(416) 532-5514 robhawke@gmail.com

You’re going to have to kick some ass on this one Rob.”

Whoa! I was more than a little surprised at hearing this especially from a doctor. I mean, I wasn’t in an exercise boot camp or at a motivational lecture. I was in a psychiatrist’s office. I had been diagnosed with probable thyroid cancer a week before and had been referred to this doctor as part of my treatment plan. I went just because I was supposed to. I mean really – a psychiatrist? Come on! I had expected to talk about my feelings and maybe told that it all went back to my being bullied in grade 3. Instead, the doctor looked at me evenly and gave me marching orders.

“This is going to be tough. It’s a serious thing you’re about to do and it’s going to take everything you’ve got.”

I almost laughed out of nervousness. Really? It wasn’t that serious, was it? Well, it turned out the good doctor was right. At the time I was a bit pissed off that he was so frank with me, but now I completely get it. We have to kick ass pretty much at every stage of recovery.

In the days and months that followed I appreciated that I had been told so frankly how serious cancer is. A journey with cancer, any journey with cancer, can take all our focus, determination, love, understanding and humour. Even to this day, when faced with making an adjustment to my life because of this disease my doctor’s words come back to me. “You’re going to have to kick some ass.” It turns out that ass kicking is a skill that comes in handy when we are in the thick of this journey and when something unexpected comes up as a survivor.

Here’s to all of us kicking ass and supporting each other while we do it.