Saturday, August 30, 2014

Anxiety bites!

We've all heard the saying "reality bites" we'll I'm now coining the saying "anxiety bites".   I had no clue what anxiety was like until this and what an eye opener it is. 

Week 2 is done...10 days of treatment done...15 more to go!  I've wanted to blog over the last few days but I was so weak I struggled at holding a fork let alone typing!  My arms feel like their heavy weights pulling me fingers don't seem to want to stretch out of a fist.  Don't worry I don't look like the hunchback of Notre Dame, but at times sure feel that way.  Good news is I haven't had any nausea - gotta have a win somewhere!

My routine has been staying at my parents Sun-Thu then back to my apt for the weekend.  My mother the angel has been taking me to my apts daily and Auntie Marie & Uncle Randy usually on Fridays.  I'm finding that routine is good but it doesn't stay long. Last night I was feeling really anxious.  I called my parents at 10 o'clock at night and my dad came and picked me up. I just couldn't be alone for the night no matter how much Simba snuggled me!

Anxiety is a crazy feeling.  In one moment I might want to sit on my couch and then two seconds later I want to lie on my bed & all while this is happening, my heart is beating what feels like 1,000,000 miles a minute. To calm myself down is very hard. Breathing techniques and a quick car ride with dad are helping with the "calming effect". I've always loved car rides since I was a little girl, the breeze in your face, the skyline.  Heck just typing this I calmed down LOL

I catch myself crying and saying "I just want this to be over" but then need to pick myself back up because it's not even half way.  I feel like a half way party might have to happen. Well not a big party maybe just a dinner or something...but I can't wait to say "half way baby!"

Have a nice weekend everyone!




Monday, August 25, 2014

Santa swears?

Last night Santa came early.  He left my gift outside vs down the chimney and the language isn't so good.  He left 3 fuck cancer t-shirts for me and my mom & dad. Guess he didn't think the 4th was needed for my bro...maybe he's been naughty LOL. Being the good sister I am, Shane can have the t-shirt if he so desires!  Thanks to my secret Santa for the t-shirts, you should have left a L not XL give me some credit ha ha ha ha

Today was day 6, or the start of week 2.  After a rough first week, I feel more prepared of what could come and how to handle it.  More rest, fluids and take my new nausea pill every 6 hours!  There's no "hoping my body deals with it" crap...taking the meds & listening to my doctors is my action plan.  Petra came for a visit during chemo today and told me a funny kid story that still has me laughing...& it hurts to laugh! Ouch!

After treatment I was feeling up to an outing so mom and I set off to Sophie's for lunch.  Saw my dear friend Candice (we say wives in humor) and had a nice meal. My anxiety has cooled off but I still struggle slightly with the large crowd and noise which would never have been a concern pre-cancer.  A healing herbal tea was recommended by some other cancer patients so we picked this up today too. It's like a detox kind of idea and JFKs doctor was the leader in its research. I'll start using it as of tomorrow.

One thing I didn't blog about is the #carly2conquercancer bracelets.  There is a pic attached on here in the Instagram slide show if you'd like to see it.  I have one order already done and can easily place an other order if you'd like one.  They're all leather and cost 15$ with 2$ going to cancer research. Let me or any member of my posse know if you'd like one. We'll hook you up!

This time last week I was in a black hole and right now I feel great.  Knock on wood this feeling lasts through the night and 19 more days!




Friday, August 22, 2014


When I started this blog I really had no idea what was coming my way.  I knew I had a rare cancer, I knew I'd need chemo and radiation, I knew I'd have pain, I knew I'd have tears.  But what I didn't know is how grateful I'd feel.

I'm grateful for so many things in this crappy scenario.  I'm grateful that my pain was diagnosed, I'm grateful for the doctors and nurses, I'm grateful for family and friends, I'm grateful for meeting new friends on this journey, I'm grateful for feeling good today.

I'm not one of those people who's life is now "beginning" because of illness nor someone who uses it as a crutch.  I decided on day 1 that I would only let this be a way to self-improve or motivate myself and others.  I often hear "Oh Carly you're so strong" and I think to reply "what you want me to check in to the looney bin or something?" I  know people say that with such good intentions but it makes me laugh but really what should they say.."glad you aren't depressed crying all day" LOL  

I remind myself every day that there are people going through way worse than me.  I see these people at the Cancer Clinic and that's all I need to stay in check. I'm not trying to sugar-coat my illness in any sucks...I've hit walls I never knew were up...but you can't stay down.

I've just completed 5 of 25 days of chemo and radiation.  If all goes well I won't need "a boost" (additional treatments) and in late fall surgery will happen.  What surgery will be is still TBD pending how I respond to treatment. Regardless it's going to be a minimum recovery of 6-8 weeks. 

Have you seen the movie Zoolander starring Ben Stiller?  If you haven't this will make no sense to you and maybe you should watch it because it's really funny. The scene where he looks in the puddle and says    "Who Am I?"   I pretty much say that daily ha ha ha

Peace Out week 1, can't say I'm sad to say goodbye, but I can say you taught me a lot and I'll be ready for week 2!




Thursday, August 21, 2014

Wheel me out!

The last 2 days have had one thing in common. A wheelchair.  

Wednesday we had a family BBQ at the yacht club for the visiting cousins.  Since the festivities were held on the break water there was no way I could walk the dock.  It would have been painful & long.  Instead dad had a wheelchair ready and although I was not so keen at first, it was a good decision.  I was glad I decided to go because I got to see so many amazing people.  Family from Africa and Canada and other loved ones all in one spot, I was feeling lucky.  Come 9pm I was ready to go.  Was physically and emotionally done.

I wake up today feeling good.  Slept pretty well, pain not too bad.  Today was blood work, chemo dr visit and then radiation.  I have my smoothie and meds and off we go to the clinic for 10am.  I'm nervous about the blood work.  I did have blood drawn 2 weeks ago but that was pre-treatment and some medications.  I did ok that day I just didn't look so that was my plan again.  They call me and off I go.  Woman tells me to breathe & I look the other way.  As long as I don't look...we'll not so much. 

I totally passed out or fainted.  I woke up somewhat delirious not knowing where I was or who I was. I swear I was saying I was some celebrity lol. Mom told me the ERT team (emergency response team) was paged and came in to tend to me.  I was whisked in to a wheelchair and a little room for a check over. Gingerale, cold cloths, blood name it.  I sat in the little room in the wheelchair for a bit. I was so weak, I couldn't believe it.  Hot sweats, cold sweats and total exhaustion.  I definitely put myself through the fainting ringer today.  I didn't even look though... I just remember saying I'm feeling lightheaded!

Mom pushes me in the wheelchair for the rest of the day.  We ask the chemo dr some questions and got the radiation earlier than planned since I was in rough shape.  As soon as we could leave we did.  Straight home to a bed and a bath hoping to feel better.  If I could only be so lucky.  After arriving home feeling generally weak I struggled with nausea.  I'm now just starting to feel good enough to sit up & write.  It was a tough day.

Tomorrow is day 5 of 25... One step closer to this stage of my journey coming to a close.  No where near over but one step closer to final surgery & a better year in 2015!




Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Day 2 was blue!

Day 2 of radiation wasn't until 3:20pm so I had the morning to relax, take deep breaths and shower.  Who knew a shower would be so hard..gotta maintain decent hair.  Good hair trumps my oversized sweat suit doing nothing for my frame but oh so comfortable!  On the way to treatment I was doing a selfie, a fresh no makeup look.  As I looked over the 11 pics I cringgged and lips...and then a selfie was born!

I've already felt the change in appetite but very aware I need to eat for what little energy I may have,  nutrition and easing the pills on my tummy.  Premium Plus crackers and crunchy grapes are my go-to food thus far.  Small meals throughout the day to ease any nausea.  After chemo I take 4 pills every 12 hrs to help this along.  Thus far I've felt like I was going to vommit but haven't...tip of the day for you!

After treatment today I rested at Candice's while mom got her hair done.  I didn't really know how I'd feel after day 2.  Today was just radiation but the chemo is still active in my body.  Candice took good care of me until mom picked me up to drive me back to my place.  I felt out of sorts but thought I'd be ok to be alone. Mom & I truck my stuff up to my place & 10 mins later she's in hall asking if I'll be alright.  I fought back tears but they came anyway.  Mom marched back in picked up my bags and back to my folks I went.

My dad has been boating for the past few days so it was nice to see him and get a dad's hug.  Gosh I'm sounding so soft!  I didn't hug or say "I love you too" before all this. I still struggle with the latter hence the XOXO.  If you look at my pictures on the right of this blog or on Instagram you can see the radiation machine. This is in it's resting place, it opens up like a flower when working its magic.

I no longer say "I'm day to day" instead I say "I'm hour to hour"

Wish me luck for day 3...getting closer to 25!




Monday, August 18, 2014


Good evening my fellow cray cray followers.  Tonight's blog is intented for adult audiences only.  It may contain foul language and inappropriate-ness!

FUCK YoU CANCER!!!!  Day 1 you tricked me with my feeling "ok" till 7pm.  Seeing how I felt "ok", I thought I'd relax in a bath.  Now I hate baths...  well maybe not, but it hit me hard & I was out of that tub faster than Kesler learned to spell Anaheim!

Yes I'm a joker but tonight was no joke.  Unless you've had chemo I don't think I can explain to you the feeling.  Your stomach in knots, getting the sweats (Ew!), crying to your mommy and more.  If this is what chemo day 1 is like, I dread my 2nd dose.  I expect it'll get more routine but it'll still suck regardless.

Now let's talk radiation.  It's pretty cool how this machine works.  I'll take a picture of it tomorrow, but it's like a massive kitchen mixer that rotates around you.  The table lifts up like a hair dresser chair,  so the machine has enough room to go around and radiate. I kinda felt like I was the holy sacrifice in a way.  Long table, white sheet and this thing lining me up with red laser beams.  The actual radiation process is short. I was in and out in 25 mins and that was with my consultation .  I felt nothing at the time.  Now along with the chemo side effects I'm feeling a burning like sensation.  It comes and goes but the 2 together I'm a total hot (literally) mess.

I'm doing my best to communicate with you on Instagram and Facebook, but this will need to settle down.  My phone is "lighting" up and it's so hard for me to not respond.  I should turn it off but I appreciate y'all's support so can't ignore you.  Please know I love being in your thoughts but will not be able to respond quickly.  Use this blog and my Instagram as ways of hearing from me.  I will reach out to you when in need and I will reach out when I feel better.

PS A single grape just gave me a cramp...yup sucks!




Sunday, August 17, 2014

Another year past

Goodbye 38 hello 39!  Another year gone and a what year to reflect on. Not all bad but easy to say year 37 was by far better and I look forward to year 40!  My girls and I are going on an all-inclusive for our 40th, so add in the kicking cancer part and what a good time it'll be!  I'll be the 2nd cancer survivor in my circle of 10.

It's interesting how every day truly is a new day.  A new battle or a new thing learned.  Right now I'm struggling with anxiety or maybe mild panic attacks.  Being in a store, a restaurant or somewhere I'm not familiar with is really hard.  I feel like I can hear all around me and feel everyone's eyes on me.  I haven't had a breakdown in public or anything I just feel whacky.  This is new territory for me.  I'm the girl that can rock a room, tells the jokes, Emcees weddings and can make a new friend easily, I just hope that comes back soon.  I know this is all happening because of my medications and stress but it sucks and I want it over!!! 

Birthday dinner was nice.  Took me about 30 min to "settle" in then I was all good.  We sat on the patio at the Quay so had lots of people watching to do.  Cute little girl with curly hair, a wedding, some interesting fashion choices and dogs...lots of dogs! Conversations about tattoos to Justin Bieber kept us entertained till it was time to go.  I even got a sparkler on a piece of cake!

I can't believe tomorrow is Monday- it's finally here.  I'm scared but also happy at the same time.  The unknown scares me but the end result makes me happy.  Common down 2015....your the next contestant on make "Make Carly feel Right"




Thursday, August 14, 2014

Balding cats?

One of the things the chemo doctor told me is that when I undergo treatment to keep the toilet bowl lid closed. As most pet owners know, your animals often drink out of the toilet.  It always makes me think why the Brita water in their bowl isn't good enough but they do it anyway.  The reason I need to keep the lid closed is while I get chemo it will "go through me" so you don't want your animals to get sick.  All I can picture are Nalla and Simba with no hair looking like gremlins!  No offence to the hairless cats in the world, but not my kinda cat!

This week has been pretty relaxed after my weekend of cancer kick off parties.  My dear friend Elaine came and visited Tuesday.  She's the first friend I made in kindergarten, we were destined to be friends and when we see each other it's like no time has passed.

I decided to give my bedroom a mini face lift with new bedding and pale pink curtains so Sarah and I headed to Ikea yesterday.  Only issue is I don't have curtain rods up, so on Sunday my handy-man friend Marlon will be coming over to install the rods for my new look.  He's been my handyman in my last 2 apartments so he's used to this by now!  Cancer or not I'm not the girl to hang things...I have no ruler, no screws or nails. My way is thumb tacks and eye balling it. Don't keep me on your speed dial for house improvements that's for sure!

Saturday is my 39th birthday.  Gosh where has the time gone.  I still feel like I'm in my 20's but without the Madonna inspired haircut and mild alcohol problem LOL The trend of #tbt (throw back Thursdays) had me looking for a picture of me and my ladies today.  I did find many as I was addicted to photo albums until the digital era, however I didn't think everyone would be so pleased if I posted it.  One of my favorites is of us all getting ready to either head out to Kits Pub or The Big Bamboo.  Such fun times, great birthday memories.

Since most of my family are away on Pender Island this weekend, Uncle Bruce and Katyann are taking me out for a birthday dinner.  Heading east of Main St, a change no doubt, they'll pick me up and we'll head down to the New West Quay.  It'll be a lovely time and I look forward to my last real night out before treatment.  

Sunday I'll meet up with Mom as she's coming home one day early from Pender to be by my side Monday. We'll be staying at Wonderland (my home away from home) for the night so if anyone is in the area and wants to stop by drop me a line.




Monday, August 11, 2014

Party party....sleep sleep!

It's been a busy few days.  I'm so blessed to have so many people in my corner but I'm very exhausted from being popular LOL

I learned early on that you never ignore a call, a text or a visit because people are reaching out to you because they care and want to share their love and support.  I've also learned that visiting with people is exhausting.  I never thought that I would say such a thing as I'm known to love parties or to plan the party.  A social butterfly if you will, but now I'm feeling more social with my PVR and Netflix!

After spending some time with my visiting relatives mid week I had 2 parties, or cancer kick off/early birthday parties, Saturday and Sunday.  Saturday was with my girlfriends...most these girls I've known since elementary and high school.  I wasn't feeling so great but the socailite in me made me go.  It was a lovely evening with them and my favourite birthday cake...angel food!  We sat around Dawns house laughing, giving back rubs and just cherishing our friendships.  I know that no matter what time it is, where I am or how I'm feeling these girls got my back.  I knew this before but it's more apparent than ever. 

Sunday was the cousins party.  We're 5 families that grew up together.  Our folks were friends before we came along and we're more like family than friends.  We've always called each other cousins and our parents aunts and uncles.  Michelle & Chad were kind enough to host in their new home and have a pool so it kept the kids busy jumping off the diving board splashing around.  It was a nice hot day and come 9pm we were sitting around the fire pit.  We probably could have kept going but everyone's realities of parenthood, work or cancer made us call it a night.

I came home and just flopped on my bed.  Usually a flop on the bed would mean a hangover, but this was just exhaustion.  My body was tired. I need to remind myself that if my adrenaline takes over I'm still sick and have to give myself more rest. I couldn't unwind for a few hours and got to thinking.   If I'm this tired after 2 days of local get togethers, how am I going to go to Pender?  After writing a pro's and con's list, I've decided not to go.  I think it'll just be too much.  Of course I'll feel I'm missing out but think it's the right call. Treatment starts Monday and I need to be rested and strong. 

Today l had another creepy CT scan and my auntie Marie & uncle Randy took me to the clinic.  After the scan and a quick check up we set back home after about a hour.  I needed to get a prescription filled and some groceries so we did this en route home.  They were very supportive today and listened to my silly stories and told me all about their newest grandbaby!  Congrats Brad & Tammy on baby Layla..can't wait to meet her!

This next week I have visits planned but at my place.  I don't want to become a socially inept person I just can't go out too much!  If I spend too much time alone I go cray cray and talk to my cats....I swear I'm not a crazy cat lady! (But they do talk back)

Thanks so much for following this blog.  The amount of views is outrageous and your feedback so kind.  This is becoming my favorite thing to do but then I remember I can't do much ha ha ha




Friday, August 8, 2014

Fuck cancer!

Yes my loved ones you read that right...Fuck Cancer!

My uncle Bruce and Katyann had an envelope waiting for me at my parents house when I arrived yesterday. I knew something was in it as it wasn't flat like most cards. Instead of playing the guessing game, I ripped open the envelope and the card read as follows:

Carly -
When the going gets tough look down at your wrist. 

In the card was a silver bracelet designed in support of cancer related causes. It says fuck cancer in a squiggle font that looks more like a heart monitor reading hooked up to you in the hospital.  This bracelet couldn't have arrived at a better time after the news I received today.

It's Friday and I've prepared myself this past week for Monday, the start of chemo and radiation.  Today I received word from the clinic that they need another week to finish planning my mapping.  All is now to start August 18th..a week delay.  I was so shocked, surprised and angry all at the same time.

Of course nobody actually looks forward to going through this process, but I'm so ready to start to get a day closer to a pain free life.  I was with my cousin from South Africa when I received the news and asked she go visit with my aunt next door as I needed a moment.  First I sat on the bed and cried but remembered I needed to straighten my hair since I had just blown it dry.  I then cried as I created perfectly straight hair!  I think most people know I like to have good hair LOL

I had lots of emotions today but I'm glad that the Drs are making sure to treat me proper, just wish I had known sooner than 1 business day (no treatment on weekends).  Man I was in a good space...but I'll get back there.  Tomorrow I have an early birthday with my besties and Sunday a cousins BBQ, all of which were planned purposely pre-treatment. 

Next weekend we have a family trip planned at Pender Island with our visiting cousins.  Originally I wasn't sure if I'd make it but now know I won't be sick or have restrictions, so I'm good to go. I take this as a win....until Shane and Jayson drive me crazy that is!!! (hugs). I'll head up on the boat with "the boys" and getting on "the boys" list wasn't easy. I plead my case to dad that just because I'm not a boy I shouldn't not be allowed to tag along.  The ladies & kids are going via car/ferry.  Here are my reasons:

1) I'm the oldest
2) I love boating & go way more than "the boys"
3) I'm kinda like "one of the guys" 
4) I have hellloooo!! knock knock! Can you hear me now?

I'm very open next week so who wants to hang out?  Call me maybe?




Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Button fly jeans

Do you remember button fly jeans?  They're still available by Levis, but we all used to wear them in the 90's.  Yesterday I was watching a 1996 movie called Beautiful Girls.  This movie starred lots of big names....Hutton, Thurman, Dillon, Sorvino, and a young Natalie Portman and it just got me thinking.  

In the 90's I was in high school wearing button fly jeans most likely Big Star jeans as they were the trend.  God I loved those jeans but boy were they expensive.  Button fly Big Star jeans is what led me to get my first job as mom and dad explained they'd pay for Levi's but if I wanted the more expensive of the 2, I'd need to get some income....need to get a job.  I was not impressed with this "lesson" but darn right I got a job.  At Muffin Break on 4th & Alma. All I wanted was those jeans so in true Carly fashion I got what I wanted.

In the movie yesterday the main character goes home to figure out some things in his life. He reconnects with friends, searches his soul for purpose and ends up being happy with the girl he took for granted all while wearing a very 90's black trench coat.  The trench coat was a big fashion statement but never took in Kitsilano and I'm thankful for that as it would have covered my Big Stars I worked so hard for.

I related with his "going home" feelings.  Although I am at home, I feel the reconnecting with old friends, the struggles as to where the future will lead and figuring out what my new purpose will be.  I do know some of the struggles I'm about to face but in an odd twisted way I'm thankful for Cancer.  I look forward to seeing my new purpose because I have no clue what it is, and have to have faith and believe that this new purpose will reveal itself to me.

This is my last week before treatment.  It involves catching up with relatives visiting from South Africa, an early birthday party with my besties and a cousin cancer kick off party.  I'm exhausted just typing LOL

Monday the big show starts and this is when I'll be reaching out to you.  It might be for a ride home, picking up some groceries or just a hang out session where you tell me your latest so I can forget mine just for a little while.  

I think I'll continue watching some older movies as there are so many and they're such good films.  One thing they almost all have in common,  is the hot guy who drives a beat up truck who with one look makes your heart melt.  16 Candles here I come and the 80's flashbacks along with it!




Saturday, August 2, 2014

Sex Tape

Lemme saw my title and thought "what type of recovery is she up to?" LOL. No I didn't make a sex tape, I went and saw the new movie starring Diaz and Segal. 

Cathy picked me up and we had a nice time at the movies.  I might have laughed a little more than others in the theatre as I took my meds just before we left.  Movie had a little cheesey-ness but overall a humorous flick.

I was thinking today about how many people are affected by cancer.  Their friend, family member or neighbour, it's kind of a normal thing to hear.  It's almost like a club membership with a twist.  20 years ago it was more of a death sentence than it is today and I'm thankful to be in BC where we have the best doctors and clinics in the world.

I watched an episode of the hit Netflix series Orange Is The New Black, and one of the characters under goes chemotherapy.  It shows her and another patient receiving treatment and their relationship. The other patient ended up being OK and I hope every person I sit with will do the same.  Being on the other end of such result would be very difficult.

In other news, tomorrow is hair day.  I know big news, but let me tell you such a normal thing has become a big day!

Happy long weekend everyone. 




Friday, August 1, 2014

Reality Check!

When I wrote my blog yesterday I felt pretty peace if you will.  I learned today that this feeling of peace is short lived while battling cancer, and that the "reality check" hits you like ketchup hits french fries!

Going in to today I knew about my entire treatment plan except for chemotherapy.  I was told yesterday that over the next few days I'd receive a phone call as to when day 1 of chemo would be.  At 10:49am my caller ID read "Cancer Clinic" and I received the news.  August 11th will not only be the start date of radiation and a CT scan, but now also includes 3 hours of chemotherapy. 

I thanked the admitting clerk for calling and hung up the phone.  I just stared at the wall....or was it the ceiling....maybe my cat....I can't recall. I might have blanked out to be honest.  I've never been in any form of denial during this process but I just got smacked with reality at its best & it hurt!

Everyone who under goes cancer might find different things "scary".  My 2nd fear is the chemo.  Not what it will do to me so much, but more of what it'll look like in that moment when I have an IV in my arm, medicine pumping away.  The moment when I can't just look away and it's over.  My treatment will last 3 frickin hours.  How am I not to look for 3 hours!!!  Dear lord let me fall asleep.

I kinda relate this to chicken wings.  I can't stand chicken wings nor looking at people eating chicken wings.  I know it's weird but the carnivorousness, the messy hands, lickin' fingers, the bones in a's just nasty to me.  Chemo seems nasty but I expect that to change, however keep your greasy wing paws away from me LOL

Chemotherapy show time starts at 930am and ends at 1230.  Then I head straight to radiation for a "zap-erific time" of about 45 minutes. I'll get some time to breathe and/or stretch till 3pm when I'll head for the creepy CT scan.  I really hope they have comfy chairs or else....I don't know "what else" would be but it'll be something lol grrrr be scared of Carly's wrath!  But let's be honest I got nothin ha ha ha

I was home solo when the chemo call happened, and shortly thereafter I received a call from my uncle.  We both agreed this was a true reality check!  Stay positive, go at this head on, you will conquer. But this shit sucks!

Few hours later I was low-low-low.....but not wearing "boots with the fur" (please know that song). I had previous plans for tonight but was going to cancel. After my wise father called & listened to me cry from my reality check, he pepped me up and my plans remained.  I'm glad we kept the plans as we had a lovely meal and some tasty vodka waters too....lime wedge of course!

I think I learned a lot about reality today, it bites, but what reality needs to know is I bite harder!




Update Dec 5th

Sorry I am a day late! This is from Carly yesterday :) Pic 1 was taken months ago and shows how big my hernia was. It was even bigger at...