Behind the Facebook Page: Melissa’s Involvement in Guinness Record Attempt By Epidemic Music Group

This morning I spent downtown for a 45 minute MRI, to explore cause for concern based on recent onset symptoms I’ve been having. Results TBA….

This is my life.

It was October 2011 when had emergency surgery to remove a Brain Tumour I didn’t even realize I had. It took months to learn how to walk again and switched from being right to left handed- making playing guitar of 10+ years no longer possible. During surgery I had a stroke, effecting the left side of my body- fully functional yet permanently feeling colder only on that side. Oh, and chronic pain. Omg, the years of chronic debilitating pain.

A few years later, right after I released my book, Kevin Ker​ of Epidemic Music Group​ welcomed me with open arms to join the Markham Village Music Festival​ to set up shop beside the The North Stage​ to raffle off my beloved guitar… he did not ask for a nickel- rather, was shaken at the thought of instantly being unable to play- amongst other things. The draw raised $810 dollars, which went to local charity B-Strong and important Markham Arts Council. Little did I know about a year later the guitar was donated back to me from the winner, where I raised an incredible $1800 for the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada after having full head and spine radiation.

Although there have been many dark moments these past 5+ years, the truth is there have been many, many moments which I’d call the best in my life (melissalnichols.ca… cue horn, “toot toot”).

Fast forward to the present, where I am involved in this Guinness Record Attempt By Epidemic Music Group event as the Facebook coordinator. I love planning the event, building friendships with fellow positive people and making a difference, seeing as how its beneffiting 16 charities.

Attempted Guinness World Record to Break:

‘Longest Concert Bt Multiple Artists’

March 17- April 2nd: 16 Charities, 24 hours, for 16 charities

Only surrounding myself with positive people, personal growth and FUN, I am having an incredible time running this Guinness Record Attempt By Epidemic Music Group​ Facebook page and participating in the planning committee! The committee is a productive ball of fun. (Pssst, volunteer! Contact Shaen Ar shaenvolunteer@gmail.com)

Enjoying moments every day, taking things day by day.
Aside from the fun, and thriving in the moment of this 16 day event- am looking forward to SUNDAY MARCH 26, as I proudly stand beside one of the 16 charities selected: Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada​.
<3

~ Melissa​

Looking to Change the World, one Head at a Time….

I have been involved in so much awesomeness lately, am hardly finding the time to stop and reflect on what is currently happening; moments are gone before I can even processes it…GOOD! Although have been known to take lots of pictures – I try to put my phone promptly away right after, in order to enjoy the moment. Please do not mistake my pride for gloating- it is such an electrically exciting feeling knowing am making a difference in the lives of some of those who need it the most.

Ps- These situations don’t just fall in my lap- I bust my ass to make them happen- and yes, having so much fun doing it at the same time! I step out of my comfort zone to the point where after a while, it becomes a ‘normal’ feeling.

Consider the following pictures to be my ‘show and tell’ kindergarten kiddie-like news from the past couple of months.

December 2016 I received this note of gratitude from Maureen Daniels, Program Coordinator of Princess Margaret. Tried to make my first VLOG only to almost break down in tears (in happiness) while reading this to you… so will just show you instead.

Dec 2016: A note of thanks from Maureen Daniels, Program Coordinator for the Patient & Family Advisory Committee of the Brain Tumour Centre at Princess Margaret Hospital (Toronto).

 

Day by Day I’m getting stronger – and day by day I’m lasting longer

Snapd Markham Article

February 2017 Markham Snapd Magazine, Page 8

(Acknowledgment of thanks on Day By Day Facebook)

Back story pics to Snapd article…

Photo of niece Laura and I, in LG’s ‘Life Messages’ book.

This is the photo in Laurie’s photoart book ‘Life Messages’- I explained this at the book launch with my sister Jennifer. Every time I hear ‘light hearted tale‘ makes me cringe; I was trying to convey it is laced with humour- because thats the way I am ex. flirting with the surgeon days after surgery when high on morphine- while a drainage tube was sticking out of my head.

 

2013/2014: Head & full spine radiation
2015 – Hats For Hope

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wait ’till you see what I’m up to next…. let’s just say, I am now friends with the worlds loudest recorded BURPER! – YES, this will make the world better. You’ll see…..

….. to be continued

Confused Punishment

Confused punishment was something I had a hard time coping with just a few years ago, whereas now feeling… well.. like Mr.Bean does here. I ignore when not worth it, whereas other days… well… lets just say I can advocate for myself  I am happy and I am free.

Confused Punishment: When you encounter poor treatment/further penalty based on the side effects of treatment/ medication/ physical or emotional stress from a Brain Tumour.

Examples
1. Dirty looks from strangers thinking you are drunk, when out learning to walk again, swerving.
2. Secretaries being personally offended/ blatantly rude if missed appointment, not realizing you forgot to write a reminder not to forget the appointment
3. Judging a RBF in social situations, when you are fighting a anxiety attack off inside
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Seeing this gif. of Mr.Bean instantly makes me smile- admittedly I even giggle like a teenage girl- as it reminds me of my reaction to confused punishment these days. However, it wasn’t always this way.  There were dozens of difficult moments when these instances happened- I guess you can say I have forced myself through this storm by turning my anger into determination. 5 years of determination to convalesce close to 90% makes me proud and strong of the accomplishments made, and-then-some. This wouldn’t be possible to those who have supported me- people like you, who are reading this right now, thank you.

Favourite day of 2016

 

The best day this year was October 13, 2016 (click).

I spent my 5 year Brainniversary at Toronto’s Princess Margaret Hospital- Brain Tumour Centre, giving out copies of Day By Day and homemade hats generously made and donated by friends, family and idea supporters of ‘Hats for Hope’ program.

Last week I received a note of thanks from the Program Coordinator of the Brain Tumour Center of Toronto’s Princess Margaret Hospital.

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Thank you to all who made/donated hats and to the Patient and to the Family Advisory Committee (PFAC) of Princess Margaret for adopting this idea and successfully rolling it out!

It is moments like this THIS that help me keep going, Day By Day.

~Melissa

Wow. THIS is why I wrote Day By Day.

Recognized this morning while standing in line at a local coffee shop. As if a celebrity sighting she exclaimed with exuberance her delight to see me, greeting with a hug and insisted to buy my coffee. After a few words exchanged I finally remembered who she was: 6 months ago I gave a Day By Day copy for her to share with her friend who was in the midst of riding the cancer rollercoaster.
The woman shared how deeply moved she was while reading the book. She said she especially liked the ‘cheeky sense of humour’ I shared; especially the part about my new-found power of cupcake distribution control while in the rehab hospital; only giving them to staff only to those who were good to me. *haha… I forgot about that! (My sister Heather made me a dozen decorated cupcakes when in rehab hospital to give out to all staff). Now thinking about it, this reminds me of the Seinfeld episode featuring the ‘soup nazi’. Remember?
 
Although bursting with Leo pride from gratitude, compliments and gifts, the number one reason why wrote the book was to help YOU. THIS is why I wrote Day By Day. Thank you for your praise – it will never get old to hear validation that the book helped by providing you with some helpful some tips as a patient/loved one/caregiver, or at least made you smile. As if solar-powered, your feedback powers my ‘inner light’ to keep me going, even when down. Knowing I’m making some moments in your life better, is a gratefulness I will never be able to fully express.
THANK YOU Laurel of Markham!