My Support - My Inspiration
Two weeks later I received a phone call from a client Bill Paine, asking if he could meet me, wanting to talk. I knew he was going through a difficult time himself with his wife having recently taken difficult treatments for a rare form of cancer. I had met with both Bill and his wife a few months before to help with the process of the effect of the cancer treatment on her hair.
We met and he wanted to thank me for our conversation on mental health, feeling safe enough to talk to me about his illness. He had checked himself into the HOPE center and since is fully recovered now. We have became even closer friends and attend hockey games together, and are now looking into both doing a joint venture giving back to mental health patients, taking them out riding or hiking and encouraging physical activity!
January 29th 2018
On January 29th 2018, my mother Marie had a stroke. This was the day that changed her life forever.However with constant support from the great TEAM at Lions Gate hospital and encouragement from her family we got her back on track. Unfortunately she was assessed as not being able to live at home and she was moved to a care facility, Evergreen House. It was there she spent the next month, coming down with a massive infection which required 8 surgeries and countless hours of support by care-givers. These were probably the hardest days of my life.
On April 8th we met with the surgical team following my mum’s third surgery, only to have a short conversation about my mum. It was then that she had said she was more concerned about us, as we had been there for a few days continuously , wanting to know what we enjoyed. When I said cycling, she asked why I wasn’t doing it? I hadn’t been cycling as I was fearful that I would be too far away in the event of a change as my mum’s condition when she was in Intensive Care in a coma. She said “go, you need to get away from here.”
That day, April 8th 2018 I started to bike again, not leaving the North Shore at the beginning ,however slowly moving over to ride again across the Lions Gate and into the park and distances beyond.
During this time, also dealing with my mum travelling to VGH for re-constructive surgery and having to say what could well be our final goodbye’s at each and every surgery this created a huge toll on my mental wellness.
In May I created more goals and used my mum’s brave fight to keep me going, releasing all my stresses and the guilt from all the family meetings, discussing the M.O.S.T form ( choices of intervention, levels of care and support) and the constant head games of being the P.O.A as legal representative and voice of a loved one! Through this, I learned many lessons in what being a P.O.A really means. It is a much bigger responsibility than most people think and I have become a huge advocate for others to understand what is required beyond the legal jargon.
Along the way through social media, I was receiving so much acknowledgement for my journey and my posts, realising my goals were not just mine. It became as much about giving others goals and inspiration! So I made it past 30 days, then 100, then my 200 day goal. I said one day “Wow, imagine if I could do a whole year of consecutive day’s riding, sharing my rides, thoughts, photos and inspirations. Documenting each day, giving positive messages to all, this intern helped me!
I have had many conversations with so many people. I have lost over 80lbs, changed my own life and now have a mission to help others change their’s!