Archive for June, 2010

Home Sweet Home…

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

New june C 2006 002Well, I managed to get through my first full day at home after coming home from surgery.

I have to tell you that it was an extremely long day.  The hardest thing for me to do is to sit still and relax.

You know a few months ago, my days consisted of mostly work, Rick, C.J. and I would leave the house by 7 am and would return home around 9 pm, six/seven days/week.  We are work-aholics, mostly because we love what we do.

From time to time I would be so tired out, that all I would want would be to close all of the blinds in the house, ignore the phone and do absolutely nothing for just one day to recharge.  Well that wish came true and I don’t like it.  The saying goes “the grass is not always greener on the other side”.  I feel my best when I am productive.  I am learning to adjust that the term being productive, means to let my body heal and give it time to recover.  My body might have slowed down from surgery, but my mind is still racing.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining.  I am ever so grateful that the surgery went well and I am home early.  I’m simply just trying to deal with the mental part of it.  I had been given a blood transfusion during surgery, the doc said that I had lost a lot of blood, they had to give me 7 units which is more than normally required.  (thank you to those unknown angels that graciously donate blood)

I love where  I live.  The neighbours are friendly and caring.  I had a few visitors today from a few of them all wishing me a welcome home, so glad I’m doing good.  One neighbour Brent said, “I’m never going to mess with you, you are one strong chick”.  Another neighbour Jim said “you help so many people that you don’t even know”, (he also gave me some movies to watch, how nice) another neighbour Donna, said “welcome home Karrie, looking forward to seeing you working in your garden soon, it looks so beautiful”, a friend Kevin stopped in and dropped off a cd for me to listen to by Amy Grant.  He says the first song’s lyrics make him think of me,  (what a beautiful gesture)  He also told me that his church knows of my story and they invited me to come and talk some Sunday when I am better.  Wow.  (what the heck would I say?)

I will wait a bit later when I am alone in the dark tonight to listen to it so I can really pay attention to the words.  My home-care nurse Vanessa, goes above and beyond to check on me to make sure that I am resting and that I am taking care of myself.   Rick’s Mom called to check on me, Dad called, Mom texted me, my sister emailed me from work, Rick checked in with me a couple of times too just to make sure I was ok.

All I can say is that I AM ONE VERY LUCKY WOMAN in so many aspects.  So many people tell me they love me and that I am special and they have absolutely no idea that it is all of you and them that I fight for.  The word “fight” just doesn’t seem right to use right now considering that I am pretty much confined to my lazy girl chair.  It’s too difficult to get in and out of bed and it’s uncomfortable to sleep in a flat position, pulls too much on my abdomen with the staples still in.  Maybe next week will be better, one day at a time.

For those of you that say that I am strong…. I want to ask you, if you were in my situation, how would you handle it?  To me there is only one choice.  So I have a hard time accepting that I am strong, I am just taking care of business in a totally different way this year. 

As I am typing this note I am thinking to myself that I am proud to have figured out how to pick up a wet bar of soap from the floor with my feet today, (don’t laugh now, just try it, I actually accomplished something!) I also wish I could paint my own toe nails and go for a walk to the local convenience store for some chocolate ice cream.  Those treats will have to wait a couple of weeks.  Baby steps.

Home again…

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

On the road again…. made the hour trip home this afternoon with ease, topped up on pain meds first.

It was nice to spend some alone/catch up time with Rick and to greet our lonely dog C.J. at the door.

Those crazy docs said I would be in hospital for 2 weeks ! Silly people…. it’s 5 and a half days post-surgery and here I am blogging on the darn computer already.  I want to thank everyone for your well wishes, prayers, etc.  I believe they work.  I am missing 70% of my liver, and stopped count of the staples in my abdomen once I reached 40, but Dr Quan says I’m doing good and I’m not arguing with him.  I am hoping now that I am home I can get some good rest, couldn’t sleep in the hospital.  I was in a special room with 3 other patients where two nurses are in the room at all times, checking your vitals and poking at you every hour on the hour.  The nurses were great though, no complaints.  I made two new friends.  My bedside mate was Clarence and his wife was always there with him.

He had just gone through the same surgery as I had back in December.  I encouraged him and told them both that in a couple months life will be back to normal and he will think it was a breeze.  I would guess him to be about 60 years old.  I gave them my brief history and they also encouraged me back.  He said that if I can remain positive with a terminal diagnosis, that gave him the drive to fight hard to recover quickly too.  They only found pre-cancerous cells in his colon, but he has the NG tube out of his nose/stomach like I did and he was given a colostomy.  I felt terrible for him and only cried my tears once our divider curtain was closed in the middle of the night and I could hear that he was breathing heavy and having a good sleep.  (didn’t want him to see me upset, had to be strong for him and for me… yep, crying sometimes keeps me strong, lets me get the negative feelings out)  Because I was doing well, they moved me to a quieter room for my last night, but I still didn’t sleep, my back hurts from doing nothing and I can’t lay on either side yet, will be a few weeks before I can.  I think I was still on the same rythym of being woke up every hour.  I walked down the hospital hall to visit Clarence and his wife one more time today before Rick picked me up to bring me home.  I hugged them both, we both cried some tears “of happiness” and wished each other a speedy recovery.  I have added them to my Earth Angel list.

Dear Cancer… part 2

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

So… you think you have an upper hand do you?   NOT.  

Just because surgery is delayed for 2 days, doesn’t mean that I have given in to you.  It has given me a little more time to be stronger and even more determined to kick the crap out of you.  Just so you know, I went to another Zumba high energy dance class last night, did some laps in the pool, etc.  (and you think I am supposed to be dying of cancer?)   Ha Ha, you make me laugh, you are so stupid!  You suck and you won’t slow me down for long or get me depressed.  Besides, I graciously accepted the postponement of my operation so that my surgeon could give one lucky  person a new liver yesterday.  I bet you don’t like that either do you?   We are better than you, we are united and you stand alone.  The doctor is top notch and he and his team are going to help me get rid of you, or at least slow you down.  I wish you could look into my eyes to see what you are up against…. and by looking me in the eyes does not give you a green light to invade my soul.   That area is off limits.   See you soon… I am so ready !!!


ps.  You might want to pack up your crap, because I am going to burn whatever you leave behind. The chemotherapy rainstorm is coming soon and I will not provide you with a warning siren.   IMG_0218IMG_0259

Just wingin’ it…

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Oh what a night… Relay for Life 2010…. some Earth Angel memories.IMG_0196IMG_0274IMG_0192

Way to go team on earning the award for raising the most money!

$ 21,000.00…. now that’s how you do it… way to pull together to kick some cancer butt !IMG_0404


A fine line…

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Dear Cancer,

It’s been a while since we last “connected”…. chatted, just isn’t the right word choice, I prefer connected.

You have been the farthest thing from my mind until today.  You are a coward.  I hate you.  You are miserable, you are hurting me and everyone I love and I have no room for your hatred & destruction in my life.  I am even more prepared this morning, full attack mode, to prove to you once again that you shouldn’t have messed with us.  Dr. Quan and his team are coming.  I know, you thought I gave in because I quit chemo for a few weeks.  I have felt your little happy dances from time to time, you foolishly thinking you are winning….. SURPRISE !!!!   It’s not happening.  I will never give in to you.  This is “relay for life”, not “relay for cancer”.  Get the point yet?  Even if I wake up to more bad news this afternoon, I’m not done with you yet.  I hope you hurt as much as we do.  There is a fine line between love and hate.  I hate you for the obvious reasons.  I will never love you, but what I do love is the fact that you have made me embrace myself, unleashed a beast in my head that gives me the drive and determination to fight for myself and everyone in my life, and especially my “other” earth angels, strangers that I continue to meet on a daily basis that come to me to keep me on this path to destroy you.  I will always look for them.   

ps.  They hate you too.


to be continued…

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

Today feels like the day when you anticipate watching the season finale of your favourite t.v. show.

“to be continued…”

Summer fun will be “on pause” for a while.  I am packing up my “pocket full of sunshine” so I have it with me at all times.  Trading in summer fun for a morphine drip and praying that miracles are not on back-order.

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Dear Dad…

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

DSC05000Happy Father’s Day to you Dad…. I love you…. thank you for making me figure things out for myself when I was a young girl instead of just doing it for me … I believe it has made me into the determined, strong woman I am today.   Life these days is more complicated than simple math homework, but I am up for the challenge thanks to what you have taught me.  I won’t dissappoint you.DSC04975DSC04983DSC04990

I wish I could take credit for writing this….

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

People come into your life for a “reason”, a “season” or a “lifetime”

When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that person.

When someone is in your life for a “reason”, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.  They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support and to aid you, physically, emotionally or spiritually.   They may seem like a godsend and they are.  They are the “reason” you need them to be.  Then, without any wrong doing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. 

Sometimes they die, sometimes they walk away.  Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.  What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done.  The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into our life for a “season”, because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.  They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.  They may teach you something you have never done.  They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.

Believe it, it is real…. but only for a “season”.

Lifetime relationships teach you “lifetime” lessons, things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.  Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.  It is said that love is blind, but friendship is clairvoyant. ~Author Unknown~

Thank you for being a part of my life, whether you are a “reason”, a “season”, or a “lifetime”….. Hugs!  Karrie

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Thank you…

Sunday, June 13th, 2010

Dear Mom….   Thank you for driving me to London “numerous” times from January until now…. whether it be for chemo, a doctor follow-up appointment, etc., etc.  I really appreciate you.  I have to say that sometimes the best times we share are when we just turn up the music loudly in the car and just sing along.  The fact that neither one of us can sing is quite amusing, but you  know what?  We give it our all and do our best!  Just like one of your favourite songs by Jully Black states…. “On a Monday I’m gonna love ya, and on a Tuesday I’m gonna hug ya….and on a Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday…. I’m gonna….”


Dear Sher   (my neighbour, my friend)….. thank you for driving and joining me at a doctor appointment this past Friday.  I am glad that we have become friends and I enjoy “talking” with you….. neither one of us seem to be quiet for too long (perhaps never?) and you really make me laugh…. you are an inspiration to me, and I think you are one special lady.  “Life is a journey”… and I’m glad you share it with me.  Hugs !

“I can blow bubbles like big kids do”…

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

DSC04900July 2005 003IMG_0083







…. spent the day with one of my nieces, Brooklyn, who just turned 4 years old.

Two pony tails, two water wings and two kids….. kids meaning Brooklyn & myself.  I felt like a kid all day.

Yes, Brooklyn has made it to the list of my “babysitters”….. she did a great job!

We dropped off her Mom at work and headed out to run errands (thanks for the use of your car Cindy!)

It was rainy, and we arrived home for lunch and a little Franny’s Feet cartoon and then it was nap time.

The sun came out after she woke up from her nap and she couldn’t get in the pool fast enough.  Brooklyn has always affectionately called me “Kucka”, even though she can say Aunt Karrie and knows who Aunt Karrie is.  Guess she named me right!  I think it’s adorable, and I am proud to carry the name “Kucka”.  “the sun came out Kucka, now we can go swimming in the pool”…. we played, splashed, jumped in & out, did twirly circles…. “I can blow bubbles like big kids do”….. “catch me”….. “watch what I can do”….. “I can do it all by myself”….. “I need a little push”…..

Hmmmmm…… almost every word out of her mouth, each phrase, is exactly what I have been saying to myself lately “watch what I can do, I can do it all by myself”… but yes I admit… sometimes I need a little push and a little help.  Too ironic.  

After our swim it was time to get Brooklyn in her soccer outfit… “Timbits” team name, her shirt is more like a dress… timbit for sure!  Too cute.   I got out of my wet clothes and put on the longer hair wig…. “I like your hair Kucka”…. I felt like a million bucks.  “I love you, you are my best girl ever Kucka, can I come for a sleep over to your house sometime?”… “can I sleep with you in your bed?”

My day ended with her at supper time, I headed off to see Rick at the office for an hour to catch up on the day and then my brother Dave picked me up and we headed off to see his son Austin (who is 8), my nephew, my God son, play soccer.  When we arrived at the field, we met Michelle my sister-in-law and my niece, Caelan, who is 6.

We had a nice visit while watching the game… Austin is a great little player, he has the same energy as his Daddy, the coach likes him to play defense, however if given the chance, Austin is right up there at the net, just itchin’ to get his first goal of the season.  At break time all the kids came by for popsicles, it was Austin’s turn to supply snacks… I was so jealous…. for a moment I wanted to have orange stains all over my face from cheek to cheek just like them….. why is it not acceptable for a 40 yr old like me to do that?  Not fair.  Caelan is so cute right now, missing front teeth, new shorter hair style and the same freckles that I grew up with!  Austin also has these same freckles.  I wish I could spend more time with them…. I want to pull them out of school for the day and hang out with them, but time is running thin…. surgery coming up… will have to wait until August after I recover.  Maybe we can go to Canada’s Wonderland and yes, if my butt fits in the kid’s rides, I’m in!   At the end of the game, Austin said to me “I like your new hair do Aunt Karrie”…. again, a smile on my face…. even the kids try to make me feel good and what I like the most is that they “say what they see and feel” and don’t hold back.  

I am so proud to be their Aunt Karrie.  I want nothing more than the opportunity to see them grow into adults. 

I want them to be old enough to remember me and at the same time I want them to be young enough so that it doesn’t hurt so much when we have to say good-bye.    (way to go Karrie,  now you made yourself cry, time to close this post and shake the tears off, no time for pity party, get your act together and live for today, you have things to do & people to see)DSC05009DSC02861DSC01800DSC04973

I love you kids !    

Austin Roy  (8 yrs)

Caelan Roy (6 yrs)

Brooklyn Sykes (4 yrs)

Kennedy Sykes (1 yr)Oct 11-2009 Thanksgiving 006