The Mystery Sandwich: We’re All About the Filling

Journey. It’s just a word, isn’t it?!  Some people embrace the word, others not so much. The actual definition is the act of travelling from one place to another. For us, the journey is simply, life. Travelling from birth to death. We trust it, even if we don’t always understand it. More than thirty years ago our lives became entwined, a duet, that continues to evolve. We have designed a life we want to live, in spite of obstacles that appear in our path. 

We agree with the author, Diane Ackerman. We don’t want to get to the end of our lives and find that we lived just the length of it. We want to have lived the width as well.

We also love this passage from her book, The Natural History of Love: “The great affair, the love affair with life, is to live as variously as possible, to groom one’s curiosity like a high-spirited thoroughbred, climb aboard, and gallop over the thick, sun-struck hills every day. Where there is no risk, the emotional terrain is flat and unyielding, and, despite all its dimensions, valleys, pinnacles, and detours, life will seem to have none of its magnificent geography, only a length. It began in mystery, and it will end in mystery, but what a savage and beautiful country lies in between.”

We’ve created a couple of videos that show highlights from the past four months. It was a summer which we mostly enjoyed, managing to drive our high-spirited stead about 10,500 km. There were sun-struck hills, rain, thunder and lightning storms. We visited the shores of four Great Lakes and several rivers, one of them our favourite, waterfalls. We were treated to boat rides on two lakes. We witnessed sunrises and countless sunsets. We stargazed and listened to owls, bird songs and cicadas. Our wanderings traversed two provinces. We slept in 39 different places, 25 of them parks and one a hospital parking lot. We crossed bridges, boarded ferries and followed the paths of the Navigateurs and the Group of Seven. We swam, hiked varied terrain, made campfires, watched whales and collected rocks. We spent time with people we love, listened to live music and sought out and enjoyed fresh, local flavours everywhere we visited. It was the summer of the Ontario deep dive with a soupçon of Québec for good measure.

PATIENTBLOGEN: Whether you’ve followed our blog from the beginning or not, you’ve undoubtedly realized that our path forward these past eight years has been varied and unpredictable. We couldn’t have foretold any of what we have lived. Now, included. What we’ve learned about ourselves since first venturing out on the open road in that 1990 VW is that we are adaptable and flexible. We’ve learned patience and the importance of living in the present. One of our first lessons was not to look too far ahead which meant not worrying about the future. And now, halfway through the first four cycles of chemo, we have adapted and accepted a new ‘normal.’ Perhaps it’s a good thing our approach to life is atypical. This approach provided plenty of practice, even before the Folksblogen adventure.

As for our new normal, the chemo is working! The bad cell numbers are plummeting, as hoped. (Insert happy dance!) Also, we have a consultation scheduled at Princess Margaret Hospital on November 8th with a Stem Cell Transplant team! This feels like progress and like we are that much closer to remission! We’ve managed to get out of Dodge (Toronto) 6 out of 8 of the weeks between treatments so far. The doctor suggested we reel in ‘our vagabond lifestyle’ a little to allow more time for rest. Knowing what’s ahead, we want to make the most of each day. What’s ahead specifically is post Stem Cell Transplant there will be a three-month period where Christian will have no immunity and become the ‘boy in the bubble,’ so to speak. Covid gave us some practice with that! Finally, something to thank Covid for!! 

I haven’t a clue how my story will end, but that’s all right. When you set out on a journey and night covers the road, that’s when you discover the stars. – Nancy Willard

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