Cancer and Community

Nothing teaches the importance of friends and family like a cancer crisis.  We had only been in the the rural community of Edam, Saskatchewan seven years before Bruce’s cancer diagnosis. He knew everyone with his job as a RM Grader operator. Duties of raising cattle and training horses kept me on the ranch and I would always be “Bruces wife”. Seven years later we were still the “new people”. I loved the community and the people who called it home. Leaving it was never part of the plan, but hen cancer showed up.

Life there was laid back and simple 

Edam was a step back to the 70’s and 80’s for us. Life was laid back and simple. The fishing and hunting was the best we’d known. Friends and neighbors were down home, genuine and sincere. How could we be so lucky to find a place similar to the one we had just lost. It would be a few years later that we would learn the value of friends, family and community .


Grader Operator for RM of Turtle River
Grader Operator for RM of Turtle River

Appreciating the value of friends with cattle trailers

We soon learned the value of friends and community. News of Bruce’s cancer diagnosis spread swiftly throughout the little community. It was spring 2014 and time for cows and calves to hit green pasture. In no time at all, neighbors had been secretly recruited to get our cattle to pasture. The trip to pasture was 1 hour one way and we needed to make 5 or 6 trips with our unit.

What happened next is a bit of a blur. One morning about 7:00 a.m. a convoy of trucks and trailers came thru the yard heading toward the sorting pens. Cattle were loaded one trailer after another. In less than 2 hours all the cattle were grazing on lush pasture an hour away. It was such a surprise. Friends and neighbors came from hours away to lend a hand. To this day I’m sure it was the work of Bruce’s best friend Robert Blais. Robert never really fessed up to organizing the hauls but we knew. Bruce had found a soul mate in Robert. The competition for Bruce’s time was a fierce one. I had just learned the value of amazing friends and the goodness people have in time of crisis. Cancer was ugly, but the lessons it taught were invaluable.

A cancer crisis made me realize that friends, family and neighbors are genuine and have good souls. They know when they are needed and go beyond expectations. The experience rekindled my faith in humanity and made so proud to be part of this close knit community and the friends we had made, The goodness that came outweighed the overwhelming loss both Bruce and I were experiencing.

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