Wednesday, June 9, 2010

An Amazing Story about Life, Love & Cancer

I have watched many great love story movies, and to me coming across this blog, it feels like the one of the great love stories you would see played out on film, but it's not a movie, it's real life. A real life story about life, love and cancer.
I stumbled across a blog a last week called The Bees Knees. I really think it has forever changed my life. I was so moved by it that I really felt the need to share it.
I didn't know Meghan, nor do I know her husband Adam, I have however been emailing back and forth with Adam for a week now chatting about writing this blog post, and have come to realize more each time I get a new email how truly inspiring their story is.

The Bees Knees is Meghan's blog. Her journey at the age of 27 with Breast Cancer, the blog was to keep a detailed description of the physical and the emotional struggles that Meghan was going through while living her life with cancer. What first caught my attention as I skimmed through her blog posts the first time, was how unafraid Meghan was to show exactly what she was going through. Even posting pictures after her Mastectomy. I found it incredibly brave. I then went back to the most recent blog post to realize that it wasn't Meghan signing off on the blog posts, it was Adam. Adam, Meghan's husband has taken over the reins of The Bees Knees, and this is where the story took on a true love story for me. You see when you read the blog or the new website 'For the Love of Meghan' you will learn that Meghan was a list maker, she had a list of goals she wanted to accomplish in her life, one of the goals on the list was to get Married. On Meghan's list of 'new goals' she wrote # 5) Get Married ( hahaha, um... no pressure Adam ) Meghan crossed that goal off her list on March 28th 2010 in Petrolia, ON. Meghan passed away 1 day shy of their One month Anniversary.
Adam decided to take over Meghan's list, to accomplish all of the life goals that his wife was unable to cross off her list before her passing on April 27th, 2010. I can not even being to explain how truly inspiring I find this. It really speaks to the woman that Meghan must have been. ( I will enclose Meghan's List at the bottom of this post )

In my emails with Adam about writing this blog post I asked him some questions about Meghan and about their story,

Q: Adam, I myself didn't know Meghan, I just stumbled upon her blog " The Bees Knees"... What can you tell me about Meghan, just Meghan, the woman?

A : Meghan was the best thing that happened to me. She constantly, and very gently, tried to help me be a better person in every way. She was a great judge of character and wanted to like everyone. She was extremely protective of those she loved. She never wanted to stop learning or pushing herself. She was a list maker, a great cook, had amazing style, liked good music(and sometimes bad music), could not stand being lazy(which ruined many a good morning watching tv or trying to sleep in). She had hope beyond hope. She was mentally and emotionally stronger than anyone I've known. She was completely determined to succeed and dedicated to the things she believed in. She loved rules and hated breaking them. She was proud of her family and herself for the things they had come through and achieved. She liked drinking tea. She wished she lived in a Jane Austen book. She liked being healthy and exercising and going to bed early. She was strikingly beautiful.

Q: Now what can you share with Meghan, and her diagnosis with Breast Cancer?

A: She was definitely upset about it but never let it get her down. She had so much resolve and strength throughout the entire time. She determined right away that she was going to fight every last second and never let it beat her spirit. She took everything in stride, as just another step along the way to recovery. She took the time to teach herself about every aspect of her diagnosis and was always realistic about what each thing meant.

Q: I know you can't speak for Meghan, but what do you think that Meghan would want people, esp. young women to take away from her blog, and her experience with cancer?

A: She wanted everyone to understand what she was going through and to provide a concise and simple outline of breast cancer treatment. She wanted everyone to understand that cancer can never take your resolve, determination or spirit. Those are things you always have control of.

Q: Meghan made a list, a list of Life Goals, Meghan wasn't able to finish the list before she died, you have decided to take over that list, I know a lot of people would say, "of course they would do that for their wife or husband" but most wouldn't, for most they wouldn't pack up and set out to live in 5 different countries, travel to 30, run a half marathon. Was taking over the blog and the list something you talked about with Meghan, how did you decide to do this?

A: Not really. I was not the strong one throughout Meghan's treatment. Every time she tried to bring up what I would do afterward I would get upset, start crying or change subject. I didn't want to give the thought of Meghan not being here any space in my head. This goes back to her being realistic about everything. She wanted to make sure I'd be ok. So i avoided talking about any of is with her. I decided to finish her goals not ten minutes after she passed away. I couldn't stop thinking about how unfair it was that she wasn't here anymore and how much these things meant to her, how important it was for her to always be striving for something. She deserved more than anyone to have the chance to see these things through and something in me knew that the only way to heal(whatever that means) is to have goals that mean something to her. To do things she couldn't because 'm still here. To not waste my time and be lazy. The best way any of us can honor her is to make an impact, to make something of ourselves that betters others.

Q: I have watched and loved a lot of great movies, I know you want this blog post I am writing to be about Meghan and her story, but you are part of her story, a HUGE part, you are her husband, and you are doing this truly incredible and inspiring thing for your wife. It seems like a great love story movie, only it's real. I commend you.
How do your families feel?

A: I think it makes sense to both sets of parents. Both know what we meant to each other and both can see how important it is to do this for Meghan so yeah, I think both are fully supportive of it.

Q: If you could describe Meghan in just one word, what would it be?

A : Anchor

Here is Meghan's List of Life Goals..... (If you go to The Bees Knees Blog, you will see an Update on how many goals Adam has been able to work towards crossing off in the past 6 weeks since Meghan's passing...)

So.... here we go- (Thursday, September 10, 2009)
Life Goals...

1) To hold a PhD, I'm not too picky on what it is going to be in. The way I am going though, I think it's bound to be nursing.
2) To learn another language. I've got a head start on Korean and French, I just need to get motivated enough to do it.
3) To master at least one of the following musical instruments - cornet, cello, piano, or guitar.
4) To live in at least 5 different countries - So far I've only got Canada and Korea. I'm assuming that I will have United States in the near future (preferably San Fran, DC, Portland and Maine). I'm thinking somewhere in Europe and in South America?
5) To run a half marathon. I've a lot of training to do though, seeing as the 5km I ran today was far from easy.
6) Spend at least 100 hours volunteering. (Note*** So far I'm up to 40h :))
7) Master the following- sewing, knitting & crocheting (Note*** on my way with knitting/sewing, kinda sorta)
8) Become part owner of a Bed & Breakfast (with Adam)
9) Travel to 30 countries. I'm at 7 now.
10) Read at least 12 books a year until I die (Textbooks NOT included).
11) Complete 'The Weekend to End Breast Cancer' 60km walk in Toronto. Sept 11-12.
12) Own a little cottage by a lake.

New Goals-
1) Take the train across Canada
Go to an NHL game (don't really care where, I just want to go)March 6th in Ottawa
3) Make Peter take me (and friends) to a Blue Jays game... I don't really have any interest in baseball, but I think it would be fun.
Go to the Symphony. Feb 20th in Toronto
Get married (hahaha, um... no pressure Adam) March 28th in Petrolia
6) Go to Canada's Wonderland with my friends/family
7) Take a road trip back to Maine
8) Go snowshoeing
9) Go ice-skating on the Rideau Canal
10) Get my darn tooth fixed
11) Get some darn shiny nice new glasses
12) I've always wanted to go to Ireland with my father... it's been a dream of mine since I was just a little girl. My father has been, and he loved it. I would love to share this with him while I still can. I don't think I'm ready to let go of this dream yet.
13) See the northern lights.
14) Travel to India to volunteer in orphanages.

Wishing Adam all the best on this journey as he works his way through Meghan's List of Life Goals, and wishing the best for both Adam, his family & Meghan's family as you learn to live without Meghan here. I know all to well the feeling of the loss of a loved one to cancer ( my dad ) and I wish you all the best.
Both Meghan and Adam, have inspired me more then I could ever say. I am very thankful to have stumbled across your story, and to be able to share it with others. I think it's worth sharing, and I would ask each of you to take a few moments and check out The Bees Knees for yourself.

You are never to young to start squeezing your lemons !

( With Adams permission the photo of Adam and Meghan was taken from Adam's sister's blog )


  1. Amazing blog Jen. A true love story!

  2. this is amazing Jen! I hope everyone reads this and starts following Adam's journey to completing Meghan's goals

  3. It is true the sooner that we can beat cancer the better - this is really a moving story and we wish Adam all the very best with his tasks. Meghan sounds like she was an amazing woman!

  4. Her blog also touched me. I found it through her in-laws, and was glued to it for hours. I wanted to read everything. Go through the journey with her, and revel in her success. I guess we always assume there is success. When I got to Adam's post in April, I was floored. HOW could such a positive, enthusiastic person get beaten by this vicious disease!
    She is truly an inspiration.
    I cried for someone I never met, but felt a sort of kinship with. No, I don't have breast cancer or any other cancer. But she touched my heart anyway.
    Finish your/her goals Adam, for you carry Meghan in your heart wherever you go, and I am sure where she is she is smiling on her legacy.

    Thanks for sharing. Truly a great love story for sure.

  5. How inspiring your love story was...true love. How I wish I end up my true love.