The last year has been full of reasons for fear, nonetheless, hope dominates.
On July 22 2010, my beautiful daughter Boudicca was born to my wife Megan and I, and we became parents for the first time. A life-changing event for anyone to be sure, but even more so for us, as we had purchased our first home just a month prior. All was not rosy in our family, however, as I was charged with drunk driving just a week before Boudicca's birth, and subsequently entered a treatment program and counseling to deal with an alcohol addiction I had been battling for at least two years (and not-battling for my entire adult life). I attended my first AA meeting the day before Megan went into labour, and to this day find it hard to describe the confusing mixture of self-loathing and utter exuberance I felt that day and in the days following. Although Megan had planned on having a natural birth (no anesthetic), her hopes were dashed after labouring for almost twelve hours on her own, when the doctor's found that Boudicca was breach and a c-section would be her best option for coming into the world. We had even lined up a midwife to assist in the birth, but it just so happened that she was away for the week that Megan went into labour, as Boudicca had not been expected for another week. Nonetheless, she was beautiful and perfect, and the love I feel for this little person is greater than I could ever imagine.
The road to sobriety has been winding and rough, but took a dramatic turn in February of 2011 when Megan was diagnosed with cancer. A sore on her tongue, which had been treated as various bacterial infections since it appeared during pregnancy, had gone from a minor irritation to a quickly-growing lesion in a couple of weeks, after having been pretty well stable for a long time. Her doctor recommended a dentist, the dentist recommended an oral surgeon, the surgeon did a biopsy and recommended another surgeon, and within about a week our concerns had gone from slight to full blown with the news that Megan would need to have a large portion of her tongue removed, and that more treatment may be necessary. Although I had been much better at the time with regards to my addiction, having gone from a daily closet drinker (which I had been for at least two years) to an occasional relapser in less than a year, the stress of this new situation on top of all the financial, emotional, and physical responsibilities I had newly come to accept was an incredibly tough pill to swallow. When Megan had her first surgery, I didn't handle it very well. As a result of my poor emotional state at the time, and due to the facts that I was unable to take time off of work to care for Megan following her surgery (because I had been so reckless with money while drinking) as well as my inability to drive, Megan and I spent much of the next two months separated, with her and Boudicca spending most of the time with Megan's parents in Swift Current, visiting me for a few days at a time whenever a doctor's appointment was scheduled.
It was during this time, immediately following Megan's tongue surgery, that I began to write and record "Hope". The songs on this EP all reflect the most personal parts of myself during the most trying time I have yet come to have to endure, from the joy of fatherhood, to the despair of addiction, and of course the worry and subsequent hope one feels when one's partner (and soul-mate/best friend) is sick, and the prescribed treatment is so hard to handle. Megan has since had a second surgery on her neck, and is currently undergoing Chemotherapy and Radiation in the hope that she will someday soon be (and remain) 100% cancer-free. I'm praying for her every day.
"Hope", my new 5 song EP, is available here (http://www.dickmacinnis.com/hope.html) for $5 CAD, via VISA, Mastercard, and Paypal, with 100% of the proceeds being donated to the Canadian Cancer Society.