Lain's Log

The Big C - Change

August 26/11.

Two and a half months ago, during the fired-up frenzy of all my cancer treatments AND trying to clear out and sell Mum's house, (days when I was pretty much a complete mess), I unexpectedly had an encounter with an old high school friend from Northern Secondary days. Les Molnar. (only the most incredible musical theatre performer ever)! - He starred in The Boyfriend and every other school show, knocking everyone out with his stage presence, singing, dancing, acting and pizzazz. He was a couple of years ahead of me when I was a geeky, awkward 15-year-old with glasses and braces. He slayed me with his confidence and continually left me in awe of his true talent. He barely knew me, but apparently remembered me as one of the shaky chorus kids in the cast.

He yelled out my name one afternoon in front of Luke's, the local convenience store, where I stopped in a daze between hospital and hidey hole visits. It was such an out-of-context connection, I didn't even realize who it was, till I looked into his eyes, and was suddenly 15 again, thinking, "Oh my God, - LES MOLNAR!" Turns out, he's really a very nice man, engaging, personable, kind, and ya, still gorgeous. At any rate, he was sad to hear of my cancer situation as well as the death of my Mum and gave me some information and advice to try and help and encourage me, then, took off into the sunset on his motorcycle.

Flash forward to mid-August, a day before leaving for vacation to Fern Resort. Les called me on the phone to check up on things. We ended up talking for a long time. Again, he gave me help and advice. Turns out, he's lost many friends and relatives to cancer and has made a study of the human body to keep himself fit and healthy. He told me about The China Study and said I should read the book. From what I understand, the study (among many things), indicates that people who consume a whole plant food/vegan diet, avoiding animal proteins, can minimize or reverse the development of chronic diseases. Les told me, in his opinion, I should give up meat and alcohol. (and also said I shouldn't use a cell phone or earpiece).

He said everyone thinks of "The Big C" as cancer, when we SHOULD be looking at The Big C as CHANGE. He encouraged me to make changes in my life, - diet, exercise, and psychological ones too, perhaps in an attempt to counteract the outta control, raging Intensity Entity and try to get back on some kind of even keel, since everything in my life has felt out of whack for so many months.

During the Fern trip, (and since being home as well), I haven't had any red meat at all. Just lots of fish, veggies and fruit. Did have two desserts at Fern though - (on the night they served their specialty, peanut butter pie!) But tried to keep the sugar to a minimum too.

(Oh, and as for the wine, that's going to take a little more work).

Yesterday, I briefly stopped in at the old stompin' grounds at Princess Margaret Hospital to see my favourite atrium and go to Druxy's to pick up a bagel with schmeer (Kev's fave) and a coffee (to counteract the hospital sludge for him!)

Then into Indigo at Mount Sinai Hospital. (yep, another hospital!) to buy Kev some new reading material at the magazine rack.

As I was walking out, noticed The China Study! Decided to buy it for myself. Les asked me to call him when I got back from holiday to tell him how things went. I just may do that, and let him know I bought the book too. My Mum always said, "God speaks through people," so maybe somebody is trying to tell me something about the changes I need to make. Who knows?

Upon arriving at Kevan's hospital room, I got a big surprise! There were no other patients in the massive room for four - just Kev, having his dinner and some other special visitors - his beautiful family - daughter Sacha and his new granddaughter Sienna (just over two months old), plus his wife, Marilyn, who took this pic!

Sacha, Kev, granddaughter Sienna and me! - If Sacha and Sienna can't cheer him up, nothing ever will!

Sienna is such a litte doll!

Kevio's big room has lots of space and a nice view of the city below.

Not long after these pics were taken, several more patients were brought in, but for a while, he had the room all to himself!

Another surprise - Kev's cousin Susan dropped by to visit and bring him some new pants! Here's a great shot of the gang.
(left to right) - Sacha, baby Sienna, Kev's fabulous wife, Marilyn and cuz Susan, Kev in front. He is a lucky man!

I was thrilled to get the chance to walk outside the hospital with Kevan and to see him doing so well in the wheelchair.

He's escaped! (at least, temporarily).
Kevan is looking forward to getting out of the hospital soon and into a rehab place so he can get some therapy and learn to put this behind him and move forward. March forth! (as my family likes to say!)

On the way out of Mt. Sinai, I ran into Tamara. She is a homeless woman who sits next to the pay parking kiosk, hoping for spare change. Here I am seeing her again, with all the visits to Kevan.

During my 16 daily radiation treatments, I brought her something every day - sometimes drinks because she likes apple juice and cranberry juice. We always had a talk and every time, she told me I'm looking good and she's praying for me. Can you believe that? Of course, she always brought a tear to my eye. Yesterday, I asked her where she sleeps. She said, "On top of the roof of the garage down the street." I gave her a few dollars, wished her luck and said I'd see her again the next day. Tamara was excited that she would be featured in my blog, even though she can't see it. I will print this section out to show her later today.

On the way home, driving along Broadview Avenue, I stopped the car in front of Jack Layton's constituency office to look at the massive piles of flowers, gifts and messages and to take a few pictures.

The city obviously misses Jack very much, and appreciates all he did for Toronto.

People like Kevan, Les Molnar and Jack Layton are inspiring to me. I am trying to make changes. For now though, I'm stepping back and just thinking about this emotional day.

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