Wednesday, February 21, 2018

5 days Post Op

Another message from Carly:

Please forgive me if my spelling or conjugation is off. I can 💯 say it’s the meds. I just got 4 mg of morphine as I have a crazy pain in my right hip/stomach area. Just now as I lay here on my bed looking out my wibdow ,which looks onto another wing of VGH, I thought I needed to write to y’all. Plus I’m not as high at 5am as I will be mid day.
In saying that last sentence I started to cry and my sounds different than before. I have to adjust as I have drains,4 of them, that come out of my calves/legs, 1 from right inner thigh and the 4th is from my left groin/vaginal area. Lets also not forget my epidural line. It’s set to help certain area. For example I have full movement of my legs. It’s more pubic bone to chest bone. And it’s not a miracle worker, we’ll need to ween off it so it just keeps me comfy. I have pain, just not as much.
So to describe to you how I’m doing. Well not good but I’m getting through. My pain level are off the charts, Anytime I cough it hurts so I need to apply pressure with a pillow. I’ve shown anyone who’s visited my “owies” so they can understand what’s going on. One of them called it beautifully done. Nobody has runout but I have seen some tears.
I was cut open from my chest bone to my pubic bone. The Drs did a hysterectomy only leaving my blader and of course the colostomy. They ended up taking skin from my stomach instead of my thigh, as my stomach skin was considered quite beautiful. Although my tummy not close flat, the skin never stretched since I never had kids nor too much sun exposure.
The last surgery stomach site you’ll see is my left groin lymph nodes were removed. And let’s not forget our dear friend Winnie ,who just farted BTW, which is such a good sign. She is on my left side and doing great. She looks great even without an outfit, but she sure does fart a lot but I’m lucky with no smell! My house has always been #2 and fart friendly and really will be now. I’m enjoying not going #2 since all has been redirected to Winnie.
I have a Jugular IV which is where I get my fluids and meds that I don’t take orally and I have a left hand IV which is used in emergency’s circumstances which I have had, PHEW!
Well, I think that’s enough for today. I still have open spots for visitors thu, fr, sat so if you want to be my assistant meaning you help feed me, get more waters from staff kitchen, teeth washing, organizing etc please reach out to Amber. She’s hee either today or tomorrow (too dark in here to see whiteboards).
I miss my Simba every day but my lovely friends are no doubt snuggling him (if he lets them the little bugger) feeding him and maintain liter box. I THANK YOU FRIENDS for taking care of my old guy.
Ok, I’m gonna beep the nurse for Ativan now as I’m teary eyed from writing this but a good teary-eyed. I know I’ll be ok but man oh man it’s going a long ass road!

Carly also posted a video this morning - you can try to take a look here on her fb supporter page: Carlys Cancer Care Supporters

Monday, February 19, 2018

Day 3 Post-Op!

Here is an update direct from Carly:

Happy morning everyone. I slept for 2 hrs, then woke up spoke to the nurse and slept for 5 hrs! Hooray!!!I’ll probably be attempting sitting up and maybe walking a step or 2 today which is crazy! If you’d like to come visit please message me or Amber & we’ll set you up. It’s very important we limit the number of ppl each visit and don’t exceed a 2 hr window. There may be a dry erase board in my bedroom ha ha ha. During the day I’m most medicated and literally can’t type so sending voice msgs...ya they’re really f’d up. The word SORRY is said so much in here so we now say RICE KRISPIES and for swear words, it’s FRAGLE ROCK!

As you can see, she is in great spirits considering she just had MAJOR surgery on Friday (or maybe it's just the drugs lol).  Rest is still on the menu but she is having visitors if you make an appointment!  I woke up with a cold on Saturday but am on the mend and will be going by Thursday to visit and get an update for the blog!

Don't forget to check out her Instagram (link on the side menu) she has posted some photos!




Saturday, February 17, 2018

Rest and recovery

Hi everyone!

Good news - Carly has been moved to her private room already!  The night went well and with firm doctors orders is to rest, rest, rest! 

With that being said, I ask that if you want to connect with her to wait a few days.  Carly needs to be disconnected from her phone (sorry Carly <3) and res....t but right now her phone is going berzerk with people trying to see how she is and sending her love. 

If you want to send her some love you can post on her fb group: Carly's Cancer Care Supporters and she can read it in a few days.  You know she will reach out as soon as she is up to it!

Thank you <3



Friday, February 16, 2018

She's out!

Helloooooooo, my name is Dawn and I will be updating the blog for all of you! I do not have the writing styles of Miss Carly - but will keep you all updated with all the facts!  She felt it was very important to keep all of you updated while she is in the hospital and I am happy to do this for her <3

Carly's social media team (Amber, Candice and myself) have received an update from Marj, Carly's mom..... Though the surgery went longer than expected, she was taken in at 10:30am and got to the ICU about 7:30pm,  everything went as we all wanted/hoped - GREAT!

Carly will be in the ICU for the next 24-48 hours with the doctors/nurses keeping a close eye on her.  Mom saw her for a few min, she woke up and in typical Carly fashion - asked if we had all been updated yet so that we can update all of you LOL.  I would assume the first few day's they will be checking for any signs of infection so that the healing process can start.  

TBH, when I heard the news I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders.  It wasn't as I was worried it wouldn't go well, I am just so relieved that there were no surprises. I know I can speak for all of her friends and say that I'm sure we were all holding our breath waiting to hear how today went! 

That's it for now, and when I hear tomorrow - I will update the blog. I know she would love if you left a message for her below, that she can read when she is coherent enough to look at her phone.

Please continue to keep sending her positivity and strength.  




Thursday, February 15, 2018


Ahhhhhhhhh!  Yup, you read that right say it with me Ahhhhhhhh!  Tomorrow is surgery day, holy guacamole batman! 💥 Not too long ago I was talking about time and here we are. The morning before, the last blog sans Winnie, my last day going #2 like most everyone else! 

It's been a challenging couple weeks to say the least. I'm very much a planner and need a timeline to give me some sort of structure. Having to wait to meet the ostomy nurse and anesthesia doctor was super hard for me, as all I had was basic information and whatever I had researched. I did find some amazing people to chat with in my community and via Instagram who've been through similar experiences. It's going to be great to have them to chat with through the ups and downs of colostomy as on ostimate they say. 

My ostomy nurse was FANTASTIC!  I'd heard of her through a fellow ostimate who had her last year when she had her colostomy. The way she described everything from my hysterectomy to my stoma was super informative. I got to touch a fake yet life-like stoma, see a typical bag, picture charts outlining my changes and of course was marked as to where Winnie will be. I left feeling at peace and empowered whereas 2 days ago I called a friend around 930pm crying uncontrollably needing her to come over. 

My biggest fear has always been my reconstruction and can ya blame me 😳. I've met with my oncologist, my plastic surgeon and now the anesthesia doctor and he put it best out of them all. VGH does gender reassignment surgeries so if they can successfully help those patients, they can successfully help me. What a frickin genius thing to say!  Why has nobody else said such a statement to me?  How did I not think of this?  It was just on Greys Anatomy last week but to be honest, I stopped watching the episode as it was just a little too close to home!  I was also told by this amazing man that I'd have an epidural line for a couple days to help with post surgery pain. As much as I feared the epidural in the past it'll now be my BFF!

With these empowered moments my fear hasn't just floated out in to space. I KNOW I've got a long hard road ahead but I'm so excited to have this agonizing pain go away. I can't sit, walk, stand, move really, for long periods of time. At least my new pain will get better instead of worse. Bye bye tumour, it's been awful making your acquaintance twice now. Peace out!

I'll find out this afternoon as to what time I'll be admitted tomorrow but I'm certain it's early.  Since it's a long surgery of 6-8 hours I'd be shocked if I was admitted mid day. My family and I are so very thankful of all your love and support but in saying that at times it's overwhelming. I've set up 3 ways for you to follow my progress at your leisure with this blog, Facebook and Instagram. I have delegated people to post on my behalf until I'm back to the land of coherence. I'll be staying in recovery for a minimum 24 hours so my parents are the only ones who can see me and that visit short of like 10 mins. Once visitors other than immediate family are allowed and I'm comfortable in my room a post will follow. Please try to come in small numbers and possibly limit bringing children until such a point it won't be traumatic for them. I want to stay the cool auntie not the "OMG mom is she dying?" auntie. I do want you to visit please know that. I just want to remember seeing you. I want to be in a good space to show you the new me. My Winnie. 

Ahhhhhhh it's all so real. One sleep away.  Don't worry Winnie we'll take care of each other in more ways than one, I've already got you some snazzy briefs!  See everyone on the other side, love y'all. 





Friday, February 2, 2018


Time can be told in seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months to a year. At times we feel time go by quickly and other times it seems so slow. Sometimes we want to go back & other times we wished we could jump forward.  I've felt these times over and over again unsure which is the lesser of two evils. 

Right now I want to jump forward but in saying that I also want time to go very very slow.  My jumping ahead means my cancer pain will cease but my new beginning and that recovery will begin. I'm so totally miserable in this moment so I'm shocked to hear myself say I want time to go slowly. I quickly realize I'm scared of what my future holds. 2 weeks will be here soon enough and as I lay down on that OR table the current physical me of 42 years will cease existing.

Flashback to my first cancer battle. I never lost my hair. I never lost an incredible amount of weight. I never looked like the typical cancer patient. My pain struggles fierce but not visible. My surgery scars can only be seen in an incredibly awkward position (lol). Now this time I'll have multiple visible signs of a cancer battle. My stomach will be cut.  Skin from my thigh used to help with plastic surgery. My stoma created. My colostomy bag Winnie born. It'll stare me in the face every single day. 

I met with my plastic surgeon Wednesday and he explained worst to best case scenarios as they always do.  I can't think worst case as I've never been led to think this way from any of my doctors. They just have to ensure the cancer is gone for good so will cut what's necessary. Once done the plastic surgeon comes in to fix me up using skin from my thigh & it's muscle along with other treatments. The entire surgery will take about 8 hours and result in high blood loss so transfusions will be coming my way.

So here's why I want time to stand still but why I want it to speed up all at the same time.  No matter what we want to do with time in the end we have no control. A day finishes & a new begins. All I can control is how I use my time.  I'll have a lot of learning post operation but it'll keep me busy. Soon enough I hope to write a blog saying it's been a year and time has flown by quickly and I'm just fine. I'm the new version of me and time has become my friend again. I'll be living life in a new way minute by minute, day by day, year to year. 





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...