Saturday, December 26, 2015

Merry merry

Christmas is my favourite time of year.  Not for the presents or even the great food, but for the feel & vibe all around you. Everyone is just nicer. People say hello in elevators instead of staring at the buttons lighting up floor after floor, the grocery clerks wish you happy holidays and ugly sweaters become fashion statements. 

Last Christmas I was struggling post surgery and was admitted to hospital days later with a terrible infection. My stay at VGH was close to 2 weeks having me ring in 2015 in my hospital room. The morphine drip had me asleep way before midnight but I remember dreaming of next year hoping it would all be over. Last night as sat at the dinner table that dream had come true. 

When life is uncertain and on the line, we really learn to appreciate it and want more of it. But as health improves and your life comes back it's so easy to forget. Of course we don't want to live in fear or in the past, but maybe we can just "smell the roses" a little bit more.  As I took pictures of my family last night I was grateful. Grateful to still be alive, grateful my family wasn't mourning me and grateful for each of them. 

2016 is just days away....where has 2015 gone?  This is one year I'm fine to say flew by too quickly, but really it has. I have some great goals and aspirations for 2016, none of them easy, but all of them exciting.  

I've never been one to make concrete resolutions, but for 2016 I want to value life as it deserves and be a better friend and person. Let's not wait for next Christmas to get together or to pick up the phone, but do it now while we're able. Sure we're all busy with kids, work, knee surgeries, cats....whatever, but don't wait if you don't have to as another year will soon fly by finding us right back here. 

Wishing you all a fabulous & merry 2016!

XOXO

C

#carly2conquercancer

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

All clear!

The saying "time heals all wounds" sure has a lot of meaning in my life. My poor body has been through so much, but hearing my MRI results are clear showing no sign of reoccurrence sure makes me smile!

I was supposed to go in to the Cancer Agency today, but instead had my appointment moved to next week as I've come down with a nasty flu virus. Last thing I want is to pass germs to a sick cancer patient so asked my doctor please call me with my MRI results.  Seeing the Cancer Agency come up on my caller ID I took a deep breath and said hello. At first Dr Lee thought she woke me up but my congestion makes me sound like a cross between Farrah Fawcett and Freddy Kruger!  

The MRI shows no sign of reoccurrence and the area is stable.  Great news!  I'm always a little cautious with these results because I never got the margins like we wanted. When any tumour is extracted the doctors like to cut around it creating margins. These margins increase your odds of success to not have the cancer spread or reoccur.  Had they gone for the margins with me, I would have had a huge surgery involving plastics, colostomy bag and more.  The doctors always said they could operate again if necessary but they could never reverse any outcome. I'm so very glad and thankful they took this approach.  

I've been getting lots of comments lately about this blog. Some of you wondering why I'm not writing as much and even some of you wondering if I'll make a book. So I got to thinking about what I love about this blog and what I think I can do with it. My first step is to give it another name. I think it's time to just call this my journey and not my cancer journey.  I'd never change a thing which is a crazy statement for a terrible time in my life, but I want to carry on calling myself a survivor rather than a patient.  I was texting with a BFF today and told her without so many people in my corner sending positive thoughts, I don't think I'd been as lucky beating cancer. I truly believe this. I truly thank you. All of you. 

This blog has been one of the best things to happen to me so why should I stop now?  Just because my cancer is laying low doesn't mean my writing has to!  I have lots of exciting moments coming my way with fitness, school, dating and more. So as long as you want to hear my silly stories I'm willing to share them with you. I still have a ways to go but excited....no pumped.....at what my future holds!

#carly2conquercancer

XOXO

C


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Surgiversary

Thought I'd make up a new word to mark 1 year ago today, when Big Kahuna was no more. The word is surgiversary. For any new readers or perhaps a refresher for my groupies, I named my tumour Big Kahuna upon diagnosis. It was a life changing surgery physically & emotionally but resulted with me later becoming cancer-free. As Donald Trump would say it was a "huuuugggeee" moment. 

It was a hard recovery resulting with an infection and 38 hyperbaric oxygen treatments but it was all necessary. I was scared back then that men would run away hearing my battle. Who would want to date me vs that other girl who was "normal". I still haven't met my future husband by any means, but have dabbled with dating & think I'll be just fine. 

I had my MRI just over 2 weeks ago but have yet to hear the results. My monthly check up at the Cancer Agency is this Wednesday so will hear then. Fingers crossed all is still fine but if for any reason bad news comes about, I'll take it in stride. When I had the MRI the technician said my images were clear, so gives me faith my doctors will have a good grasp on things. 

Seems each scan, or specifically each dye injection, has left it's mark with me. The radioactive dye illuminates my pelvis allowing for proper imaging. 5 days post MRI, my vein & arm area where the injection was(near elbow) were swollen and red. I had to go to the ER as I was in quite a bit of discomfort & no doubt needed a doctors opinion. Glad I went in as I was told it could have become a blot clot or an even more serious infection. I picked up my prescription that night & improved over 4 days. Phew!  If you go to my blog online you'll see a photo in my slideshow. 

Dad had knee surgery 2 days ago and is home recovering like a champ. He's done really well and was up walking the next day. Bionic man is on the move!  As always Mom is taking the reins and earning more points for whatever comes her way. She's got lots of points!!!!

I won a contest with Save On Foods & the Canucks, so my friend & I attended (along with other winners) a Canucks private practice. I've been a fan since I was 5 years old & dad taught me to yell "booooo" at the refs so this kind of thing is exciting for me. We even got a photo with our mascot Finn!

I'll be sure to write Wednesday before 11pm so you get this in real time. I wish the email would go out once I write but it has an 11pm deadline & I often write thereafter. 

Lots of love your way this holiday season. 

XOXO

#carly2conquercancer

C


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...