are the kind of changes I welcome.