Week 44: A Good Week

It has been a great Father’s Day weekend. Our daughter had her high school graduation, our son was here as well, so we were all able to celebrate together. The best gift a father could have, watching and helping one’s kids grow and develop.

And while these kinds of occasions always bring out the sentimental side in me, I am more sensitive to them now, given the double meaning of the milestone itself and my being around to witness it. So the emotions that wash over me are all that more intense. She made it, I made it, we all made it together.

And a number of fun events. A nice neighbourhood gathering to bid farewell to some long-standing residents of our street as they downsize, going to a new citizenship recognition event hosted by our Member of Parliament (who couldn’t be there given all night voting at the House – his wife hosted), and seeing the Van Gogh exhibit again, this time with less crowds so we were able to appreciate the work even more.

To my surprise, I received a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for my contributions to government service. Particularly rewarding, as I was nominated and awarded this by my peers, along with a number of my colleagues. As I am well enough to go to the occasional ‘crowd scene’, it was good to see and reconnect with my former colleagues and catch up on their news. They were pleased to see me looking relatively well (my standard reply to how I am doing was, said with a smile, ‘I’m standing and I’m here’ – says it all). Funny how the simple word ‘here’ can have both its factual meaning and existential significance!

One of those relatively smaller things in life that nevertheless make one feel good (and keeping up the family ‘tradition’, my Father received a Silver Jubilee medal for his work in the arts).

I have also been re-discovering my creative side as I continue to work on new material for my lymphoma journey book. Part of it is in choosing photos to break up the major sections, which means looking through my old photos when I was in to photography, selecting and scanning them, and seeing how they fit in with the narrative (rather have beautiful photos than pictures of me in hospital ‘uniform’). The written content is largely down, apart from a few articles I have to finish for both Cancerwise and the book, and of course, subject to editing and some ‘trusted reader’ criticism.

Working on turning my Prezi into a video, with a set script and related touches, is another outlet.

And of course, with the benefits and risks that the technology and autonomy allow me to ‘do my own thing’; benefits in not having to worry about reporting relationships or permission, risks in that it may be too narcissistic and not critiqued enough to make it suitable for public distribution. Can’t have everything, and I am having fun with it.

I finally read Charles Taylor’s classic, Multiculturalism and the “Politics of Recognition”, where he straddles the fine balance between universalism and relativism, a good nuanced discussion. Quote:

There must be something midway between the inauthentic and homogenizing demand for recognition of equal worth, on the one hand, and the self-immurement within ethnocentric standards, on the other. There are other cultures, and we have to live together more and more, both on a world scale and commingled in each individual society.

Fighting off a bit of a sore throat this week – may be too much cycling early in the morning and the ‘crowd’ events but otherwise fine.

Next week I have a clinic visit. Nothing major to complain about so assume the next appointment will be at my one year mark in August (you may have noticed the ‘countdown’ widget that I am having fun with!). 8 weeks to go!

Happy Father’s Day to all you fathers our there, and thanks, as always, to our partners who make it all possible.

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8 thoughts on “Week 44: A Good Week

  1. Writing as a fellow voyager who has been on the MCL journey since 2006, I am thankful for, also encouraged by your Father’s Day message. Always beneficial to find a fellow blogger who is also a Canswerist.

    • Thanks. Have subscribed to your blog. Canswerist is a new term that I had not heard of before (I played around with what terms mean under my ‘Labels’ pages). Perhaps for the benefit of me and other readers, could you share the definition of ‘canswerist’? I always find it interesting how we find the words to express our experience and describe the cancer ‘layer’ of our identity. Happy Father’s Day and thanks for sharing (have subscribed to your blog). Andrew

      • “CANSWERIST” is an acronym coined from my primary cancer treatment center, City of Hope, Duarte, CA. Here is a link to a message about their award-winning advertising campaign from which the term is borrowed (without permission I might add, but I am not marketing anything but goodwill for the cancer center that saved my life!) : http://bit.ly/LvjF2R

        I would be surprised if you find any lexicon with a definition of the term and I did not do any research along that line. The term just popped into my head one day.

        Glad to now have the reciprocating links between our blogs, rather soon to have that link on my end. Unlike WP, my hosting agent, Google Blogger, doesn’t facilitate the process under the dynamic views formatting that I have chosen. For now, I will have to make your blog a topic of one of my upcoming posts. I still need to create a page on the blog site that provides favorite links like yours.

      • Thanks for sharing. Clever!

        Like your layout. Funny how each blogging site has it’s own strengths and limits.

        Cheers, Andrew

      • I have taken your lead to add a “blog roll” (actually a links page) to my MCL blog per your invitation. Here is the link : http://bit.ly/M4Gj3W }:{ Welcome to my version of the CANSWERIST scroll. As I said, the sidebar options for content are not available in the version of BLOGGER that I am using, so you navigate blog pages using the menu bar at the top of the page.

        Again, I am very impressed by the depth and the breadth of the content of your blog. Your readers are well engaged (via comment streams) as well. Keep up the terrific job! God bless you in your endeavors and with your journey of MCL survival.

        Finally, would you help me with some research that I am doing about cancer survivors and social media? To start, I would like to handle our communication offline via email. Let me know if that works for you.

  2. Andrew, as your Father’s Day is winding down in Ottawa, we on the “left” coast are just starting ours…..what a triumph! Your family weekend + a medal from the Queen….you rock and your “prezi” is stunning……the world is a much better place due to you Andrew. Cheers, Bob and Vicky

    • Thanks Vicky and Bob. Wait till you see the video! All the best to you Bob on Father’s Day in particular, and of course to both of you every day of the year. Andrew

  3. Just catching up on my reading and agree with Vicki 100 percent: a very well deserved medal and kudos to your department for recognizing excellence when they see it.

    By the way also loved today’s post on 11 lessons learned. So true!

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