Time for new experiences

I have now completed 12 chemos out of 16, and expect to have the chemo regimen completed by November 9th.

An updated bucket list

It has been an eventful month!

I have now completed 12 chemos out of 16, and expect to have the chemo regimen completed by November 9th.  Generally, I am tolerating the chemo well.  More importantly, the chemo is working and my bloodwork shows a reduction of the cancer in my body.  Welcome news indeed!

This past week, I had an EEG, an electrocardiogram, a pulmonary test, a dental examination and a chest CT scan – – all to make sure that I’m ready for the stem cell transplant.  Next week I have a TB test.  Then on November 18, I will be at the hospital where a surgeon will insert a catheter (known as a Hickman line) into a large vein in my chest under local anesthetic.  The Hickman line will be used during the stem cell process to insert my stem cells (collected 6 years ago) into my body where they can grow healthy cells.

I am optimistic about the success of the stem cell transplant and am starting to think about the future with hope and confidence.  Since being diagnosed, I have created bucket list items a few times and have achieved a whopping 70% of what I have put on the list. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

This included fulfilling the dream of an extended vacation to Kenya and exploring Barcelona, Rome and Greece.  I revelled in Cape Town’s stunning beauty from sea to sky.  I saw Michelle Obama live and in person.  I learnt to be comfortable in the kitchen.  I made progress with working out and eating healthier and recorded a CD with friends.  I wrote a book!

Here is my updated, work-in-progress Bucket List:

  • Sell 10,000 copies of my book, Choosing Hope, that will be published by Mawenzi House in the Spring of 2020.  Have multiple fun book launches, do book readings, connect with people, create an audible version of the book.  Enjoy and embrace the process.
  • Be invited to the Oprah show to talk about my book!
  • See Stephen Colbert live (residual Bucket List item).
  • Travel extensively – – London, Spain and Portugal, Turkey and Egypt……
  • Go to a Jason Mraz concert.
  • See Alegria, a, Cirque du Soleil production.
  • Visit two “virtual” friends in Vancouver who I love and have not met in person (I just booked a flight to Vancouver for November 2 to fulfill this bucket list item!)
  • Record another prayer CD.
  • Continue to do meaningful volunteer work that bring me joy.
  • Increase my consulting business by 20% in 2020.
  • See Preet Bharara and Rachel Maddow live and in person.
  • Create a course on Udemy.
  • Read and absorb the entire STEP curriculum to learn more about the Muslim faith.
  • Learn to dance (residual Bucket List item).
  • Spend more time at the Ismaili Centre and Aga Khan Museum.
  • Continue to focus on health and vitality.

And while I am thinking about the future, I am busy with current projects.   MG Vassanji has done a complete edit of my book and Nagib, Sabrina and I are spending many hours pouring through the edits, responding to questions and adding and removing content.  It’s an incredibly fulfilling process.  In addition, I have continued with consulting work that I have taken on during good days while on chemo.  Life is feeling pretty good right now.