Thursday, February 26, 2015

Enough!

I'm writing in black today cause I'm mad and pink, purple and shinny royal blue don't say mad.  While being mad I'm also sad, tired, frustrated and need to write to get it out, venting by iPad!  Usually by the end of my blog I feel way better, so thanks for listening, or errrr...reading!

Today was just one of those days when I woke up and wasn't feeling my usual (although I must remind myself there is no usual) self.  I had my early "hardly nothing" breakfast and headed off to VGH.  I say "hardly nothing" because it's a cup of yogurt & 1 slice of toast which is all I eat until home at 4:15pm.  I got out of treatment at 3:15pm and was feeling pain and so hungry.  How these contestants on survivor don't eat each other or their limbs I have no idea, although they aren't going through cancer and chrones while stuck on an island...guess I just answered my own question. 

I decided to break routine (usually I'd drink a boost drink) and get a wrap from the hospital cafe to eat en route home in my car.  It was tasty and seemed to fill or take away my hunger pains.  Only thing is I think I misunderstood my pain and food just fuelled my aches.  I was at 70th & Oak in the middle lane in excruciating pain and knew I couldn't make it home.  I signalled and got a little aggressive in order to get over to Marine Dr instead of the bridge & then a freeway of no restrooms.  I zoomed in to a handicap parking stall, threw up my pass and ran. I haven't run this fast since gym class in High School and I have a mild limp!  Definitely not a graceful run I'm sure!

I wasn't sure how to tell this next bit, but y'all are reading cause you love me or support me or my family in some way or have heard of my blog somehow....someway.  This blog was started to help me cope & communicate but it's become a learning tool and reality for so many so why hold back now?  If I can help myself and anyone else with this then my new journey truly has begun.

Even though I ran I lost the race.  Luckily I wear "pull-ups" post surgery so they were my saviour, and I also had an extra in my bag.  Thing is once I cleaned myself up and calmly walked back to my car I just lost it.  I didn't want perfect strangers or the lobby clerk 
thinking I was a nut job so held it in but as soon as I saw my car the tears came rolling down my cheeks.  One positive is I wasn't wearing mascara so had no steaks all over!  I sat in my car in the disability stall and cried for a good 5 minutes.  Funny thing is I've never felt I had a disability through all this until today.  Cancer wasn't a disability it was a disease but this chrones part is truly a disability, and the radiating of my pelvis has done damage. I need solutions STAT and will be calling tomorrow to get in to the next specialist sooner than scheduled.  I can't wait any longer.  I can't have moments like these. I waited for a specialist in the beginning pre-diagnosis for months and will never wait that long again to 
improve my health or quality of life.  Of course my aggressive calls for help will be met with please and thank you 'cause manners never do you poorly.

Like the old TV show "Who wants to be a millionaire" I used a lifeline and called a nearby friend.  I needed somewhere to go to wait out traffic as I was slightly emotional of what had just happened.  My lifeline, Janie Pudie, answered and was home.  My call had been answered and off I went although not with a million dollars...darn it.  We sat around in her well decorated living room and talked it out. Between her listening ear and most of the traffic done for the day, off I went back home.  I had Amber waiting for me and tickets to see the movie Kingsman (7/10 overall but entertaining). I'm an Allen, a sick Allen, but still an Allen are we are strong willed folk.  No bad day was going to stop me from taking my chum from Calgary to a movie.

I saw the movie and learned I can no longer eat popcorn.  Doesn't digest well and it's high in fibre, guess I'll be packing celery sticks or cucumber slices next time for a theatre snack...you need a snack it's almost movie law!  After the show I went to the restroom and Amber was waiting for me at my car.  I walked out & down the Cinderlla-esque steps of Silver City and started to cry.  Amber drove us home, listened & reassured me oh so nicely, I spoke with my mom and then soaked in a lavender Epsom salt bath.  There may have been a Palm Bay sitting on the baths ledge. I was out of wine and needed a few sips of something after such a day. 

Now here I am feeling better after iPad venting on what is way too long a blog.  I hope I captured you all the way through my blabbing and as I said before, thank you for reading.  As of 1am Thursday I am 190 views shy of 20,000!  HOLY SMOKES 20,000!  Think it's time I look at how to expand even further to connect with others.  

Knowledge is power & strength and that's totally what I need -Carly Allen 
Think I just made up that quote!  Smile on my face, blog has done it's job. 

Love you blog and love you all as well. Thanks for being my lifelines in so many ways!

XOXO

#carly2conquercancer


C

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Routine

Routines are pretty important in life but right now, routine is my life!   Gone are the days of "...see you 15...", spontaneous dinners or even a scenic car ride. Yet another thing cancer has taken away from me, although I'd like spontaneity back in the near future.  I was the lively one, at work or at play, but always reliable and on time unless I couldn't control the circumstances. 

Monday through Friday I have the same routine every day in order for me to get through the day.  I need not bother you with the daily yogurt flavour, although I have a soft spot for fieldberry.  I wake up, eat, leave, treatment, come home, eat and usually watch Jimmy Fallon (Tonight Show) episode from the night before.  This is my week but it's how I manage.  When a curve ball happens I cope but it has it's challenges. 

I'm really struggling with food.  I'm supposed to be eating low fibre but the struggle is that most low fibre is high sugar & obviously I don't want that. I tried the whole "just don't eat thing" but almost looked at Simba as a meal one day, so that was short lived!!  But in saying that I almost do prefer not to eat because this trial and error or "see how sick (insert food) makes you" plan really sucks.  I've got a guidebook but it's knocking hard on me.  I just don't want food until I'm so hungry it hurts. This is super unhealthy but until my colonoscopy results due early April with a chrones, IBD, or colitis diagnosis, I just have to manage.   I'll most likely go back to the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, apple sauce, toast). Or heck...maybe it's time for a liquid diet, you know the one, it's called Pinot Grigio or Vodka!!!

Healing continues to be good over time and with the hyperbaric sessions.  I feel stronger everyday physically just tired often & as mentioned, not loving eating. Wish I could become a waif during all this but I take the no weight loss as a good sign. Most of the really sick people lose lots of weight before they pass and I'd rather have a booty than a plot!

You might have noticed this entry and a couple other blogs were written at early AM hours.  You'll either see it by accessing site, or it will be emailed to you just after 11pm.  I can't fix the mail out so just making you aware.  And yes, I should be sleeping at these crazy times but sometimes writing helps me sleep.   We're nearing 20,000 views but comments are lacking.  Tell me your thoughts if you feel open to share. 

I leave you with a lyric from a song by Pitbull called "Time of our Lives"

"This is for everybody going through tough times.   Believe me..been there...done that, but everyday above ground is a great day, remember that"-Pitbull

XOXO

#carly2conquercancer

C



Friday, February 20, 2015

Ode to Love

I had a taste of life lately or a more regular life, although there really is no such thing as regular.  I guess what I should say instead is, I've had a taste of socializing again and it was lovely.

Wednesday night I went out for dinner with my bro's.  Now when I say bro's, I'm not referring to the fact that I had a 2nd brother I never knew existed until last night, but instead referring to my cousin Jayson.  He really is more like a brother than a cousin and I hope he feels I'm the sister he never had or wanted, depending on how you look at it!  I introduce his wife as my sister in law to new people as it's so much easier than saying "....she's married to my cousin Jay who's more like my bro & who moved here from South Africa many moons ago & I call their kids my nieces & nephews". Yup SIL is way easier!  Back to the story, the three of us went out for dinner...talked some sports...some family stuff...some cancer stuff...and then headed home.  Good quality time just the 3 of us.  Kicking myself for not getting a selfie to document such a joyous occasion but they'd never let me anyway. Honorary brotherly shout out to Samuel Payne.

Thursday after hyperbaric I headed over to see Candice. She's been away frolicking on the beaches of Mexico with her boyfriend, so we needed some quality "wife" time together.  We had a couple drinks at our watering hole, Local at Kits beach, and then back to her house for a lovely salmon dinner.  Another great night, seems like I'm hitting them out of the park!

Today I said to Candice that I'm in a decent place of my journey. I know it's not over but the worst parts most likely are.  I just hope that I can find someone to love/marry and start a new chapter. I've got so much to give & feel generally ready to have to worry about someone else other than my cat Simba (but I always will of course).  I'm not afraid to share my story with new comers as you'll really see who doesn't scare easy. I mean dude...you missed diagnosis, treatment and surgery. Doesn't that make me a better catch LOL

Got some more social visits this weekend but also need some rest as I might be pushing myself just a wee-bit much. Next week is Calgary week with Amber arriving Mon-Thu and Shauna Fri-Sun.  I can't wait to see these amazing ladies. Amber was out just after I finished chemo/rad so I wasn't in half as good of shape as I am now.  If anyone wants to christen the local pub in Tsawwassen with us Monday drop a msg.

Here's today's quote from yours truly. 

"Without friendships it would be a lonely place.  I'd hate to be lonely". - Carly Allen

XOXO

#carly2conquercancer

C


Monday, February 16, 2015

Chin up

It's been 8 months since I was diagnosed with cancer.  Had I not had the pain of Big Kahuna I would most likely never had known I had cancer and most likely died.  It hurts to say that sentence but it's the truth.  2 weeks after diagnosis I had two groin lymph nodes removed which were at stage 3.  At the time I didn't really realize the severity of the situation but as my journey progressed into chemotherapy and radiation things became so much more clear and things so much more appreciated. 

Now that Big Kahuna has been removed (for new readers that's what I call my tumour) I'm hopefully cancer free.  I have to get better at saying that but don't want to jinx anything until a clear PET scan happens in March.  Gosh I hope it's clear...I can't think any other way.

Thank goodness for hyperbaric treatment to keep me busy every day.  It's helping me heal physically and so much more.  I truly feel the folks I meet in these sessions are angels to inspire me as I battle this war called cancer.  I hope my humour and silly jokes brings smiles to their faces and I hope they get comfort from me as I do them.

I've been missing my parents as they golf and soak up some sun in the desert, but we talk everyday sharing our ups and downs.  I don't know how I ever lived away for 8 years as Im struggling being away from them for 1 month.  This has to be a side effect of the hormones right? LOL

My friends and family continue to amaze me with visits, telephone calls and more.  I promise some sort of party will happen at the end of all this.  If I'm not getting married and have a theme I might as well just rename the event right?  Just you wait..it'll be amazing. My dad is rolling his eyes for sure as he reads this ha ha ha

I'll leave you with a quote I found the other day:

"A woman is like a tea bag: You cannot tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water"
-Nancy Reagan

XOXO

#carly2conquercancer

C


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Hurt or not to hurt that is the question!

I just woke up from a terrible dream and it's not the first time.  When I wake I'm very sad with wet cheeks although I'm not crying anymore and I have the hiccups. The reason these dreams come to be, is from me being hurt in the past and still feeling hurt in the present.  These bad dreams happen out of anger and I need to write this blog to shed some of this hurt, even if just a little bit, to help me move on in the land of dreams and the land of reality we call life.

This is not a trashy magazine where I'll name the people who've caused me pain, but this is a blog about me and my journey.  I have no clue if they'll even see this blog but I'm writing this for me not them. One thing I learned early is to stay positive and be happy.  To surround yourself with people who love you and support you. I think I've done a real good job of that until recently. 

My hurt has always been present, but I chose to sweep it under the rug because the last thing I needed was negativity and sadness.  Thing is the rug only covers it for so long.  It only covers it until someone bumped in to someone and I was the topic of conversation. But why now do you care of me and ask of me?  I really struggle with this. 

Why does my being sick make you care for me again?  You sure didn't care of me when you hurt me and tossed my feelings like a rag doll.  If I had never got cancer would you have ever cared again?  If the answer is no then that answers everything.  If the answer is yes maybe there's hope.  But with hope can still come pain because you need to repair the old wound just as hyperbaric is healing mine now, however it is not healing my heart.

3 people are causing these dreams but the hard Knox part of me says screw you, you're gone, you're out forever, if I (knock on wood) would pass today don't show up to my service as you're not welcome.  This is very harsh but it comes from being very hurt. Here come those darn tears rolling down my cheek again. This is hard. 

So what from here.  I don't know the answers. I'm scared to mend these fences because I can't take the hurt again and don't know if we could heal openly and healthy together, and that's not a dream that's a nightmare.   What I do know, is that in order to hurt less I need to love more. 

Question is do I love you or a new hobby or a pair of shoes?  Guess I'll wait and see what time brings but I shrug my shoulders to time because I could get hit by a bus tomorrow or get bad results in March.  Time is a precious gift and life is only as happy as you make it. 

It's now approaching 3am and Simba has stretched himself across my wrists so I can hardly type.  Deep blog today...but I already feel better. Hope my dreams can start to change.

XOXO

#carly2conquercancer

C


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Making a mark

It's funny how things change.  I used to love soaking in a nice hot bath forgetting any issues from the day or anything else on my mind.  It was where I could escape. Now a bath is where I think of my journey, my past & my future.  I find myself staring at the tile wall details and losing myself in thought and seeing things.  Now when I say seeing things I don't mean leprechauns and rainbows, I mean flashbacks or premonitions.  Sometimes I've seen things that don't fall in to my recovery plan and it upsets me.  I don't know if I'm bringing on these images or if it's fact.  Needless to say I'm taking showers as much as possible. 

I often struggle with how I could leave my mark in this world should I pass in my 40's or in my 90's.  I struggle with this so much that I cried watching The View the other morning.  A 15 year old girl has created her own company selling jewelry for Ugg type boots as well as button like charms.  She's leaving her mark....I bawled. Watching the Grammys I see these artists who've left such beautiful songs for me, you and others to enjoy.  They too left their mark....I bawled. 

Reading Oprah's book titled "What I Know For Sure" has enlightened me on "leaving my mark".  She explains you don't have to be Oprah to leave your mark, you just have to be you. So simple a concept but oh so true. I'm a good person, a good friend, a good daughter, a good cousin, a good niece, a good sister, a good cat-mommy. I've left my mark with all of you as you have with me.  This does not mean I have given up hope for my own sitcom called "Single & In Love with a Martini" cause I know it would be a hit!

Today (Thursday) was my 20th hyperbaric chamber treatment so I'm half way to the finish line. My fellow hyperbaric partners are such great people. Every day we sit in the lounge pre-treatment and talk about our families, books, movies or even thoughts on purple hair.  I would never have met these people had I not got cancer.  I'm learning that no matter how awful cancer is and how much pain it may bring, it can also bring joy and new things or people to be thankful for. 

In other news the Canucks face the Bruins Friday night.  My flashback to 2011 when we went to the finals, and my premonition is a win. This however does not come out of a bath of thoughts it's just me hoping for a victory.  Go Canucks Go!

#carly2conquercancer

XOXO

C









Monday, February 9, 2015

Hollywood

I've always been a sucker for award shows, specifically the red carpet interviews  & fashion.   The makeup, the designer we never heard of until "Sandra" walked in her dress, and the beautiful pics of "Sandra" as she came on stage to present an award.   Think I always dreamt of being "Sandra" but never did anything to be her, although secretly thought I could rock a well written sitcom and would honour German-Scottish-English Canadians when I was awarded my Oscar!

My dream was somewhat a reality in my silly world.  Me dressing up in different dresses as much as I could afford, a rocking shoe, some bling and of course lipstick....I always carry at least 3 shades for the 3 times of day.  Most who know me would probably say I was well dressed when I went out.  2 summers ago I purchased a darling fluorescent pink dress & received so many compliments on it whenever I wore it.  I was always shocked nobody had seen it cause it was sold at H&M...guess they just walked right by it!  True story at a wedding another girl wore the dress but the server at our table said I wore it better with a belt & cardigan. I felt like I was in the magazine under "who wore it best!"  Carly 87%, streetwalker 13%.  Yesssssss!!!

Over the last while I feel more booooo-llywood than I do Hollywood.  When strong enough during chemo & radiation I cheered myself up with makeup & selfies. I'd usually have afternoon treatment so had time to straighten my hair and put on some minor makeup.  It took me a while but it was my time...my escape.  Then I finished those rounds & had some fun time with my friends before surgery.  I totally pulled an SJP (Sarah Jessica Parker) outfit one night for Cathy's bday.  Colourful cardi, black lace tank, an A-line skirt with colourful stripes and the piece de resistance pink patent pumps...ah the SJP Angels sang to me that night.

As much good as the hyperbaric does for me physically, I've just lost a bit of me along the way.  It's an 8 week/40 sessions school you could say.  It's kinda like camping....no makeup, creams & nail colour. Although the way I camp I'd bring that stuff lol  I 100% understand & support the reasons as to why (safety first duh ?!) but it's been hard for me.  With all going on around me I don't have one thing going just for me. 

This has got me thinking about my hair. Now I can't use hairspray etc until after I'm out for the day, but I think it's time I get some Hollywood vibes back with a new doo. Now just for the record I'm not shaving it off like Sinead O'Connor, I don't want to be scary.  I still want to be go-lucky fashionista like Carly.  I know I need a trim but have been asking for feedback on my posted pics of lavender /mauve hair.  I know some of you cringe....I get it....but I think it might be something that's been beautiful on many that I too could make beautiful.  I've got 1 week to decide and you're welcome to share your vote either way but it shall be decided by the one and only.......moi!

Now really is the best time to try this new look cause I'm pretty much in hiding Monday through Friday with hyperbaric!  That means fun with makeup & lavender hair to be had on the weekends! Kind of like a relationship, but that's a whole other blog!

Place your votes as you see fit but ya only live once! 

XOXO

#carly2conquercancer

C

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Palm reader

I remember in high school there was that one girl who could "read your palm" and tell you your future.  Pretty sure she told me I'd have 4 kids, live in Shaughnessy, my husband a lawyer & I'd live a long happy life.  Don't want to call her out but boy was she wrong!!  Still have a shot at Shaughnessy and the husband part though!

I have had a happy life, so that part of her read is true.  From suburbia to city living, I was blessed to grow up with a great family and made life lasting friendships along the way.  Some people say you can count your true friends on one hand but I disagree with this statement.  I have more true heart felt friends than I do fingers.  Friends who know me more than I know myself, friends who are the sisters I never had.  I may not have a sister but I do have an awesome brother who now goes by the name "Super brother!"  Just what I need more enthusiasm at family dinner....lord help me LOL

My journey began almost 1 year ago although I wasn't diagnosed until July. I was living in constant pain and visiting hospitals trying to get someone to help me.  I'd call my mom and friends crying asking them to tell me jokes to take my mind somewhere else.  I popped 1500mg of Tylenol/Advil every 6 hours and still hurt, it was an awful time.  Being diagnosed stopped that pain but brought more along the way, however I knew this new pain was to rid me of Big Kahuna and any cancer. 

March 4th I go in for another PET scan and will be told my results on March 11th. I need not say the negatives at this moment, I just ask we all pray or send out karma or write letters....anything....to help me hear "you ARE cancer free".  Being cancer free March 11th doesn't mean the end of this journey as I've got more curtain calls coming my way. I'll be finding out if I have chrones or IBF and also the birth of Winnie....my colostomy bag.  Winnie is especially important as she will give me the margins needed to be low risk for cancer reoccurrence, without her I'm high...not on drugs silly...high risk!

I continue to receive my hyperbaric treatment thru February and have friends Amber & Shauna coming out to visit from Calgary.  Not at the same time, but back to back. I'll be dropping one off at the airport and picking up the other! Mom & dad will be getting some well deserved R&R in Indian Wells (outside Palm Springs) until March. After my results are in we hope to return to Indian Wells to soak up some sun as a family.  This girl could definitely use a tan!

Love to you all!

#carly2conquercancer

XOXO

C

Fairytales

I’ve been doing some soul searching and digging a bit deeper of late, looking for  inspiration in all aspects of life and from those around ...