I’ve been thinking a lot about Gord Downie lately.
I’ve never met the man, have never seen the Tragically Hip live in concert. I like their music, can’t say I love it but I enjoy a lot of their songs.
Downie’s been on my mind because of what he’s living with, something that could, and likely will, end his life.. brain cancer.
Watching his recent interview with Peter Mansbridge on CBC I found it inspiring. He is living life to its fullest – for as long as he can.
Simply put, he’s taking advantage of every minute he has left.
I’m lucky, I don’t have brain cancer, mine is in my bladder, and it likely won’t kill me in its present state. It should be noted that “my” type of cancer has taken a number of very well known people: actors Jack Lemmon and Telly Savalas, sports commentator Nick Charles, singer Andy Williams and author Dominick Dunne – to name a few.
It’s been eight years since I was first diagnosed. I’ve gone through countless treatments to try and stem the tide, but nothing has worked. It’s to the point where my oncologist has told me there is no more treatment available to stop it.
As I write this I’m waiting to find out if I qualify for the latest trial of a new protocol. I don’t know when or if it will happen. There are two other options. Monitor my situation closely and catch the tumours as they develop, or have major surgery. That would include removing the bladder, the prostate and a portion of my colon. The colon will be used to rebuild my bladder. I’ve been told there recovery period is about seven months.
The surgery is the only way I’ll be guaranteed of ridding my body of the cancer.
I don’t consider myself to be brave or courageous by any stretch of the imagination.
I have felt every emotion known to man over the years: fear, anger, self pity, defiance you name it. I’ve asked time and time again “why me?” but the bottom line in all of this is that cancer is part of my life and the challenge is to overcome it, not to allow it to control me or my future.
I don’t look at it as a fight, or battle, in anyway.
A positive attitude is critical is these situations, and I truly believe I will overcome and continue to live a life full of optimism, love and joy.
About Jim Van Horne:
Jim is the Dean of Sports Broadcast, he spent decades building TSN and Sportsnet. He’s hilariously funny, kind, thoughtful, gentle and sincere. He is, hands down, the best co-host I’ve been blessed to work with. When starting the planning stages of Mybackyard.press — the VERY FIRST person I thought of as a contributor was JVH. He immediately said “I’m in, anything with you.” (see? Love him.) When it was time to launch, he was not only doing work for the Olympics in Rio, he was dealing with the subject matter of the above post. I love this man. He’s worthy of all of our admiration — even with all of that ^^^ humility.