A Most Unexpected Surprise

Normally, this blog focuses on all things photographic, but this is not a normal turn of events. This post is about the important impact that Rotary has had upon my life.

An Old Foe Returns

I think it was John Lennon who said that “Life is what happens when you’re making other plans”*. While I’ve circled the sun over 60 times, I really never knew what this meant until recently. Things were rolling along quite smoothly, despite Covid-19 upsetting everyone’s apple cart, when an old adversary made a return. I had been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer back in late 2011, underwent surgery and carried on with my life. As is the case in many instances, it wasn’t quite done with me yet and returned in 2020. As a result, my Commercial photo business, Olsen Imaging is on hiatus until later in 2021, if all goes according to plan.

Rather than bore you with all the details, the aim of this blog is to give kudos to the incredible team of doctors and health care professionals that I’ve been blessed to meet. Too often, the only “noise” generated on social media and through legitimate news outlets waxes towards the negative. Perhaps that’s human nature, but I want to shed light on the side that seldom shares the spotlight. Everyone from the Oncologists to the team of technologists and nutritionists have been a joy to work with.

While I, along with many other Kamloopsians are still feeling the sting of having the once promised Kamloops Cancer Clinic be awarded to Kelowna in 1994, forcing people like myself to head to he Okanagan for radiation treatment, it doesn’t change the experience. While Kamloops has a modern Cancer ward, it currently cannot supply Radiation therapy.

Rotary Cares

As an aside, I’m a proud Rotarian, being an active member of the Rotary Club of Aurora Kamloops Centennial. In case you’re wondering what this has to do with my treatment, I’m fortunate enough to be staying at the Southern Interior Rotary Lodge, right next door to the cancer clinic. Convenient and very affordable, complete with delicious meals and great people.

I can’t crow enough about the visionaries who saw it important to build this facility. It started in 1994 when Kelowna was chosen as the site for the Cancer Centre. It cost $5million to build and Rotarians of Districts 5040, 5060 and 5080 raised $1.2 million towards its construction. It opened on July 5, 1998. The Lodge consists of 22,000 sq. feet on 2 floors, with 16 double occupancy semi-private rooms each with a telephone and ensuite. It is wheelchair accessible and smoke-free. It’s open 24/7 (except Easter and Christmas) and is staffed 24/7.

Rather than me try to explain in words what this fabulous facility has to offer, here are few photos I had to pleasure of taking and am sharing with the Lodge, IHA and of course, Rotarians.

Some Final Thoughts

One final piece of advice; if you ever need the services of the Kelowna Cancer Clinic and would like to stay at the Southern Interior Rotary Lodge, BOOK EARLY! It’s very busy and the demand is high.

My thanks to Manager Philip Jansen and the awesome staff at the Lodge. You make an arduous journey that much easier…and my thanks to Rotarians everywhere. You make the world a better place for all of us.

*The lyrics of Lennon’s song “Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)” contain the famous Allen Saunders 1957 Readers Digest quote “Life is what happens to you while youre busy making other plans”.

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