A cancer survivor exploring the Canadian Wilds
Taking everything one moment at a time.
The Stage 4 Cancer Diagnosis
Following his diagnosis, the doctor asked me if I had a will. “No”, I replied, “but I guess I better get one.” Now, if you know me, you’ll agree that I’m not the type to roll over and play dead.
I fought that cancer – hard – enduring six months of chemotherapy treatments, along with a pair of painful bone marrow punctures, and stayed in my air-tight room at the hospital until the cancer was gone.
Then, having had my fill of hospital life, I headed home to begin my recovery. The disease had left me 60 lbs lighter and extremely frail. Strengthening my body was a priority. I began with walks. Around the house, around the yard, and around the block.
Eventually, I trekked the 2 km pathway around a nearby pond. A great blue heron flew past and landed near me. Its featherless shoulders caught my attention and I studied it for a while from the bank.
Water is Life
One afternoon nearly a year after D-day (diagnosis), I asked my sister to take me to Canadian Tire where I purchased two kayaks. “Two?” she asked. “Yes”, I replied. “You don’t think I’m going out alone, do you?” Then I watched as she loaded them onto the roof of her SUV…because she was stronger.
Then to the lakes, I went.
Before that fateful year, I had explored a lot of our world.
Singapore, Brussels, Rome, Paris, Monaco, Pisa… Dark alleyways in Taipei. Ruins in ancient Istanbul and Croatia. The beautiful beaches of central Canada, far away Indonesia, Mexico, and even the Florida Keys. I’ve lost count of the countries visited past 20. But not the memories. Those remain vivid in my mind and I’m willing to share them, over a beer or coffee. Anytime.
The Canadian Wilds
Since then, I’ve kept my wandering a bit closer to home.
The Canadian wilds draw me like a magnet. Snow-capped peaks, glassy lakes, mountain sunsets, prairie sunrises, aurora, flora, creatures, and wild weather all capture my imagination and fill me with awe.
I’ve seen real wilderness…places where hardly a sole has tread…larger animals like cougars, wolves, bears, moose, elk, deer, mountain goats, pronghorns, and mountain sheep…smaller ones too…badgers, pikas, groundhogs, weasels, wild rabbits and more… there’s no denying I felt very much alive sharing a trail with a gigantic Grizzly in the fall of 2021.
I’ve accepted that every experience I’ve ever had has been but a single moment in my life.
The cancer diagnosis, chemo treatments, raisin cinnamon bagels for breakfast, and even walks in the park…moments.
I hope you enjoy sharing mine.
a day in the sand at the beach — atop an ancient inland seabed — more than 1000 km from the ocean — under a blazingly hot midday sun — darkened by wildfire smoke
Our visit that day was overshadowed by thick wildfire smoke from Alberta and Saskatchewan. It dimmed the sun to appear as an orange/red ball in the sky. On a whim, I shot the sun. To my amazement and delight, I’d captured a sunspot in region 3310. At that moment, I knew what I was going to create.
“Some like it hot” is my first 3-photo composite: sun, sand, and clouds.
Covering approximately 1900 sq km total, the Great Sandhills is a Canadian Historical Site located in the SW corner of Saskatchewan, Canada. It’s in the middle of nowhere, perfect for explorers hoping for few people and lots of nature.
Throughout it all, I’ve been working.
In 2013, I published my first book.
Over time, a few more. All have earned 5-star reviews along with readers in 13 languages.
On top of beating cancer…
In 2014, the Financial Post Magazine featured me in a 2-page spread titled, Keep running which touched on my business success post-cancer.
Calgary Small Business of the Year Finalist 2013
Calgary Breakout Business of the Year Finalist 2013
E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year Nominee 2015
Founder, Kayak Marketing
Founder, SEO Audits
Syndicated Author on Social Media Today
Authored four books and 500+ articles.
HubSpot Platinum Certified Partner 2018
Top 1% Global Mentor, ADPList
A logo I created was recognized in the top 300 in the world.
An article I wrote for Social Media Today has received over 63,000 shares.
A blog post I wrote on Kayak Marketing has attracted 72,000 views (so far).
I discovered speaking and sharing.
Since my cancer recovery in 2010, I’ve started speaking and learned that I enjoy it. In 2011, I became a HubSpot Certified Partner and have earned a long list of marketing and automation certifications. Previously, I spent 30+ years as a professional visual designer.
I tasted craft beer.
On the chance you might be a craft beer fan, I have a little project I’m sure you’ll love.