After much reflection, we decided to make this information public for a variety of reasons. One is to offer our apologies. Another is to create awareness about an incredibly important issue.
First, the apologies.
You may be expecting us to see us speak at an upcoming event — such as the Focus 4 The Future in the UK this weekend, in Las Vegas at the World Internet Summit, or in Baltimore at the Internet Marketing Main Event in September.
However, we've decided to make some drastic changes to our plans for the next few weeks. And that includes cancelling our travel and speaking schedules for September and early October.
You see, prior to getting married, as we were getting ready for the most wonderful day of our lives, life threw us a curveball.
Sylvie was diagnosed with breast cancer.
It started when she discovered a lump on her left breast in June, afterwhich she underwent a series of tests including ultrasound, mammogram, MRI and then biopsy.
As she went in the hospital this morning for her biopsy, it was confirmed: the cancer is at an advanced stage and treatments need to start immediately, including surgery.
Treatments could have started before the wedding. However, we decided to wait because we didn't want this looming over our heads during the most wonderful day of our lives.
(And the doctor concurred and even suggested it.)
In fact, as Sylvie said to her doctor, we didn't want to make this information public before the wedding because “we only wanted tears of joy at our wedding.”
Incidentally, this is just a small hurdle. We will be back on our feet faster than you can say “heal.” That's a guarantee!
Now, I don't mean to sound as if I'm belittling such an important issue. I'm not. But Sylvie is one of the most positive, compassionate, loving and full-of-life people I've ever met.
She knows this is a small hurdle, and understands that healing begins from the inside-out — not the other way around.
That said, the last thing she ever wanted was sympathetic notes from friends and family during a time where Sylvie wanted to keep her environment as positive and as non-toxic as possible, not only for the wedding but also for her healing.
I must also add that Sylvie is such an amazing example of courage and strength. She's teaching me so much and so many other people on the power of compassion, understanding and appreciation of life. (I love you so much, Baby.)
Nevertheless, after the doctor's appointment today, we now know the extent of the cancer and the treatment required.
Sylvie will be getting a full mastectomy of her left breast (i.e., breast removal), and chemotherapy will soon ensue after the surgery as a preventative measure to help stop it from spreading.
The surgery will be booked tomorrow, and it will take place next week (in about 7 days). We don't know how much chemo until the day of the surgery late next week, as the doctors will carry out a pathology on the cancer tissue during the surgery itself.
This will tell us how much chemo will be needed post-operatively, as some satellite cancer cells were discovered around the lump, which has grown to the size of two golf balls.
Why chemotherapy? The chemo is required to stop the cancer from spreading to the more important lymphnodes, which is much harder to control and heal.
This obviously forces us to cancel our trips. As you can imagine, she will definitely not be in a state to travel or work. I will also take some time off to be with Sylvie and take care of her, so I won't be available to speak, either.
So for those of you who booked seminar tickets in the hope of seeing us speak, I apologize. Thanks for your help and your understanding.
Nevertheless, I want to remind you how beautiful and passionate my wife is. She is vibrant, full of energy and incredibly beautiful. Her beauty will not be diminished in any way, and if anything, her strength and wisdom as she tackles this very temporary challenge only make her more beautiful in my eyes.
I'm so proud of her.
And I'm proud to have married the most wonderful person in the world: my best friend.
At the same time, I encourage you to give generously to the breast cancer research and awareness. It's so important that people understand what breast cancer is, how it can affect any woman any age (Sylvie is a very young 36!), and how early detection is monumentally important.
If you want some help, here's a post I made a month ago where I made a “blog contest” between my friend Armand Morin and I, where I gave to an online Breast Cancer charity.
The other site of note is the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (visit the website and simply click on the link that says “donate” to donate online).
Lukily, the right breast is normal and the prognosis is incredibly bright.
Another positive outcome is, this will force us to stay at home more, spend more time with each other, take time to slow down and enjoy life more, and focus more on creating additional passive streams of income in our businesses that require less attention and energy.
We will keep you posted. Heck, we will be back on our feet in no time. We are still scheduled to speak at the Big Seminar at the end of October, which still looks feasible for the time being. If you're interested in learning more about it, visit the Big Seminar website.
Until then, my friends, please keep Sylvie in your thoughts.