Well 2017 it’s been a slice

As 2017 comes to a close we tend to reflect on the year that’s past.

My 2017 focus word was “Lean”.

And for the most part I did apply lean to my life, but not to the extent I wanted. I reflected on my word several times over the year, and each time would recommit, but then things would get difficult and poof it was forgotten again and I’d be drinking a Starbucks Frapp.

So 2017, let’s start with the good:

I was renewed as an Ambassador by the greatest running shoe company on the planet – Altra!

Sweaty, happy, trailrunning girl!

I turned 50! And while I cry every birthday, the wonderful people in my life made sure I celebrated in style.

My work gals surprised me at a 10AM champagne and chocolate cake meeting!

I played outside in the winter months more than I have since I was a child thanks to snowshoerunning in the woods, and more importantly thanks to the incredible people who braved the cold snowy days with me. It was so much fun I always wanted to go, no matter the conditions.

Photo credit @richardsonleanne
Steve burnin’ it up!

I ran  the Vegas Strip before it got busy, then in Red Rock Canyon and Valley of Fire in Nevada, AND experienced the Devil’s Golf Course and Badwater Basin in California.

Valley of Fire (before we got lost)
Valley of Fire – where are we?
Red Rock Canyon, before the thunderstorm
Badwater Basin – where is Steve going?
Desert running!
I so expected to see a coyote chasing a road runner

I got to travel to Italy AGAIN with Steve, and bonus points to be able to go AGAIN with The Lovely and Brian. We also managed to duck into Switzerland and France for a few hours.

Brian, Steve and I running along the Tiber in Rome. Was there a sale on CTT hats?
The Lovely and I at the Colosseo in Rome

We got to race Sciacchetrail through I was pulled for being too slow 🙂 . Yes, this still counts as a good! This race, the organizers Christine and Nicola, and the people of Cinque Terre… Incredible.  My race report is here.

What a view!

We also got to hang out with the most beautiful and authentic Sally McRae and her equally beautiful daughter Makenzie

These people ❤️

The boys raced BVG Ultra Trail

Climbing up!

I was given more responsibility at work in an acting position, and I unexpectedly loved it!

Cancer happened… and this is a surprising “good” because it’s in the hard times where we are more aware of the beauty of the people around us (they painted my freaken house!!).  There are so many examples of this kindness and beauty: from the staff in the chemo unit at the General, from complete strangers, from people who started as acquaintances and stepped up huge to become sources of strength and love, from friends and family from far away who found ways to show support and be present, to family and friends nearby who were always showing up whether it be at my door or by text, and discovering some friends that you felt would be your rocks fading from the picture.

A tableful of encouragement

My citizenship. As a Canadian we have freedoms that others don’t, tolerance and acceptance of others that isn’t always perfect, but the good outshines the bad by a great margin. As a Canadian I’m also blessed with universal healthcare, which also has its shortcomings, but when you’re diagnosed with a devastating illness and your calendar is booked solid with appointments for tests, with specialists, for treatment, surgery, followups, and you just show up and present your health card and never see a bill? For this I’m so grateful.

My daughter was able to work from Ottawa for 4 weeks during the worst of the chemo, as well as visiting for a week here and there since, using her precious vacation time to be with her Mom. The days can be long and lonely when you’re not feeling great, and it was so nice to have her here because we always found ways to laugh.

After she shaved my head
She is responsible for this man in my bed
Helping choose the right hat to distract from my thinning hair

Steve, who has been going through his own ‘stuff’ the past months, and who put this aside to be at all my appointments, argue with the parking folks when there were no spots, and always being a positive force throughout this cancer thing.

Love you ❤️

I am so lucky to work for an organization where the immediate reaction when I told them the news that I would be on medical leave was to give me hugs and offers of help, over ‘what the hell are we going to do now, we can’t afford to lose another person’. In line with this is having a job that offers sick leave for as long as I need it, so I can focus on getting better, and not have to juggle work on top of everything. Because I don’t think I could have done it.

My peeps. So many more should be in this pic, but the office wasn’t big enough (and we didn’t have enough wine and cupcakes).

I discovered a passion for writing.

Old vintage typewriter
But not with a pen. Or a typewriter.

I wasn’t able to run the races I’d planned, but I was still able to cheer on my crew with all the enthusiasm I could muster because I really was thrilled to be there!

UTHC gang
The Lovely and I cheering at Bromont

The #runforuna team. This means more to me than I can ever say.

Screen Shot 2017-12-31 at 1.28.47 PM

That’s a lot of 2017 good isn’t it?

Now for the bad:

I can’t think of anything. Except for the jerk who stole the antenna off my car when I was out for coffee with Agnes. Jerkdude, that’s a lot of bad karma.

That hat is clipped to my HAIR!


13 thoughts on “Well 2017 it’s been a slice”

  1. Una – I love reading your posts! You have unknowingly helped me through the last few months with your positive outlook in your facebook updates. They have reminded me to keep looking forward and to be grateful which at times was/is a huge struggle for me. I have 3 more days of radiation and then some other lesser preventative treatments coming my way but essential I am done! Now time to get stronger – no idea how I’m going to do that yet but finally something other than cancer treatment to focus on 🙂 I love that your hair is coming in. I’m a little further along than you and I can tell you that the eyebrows also come quick once they start. Happy New Year!!

    1. Sandy you’re almost done!! I’m thrilled for you! I’m sorry you had to go through this, it is really hard. I laugh alot, because, well you have to! Not much choice, just need to push forward!

      You will get your strength back when the time is right. I was so fed up with my PICC that 48 hours after it was out I started with a 20 second plank. Almost collapsed! But it’s a start. Baby steps!

      Wishing you a fantastic 2018. Let’s put this cancer stuff behind us this year! HUGS!!!

  2. Hi Una,

    It’s true, you have so much to be grateful for! That’s what you need to focus on, well, we all need to focus on!

    Have a great New Year my friend!

    See you in 2018!


    1. Happy New Year beautiful Sylvie! I hope that 2018 is the year we can both put our setbacks behind us, once and for all. xoxox

  3. Una, your capacity for chosing the right words through your writing is amazing! Through all of your posts you had me both laughing and crying simultaneously. You are an AMAZING person with more strength and love than most of us!

    I wish you nothing but good in 2018 my dear!!

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