Today is Thanksgiving Day in Canada. While it may appear on the surface we have precious little to be thankful for, when I dig a little deeper it’s easy to find a plethora of reasons to be grateful.
First and foremost, I am alive and healthy, as is my wife.
The breast cancer that threatened her life just three short years ago was sent packing by the most amazing oncologist British Columbia (and probably all of Canada) has ever seen.
Dr. Paul Klimo holds a special place in our hearts and today is a great day to express my gratitude to him for saving my wife’s life. He is an amazing, humble and exceptionally brilliant man.
You see, Dr. Klimo was retired the year before my wife’s life-altering diagnosis.
He came out of retirement a short time before that nasty July day in 2018 when a surgeon told us Lynda needed to have her breast cut off if she wanted to live.
The next day, I tearfully drove my wife to the ferry terminal so she could go on her pre-scheduled annual holiday with her girlfriend on Vancouver Island. I despised the idea of her going on this holiday because, like any husband with a pulse and a functioning brain, I wanted to help my wife and be with her even though neither one of us had a F^&*ing clue how to cope with this nightmarish news.
But her pre-planned trip saved her life.
Had she not gone on that holiday, we never would have heard of Dr. Paul Klimo.
Lynda’s girlfriend is married to one of Lynda’s cousins who, when he heard the terrible news, called his sister and asked her to help. She lost her son to cancer two decades earlier and has spent the intervening years raising millions of dollars for cancer research – including the research from her son’s cancer that formed part of the treatment that saved my wife’s life.
She called Lynda and told her to get a referral to Dr. Paul Klimo and that she’d already cleared the path for her. Dr. Klimo would see her as soon as she could get the referral.
All this happened in the ten days while she was away from me.
When she returned we went to her doctor and got the referral to see Dr. Klimo. We got a second referral to another surgeon because cutting off body parts was not something Lynda could envision.
Dr. Klimo’s first order of business was to order a medical imaging scan. Because of his reputation, we were able to get that appointment the following day – unheard of in the words of the scheduling nurse who called us as we were driving home from Dr, Klimo’s West Vancouver office.
“We normally have at least a two week waiting period, but because you’re Dr. Klimo’s patient we’ve made space for you tomorrow morning. Can you be here at 8am?”
Of course we could.
After seeing the scan results, Dr. Klimo said, “Don’t you worry. By the time we’re done the cancer will be so small you can’t even see it.”
“Really?” my wife asked.
The thought that the two massive lumps in her breast could simply vanish in the timeline he suggested sounded impossible to us.
“Really. Trust me. I will get you through this.”
Paul Klimo is a man of his word. After the first round of his suggested chemotherapy, the tumors shrunk. After the second round of chemo, they shrunk again. And when the third round of chemo was finished, Dr. Klimo couldn’t sense any trace of the tumors any more.
I cancelled the mastectomy surgery.
The surgeon’s scheduling assistant was furious with me.
You can imagine how little I cared.
We followed Dr. Klimo’s instructions to the letter – much to the dismay of many a medical professional elsewhere in the system – and because we did, my wife is alive today.
I’m incredibly grateful for that.
Had we listened to two of the original medical professionals we were sent to, Lynda would probably not be alive today.
I am forever grateful Paul Klimo came out of retirement to save my wife’s life. (and dozens, if not hundreds of others, too.)
Dr. Klimo retired for the second time on September 2nd, 2021.
I’m sure he waited until the tests showed there is no longer any cancer in Lynda’s body.
The Lytton Fire
This year brought many challenges with it, one of which is the fire that burned the town of Lytton to the ground. By what can only be described as a miracle from God, the fire swept up the valley were I live and split at the point where people lived and burned up both hillsides of the valley.
The fire map is utterly bizarre to look at. The fire forks where the homes begin and burned up the hillsides above them all the way to the lake – past the last of us.
While so many in town lost everything, those of us who lived just outside of Lytton were spared.
I am incredibly grateful for that.
Like most of the residents of this little valley, I’ve lived there off and on for over 30 years. It’s a precious sanctuary and has been throughout my life.
I’m grateful for God’s protection in that place – for all of us who live there.
Next, I’m grateful for my clients – both those I write for regularly and the authors I coach through the process of writing and publishing their own amazing books – because they, collectively, allow me to live the life of my dreams. I absolutely love the work I do and the lives I help transform by doing it.
What more can a man ask for?
Sure, there is plenty of stupidity in the world. There always has been and there always will be.
But if we focus on gratitude when we start each day, and focus on the little things that bring us great joy and happiness throughout the day, the stupid cannot take root in us and control our lives.
An added benefit is that by focusing on gratitude, joy and happiness, we have far more strength and courage to do the hard work that’s in front of us today: winning our society back.
It’s a big job.
There is much to do.
And when we work together in gratitude and joy, we are an unstoppable force.
We will win.
This is inevitable, because human beings naturally seek freedom and liberty.
Just ask any immigrant from any communist country or authoritarian dictatorship around in the world. These people came to Canada to escape the very tyranny they now see too many complacent Canadians begging for.
These individuals know how the story ends, and it’s not pretty for anyone.
But if we listen to them and their experience, it’s still not too late to save our country.
And it all starts with gratitude.
What are you grateful for today?
And how will that gratitude fortify you so you can help fight against the ongoing stupidity that threatens our world?