Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category
Lynn’s Comments: It was my birthday on Feb 6th and I turned 40 this year. I decided to keep it quiet and have a small gathering of friends and family at a South Indian restaurant on Gerrard St. It was a nice lunch and while I was at the restaurant, I felt my father’s presence and him saying to me, that this was your last hug. Little did I know at the time, but it indeed would be the last hug, as he passed away the same day. I only found out about his passing 2 days later.
Hearing about my father’s passing was indeed tough news, but not surprising. He had several strokes in the past several years and dementia overtook him. I was so grateful, I had the chance to see him one last time on Dec 11th, 2011. I had a challenging year recovering from cancer in 2012 and I never got around to going to visit him again. With him now gone, I savour every memory and moment spent with him. Our lunches spent in restaurants around Toronto. My favorite place to dine out with my father was at the Westin Prince Hotel near Don Mills and York Mills.
My father was my mentor and guide. He was there to give me the best advice ever, when I first dealt with cancer at age 24. He reminded me at that time, not give up on my dreams. I always enjoyed listening to his stories. What a great story teller my father was and maybe one day, I’ll write those stories in a book. The best gifts I ever got from my father was his time and of course, jewellery from all around the world!!
Hopefully, God blesses me with a man who is my life partner and treats like Gold as dad did! I declare that I am so LUCKY!!
Watch this video about a gift from my father:
Lynn’s Comments: I have been reflecting lately on what makes my life so extraordinary and realized it’s the feeling of LOVE I get from all around. You share love with family, significant others and friends, but have you ever thought about loving your co-workers? Love in the workplace—do you think that goes hand in hand? Years ago, I remember, reading one of Marianne Williamson’s books and she wrote about when you have anyone walk into your business—to basically give and send love their way. I never really thought of expressing love in a business—but it was such a profound moment.
It was my birthday this past week and I arrived to work on Wednesday, February 6th, I found flowers and a card on my desk waiting for me. It was such a lovely gesture of kindness from my work colleagues. I definitely felt the love from my workplace and it was wonderful feeling to get such a beautiful gift!! If you remember someone’s birthday, they definitely will feel like a million bucks!
Can you think of some ways in which you can acknowledge/appreciate or love your coworkers? I suggest you:
- give them a compliment
- buy them coffee or tea
- give them a card during the holiday season
- bring them back a souvenir after you go traveling
- give them a hug—depending on the relationship and level of comfort of both parties
When you personalize your business relationships and show appreciation and love—-the actual business relationship will transform and provide rewards bigger than you can ever imagine!
Lynn’s Comments: January is the month of new beginnings and a time when many make resolutions for the upcoming year. The third week in January for me, marks my new beginnings. As I’ve been off work for 1 year, my return to work was officially on Monday, January 21st, 2013 and on Friday, January 25th, I started a 6 month health lifestyle program.
2013 is a special year for me, as I will see more hair growth, new hair styles and a completely new way of life. I just moved to a brand new building, which I absolutely love. I’ve taken on a completely new lifestyle and I know for sure it’s going to be completely fulfilled.
What new beginnings have you taken on? I suggest write down your dream list and take action towards a new beginning. We’d love to hear your stories and what you’d like to work towards in the upcoming year!
Lynn’s Comments: With the Holiday Season in full gear and seeing friends and family, it is a time for reflection. It is an opportunity to give thanks, reflect where we’ve been and where we are headed in the coming year. As I think back over these holidays, I am amazed that I survived one of the biggest challenges of my life. Last year, on December 23rd, I left my surgeon’s office, and went to St. Michael’s Cathedral, and cried my eyes out lying on the church floor. Now a year later, I am in a completely different space.
I GIVE THANKS FOR:
- my beautiful new curly hair that has grown
- my breasts and my scars that have healed
- the ability to move my right arm and lift things
- reduced swelling in my right wrist
- the time I spend with family and friends
- my new home and new furniture
- all the support I received from family and friends in the past year
- MY LIFE and my renewed sense of being!
Sometimes, it take something like Cancer to put things in check and to know what’s really important in life. I encourage you all to Give Thanks this holiday season. Gratitude brings more abundance into your life and leads to pure happiness.
What will you give thanks for in your life?
Lynn’s Comments: During my recovery in 2012, I did some research and come across the Young Adult Cancer Canada organization and noticed some great programs that they offered. I attended their Retreat Yourself East in July 2012 in Nova Scotia, just 4 weeks after my breast surgery. After that retreat, I decided to submit my application for the survivor conference happening in Toronto early November 2012.
I arrived to the Radisoon Admiral hotel by the Harbourfront and got my hotel room swipe card. I arrived at my hotel and met my room mate for the weekend. She greeted me with a smile. I then proceeded to the Admiral Ballroom to register for the conference and head to dinner. I was felt a range of emotions—excited, scared and wondering what will unfold over the next 4 days.
In many ways—it was so reassuring to be among a community of people who have been down a similar path as mine after all the first time, I had faced cancer I was 24 and then 14 years later, at age 38. I saw several familiar faces from the Retreat in Summer 2012 and also some strangers as well. In total there were 90 of us, including both survivors, supporters and those are just living with cancer and they have to been on treatment until they pass on. It really just moved me to meet those just “living with it” and I was without words to be honest.
We had workshop sessions which were useful that include topics such as sexy singles, dealing with anxiety and depression and managing brain fog. After cancer, I haven’t had the slightest clue on where to begin where dating is concerned. I had also been feeling anxiety about moving just 2 months after treatment has ended and wondering how would I manage brain fog at work. However, we learned some great techinques and suggestions in all the workshops, and I feel better equipped as I transition into this new chapter of my life.
One of the most touching moments, was when a young man (my age) shared his personal story of losing his wife to cancer and his journey as being caregiver to her. There was not a dry eye in the room and it brought me to tears, as I thought wow!—what a ride it has been to have my mom and my aunts be caregivers for myself in their senior years. Caregivers are the key to every patients road to recovery or last moments on planet earth.
The food was awesome, accomodations comfortable and the community became family by the end of the weekend. I am so grateful that this organization exists and all the work that the staff of YACC do. YACC has lifted me up! Lynn is back—so get ready to see me out in the world
Lynn’s Comments: It was on January 12th, 2012 that I walked into the the Mount Sinai Hospital Fertility Clinic with my mother at 9am. We had an appointment with a fertility specialist. As treatments for cancer often leaves young adults infertile and puts women into menopause after Chemotherapy, it was an essential appointment for myself. A lovely young lady greeted us and gave us an overview of fertility options—such as egg retrieval harvesting, fertilization of eggs to create embryos and using donor eggs. It was quite intense to hear about all the options.
My diagnosis was breast cancer at the time, so technically, I am supposed to take tamoxifen medication for 5 years and only consider pregnancy afterwards. However, when I met the doctor, she said the Oncologist sometimes lets you go off the medication to get pregnant. She also said it’s what kind of risk you want to take—in order to have a baby. I felt extremely hopeful, after I met the doctor.
The doctor and her assistant left the room, and I literally had to make the decision to go ahead with fertility preservation or not. I looked over at my mother and thank God, she was there. She said you’ll be doing this for your life and your future. She was right and I decided to take the plunge and go ahead with the procedure of fertility preservation. Through the grace of God and good luck, I had started my period the same day, so it was perfect timing to start the fertility medications.
Fertility preservation was not only emotionally draining, but financially a big commitment as well. It costs several thousands of dollars for fertility medication, along with the costs associated with the IVF procedure. Luckily, because I was a cancer patient, I received a slight discount on IVF. Can you imagine, being hit with a cancer diagnosis, and then having to fork out tons of money just three weeks later, in order to keep your dream of having children alive?
My decision to do fertility treatments meant my Chemotherapy would have to delayed just one week. So from January 12th to 24th, 2012, I went to the fertility clinic daily for blood tests, ultrasounds. I also had to inject myself daily with hormonal medications that could have led my tumour to grow bigger at the time. However, I couldn’t simply give up on my dream of having children some day and took that huge risk.
It was January 24th, 2012 that I had completed my egg retrieval procedure. I ended up with 13 eggs—I kept some eggs frozen and fertilized some eggs into embryos. With only about 10 minutes of counseling, I received during that time, I really didn’t have a moment to think about this big life decision I had made.
I recently just finished treatment for the cancer on September 13th, 2012. It was 2 days after treatment ended, that I finally had a moment to digest my fertility preservation experience. Chemotherapy did cause menopause for myself—whether it is temporary or permanent, I am not sure— but I haven’t had my menstrual cycle in several months. Then I started to wonder, “how on earth am I going to explain this all to a future partner?”
Life does have a way of working things out. I do pray that God guides me in the next chapter of my life and grants my desire to become a mother. And to all you mothers out there, please take me under your wings, and show me the way!
With that, I embrace the LOVE, as LOVE does conquer all the obstacles that may lay ahead on this road that I on!
Lynn’s Comments: It was Broker, Justin Dixon of the Property Boutique who kindly helped me execute a reunion meeting with my father on December 11th, 2011. A mere 9 days later, I received a diagnosis of cancer and my whirlwind of recovery soon began.
I had the good fortune of meeting real estate agent, Vijay Jhamat in early January 2012 at a friend’s home. A few weeks later, we had our first breakfast outing just a week after my Chemo started. And, a week later, I ended up in the hospital. Broker Justin Dixon at my request, kindly updated my Facebook wall to let everyone know I was in the hospital. Vijay, along with a few other friends visited me in the hospital the day of my birthday, which was simply the best! Vijay also came home on Easter Sunday, brought me a lovely plant and our breakfast outings continued on a few other occasions during my time at home. She also brought me an amazing cake with a lovely message at my End of Chemo party in May 2012. Lastly, when I needed a ride home from breast surgery in June 2012, Vijay was the one who picked me up from the hospital and drove me home.
Long time friend and real estate agent, Nalini Nankoo was with me, along with her partner and brand new baby, the day I lost all of my hair. She brought Chinese dinner for the whole family and was there, when my hair was shaved off as it had been falling out in clumps a few days before. She also brought food again for lunch on Easter Sunday and a lovely red velvet cake that said “LOVE YOU” at my End of Chemo party in May 2012. She truly cheered me up with her family and was there at key pivotal moments in my journey.
I received rides from the Canadian Cancer Society during my Chemotherapy treatment and was surprised one day, when a young good looking realtor showed up at my home and was indeed my Volunteer Driver. It was Ryan Hannah who worked in a real estate office in downtown Toronto. We have become Facebook friends and was really impressed that someone in the real estate industry who take time out of their day for cancer patients. In addition, I had other agents who are just Facebook friends like Abbas Syed who offered to drive me to appointments if needed.
One of the biggest highlights of my whole 9 month journey and best gifts ever, was from Anna Vora, partner of the Property Boutique. I wrote on my Facebook status, universe please send me Oprah tickets and miraculously, 8 minutes later, she responded online and took me as a guest to the “Oprah LifeClass Tour” on April 16th, 2012. It was one of those things I had always wanted—to see Oprah and I am so grateful for that great “pick me upper” gift!! It was tough waiting in line for 4 hours in the midst of chemo treatment, but so worth it! I’ll never forget that day ever! Thank you Anna!
I applied for the Cottage Dreams program to receive a free cottage stay after my cancer treatment is over. When I put out a request for references to support my application, Broker Justin Dixon offered to be one of my references. So, from October 7th to 12th, 2012, I will be going to my cottage stay by the Kawartha Lakes near Lindsay, Ontario. It will definitely be the relaxation I need after this 9 month long journey!
I’ll never forget the phone calls from new agent, Brian Persaud. He touched based periodically and always asked how I was doing!
Thanks to all the amazing real estate professionals who offered their support! You’ll never be forgotten!
Lynn’s Comments: I first heard about MoMondays through a Facebook invite sometime in June of this year. I saw that they were recruiting speakers and sent in a note expressing my interest in participating. I received an email notice in July that I was booked to be a speaker on August 20th, 2012. I realized that would be a big challenge as I was starting radiation treatment in August, but felt it was worth taking on and confirmed my spot.
I shared on my social media networks including Facebook and Twitter that I was speaking at MoMondays. Surprisingly, the day arrived and I had 4 friends show up in the audience. I had two girlfriends attend, and 2 guy friends who I haven’t seen in several years, attend who I didn’t know were coming. They wanted to come out and support me and it felt great. Sentiments of their love were shared as well, and it was a wonderful feeling to reconnect with both old and new friends.
At MoMonday on August 20th, there were 7 speakers in total and I was the 4th speaker up just before break. I shared on how I took on the challenge of giving a speech during radiation, how life is full of ups and downs. I started my speech by recounting my father reunion story and how 9 days later, I received a cancer diagnosis. The focus of my speech was on Lessons Learned during the Cancer Journey of the past 9 months such as:
- Spirit and surrender
- Think outside the box
- The powerful impact of community contribution
- Random acts of kindness
- Worldwide gifts and support
- Creating a joy List
- Using your life lessons to help others
At the end of my speech, I received a standing ovation and it felt so amazing to be acknowledged and feel the love in the room just swing right into my heart!
MoMondays was definitely a turning point for me and all the speakers were amazing. We laughed, we were touch, moved and inspired. One fellow speaker from Buffalo spoke to me afterwards and invited me to speak at MoMondays there when it gets started in Buffalo.
Here’s my speech live:
Lynn’s Comments: During my recovery from a breast cancer diagnosis, I have spent time scouring the internet for resources and opportunities to learn. I came across the Young Adult Cancer Canada site several months ago and noticed their amazing programs. It was close to the date of my lumpectomy and right axillary node dissection that I returned to the site of YACC and decided to submit an application for Retreat Yourself East 2012 in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. I applied to the program and was informed that I was wait listed on June 25th, 2012. A few weeks later, I found out the good news that I made it through to getting a spot after being #11 on the wait list!! I was secretly hoping I could attend the retreat and felt so fortunate that I was accepted!
On July 11th, 2012 after running a few errands I came home and eagerly purchased an airline ticket. One week later I left on July 18th evening to Sydney, Nova Scotia and met some other gals attending the retreat on the flight there. In total, 6 of us arrived from Toronto to Sydney airport on a West Jet flight. It was quite chilly when we exited the airport, very different to the weather we were experiencing in Toronto.
We stayed at Quality Inn Hotel on Kings Road in Sydney. I awoke the next morning and arrived a few minutes late for breakfast to join the other young women and there were all waiting for us to begin ordering their meals. A great morning of politeness and courtesy to start off. It was welcoming and refreshing to be among women with similar experiences to myself. The conversation began and it somehow stumbled upon the topic of menopause—what a way to begin a morning conversation!
I experienced a wide range of emotions as the retreat began. I felt excited, nervous, grateful as well as relief to be among a new community of souls who have had similarity in their life journeys. There was an action packed agenda, with small group discussions, vision boarding, large group shares, hiking, yoga, chi gong, swimming, and acupuncture. During the free time, I rested mostly, but on the 3rd day, I decided to brave it, and swim in the Atlantic Ocean. I definitely felt the abundance of the universe while in the ocean and its’ healing energy.
On the whole, we cried alot and shared our innermost feelings. I also saw the beauty and light of every soul that graced Cabot Shores for this retreat. The time away from Toronto is just what I needed. I returned home earlier this week with a sense of strong gratitude and for the new journey that lay ahead in my life. I start radiation for 30 days next week and then I’ll be a Cancer Graduate! September is my graduation and that’s only a month away! YAY!