canCertainly & Ambition Nation!

November 17th, 2013

This entry is slightly different from my previous written blogs as it is in the form of a video.

I had a great time being part of an episode of Sarah Bismuth’s Ambition Nation where we talk about certain events in my life and how I coped with it and my overall outlook on life.

Please take the time to check out both Part 1 and 2 of the episode at the links below:

Ambition Nation – Cancertainly Part 1

Ambition Nation – Cancertainly Part 2

I encourage you all to support Sarah Bismuth’s vision and the great work she is doing with Ambition Nation!


Hanspaul Singh Saund

Full Circle…

October 20th, 2013

If you ask my grandmother she will tell you that old age is one of the hardest phases in life. Surprisingly, she mentions that it’s not due to the countless body aches and pains that come with the territory of aging; but with the way she feels as a person and her value.

She always prays to God that she doesn’t become a burden to anyone. That she continues to be blessed to carry her own weight, if not for anything else, just for the simple tasks that we may take for granted such as to get up to go to the bathroom and eat food by ourselves. Although she knows that she has a family that loves and takes care of her; she can’t help shake this feeling.

What I see today is my part that I play in making her feel this way. I realize that what she needs most from me is patience, assistance and above all my time. By seeing the trajectory of her life I feel that she has come back full circle to that of a child. For what she needs is no different than what a child needs from their parent: patience, assistance and time. As parents commit to raise their children with love, support and guidance, there comes a time once the child is all grown up to reciprocate the same towards their parents. Just like a child who takes their first step with the help of their parent, my grandmother at times needs my hand to help her take a step forward. Just like a parent who needs to be patient with their child while explaining them things, I too have to be patient with my grandmother as she may not hear or understand everything that I say to her. I know it’s the times that I get frustrated with her that makes her feel that it is related to her “old age”. I am in a space that I quickly realize that it’s not her fault for feeling this way and that I need to breathe, regroup and start over in my approach with her just as I would if I were a parent raising a child.     

My grandmother understands that there are countless tasks from work and daily chores that take up most of my time. She knows that I have my own personal and social life and is truly happy for me. All she wants is what any child, or any one for that matter wants. To feel valued. To feel important. To feel loved. I am fully committed to being by her side whether in person or on the phone, to listen to her stories or simply bringing a smile to her face. I feel guilty that I may not give her as much as she deserves while I gain so much from her. I gain her love, blessings and stories from her past that I will carry on forever. A valuable life lesson is rooted from our interaction and it teaches me to try and be a more patient and present person.

canCertainly live life!

When the dust settles…

September 29th, 2013

You were there to take part in my happiness. I thank you for that. Now, with the flip of a switch, I got dealt some unfair cards and my world has shattered into pieces. I called for you but you didn’t answer. I asked for you to support me and be the shoulder I could lean on but you were pre-occupied. Never once did you hesitate to participate in my life when things were going my way. The moment my life took a different turn, one that I didn’t anticipate nor have any control over, you distanced yourself from me. Why did you do that? Were you scared that somehow the obstacle I faced was contagious and would pull you in? Did you fear that I may become a burden on you or ask too much of you? Whatever the reason for your absence I am left wondering but I won’t ask you what it was. I just know where you fit in my life now.  

When the dust settles, when my sense of normalcy returns back to what it once was, I will have clarity. I count my blessings for the people that stood by my side in my time of sorrow. Although you were nowhere to be found during my despair; I hold no grudges. In spite of you revealing your true colors, I will not harbor any negative feelings towards you. I will not give you that type of power over me as I know that it will ultimately cause me more harm to act that way. I won’t lie to myself, it was unsettling that you did not stand by me when I needed you most but I made it through those obstacles nonetheless. My life went on. I continue to move forward. I wish you well, may life treat you kind and keep you safe from any harm. Our relationship may have lost something we once had, but I have gained a great deal with my own personal growth and have come out stronger.

When the dust settles, I see all the people who stand by me through my highs and my lows. The same people that I too would do anything for in a heartbeat if they asked. I like to refer to those people as God sent for they have entered my life to be there to celebrate and rejoice in my happiness as well as share and carry the weight of the obstacles I face.

Can you see clearly? Pay close attention to the people that you have surrounded yourself with in your life. Where do they fit in your life?

cancertainly live life!

Less What if’s. More What now.

August 31st, 2013

I see you and your fear. I know you feel as if someone just pulled a rug from underneath you and your whole world is upside down. How do you want to react? You don’t have to answer that right away. It’s okay if you are not sure yet as I see you may be confused.  How could you not be? There are so many events that just happened in a span of minutes and an overload of information to process. Can I ask a favor from you? While you decide on your feelings from what just occurred in your life; can I help react for you in the meantime?  If your answer is yes you will be reading passed this line.

Have a seat. Take a deep breath. Clear your mind. Take a deep breath. Free yourself from your thoughts. Take a deep breath. Feel better already don’t you? Throughout the day practice breathing. I know it may sound silly but becoming aware of your consciousness and breaths you take will help disassociate you from your thoughts and ultimately your ego. Let this be a form of meditation you practice.

The more you practice a form of meditation, whether it is breathing, praying or whatever that helps take your mind off of your current situation; the less you focus and consume yourself with something that is not in your control. I will not stand by you while you drown your thoughts in all the “what if” scenarios that you cannot change. For example what if there was something you did in your lifestyle that triggered this incident to fall upon you? What if you had you had been more proactive to prevent this from happening? At times there may be logical factors that contribute to your overall well being. At times there is no rhyme or reason why something has happened to you. Whether you could have prevented it or not should not be where your focus lies at this very moment. What good will that do for you anyways? I know it will not help ease your acceptance of your current reality nor your journey while facing it.

Take a deep breath. Focus less on all the possible “what if’s” and shift your focus on the “what now”. Is your world a little clearer? Are you ready to react to your situation by yourself? What do you chose to make of it? Before you answer this question…Take a deep breath.

canCertainly live life!

Framework for Survival…

July 30th, 2013

Seems like when we are in a crisis it tries to define who we are. It tests our reaction with every passing second. Our minds want to stray to the negative side by default. We have to shift our thoughts to a more positive light. To focus on what we know and we can control; our emotions, thoughts and actions.

In crisis, our reactions can embark on an emotional rollercoaster. Through the ups and downs we need to set out a goal on survival and the best we can face and cope through it. We need to remind ourselves that nothing is guaranteed nor promised to us. One minute we are here and the next minute may be our last one. Building a foundation of living moment by moment while focusing on our well being may or may not allow us to overcome our current crisis, but it will definitely help us to accept what is happening to us and ease our journey through it. When we surrender and realize that there is nothing else we can do to change the crisis, we have to change our reaction and attitude and focus on overcoming it.

So accept with less resistance all the things that are not in our control and work to control all the things that are within our reach. Don’t be defined by the crisis that has happened or is happening to you. You are stronger than you think.

canCertainly live life!

I’ve learned…

June 2nd, 2013

I came across this powerful piece of writing by Andy Rooney and instantly after reading; it struck a chord with me. In the evolution of our being we live and we learn. Every person’s growth is different from one another. As we strive to attain the best life we can for ourselves we try and learn from our past mistakes. If we succeed, we know and feel it. If we fail, we know and feel it as well. This is all part of the process of life. Rooney has summed up what I strongly feel and try on a daily basis to achieve. Some days I succeed at this and there are days I fail to learn from my mistakes.

I’ve learned…by Andy Rooney:

  • that when you’re in love, it shows.
  • that just one person saying to me, “You’ve made my day!” makes my day.
  • that being kind is more important than being right.
  • that you should never say no to a gift from a child.
  • that I can always pray for someone when I don’t have the strength to help him in some other way.
  • that no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with.
  • that sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand.
  • that it’s those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular.
  • that under everyone’s hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.
  • that to ignore the facts does not change the facts.
  • that when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you.
  • that love, not time, heals all wounds.
  • that everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile.
  • that no one is perfect until you fall in love with them.
  • that opportunities are never lost; someone will take the ones you miss.
  • that when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.
  • that one should keep his words both soft and tender, because tomorrow he may have to eat them.
  • that a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.
  • that I can’t choose how I feel, but I can choose what I do about it.
  • that everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.

canCertainly live life!

I March Forward…

March 31st, 2013

All it takes is one step in that hospital to trigger memories of my past. Looking at the small coffee shop to my left I can’t help but think of the countless times I stopped to get a snack from there while waiting in between tests. As I look to the right, the sight of the courtesy public phone brings me back to the days I used that line to call my brother (who works in the hospital), to let him know I was in the building. I march forward; all the while remembering this. I make my way passed the blood clinic knowing that I will be returning there momentarily after I check in on the oncology floor. I take the stairs to get to the 7th floor with my appointment papers and medical card in hand. I take a deep breath and open the door that leads to the oncology wing. I pass by the patients and families waiting in the hallway to be seen by their oncologist. As I pass them, I always get the feeling from their glance that they are wondering if I am a patient, family or staff member of the hospital. Without fail, I look around and notice that I am the youngest one there.

I make my way to the admission booth and am greeted nicely by the staff. The same lady that sits in the front asks me how I am doing as she takes my card and gets my file ready for my oncologist. I tell her that I am doing well. I don’t say much after that. There is a feeling of being restrained that overcomes me whenever I am standing at the booth because right next to it is the waiting room where patients are called to receive their chemotherapy treatments. Where I too have waited to receive my treatments. From the corner of my eye I can’t help but notice that as always, every chair is occupied. It saddens me, but I know there is nothing anyone can do. I glance at the faces sitting. I pray that they have courage and strength to win their battle. I have a sense of guilt that rushes over me. I feel guilty that today I stand on the outside looking in. Today I am standing at the admission booth but it is not to receive treatments, it is for a general follow up as I am blessed with better health. I know I should not feel guilty for this but I can’t shake the feeling. If only the patients sitting down could be in my place as well. It’s as if I see a building going up in flames right before my eyes. I want to rescue each and every one of those victims from that fire but I know I cannot do anything because ultimately those flames may just save their lives.

I look at the patients sitting in the waiting room and I know what they are feeling. The stiffness of those chairs was unsettling. The smell of the room was somewhat nauseating. There was an unspoken fear that resided in that room amongst patients and families. One look into the patients’ eyes and you could understand what they felt. I remember when I was waiting to receive treatments, I would not say much to the patients sitting around me. I took comfort in the silence. I felt reassured in the compassionate glances that were exchanged by one another. I remember that it was quickly interrupted by the dreadful intercom that announced the next patient to get up and make their way to the treatment room. How I wished at times that I never heard my name being called. That it was a mistake and it was someone else being called; only to delay my treatment a couple of more minutes. But that never happened. Once my name was called I would look to the right and tell my mom and brother that it’s “our turn”. I used the word “our” because although it was me receiving treatments, I know the battle was not mine alone. My family was there with me every step of the way. For the next 4 and half hours I would receive treatments. Or as I called it “cocktail hour”.

I am brought back into reality as I hear another patients’ name being called on the intercom. The lady at the admission booth hands me back my cards and tells me to go downstairs to the blood clinic. I know the drill all too well and have to go give blood before I can be seen by my oncologist. I take one more glance at the patients and their families sitting in the waiting room. I am sending them positive vibes and prayers. I march forward; all the while remembering this.

canCertainly live life!

Monitor Myself…

February 28th, 2013

Time flies? It all depends on who you ask. An older man sitting in his rocking chair while reading the paper may tell you something differently than a student preparing for an exam they have to write the next day. Ask a person being rushed to the hospital in critical condition if time flies? Ask them the value of each second that passes and how it may be the difference to whether they live or die. On the contrary, ask an innocent person convicted of a crime who serves out their long sentence in prison how time passes by.

Whether time flies or not; I guess the more relevant question we should be asking ourselves is how our attitude changes throughout it? Instead of focusing on time going by, perhaps we need to observe how we are reacting throughout its passing.

We cannot undo what we already lived, however, we can control how we are about to live the next moment in time. We can become aware that the next moment may be our last. Once we see the big picture and understand that although we may perceive time to go by us fast or slow, it is essentially our personal growth and attitude that we need to be monitoring throughout the passage of time.

canCertainly live life!

If misery loves company, I’d rather be alone…

January 31st, 2013

I get it, you’re unhappy. You have made that clear to me on countless occasions. You’re stressed for a number of reasons. All the things that could possibly have gone wrong in your life have gone wrong. It’s overwhelming for you. It’s suffocating and forcing you to be the way that you are. I may not understand it, but I will reserve my judgment because I haven’t walked in your shoes nor have I felt the magnitude of your pain and struggle. I have not held the unfair cards that life has dealt you.

What feeds your misery? I can analyze and provide my theories to you based on the events that you have been through.  I get that you are a product of those events. How could you not be? We are all human at the end of the day. What I don’t get is why have you allowed those events to define you? I have listened to you and tried to understand your side but in the end we are always left at an impasse. In the end it boils down to you and your outlook. I will respect you enough to know when to leave you alone and just let you be. If you want to be helped you would show a sign. A sign that you are taking a step to break through a pattern that causes you more unhappiness and pain. I would be there to help you once you were ready to help yourself. You show me no sign though. So I will back down and if ever you are ready I will be there waiting for you. Until that moment though, I will keep my distance. I will let you live the life that you want for yourself. However, I will not let you pull me into your misery. I refuse to give you that power. I wish you well but I have to put myself first; even if that means to escape from the shadow of your misery.

Your misery has spread like a cancer. It wants to invade my life. At times I have allowed it. It’s not your fault; I hold myself accountable because I let it in. I have realized that your goal is to rally as many people as you can to join you because that’s what keeps the flames of your misery alive. Today, I have made the decision to not be your catalyst. I will not be the fuel which keeps you thriving. Today when you knock on my door, I will let you in if you leave your accompanying misery outside. I pray that I have the strength to refuse its entry when you come knocking again tomorrow. And the day after that. I know that this all lies on me. A daily test in my life that I will go through. I already know that I may fail this test some days but as long as I am aware of this pattern, I am hopeful that I will prevail from your cloud of misery.

I want to thank you. Through it all, although I may have not have liked the person I became when I let your misery enter my life, you have forced me to want more for myself. More for my life and how I want to live it. I may not have gotten this lesson had I not been in your company. Now that I am aware, I will take this as a lesson learned and apply it to my life. life!

Making a Difference…

December 30th, 2012

Thank you to each and every one of you who has supported this site and for your constant well wishes and feedback. I was blessed to have the canCertainly live life Fund established this past year and am thrilled that it has collected over five thousand dollars from all your generous donations!

In the upcoming 2013 year, I hope to raise even more money so I request that you all continue your generosity and make a donation to a cause that I strongly support.

To make a donation please click the link below:

Your donation is making a difference.

All the best for 2013, have a safe and Happy New Year!


Hanspaul Singh Saund

canCertainly live life!