This is really happening

Upon my return from the YACC Cancer Retreat last week, I felt both inspired and ready to begin treatment. And then…things shifted.

Last Friday I met with my oncologist, and we decided – given that I am experiencing symptoms – I would begin chemotherapy on December 8 (6 months of Rituximab & Bendamustine), rather than simply Rituximab as per the initial plan.

While the news was difficult to hear, I actually walked away feeling relatively ok with it all – no tears, no anger, no yelling, but rather some semblance of acceptance (or so I thought). In many ways I attribute this reaction to my experience at YACC which helped to normalize the cancer experience for me (Thank you!).

Over the weekend I then began to unpack/process this shifted reality and formulated a lot of questions regarding the next six months – How would I feel? Would I be able to work, and if so in what capacity? What symptoms would I experience? etc. Still, I felt relatively ok with it all. And then came Tuesday morning…

In the grand scheme of things nothing overly traumatic happened – I met with a counsellor, picked up my prescriptions, and checked in to find out more about treatment. And yet, as I was driving to the university, I broke down. The flood gates opened and I cried and cried. It finally clicked: THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING! And, while I’ve been relatively positive and optimistic about it all, IT SUCKS!

Today (Wednesday) also served as another reality check. It involved having conversations with some of my colleagues at IICRD and Royal Roads University about reducing my engagement and workload and likely taking a leave of absence. I know stepping away is important to facilitate my healing, and yet I find it difficult to let go of things I have been involved in and are a part of me.

I suppose In many ways I’m trying to hold on to things because it feels as though my identity, and some semblance of knowing what the future holds, are slipping away – I am shedding much of what I thought I knew. Yet, at the same time I also know that I have the unique opportunity to fully discover, explore, and find me. This is where I’m choosing to focus on my energy.

This sucks. This is happening. And I’m choosing to welcome the unknown, let go of control, feel it all, and simply be.




  1. Larissa

    All I can say is that I am brimming with love and gratitude. Thank you for sharing your experiences.
    All my love and positive energy are directed towards you. I can’t even imagine the emotions you have been experiencing. I am so grateful for this reminder to ride the wave of life and not fight it.

    Your grace and courage is resounding. You have always been and continue to be the epitome of inspiring ;)

  2. christina

    What you are sharing is a huge gift my love- your willingness to keep saying whats real for you moment to moment, as all of who you are- that is a blessing.
    “Forget your perfect offerings
    Ring the bells that still can ring
    There is a crack in everything
    That’s how the light gets in.”

    – Leonard Cohen

    Sending love , Christina

  3. Maja

    one day at a time, one day at a time, my dear Cheryl.

    Love and hugs from Bangkok.

  4. kaia

    Cheryl…Thank you. For your honesty and vulnerability. For your strength and willingness to show your feelings and really bring them into the light. This is a deep lesson for all of us…letting go of what we think makes us who we are and stepping into the unknown can be a scary place as it requires so much trust and surrender. You’ve been incredibly strong from the day I met you and I’ve seen you go through so much and be around hundreds of beings who have been through experiences that we can only imagine. And you have been their rock, their support. It’s time for you, now. To ask for what YOU need. To receive from others…and to let your softness and vulnerability be held by yourself and others. I love you. (p.s…still dreaming about that bakery.. ;)…)

  5. Grace Jordan

    Darling Cheryl, oh boy! What a gift you are – thank you for your sharing and your beautiful heart! You gotta a whole lot of Humans and a whole lot of Angels holding the ground for you – so you keep doing exactly what you’re doing. Thank you for your Grace!


  6. marianne

    You’re truly inspiring. You give us hope in a seemingly hopeless situation.

  7. Derek Peterson

    In my world view each of us are individuals who spin and sustain a web of love, that web becomes a teaching that becomes fractal, and shows others the way into life. I am so very sad that this challenge is within you and upon you. I so wish I had the power to sweep it out of you, and away from you, forever. You have a strong spirit – Entheos – that deep energy. And, you have a strong web – that cherishes you. This combination is a healing system, a VERY effective healing system. In the past 8 months, the latest being a week ago, THREE of my colleagues, with similar systems and STRONG support from BOTH modern and traditional medicine, are now cancer free. I expect that the same will be true for you. In the meantime I will cast prayers upon the waters, and shout them into the winds… I will pray for strength, health, and 25,000 tomorrows.

    Thinking of you,


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