Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goodbye to 2014

"Tomorrow is the first page of a 365 page blank book. Make it a good one." Brad Paisley

As we get ready to say goodbye to 2014,
we reflect not on the difficulties we faced but the realization that we are so incredibly blessed with wonderful friends and family who have shown us every day how much we are loved. Thank you. We look forward to 2015. We are a changed family. For the better.

In the spirit of New Year's, we wish that you.....

Listen to the words you always wanted to hear,
Turn the phrases that one day you wished to repeat,
Feel the emotion that always waited feel.
Walk by the rails that one day you wished to follow,
Divide the way with whom you have always wanted to share,
Embrace all the friends you have always wanted to meet.
I wish from the bottom of my heart:
That every time that your dreams flow away, they come back.
To a life overflowing with achievements,
' fly in the journey of love '
In this New Year be happy in your dreams
And have the good fortune to get them.

Thank you to Nicole, my oldest friend for the inspiration behind these words.

2015 will be the year of the bucket list, of living life to the fullest and taking advantage of every moment. Stay tuned for the first page of our 365 day book. ABC New Years!! 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas from the Low Family

And the Grinch with his Grinch feet, ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled, till his puzzler was sore, Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. 

"What if Christmas, he thought doesn't come from a store?, What if Christmas perhaps, means a little bit more?"

We feel incredibly blessed and grateful to have all of you in our life. We look forward to celebrating with many of you at our January 10, 2015 Celebration. Please email for details We would like to wish you all a wonderful holiday season. We have much to look forward to. An ugly sweater Xmas Eve, Christmas with both families in Southampton, Spence family appetizer extravaganza Boxing Day, hockey tournament in Brantford, lazy mornings filled with fireplaces and coffee, the opening of the Gratitude Jar and the grand finale of the ABC New Years on Blucher.

Remember the Simple Life

 Miss somebody - Call them
Want to see someone - Invite them
Want to be understood? - Explain
Have questions - Ask
Want something - Seek it out
Don't like? - Be honest
Stressed - Let it go
Love someone - Say it

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

All I Want for Christmas Is...

"And above all, watch with glittering eyes, the whole world around you. Because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.. Those who don't believe in magic, will never find it." Roald Dahl

I truly believe that our experience with cancer has created a more softer and beautiful Low family. We have a new appreciation for each other and have been reminded how fragile life is. We have learned to not take simple things for granted and to reach out to those we love and make the most of each moment.

I have great hope that 2015 will bring my continued remission, a renewal of energy, increased strength and a return to my beloved career in teaching. I look forward to the beginning of volunteering once a week at my school with my amazingly supportive administrator who has been a constant source of strength, resilience and support for me.  I have follow-up doctor/oncologist appointments in February, with the hope that positive bloodwork and test results will lead to a return to teaching half-time after March Break.

This is my wish.

My best case scenario. A gradual introduction back to the other part of my identity. I need to be prepared and realistic that this may not unfold as my Christmas wishes have planned out in my mind. But I have hope and believe that the best possible outcome will come my way. Cancer has changed me, changed me for the better. It has taught me that I am much stronger than I realized and that maintaining a positive outlook is such a key part of one's recovery. While I come to the end of this chapter of my journey, I send love, thoughts, prayers and hope to several colleagues who are facing the beginning of their own chapters. I have to believe that part of my own experience is to be a source of inspiration and support to them, to give back and pay forward the kindness and love our family received over the past year. This is not the end of our story. Only a new beginning, xoxo

Appreciating Our Glass

It's not about whether the glass is half empty or half full, it's about making the most of whatever is in our glass.

What our glass looks like doesn't matter, it's about being grateful that we have something in it. That we continue to have hope and faith. As I reflect and look back at 2014, I am reminded that although our family faced many struggles, we also created many great memories and shared many smiles with our loved ones. Even in the face of cancer, we found reasons to celebrate. As I chose pictures that portrayed some of our months in 2014 for our Christmas card that we sent out to family, I am reminded that despite the fear and hardship we faced, there were far more smiles than tears. The good definitely outshines the "not so good".

We celebrated birthdays, went bowling, watched hockey games and gymnastics competitions. We had family pictures taken and went to a beautiful wedding. We had several amazing weeks at the cottage in Wiarton, backyard foo fahs, visits to and from Calgary, two annual yurting trips, first days of school, Halloween parties, end of school year foo fahs, grade eight graduation, euchre nights, dinners on the deck, birdwatching in the backyard, Southampton beach, trips to the schoolhouse, Collingwood, wineries, awesome music and food at Ben Miller Spa, tryouts, Thanksgiving dinner dance parties, many mornings drinking coffee on the deck and ice cream desserts.

The end of cancer treatments and my remission has brought a re-newed energy to the end of 2014. The holiday season has brought a sense of normal back to our lives. We have enjoyed Christmas parties, the Book of Mormon, live bands at the Duke of Wellington and Too Much Clutch, hockey tournaments in Cleveland, a Detroit Red Wings game, Christmas shopping, Jordan's semi-formal, our annual Taco Tuesday at Ethel's and dinners out to Martinis and Del's.

We can't wait for 2015 and know that there are many more amazing opportunities coming our way. The first event is that we are hosting a drop-in "Kicking Cancer Celebration" on January 10 at our place, please email us at if you are interested in the details. We would like to wish everyone a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year.

Love Michelle, Jason, Cam and Jordan

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Do you believe in Angels?

"The guardian angels of life sometimes fly so high as to be beyond our sight, but they are always looking down upon us." ~ Jean Paul Richter 
The spirit of the holidays gives us an opportunity to believe in the magic of Christmas and the stories of Jesus that we as children grew up hearing in church and storybooks. 

I recently had a dear colleague ask to speak to me about something that happened to her that really wasn't about her, it was about me. 

I haven't been able to get it out of my mind. After being diagnosed with cancer, I experienced anger towards God in allowing this to happen to me. Why was I being made to struggle yet again? I struggled with believing in a higher power.
I will do my best to re-tell the story that my friend told me this week. It begins when C went to a Reiki session who also claims to have Psychic powers.
Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by "laying on hands" and is based on the idea that an unseen "life force energy" flows through us and is what causes us to be alive.
My friend C and her friend participated in their sessions and were told revelations and asked questions about a variety of topics (unrelated to my story). Towards the end, the Reiki master stopped  C as she was getting ready to leave and asked whether the name "Michelle" meant anything to her. They had been instructed to answer yes or no to any questions. C said "yes". She asked if Michelle was sick. C responded "yes".  She told C that she had a message for Michelle. The message was that 
"There are many people on the other side watching over her. There are also many people here who are supporting her and that everything is going to be ok."
This was unexpected for C, there would is really no explanation for how this Reiki master would know this information about my journey or C and I working together. What I am left with is that I truly have to believe that there are angels on the other side watching over me. In the past several months, we have been through the passing of my Great Aunt Lil - who was a true healer and Jason's grandfather. A very important individual in my life, Paul Chambers passed away at the beginning of my diagnosis. He was a skeptical believer of heaven and the afterlife. I have to wonder if this is a message to me that he found out that there is a heaven and is watching over us. 

 Most importantly, I remember my grandfather who died when I was just becoming a teacher, he has never been able to meet Jason and my children. How wonderful it is to believe that he is keeping watch over us. It's easy to be skeptical....but so much more comforting to believe that we do have angels watching over us in heaven.  Believing gives us all hope. I would have never been able to get through the past few months without hope, faith and resilience. Many wonderful things have come from believing in something more powerful than medicine and more powerful than science. There are just some things that can't be easily explained and I choose to stop searching for explanations but rather believe that this message was meant to be communicated to me. Thank you for sharing your story C, it has had a powerful impact on me.

Do you believe?