The diagnosis left me in shock. In fact, it felt like a surreal out of body experience.
Growing old gracefully is not just a matter of coasting into the sunset - it's constantly treading water. Elite runner and writer Jean-Paul Bedard shares how his philosophy of movement, gratitude and forgiveness helps him to stay young at heart and mind despite a difficult past.
My wife Evva of 17 years and I live a quiet, beautiful life in Sechelt, British Columbia. We enjoy walking our dog and manage the local women and men's clothing stores. Six years ago, however, our lives changed forever. I was diagnosed with follicular lymphoma, an incurable form of blood cancer.
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My sister Yasmin took this picture on Jan 7, 2013. It was after my six-hour long emergency brain surgery. No one knew if I would wake up, but she took this picture. After months of living in the hospital and doing more weeks of therapy that I can count, I did recover from having a stroke and brain surgery.
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Having been a counsellor and crisis interventionist, I have supported people who only began dealing with horrible experiences after a trigger in their environment. And far as emotional triggers around sexual abuse go; this election is a doozy.
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I can't remember a time when breast cancer didn't cast a shadow over my life. For more than three decades it has been a constant, unwanted and unwelcome companion. When I was 14, my mother passed away from breast cancer. She was 39 years old. Prior to that, the disease took her older sister at the age of 42.
I'm not sure why I was shocked when I was diagnosed in 2002, in my thirties.
I desperately tried to HIDE my story. After my stroke, I hated the attention I received. I was lucky to have had a successful recovery but I did not understand why it was such a big deal, why newspapers wanted to write about it and why every single person I saw would make it the focus of a conversation.
My personal journey reconnecting with myself after sexual trauma was long and sinuous. I went through different phases as I'm sure most of us do: outright denial, pretending it never happened, livid r...
I had to be in the moment because my brain would not allow me to think ahead. As I was speaking, it terrified me. What if I would forget my next line? But it was a blessing. I was forced to be present, in that moment and think about the emotions in my story.
As I suspect is the case with many other people across the country, I am closely watching the Jian Ghomeshi trial. There were times yesterday when I found myself holding my breath, wishing that this very public trial might be a pivotal moment in our society -- one in which we can finally begin to openly and honestly address the prevalence of sexual violence in our communities.
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I always thought that if I were faced with impossibly adverse circumstances that I would be a fighter right up until the bloody death. I would go out raging against the enemy until I was victorious or until I couldn't possibly fight another second. Last year I found out that who I thought I would be was exactly the person I was. I fought the enemy and I was victorious.
The women Mordvinov allegedly assaulted made multiple complaints at the departmental level, at UBC's Equity Inclusion Office, to Associate Vice-President of Equity and Inclusion Sara-Jane Finlay, the UBC ombudsperson and Student Conduct and Safety Services. There were likely more. Every office failed these women.
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What would I like to see the #BeenRapedNeverReported campaign become? Before any meaningful change can occur, we need to work towards pulling back the layers of stigma. If we are unable to talk openly, how can we expect survivors of sexual violence to come forward with their own experiences with trauma?
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Early in this year's breast cancer madness, a friend posted a photo with a caption on my Facebook page. It depicted a slim woman, nude except for panties, arms raised, flying her (matching) black bra overhead. The caption: "Support breast cancer. Set the tatas free. Oct. 13 no bra day." I don't love it and here is why.
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My experiences of childhood sexual abuse -- of incest -- had stolen many aspects of my life but most importantly, my identity as a Tamil woman. After I moved out, I was shunned not only from my immediate family members, but my uncles, aunts, cousins, distant relatives, family friends -- my Tamil community. It didn't matter to my 19-year-old self why you weren't there for me. The fact of the matter was that you weren't. I felt hurt and abandoned.
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I'm not embarrassed to say that R.A. Dickey made me cry. About half way through our hour-long conversation, after talking about his favourite books and writers, and the difficult task of writing a memoir, I raised the fact that I was also sexual assault survivor-my disclosure a way of relaying to him that I understood the courage necessary in telling his story. He then thoughtfully interrupted me, genuinely expressing how sorry he was for what had happened in my past. When things get especially hard, I now hear his voice in my head: "I'm so sorry that happened to you, Stacey May."
Two years before I entered high school, I was the victim of a violent rape that took place a mere few kilometres from the football locker room I was now standing in. From the moment of that assault, I chose to disappear, fractured into different people -- the person I was afraid to let you see, the person I wanted you to see, and the young man who struggled with that internal turmoil every day for the next 30 years. I've heard that living as a survivor of rape is like living with a secret tumor. It metastasizes in the dark hollows of shame, and it continues to destabilize and corrupt every bond and every relationship in a survivor's life.
We should really ban reality shows from television. For starters, they aren't that real, are they? The creators are extremely good at editing so that we see whatever they want us to see -- whatever wi...
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Amidst the carnage of a failed marriage, as your days become consumed with prying the broken shards of glass from the wounds of a shattered life, it is hard to conceive that anyone will ever be worth the risk of going through all of this again. But a life without love is incomplete -- Love is always worth it.
The hard reality is that we are now a family of four -- not five. We know that our lives will never be the same, but we have found meaningful ways to remember our old life with our son. And that does provide comfort, even peace on the harder days. The pain is never far from the surface. We get on: one step forward and two backwards.
Jennifer Moonfoxy (right) with the author in Canada. Canada is home to people from all over the world, each with a unique story. Many have endured and sacrificed to be here including my dear friend, J...
People magazine reports that ex-"Survivor: Blood vs. Water" contestant Caleb Bankston died on June 24 following a railway accident. The 26-year-old was working on a train at the Alabama Warrior Railwa...
We all knew this was going to happen -- New Jersey cop Tony had this round of "Survivor" nailed down. Throughout this season of "Survivor: Cagayan," Tony was proactive with immunity idols, strategy an...
Here's something no one wants to hear: You aren't special because you made it through a bad break-up. Calling someone who had a bad break-up a "survivor" is a kind of First-World-Problems hyperbole. It belittles those who actually persevere and overcome true, life-threatening obstacles.
Most people know Jeff Probst as the host of original reality TV phenomena "Survivor," but the man who made "The tribe has spoken" famous is also an author. Probst is set to release "Trial By Fire: Str...
Todd Akin's ridiculous declaration on the serious crime of rape has created a justifiable uproar. Rape victims everywhere have experienced similar insensitive, nonsensical remarks. Count on it. But no one can top the comments of the man who sexually assaulted me for a period of 11 years.
Maybe some people like to feel superior by laughing at the characters on these shows, but by choosing to waste their time on such drivel, they inadvertently demonstrate their own lack of discernment.