Bladder Cancer Awareness

Bladder Cancer Canada Awareness Month of May

Bladder Cancer Canada Awareness Month

The month of May is #BadderCancer Awareness Month in Canada. Along with the World Bladder Cancer Patient Coalition and patient advocacy groups around the globe Bladder Cancer Canada has declared the month of May as Bladder Cancer Canada Awareness month. We are delighted that Health Canada has  officially recognizes our efforts each year.

Our campaign is focused on two intents for the month of May. Firstly, we are raising general awareness about bladder cancer across Canada and around the world. It is the 5th most prevalent cancer in Canada and in in most countries. Secondly, we are intent on reaching out to the 80,000 patients and their families across Canada to get them connected with us at Bladder Cancer Canada. We want to connect with YOU and your family and caregivers and get you enrolled in Bladder Cancer Canada so that you can tap into the resources we offer AND  you might even decide to get activtly involved. You can also connect with us on Facebook at Bladder Cancer Canada - Cancer De La Vessie on our national page or on one of our  20 Facebook community pages centered in our foundational walk communities across Canada. You will also find us on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIN and a very resourceful site on YouTube. We are here for you.

We are so thankful to members of the media across Canada who are supporting our efforts and in particular our partners at Corus Entertainment and their Global News Network.

#bladdercanceraware

With our #bladdercanceraware campaign this month, we are calling upon our volunteers, patients, families, urologists, oncologists, nurses, general practitioners and the public at large; to join with us to bring attention and awareness to this fifth most prevalent cancer in Canada. Did you know that #bladdercancer is the 4th most prevalent cancer amongst men in Canada and 12th for women? Yet, in funding, it is below 20th!

Some of the milestones this month will include a May 3rd lighting of Niagara Falls in orange. On May 23th the CN Tower in Toronto and the Toronto sign will be lit yellow, with a touch of red. Feel free to speak with officials in your community to request your local icon light up for #bladdercanceraware this month of May.

I Survived

I am personally proud to shout out the #BladderCancer awareness activity through #bladdercanceraware as a bladder cancer survivor myself. I had two non-muscle invasive tumours removed in March of 2014 followed by regular check-up cystoscopies and BCG treatments. My check ups since surgery have remained"all clear". I am now into an annual check-up frequency. Thanks to Dr. Ron Kodama at Sunnybrook Health Sciences and his team for looking after my medical needs. I've taken the active step of getting involved with Bladder Cancer Canada as a board member and I am completing a three year position as volunteer board chair.

Spread the Word

YOU can help us this month by helping to spread the word about #bladdercanceraware as part of our effort to raise awareness coast to coast to coast in Canada for #bladdercancer. Feel free to retweet @BladderCancerCA or on Instagram @bladdercancercanada or post on Facebook. You can also gain more information and ideas about Bladder Cancer in Canada, and ways to support our awareness month of May at www.bladdercancercanada.org. Perhaps you will decide to volunteer, join a forum or make a donation to support the fight against this disease.

Please help shout out awareness for #BladderCancer Canada by using our #bladdercanceraware hashtag across your social networks this month.

Thanks for helping us gain greater awareness for Bladder Cancer. And for wellness sake, if you See Red - See Your Doctor !  @FergDevins

 


wrapping paper lines up

When the wrapping paper lines up

One of those “aha” awesome moments of the Christmas season

Sometimes the awesome moments during the holidays are small achievements. Do you ever catch yourself in a moment of joy, or upset and realize what is causing your emotion is actually quite trivial in nature? In the ramp-up to Christmas, one of those trivial moments could be that moment when the wrapping paper lines up, or doesn't. Even in these COVID times, something as simple as the tape not getting stuck or the wrapping paper lining up can bring a pulse of #joy into our day.

You've selected the most amazing pattern to wrap your gifts. Upon wrapping you realize that the pattern won't line up. Well, with a little bit of manoeuvring it will likely line up, but it adds a little planning and strategy to the simple task of wrapping.

When the wrapping paper lines up, you have a moment of joy. There is a sense of accomplishment. You might even lay a high five or bump to one of your family members nearby.

As Neil Pasricha points out in his "The Book of (Holiday) Awesome", wrapping is serious. However, let's not get caught up in these trivial moments of highs and lows of the season. Let us seek out our joy in not only when the wrapping paper lines up but some of those other moments of joy the holidays season brings:

  • When the lights all turn on when you plug them in the first time.
  • You and neighbours have decided to decorate a tree on your favourite path or park.
  • The beer in the fridge is still fresh.
  • Every seasonal apparatus working on batteries is still working from last year.
  • That rotating ornament still revolves on the tree.
  • Your outdoor ornaments survived the summer shed storage.
  • Although a smaller dinner plan this year, you have all selected your favourite dishes for Christmas dinner.
  • The online learning has come to an end for your kids - whatever age and stage they are at.
  • You remembered to put gas in the snowblower when you got dumped on Christmas morning.
  • Your Christmas paper napkins are in good supply.
  • You will be less concerned about wifi surviving the visitors because you'll be a smaller group this year.
  • Your PVR has enough space to accommodate taping a lot more holiday specials this year.
  • Your favourite restaurant has that seasonal special featured on their menu for take-out.
  • You have enough kindling prepared for the increase in fires during the holidays.
  • Your BBQ propane tank is full, and a spare on hand.
  • Your hot water tank is in good working order for those extra long soaks in the tub.
  • You've replaced your back step broom for sweeping off the morning dusting of snow.
  • You've sent a few extra little surprises in the mail to family members that will be able to join you this year.

May your holidays be happy and bright And may all of your Christmas's be white.

@fergdevins


Christmas tree decorations

That Old Box of Christmas Ornaments

Ah the memories that can be evoked by a simple token ornament for the tree - enjoy !

In today's post, I refer to Neil Pasricha's "The Book of (Holiday) Awesome" and his reference to "pulling out that old box of Christmas ornaments from when you were a kid".

Whether it is the angel atop your tree, the "baby's first Christmas" ornament, the family pet, Mickey Mouse lights, your miniature Christmas Village, your favourite Nutcracker, a favourite ornament from a family member, the neighbour's ornament from years gone by - memories adorn our Christmas trees each year.

One of our own all-time favourites is a "Mrs Jones" ornament that our dear friend Shiela gave us, likely the first year we had a tree. It is a little angel made out of various pasta pieces, painted white and glazed and has survived for 30 years. Another collection that is special for us is a collection of the annual White House ornaments. Over the years, our dear friend Angela and more recently her daughter Danielle have sent us the White House ornament. They colourfully adorn our tree this year in all their splendour.

That box of ornaments you pull out each year is a wonderful reflection of memories over the years that bring joy to the ritual of tree decorating.

As the scouts, markets and churches fill their parking lots and locations with the annual harvest of Christmas trees, may your own preparations to pull your box of decorations bring you much joy and awesomeness this holiday season.

@fergdevins


role of tape

Don't Sweat the Small Things like Tape

Ok, deep breath, another deep breath...ok breath out slowly...don’t let those small things get you...breath in the lovely scent of that pine candle and take your time...its Christmastime

I had a good chuckle this morning, reading page 22 of Neil Pasricha's "The Book of (Holiday) Awesome". It reminded me of how we sometimes let those little tiny nuisances cause us aggravation. In the grander scheme of things, shame on us for getting caught by "hangnails" of life.

In Neil's book, he refers to "finally finding the start of this stupid role of tape". Doesn't that statement just conjure up some recollections of when you were cursing that moment in the middle of wrapping? Or, perhaps you were sealing that envelope to send off to the family for the holidays. The tape issue is not just germane to the holidays. Gosh, any roll of Scotch Tape sitting in a drawer for a few months will likely have had its end disappear, causing you to remove your reading glasses and focus in on finding the missing end of the tape.

But really folks, given all that the world is facing, I am sure that you will agree with me that we can overcome this frustration and focus on things of more significance in our day. And, given that you are likely wrapping and shipping a lot more gifts and packages this year, we need to just take a little more time, be a little more patients, take in the good things that are happening around us and put all this pandemic b.s. aside.

However, finding that missing end of the tape can absolutely be one of those moments of awesome this holiday season and year-round.

@fergdevins


Devins Network blogs Crane with Christmas Lights

Construction Cranes with Christmas Lights

A special glow on city streets as the setting sun retires each day during the holiday season...so many cranes in Toronto...wonderful to see how some of those with the spirit of the season at heart have lit up the horizon with lights on their cranes - well done!

The title of this post says it all. What a joyful sight it is to see construction cranes in cities and towns with Christmas lights strung across the structures. Someone must have to take credit for starting this idea, and it is so wonderful to see that so many construction companies have adopted this celebration of the season.

Like Neil Pasricha mentions in his "The Book of (Holiday) Awesome", "they're not selling anything. Nope, Christmas lights on construction sites just smile down on the city and cover us all in a warm and festive light"

Thanks to those who have taken the time, the expense and the risk of adorning cranes with these special Christmas and holiday treats on our cityscapes and town horizons. You certainly help put a punch of awesome into our happiness this season.

It is also wonderful to see so many "surprise trees and lights" in parks and on boulevards around the city this season. It is a demonstration of community spirit and people reaching out so make this season just a little more special in the face of the pandemic. Thanks for your community spirit everyone.

@fergdevins


couple walking

When Strangers Wish you Happy Holidays

This season perhaps opens up a few more casual gestures of good will in our streets, towns, villages and cities. With masks on, and social distancing the norm - we have lost a bit of the seasonal joy and greetings that would normally bring more neigbourly practices to our streets and pathways. It is unfortunate that we may have lost a bit of the magic when passers-by greet each other with a season's greetings. A small gesture this time of year, or any time of year brings positiveness into our midst. Ho Ho Ho - Hello !

On a walk with neighbours, the other day, we were remarking about how fascinating it is to pass people on the street and see the percentage that returns "Hello" along the way. Our finding is (in Toronto) that it is less than 50% that respond back to hello, good morning, hello there, good afternoon, hi. Sad, isn't it !? The next time you are out for a walk, in the park, with the dog, in the neighbourhood - do your own little audit and let me know. Understandably in pandemic times, there is bound to be less casual greeting on our streets and paths.

However, this post is to continue my string of posts related to "The Book of (Holiday) Awesome" by Neil Pasricha. Neil's "page 14" reference to awesome relates to "When Strangers wish you happy holidays".

So, picking up on my intro, how awesome is it when someone actually initiates the greeting. Given what I stated in the opening paragraph, I am delighted. It is so nice to have another person just make that eye to eye, voice to voice, and make a connection with me. OK, I'll give those that wish to put their head down and walk without interacting your time of day. I respect that there is probably a lot on people's minds these days with these challenging times, but we can still keep with the #joy of the season and a little #goodwill greeting along the way.

Perhaps this little post might make each of us a little more aware of the opportunity to greet our fellow community members with a "Happy Holidays", or "Merry Christmas" or "Good Morning", just because there is nothing wrong with all of us spreading a little goodwill in our day.

Keep the distance and keep spreading the joy of the season.

Wishing all the strangers reading this post "happy holidays".

@fergdevins


snow shoveling

Snow Shoveling Etiquette this winter

That neighbourly moment truly appreciated when you go to shovel the front walk...and it is already done for you! There are lots of folks who struggle with winter, ageing neighbours, sickly folks, bad backs and those who are just too busy getting their day started to worry about the snow that has fallen. A little wintry support can go a long way.

Greetings friends and family across this great nation. By the looks of the Global News weather reports, some of you are facing snow, others still waiting. I thought that in the context of my string of blog posts inspired by Neil Pasricha's "The Book of (Holiday) Awesome" that I would post about shovelling etiquette.

Neil Pasricha refers to the awesome moment being "When the neighbour shovels your little patch of the sidewalk".

It is that wonderful surprise when you turn the corner after shovelling the back driveway and realize that your neighbours have already completed your front walk! How about that neighbourly support. It is truly wonderful and only something experienced through the courtesy shovelling of snow. It's not like they pop over to rake and bag leaves in the fall. Have you ever had a neighbour drop in when you have a branch down after a wind storm? But, that winter magic of snowfall just brings out the goodwill in all of us.

My son and I actually look forward to "the big dump" when we can lend a hand and fire up our snow blower to help out folks along the street. Ok ok, so the boys get to play with their toy. It is gratifying to blow the snow, shovel the walk and see the smile on the faces of neighbours as they awake to find the snow shovelling "done".

Long-range forecasts today are suggesting a much snowier winter in Canada this winter. Tune-up those snow shovels and get out and surprise your neighbours.

@fergdevins


Fairmont YVR Christmas Tree

Hotel Lobbies and the Joy of Christmas

Soon after Remembrance Day in Canada each year, hoteliers spark up their lobbies for the Christmas Season. It adds one of those joys of the season for travellers who are away from loved ones as the holidays approach. Thanks to hoteliers around the world for sharing this joy with us.

Keeping consistent with the Neil Pasricha, "The Book of (Holiday) Awesome", my post today is reflecting on the joy of Christmas while travelling.

When travelling on business, it was always interesting to see various states of decoration as the month of November progressed. It was particularly gratifying when met with a winter storm in November, to see a Christmas tree or decorations in the hotel lobby upon arrival. The warmth of Christmas decorations helped dismiss the inconvenience of snow, slush, slow roads, heavy traffic and grumpy winter travellers.

Travelling to British Columbia in 2017, I arrived late on Sunday night and bunked in at the Fairmont Hotel at the Airport in Vancouver.

To my absolute delight, there was an "upside-down" Christmas tree hanging in the lobby. There were also several other trees and decorations in the main lobby area. It is just such a wonderfully welcoming feeling to see these lobbies decorated for the season.

I truly think that hoteliers worldwide should take a bow for the work that you and your staff put into decorating your properties for the holiday season. Just know that hard work does bring joy to travellers at this time of year.

Although your visitors at hotels around the world will be severely reduced in this COVID year, your guests will undoubtedly appreciate the spirit of the season that you bring to your public spaces.

Simply - awesome work.

@fergdevins

 


From the Book of (Holiday) Awesome

I am going to "re-blog" this series that ties to the work of Neil Pasricha and the Book of Holiday Awesome. Thanks for the inspiration Neil, and for those who enjoyed these posts. Back due to demand...happy holiday season planning everyone. @fergdevins

The Holiday season and the celebration of Christmas

Firstly, for me as a Christian, it is truly the Christmas season. I have also had many Muslim, Jewish and Hindu friends suggest to me that they also look at this coming time of year as the "Christmas Season", with other celebrations of faith and community included. I sometimes find it humorous when companies or individuals try to neutralize the season to be non-faith based. "Holiday Greetings", "Season's Greetings", are often phrases we might here. As a close Muslim friend of mine stated,  "get over it, it is Christmas!". Whatever your faith, it is a time of year to be grateful for all that we have and to work towards greater peace, harmony, and joy amongst all human beings. During these COVID-19 times, we will be gathering less and distancing more. However, there are so many social channels for us to help replace the face to face with virtual gatherings. Here's wishing everyone a safe and secure Christmas and Holiday season.

A Time With Family and Friends

Regardless of faith or your own beliefs, it is a wonderful time of year where family and friends rejoice. I was truly taken by the work of Neil Pasricha and his "Book of (Holiday) Awesome".  As Neil works on his mission to help people live happy lives, his work in this book is certainly a written legacy of happiness. So...virtually create your own bits of #awesome this holiday season.

Neil Pasricha's Work

I reached out to Neil in November of 2017 and asked for his permission to post and share some of the content from his wonderful work throughout the holiday season. He graciously accepted my request. Thanks, Neil! For true joy and guaranteed smiles, check out Neil's works at Amazon.ca.

Time for Awesomeness

So, over the next number of weeks (commencing November 12th and ending December 31st) I am going to share excerpts from Neil Pasricha's work "The Book of (Holiday) Awesome".

I hope that it may warm your hearts and make you think a bit of how you might spread a little Holiday Awesomeness as we wrap up 2017.

Here we Go

The first thought of awesomeness from page three of Neil's book is related to "Getting a Christmas card from someone you thought you lost touch with". Realistically, we are all probably a little less involved with the physical handwritten Christmas cards as the year's progress. There are so many "online" options to choose from. Many just simply post an electronic message to their "contact list" and email blast away. I'm still a big fan of personalized outreach on special occasions. It is wonderful to share a Christmas message that is personalized so that your networks can relate to you and your family and loved ones at Christmas. However, there truly is nothing like receiving that direct connection from someone you have not heard from in a long time - whether that is a physical greeting card or email.

As Neil points out, "life is short and always wavering", thus friendships are worth sustaining, worth investing in, "worth enjoying and worth savouring".

So here we go - post one of the season is up and running. Follow more posts via The Devins Network on Facebook, Instagram , Twitter and LinkedIn.

Through my networks, I hope to add a little spice of happiness, from the inspiration that Neil Pasricha has provided through his work.

Have an Awesome Holiday Season everyone - May the Christmas Spirit be large in your lives!

@fergdevins


Queen's Band Macy's Parade

Love a Parade

American Thanksgiving, no matter where you are in the world, will always be a morning to watch the famous Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. It is a spectacular production that has withstood the test of time.

In 1983, I was fortunate enough to have marched in the parade as a member of the Queen's University at Kingston - Queen's Bands. Look at that dapper bass drummer in the middle of the shot. Yep, young Fergus Devins! The photo atop was our pipe band contingent. Oh my gosh, my feet were sore after marching around Manhattan with that bass drum strapped on.

Whether participating in or spectating at, a community parade is just simply one of the events of the holiday season and Christmas festivities that leaves us feeling awesome. Although not one of Neil Pasricha's references in his "The Book of (Holiday) Awesome", I did want to refer to the joy that a parade brings to the community. It is certainly a cultural event - lining up along the street, hand warmers engaged, hot chocolate in hand, lawn chairs in place.

Thanks to the magic of google you can find a lot of Ontario based parades and Christmas events at PARADES LINK 2020. Given the fact that many parades in communities across Canada have altered plans and gone "virtual", you are likely best to google your own community and find out what your local volunteer and organizing committee has planned to welcome Santa Claus to your streets this holiday season.

For those parades come and gone, thanks to the organizers, for those yet to take place outdoors - put on your woollies - virtual or not!

@fergdevins