After months of travel, I am home again.

My most recent adventure was a bucket-list trip to Italy. For the first two weeks, I rented a villa in Tuscany along with five of my six siblings, a cousin, and all respective spouses — 12 of us in total. The final week Andrew and I spent in Sorrento on the Amalfi Coast. The art, the landscapes, and the food were superlative. It was joyous, restful, fun, and most importantly — delicious!

How did I afford this? I used the money from the medical malpractice settlement I received after the heinous events described in The Cancer Olympics. It felt good to see some joy come out of experiences that were so tortuous. Nothing can restore my lost life chances. However, a fragment of quality of life can be discovered, like a jewel on a beach after a storm and shipwreck.

Now home, I must face the music. I must pursue the medical appointments, blood tests, scans, and all other tests that establish the status of my cancer right now. I had put all that off while travelling.

And now that I am home, I once again begin my patient advocacy adventures. Several await me. This month, I will give a talk on my experiences to the medical reception course at my local college. I am working on two presentations on medical error and appropriate apology practice. And most important of all, I am scheduled to meet with the Minister of Health of Nova Scotia, along with others, to discuss patient safety. What issues would you like raised?

Before I hit that reset button, I want to relish the memories of my enjoyable family time. To that end, today’s song is “C’mon Get Happy” by David Cassidy — the theme from the ’70s hit series The Partridge Family. My agemates will remember how the Partridges travelled together singing their songs. In Italy, my family did not sing together (apart from “Happy Birthday”) but the celebration of togetherness and travel in this song makes me smile.

We had a dream we’d go trav’lin’ together
We’d spread a little lovin’ then we’d keep movin’ on
Somethin’ always happens whenever we’re together
We get a happy feelin’ when we’re singin’ a song

This post originally appeared on The Cancer Olympics. It is republished with permission.