Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone's Christmas was awesome! Just what they expected it to be. Mine sure was. :)

Every Christmas Eve Mom and Dad give everyone a book. This year I got 'Captain, My Captain.' By Sunday afternoon I had already finished it. :) Christmas Eve was nice and relaxed. We had some people over, played some games, ate some food, received our books and candy canes and celebrated Christ's birth. :) 

Christmas Day was filled with fun, laughter, and happiness. We had a yummy waffle breakfast before heading off to church at 9:30 a.m.. I didn't eat any lunch so that I would be nice and hungry by dinner time. :) People started arriving for dinner at 3:30. There were a total of 16 people for dinner. This year's Christmas dinner was a lot smaller than last year's because the married couples with kids were doing their own things. It was nice to have a bit of a quieter year (not that we don't love you guys! :P). The food was AMAZING!! :D I cheated on my diet, but I figured that one day of unhealthy eating is not going to kill me. ;) Everyone was assigned to make a dish so it was quite easy and Mom didn't have to make all the food by herself. Mom made the turkey but she was actually sick on Christmas Day so Jenn and BA made the gravy for her. Rachel made really amazing scalloped potatoes. I did the veggies and I made roasted broccoli, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts. Elyse made the popovers. :) Everything was over-the-top amazing! :D 

One year ago on Sunday Felicity was born. She's a Christmas baby. :) 2000 yrs. ago Christ was born to save us all from sin and death. 

my brother Ethan and Felicity on Christmas Eve :)

Me and Zachary (my nephew)  on Christmas Eve singing Christmas carols

BA and Jenn making the gravy :)

Christmas Day ended with a bang. I vomited. What's the matter with me?!? boohoo.

         On Boxing Day the malls were packed with angry shoppers. The parking lots were overcrowded with people and cars. I didn't have much luck buying anything but I did buy a t-shirt that cost me only $2.79. :) 

Chemotherapy Day was yesterday!! Elyse took me yesterday because Mom had a really bad cold. They drained out my tubes yesterday (the ones inside of me) because they were all clogged up. I was like a vampire...I didn't have any blood. :P They used something like Draino to clean them out. It took about 2 1/2 hrs.  By the time I started my chemo it was 3:30 p.m.. We watched the older version of Beauty and the Beast. It was Elyse's first time watching it. It's quite a cute movie. So far I'm not feeling sick. I didn't have any of that anticipatory nausea like last time. Thankfully. 

Elyse has been an amazing sister. She has helped out a lot with hospital stuff. She saw me get accessed for the 1st time yesterday. She even watched me de-access myself. :) It makes me feel useful when I pull the needle out of myself and it doesn't hurt so it's fun. :) I know I'm weird but whatever. ;)

I haven't made any New Year's resolutions yet. I don't usually but maybe I will this year. 

Nehemiah 8:10 -- "The joy of the LORD is your strength."
Isaiah 28: 3,4 -- "You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You. Because he trusts in You. Trust in the LORD forever, for in YAH, the LORD is everlasting strength."

Friday, 23 December 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope that you all experience God's love this Christmas season and that you will be blessed and will feel peace and joy. 

I love the Christmas season! 

In my last post I wrote about anaphylactic reactions. Thankfully God spared me from all of that. I did have a slight panic attack so they gave me some Gravol and I slept through the whole thing. 

As for this past that is a totally different story. I got 'anticipatory nausea'. It meant that I started to get sick even before I left the house for the hospital. By the time I got to the hospital I had already vomited twice. :/ This is not what is supposed to happen. I am supposed to be getting used to the chemo. Not dreading it more and more every time. 
So far Phase 4 has been going fine. It hasn't been going great and it hasn't been going horrible either. When I'm on the steroids I get extremely exhausted. I could probably sleep all day if I wanted to. Thankfully I am off all steroids this week and I'm happy that I get to feel really good for Christmas. 
Thursday was a bit of an off day for me. I vomited twice. The weird thing was that I didn't feel sick. I still ate and was hungry all day. It was odd. 

getting ready for tomorrow

That picture was from today. As you can see my hair is getting quite long...according to my standards at least. :)

Thank-you for praying for me and supporting me these past 5 months. It has been a great encouragement to me and to my family. Time has really flown by for me and I'm sooo happy that I only have 4 weeks left. :D God bless you this Christmas season! Merry Christmas! :D

Tuesday, 13 December 2011


Phase 4 has begun! Yesterday I began my new treatments. The drug I had yesterday made me feel very nauseous. I wasn't expecting to be nauseous already on the first day. Today I'm feeling a little bit better. On Thursday I have to go in for a couple hours to get a drug. There is a slight possibility that I will get an anaphylactic reaction. :/ Hopefully not. At least I  can be happy about the fact that this is my last intense phase. My oncology doctor, Dr. Rod Rassekh, is really pleased with the way everything is looking. He is not sure yet if I will be having another PET Scan at the end of this phase.

I'm really happy that Christmas is on a weekend this year considering the fact that I never have to go to the hospital on weekends. Dr. Rassekh is letting me have Boxing Day off! Shopping here I come! :) The fact that my b'day is also on a weekend is nice too. Even though my b'day is a little over a month away I still like to think about it. :)

I need to take a picture of my hair and show it to you all before it falls out again and makes a big mess everywhere. I should also show you the baby blanket that I crocheted last week. Yesterday two ladies gave me a really cute baby pillowcase that they had made. 

Normal-ish life isn't too far away now. It makes very happy to say that. I hope and pray that the next six weeks go by quickly. 

Thursday, 1 December 2011


Guess what?!? Phase 3 is officially over! :D This makes me very happy. Also the fact that it is finally December and Christmas is on its way. We are decorating the house today :) 

I had a great week. I figured out that my body is becoming immune to all this chemotherapy. My side effects just seem to become less and less every time, which is an answer to prayer. On Dec. 12th, I start phase 4. There are 10 weeks in phase 4...if all goes well I will be finished mid-February. I love it when time flies by. 

On Wednesday I had an Echocardiograph and a heart ultrasound. I think everything went well. The final results haven't come back yet. I had this done because the next drug I'm going to be taking affects the heart. So before taking it, my heart needs to be checked to make sure that it is working well.

All in all, my week went quite well. My hair has been getting really long. In about three weeks or so it will fall out again. :( The funny thing is that it doesn't even feel like real hair. It feels like is not coarse like boys' hair. 

This next phase is really going to bring my blood counts down. It is flu season and it wouldn't be good if I got an infection.  Please pray that I won't get set back in the next phase and that my body will be able to withstand all germs. 

:D :D 

P.S. the Canucks didn't come. boohoo. :(

Wednesday, 23 November 2011


Last week when I was in the hospital, I met a lady whom I will call Mrs. Gage ( I don't recall her name). Mrs. Gage has a 3 yr. old son whose name is Sean. She told me that Sean had leukemia and that he had been diagnosed in the beginning of October. (Leukemia is a lot like lymphoma.) Just like I had to stay in the hospital at the beginning, Sean went in for his first week on October 16th and he hasn't left once. He has had infection after infection after infection. He even had to go back into OR because his port, which was on his right side, flipped over to his left side. Don't ask me how that happened but it did. They tried to get it back to the right side but it didn't work so they just left it alone. After he went into OR he got an infection in the incision on the right side, which spread to his left side.  I was listening to her tell me this and thinking to myself how blessed I am and how amazing God has been to me. He has protected me from so much stuff and has blessed me more than I can say. Everyday I am overwhelmed by everyone's kindness and encouraging words. 

You are a fighter,
a survivor,
a woman of faith and strength.

You are a tough opponent for any challenge.
Even the big "C" in no match for you, 
because you belong to an even bigger "C"-- Christ. 

Ps. 138:3 - On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased. 

If you could please pray for Sean, that he would be healed from his infections and that he would be able to leave the hospital. Please pray for his Mom that she would find strength as she stays there also. I don't believe they are Christians. 

Thursday, 17 November 2011


I want to thank everyone for all the prayers this past week. Of the last three hospital admissions this one has been the best one of all. :) All week I was only a little bit nauseous, which was amazing. I was totally not expecting it to go so well. The amount of visitors that I had this week was incredible. Thank-you to all those who came and visited. When people visit me it breaks up the day and gives me a new face to look at. I hope that the next time I'm admitted, it will be just as good. :) 

It's a winter wonderland outside today. :) I'm not crazy about being in the snow but I love to look at it. 

:D :D A nurse told me that the Canucks usually come to the hospital during the last week of November or the first week of December. I will be in the hospital for the last week of November. I'm really hoping that they come and that I will get to see them. :D

I'm so excited that in thirteen days it will December!! It's crazy! Anyways, I'm really happy that this third phase is almost over and I praise God for His gentleness and kindness. 

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

I am halfway!! There are fifteen weeks left of intense cancer treatment. After that, I will have to take oral chemo for a year and a half, so I will be visiting Children's Hospital once a month. I am also halfway through my third phase. This will all be over, God willing, in the fall of 2013.

Last week was an extremely bad week. On Thursday, my stomach felt like it had been trampled on. I didn't eat anything till about 8 o'clock at night. On Friday I felt a teeny bit better, stomach wise, but I still felt disgusting, so I was given some synthetic marijuana. I felt very discombobulated afterwards. My head was spinning and all it did was make me feel worse. Maybe next time I'll try the real stuff. :) Saturday I was much better. Thankfully. I'm gaining my strength back every day. It is hard for me to wrap my head around the thought that next week will probably be even worse. :(

Word of the Week-   discombobulated-- disconcerted or confused.

I love this poem :)

The best poem ever.

One night I dreamed a dream
I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets
of footprints in the sand,
one belonging to me
and one to my Lord.

When the last scene of my life shot before me
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
There was only one set of footprints.
I realized that this was at the lowest
and saddest times of my life.
This always bothered me
and I questioned the Lord
about my dilemma.

“Lord, you told me when I decided to follow You,
You would walk and talk with me all the way.
But I'm aware that during the most troublesome
times of my life there is only one set of footprints.
I just don't understand why, when I needed You most,
You leave me.”

He whispered, “My precious child,
I love you and will never leave you
never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints
it was then that I carried you.”

~Margaret Fishback Powers

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Happy November!

It's November!!

Having a normal life for a week is like heaven. It's just amazing. I always thought that my life was boring and I wanted something different to happen to me. Well, that happened and now all I want is for my life to be back to what it was....but since that isn't going to happen any time soon I'm going to stop talking about it.

It was Reformation Day/ Halloween yesterday and I spent it at the hospital. All the nurses and the doctors were dressed up in interesting looking costumes. My doctor was dressed up as Johnny Canuck. I almost didn't recognize him at first sight. I had to take a second look. Everything went well yesterday. I was able to start my chemo at 5:30 p.m. which means that it will stop dripping at 5:30 later on today. I was brought up to my room mid-afternoon right when the humongous trick-or-treat parade was happening. The lobby and the halls were filled with people in costumes. The big tv camera crews were there. All the kids were getting tons of candy. Unfortunately, I didn't participate in the parade because I had to go to my room. Mom went downstairs a few minutes later, but she said that the parade was pretty much over. A nurse popped her head into my room about 10 min. later and asked if I wanted some candy. I immediately said yes. She gave me a whole bag. :)

Last night I got woken up every 2 hours. It was pure torture. :( To make up for lack of sleep I slept for 3 1/2 hrs. today. I also listened to a book on cd. Jennifer is coming to stay with me tonight and she will stay till tomorrow night. Hopefully everything will work out and I will be able to come home Thursday night. 

"When the trees their summer splendor
Change to raiment red and gold,
When the summer moon turns mellow,
And the nights are getting cold;
When the squirrels hide their acorns,
And the woodchucks disappear;
Then we know that it is autumn,
Loveliest season of the year."
-   Carol L. Riser, Autumn

Monday, 24 October 2011

daily journal of the past week..

Wow. So far it has been adventurous.

I was at BC Children's Hospital at 9:30 a.m. The day started out with getting my vital signs taken and then getting hooked up to many tubes. I got blood work done right away so we could get the results back as soon as possible. Before having the lumbar puncture they had to see how high my platelets were. At about 11:30 I had a meeting with my Oncology doctor and we talked about what the next phase is going to be like and just other stuff like that.
For a lumbar puncture you are not allowed to eat or drink about 6 hours before it. So by the time it rolled around to 12:15, when they were finally ready to give the LP to me, my stomach was growling like CRAZY. After having an LP it is imperative to lie on your back for an hour or else you just might get a major headache. I'm always quite sleepy from the anaesthetic anyways so I just sleep for a while afterwards. At around 4:30 the nurse brought Mom and me up to our room so that we could get settled in. My pH had to reach neutral (7.0) before being allowed to get my chemo drug. For some kids it doesn't take very long for their pH to become neutral, for me unfortunately it took nearly 24 hours. :(

At 11:00 a.m. my pH finally reached 7 and my high dose of methotrexate was finally able to get running. I was able to get a math lesson done on my bed and later on in the afternoon I watched a movie with Mom on our own personal tv in our room.
About an hour before dinner time my nurse came into my room and asked if I had any brothers of sisters near Vancouver and whether or not any of them wanted to go to the Canucks game that night. I was ecstatic. Sadly, I was not able to go myself because of the chemo running through my veins at that moment. I let Rachel and Dad go. Dad hadn't been to a game in a long time and Rachel had never gone to one. Letting them go was almost just as exciting as going myself. :) They lost 4 - 0 which was sad. I was able to watch it on the TV but it was a slightly boring game so I didn't watch the whole thing. The group that gave the tickets away, Child Life, also gave free taxi rides to and from the game. After the game they came and visited me.

Sickness set in. I woke up, took some Gravol, and went back to sleep. I slept all morning. I watched some more movies during the afternoon and at about 7:00 Elyse came to stay overnight with me so that Mom could go home. A little later, David, a young man from church, came to visit me. It was very sweet of him. We played some games together.

I felt a little better but my stomach didn't feel like it wanted anything to eat. I had a lot of fun with Elyse. We played Xbox Kinect together. We played bowling, tennis table, and boxing. She totally beat me at boxing. I don't know what it was but I could never win. :) It was awesome. We watched some MORE movies together.
In order for me to go home the methotrexate level in my blood had to be less than 0.1. Thankfully it was 0.09 and they let me go right before Elyse needed to leave for choir. We quickly packed up all our stuff and left. I was very happy to be back at home, sleeping in my own bed.

Today was the worst day out of all of them. I just felt gross and disgusting all over...and tired on top of that. I watched a musical to get my mind off how I was feeling. All in all, I ended up throwing up at the end of the day. :'( It totally sucked.

I was exhausted. This phase is totally taking ALL the energy out of me. The family made apple juice and I didn't even end up helping. I was yawning every 2 seconds. I had a bit of a nap in the afternoon.
For Mom's and Christina's b'day all the girls and Grandma went to Tracycakes Bakery for mini cupcakes and tea. It didn't end being an all girls party because little baby Ezra came along, which was totally okay with me. :) Later in the evening Betty-Ann, Elyse, Rachel, David J., and I went to see 'The Three Musketeers' in 3D. It was an awesome movie! I loved it.

I went to church and I wore my wig. It looks MUCH better if I wear it with a hat. In the afternoon I went to the Vanderveen's for lunch and I had a really enjoyable time.
I played piano in the evening service for the first time in a long time. :)

I had my blood work checked today and it was all fine and dandy. I'm very thankful no transfusion needed to be done. I am also very happy that I'm not feeling nauseous.
I went to my nephew's first official hockey game tonight and he played really well. :)

If you made it to the end of this post I congratulate you! :D
Pheww. That is a lot of writing.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

A word to the wise ain't necessary..'s the stupid ones that need the advice. - Bill Cosby

I had a really great Thanksgiving weekend. The turkey was amazing! I feasted all weekend. 

I had my blood work done yesterday and it was all really good. My 'hemogoblin' level was on the lower side but it wasn't low enough for me to have a transfusion. I started Phase 3 last night with oral chemo and next Monday I will get admitted for at least 4 days. If the drug isn't flushing through my system well enough, I might have to stay longer. It's meal planning time.. :)
My hair is growing back slowly but surely. Everyone in my family is calling me a 'gosling'. The next drug that I will be getting is going to be quite a high dose so it might fall out again. Rachel says that it is now long enough for me to have hat hair again. :P Betty-Ann's favorite line when talking to me is: "Just cause you have cancer doesn't mean....(fill in the blank)." :)
My cold has been getting a bit worse over the last few days which is not very good. I wouldn't like to be admitted for getting sick.
I've been playing the piano again. My fingers are still a little numb from the prednisone. That was the drug that made my cheeks balloon up..and now FINALLY after a couple months my cheeks are deflating. :)

I'm having a party on Friday with some girlfriends. It's a phase 3 sendoff. For the next 2 months I will be gone every other Sunday. :'(  It's time to go back to the grindstone.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

You cannot control what happens to you... can only control your reaction to it. ~ Author Unknown.

I'm enjoying my break. :) I'm not doing anything special for my break unless you call school special. I'm really looking forward to Thanksgiving this weekend and eating lots of yummy turkey and good food. :) 
I actually have lots of energy and I feel exactly like I did before I had cancer. My cheeks are going down and I'm almost able to run up the stairs two at a time again. My bedroom is upstairs and I do my school there, so it gets really annoying having to climb the stairs one at a time every time I want to get to my room.  
I'm trying not to focus on what the next 2 1/2 months are going to be like..I'm told that the side effects are supposed to be pretty bad. :/ I have handled everything quite well so far so I'm not crazily worried. One thing I get annoyed about when I'm at the hospital is the fact that they wake you up every couple hours to take your blood pressure and temperature. :/ I need to stop thinking ahead and to just focus on the next few days. 
For this last phase I didn't have to have a transfusion on the last week and I did not get a fever or an infection which the doctors were worried about. I have had a little bit of a cold for the past few weeks but it hasn't developed into anything bigger than a sniffle. 
I guess I know I'm feeling well when I get put back into the rotation for family chores. :)

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!
~Author Unknown

Thursday, 29 September 2011

If He brings you to it...

...He will bring you through it. ~ Author Unknown

Yay!! Phase 2 is over at the end of this week! :) I'm happy. My counts have stayed up really high all this week and I haven't needed to have a hemoglobin transfusion yet (praise God!). Next week I will have off and then phase 3 will start. For the 1st week of phase 3 I will be at home taking oral chemo. After that I will be admitted at the hospital for 4 days in and then 9 days at home, 4 days in, 9 days at home etc. for a total of 9 weeks. :/ Let me tell you, I'm NOT looking forward to the hospital food. It's gross and disgusting. Last time I was there, I ordered turkey w/gravy and when it came to my room I had no idea what it was. I thought it was pancakes with syrup. After smelling it I realized that it was a perfectly round piece of flattened, processed turkey. ughh. 
The doctors expected my counts to go down, but everyone prayed that they would stay up and they did. :) I will probably be able to go to church on Sunday again. :)

A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you've been taking.  ~Earl Wilson

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

It's not easy taking my problems one at a time...

...when they refuse to get in line :)

I had one whole week of freedom and now it is back to the grindstone. Yesterday I had my full day at the hospital. Missing one day of school doesn't really matter because I learn lots of things at the hospital that will help me in later years of school. For example: I learnt how to find the surface area of a person. :) You multiply their weight in kg, times their height in cm, divided by 3600, times the square root of the answer. Before my cancer I never even knew what chemotherapy was. :) I knew that it was treatment people took when they had cancer but I never gave any thought to what it actually is. I've learnt so much about the different medications and the millions and millions of side effects to each drug, ports, central lines, VAD's, IV's, all the different kinds of blood cells, and MUCH more. The funny thing is, is that I haven't just learnt, studied, and memorized it all from a textbook, I'm actually living it in my daily life. It's kind of scary. Last year I never even imagined that this is what my life would be like. Now I wonder what God will have for me next year...

People ask me how I'm feeling and I say "fine" or "good". Of course the only time I ever see people is on the weekends and that's when I'm always feeling my best. I have a feeling that I don't get half as sick as other kids. Sometimes I feel pretty nauseous and I do get a few headaches. I've been having lots of early mornings and late nights. The late nights haven't exactly been a good idea since it is cold/flu season now. I have a bit of cold and I am trying my hardest to get rid of it so that I don't get an infection or a fever. I'm really praying that this doesn't happen. 

It is foolish to tear one's hair in grief, as though sorrow would be made less by baldness.  ~Cicero


Tuesday, 13 September 2011


My week was supposed to be full of chemo but that has changed. I now have a free week to party..not. The Dr.'s decided to postpone chemo a week because my blood work yesterday showed that my neutrophils (the most common type of white blood cell..essential for fighting disease) and my platelets were too low. This means that I'm not allowed to be around any sick people because my body won't be able to fight back. If they are still not high enough next Monday then it will be postponed again. Even though it is nice to get a bit of a break it means that my chemo treatments will end later. My hemogoblins decided to revive themselves and they are now multiplying slowly but surely. God is good.
 Right now I'm feeling really well and my hands are itching to get back to the piano again. Even though I'm not having lessons I'm going to pick a piece so that I can learn it in the next couple months. I'm excited.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

phase 2

Phase 2 has begun. I've already been through a week of it and overall I wouldn't call it a horrible week. Although it did have its bad moments.

 I've been having a little more nausea than in  Phase 1. So that hasn't been much fun...and on Thursday my "hemogoblins" were quite low so I had to get a blood transfusion. The doctors are really expecting my counts to be dropping and dropping fast. Especially this week. I got blood work done today and I will need another transfusion tomorrow. Apparently, the one chemo drug that I'm getting really destroys the blood cells.

I will soon need to be quarantined from the world. :( The white blood cells are the infection fighting cells and mine are getting quite low. Once it gets below a certain number I have to stay away from large crowds and sick people. It's really dangerous to be out among the public when you have nothing in your body to fight against all the germs. 

Monday was a really good day. I actually felt normal except for a slight headache. Since it was Labor Day I spent the day at Cultus Lake with the whole family. My one brother and his family weren't able to come but everyone else was there. I soaked up the sun, read a good book, went in the water, and tried to tan my white bald head. I don't know if it worked but I tried. It was fun. 

School started yesterday. Even though I didn't get home from Children's till 3 and my focusing level wasn't at its highest I did get some math, science, and reading done.

That's all for now...I was gone all morning so now it's time to get some school done again. Ciao.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

good times :)

If you remember, last Wednesday I had my PET scan. It sort of took longer than expected because the nurses sat for an hour searching for a vein to put my IV in. Apparently I have really small veins. They poked me a few times in my hand but weren't able to get it in. They finally found one in my left elbow after an hour of searching. Thursday evening we received good news. Praise God! The results of the PET scan came back quite positive, meaning that the doctors were extremely pleased with the results. Everything is within the normal range and they feel that this first month of treatment was very successful.

Wednesday night I fell flat on my face. Literally. Rachel and I were at the library and after we were done there we walked over to my sister's place across the street. One mistake was made though...we decided to jaywalk. The street wasn't very busy and we waited until the light farther down the street turned red. Little did I know that I did not have the strength or the stamina to run across the street. I barely ran two steps across before I did a face plant right across the road. I could hear Rachel freaking out telling me to get back on to the side walk. I tried to pull my self up but I didn't have the strength and I stumbled forward and fell again. By that time a car was coming and Rachel bravely stopped the car, pulled me up and helped me hobble across to the other side of the street. By now Rachel and I were both laughing hysterically at ourselves for being so stupid. I got a few scrapes on my knees and ankles now and I'm pretty sure I learned my lesson. I also know now not to run.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

some random bits of news...

I want to thank everyone for their prayers, gifts, visits, and concern. I'm greatly blessed and amazed by how many people are praying and thinking of me. I'm thanking God for the fact that I haven't had any more nightmares, but when one problem goes away another problem always seems to come up in its place. I've been getting really bad knee problems. :( It gets pretty bad. Almost to the point where I can barely walk.  For the past few nights the pain has been so bad I haven't been able to sleep.  I did say that I lost a lot weight but I have slowly but surely been gaining it back. Which is good.
Some of you may have heard already but I am now bald. Totally bald.
me and my pastor :)
We're bald buddies now. I will be receiving my wig on Sept. 2. It is a little far away but making wigs are very intricate things and it's the time of year where all the kids want their wigs before school starts. I have scarves and hats so I don't really care that I'm not getting it right away. Anyways, it is easy being bald and it doesn't take much work.
I don't start Phase 2 of chemo till next week Tuesday. On Tuesdays I will have to be in the hospital all day from 8 till 5 and then on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday I will hopefully just have to go into Abbotsford for quick 10 minute chemo sessions. I'm not entirely sure if this is how it is going to be for the next month and a half but I guess I will just have to take it as it comes. It's going to be hectic. That is all I know.
I've been greatly blessed by the girls in my church. They have had so many prayer meetings with me and for me over the past month and half. It has been a great blessing and encouragement and I want to thank them for doing this for me.

Prayer requests:
- thanksgiving that I haven't had anymore nightmares.
-that my knees would heal.
-I have a PET Scan tomorrow morning and I would really like prayer that no cancer would show up on the scan.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

You know, I have so much time in my day and yet I still never seem to get anything done. I do have some excuses for that though. My body has slowed down so much and everything takes double the amount of time. This past week has been especially hard. I won't say that it has been easy. Mom and I have been trying to go for a walk every day around Mill Lake Park in Abbotsford. Before I was on chemo we were able to go twice around in about 40 min. and now takes it me 40 min. to get once around having to stop at least 3 times. :( That is how slow I am. It's pathetic. 
This past week has actually probably been the hardest. Having my hair fall out. Crazy dizziness. I had two really bad nightmares that freaked the bejeebees out of me. My blood counts were lower than normal which made me really weak. On top of that I'm now a bunch of skin and bones and the dietitians are worried about me. 
Now to try and look on the bright side. :) Hallelujah!! Phase 1 of chemo is done. Phase 2 starts in 2 weeks. I get to slowly wean myself off that horrible drug called prednisone which makes me have chubby cheeks and last but I'm sure it is not least, I get to have a bit of a break before the intenseness of phase 2 starts.

 my new pixie haircut.
This picture was taken a week ago already but it gives a bit of an idea of what I now look like. Today it is quite a bit thinner though. 

I do have some prayer requests: 
-that I would have restful sleep and that I would sleep straight through the night. 
-that I would gain weight. I am eating a lot but not gaining anything.
-that God would give me the strength I need to go through phase 2 which is going to be quite a bit more intense than phase 1 was. 

Isaiah 41:10
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 

Thursday, 4 August 2011

busy. busy. busy.

I have learnt that in my kind of situation taking it one day at a time is always the best the way. 
Tuesday: chemo day is tuesday. I drive (well..I don't drive, Mom drives) to Children's Hospital. 9:30 a.m. is usually the time I have to be there in the mornings. I get there and they "access" me. Accessing is where they stick needles with tubes attached into my "port". A port is just a catheter under a thin layer of skin. They do this to make it easier for cancer patients so that they don't have to poked with a needle every time. I still have to be poked but it doesn't actually hurt. I'm then attached to my most devoted and faithful boyfriend "Polski". He never leaves my side. It's very touching. They give my chemo and it takes about 30 min for it to go through the line. I'm then de-accessed and get to leave. Everything went smooth sailing on tuesday so I was out of there by 11:30. Afterwards is when the party started. Sushi here we come!! Every now and then I get these mad sushi cravings and they have to be satisfied...especially when I'm on this drug that makes me want to eat and eat and eat. Alright so enough about food. Wig time!!! I went to the wig store. They took my measurements and I decided what style and color looked best. I'm getting brown, long and curly. Alright. fine. I'm not. I'm getting blonde, short, and straight. Something that looks like me. Nothing drastic. The best part is, is that they cost over $2000 and I don't pay for any of it. Zip. Zero. It's all paid for.  Now to wait for my hair to fall out. :) It's being custom made and it won't be ready for me to pick up for a couple weeks. After dinner the chemo started kicking in and I started feeling a bit blah. Sleep is always the best medicine. 

Wednesday: wednesday decided to be bad side effect day. No nausea but definitely lots of blurred vision, numbness in my face, and dizziness. It didn't really help that it was hot out and and I wasn't drinking very much. Well, because of these weird happenings in my head we decided the right thing to do was to inform my doctor of these things. Well. Little did we guess that I would have to go into Vancouver again today to get a glucose test done. This is where you realize that taking it one day at a time is always best. 

Today: For this glucose/blood test I had to fast. That was EXTREMELY hard. I almost died. :) What I thought would be a quick visit to the hospital turned into an all day ordeal of sitting around waiting for test results, going to the opthamology clinic to get an eye test, sitting around and waiting some more. and some more. And finally we get out of there at 3:00. It is crazy how sitting around and then walking from one end of the hospital to the other and then sitting around some more can tire you out. Blah. Major headache. Like I said. Sleep is the best medicine. 

p.s. I've been a bit scatterbrained...please excuse some of my randomness. :)

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Sunday didn't start off to well. I almost fainted. Nothing like that has ever really happened to me before so it was quite the experience. Since I wanted to go church really badly the doctor's pumped me with medication so that I would still be able to go out. Sunday was just as satisfying as I expected it to be. Church was amazing. Sunday lunch was wondrous. Fellowship was relaxing. Getting a change of scenery was extremely nice even if it was only for half a day.

On Monday morning at 8:31 a new son was born to my oldest brother and his wife!! Ezra Gerben Vroom weighing 6lbs 2oz and measuring at 19 1/2 inches. We were all so surprised because he was 2 weeks early. I now have 4 nephews and 3 nieces! I love them! :)

Ezra :)
A pipe burst on the ward on Monday night so they were moving all the patients to a different ward, but because I was only going to be there one more day anyways, they gave me a surprise discharge! I was so happy. To go and sleep in my own bed for the night was like a dream come true. :)

Chemo day #2 was yesterday. It went much better than the first time. Of course I felt really gross later on in the day but I didn't get any headaches and I slept quite well at night. By the way if you see me all of a sudden burst into tears or do something extremely irrational do not worry. Just remind yourself that it isn't me. I literally haven't been like myself. I feel like someone different...someone who is not me. It's creepy. I know.
Anyways, more to come later on. I'm trying to regain my strength and to feel normal again. 

Saturday, 23 July 2011

an extremely long but busy week.

My mind is in a very sad state of affairs. All the days of this week have gotten muddled together and I can't remember which day is which. :( I will try my hardest to remember though. Let's see..

On Thursday some friends came over and Sarah V. suggested the BEST WISH EVER!!!!! A few of you know, but not everyone knows, that I love to play the piano. I am not the greatest at playing by ear but when it comes to competitions I love to play and have lessons. So wish #1 is: a yellow volkswagen beetle and wish #2 is: a GRAND PIANO!!! :) One exactly like this:  Check it out!! I haven't yet figured out yet what wish #3 should be... I have some ideas but none that have totally grabbed my attention. Give me some ideas ...pretty please. :) One of the reasons that I picked that type of car is because, one, I totally love beetles, and two, Mom had one when she was 18 or 19. 

The medication that my doctors have prescribed for me is annoying. It tastes disgusting and has bothersome side effects. Such as loss of appetite and making me want to cry all the time. Yesterday was one of the worst days so far. Not because people didn't visit me or because I was feeling sorry for myself but because the drugs that I am on make me extremely moody. Either I'm feeling really good and happy or I'm feeling really gross and weepy. Sigh.
Last night was really fun. I was Skyping Elyse and we were chatting, when Elyse got it into her head that we should spam Betty-Ann's (my sister's) Facebook wall. It was soooo much fun. While I was talking to her my some of my family came by along with my 2nd oldest brother Benjamin. He also has a blog if you want to check it out: Anyways, I had a lot of fun with the family.
Now it is Saturday and Jennifer is here taking care of me and we are having quite a lot of fun. We played some games, btw I won both games that we played :), and we watched a chick flick and we are having a great time. Tomorrow my doctor is going to let me go on pass to church and then I will come back to the hospital tomorrow afternoon. They will probably let me go home Tuesday afternoon. Everything so far has been looking great and so I'm happy about that.
Got to go now and watch some more chick flicks. :)

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Psalm 27

 1The LORD is my light and my salvation;
    whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life;
   of whom shall I be afraid?
 2When evildoers assail me
   to eat up my flesh,
my adversaries and foes,
   it is they who stumble and fall.
 3 Though an army encamp against me,
   my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
 I will be confident.
 4 One thing have I asked of the LORD,
   that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
   all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
   and to inquire
 in his temple.
 5For he will hide me in his shelter
   in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
   he will lift me high upon a rock.
 6And now my head shall be lifted up
   above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
   sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the LORD.
 7 Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud;
   be gracious to me and answer me!
8You have said, "Seek my face."My heart says to you,
   "Your face, LORD, do I seek."

9 Hide not your face from me.
Turn not your servant away in anger,
   O you who have been my help.
Cast me not off; forsake me not,
    O God of my salvation!
10For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
   but the LORD will take me in.
 11 Teach me your way, O LORD,
   and lead me on a level path
   because of my enemies.
12 Give me not up to the will of my adversaries;
   for false witnesses have risen against me,
   and they breathe out violence.
 13I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD
   in the land of the living!
14 Wait for the LORD;
    be strong, and let your heart take courage;
   wait for the LORD!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

A good day.

Last night Dad, Nathaniel, Rachel, Ethan, and Joel came by. I was sort of feeling a little bit low before they came and so it nicely cheered me up. They stayed for a couple hours and we played video games in the really humongous playroom that they have here in the hospital. Even though I hadn't seen them for about only one day I still really loved that it that they came by. Right after they left I started feeling nauseous and gross so my nurse gave me some Gravol and it put me to sleep right away. Unlike the night before I slept really well this night.  It was mostly because of the medication though. 

The hospital, in its own way of course, is really nice because you don't have a set time when you have to wake up and you can stay in bed as long as you like without feeling guilty. :) The morning went quite fast except for the fact that I started feeling a bit sick again. I also had a headache pretty much all day today. At about 2 p.m. Racha, Tabitha, Esther, and Katelyn all came over to visit me. They gave me a really cute stuffed animal/cow which Racha named 'Freddy'. Unfortunately the balloon that they were going to give me floated away into the sky right as they were about to come see me. :( I showed the girls around my temporary home and around the playroom which as I said before is HUMONGOUS. 

    This is me with my cow, computer, and to the right is the machine that I'm hooked up to.

(btw, I haven't yet named my machine so if you have any good suggestions just throw them out there.) :) 
Tonight was like the first night that my stomach felt settled enough to eating dinner. My stomach decided to stay in the middle of my body instead of moving to my throat or a weird place like that.

Jonathan and Jennifer came over tonight which made me really happy. We played cribbage and talked till 9:45 p.m.. Jennifer is going to come on Saturday and relieve Mom of her duties. :)

                                                                         this was right before J+J and left...

p.s. Those of you who heard about the three wishes that I get, my first wish is going to be a yellow volkswagen beetle. :)
p.p.s. I feel like a dog chained to a pole. :D
(written yesterday)

This morning I had a Lumbar Puncture. An LP is where they inject chemo into your cerebral fluid. After getting an LP done you need to lay flat on your back for about an hour. If you don't do this you can get bad headaches and I don't want to get those. I'm on the 3rd floor and the LP was done on the 1st floor and so after it was all done I got brought back up to my room. A few minutes later I got my first visitor!! Mr. Tyler decided to stop by and give me a visit which made me really happy. It was so nice to see a face that I recognize. After Mr. Tyler left I went and watched Gulliver's Travels which didn't really help me any because I got a headache after watching it. I went and had a 1hr. nap which didn't totally take away my headache but most of it then went away. That then takes me to the present where I'm sitting on my bed in my room trying to write this update. Some of the family is going to come visit tonight which I'm really excited about! Anyways, time to go. 

Monday, 18 July 2011

An update coming soon.

Everything has been so busy this past weekend and now this whole week I will be in the hospital having my first chemo treatment. Please pray that everything would go well and that there will be no major side effects from the chemo. 

Friday, 15 July 2011

I am sooo happy! I get to stay home this weekend and go to church!! No Hospital for me. :) All the doctors are very happy that it is lymphoma and not a hard tumor. Lymphoma apparently is easier to treat. Anyways, chemo starts on Monday and I must say that I'm not really looking forward to it. I did find out that chemo treatments are about 5 to 7  days long. Once I get used to them and learn how to administer them I will be able to do it at home, but that won't be for a little while yet. If anyone feels the urge to visit me please do so, just let me know before you come. Also if you have the sniffles or any tiny sign that you might have a cold I shall have to banish you from the hospital. :)
The fine needle aspiration of the lymph node, done yesterday, was not as helpful as the doctors wished it to be and the cerebral fluid from my spinal cord came back negative. Praise the Lord! Because of this good news we were able to go home early!! :) I said before that I hadn't had an ultrasound yet, well now I have had one. I'm sure I've had every single kind of test you can imagine, or that is what it seems like... :)
I am extremely happy that I can stay at home and relax instead of getting carsickness every day and driving on extremely bumpy roads...
Thanks everyone for all your prayers!! It has been a great encouragement these past 2 weeks. 
BTW, please visit me lots....I'm sure I am going to be slightly bored. :)

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

The main reason I'm starting this blog.

Many people all over the world start their own blogs for many different reasons. I'm starting this blog because I'm fighting lymphoma cancer. 

The past two weeks have been a whirlwind. For the past two years I've had what I thought was tennis elbow or tendonitis in my arm. Well, two weeks ago a doctor's appt was finally set up and my Mom and I met with our family doctor, Dr. Husband, and he diagnosed it as 'tennis elbow' and sent us off for some x-rays. A couple days later the x-ray reports came back and I was sent in to visit the him again. The news that we heard was not very encouraging. So he told me that he was going to send me straight away to BC Children's Hospital to meet with another doctor. 

In the past week I've had some more x-rays done of my right arm and of my hands. I had a CT scan of my arm and my lungs. I had an MRI. I had a full body bone scan. A biopsy of my arm. When they did this test they didn't do a needle biopsy but they did an incision. They took some bone and some muscle. At the same time they took some bone marrow out of my hips, thankfully they didn't do an incision but used a needle. The bone and muscle from my arm was sent to the lab right away.  By putting it under a microscope you could tell that it was malignant. Because they knew then that I would have to undergo chemotherapy they right away put a tube in one of my main arteries. The oncologists administer chemo through this tube.  
This past Monday I had a PET scan. I've had every single kind of scan so far except for an ultrasound. :(

 Another biopsy is scheduled for tomorrow and I will have to put under again. Please pray that all would go well. It has taken a while for me to recover from the biopsy last Friday and I'm slightly annoyed that I have to go in for another one tomorrow. :(

There is sooo much to say about these past weeks I can't possibly right it all down. I will just say that BC Children's is an amazing hospital to be at when sick. The nurses and the doctors are so friendly and I'm getting the best possible care.