Hello everyone. I wanted to do a final entry and inform you of the new way I'll be blogging moving forward. I just realized that today, June 6th, is national cancer survivors day so an even more purposeful post.
This blog was started in 2014 upon my diagnosis as a way to keep all my amazing supporters up to date with all things cancer. Along the way I found this blog to do more than that. It became my personal therapy, keeping me out of a therapists office and depression...most times anyway. I learned how much I love to write and told by many I had a flair for it.
This blog sits at 110,332 views as of now and that tally incredibly touching. The fact that so many people near and far cared enough about me and my family to log on is extremely humbling. Simply amazing to see where we have been and how far we have come. I say we as there is NO WAY I could have gotten to where I am today without you. I still have every card sent to me and one too many medical bracelets (and more) in my cancer memory box gifted to me by Karina. I saved so much through my battles. Not for me but for my family.
I'm going to be extremely honest with you right now. I did not think I would live, I thought cancer was going to win. I kept my memory box as a way for my family to see your support upon my passing. To know who was really there for me. We had so much going on during it all and I didn't want my passing to overshadow the love you sent my way. My hopeful and positive attitude was in no way fake, but I must tell you that it was more to help my supporters than me. My love for my family saved me from the looney bin & dark path. Man, just typing this is brining me to tears. I need wine before I write my next paragraph.
7 years end of June/first week of July this gong show started. I don't feel like I need to summarize the beginning as we all experienced it. Stage 3 cancer (of any type) is no joke. The universe couldn't just give me an early stage cancer of the elbow for crying out loud, no offence to cancer elbow survivors as I'm sure that's a thing, but I'd rather have lost my elbow than having vulvar reconstruction LOL.
From day 1 nearly 7 years ago I said I would make the things happening to me mean something. What that something has meant has changed over the years. With your kind donations I've raised money for the BC cancer agency, but found they have enough people doing that already. Now once a year, I raise money for Ostomy Canada. I've discovered Ostomy Canada has no government funding, no help from medical foundations and completely run by volunteers. Yours truly is the secretary for Ostomy Vancouver. People across our country have little to no help with the high expenses. Many factors involved with that, but basically a month of supplies typically costs anywhere from $200 upwards of $900 depending on what you need supply wise. Each province has different funding options but none of them help anywhere close to what they should. Thank you for taking my once a year email seriously and helping Ostomy Canada. If you're looking for a deserving society this is one very deserving. I thank you.
In light of what I hope continues to be a cancer free life, I have created a more relative site that's all my own. It will be geared mostly towards ostomy life, but will also share new things happening with me. This past year I've been working extremely hard with my Instagram account Ostomate and the City. I signed a 1 year (paying) ambassador contract with Coloplast Canada (the brand of pouch I wear) and have gained a nice following. Seeing the success of my Instagram interaction, I bought my domain name and created my website
Everything you see has been done and owned by me.
I've connected with fellow ostomates across the globe "keeping it real" while posting about things I found I couldn't find help with when I needed it, and it's resignating with people. I have big dreams of where OATC (my acronym) can go, but it's more like a reality dream. I'm not dreaming of things that aren't achievable with hard work and the right people. I bet nobody thought I'd be an ambassador with Coloplast 3 years ago as I mumbled high on morphine "I'll make this make sense". Here I am today my photos on their website and my favourite days spent leading Zooms with ostomates from all over the world.
To end this blog I want to do an acceptance speech that won't be cut off LOL.
Welcome to the Carly Awards:
Thank you Moselle for helping me create this blog and my friend Candice who typed entries when my hands curled up like claws from chemo.
Thank you to my Boxing Day cousins who got me an iPad so I didn't have to lug around my massive laptop (it was 2014 lol).
Thank you Dawn who posted on my behalf as I lay in hospital or home unable to do so.
Thank you to all of you who've supported my parents and brothers (Jay is pretty much my bro) when they were struggling.
Thank you to my Uncle Max for my first Pandora that has now become and expensive wrist.
Thank you Uncle B for coming to chemo with me and calling me from the road every single day.
Thank you KA for the pick ups and Blo out.
Thank you to my cousin Jacqueline for the jar of wishes.
Thank you to the Paynes for the delivered food and hospital visits.
Thank you to the musical artists on my "chill vibes" Spotify play list making this super emotional right now.
Thank you to the Thomson family (lots of them) for driving and coming over when I needed you.
Thank you to the Young's and Haslett's for helping me pack up my apartment when I had to move and leaving flowers in my hospital room when I was gettting a CT scan and missed you.
Thank you Claire, Quinn and AJ for coming to hold my hand at VGH.
Thank you Erin L for bringing me books I still haven't read all these years later.
Thank you Emese for the visit from Calgary: the baked goods and # tshirt.
Thank you Carolyn for squeezing in a hair appointment when my hair wasn't much of anything.
Thank you Trista for being at my side when you we're 8 months pregnant.
Thank you to to the VanDs who came to relieve my folks and watch me pace and sleep.
Thank you to my amazing high school girl gang: Erynn, Nagel, Petra, Cathy, Jessica, Melissa, Ashley, Amber H for taking shifts at VGH, at my home and all those tough phone call conversations.
Thank you Amber B for helping me shower for the first time with my ostomy. For flying out to be with me before you lived in BC. I adore you.
Thank you to the Holwills, my J's and auntie who have been rocks with desperate calls and wisdom.
Thank you Auntie Karen (AK) for helping me with recovering cushions, making ostomy covers and drives.
Thank you Jema, Nicole, and Janet: my Tsawwasssen BFFS who have fed my cats and been in my home when I needed them more times than I can count.
Thank you to my parents friends who are more like my aunts and uncles for being there for us all.
The Gloags and Janie for the drives and puppy love.
Thank you to the Hahns. Auntie Marilyn for staying with me and helping me plant. Su bringing me Vitamin water x 20 to VGH. Steph for letting me use her home as a home base, parking for appts and my pharmacy Qs.
Thank you Shauna for flying out from Calgary to be with me.
Thank you to the Dickens, my god parents, from donations to helping with the move.
Thank you to my coworkers who came to visit.
Thank you to the ladies at BAT.
Thank you Sandy for letting me and my parents stay over the night before and the many nights after.
Thank you Crissy for taking me shopping when I needed it most. My favourite cousin from the East.
Thank you extended health benefits for allowing me 80% coverage for a private room.
Most importanly thank you to my parents and brother. Cancer called and you answered. I will always be there for you like you have been for me. Thank you Jay, Maria and kids for the multiple ways of love and fixing the clock in my hospital room. I love you guys more than I love my cat and that says a lot.
I can't thank everyone as we'd be here all night. I'm truly a lucky human having too many amazing people in my life that CAN'T be counted on my fingers and toes, Does this mean I'm a good friend too?
Ok...I totally get why people are cut off now during speeches. So many more people deserve a shout out.
Thank you to all of you for being there. I got you when needed.
Love you all, see you on OATC website, or Instagram etc...don't forget to like my posts OK LOL