Thank you’s and acknowledgements – part 2


The thank you’s continue to the F’n riders, the Pow Pow Crushers, cancer survivors, freinds, neighbours, blog commenters, blog readers:

All the F’n Riders, the gang of 25 mountain bikers, mostly guys over 50 years old, who I ride bikes with for two hours every Thursday night and go for beer with afterwards. You guys were very supportive. Thanks for stopping by our house so often to say hi when I could not join you on your rides. Its nice that I live right beside one of the main bike paths.

Thanks particularly Andy Young, Tim Webber, Gerry Simpson, Nick Croken, Val Letawsky, Bryan Fontaine, Monika Mannke, and Kent Zucchet for occasionally stopping by on your training rides to say hi and have a beer on the patio in our front yard.

Ashley Ryniak, one of the Dirt Girls (mountain bikers) who was kind enough to burn me a CD of tasteful folk, country and bluegrass music.

Val Letawsky for lending me a road bike when I could not mountain bike and Harry McKendrick for introducing me to road biking on a long slow ride out in the country.

Nick Croken for taking some great photographs of me mountain biking in the river valley before I got too weak to ride.

Gary Ogletree for organizing the F’n riders and for continuing to keep me in the loop even though I am not riding with the group. And for making sure we all got those nice new merino wool F’n Riders jersey’s. I wore mine with pride all summer especially when I went for my radiation treatments at the Cross.

Gerry Ralph, a F’n Rider, for printing up the Fuck Cancer stickers and my business cards.

Steve Martins from Hard Core bikes for getting me a stash of muscle building fish oils from his wife Karen anothe rider who is reseaching the effects of fish oil on cancer patients.

Thank you to all of you.

My snow boarding buddies on the Pow Pow Crusher cat ski trip that I was on the weekend before I was diagnosed with tongue cancer, most of whom sent me very flattering and supportive emails or called me to just to talk. I appreciated that you guys were there for me. You got me feeling good about myself as I started into this scary cancer adventure.

Chip Duffie, the Pow Crusher who first coined the phrase “no quit in John Kuby” when were all in the hot tub after the first day of cat skiing. He was impressed by my persistence after I had fallen so often and struggled to get up on my board to keep up with the rest of the guys in all that deep snow. Thank God I eventually got the hang of it.

To Antoine Palmer who organizes the Pow Crushers and is good enough to include me, an old guy, each year in this annul cat skiing/ snowboarding adventure with his young friends. I am now working to be in good enough shape to join them again for the next trip this coming march.

Antoine again sticking with me and taking me out for some slow mountain biking while I was in treatment this summer. Antoine again and Chase Allen for introducing me to a business broker, John Carvalho, who successfully managed the sale of my business.

Thank you also to John Carvalho, a very talented business broker, who was very sensitive to my situation and did a great job negotiating a successful sale. Thanks also for bring in a great lawyer Ross Swanson to help. Thank you too Ross.

Jesse Hahn, a Pow Crusher, who took me to his yoga classes when I was starting treatment.

Mike Geary another Pow Crusher who turned me on to “The Truth about Cancer” (which did not help me but it was an act of concern and kindness on his part).

Marcus Gurske for staying in touch from Houston and sharing his wife’s cancer story with me.

Pete Wardell, a Pow Crusher, who has kept in touch with me throughout this adventure, coming by to visit, taking me for coffee and sharing stories with me. Pete is a very successful young man who flatters me by frequently telling me that he sees me as a role model and that he wants to be like me when he is 68.

Thomas Beyer, another older Pow Crusher and very successful businessman, who has become a frequent Facebook friend. Thanks for the banter and entertainment Thomas.

Ryan de Milliano, a Pow Crusher, who filmed and edited a You Tube video of my snowboarding shortly after I found out I had cancer. Thanks Ryan. Check it out

Judd de Val and Tommy Kalita for being there for me when I started spitting up blood in the hotel on the last night of the trip.

Thanks to all the other Pow Pow Crushers on last year’s trip, especially Joey Hundert, Tommy Kalita, James Knull, Ryan Kohen, and Jeff Fillmore who are core members, there on all the trips. But all the other guys as well for expressing your support when we learned I had cancer. It meant a lot to me coming from guys I came to know and admire on this trip.

To those who shared their own throat cancer or other cancer experiences with us.

Gary Harvey, an established TV director in Vancouver, and a throat cancer survivor, who our nephew, Daniel Arnold, and friend of our boys, Brianne Nord Stewart, both had worked with and felt I should meet. We met with Gary at a restaurant where we spent a couple of hour talking about his cancer experience. We learned how challenging my experience might be, which was scary. But, we also met a courageous and generous man who had survived it and was proof that a person could both survive and thrive through cancer adversity. Gary had lost 90% of his tongue but taught himself to speak well enough to keep directing TV and movies and continue to work to support his family. Gary also kept in touch and gave us caring advice through the blog and emails. Thank you, Gary.

Freda Van Niekerk, a friend of my mother’s.  Freda survived throat cancer a few years ago, and is now a 77-year-old dynamo.  She recently got married, sings in a choir, does charitable work and is generally a bundle of positive energy. We had never met but when she heard about my situation Freda immediately contacted me and has been in touch by phone, email and the blog. She even came to visit me at my mom’s in Winnipeg last summer and brought me a special cake. What a sweetheart.

Mildred Thill, who I knew first as a client years ago, and now as a friend. She had throat cancer when she was quite young, probably when the doctors did not know as much as they do now about how to handle it. Mildred is a slender wisp of a woman with dynamite energy and a giving nature. She is an inspiration.

The surfer, snowboarder, throat cancer survivor from Mexico and California who I have only communicated with via the blog and email. Thanks for assuring me that I can still come back and be a snowboarder and mountain biker after cancer. Send me another email as I have forgotten your name.

Jan, an insightful contributor to our throat cancer support group who had cancer on his voice box but after treatment that included surgery is speaking clearly and eating well. He was scared that the cancer had returned but he now thinks that it was a false alarm.

Gary, from whose I will always remember for suffering through weeks of a strong burning sensation in his mouth after his radiation treatments. No one else experienced that burning. This is an example of how each of us experiences cancer differently.

Al, who seems to be progressing at the same pace as I am from radiation and chemotherapy. Al was told by his surgeon, in the early stages of discovering he had cancer, that he probably had only ten months to live. He was told there was no treatment and to start getting his affairs in order. Fortunately, a month later, the radiation/chemo team took over his treatment and got him to where he is now; back to work and recovering nicely. During that month, he loaded up with medical marijuana to try cure himself. I think, like mine, his cancer was too far gone for that healing process to work.

Manon Aubry, whose cancer experience had parallels to mine and was generous with her advice and enthusiasm for my recovery.

Richard Stecenko, a cancer survivor, who’s comment on the blog made me realize that some day, down the road, I could be one of the people who occasionally realizes that, “Oh, yeh, I used to have cancer”, instead of always dealing with it’s after effects like I do now. In fact, I will always have some after effects but Richard gave me hope when I needed it.

Sandra Stuart, a friend and yoga instructor in Winnipeg. Thank you for the breathing exercises.

The yoga instructor at the Family Yoga Centre, also a cancer survivor, who told me, in a lengthy conversation, that there was a lot to learn about myself from a cancer experience. She also said I would be a changed person when this is all over.  I took comfort in thinking that was a good thing. Maybe it’s not over yet, because I am pretty much the same guy but in a weakened condition. More yoga might help.

Thank you.

To the friends who we have broken bread with over the last while:

Dave Gillespie and Karen Pumphrey, who we shared our first RV experience with in Waterton after we bought the Sprinter van.

John Tansowny and his wife Peggy Arbeau, who we have broken bread with a several times since I was diagnosed. You always treat us like gold. Thank you.

Dwayne Kushniruk and Gay, new friends who invited us over for a fabulous dinner with the Tansowny’s. Entertainment for the evening involved watching all the John Kuby snowboard videos and listening to the CD’s of my favourite songs. I was feeling shitty that week but much better that night. Good people.

Ernie and Beatrice Meili, old friends and business associates from a previous lifetime, before playgrounds, who entertained us for a couple of days this Fall at their home at Candle Lake, Saskatchewan.

Kevin Taft and his wife Jeannette Boman who we have shared dinners with when I have been able to eat. We have a ski trip planned together in Banff for late February.

Catharine Phillips, friend and former business coach, and her husband Russ Phillips for three enjoyable days at their summer home at East Barrier Lake near Kamloops in BC.

Richard Stecenko and his partner Lorna, who served a fabulous diner for Linda and I with Ken Friesen and his wife Sandra Stuart in their charming home in Winnipeg this summer. Richard, Ken and I know each other from high school where I was a jock and they were student council types. It was not until University that I appreciated how cool those two smart guys were.

Phil Haug and Lorna Thomas for their thoughtful attention over the last year and the delicious loaf Phil made. Lorna Thomas is a cancer survivor herself and continually touched base and offered good advice on the blog, on Facebook and in person. Thank you, Lorna.  And thanks for the peace rock. It is on the pony wall in our kitchen.

Deanne Morrow, one of Linda’s long time friends, who made me a beautiful blue quilt with bikes on it. I use it frequently and think kindly of Deanne when I do.

Brent Skidmore and Susan, in Lethbridge, who have stayed close to my situation through the blog, emails a couple of shared meals together. Brent, your contributions have really enriched the blog.

Thank you to all of you.

Thank you to our neighbours in Riverdale:

James Rockey who surprized me when I first told him I had tongue cancer by simply saying, “Ya, it will be tough but you will get over it.” I remember at the time thinking that this a low-key response and later I realized that I wished I had his confidence in me. Turns out he was right.

Paul and Monica Iglinski, neighbours, who inspire Linda and I  every time we see them going out for one of their long walks. Paul is also retired and walks with a cane now as he is recovering from an injury. Thank you also for the fresh mangos Monica.

Rocky Feroe, who calls me the Kubinator, or now Cancernator, She also told me after I had lost 25 pounds that I was still good looking. That was nice of her. Thanks Rocky for the fossilized piece of wood you found on the bank the North Saskatchewan river and gave to me.

Jeremy Baumung, an apprentice electrician who lives next door, for doing a bunch of electrical work for us. Thanks Jeremy.

Rob and Zane who live two doors away and inspire us with their industriousness.

Our kids’ friends who joined us for our little fuck cancer party one July weekend; Kris Currier and his girl friend as well as Scott Zucchet. I enjoyed the mountain bike ride we went on.

To all of you who have been commenting on my blog.

Some of the most memorable commenters were:

Brent Skidmore for being the most prolific.  Brent and I have continued to be in touch since high school. We share a spirit for adventure. Brent is a prolific writer and has had more health issues than the average person so I appreciated many of his comments.

Patty Burke, a friend from University days, who married my best friend Greg Matthes twice before giving up on him. Patty has had cancer and has lost loved ones to cancer so her caring and insight was especially appreciated, as is her friendship.

Aina O’Malley, a friend of Patty’s, who when I was about twenty years old turned me on to reading books and changed my life forever. Aina, also a cancer survivor, is a reader and contributor to the blog.

Greg Matthes, best friend, married to Patty twice back before they knew better. It makes a great story. Greg has been happily married to Kris for years now and they live on a sailboat. Greg only commented a couple of times but charmed me each time with his compliments. I especially liked his story about first meeting me as a smart assed 13 year-old at the hockey rink.

Ken Friesen for his description of watching me skate as a teenager and admiring how fluid it was. I think he compared me to Gretzky but Gretzky was not born by then. Nice to know.

David Wagar, a friend from University, whose one comment was, “It is ironic that the man with the golden tongue would get throat cancer”. It was a nice compliment from the charming and witty, golden tongued David Wagar.

My sister D-Anne Kuby who was always had some caring insight. Thanks for giving me permission to make my blogs as long as I needed them to be.

Drew Hornbien and Jp King, two young guys, family members, who both had stories about me challenging then on mountain bike ride.

Lori Webber, wife of an F’n rider, whose supportive comments meant a lot to me since she is living bravely through a chronic health issue that is much worse than what I am dealing with.

Manon Aubry who paid attention to my issues and always had good advice from her personal cancer experience.

Kristin Gardiner, a good friend, a regular reader, frequent commenter and always a cheerful cheerleader.

Marg Artis an infrequent commenter but regular reader and loyal friend.

Val (Watt) Goodridge a high school friend, and cancer survivor who frequently had something encouraging and supportive to add. Thanks Val.

Jim French and his wife Val from Silver Heights Collegiate days in Winnipeg who have followed this from day one and provided attentive comments.

Joan Arnold always paying attention and frequently offering cheerful encouragement.

Kent Zucchet almost always the first to respond to a new post. Always with an encouraging and supportive comment.

Cheryl Caul, a nurse practitioner, who always had our backs if the medical community got it wrong.

Anne Ryan who always had wise comforting words. Thanks for being there for us Anne.

Jeff Olson, from my Big Toys days, 20 years ago. Jeff not only followed the blog and commented, he made me a member of his adventure junkie group called HARD (Horny, Ancient, Radical Dudes). He even mailed me a HARD T-shirt to prove it.

Brenda Field and Claude Vilgrain two former employees that reached out to me through the blog. Nice.

Ben and Ruth Prins, dear friends for many years, made many heart felt contributions to the blog. Thank you both.

Brenan Prins who contributed and sent me emails that offered prayers and testimonials to the power of faith. Thank you for caring enough to reach out Brenan.

To the many of you readers who are from faith-based communities, thank you for including me in your prayers. As I have said before I may not believe in God but I have some faith in the power of prayer.

Michael Kuby, my son, who commented a few times and often shared the blog on Facebook so his Facebook friends who know me could read it.

Kyle and Kirsten McCrea, Linda’s son and daughter who were regular insightful and caring contributors.

Mikes friends Charli Elber, Steve Babish, Cayley Thomas Haug, Ily Barnes, Bryce Zimmerman and Ryan McFalls for asking about me and paying attention,

Joyce Kuby, my mother, who is 95 years old, made the occasional comment.

Joyce Scott, Linda’s mom, also a faithful reader and contributor

Lorna Rasmussen, Linda’s twin sister who, despite having had her own health challenges, managed to care about mine and was a frequent cheerleader on the blog.

What about Linda? Shouldn’t I thank her. There is not enough space on the blog to mention everything she should be thanked for.  I have been blessed to have her in my life, not just because she took care of everything while I was recovering but because she is such wonderful company. I am looking forward to travelling with her in our retirement. We are going to be that happy retired couple living like nomads.

To the many of you I may have forgotten to acknowledge here, I apologize. I am thankful but I am often also forgetful. Please forgive me.

To all of you many faithful readers who have followed the blog without commenting. I know you are there. There have been many occasions where I meet some of you and find out that you are very familiar with what has been happening with me. Thanks for following.

I have to say that noticeably absent from the commenters are the many people in my customer contact list who I have considered both customer/ clients and friends. I could be that the advice, “never mistake your work associates for your friendship group” is good advice.  I am inclined to think that you are, like I always was, just too busy working to notice that I was not around any more.  We are still friends in my mind.

Let’s end with the funniest comment.

From Havey Brauer, a mountain biker, who sees me fall a lot and often spectacularly.

“You went from a Cat Ski to a Cat Scan! Now of all the things that could take you out, this is the best you could come up with? I don’t think so. You are not going to deny us some spectacular header of all headers that is going to give us the ‘remember when’ story of all time. Where we bury you on the spot and tie a couple sticks together and say ‘He died doing what he loves’. You know, the stuff Legends are made of. So get over this minor setback and then get back to regular programming. No rush though.”

Thank you to everyone for the love and attention. It worked.

We are now almost back to the regular programing.



5 thoughts on “Thank you’s and acknowledgements – part 2

  1. John,
    I’m reading thru the thx and was starting to get the impression you we’re ending the story. Started to feel a sense of loss. Sadness. Hoping you’ll continue to share your life with us, but if not, we’re thankful for the portion of the journey that we’ve enjoyed with you so far.
    Here’s a tough (anecdotal) fact… About the time you let us know that your battle with cancer was starting, we were informed of 4 others (5 total) that we knew/know personally (at least as well as we know Linda and you). 2 have already been called to another land and the remaining 2 are in palliative care. Lesson for me? Lesson for you. Every day… Every freaking minute of life, relationships, sunshine, smiles etc is/are a magnificient gift from a loving God (or in your preferred language… The universal benevolence). My life has been massively enriched bcs our strands of time have been weaved together. Hugs and Love, Ben & ruth

    1. Yup you are right Ben. I feel like I am at the end of the blog. Maybe there is some more to add over the next few months. Surfing, continued struggles with eating, next Dr visit in March, and my cat ski trip.
      My sense is that the drama is over.
      But I am very pleased that you feel you you will miss the blog. I hope others feel the same. My next task is to turn the blog into a book.
      My being the only likely survivor of the five people you know who recently got cancer makes me feel sad for you. It also makes me feel like I am fortunate.
      You with no cancer are even more fortunate.
      I know you are right about every moment of life being precious. I try to be appreciative.
      And I also value our friendship. Knowing you and your family continues to enrich my life. It’s a wonderful to be treated like I am special by such obviously special people. Thank you for chosing me to shine your light on.

  2. The best inheritance you can leave your kids is an example of how to live a full and meaningful life.
    — Dan Zadra (1984) Austrian politician and lawyer

    and, John, you have done that with great success!

    1. Appropriate quote Patty.
      Thank you for all the insightful comments on my blog. Looking forward to seeing you in Portland some time soon.
      Take care.

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