Archive for April, 2010

More surgery to come…

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

Dear Family & Friends,

I know you have been wondering how last week turned out with our meeting with the liver surgeon.

Sorry it’s taken me a few days to post the update, here goes:

Last week chemo #6 hit me with more nausea & just really tired, sleeping more than normal, but today I am feeling much better, going to take CJ for a nice walk and do some housework and get my income tax figured out, exciting eh?

The walk is the “want to do”, the other crap is the “have to do”. 

Well, Rick & I met with Dr. Quan in London (liver surgeon) on Thursday.  He is a younger surgeon, I would guess to be about my age, very approachable and he did not rush us through the appointment.  He as well as his assistant (Ben Affleck look-a-like “yummy”) took the time to answer all of our questions and were quite thorough and explained things in non-doctor language which I liked.   I was able to view the CT scans of my liver with Dr. Quan and I left the appointment feeling confident that he can do the job.  Phew!  Now I can breath much easier.

Looks like I will be undergoing another major surgery in approx 8 weeks time. He will be removing the entire right lobe of my liver which consists of approx 60% of it’s size, 3 tumours are located in this area so he feels it’s best just to remove all of the lobe rather than just try to remove each tumour separately. It is good news as he could have said there is no hope. The 4th spot/potential tumour is on the left lobe but it’s near main vessels & arteries & may be too risky to remove, he won’t know until he has me opened up as to how he can proceed and still leave me with enough liver to survive with.  Let’s hope he can get at it too.   Surgery is still not a cure, but it buys me more time by cutting the visual cancer out.   There could be microscopic cancer cells throughout still that could appear and grow at any time, but I am not going to fixate on that kind of thinking… one step at at time for now.

I will have to stop chemo for the 8 weeks prior to surgery to bring this body back to “health” to handle the surgery. I am looking forward to that actually so I can feel more like my old self again for a while.  Chemo will begin again about 8-9 weeks after surgery once incision heals. (for another 3 months, 6 additional treatments, than it’s wait & see I guess)

I am lucky that the liver can regenerate it’s tissue, it’s just going to be a tough recovery I am told.  The surgery will be done in London at University Hospital.  I hate being dependent on others and like to keep moving… you know me. At least I can recover outside in the yard this summer instead of being cooped up inside in the middle of winter.  Sunshine does the body good.

Thank you all for being patient waiting for this news, sometimes it takes me a bit to wrap my head around stuff so that I can explain better to all of you.  I still admit that most days I am in denial that all of this is really happening to me and that I am going to wake up from this horrible dream. 

I absolutely hate how cancer works.  It’s not fair that it’s not just about me, why does it have to affect all of you too? If I could wish one thing it would be to spare all of you of having to deal with this too.

I have to thank you all for your love, support, friendship, prayers, etc.    It’s truly what keeps me motivated to stay strong!

Well, C.J. is staring at me since I mentioned the “W” word an hour ago, time to get outside! 

Hugs, Karrie

Anxiety setting in again…

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

I really am making up for lost time in the anxiety department.   I have never been one to worry, but now I am faced with these huge “what if”s”… really makes a difference when we are talking about “life expectancy”.

Rick & I will be meeting with a liver surgeon specialist this week and this is what I am focusing on.

We will find out if surgery to remove the 4 tumours on my liver is even an option.

If we get a “yes” we can operate…, then I have worried for nothing, because this will buy me (and us) more time.

I’m not afraid of surgery even though I am told it is a major one (again).

What I am afraid of is hearing…. “no we can’t operate, your tumours are not accessible & it’s too risky”.

This is the question in my mind….. “then what?”

Now that I have that off my chest, I am going to focus on getting through chemo #6 of 12 this week.

(thank you to my dear friend Debbie W. for taking me to treatment this time)

My immune system is low & I have been dealing with a nasty cough/cold so I’m hoping that I don’t get knocked down too much more.   If I do, then my daily goal will me a good giggle dose of the Ellen DeGeneres show, cuddling in my blanket on my lazy-girl chair with C.J. snoring beside me.   With any luck, a nice little afternoon nap for me and Dr. Oz at three!   Pretty ambitious eh?  Trust me, I would rather be out in the garden getting my hands dirty and getting my backyard retreat ready for summer.  It will happen, just maybe not this week.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope the surgeon in London can give us some good news !!

Hugs, Karrie

EARTH ANGELS (Relay for Life Team Update)

Monday, April 5th, 2010

Thank you to all of my “Earth Angels”….we rock!

We have been doing great with our fundraising efforts, but let’s see if we can kick it up a notch and remain at the top spot….. there are so many people that benefit from monies raised and it’s our job to help!  It’s not about me, or you, it’s simply about helping others!

The first captain’s night (bank night) is Mon Apr 19.

If you have monies that you would like to turn in please contact me before that date.

We can continue fundraising right up until the actual night of the relay June 18, keep at it!

Thank you everyone!

ps.  Our team colours are black & white (my favourites)….. please wear a black shirt to relay night and decorate it as you wish, I want to see how creative my friends & family can be with their very own version of an “earth angel”.  We may win  a prize for best theme!  I can’t wait to see you all there…. we are at over 50+ team-mates and counting!  Thank you so much for your support, you have no idea how much I appreciate it.

Hugs, Karrie

Results are in… (Mar 30, 2010)

Sunday, April 4th, 2010
SCAN RESULTS ARE IN….  (Mar 30, 2010)
Dear Family & Friends:
 
Here’s the latest update for ya….. 
 
1.  Bone scan all clear, it showed sign of previous trauma to my right shoulder (which I have no idea what from, can’t remember what I ever did to it), but it’s not cancer so I’m not concerned about it.
 
2.  Tiny bit of good news about the CT scan which I am very grateful for and think it’s all the prayers and stuff that’s helping, but I am not getting too excited just yet…. tumour 1 & 2 have shrunk “a bit” (just after 3 chemo treatments) which is good, however tumour 3 hasn’t changed and the 4th spot is still questionable as to whether is it cancer or not.  My oncologist  has referred me to a liver surgeon specialist at another hospital in London.  He will call me for a consultation appt within a month to see if surgery is even an option.  Until I know whether he can operate I am not going to get too excited, cuz as strange as it sounds it’s easier for me to expect the worse and hope for the best…. I hate let-downs if you know what I mean, I would rather be pleasantly surprised, so I am optimistic and realistic at the same time.  Will just keep up with the chemo and healthy eating and keep pluggin’ away at it, and if it turns out that surgery isn’t an option we will deal with it at that time.  I am told it is another major surgery with a 2 week stay in the hospital plus 6 weeks recovery.  If the doctor thinks he can do it and buy me more time by doing so, then he can cut me open as many times as he wishes.  I am not afraid of surgery, pain is something that I can handle and I am not worried at all. 
 
Today Wed Mar 31 is day 2 of chemo treatment #5 and I have made up a new word to describe it.  “Punky”  (pukey & funky)
No getting sick but just feels like I might so I am drinking lots of fluids & eating small snacks to keep my tummy content and I plan on getting lots of Vitamin D from the sunshine this week that we expect plus the warm weather and bare feet out on the back deck should make me feel much better.  Not much sleep on day 1 of chemo, so thought I would take advantage of the 3:00 a.m. quiet hour and write you all a note.  I have no idea of why I am not tired.  As soon as Nurse Vanessa comes to the house on Thurs to disconnect the “chemo to go” the “punky” feelings will go away and then it’s life as usual !
 
If I don’t speak to you before Easter, I hope you have a great weekend and thank you all for your love, support and prayers.
I pray for you all also, it’s my way of helping you all cope with this crap that we have been dealt.
 
Love you all very much.
 
Karrie  xo