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  • Writer's pictureMatt


There's nothing like a cancer diagnosis to make you reflect on your situation. The initial news was a kick in the gut, but even during the first few days Kristen and I were quick to realize that our situation could be much worse. When things seemed overwhelming, we would list all of the things that we had going for us. It helped counteract all of the news that was coming our way and was a good way to remind ourselves that we have lots of reasons to be optimistic. We keep coming back to this mental list, but thought it might be a good idea to write it down and share it. We know that this isn't easy for our friends and family either, so we want to spread the positivity.

So here they are - in no particular order - the many reasons that I am lucky:

  • Our friends and family are amazing and have been incredibly supportive and accommodating. They say we can ask them for anything and we truly believe that

  • I have three kids - Rya, Henry and Max - who brighten my every day even if they might not know it

  • I'm not trying to do this 30 years ago - before texting and blogging

  • I have an amazing team of healthcare providers, all of whom have my best interests at heart

  • Health care is free in Ontario

  • We have benefits through work

  • It's summer so neither Kristen nor I have had to stress about missing work yet

  • I'm not going to lose my job because I'm sick

  • Kristen says I'm young, strong and fit. She's usually right so we'll go with that

  • Kristen loves to cook healthy food

  • I have 2 arms on my glasses again now that my incision has healed

  • My oncologist said that a beer here or there is not a problem. Good news Jonesy!

  • We are part of a strong faith community in Owen Sound

  • I feel like I have forged a stronger relationship with God

  • There are people praying for me in places like British Columbia, South Africa, and England and so many more here closer to home

  • I have planned little things to look forward to every week during my treatments - concerts, seeing family, dates with friends

  • I have too many reasons to keep living . . . and too much shit I still need to do.

Thanks to everyone for being part of my positive support network; you're a vital part of this process. Through you, Kristen and I gain strength and, in turn, we hope to be able to support you when you need it. We love you all.

The Book of Answers says so.

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Denise Buttenaar
Denise Buttenaar
Aug 07, 2018

Having a list, and especially one filled with positivity, can help kick the ass out of uncertainty. I just loved reading this list. You two are so special.


Anne McMillan
Anne McMillan
Jul 30, 2018

Thanks Matt for sharing this blog and allowing us to follow your journey.

We’re so happy that you’re recuperating so well! We’ve been keeping you and your family in our thoughts and prayers.

Keep up the positive attitude! It definitely helps the healing process.

(And the Great Gazoo! Haven’t thought of him for a while! Lol)

You have an amazing wife and loads of family and friends supporting you!

Love, Anne (Cassidy ) and Steve McMillan and the whole clan


Jul 30, 2018

All the Shrider's are thinking of you and cheering you on, Matt! Deep down, we're still those scrappy kids from the trailer park! Kick butt, old friend.❤️

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