Spreading Light With a Little Project for Brain Tumour Patients

Late yesterday afternoon, in a small boardroom within the Neurology department of Toronto Western Hospital, I was privileged to see the culmination of a project that almost three years ago was little more than a glimmer of an idea shared between three like-minded ladies, all touched by harsh reality that is life with a brain tumour.

Let me explain.

We are beyond fortunate to have the amazing healthcare system that we do in Canada.  We have some of the best doctors in the world performing some of the most advanced surgical procedures in the world.  And everyone in the country has equal access to these doctors and the phenomenal work that they do.

We are also fortunate in this country to have some truly wonderful support services, that are also often offered free of charge, for patients and caregivers affected by a host of illnesses and diseases.

But what can be missing in our healthcare system is a way to match patients and their caregivers with the myriad of support services that are available to them.

I found this out first hand as I made my way through my brain tumour journey.  I wasn’t sure who or where to turn to when I had questions.  And so, after meeting a woman who had just travelled the brain tumour journey with her husband also under the care of my neurosurgeon (and who is now a good friend), and along with my mom, and idea was born.

Starting today, all new patients of my neurosurgeon will receive a small bag.  Inside, they will find a pamphlet, co-authored by my friend, my mom, and myself, outlining all the pertinent hospital information new brain tumour patients might need.  In it, you’ll find all the policies and procedures for the doctor’s office, little things like the hours and locations of the blood labs in the hospital, and BIG things, like where to go when you need help – medical or emotional, regardless of where you are in your brain tumour journey.

Also included is a brochure for an absolutely amazing support centre called Wellspring where all cancer patients and their caregivers, including patients with either benign or malignant brain tumours, can go for support.

And lastly we’ve included the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada’s handbook.  So patients will have, at their fingertips, the most accurate information about brain tumours, of all kids, at their fingertips (eliminating, we hope, the need for endless google searches that may or may not yield accurate information).

I know this doesn’t sound like much, but it is our sincerest hope that this little project will  be a little beacon of light for other patients, that in looking through this information, they may find a spark of inspiration to seek support, and that maybe this might help brighten the path along this journey for new brain tumour patients.



46. When Dreams Come True


One of the things I’ve (stubbornly) held onto since the tumour diagnosis/surgery/recovery is that I spent the bulk of my daughter’s first few years of life distracted by what was going on in my own life, and because of that, I never got to spend the same kind of quality time with her in her infancy and toddler-hood that I had wanted to.  While the Husband and the million and one photos from that time paint a slightly different picture than the one I have in my head of that period of our lives, it’s sometimes hard to shake how we feel about things.

Since my older one has started at his new school, he’s thrown himself eagerly into the extracurricular activities offered to him – soccer, cross country and choir.  As a result, he needs to be at school early – 7:15am early – three times a week, and three times a week, if not more, he’s picked up from school at some point between 4 and 5:00.  With my daughter’s school only running from 9am to 2pm, and my decision not to over-program her with activities . . . well, it turns out that we have a LOT of free time together.

In the past two weeks, the two of us have relished or “girl mornings”, “girl afternoons”, and the occasional “girl night” (thanks to all the professional sports going on right now).

Today, as the two of us spent a quiet hour and a half together before she needed to be dropped off at her school, it hit me.  The two of us were finally getting our quality time.  My dream of getting this time with her was coming true!  With the distractions of the tumour decidedly behind me, my mind is quiet, and I have nothing else to focus on but her, and what we can do together that’s fun for both of us.  We’ve read, we’ve done crafts, we’ve coloured, we’ve watched some shows, and we’ve even just cuddled.

While the gift of this amazing time I’m getting to spend with my little one isn’t coming exactly when I thought it should have, the fact is, it did come . . .and,  well, after all we’ve been through, our time together now is even more special, and we’re both treasuring it more (or at least I am).  Which is basically my very long-winded way of saying . . . never give up on your dreams – even if they don’t come true when you really hope or want them to, just keep dreaming . . . you never know how or when they might come true!

25. Savouring These Last Few Weeks of Summer with Simple Childhood Fun

I’ve said it before.  And I’m not naive.  I know that our family’s not likely to have summers like this again.  Summers where the older one is still willing to play on a slip n’ slide for hours with the little one.  Or where they set up forts, and play spy, and try to ambush each other with nerf guns.  It’s all going by so terribly fast.

I went into this week thinking I’d take the kids on adventures.  Do something fantastical every day.  But as this week unfolds, I’m realizing, that the fantastical isn’t what we need right now.

And so, I / we’ve embraced the simple fun.  We’ve had morning bike rides.  And afternoon bike rides.  And water gun fights.  And the aforementioned slip n’ slide fun.  We’ve played Uno.  And coloured.  And built lego.  We’ve baked.  And we’ve even managed to work in a few back to school errands and closet clean-outs, which have actually seemed kinda fun, given that they were sandwiched between so many other fun (but relatively calm) activities.

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And why, you might be wondering, have I bothered to write this?  Well, it’s simply to implore you, if you have some time off in what’s left of this glorious summer, with little ones, or loved ones, or anyone, really, to release the desire to do the fantastical, and instead embrace the simple.  No matter where you are in your life’s journey, it’s all going by too fast.

Like everyone else, I watched the Hip concert on Saturday night.  And I was reminded of the summer that stretched from my brain tumour diagnosis to eventual operation.  That summer, I didn’t know what the outcome was going to be for me.  And that summer, and in the summers that have followed, I focused on the fantastical; trying to do the most exciting things with and for my kids.  But today, when the kids looked at me and earnestly told me how much fun they’ve been having just being with me these past few days . . . well, I was reminded of what really matters.  Being there, fully, and completely, for the ones you love.  And to do that, well, you don’t need the fantastical.  You just need your loving self, and the desire to have a little fun.


What the Doctors Don’t Tell You About Surviving a Tumour

It’s been two weeks since I got my 5-year all-clear from my Neurosurgeon.  I surprised myself by not making more of a big deal out of the occasion – in years past after my annual MRI’s have come back clean, I’ve bought myself ridiculous shoes, a bottle of champange, or something out of the ordinary to celebrate the good news.  In the back of my mind I had thought about having some sort of big blow out if I got good news – but when that moment actually came, I was content to just go on with my daily life.

Now that some time has passed and I’ve had some time to think about things some more, I’m starting to understand why getting past this 5-year mark has been far harder than I ever thought it would be.

Here’s the thing . . . surviving a tumour means you know exactly how hard the process is.  I now know first hand what it’s like when a doctor tell you “We found something, it’s a tumour”.  I know first hand how in that instant, you will do whatever it takes to make sure you are alive for just one more day.  And I know what it’s like to regret whatever it is you did in life that contributed to the growth of that tumour.

I know what it’s like to say good bye to your kids not knowing what state you’re going to come back to them in.  I  know what it’s like to have to think about what you want most for you kids when you don’t even know what kind of people they’re going to grow up to be.  And I know what it’s like to plan not to be fully present as a wife and a mother for an undefined period of time.

I know what it’s like to wait for biopsy results.  I know what it’s like to wait for blood test results.  And I know what it’s like to spend hours at the hospital waiting for doctors appointments to get the results.

Let me be unequivocally clear here . . .NONE of this process is remotely enjoyable.  None of it.  In fact, it is, I think the hardest thing anyone can endure.

And then you find out . . . you survived.  You’ve managed through excellent medical care, amazing surgeons, doctors, and health care professionals, through diet, nutrition, exercise, rest, to take care of yourself, and allow yourself to heal.  You’ve been given the gift of life.

Now what.

You see, once you’ve come face to face with just how short life can be, how your life can be turned upside down with a single sentence “We found something . . . .”, when you know first hand how hard it all is, trust me when I say, you NEVER want to go through that again.

For me, that has meant turning my attention to my nutrition and exercise.  I focus on getting the right nutrients into my body to prevent inflammation, to give my cells what they need to thrive, to prevent damage.  I focus on working out, and getting strong so that if I ever do get sick again, I know I have the strength to fight it, but also to help ward off illness.  Nope, I don’t drink as much as I used to, nor do I eat out, or eat treats like I used to . . . but how can I when I know that a diet rich in alcohol and sugar is going to, more likely than not, end in disease?  Allowing myself to slide into old nutritional habits (or lack there of), more drinking, and less exercise means putting myself at risk for going through all of this again . . .and that’s pretty much the LAST thing I want to do.

When the future was uncertain, I found a need to cram as much fun as I could into every day.  I’ve talked about wanting every day with my kids to have some sort of “magic” in it.  Well, the sad truth is, this need doesn’t disappear once you’ve been declared cured.  Possibly, this way of life has just become habit.  But it’s also equal possible that I know each moment is precious and I hate to waste a single one – you never know what changes life might throw at you next.

When the future was uncertain, it was easy to let things slide – a tidy house wasn’t all that important – a certain amount of mess meant we were having fun and not wasting any time.  Expenditures on frivolous things were excusable because they were meant to bring added joy to our lives.  And living day to day without too much planning (or dreaming) about the future was simply the practical thing to do.

Surviving means turning your attention to yourself and to the future.  Surviving means figuring out who you are after you’ve been to hell and back.  Surviving means finding dreams other than having a clean bill of health.  Surviving means figuring out how to make those dreams come true.  Surviving means not letting the gift of life weigh so heavily on you that you don’t allow yourself to find the courage to discover who you are now, and what else you are capable of beyond survival.

All of this to say . . .when you hit that 5-year mark, the doctors and those around you may be full of joy for you and the state of your health.  They won’t tell you that the new road you’re on may be a rocky one with lots of ups and downs as you discover the “new, cured” you.  And so I will tell you, as I am trying to tell myself . . . be patient with yourself.  Allow yourself to experience joy and happiness and love without worrying about the future.  Allow yourself to try new things, to take chances, and to make bold choices without the fear of “wasting” time, making a bad choice, or squandering the precious “gift of life” you’ve been given.  And most of all, allow yourself time to breathe and just be you – beautiful healthy you – without the fear of the future being taken from you again.

An Epiphany of Sorts (in the gym and in life)

I haven’t been writing much lately.  Partly because the last 10 days have been a merry-go-round of commitments both for the kids and the adults. Partly because I’ve been feeling the pressure of the season to go out and BUY!  And partly because I’ve been busy mentally filing away and letting go (once and for all) of the craziness of the last decade or so . . .

Last Wednesday, I had my quarterly checkup with my endocrinologist.  These appointments, as I may have mentioned about a million times before, terrify me.  Whether it’s the doctor’s demeanour, the fact that I feel like a human science experiment to him (I get it, having 2 unrelated tumours in my head in a span of 5 years may be medically inexplicable, but sometimes, we just have bad luck), or the fact that he tends to be very negative about my prospects (“Well, you’re fine for now.  Let’s check again in another 3 months”) . . .it all sets me on edge.

But at my appointment last Wednesday, the doctor was positively .  . . well, positive.  I got sent away with instructions not to come back for 6 months and after my MRI in June, confirmation that I don’t need another MRI for 3 years.

In other words . . . I am really and truly tumour free.

But then on Sunday morning, the epiphany hit me.  And by epiphany, I mean it in the truest sense of the word:

“An epiphany (from the ancient Greek ἐπιφάνεια, epiphaneia, “manifestation, striking appearance”) is an experience of sudden and striking realization. Generally the term is used to describe scientific breakthrough, religious or philosophical discoveries, but it can apply in any situation in which an enlightening realization allows a problem or situation to be understood from a new and deeper perspective.”


And then I started to cry.  And I don’t think I stopped for about an hour.  And did it ever feel good to get it out.

I’m sure I’d been building to this moment over the last year or so . . . but something about that appointment on Wednesday really and truly signalled to me that this journey was really and truly over.

And then on Monday, I went to the gym.  And the strength part of the workout had us doing 7 Toes to Bar every minute for 7 minutes.  Toes to bar rank right up there with Pull Ups for me . . .I can maybe do them 1 at a time . . . . but FORTY NINE of them . . . in sets of SEVEN???  Not just one at a time?????

So I hopped up to the bar and with a new movement cue in my head, I gave it a go . . .and I did one . . .and another . . .and another . . . until I had done all SEVEN.  IN A ROW.

A fluke I thought.  But then in minute 2, I did the SAME THING.

And in minute 3 I did 5 and then 2.  And so on until I had done all FORTY NINE.

And then I got it . . .movements like pull ups and toes to bar require the entire body to work together; brute strength in just one part of your body won’t help you . . .

And there it was.  My second epiphany in as many days.  In order to succeed in the gym OR in life, I need my entire body to work together.  I can’t let just my brain or any other part of my body take over.

So.  What did I “do” after having these epiphanies . . . well . . . I went on to my week.  Thoroughly.

We’ve had simple meals.  There have been no recipes.  I’ve stuck to my general eating plan during the day, but at night, after the kids have gone to bed, there has been some wine.  And some chocolate.  There’s been longer sleep-ins (today was my first 4:30 wake up in a while).  And there’s even been less time in the gym as I chose watching a 2nd performance of my son’s Christmas concert over a workout.   Sure, I’ll get back to my normal routine soon.  But for now, this is what feels good.

The Weight We Carry

Nope, this isn’t an article about post-thanksgiving weight management strategies (I may be Canadian, but we celebrate American thanksgiving which meant this was a weekend of family and food for us!).

Rather, it’s a note about the stories we tell ourselves; the stories we hold on to; the stories we assume without question to be true.

I was hit by this today as I was giving a radio interview this morning.  The backstory (are you starting to clue into the fact that there’s always a backstory with me?????) is this: Since my surgery, I have been very involved with the University Health Network, and specifically, the Brian Campaign at Toronto Western Hospital.  You see, the surgeon that removed my tumour is the top surgeon in his field.  In the world.  He in fact travels the world teaching other neurosurgeons how to perform a type of endo-nasal surgery to remove skull base tumours that eliminates the need for full crainiotomies (this is especially important in the developing world where there simply aren’t the resources for things like anesthesia to keep patients asleep for 12 hours like i had to be for my surgery – unfortunately my tumour was too large and complex for this type of surgery, so I had to have the full craniotomy).  And by raising money through the Brain Campaign and the other fundraising campaigns at the hospital, we can be assured that there will also be surgeons like mine at the hospital, ready to help us, in addition to helping these doctors with the amazing research that they are doing.  As today is Giving Tuesday, Toronto General and Toronto Western Hospitals were having a radio-thon today on Classical 96.3fm and I was asked to come and share my story on air.

The first question the interviewers asked me had to do with how I felt about my initial diagnosis.  With tears in my eyes (I’ve been told you could hear my voice crack a bit), I recounted just how hard it was to sit in a doctor’s office with a four month old baby sitting in a bucket car seat at your feet while being told you have a brain tumour.  But as I was talking, I looked up, and could see my beautiful four year old daughter skipping around the atrium (the radio-thon was held in the main atrium of Toronto General Hospital).  And then I looked to my son who was proudly sitting beside his dad, the Husband, smiling and giving me the thumbs up.


Where am I going with this exactly?  Well, while I have been slowly letting go of how the tumour affected me, I’ve NEVER been able to let go of how the tumour affected my family.  I had to wean my baby when she was just four months so I could be ready for surgery; I spent over four months planning for the worst while trying to parent (those weren’t the best of times), and I had to leave my kids for a few days while I had the surgery and recovered in hospital.  And then there was the recovery at home after . . .

I have been holding onto these stories, these thoughts in my head for so long (well, four years to be exact); that somehow, I, through this journey, had caused irreparable damage (that’s maybe too strong a word, but it’s definitely how I’ve felt at times) to my kids, my family.

But today I realized, I have been carrying the weight of this for far too long.  My kids were perfectly happy today; and so was the Husband.  What we all went through wasn’t fun by any means.  It was a brutal phase in our lives that we have gotten through.  And there will be more unpleasant and nasty times in our lives that we will have to go through again as time marches on.

But we got through it.

We’re all better people for it.

And carrying around the weight of the thoughts that damage had somehow been done through that time in our lives was . . . well . . . that’s just carrying around a whole lot of dead weight.

And so . . . we all have difficult times that we have to get through.  Be kind to yourself when you’re going through them, and know that you will come out stronger.  And if someone you know is going through a tough time, support them and show them love and kindness; if you can, help to share their load, or unburden them of any dead weight that they might be carrying.

And of course, if you can, please remember to donate to the charity that is nearest and dearest to your heart, as it is Giving Tuesday.  (and if you’re looking for a cause, here’s a great one . . . please help support my fundraising efforts for the Brain Campaign)!


When Gratitude Just Isn’t the Right Word

Today is a milestone in my life.  A day to remember where I’ve been, to think about where I am, and to dream about where I want to be in the future.

Four years ago today when the alarm went off at 4:30 in the morning, I had to try and kiss my sleeping little ones goodbye, not knowing what the journey that lay ahead of us was going to look like.

This morning, as the alarm went off at 4:30, the only kisses i was giving out were to the Husband as he left for the gym.

At this time 4 years ago, I was prepping for my pre-surgery MRI.  Today . . . well, I’m writing this, helping my son build some lego, and hoping that my daughter is up soon so we can make a special breakfast together.

Right about the time I was heading into a 12 hour surgery four years ago, this year at that time I’ll be doing school drop offs and then (thanks to the miracle that is the universe), I’ll be heading to Yorkdale to a little shopping . . . after which I’ll be heading to the gym.

I am beyond grateful for this delightfully ordinary day.  And am beyond grateful for all those that have helped me over the last 4 years with a recovery process that has had it’s moments.

And above all, I am beyond grateful for the amazingly talented surgeon who went the extra mile, took the extra time, and made sure that he got out as much of my tumour as possible.  I was fortunate to be able to participate in a video tribute to Dr. Gentili a few months ago.  For those of you who haven’t seen it, take a look; we are so lucky to have the doctors we do in this country.


Have you ever experienced the phenomenon when a word or a phrase or a concept keeps coming up in your life?  Like the universe may be desperately trying to get you to turn your attention to something?  Well, that’s been happening to me. Ok . . . my son has been asking me at every turn (quite literally) for a Lego Star Wars set that was discontinued years ago . . . but that’s not what I mean.

For a while now, I’ve heard phrases like “trust”, “let it go”, and of course, “surrender”.  At first, when I’d hear things like this, I’d mentally swat them away; there was no way in hell I had room for surrender in my life; planning, hard word, more hard work, and maybe a little luck . . . that’s what life was about.  It certainly wasn’t about trusting the process, letting it go, or surrendering to what could be.  In my defence, my experiences with the pituitary tumour, infertility and then the brain tumour shaped my very pragmatic outlook on life (altho one could argue these were exactly the times I needed to surrender most . . . but I digress).

This summer, I had a brief fling with the concept of surrender; even going so far as to purchase a book on the topic: The Power of Surrender.  What lead me to buy this book, I have no idea (it likely came up on Amazon as a suggested book based on my purchase history) . . . I started, but dismissed it without finishing it.  When push comes to shove (haha), I’d rather get scrappy with life than sit back and let the universe take over.

On Saturday night, the Husband cooked an amazing dinner for us all.  The four of us sat as a family in the dining room, candles were lit, and we had a quiet enjoyable family dinner.  Once the kids were done, and they were settled in the family room watching a movie, the Husband and I got to talking over a bottle of wine.  Conversation turned to our upcoming trip to Disney.  This is a trip we’ve made every year since the little one was born.  Our first trip there was just a few weeks before the brain tumour diagnosis.  That first trip was pure magic from start to finish; it was our first trip as a family of 4, it was the first trip to Disney for all of us; and everything about that trip was just amazing.  Except for the fact that it was on that trip that I came to know, deep down, that something was very wrong – the symptoms of the tumour became unavoidable, and I knew I would have to see the doctor when I returned home.  As a result, Disney holds a weird place in my heart; it’s a place where I experienced perfect happiness, but it’s also inextricably tied to the whole tumour saga.

Anyway, a Disney trip is all about planning.  Our meals were booked 180 days ago.  Fastpasses for our rides were booked 60 days ago; our entire vacation is laid out in an Excel spreadsheet.  And if you have caught on to the fact that I really, really like traditions . . .you should see what happens at Disney . . . I try to recreate certain moments, photos, experiences on every trip.  But on Saturday night, the doubt started to creep in.  What if, I asked the Husband, I didn’t plan things right?  What if, I asked, we want to do something other than what I’ve planned.  What if . . . . .

Because what has been running around my head these last few days is the fact that on our road trip this summer, we/I planned NOTHING.  Ok . . . we did have a few restaurant reservations for dinner, and we did have tickets to see a few baseball games.  But otherwise, we arrived in each city with no preconceived notions or ideas as to what we should/could/might do.  AND IT WAS THE BEST TRIP EVER.

Then I read my friend Rozanne’s blog.  And guess what she was talking about this weekend . . . yup.  SURRENDER.  Rozanne is one of the wisest people I know; so when Rozanne broaches a topic, it’s my cue to sit up and listen.  It was as if the universe had set out a giant neon arrow pointing me towards the idea of letting it go.

So, how does this all tie in?  Well, I’m going to reexamine my relationship with the concept of surrender.  And I’m going to start with our Disney trip . . . no more obsessively checking for different dining reservations, no more trying to re-jig the fastpasses or what I have planned for each day, and I’m really, really, really going to try hard not to recreate moments from past trips on this trip.

As I enter my 5th year post-tumour, I’m going to work on really letting that go and/or celebrating what that experience brought into my life.

And as I parent my kids and the Husband and I navigate our way with them through their next steps (new schools, new experiences), I will do so with an open heart and mind.

And most importantly, in this week that is always a crazy one for me (planning for the Older one’s birthday, halloween, getting organized for our trip, and I won’t lie, dealing with the mental issues that come with the anniversary of the craniotomy), I’m going to try to surrender to the business of it all, enjoy the business of it all, and accept that everything will work out just the way it is supposed to.

Happy Monday!!!

It’s Almost 4 Years Since I said Goodbye to my Tumour . . .And Why This Year, I want to Celebrate That Day

I couldn’t do a pose in yoga yesterday . . . “It hurts the seam in my skull”, I told my teacher.  “Right,” she said, “I’d forgotten about that”.  And we both laughed.

It’s almost inconceivable to me that four years have gone by since I had a craniotomy to remove my brain tumour.

Four years ago, I had a nine month old baby, an almost 3 year old, and I was planning for the unknown and unknowable.

Four years since this weekend when the photo above was taken.

Trust me when I say there are no cheery articles to help moms of newborns decide when “the best time to wean your newborn in preparation for your operation” is, or “how soon can your kids visit you in the hospital post-surergy without traumatizing them”.  The irony was not lost on my that I spent hours in a class to prepare for the birth of my first kid, but there was absolutely no instruction available to me on how to navigate the lead up to and return home from a potentially changing surgery.

But this isn’t a post to dwell on the past.  Because I’m at a point where I can honestly say, the past really is the past when it comes to my tumour.

Sort of.

I read an article this week about the effects of trauma on a person.  Specifically how trauma can fundamentally change a person.

I know that happened to me.

Health and happiness are my top priorities now, for me and my family.  And our decisions, as individuals, and as a family usually tend to reflect these priorities.  It’s why we eat the way we do; we buy organic food, try not to eat processed foods and limit the sugar we eat, and why I am happy to meal-plan, cook and bake to ensure that we have good food to eat each day.  It’s why we don’t drink during the week, and why on the weekends, we don’t usually over-do it.  It’s why we’ve placed a priority on being active, even if that means the Husband is up at 4:30 to get to the gym, and I spend so many hours during the week in the gym.  It’s why we’re careful with our commitments, making sure to take time to spend just as a family of 4, and for each of us to have some quiet time for themselves, and for weekend afternoon naps if that’s what we need.  It’s why I try to structure my/our life/lives to allow for the greatest possible flow; without discord and obstacles, we are free to focus on enjoying life, and all it has to offer, and all we have to offer each other in this family.

But it goes deeper than that too.  I am profoundly grateful to be here and to experience this life I have with the Husband and the kids and my/our decisions about what we do and how we do it, reflect and celebrate this deep gratitude.  So yes, we are about to take our annual trip to Disney (it is the happiest place on earth!), and no, our kids aren’t yet in competitive sports teams (another year of a more relaxed schedule, and more time for the kids to decide what really makes them happy).

So, while I am quite ready forget about the tumour and the angst and upset that the tumour brought to that time in my life (a time when I would have much rather have focused on being a mom of a toddler and a newborn), I can’t.  It made me who I am today (a much better version of the me pre-tumour, at least in my humble opinion).

It’s been too easy for too long to focus on what I lost during that time of my life.  It’s time to focus on what I’ve gained because of it.

And that, my friends, is why I’m choosing to celebrate the anniversary of the surgery this year.  And yes the celebration just may involve some sort of sugar . . . because what’s a celebration without cake????

(and if you’re curious, this is the article I read about trauma and the effect it can have on a person – it really hits the nail on the head.)

When the Value Placed on Your Life is $0

A confluence of events over the past few months has lead to the Husband and I reassessing our insurance needs lately; policies came up for renewal, the Husband turned 40, we realized our life is a bit different than it was 10 years ago when we first took out insurance policies . . .

Specifically a life insurance policy that I had taken out for myself pre marriage was due to expire.  Given my role as a stay-at-home mom, the fact that I haven’t worked in close to 7 years, and the fact that the kids are pretty much in full-day school, I wasn’t sure that I needed a life insurance policy anymore.  But, as I tend to be rather risk-averse, I took the pragmatic approach, and asked our financial advisor and our insurance broker for some quotes.  All was fine and dandy until I reminded them of the small health issue I encountered a few years back that might make getting new insurance difficult. . . that pesky little brain tumour.

And that pretty much ended the discussions right there.  While I could renew the policy I already have . . . according to the insurance companies, my life, for all  intents and purposes, is essentially worthless.

While you could take this post as a warning to make sure that you have proper insurance in place before anything happens . . . I prefer to look at it as a bit of black humour.  I’m fairly certain that the kids and the Husband (at least most of the time) wouldn’t call my life worthless. And I’m also fairly certain that I’m healthier and stronger now than I was all those years ago when I first took out a life insurance policy.  And that, I believe is true irony.

On that note, I’m going to get my worthless self back into the kitchen to whip up more of those amazing chocolate cookies for the kids for their after-school treat.  Really . . . you HAVE to try making these cookies.  They are THAT good!!!

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