Bonus Days

Bonus DaysI was told this week that these days I have at home are my ‘bonus days’, to which I was somewhat appalled. Is that really what it comes down to now? Bonus days? Perhaps I’m wrong in my thinking, but in looking on the positive side of things, there are many people who defy the odds and live another ten years and more! I have to admit, there are days when I say “just shoot me now”, but most days I would never consider thinking these are ‘bonus days’.

That being said, it is a busy household during these ‘bonus days’. They often start with the help of a Personal Support Worker (PSW). You can add into that, visits from: the Occupational Therapist (OT), the Physical Therapist (PT), Hospice, my Nurse, my Doctor, house-keeping and friends & family! Needless to say it is a busy place!

Our home now sports a new bed in the front room of the main floor (for convenient viewing), two walkers and a wheelchair (with interchangeable seat cushions) to help me get around and get into trouble again and three shiny commodes for luxurious bathroom living ;-).

As one can see, this is a little different than my previous, map-trodding days, but it IS better than living in the palliative care unit of the hospital, where it seems that everyone around me was ‘having the last of their bonus days’. I get to sit outside on the back deck and bask in the sunshine, take in the view of the garden flowers, listen to the birds sing to me (yes, they are singing just to me!), enjoy the new barbecue and truly delicious food once again and even have undisrupted sleeps.

Walk-in visitors have dissipated, which is good, as it has allowed me to schedule all of the workers coming into the house, as well as my visitors. Thus, that is the newest chapter in my life. I truly cherish each and every comment that you make on my posts, as they do provide a great deal of encouragement, love and strength. Thank you!

About denisemacdonald

I am a Canadian entrepreneur who has been spending the majority of my time between Canada and Panama, Central America. Living oceanfront, I am an 'investment consultant', predominantly in the area of real estate in the beaches areas. Photography is my hobby. In April, 2014 I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Triple Negative Breast Cancer. I will be sharing my journey here on these 'pages'. If you would like to learn more about "Triple Negative" breast cancer, please click onto
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25 Responses to Bonus Days

  1. John July says:

    Bonus days ….. did they teach that phrase in med school?
    There is a book I read by Terry McBride titled “The Hell I Can’t” The doctors were telling this young man that he would never walk again or have any life at all. He said “No, this isn’t going to be that way for me” The doctors said he was crazy and should just accept reality.
    Well …. he is fully recovered and is now a public speaker travelling the world because he didn’t conform to the beliefs of the people treating him.

    So we know you have your good days and bad, but you keep up with your super attitude and amaze all those around you. You are a super woman and we’re cheering !!!

  2. mslook says:

    Just pretend John spoke for me cuz that is what I would say, too! Love you, Denise! Thinking of you daily!

  3. Suzi says:

    Denise your posts are awesome and so inspiring to those of us who live with any kind of physical issues. You are an amazing woman. Enjoy each day as it comes and know that you have a lot of prayer warriors.

  4. elizabeth shirkey says:

    Denise you are one of a kind… God bless.

  5. jane Ulrich says:

    Hi Denise…thank you for the update! This week has been busy and I didn’t get a chance to connect with you but I also respect your space too! Your mind is way more powerful than anything and your positive attitude will take you where no Dr ever thought you would be. I believe in you that you will be enjoying the sunshine and gardens for a long time to come! Chat soon and sending all the positive love and light your way xo

  6. Annette Zammit says:

    You are a truly inspirational lady, I love reading your posts, I will pray that God will give you many many bonus days and that you will have the strength and courage to defeat all the odds and I truly believe that the birds are singing to you! May God bless you and keep you safe. Pax et Bonum xxx abbette

  7. Angela Hanwell says:

    you are such an incredible inspiration and wondering being; I KNOW you will defy all odds as that is who you truly are; an incredible, beautiful, positive, energizing woman. Love you girl. xo

  8. Ken and Karen Poates says:

    For someone with “Bonus Days” you surely don’t look like these could be your “Bonus Days”. We should all have the same spirit as you and look as good as you during our “Bonus Days” (which I feel is everyday). We should all be thankful for whatever days we have to spend on this earth enjoying what God has created for us for none of us know when our last days on earth will be.

    We love your strength and your beauty Denise. We do miss you and are very thankful for all the friends we got to know during our time in Panama. We are now spending them here in Port St. Lucie, Fla. with Len and Lynn Melso as our close neighbors and friends.

    Big Hugs to you from the both of us. Ken and Karen Poates

  9. Dagmar Leuenberger-Swift says:

    How encouraging this post is, sharing your love and positive sense of life with us all. Today is all any of us have, that is why it is the present and is a gift. ♥️♥️♥️

  10. Meredith Worden says:

    Hi again Denise. Well, we FINALLY closed on the house…YEA!! Michelle is headed down on the 19th to get things “situated” (when she was pregnant we called it nesting). I will leave Beijing on the 24th and make the 25 hour trip (Beijing-Chicago-Newark-Panama City) to spend a week with her there. Not looking forward to all that travel time, but hey it will be worth it when I get to San Carlos.

    I’m extremely excited that you’re puttin’ a whoopin’ on the C. I am in awe of your courage and tenacity! I’m very thankful to have had the chance to spend time with you in Coronado even if it was only a short time. We’ll send along some pictures once I get down to the house. You are a big part of making our Panama dream come true.

    Know that you’re in our prayers and thoughts daily. Stay positive and believe.


  11. I love your tenacity and I must say you look quite stunning! I’m never quite sure why any doctor feels the need to give that opinion especially to someone like you who is beating all the odds. Be strong, fight like hell, just be you. I think you’re frigging amazing! Much love to you my friend. I pray for a miracle for you every day.

  12. Melanie says:

    Denise you are looking awesome and as everyone has said you are amazing. Keep up the positive attitude, keep on fighting the odds, enjoy the birds singing(and I am sure they are singing just to you)the bbq, just enjoy!! We are always thinking of you. Sending hugs and kisses.

    • Thank you Mel. I always appreciate and love receiving your messages, cards and notes and really do miss your smiles!! If only you could see what our volleyball has grown to be now…..

  13. Margot says:

    Denise: I am a friend of your Mother’s and have been praying for all of you . In fact you are on many prayer chains all over the world. My sister in Austrailia has people praying for you. God does work miracles !! I was very surprised when Marg told me you could go home in a happy way for you. Your blog is great please keep it up. I love your positive attitude and I can picture you outside on the deck. Good for you!! God bless you and your strength in all you are going through. God bless Marg and Hayward too. Love you all Margot Vear

  14. Mary Ramanayake says:

    You are an inspiration, Denise!!! God Bless!!

  15. sometimes I think the medical community doesn’t realize how callous they sound…what a way to take a positive word and twist it into something more of a consolation prize. Denise, you are the bonus in all our lives! You are an inspiration, seeing beauty, love, and light against all odds. And you’re right…the birds are singing for YOU! Everything is for YOU dear Denise! Missing you

  16. Steven Hensel says:

    Love, joy, peace, strength, sweet memories, goals, achievements, hope,, humor, elegance Denise we see so much of all of these things in you. XOXO

  17. Marilyn says:

    I look forward to reading your blog. You are a remarkable person, an inspiration to others. Keep up your positive, cheerful attitude.
    July 18 to 23 is the annual pilgrimage at Lac Ste. Anne shrine near our summer cottage. Every July, for more than a century, pilgrims have traveled from miles around to Lac Ste. Anne in search of healing and spiritual renewal. First settled by the Nakota and Cree first nations, the body of water was renamed Lac Ste Anne by Rev. Jean-Baptiste Thibault — the first Catholic priest to start a mission on the site, in the 1840s. The lakeside has been considered sacred ground for generations and is now site of the largest annual Catholic gathering in Western Canada. My parents attended Mass during the pilgrimage and now my sister and I follow their tradition. It reminds me that if one really believes and prays, they can overcome hardship, sickness and be healed.
    We look forward to going back to Coronado this winter. You were very instrumental in our condo purchase, we really enjoy our time there and we are forever grateful to you.
    Hugs & kisses – Marilyn

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