Saturday, October 24, 2015

Never have I ever...

Have you ever played or heard of the game called 'Never have I ever...'?  It usually comes about in a group setting sitting around someone's table most likely after a couple cocktails. People have to say something they've truly never done.  "Never have I ever jumped out of a plane" true fact. But my most recent is "never have I ever walked in to the Cancer Agency feeling confident". 

As of Wednesday I can no longer say that. I walked in to the Cancer Agency for my monthly check up feeling good, no nerves, no real concerns and no mom holding my hand(silly for a grown woman to say but she's been my rock). I had a friend visiting me the previous night so she came along curious with it all. Usually I'd sit in the waiting room twiddling my thumbs, thinking of possible scenarios but instead found myself reminiscing. Telling her stories of other visits & lessons learned and not needing comfort before my name was called. 

The doctor was pleased with my progress. She sees no obvious signs of cancer, no tumour like tissue and pending my November MRI, thinks all looks good. She reminded me that imaging hasn't always been a good resource for me. Had we solely relied on scan images I would have had the colostomy by now. Imaging is still very important but more to see if cancer comes back in the same area or somewhere else. 

At this stage of recovery I find my body and mind becoming one again. "Never have I ever felt this good in close to 2 years". I've still got lots of work ahead of me to get to where I need to be, but seeing it, feeling it, tasting it, sure is special.  I still conquer  with the mentality of one day at a time, but back to looking at life as a big picture. I see my future and starting to make it a reality. 

A friend of mine watches the sunset almost every night and there are some great places in Tsawwassen and Ladner to observe. "Never have I ever REALLY taken the time to watch a sunset". This week I'll go to one of these spots, watch the sunset and then say "never have I ever seen something so beautiful"




Tuesday, October 13, 2015


Growing up I always enjoyed Thanksgiving, but don't think I ever understood it like I should have. Family got together, said a few words at the table, ate delicious food and had some fun. I would have said I was more of a Christmas girl.  I found it odd that Americans made a bigger deal of Thanksgiving than they did Christmas. Bigger parades, bigger dinners, but after this past year I get it!

This time last year I was quite ill. I'd just finished chemotherapy and radiation with surgery close behind. It was baseball playoffs and dad and I watched every game seeing Kansas City make their way to the finals. We'd moved the couch such a way so I could lay down to watch the games, dad sitting in his chair alongside me. Kansas City ended up losing the World Series but brought forth a special time for dad & I during a terrible time in our lives. I'll never forget it nor will he. 

Tonight's table sat my parents, my brothers (Jayson is more like a brother so let's just say that), my sister-in-law and my 4 nieces and nephews. Dad made a lovely speech in the wake of all going on in Syria. There are so many people without homes, without food, without their families and here we sit. Our daily struggles seem and are so minor in comparison. There was no talk of cancer and I was happy with that. 

As my recovery continues, I'm happy to see my family getting their normal lives back again. The kids telling stories of school & sports, my parents getting set to embark on holiday and my brothers pushing my buttons like they always have!  As I listened to these stories a moment of reflection came about. Cancer almost took these amazing people away from thankful am I to be sitting here today. 

My monthly check up is Wednesday with my next MRI coming in November (I get them every 3 months). Wednesday will be the first time I head to the Cancer Agency not feeling scared to be looked over. I truly believe I'm OK and will remain OK. Maybe I'm naive to think I'll continue to live a cancer free life, but it's the only way to think.  As positive as I've tried to be throughout this battle, I've always prepared myself for the worst. Maybe thinking this way was a wall I kept up so I didn't let myself or anyone else down, but the wall has been lifted.  I don't want to feel like I'm letting my guard down but grabbing ahold of life again is bringing me such happiness.  

Cancer took a lot away from me but it's also given a lot to me.  I would never have thought to write a blog. I would never have met some amazing and now important people in my life. I would never have felt so much love.  I would never have thought to return to school & change my career. I would never have found a better version of me. 

I hope you found your blessings this Thanksgiving. We all have them, sometimes they're just a little harder to find. 




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...