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Let's Discuss...summertime memories

Camping, biking, swimming, hiking, road trips….

Take a moment to look back and share your favourite summertime memories. If you were recently diagnosed or caring for someone with cancer this summer may have felt much different than past summers. What are your hopes for next summer?
31 Replies
320 Posts
I have many good memories of summers gone by...in fact, I can't believe how fast this summer has gone by and feel sad that I have not biked much, this summer...this year, I took a trip back to Paris and I have been recovering from that...so much goes into planning a trip...it took me two months to wash all the clothing I had taken with me to Paris...things are slowly returning to normal but I am left with some pretty amazing memories...
summer means being able to go swimming in an outdoor pool, and unfortunately I have not swam much, or at all this summer but I am hoping to do that but it's not first on my agenda...
with the end of summer approaching, I am just trying to enjoy what's left of it...remember:   it's one day at a time, living life to the fullest, no matter what the season of the year...
14 Posts
OMG...a very different summer this was! I could no go in the water, pool or lake made no difference...I had problems with healing scar following my double mastectomy and reconstruction DIEP. I had a skin graft to help my breast heal faster, so I could do radiotherapy. Then I got a new wound in my armpit, don't know why...took forever to heal. Started radiotherapy last week, got 25 total to do. So I clean the skimmer, put chlorine in and look at the others swim...
Next year I will spend all available moments in that pool, and I will swim in lakes as well, and go camping...Just go out of the air conditioned house. Go biking and walking, because hopefully I will have more energy and my bones and feet won't hurt so much.
Taking care of myself as become a goal in itself: eating better still and being more active.
And...appreciate each day, and meditate when stress takes too much space. 
Cynthia Mac
3876 Posts
I grew up near a lake, and used to beg Mom to take us (4) kids to the water every day. It was also a big deal the day we were finally allowed to ride our bikes to the general store (about a mile away.)

Next summer, I hope to still have my Dad come around to do the things he does - clean the lawn mower or drain the oil in the snow blower, but in some ways that is a very selfish wish. A less selfish wish would be to take the train out west with him so he could see the mountains - he wanted to do that at one point, and I plan to have that conversation with him again soon. An even less selfish wish would be for him to be in the right place for him.

The reality is that whatever is supposed to happen will happen, and the best thing I can wish for is the highest good for him. 
320 Posts
Manoushka56‍, I can remember very well when I was healing from my major surgery...it was in the summertime, also...
1405 Posts
I have been blessed with so many memories of summertime.

Summer is a time for travel
…for 16 years when our children were young we enjoyed camping with friends and relatives at Rondeau Provincial Park first in tents, then a tent trailer and finally a motor home. We spent our time hiking, swimming, biking and playing games
…for 10 years we owned our own airplane and we flew to the Maritimes twice and flew to Calgary once and camped in tents and a motor home in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Alberta and British Columbia, all trips included my parents.
…we traveled by bus through the England, Scotland and Wales,   by train through Italy and France, by river boat through Hungary, Austria, Germany and the Netherlands,  and by ocean ship to Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russian, Estonia, Germany, Denmark and Iceland, our cruises were with my brother and his wife

Summer is a time for working...
…when our children were teen agers we moved to my husband’s home farm and built our own house
…we planted our blueberry bushes and now every July we sell blueberries
…we planted apple rootstock and bud grafted our old apple varieties onto them and now every August through November we sell apples

Summer is a time for golf
…we created our own golf course and enjoy golfing, since my brother in law and grandchildren can see us on the course from their houses they often join us
…we have started a family and friends invitational golf tournament in August,     2019 will be our third

Summer is a time for family
…in the summer of 2017 when I was going through testing and diagnosed with breast cancer my husband, our children and grandchildren gathered round and supported me by keeping life as normal as possible
…for getting together for pool parties, BBQs, horseshoes, ladder ball, bocce ball, washoes and the grandchildren playing on the play structure

8442 Posts
Well,  besides last summer and the summer before that, I had some great summer memories.     Summer 2017 my fiance was diagnosed with cancer and summer 2018 he passed away .     So needless to say those weren't the happiest of memories .     Before that though, most of my childhood  summers were spent at camp.     I also remember  road trips with the folx to places like montreal,  Ottawa,  Collingwood or Niagra.   My folx drive really slow and stop at every rest stop so what is supposed to be a 2 hour trip can sometimes take 2 to 3 days.      My fiance and I used to go to either Collingood or Niagara  Falls  each summer and had a blast.     I've also taken tours with various  tour companies to Canada East and West .  This summer  is just kind of lazy.     After all that happened  the last couple of years I just want to chill out and take it easy.       I'm spending  quality  time with my furball Vinnie and he loves having his mommy around.       Hopefully in the future  I won't associate summers with the bad stuff that went down and get back to living  life again.   
156 Posts
I was diagnosed this year, but im one not to just sit around. I tried to make the best of it and make some good memories for myself, and my family. we did some camping this year, stayed for 3 days in Port dover. the kids really enjoyed that trip. I took a solo journey by train to Cornwall ont. that's the city and birth place of my mom and her family. also my grandmother whom I loved so much was buried there. I wanted to see her, since I have never been to the city before. It was really nice met some second cousins whom ive never met before. Also I met my grandmothers only sibling left still alive. She was amazing, and so reminded me of my grandmother, the way she laughed, and her appearance. She remembered me as a child but I was to young to remember her. We shared some good memories. The trip was something I needed, and it was so fulfilling for me.
Summertime Memories, I have had many. From camping with my family since I was five in Kitichigami Park close to Goderich. To many trips to places like, Ontario Place, Wally World, Canada's Wonderland ect.. Once we had children, summer seamed to be so much more fulfilled. No matter what they were doing, it was like reliving my own childhood threw them. They are full grown now, however I am blessed to experience that once again threw my four year old grandson. Its amazing to see what kids like to do as the decades roll on. Almost a decade ago in 2010 my husband and I purchased a cottage in the Grey Bruce area and have enjoyed many many summers there. From fires with great friends, to boat tours, road trips, dinners out with friends lots and lots of kayaking...its been great. Although we received the worse news last summer June 11, 2018 when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, were are grateful that one year later he is currently cancer free. We had a setback, but we try not to let that stop us. We just finished a week and a half at the cottage and we spent a weekend with our grandson alone this year. Summer is only a short time, enjoy every minute that the sun shines...these moments are precious.
2272 Posts
Summer Time Memories.....Sunshine....Outdoors......my boys safe n sound at a day camp; THEN I can breathe out.
Summer 2018 was the BIG C......there was NO "Summer"....there WERE LOADS of medical appointments.
Summer 2019.......I crave and do my outdoor walks....immerse myself in nature....get organized.....feel free......

Wishing you all a wonderful, carefree, healthy Summer.

580 Posts
The best memories I have had this Summer and this year is finding this Community to interact with in a positive way. This has been a quite Summer because of my health issues.
Previous Summers have been filled with fun and enjoying the company of several people.
My grandfather in the 1920s bought land around a lake. Back then it was just woods and a group of lakes. The way to get there back then was on a dirt road.
My grandparents had 10 children, as was the case back then only 6 children made it to adulthood. I don't have the specifics, but one died of a childhood disease that wasn't curable back then. Another died in a car accident and I can't remember the stituation on the other two. A main large Summer Camp was built on the lake and the children grew up there every Summer.
When the children became adults they were each given a piece of land on the lake.
My father built a Summer camp on his piece of land. He married and had three children. Every Summer I my brother and sister spent time growing up on the lake. My Uncles and Aunt also built camps on thier piece of land. There were 11 cousins of various ages to play with every Summer.
I had a very blessed childhood I like everyone else had challenges growing up. Today I realize just how blessed it was. I can't go by a Tim Horton's Camp Day donation box without putting money in it. There are so many children out there that do have the opportunity I had as a child. Which is sad but true.
After I was married my wife and I were given by my father a camp that was built by my grandfather and located beside my father.
So the story continued.
This could turn into a book so I will jump forward to 2010 and my first journey with Cancer. Every Summer since I spent time at the Camp or as we like to call it now Cottage because it has an indoor bathroom and other upgrades as the years went on. 
My profile picture is actually taken inside the cottage. It was after my Chemo however I can't remember the year but I do see that the little bit of hair on my head had grown back.
I retired after my long term disability was up. I was 63 and I am so glad that I made this decision which wasn't supported by everyone.
Every Summer I spent time with my grandchildren at the lake. Several years just my granddaughter and I spent time out there together and we created great memories. There were always other children out there for my granddaughter to play with when she got bored with me. One year on maternity leave my daughter my new grandson and my granddaughter spent the whole Summer at the Cottage.
One of my vivid memories because I like music and I try my best at singing, we would many nights have a bonfire out by the lake shore. Someone would always have a guitar and everyone loved to sing, roast marshmallows and Hot Dogs.
There have been hiccups here on the way which I haven't included but my life for the most part has been blessed with some extremely important times and events.
May everyone in there own way have a joyous time during the rest of the Summer Season
1956 Posts
Last summer 30th July, I was diagnosed with IDC. We renovated our kitchen as a distraction for me as I went through diagnostic tests, and then we went on a family holiday to Banff for sister in laws 50th birthday. Telling family and friends about my diagnosis and upcoming treatment was hard, and I remember much of my summer was filled with anxiety. Our trip to Banff was awesome though - we hiked, we rode horses, we rafted, we swam, we took our niece for her first back-packing trip, we enjoyed meals together etc. 

This summer, I finished active treatment June 4th, and have been focused on returning to work gradually and getting the rest of my life back on track. With no vacation time because I’m on sick leave until September, we have managed a couple of long weekends away - backpacking and canoeing. We have a backpacking trip in Banff booked in September, and I’m running in CIBC RFTC in October. 

I anticipate a trip trip back to UK to see family next summer - family need to touch me to know I’m ok now!
I was born on a tropical, Caribbean island, where it's always summer. Being an islander, we travelled often. We visited friends and family in other Caribbean territories as well as across North America. 

Only recently did I mention to a 10 year Warrior that I am glad treatment was during the winter, so I could enjoy the summer. The medical oncologist was actually actively working towards getting my treatment done in time for our family's camping trip in July. We almost met our goal. There was one treatment left for the week following the trip. This has been a wonderful summer so far. Lots of outdoor adventuring and a nice balance of quiet time, perfect for reflection.

I have so many interesting summer stories to tell, but I will tell one of the most impactful on my life:

Of all the movies I had watched about Europe, I never imagined a sky so blue, with clouds so fluffy, sunshine just glistening perfectly and warming my Caribbean skin. All 400 of us disembarked our caravan of air conditioned coaches. Students from across the globe jibbered and jabbered in multiple languages, fading into one harmonious hum, while I enjoyed the sunshine.

My stomach sank. My gut clenched. My gaze lowered. My few idyllic moments, fresh off the Danube, were choked by the sight of barbed wire lined walls stretching for miles. We lined up and prepared to enter Mauthausen Concentration Camp. Soberly, we went from gas chamber, to barracks and endured an ugliness juxtaposed against one of the most beautifully noon blue skies. Through tears, we held each other, teenagers of all nationalities, religions, skin tones, languages, we tasted the same salt in our tears and felt the same anguish in our stomachs. We had been through Vienna, Hungary, Slovakia and The Czech Republic together. The drive back to Vienna was long and quiet. We understood that no conversation on global leadership was complete without facing the reality of human suffering imposed by other humans. 

Many years later, in university, I read Viktor E Frankl's "Man's Search for Meaning". Visions of Mauthausen encapsulated me as I read this small book, insignificant in size yet vastly significant in depth. Frankl is known for his great conclusion, after years in a concentration camp, documenting the results of different attitudes on longevity, "Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way"

Why tell this quasi depressing story now?

When I was diagnosed in 2018 with breast cancer, I chose my own way. I chose to smile through it. That was the only commitment I made to myself. Cancer would take my time, my money, my right breast, my lymph nodes, but it would not take my personality and it would not take my greatest asset; my smile. It had to be a genuine smile; not a placid, painted over, Harley Quinn smile; a genuine smile. It had to be based on my long list of things for which I am grateful. 

When we returned to Vienna to discuss the concentration camp visit, I asked the other 21 students on my unit, whether or not anyone had recognized the sky that day. No one else noticed. Only upon reflection did they remember that it had indeed been a beautiful day. Whether we are undergoing treatment ourselves of by proxy as caregivers, I hope that in the midst of the ugliness, we remember to look up and notice the bright, beautiful, blue sky.

2175 Posts
​​​​​​What a beautiful post. Thank you for bringing tears to my eyes. 

Oddly enough (though probably not that odd) , it was that quote by Viktor Frankl that I clung to and repeated almost as a mantra through my treatments. 

My summer memories and goals that I strive for each year are very similar to almost everyone else's posted here: lakes, campfires, road trips, and having only one main wardrobe item for most of the summer - the swimsuit! 

This year I was lucky to take advantage of a free one week cottage rental made available through Cottage Dreams for cancer survivors. I was joined by four of my "girl power" family members who helped me through my treatments in 2017-2018.
I wanted to give back to these amazing people who helped me laugh, cry, and eventually find my way back to "me" after treatments were done. 
We achieved all my summer goals and then some, as we had a glorious hot tub and a wood-fired floating sauna as well!

Ahhhhh....Summer is such a healing season no matter where you are in your treatment, I believe! ☀ 
580 Posts
Lacey what a great topic to discuss during the ending of Summer. I hesitated in the beginning to contribute but now I am glad I did. So many others also took the step to contribute. We can all in our darker moments look at the fun things that we can do now in the future or did even in the past. They are all part of our life's journey and being the case are part of us as a person. As has been said before we are not defined by one thing. Who we are is a combination of so much more.
Thank you very much Lacey.
All the Best,
64 Posts
Summer for me is shorts and flip flops, early morning kayaking, bike rides and long walks, watering the garden and happy hour on the dock.  I am so fortunate that we have a cottage where we now spend most of our summer and where I have spent parts of all my summers for the over 50 years. There are so many great family memories here. 
This year summer is even more special as I finished my breast cancer treatment at the end of June. We were so happy to say good bye to appointments and procedures and come out to the lake.  Although with my brand new radiation burns I have not been able to go in swimming or do all the summer things I normally would I am still so happy to be here and looking forward to many more summers to come. 
Hope you have all had some sunny days to boost your spirits. 
911 Posts
Summer used to be a time to get everything done that I don't have time to do during the school year.  And then..........cancer.  Now summer is time for travel and the routine has to include a long walk or bike ride each morning and if things don't get done around the house, they don't get done.  Oh well!  We used to entertain a lot during the summer but not 
now - love our friends and family but also really just enjoy our own company more.  Now that our rainy spring has morphed into a beautiful sunny summer, time outdoors has been wonderful. Hope everyone has some sunshine in their part of the world today!
156 Posts
hi everyone,
I know I already posted my summertime memories, but I just recieved one more memory this instant, to top my last one. My ct scan yesterday, received a caller from private number (whenever I see that caller my hair on my arm stands up) It was my oncologist my results came back, and she knows how my anxiety is. My cancer tumor on my primary sight the lung shrunk 1cmx1cm, the immunotherapy is working. We are so happy, I just wanted to share the news with my friends
8442 Posts
Dave73‍  yay!!!!!!!! Thst is the best news ever!!!!!!!! Sooo happy  for you!!!!!!!
580 Posts
It is so important for us to post good news. Not only is it good for you but uplifting for everyone who sees it.
Thank you, love good news when it involves cancer.
156 Posts
Thank you SpeedyStill‍ , the first good news I’ve gotten in 5 months, can almost finally give a big PHEW.
580 Posts
Took a closer look at your profile picture and I see that you are just a young man. By your handle thought you were older.
Love the picture and love dogs. What kind of dog is yours? The dog looks big. We had 4 dogs over a 40 year period. And every dog passed away with all my secrets. They are great listeners and confidants.
The dog along with the rest of your family must give you the love that is so required to get beyond cancer.
Control and focus will get you through any crisis.
Hope to here back from you soon.
156 Posts

lol I thank you for the complement. The handle Dave73, I was born in 1973. I love dogs, and have always had them, that dog in the pic. is a English Mastiff part boxer shes a gentle giant. I have a yellow lab at home to. I appreciate your kind words. 😊
8442 Posts
Dave73‍    we were born in the same year! I'm a 1973 er too!!!  What month?  I'm November.    ☺
156 Posts
Wow me too I’m November 29 you? I thought there was a strange connection there lol go Sagittarius 
8442 Posts
Dave73‍   you are November too????  Holy man!!! I'm actually a Scorpio.   I'm November 9th.   :-)      not really sure I fit the profile of a Scorpio though.    I think you fit the Sag profile though :-)      From what I read about you in your posts.   
911 Posts
Awesome news Dave73‍; phone calls like that are the best!
255 Posts

Congratulations on your good oncology report, I know the relief you must be feeling.
I am so so very happy for you.
Keep moving forward with the strength you have shown in your journey and soon you will be done with treatment.
You have come so far from your first posts and the fear you faced with your devastating diagnosis to coming to terms with it and taking on this battle with strength and determination.
None of us want what we have been dealt but we have no choice but to deal with it. You have dealt with it with dignity and I do know that will have helped both you and your family.
I am proud of you and wish you many long healthy happy times with your family.
How could we have a discussion about summertime memories without talking about sailing...

So many good memories. There is nothing like the feel of the tiller in your hand and the boat heeling over and accelerating into the wind. The rise and fall of the waves. Salty spray in your face. Does life get any better?

Or a gentle breeze moving the boat smoothly down wind. Warm sun on your back. Sails filled and taut. And a dolphin or two leaps by the boat or an orca rolls just by the dinghy you're towing.

Gah I need to find a boat.

580 Posts
What a great dream you have described for me, I feel like I am in that sail boat with you. You could be a writer.  I felt relaxed when I read it. What an uplifting post for this discussion. Thank You WestCoastSailor.
Have done a little sailing on a small lake however it is usually hard to find enough wind. Although there are some days at the right time it works.
Take Care
39 Posts
One year to date since diagnosis. Last summer fell into the abiss. Today I watched my lovely silly man chase my BFF's grandson from Italy around the yard.  What fun. We speak English, he Italian and my husband from Quebec. We laughed and laughed. 
this years memories are the best.
Cancer by damned.
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