Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Ola! la!

Well, we're back! It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, and after minor delays (15 hours) due to a snow storm in Canada, we returned from Cuba yesterday, where it was at least 28 degrees everyday, to Montreal where our flip flops were no protection against the -10 degree temperature that greeted us (that's -20 with the windchill).

We truly enjoyed our vacation. We went for a few rides on a catamaran (and I have the largest bruises to prove it), we went pedalboating and swam with the fish, we swam with the dolphins, we ate too much, drank too much and slept too little... Luckily, or not, the resort was quite large, 3 km around - I believe -, so we also got some exercise in spite of ourselves. I tried not to let the fact that I lost my watch and digital camera put too much of a damper on our vacation. I bought a disposal camera and had luckily brought my sports watch to go to the gym (although I did not make it to the gym).

There definitely were moments when Tony was quite present and I could not walk by the spot we sat in throughout our vacation last year without feeling chocked up. One day as we were walking around the pool area, Mathieu noticed a lady reading the March issue of Canadian Living (e-version) and insisted I speak to her to tell that our story and photos appeared in her magazine. She was taken aback. She must've read the article quickly beacause when we walked passed her again she stopped me and told me that she was touched and that her father had also been diagnosed with colon cancer. Fortunately, in his case, it was caught early and he is still living.

It has been a difficult month. A friend of mine and Tony's, a hockey dad we always sat with during Richard's hockey games and practices, passed away on February 19th. We used to share a coffee and a chat and enjoy watching our sons play hockey together. It was sudden and quite a shock. As well, Richard's hockey coache's wife, my friend Ella, was operated for cancer. They could not remove all the cancer and told her that her best chance was a procedure that is only done in the U.S. So far, the Quebec government has refused to agree to pay for the much needed procedure. So, Ella, her husband and friends have started doing some fund raising. For more info see .

I will be returning to work gradually as of later this morning. It is quite scary... I'm afraid I just won't remember how to do a thing... On the other hand, I am very much looking forward to seeing all of my friends and coworkers. They're a great bunch.
That's it for now.
Take good care!
P.S. I received an e-mail from a lady who's husband has been diagnosed with cancer. She wanted to know how Tony managed to get insurance to travel with a pre-existing condition. I'm sorry to say that we could not get him any insurance. Tony was pretty stable and in between treatments when we travelled both last year and in 2006. He really want to go and create beautiful memories for our children, so we simply went on a wing and a prayer. I apologize that I could not respond to you directly; I did not have your email address.


Amanda Comeau said...

I'm glad you enjoyed your trip! And good luck going back to work - I'm sure you'll be pleasantly surprised by how quickly it all comes back.

Amanda Comeau

nikki said...

glad to hear you seemed to have a good holiday, still thinking and praying for you guys.take care god bless from nikki and hugo mccullough in ireland

Anonymous said...

I am so glad you had a nice vacation. You WILL be fine going back to work - The gang at Novartis are a super bunch and you will be surprised how fast you remember what you thought you had forgotten. Good Luck!


Anonymous said...

I love your dolphin picture Renee! You are so brave to do that. I hear that dolphins sometimes get overexcited (yes, in THAT way) and try to mate with humans so I have never attempted to frolic with them! I hope work is treating you well; it will probably be very therapeutic to be with all your friends and to have a different head space to be in for yourself. Be well. Lots of love.

Anneke said...

Hello Renee,

Thank you for sharing your family's story in Canadian Living. It was a very moving experience to read it. A friend cut it out and sent it to me because in November 2005 my husband was diagnosed with FAP. He had his colon removed and is doing alright. Our sons (aged 16 and 13)also have it, but our 12 year old daughter does not. I would like to ask you some questions, if you don't mind sharing your wisdom and knowledge with me. It would be lovely to hear from you, if you have the time. I hope work is going well. Thank you, Anneke van Nooten