SNEAK PEAK!

Hi All! Eric and I have been busily redesigning a few pieces (and in the process of adding more items!) to our Cancer Canknot Jewelry Collection! We are excited to share a sneak peak of our updated design of the horizontal necklace with you all. The pictures show the design in rose gold and sterling silver. This design will be available for purchase soon! Please leave us a comment on how your like the new design and if there are any other pieces you would like to see in our collection. As always, thank you for the love and support! #CANCERCANKNOT

Eric and Anna – xoxo

Horizontal Necklace – Rose Gold
Horizontal Necklace – Sterling Silver
Necklace – Rose Gold
Necklace – Sterling Silver

 

Cheers to Unpredictability – Happy New Year!

So many times in the first 6 days of the New Year, I have mumbled to myself that I can’t believe it is already 2017 – as I am sure many of you have done as well. Time sure does fly, and what a difference a year makes. As I think about the past year, I also find myself wondering what will be different as I go into 2018 – and the funny thing is, you really don’t know. None of us can predict what will happen in the future or even the path that life will take us on. As someone who is a planner, this unpredictability can be unsettling. I am a person that likes to be five steps ahead, plan my every move and have alternative paths laid out for various circumstances depending on the outcome. It seems just when I think I have it figured out, this thing called ‘life’ happens and can totally throw you off-course.

We first learned of this unpredictability eight years ago when Bryce was born. As I went into 2008, I had our whole life planned. We designed the baby room (because of course we knew we were having a boy – I mean I am a planner after all!), I had outfits picked out, bottles washed, car-seat in the car – things were planned – perfectly. After he was born, we were all going to come home together as a perfect little family. Then life happened. Two days after he was born, he was rushed to the NICU in another hospital and was soon diagnosed with Hirschsprung’s disease. All the dreams and plans I had felt crushed when I saw the little guy go through surgery at a few days old to correct his bowel disease. The first year of his life was hard on many people and so heartbreaking as a first time parent. That definitely wasn’t what I planned.

However, I think my most unpredictable moment came five years ago when Eric was diagnosed with grade 4 glioblastoma brain cancer. When we started 2011, never in my wildest dreams could I have thought someone I love was going to be diagnosed with cancer – let alone, brain cancer. For the first few months after his diagnosis, there wasn’t planning, it was just living in the moment, because every moment mattered.

Eric and I always say, we truly believe cancer has given us more than what it has taken away. Because of our unpredictability we live life differently. Recently at work I was asked to put together a presentation, and part of it had to include a little bit about myself and what my ‘beliefs’ are. Being in HR, some of the obvious ones came to mind with having empathy, having a purpose/goal, strengthen people around you, however, the most important belief I have is to LIVE LIFE. If not been for what our family has experienced these past 8 years, I am not sure I would have included that as a belief, but it is so important for every single one of us to do, because you never know when circumstances are going to change. It is important to not sweat the small stuff, because in reality – it is all small stuff.

It is hard to think that you are only given things in life that you can handle, but it is true. And while I am not someone, and probably never will be someone who can just ‘wing-it’, there is a portion of me that has to trust in the path that life will take me on.

There definitely is a power to positive thinking and envisioning what you want to happen, but if that isn’t what occurs you need to go with it and course-correct, as likely that wasn’t the intended path to take in the first place… who knows, maybe your ‘misstep’  is the path to becoming an author, or a jewelry designer or a motivational speaker…no one really knows…

If someone would have told me 10 years ago that I would have a child born with medical complications, a husband that was diagnosed with brain cancer or that I would be able to add, blogger, author, or jewelry designer to my resume, I would have told them they were crazy. That wasn’t what I planned!

While many of you have already set your New Year’s resolution, I ask for you to consider one more:  Embrace the Unpredictable…

-Anna xoxo

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

LakeMonsters 08.05.2015The Vermont Lake Monsters held a cancer awareness night at the ballpark last week and Cancer Canknot was invited to attend.  We were able to set up on the concourse and reach out to share our story with everyone that stopped by the booth.  We made some great connections with some great people during the event.

The cancer survivors and their families were all able to line up on the first baseline and be recognized for what they have overcome.  It was a humbling moment to look around and know that everyone else standing out there had faced the same Goliath opponent.

Along with the privilege to attend the game and be on the field, I was also given the honor of throwing out the first pitch.  As such a huge baseball fan, it was a very proud moment for me and it was made even more special by having my family there to cheer me on.

I’ve been to many baseball games in my life, but none as special as this one… a game I will truly never forget.

MRI Results

As I have mentioned in my previous blogs, I try not to spend too much time thinking about Eric’s brain cancer and the possibility for it to return. However, the week of his MRI’s and follow-up doctor appointments, I can’t help but find myself being a little more anxious than normal.

Last Tuesday Eric went to University of Vermont Medical Center for his routine MRI. He always likes to get a late day appointment  to limit his wait time at the hospital. No matter the time of day, me and the kids go with him. This time was no different. We all loaded in the car, walked down to the MRI wing of the hospital, kissed Eric on the head and he was off to get scanned. Since his appointment was around dinner time, while Eric was in getting scanned, me and the kids ate dinner in the hospital cafeteria. Shortly after we were done eating, Eric was finished with the MRI and we walked back through the hospital to go home and await for the results of the scan the next day with his Oncologist.

It isn’t the MRI itself the gets me nervous, it is waiting for the results. I will find myself looking at the clock frequently at work as I wait to leave in accompanying Eric to the doctor’s office. In preparation for hearing the results,  I will play through the scenarios in my head of what the results could be in anticipation of what the doctor will say.

Eric and I met up at the Oncology office for his late afternoon appointment. As soon as I walked in, I noticed myself paying attention to the nurses and office staff, watching how they interacted with us. If they seemed sad, did it mean that they had bad results? Eric filled out some paperwork in the waiting room, and then nurse called us back to the room. I could feel my palms getting sweaty and my heart starting to race. As we walked to the room, the doctor was in the hallway talking to another nurse – he didn’t look at us as we walked by – oh, no that couldn’t be good.

We waited in the room for a mere minutes, which seemed like hours. I heard the doctor open the door, looked at him, still trying to analyze his body language in anticipation of what he was going to say. Then the words came out of his mouth:

YOUR SCAN LOOKS PERFECT!

Ahh, I immediately relaxed, and found myself smiling. From there on out, it didn’t matter what the doctor had to say. My perfect Eric was still perfect.

Even though it has been over three years since Eric’s initial diagnosis, the anticipation of the results don’t seem to get any easier for me. I still get nervous with wonder in hoping that everything still looks clean on the MRI. We are blessed that Eric has continued to be a survivor of this disease and the results of his February 10th scan still are as perfect as he his.

I’m a RISER

Music can be so motivating. It’s amazing when you hear a song you can relate to… you listen to every word, turn it up and feel like the song was written about you.

While I don’t personally know Dierks Bentley, I feel like he knows me.  His new song RISER, feels like it was written for me and my journey over the last three years of my life…

“I’m a riser…I’m a get up off the ground, don’t run and hider… pushing comes to shovin’ hey I’m a fighter…When darkness comes to town, I’m a lighter… a get out aliver… out of the fire…SURVIOVOR
I can personally relate to every word above.  It’s been a tough three years, but I’m thankful to be in year four. You truly don’t know how strong you are until you have no choice but to be strong.
Music is a very strong motivator, the right song is inspirational and extremely emotional.  It’s easy to listen to a song… but the special songs are the ones you can feel.
RISER is a song that I feel.  Thank you Dierks.
#RISER  #DIERKSBENTLEY #SURVIVOR

*NEW* Cancer Canknot Shirts To Support Cancer Research

PO5195846-frontblackThank you to all of you who have made the books and the jewelry  successful in just a few short months. We are excited to announce that we’ve designed and created another way to help support cancer research.  We have started a Cancer Canknot T-Shirt Booster campaign where 100% of the profits will be donated to support cancer research.  We have loved to see so many  necklaces and bracelets out there with the knotted ribbon and want to thank you for helping us spread the word.

We feel the T-Shirts campaign can now do the same and can reach an even broader base.

In purchasing a shirt, you are showing your support not only for our family but for that family member or friend that has been affected in your life.

Wear this shirt to support your Mother or Father, your Grandmother or Grandfather. Wear this shirt for your Son or Daughter or your Brother or Sister.  Wear this shirt for your Aunt, your Uncle, your Nephew or Niece. Wear this shirt for Yourself.

Whether they are still fighting, are in remission, or have unfortunately passed on, wear this shirt with pride and as a symbol of support for your loved ones that have been affected.

At the end of the day, Cancer CANKNOT takeaway our LOVE, our HOPE or our MEMORIES.

I am a proud to wear the logo on my chest for myself as a survivor and for all of the people who have supported me over the last three years. When you see me wearing my shirt, please take it as a personal “Thank You” for all of your support.

I would personally love to see all of those who have supported me and those who are supporting others through the difficult process wearing the shirts proudly too.  Most of all, I would love to see other SURVIVORs and their own support groups wearing the logo and proving another one of the many things Cancer Canknot do.

The campaign runs through FEBRUARY 1st. I encourage everyone to visit the site at the following link and purchase your shirt directly through our booster.

www.booster.com/cancercanknot 

We have set a goal of selling 50 shirts by the end of the campaign and I sincerely feel that we can accomplish and even exceed this target. The best part about the campaign is that 100% of EVERY DOLLAR OF PROFIT WILL BE GOING TO FUND CANCER RESEARCH.

Thanks again for all of the support and wear your shirt proudly knowing that you supported the cause!

Our Inspiration

OUR INSPIRATION…..Three years ago our world was turned upside down when Eric was diagnosed with grade 4 glioblastoma brain cancer. As a healthy 29 year old male, a loving husband and father to an amazing little boy – the news of the words “CANCER” seemed so far from the truth.

Since the day that Eric was diagnosed, we knew there had to be a greater plan as to why we were dealt this deck of cards and why we were chosen to battle such a monstrous disease. Then, one day we had an idea; an idea on how to pay it forward.  We had an idea to write a children’s book for families affected by cancer.  We have also created a jewelry line with a local jeweler who fell in love with our story and wanted to be a part of it.

OUR STORY BEHIND THE BOOK….It all goes back to the first thought that crosses your mind when you are given such devastating news; your child. At the time of the diagnosis we were the parents of a 3 year old boy and much of our time was spent reading children’s books to him. When you hear news as devastating as cancer you think; “How are we going to explain it? Maybe we don’t say anything?”

We have written a lighthearted rhyming children’s book, Bear Hugging and Cancer Crushing, to help explain to a child what cancer means. Children’s books are amazing and almost always filled with life’s lessons told in a way that a child can understand.  Children have many questions when they learn of a parent’s diagnosis, and everyone needs to find strength through what can be a trying time. Our son gave us strength in the best way he knew how, his bear hugs, which inspired this book. With so many people affected by cancer and many of those being parents, this book can benefit countless families – as it has our own.

ABOUT THE JEWELRY….Our Cancer CanknotTM Jewelry is custom designed to look like a cancer ribbon with a knot in the middle of the ribbon to symbolize strength and be a reminder of everything that Cancer CanknotTM do. When we approached Perrywinkles Fine Jewelry in downtown Burlington, Vermont they were inspired by our story and immediately stood behind the idea. From there, our partnership was formed.

We brought our design ideas to Perrywinkles and they were able to refine the jewelry pieces, so they were functional and most importantly…beautiful. Perrywinkles’ exclusively produces and sells all of the jewelry pieces.  We are very proud of our creation. Whether you are a survivor, a person battling cancer or a part of the support system for the person fighting the disease, you can wear this jewelry as an unspoken word to how you have been affected by cancer and what it canknot do.

We hope our life experience inspires many other families in need of hope.

Anna and Eric Gilcris