I can't believe we are in December with only a few weeks left in 2016! For so many of us 2016 was a year of heartache, pain, suffering, loss, diagnosis, and health struggles. However, it was also one of joy, happiness, peace, travel, job promotions, new babies being born, and celebrations of many kinds. The list of both hardship and bliss has been true for many of us. For me 2016 was a year waiting for many reasons. As I have said before, I did finally get some good news for my health which I am grateful for. It’s been a year of celebration and living each day to the fullest, all the while never taking for granted what could be around the corner and knowing how short and fragile life is. On December 6th, it will be 6 years that I heard the news that I had breast cancer. Every year since then when Christmas comes, I am more thankful and blessed to still be alive and am beyond thankful for the care that we receive in our medical system here in Canada when we are battling cancer. Christmas has always been very special to me and I love all the celebrating and decorating the house but since my first diagnosis it has taken a much deeper appreciation of what really is important and what Christmas really means. Spending time with those you love and cherishing each and every day we are given.

I have had many opportunities of getting to know countless people this past year who have also been walking their cancer journeys. There is an unexplainable bond you share with people walking a similar journey to yourself. Some of the people I have met have become new friends, while I have also reconnected with old friends/acquaintances, as well as some family, all of whom have brought a deep sense of connection. It has been a pleasure to get to know so many people and to support each other in many different ways. 2016 has also included the loss of some friends who were fighting cancer, which is very hard. I have been able to celebrate with those that have been winning their cancer fight along with praying for those that are just going through surgeries and treatment.

I was want to encourage each of you to embrace these final weeks of this wonderful Christmas Season and to take time to enjoy your family and friends. It’s so important to not get so caught up in the busyness or the stress that the holiday season can bring but to remember what it is truly about, the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

I once again want to thank so many of you that continue to love, support, encourage and pray for me. My cancer journey has been the hardest years of my life, but also there has been countless blessings, rewards and little miracles that I have received in so many ways which I know has happened because of my suffering.

Merry Christmas