Family and friends have brought me inspiration at important times through this Extreme Steve Makeover: Home Edition.
I've been feeling a little down of late. Carol-Ann is dealing with a nasty bout of laryngitis, the obvious off-shoot of carrying so much of our load for the past six months. I've been too chicken to try to get my driver's licence back. There's various other things.
Then, one day recently, an envelope from Paul Mend, a friend from days at the Coquitlam NOW days, showed up, complete with $75.
The explanation came via a Facebook message: "The story is we did a fundraiser for families dealing with cancer....one of the young ladies in my psych 12 class organized it...called Shave For The Brave...they raised over $12,000 total...anyways, I raised a few hundred from friends and such...but I didn't put any in because I said I had someone special I wanted to donate to...that would be you and your lovely wife...so it's not a lot, but hopefully you can head out for dinner one evening or just use it for whatever...keep kicking Cancer's ass, because it needs a serious butt whooping."
I was at the Coquitlam NOW from 1989-96. Paul was a hotshot volleyball and basketball coach in the area, so I used to talk to him all the time and got to know him pretty well. When I went to the Province full-time in 1997, I was covering high school sports, so I still talked to Paul fairly often. I haven't been on the high school beat for about eight years and have only spoken to Paul a couple of times over that span, yet the guy still thought enough to raise a cash for me.
How can I not be inspired to get better? It's happened a bunch throughout this process. Carol-Ann and I are very lucky.
(For the record: this IS NOT a suggestion that all my friends send me money. Some of you can send baked goods instead.)
As for the money, I think the plan will be to put it towards getting a Sports Illustrated subscription for the radiation waiting room I frequented at the B.C. Cancer Agency. I was never pleased with the variety of reading there.