Archive for August, 2012

Being An Auntie…

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Dear Mommy, it’s Brooklyn.  Thank you for asking Aunt Karrie to take care of me for four days while you are working and before school starts next week.  I am excited to start Grade One, but I am even more excited to spend so much time with Kucka or Aunt Karrie.  I like to call her Kucka still because she calls me Peanut and I told her I like that.

Our morning started off with a kiss and hug hello of course.  She asked me if I wanted to take her doggie C.J. out for a walk with her.  I said yes.  She let me hold the leash the whole time.  It was a cute leash, had happy smiley faces all over it in bright multiple colours.  Kucka told me I did a great job.  It was so nice outside that Kucka said she wanted to enjoy some more fresh air and sunshine so we dropped C.J. off at her house because she was panting and tired because she is getting old.  Kucka helped me put on my bicycle helmet and I got to ride my pink princess bike to the corner store and she walked along beside me.  We had to return a rented movie that she watched yesterday.  You should watch it.  She said it was a beautiful love story called The Vow.  She also said something about a “chick flick”, but I didn’t ask her what that means.  She also bought us a treat at the store.  I got to choose, she said no candy because sugar isn’t so good for me, so I picked out Pringles chips.  Salt and vinegar ones.  Mmmm.  I also got to buy some bubble gum.  You know the big pink pieces called Hubba Bubba.

When we arrived back to her house we shared the chips together and watched a kid’s movie called Coraline.  It was a little bit scary for me but I liked it because Kucka snuggled under a blanket with me.  She says we can swim in her pool after the movie and then we will have some lunch.  I am sorry I had some chips before lunch.  It was only a few because they made me thirsty.  Kucka has yummy juice, blueberry/watermelon.  I sure do like going her.  Oh yeah, on my bike ride home from the store, I saw a few squirrels, we don’t see them much at our house in the country, I also got to pet two different dogs too.  One was brown named Tucker and the other one was white named Zoe, she looked like Nana Lyn’s little dog, I liked her the best.  Kucka told me that I should be polite and ask the doggie’s Mommies if I could pet them so I did, she said it also was a way to double check if the doggies were friendly and liked kids.

I wore my water wings even though I my toes can finally touch the bottom of the shallow end.  I love jumping in and out of the pool and I am not afraid if my head goes under the water at all.  Kucka says she is going to show me how to do somersaults in the water.  I really love swimming, but I don’t like it when a bug is floating in the pool around me.  I think they drowned, I just splash them away.

Kucka asked me what I wanted for lunch.  I didn’t feel like noodles with hamburger that she made  because I like peanut butter and jam sandwiches better.  She made me one and toasted the bread too and cut it diagonally.  She also gave me a bowl of fresh cut strawberries that matched the jam, it was delicious.

As soon as lunch was done my day was getting even better.  Kucka said I didn’t have to have an afternoon nap today.  Awesome!  She is going to take me for a ride in her fun car that she calls it.  You know the one that doesn’t have a roof on it.  I love singing to the music in the car with her and I wore my sunglasses and sat in my pink Tinker Bell booster seat that we borrowed from Nana Lyn.  My long hair blows all over the place in that car but that’s okay.  I like to watch Kucka drive and sing.

She took me to the movie theatre to watch a kid’s movie.   It was called The Odd Life of Timothy Green.  It was a good movie and we shared some popcorn because you know that Kucka loves popcorn and that is always our special treat that we share when I go to her house.  I got a Kinder Surprise too.  After the movie we walked over to a craft store and looked at all kinds of stuff.  She bought me a colouring sticker book that I can play with tomorrow when I go to her house again.

I liked the movie but I’m not sure if Kucka did. I think I heard her sniffle a little bit like she might have been crying.  I didn’t say or ask her about it.  I let it go.  We were both wearing pink today.  She wore a pink and white bandana on her head, said it was too hot to wear her pretend hair that I like to play dress up with.  My shirt said LOVE TO DANCE and a man in the parking lot asked me if I liked to dance because his granddaughter did.  He was nice and Kucka talked with him a bit and smiled and giggled.  She said he was a stranger but he was a nice one.  I held Kucka’s hand a lot today, she told me that she meets nice kinds of strangers each and every day and says that some of them are angels.  I can’t wait until tomorrow when I get to go to Kucka’s house again.

Dear Brooklyn,  it’s Kucka.

I am sure that you likely won’t read this until you are a big girl, because you are just starting Grade One soon and will be learning how to read.  I hope your Mommy shares this with you some day.  Sometimes looking at photographs from when we are little just doesn’t tell the whole story.  I wish more than ever that you will remember some of these memories that we are creating and that you will always know that I love being your Auntie and I especially love when you hold my hand and accidentally call me Mommy sometimes. 

Yes I did get teary eyed at the movies with you.  My intention was to treat you to a fun kid’s movie and to giggle with you which we did.  I guess if you are reading this you will understand what I am about to say.  You know that I am sick but just how sick I don’t know if you being six years old really gets what this thing called cancer that I am fighting is all about.  You know that the medicine is really strong and has made my hair fall out and you know that some days I am not up for company and sleepovers.  I am glad that you are too young to  know just how difficult this cancer disease is and what might happen to me. 

You see, this movie had a really good story that I probably looked too deep into.  The main character in the movie is about a special little boy.  I kind of felt like I was just like that special little guy.  He was only with his family for a short time.  He had leaves on his legs and they started to fall off like the trees loose their leaves in the fall.  Once all of his leaves left his body he had to go away forever.  His parents were very sad but they were very very happy that they were able to love a little boy and learn from him and have him love them back even more.  Before he went away, he gave each person that he loved a very special gift.  He gave those people one of his leaves, wrapped it up in a very special box for them.  I was really relating to the story because sometimes I feel like I am loosing my leaves and I can’t stop them from falling off.  I want to always be a beautiful strong tree.  I know my roots are strong and I can handle many a rough storm but we just don’t know how many seasons I will be able to share with you.  That is what makes me the most sad at times.  I try really really hard to keep my sad thoughts away from you, because that wouldn’t be fair.  I can handle enough hurting for the both of us so that is my little gift to you.  I would do anything for you and for your sister DeeDee and every person that I love as much as you.  You make me feel so special every time I get to spend the time with you. 

When I decided to take you to that movie, I honestly didn’t know what the story was about.  I just knew it would be a good kid’s movie to see together.  The bus load of daycare kids proved I made the right choice.  The theatre was full.  The really ironic thing that I think made me get teary eyed is what happened before you even knew we were going to the movies.  When we were on our way back to my house from the store earlier that morning, you kept stopping your bike and said that you wanted to collect leaves and put them in a book to keep them nice.  Right now I have to stop typing and take a breath and exhale because I feel like I’ve been holding my breath to get all these words out through my finger tips on the keyboard on the computer.  I am sorry I am crying again.  At least you can’t see or hear my sniffling this time.   I hope you are able to recognize the angels in our life like I have been able to.  I believe you were meant to talk to me about leaves today and we were meant to see that movie today together.  I think it was a way for one of my guardian angels to speak through you to teach me a lesson.  I think that lesson today was to remind me that it’s okay to cry sometimes, I have to let go and release my feelings so that I can make room for better feelings. 

Every time I make a memory with you and your sister and your cousins it sometimes makes me sad inside even though I am really happy on the outside.  I get sad because I don’t know if my wish will come true to simply be with you when you grow into a woman and have children of your own.  I would love to be a Great Auntie.  I know I am a good one, but I can only imagine being a great one!

I love you always and forever,

Your Kucka





The Bounce Factor…

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

Thank heaven I have it.  The Bounce Factor.  I don’t know what else to call it, perhaps stubborness, motivation, determination, DENIAL, they all apply.  Just a few short days ago I endured chemotherapy round number 9.  Only three more to go is what I keep telling myself.  This time my dear friend Elma (her husband represents products from Rick’s company and she assists him) accompanied me to the cancer clinic for treatment.  She lives almost an hour away from me, yet was so gracious to make the early morning drive to pick me up and then drive yet another hour to get to the clinic.  I feel like such an inconvenience sometimes, it was nice to take the load off of my Mom and Rick.  I graciously accepted Elma’s offer to take me and I know it helped her too because the best thing to do for our friends sometimes, is simply let them be our friends.  Let them do unselfish things for us even though we find it difficult to accept.  Why is it so hard to say “yes I would love your help”, but so very easy to say “thank you” afterward?  A question we may never know the answer to. 

Back to the bouncy-bounce.  I’m back.  I’m feeling good, not 100%  (will I ever be?), but I’m feeling my new normal let’s say.  I’ve gone from throwing up at the cancer clinic while my nurse rubbed my back to comfort me, and cleaned up after me, before treatment was even completed, throwing up on my front lawn when Elma delivered me back home, throwing up in the wee hours of the morning to now enjoying a couple of great days.  Yesterday I decided out of the blue to haul my ass to the beach.  It has always been a beautiful place to me, I feel at home and totally at peace at the beach.  The sound of the waves calms me and helps me focus.  I packed up my little fun car, loaded the only seat beside me with beach stuff, took the convertible top down and headed south to Erieau, a local beach about half an hour from home that I have many childhood memories from. 

The drive itself was really enjoyable.  It’s a releasing feel good feeling to drive in a car with no top.  And then there’s me of course with no top also (meaning hair).  Here I am quite the sight I’m sure people wonder what style or look I’m going for.  I like to pretend that I am movie star with my bandana on and big black sunglasses, a princess that doesn’t want to get her hair all messy.  Yep, let’s go with that.  It was nice to drive on the country roads instead of sweating my way through short distance errand runs through the city.  I cranked the music and listened to a CD that my bestie Kim had made for me.   A collection of various songs from our much younger years that meant something to the both of us.  It triggered many memories and I sang my heart out all the way to the beach.  Thank you Kim for the musical inspiration today.  It kick started my venture.  That’s my kind of prescription.    I am one lucky woman to have so many friends and family members and of course my guy Rick, all who carry the title “DR. FEELGOOD”.

I propped up an umbrella that had been sitting in my garage, brand new for 2 years just waiting for a trip to the sand and sun.  It was a beautiful sunny day.  I had the beach to myself.  I got all comfy on one of my fave blankets that I brought home from Mexico several years ago, rolled my huge beach towel into a nice pillow and rummaged through my bag only to realize my chemo brain came along with me as I had forgotten to pack a book and a magazine.  Crap.  Now I have to deal with my mind.  Me, myself and I.  Sometimes I just want to escape, to not have to always think about stuff.  Crap.  Here I go, deep in thought.  What am I thinking about?  Is this beach date really an escape from reality?  No.  I don’t think I will ever be free.  I am not complaining because in retrospect it was good therapy for me to “just be”.  I was in the moment, feeling the sun on my skin, the wind over my body, the sand in my toes, and of course the soothing sounds, the birds, the waves, the dog barking in the distance, the boat motor as it passed by.  I was inside my head.  I started to think and reminded myself that in just one week’s time when I head back for round ten I will also learn the results of my recent liver test via MRI scan.  What is my oncologist going to tell me?  What will the surgeon have to say?  What am I going to do? 

I guess I was meant to forget my book, my magazine.  I was meant to read my own mind.  I was meant to let the “what if’s” go and deal with the present.  Live in the moment.   Find joy in the day, the experience as it’s happening.  You feel good, you will be good.  Life isn’t done with me yet and I’m certainly not done with it yet.  I have too many good things to do with those that I love, too many things to do for them and them for me, too many places to travel to and too many experiences to make happen.  I wasn’t able to fall asleep on my beach blanket, but I did meditate, well I think that’s what you call it.  I went deep into my head, made sure the focus button was turned on high and then checked it twice and when I left the water that day I felt okay.  I felt energized and relaxed at the same time.  I can do this.  Just keep on keeping on.  I got this.


Prescription: Vitamin F

Saturday, August 18th, 2012

Why do I have a variety of friends who are all so different in character?

How can I get along with them all?
I think that each one helps to bring out a “different” part of me.

With one of them I am polite. I joke with another friend. I sit down and talk about serious matters with one. With another I laugh a lot. I may have a coke with one. I listen to one friend’s problems. Then I listen to another
one’s advice for me.

My friends are all like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. When completed, they form a treasure box. A treasure of friends! They are my friends who understand me
better than myself, who support me through good days and bad days. We all try to help one another.

Real Age doctors tell us that friends are good for our health. Dr. Oz calls them Vitamins F (for Friends) and counts the benefits of friends as essential to our well being. Research shows that people in strong social
circles have less risk of depression and terminal strokes. If you enjoy Vitamins F constantly you can be up to 30 years younger than your real age. The warmth of friendship stops stress and even in your most
intense moments it decreases the chance of a cardiac arrest or stroke by 50%.

I’m so happy that I have a stock of Vitamins F!

In summary, we should value our friends and keep in touch with them. We should try to see the funny side of things and laugh together, and try to be there for each other in the tough moments.

Thank you for being one of my Vitamins!

— Please note that these are not my words, I borrowed them from an unknown source that a friend emailed me, but the words exactly what I feel, I just had to share with you.

Worth sharing this…

Monday, August 13th, 2012

Okay, I am a person who tends to keep my religious thoughts and beliefs to myself because I feel that it is much more special to have a one on one relationship in this part of soul. However a friend sent this to me and I think it is worth sharing, especially on a Monday morning.

Part of what makes life so special is not always knowing what our next day or days, or weeks, or months or years will bring us. Read below and you may just think differently. It gave me some giddy up and go today.

Interesting conversation with God.

Me: God, can I ask you a question?

God: Sure.

Me: Promise you won’t get mad?

God: I promise.

Me: Why did you let so much stuff happen to me today?

God: What do you mean?

Me: Well, I woke up late.

God: Yes.

Me: My car took forever to start.

God: Okay.

Me: At lunch they made my sandwich wrong and I had to wait.

God: Hmmm.

Me: On the way home my phone went dead just as I picked up a call.

God: Okay.

Me: And on top of all that, when I got home I just wanted to soak my feet in my new foot massager and relax, but it wouldn’t work!!! Nothing went right today! Why did you do that?

God: Well, let me see. The Death Angel was at your bed this morning and I had to send one of the other angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep through that.

Me: (humbled): OH…

GOD: I didn’t let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that would have hit you if you were on the road.

Me: (ashamed)

God: The person who made your first sandwich today was sick and I didn’t want you to catch what he has.
I knew you couldn’t afford to miss work.

Me: (embarrassed): Ok…

God: Your phone went dead because the person who was calling was going to give false witness about what you said during that call. I didn’t even let you talk to them so that you would be covered.

Me: (softly) I see, God.

God: Oh, and that foot massager had a short that was going to throw out all of the power in your house tonight. I didn’t think you wanted to be in the dark.

Me: I’m sorry God.

God: Don’t be sorry, just learn to trust me in all things, the good and the bad.

Me: I will trust you.

God: And don’t doubt that MY plan for your day is always better than your plan.

Me: I won’t, God. And let me just tell you God, thank you for everything today.

God: You’re welcome, child. It was just another day being your God, and I love looking after my children.

I am fortunate…

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

This weekend I asked my niece & nephew if they thought it was weird that I don’t have any kids of my own….and their reply? Yes you do Aunt Karrie, YOU HAVE US. I will always remember that moment. How fortunate am I? Wow.

Thank you Austin & Caelan for this beautiful memory of our trip to Marineland. Your comments were my favourite part of the weekend.

xo Aunt Karrie