*EDITOR’S NOTE: In April 2012, Global Edmonton sports reporter John Sexsmith was diagnosed with prostate cancer. On Nov. 1, 2016, to mark the start of Movember, he opened up about his four-year fight with cancer for the first time. He talked about his Stage 4 diagnosis, explained what treatments he’s been undergoing and what impact the disease has had on his life and his family.
John has also been writing incredibly candid blog posts about his experience.
Energy has been a definite issue for me lately.
At the the end of November (Movember), I began taking antibiotics for a somewhat serious staph infection. The pills looked like Halloween candies – orange and black – and big! They seemed to have scared away the infection. Unfortunately, I was also simultaneously dealing with a cold and the flu. (Ugh.)
Which coincided with arrival of my 14-year-old son. (He’s attending a Hockey Academy in Winnipeg.) He’s a man of boundless spirit and energy and I think he helped inject some much-needed vitality into his dear old dad.
And on Monday, dear old dad – despite his many ailments – tested stronger, faster and more flexible than he did back in September. It’s thanks of course to the strength and conditioning program, along with yoga classes, he has been benefiting from through Prostate Cancer Canada, the Movember Foundation and TrueNTH.
Dad did however raise some eyebrows during the weigh-in. And not necessarily for the right reasons. Pops is down almost 10 pounds.
Which is why I got very excited about an annual event held Wednesday in the Global Edmonton newsroom: our Christmas Pot Luck Party! So on Tuesday night, I gladly whipped-up a Drizzle Cake. It’s awesome, if I do say so myself! (I’ll share the recipe at the end of this blog post.) I saw this as the perfect opportunity to begin beefing up again.
But more than anything, this was a great chance to catch up with some fine and long-time friends.
Even though I’ve been off the job since March, I still feel like I’m a member of the Global team. (Just like any player who’s out with an injury, I suppose.) Next summer, I hope to celebrate my 20th anniversary with the station.
I’ve built some solid, working relationships during my tenure at Global, particularly in the sports department. Kevin Karius and I go way back. We’ve shared lots of laughs together over the years and I don’t know that we’ve ever exchanged any ill will. So, it was good to sit in the sports office again and talk jock with the gang.
I also made the rounds in the newsroom. Darcy and I managed to figure out the Offensive Zone Entry for his son’s Pee Wee hockey team. Deb described her hilarious, real life sitcom. Freddy talked about a sudden and very unfortunate family crisis. Kendra and I expressed our profound sadness about an unfathomable incident in Spruce Grove. Christine and Emily commented on my recent blog posts, which inspired me to write another (this).
Now, contrary to popular belief, the television business is far from glamorous. The stories my colleagues cover aren’t always good ones. In fact, more often than not, the subject matter is terribly cruel. Then, there’s the pressure of chasing interviews, gathering information and getting the story to air. But I can honestly say, Global Edmonton consistently files accurate, fair and respectful reports, including the more delicate material.
And many of the people you see – on camera or the ones behind the scenes – are dealing with difficulties of their own. It’s called life. And death. And health. And strife.
Which is to say, I’m not alone with my disease or the problems it presents. I just have the profile and the venue to make it public.
So, during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season (and all seasons for that matter), please remember: whether it’s family, friends, co-workers or strangers, things might look good on the outside, but the situation could be a whole lot different on the inside.
And do not pass on desert! Especially if it’s Drizzle Cake.
Drizzle Cake Recipe:
- Place a single layer of whole graham cracker squares on bottom of 9 x 12 pan
- Prepare one package of instant vanilla pudding. Let it set. Spread pudding over crackers. Place in refrigerator to cool.
- Beat one small carton of whipping cream, one teaspoon sugar and one teaspoon vanilla. Spread over layer of pudding. Cool.
- Place another layer of graham cracker squares over whipping cream. Cool and let set.
- Top with butter icing. (Icing recipe: 1/2 cup butter, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 1/2-2 cups icing sugar).
- Melt half an Aero chocolate bar and drizzle over icing.
- Refrigerate for 12 hours.