Going on a Bear Hunt: Five things cancer taught me about overcoming obstacles

Obstacles come in many shapes and sizes. Ironically, the biggest one I ever faced was so tiny you needed a microscope to see it. But whether it’s a break-up, a challenging time at work or going through cancer like I did, we all face obstacles. This resource is about those times, and some advice to help get you through them.

Contents

INTRODUCTION:
GUESS WE’LL HAVE TO GO THROUGH IT

As a kid, one of my favourite campfire sing-alongs was “Going on a Bear Hunt.” For the uninitiated out there, it’s a simple enough ditty where the leader sings one line and rest of the group repeats it. Here’s how it goes:

We’re going on a bear hunt. (Repeat)
We’re going to catch a big one. (Repeat)
I’m not scared. (Repeat)
Look at alllllll those stars. (Repeat)

At this point, someone picks an obstacle that your band of intrepid bear hunters must overcome—a tree, pit of vipers, mob of Twilight fans or other impediment barring the way forward. The song continues with finding a way to overcome the obstacle. For example:

A tree! (Repeat)
Can’t go over it. (Repeat)
Can’t go through it. (Repeat)
Can’t go under it. (Repeat)
Guess we’ll have to go around it. (Repeat)

The song continues indefinitely, as various obstacles are identified and overcome on the way to the bear’s cave. Ogres and quicksand you go around. Rocks and logs you go over. Low-hanging branches and troll-guarded bridges you go under.

But what happens when you’re confronted with a scorching desert, raging snowstorm or lethal minefield that stretches as far as the eye can see in every direction? Indeed, sometimes on your bear hunt, you crest a hill and come face to face with an obstacle that leaves you with only one option. Sometimes you just have to go through it.

Obstacles come in many shapes and sizes. Ironically, the biggest one I’ve ever faced was so tiny you needed a microscope to see it. But whether it’s a break-up, a challenging time at work or—in my case—a nasty bout of cancer, we all face obstacles.

This book is about those times and some advice to help get you through them.

Next: My story