All Canadians will recognize the Number One hit “Life is a Highway” by Tom Cochrane from his 1991 album Mad Mad World. Surprisingly, for such an uptempo tune, it actually stems from Tom’s trauma from visiting war-torn and impoverished Mozambique. He said he wrote it as a “pep talk” to himself, as he could not control what was happening around him. He was striving to bring a positive perspective to hardship, dislocation, and survivorhood. I choose it today, my last day of chemotherapy, for those same reasons.

Today I was in hospital for my last infusion for a while. I am really crawling to the finish line here…this last cycle was a harsh one, leaving me bedridden with pain at times. On Friday, I will have the agonizing ureter stent replaced, and hopefully that will give me some relief. I just want this hell to end.

This Cancer Olympics blog has gone into syndication via! They will have chosen select blogs for their website, link here. For copyright reasons they are omitting the actual song lyrics, but will allow YouTube links to the songs. So readers will just have to sing along in their heads!

On 18 December, I will be attending the book launch of Maike Van Niekerk, whose book Faces Facing Cancer includes my own face. The book profiles 50 Nova Scotians who are in the fight against cancer. The sponsor of the charity Katrin’s Karepackage, Maike was among the first to promote The Cancer Olympics when my book first came out. Remarkably, she was decorated by the Governor General the same day I was for a stupendous feat—running 7 marathons in 7 days in honour of her mother’s breast cancer. A Rhodes scholar, she is now pursing studies at Oxford. All this is to say that she is an all-round remarkable human being. It will be very meaningful to meet by the other remarkable humans she has profiled in her book: clinicians, patients, caregivers, advocates. The link to get her book is here.

To all of those faces in Maike’s book,

Through all these cities and all these towns
It’s in my blood and it’s all around

And to all of us, all of you, all those who are sharing in this wild ride of mine:

Life is a highway
I wanna ride it all night long

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