Home! Home! Home!

I get to return home this Saturday! After being in Toronto for surgery and treatments for three months, I can finally return to Nova Scotia. Recovery is slow but progressing. I can walk well with my cane. The results of the femoral nerve MRI proved unhelpful to the neurologist — however, he said that the fact I am improving suggests that the nerve was compressed and will recover in several months. All my tubes are gone at last. My urologist surgeon is pleased with how I am doing and will continue to follow me as I go forward.

I am back in NS for only two weeks before my next big adventure. Andrew and I will be taking 12 weeks to drive across Canada, camping with our beloved little trailer. When we get to Vancouver, we will leave on an Alaska/Yukon cruise-tour. Afterwards, we drive all the way back. I so long for a break from all my strivings, during which I can breathe in the beauty of my glorious country. And just plain recover.

For the first time in nine years, I will not be at the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. I have been a top fundraiser in my area for several years. Ironically, this is the year in which I have required the CCS’s resources the most. Staying at the Halifax and Toronto Cancer Lodges for extended periods has truly opened my eyes to the needs met by Relay funds. Please, everyone, donate to Relay — you can never know when you or your loved ones will need CCS’s help.

Where will I be instead? I will be at the National Healthcare Leader’s Conference in…guess where?...Toronto! Yes, I come all the way back, to serve as a patient advocate as part of my duties on the NHLC planning committee. I spoke at this conference last year. I shocked and devastated those healthcare leaders with my story of medical wrongdoing, as per The Cancer Olympics and all the wrong since then. I expect that some in that audience will be surprised to see me alive.

Slowly, slowly, my strength and energy returns. I begin to glimpse a future, and I am touched by gladness even as I am staggered by all I have been through. My song choice is therefore “Your Love’s Return,” from 1970, by the euphonious Gordon Lightfoot. The song’s lyrics are the voice of an errant lover, coaxing the woman he left behind to take him back. But I choose to hear in the touching lyrics and gorgeous melody the voice of health returning to a ravaged body, enjoining that body to trust in recovery, and to allow in feelings of celebration.

Readers should know that if you click on a song title in my blog, you will be directed to a YouTube which will play that song. I encourage you to listen to this song, and to let the sheer beauty of his voice and his message wash over you.

Open the door my pretty one
Wake from your sleep and take me home
Open your eyes and look my way
I cannot leave your love alone

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