Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy, Merry and all that

Christmas Holidays are just about here and the excitment is mounting - I have not been on top of getting out Christmas cards (not that I did consistently before), so thought perhaps this is a good forum to anyone who reads this...

Wishing all a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year....

2011 is going to be VERY different!!

Cheers, Kellyxo

Monday, December 6, 2010

Winter is here...

Its been a while since I have posted... I'm not really sure where to start. I have completed all of the radiation treatment which in comparison to chemo, was far easier to get through for me - I have been home now for a week and half, and don't have any appointments until mid-January. It's a bit of a weird feeling, as I have been entrenched in cancer world... and now I'm kind of on my own to start the recovery process.

My hair is starting to grow back, but it will be a while before I will feel comfortable just wearing my own head - especially because of the salt and pepper color! I have a few wigs now, so it makes it a little more interesting

I still have lots of wacky side effects from chemo, that I gather take a while to subside - I had my port out last week (which I will not go into the gory details, but it was not what I expected)It is nice to get that foreign piece of plastic out of my body, even though I would recommend it to anyone.

It is wonderful to be home and we really are enjoying the new space - It is a different house as you can see...

I had the good fortune of spending the weekend with my dear friend Andrea, who came from England for some business and pleasure - and we certainly had some fun... My friends Mary and Heather hosted a little party to celebrate the end of treatment... this celebrating is going to be hard to keep up at this pace!

There is a few feet of snow in Thornbury right now... its a little insane

Christmas is coming up quickly, so it will be nice to have all of this behind us... and I do believe that 2011 is going to be a much better year for us... I can't wait!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I am so fortunate....

Where do I start? There has been a fair amount of activity going on in my little bubble of a world the last few weeks and a few that might be noteworthy

First - Radiation report - I have completed just over 1/2 of my 18 treatments - It is a surreal experience as a giant machine has 4-6 people operating it, set you in a certain position and run out of the room while it makes space ship noises for 1 minute (I believe my treatments are quite short in comparison to others) I dont feel anything, but have a few side effects that may get worse but are quite manageable so far -

Second; I have been living in the city for the last few weeks with my good friend Jeremy who has been so accomodating to let me stay with him - He lives so close to the hospital and it is in my old stomping grounds, so very comfortable to be there - We have had some fun, and I won't post any pictures of the hillarious wig wearing nite with the boys - Thank you Jeremy!

Third - This past week was a short one for radiation treatment as Remembrance Day is a holiday, so I came home on Wednesday - I was completely taken aback, as 13 friends of mine had been to my house the night before and put it back together - They moved furniture, unpacked the kitchen, cleaned and just made our home start to be back to normal - They worked their asses off - I was completely blown away - I can't thank them enough as I am still in awe! Thank you to Marci for organizing and all of you for helping! (Jenny, Sherri, Rachel, Maria, Martha, Caroline, Lori, Krystin, Melissa, Leanne, Sue and Keri)

So I guess my theme this post is that I am so lucky to have the support that I have had over the last 6 months. I get goosebumps just thinking about it. My parents have been so awesome having us live with them for over 2 months and we can't thank them enough.... but it is so great to be HOME!!

Here are a couple of pics taken with my cell phone that aren't that great, but will give you an idea of the kitchen

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Here we go again....

What a whirlwind it has been...

A wonderful "Celebration of Life" to send Izzy off in style - I can't imagine she would have had it any other way - Lots of cousins made the trek from Calgary, lots of friends and family, beautiful speeches and a great slide show. Many thanks to all who made that day a great success - I know Isobel is smiling thinking about that wonderful afternoon...

I have had some scan results that I have been hesitant to post as they aren't perfect (I wanted the oncologist to say there was absolutely no more evident cancer cells) However, there seems to be some activity still in my chest - It was disappointing, however the doctor seems to be pleased with how I have responded to the chemo -

So next steps, I'm off to Toronto tomorrow for 18 radiation treatments. These are just weekdays, and I am fortunate to have friends that live close to the hospital and have opened up their homes to let me stay - (Thanks Pye-pye for your open invite!) Again, I hope this treatment pales in comparison to Chemo, but I am still anxious.

My hair continues to fall out - its pissing me off, because I would like for it to start growing back - My eyebrows and eyelashes seems to be growing a bit - Losing your hair sucks more than you think - I'm trying to wear my wig more often now, because the hats aren't looking so great, but I feel like I'm wearing a helmet all the time

The renovation chugs along..... but there is almost a light at the end of the tunnel - We are still living with my parents (Whom have been amazing over the last SEVEN weeks!) With all that is going on, as well as our renovation, they have been so helpful and supportive - I'm sure they are ready to get their space back

I will update soon with my take on radiation and some reno pics...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Life cycle

It has been a tough year for our family and I have to sadly say goodbye to Isobel, my mother in-law - a wonderful and kind woman that has been a part of my life for 30 years - She too has been trying to kick some cancer ass for the last year and half. She has been a superb grandmother to Riley and we will miss her dearly ....

Cheers Isobel

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I haven't been posting anything for a while.... I think finishing chemo wasn't quite the celebration I hoping - It still takes a while for that nasty poison to get out of your body, so I still felt like crap for a few weeks and of course I had hoped that everything would go back to normal quickly...which it doesn't (I certainly would like a few eyebrows and eyelashes soon!)

I have had a number of scans (gallium and CT) over the last 2 weeks, and then next week will be another slew of doctor appointments in Barrie and Toronto... the anxiety continues....

I did read an article in the Globe and Mail yesterday (Facts and Arguemments) that a woman wrote about her situation - She and her husband were both diagnosed with cancer - with 5&7 year olds - Quite amazing how and where they have gathered strength and energy to push through -

After reading this and as Thanksgiving is coming, my/our situation sucks, but we have a whole lot to be thankful for....

I hope everyone has a great w/e and remember all the good stuff!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Did you hear it?

Yesterday I got to ring the bell in the chemotherapy ward. This is a ritual that one does to signify the end of their chemotherapy. I've been eyeing that bell for some time now and it is a good way to end your time in that part of the hospital and hope that you never have to return - The nurses there are truely amazing - Their positive spirit and attitudes are like no others - and they too say they hope to never see you again. I did think I would feel more elated, but realizing that I still have quite a journey to continue with - I have more appointments in the next 3 weeks, than I have in months - But none the less, a giant hurdle to get through - I hope that the next few months pale in comparison to the last few.
Lots of scans, doctors, and radiation planning over the next month and then I assume I will be in Toronto for several weeks in November doing the actual radiation

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A little poem to share

A dear friend (and a saucy one I might add) wrote a little poem that I must share so that all can appreciate....

A Thought for Kel

T-cell Lymphoma,

who the hell are you?

You popped in for a visit

Threw us for a loop

You arrived uninvited

We were not very pleased

Brought in quite a detour

To life's sweet breeze

I am taking fancy cocktails

That knock you off your socks,

But if you think you're winning,

You're in for a shock

There is a team that stands beside me,

My guy and my girl

They see me through my days

Move my heart with a whirl.

There's my extended family

And my awesome medical team

We're determined to get rid of you

Walk away strong and clean

My friends they keep me moving

feed my family love and food

pop in for a visit

pick me up, lift my mood.

So please speed up your exit

There are things I want to do

Fix my house, read a book

Live my life without you

A hell of a ride it has been

And a little more yet to come

I'll move on with my new outlook

For with my will, I will have won

Christina K

Wow... I loved that today... thank you my friend

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First Day back.....

I'm a little reflective today - This being the first day back to school and my little girl (who really is not very little any more) isn't very interested in having me walk her to school - She asked me if I wanted my mom to walk me to school in Grade 6, or would I like if my mom brought me to work.... I suppose not. So now I'm looking at old pictures from her first days of school thinking that life is really just too short - I didn't walk her to school, but I sure wanted to...
Those of you who know Riley well, will remember that she was obsessesed with the color Red - She would only wear red, and paint everything red. Now her favorite color is lime green -
JK Sept 2003

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Ahhh September

Looking forward to this month being over, although I know it has just begun. This month will be hopefully the end of chemotherapy, however a host of other interventions to follow that I hope to be a cake walk comparatively. I am just about through cycle 5 (tomorrow) with one more chemo treatment later this month - It hasn't been quite as brutal as the last one - but perhaps its all the excitement that is going on at our house - lots of progress on the renovation, and decisions to make and spending money like a drunken sailor - seems to be taking the focus off the cancer and on to more interesting things (pictures to follow if you are interested)

Met with my true oncologist this week (he has been on holidays each time I have been at the hospital this summer) and he was quite pleased with the results of the CT scan and making plans for radiation and lots of upcoming scans- but seemed very positive.

Thanks again to all for all the support -

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Renovation moving along....

We have had some great progress this week... walls and window openings!! It sure helps me visualize the end product a little better.... but its time for Riley and I to go seek some solace in Georgian Bay and give these hardworking young men room for a messier workplace - Looking forward to our return on the w/e and perhaps a roof?

This is the 3 kitchen windows with a sliding glass door - We have gone from 4 sq ft window to 72 sq ft of glass

Start of 2nd Floor Teen Angst/Family room

Saturday, August 14, 2010

good news...

The "Mid" CAT scan report came in - and it is a positive one - It appears that my largest mass in the middle of my chest has essentially disappeared and the smaller one on my neck has decreased by over half - and all the fluid issues I have had in my heart and lungs have gone - I asked my primary care nurse if I could stop treatment now, but apparently not - I still have a journey to complete, but at least there is a brighter light at the end of the road - So all this nasty, toxic medicine I am putting into my body is at least doing what it is supposed to be doing! So needless to say, I had a great day yesterday, enjoying the sunshine, swimming, lunching & went to a very fun summer party @ the McNicols - But now I have to get my very expensive needle that is supposed to increase my white blood count, but makes me feel like shit for a couple of days - But I guess its all working :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Well, this has been quite a week - I have had it pretty easy in looking back on the past few months, so this was a bit of an eye opener - Just finished my 4th cycle of chemo and it was truly the most unpleasant yet.... but its over... so hopefully everyday will get a bit better. I had a CAT scan yesterday to see if all this nasty chemo is working - so results are pending - I won't get the official results for a few weeks, but may get a verbal report sooner.
A big thanks to my chemo buddies this week and Riley supporters - Cheryl, Marilyn, Marci and Mom!
Reno pictures to post this w/e -
Cheers! K:)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Summer 2010

There is very little to report these days, which is really not a bad thing and I have been quite lame in updating this blog - It is mid-summer, Riley has returned from camp (of course, the best year ever) She received her "5 year paddle" which I gather is quite an honor. Her group did a 4 day white water trip down the Mattawa river and I think that was a highlight. Riley and I have been keeping ourselves busy, and trying to help Colin out with the "one man renovation" here and there - but now its time to get some help in as the brick is ready to come down!!

This upcoming week is my "good week", so we will hopefully pack some fun in - I'm finding that I'm not bouncing back quite as quickly as before.

This is the time of summer that our family has usually taken some kind of road trip for a few weeks - typically ending up in PEI to visit the Moffatts - We are all going to miss this for 2010 - but next year might have to be something very special - Hmmmmmm - I'll attach a few pics from last summer...

Monday, July 26, 2010

Foundation.... done

This doesnt look like much right now, but this is the corner of our soon to be kitchen addition. Colin has been working his butt off over the last week to get this project underway - so here it goes!!
This last week has not been that great from my perpective (other than of course the fine workmanship of my husband) This last round of chemo was a little more difficult that the rest and I had a harder time keeping up my energy and spirits ~ However, today is sooooo much better, and that usually means every day will improve (until I start this ridiculous cycle again!)
I'm heading to pick up Riley tomorrow from camp - I can't wait!!
A great big thanks to my parents for coming to help de-construct our kitchen - many hands make for light work - and Robin and Thomas for the landscaping -
Congratulations to Barb and Len on their 50th wedding anniversary !!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Almost 1/2 way done!

Day 2 of 3 done... After tomorrow, I should be 1/2 way done chemo. Today was easy breezy compared to yesterday as that was the longer day with alot more chemicals - which by the end of the day, I am completely knackered.

I was determined to drive myself today as I am stubborn, and I want to make sure of my independance - Marci did come and pass the time with me, so that made the morning blast by.

Renovation is moving along.....very slowly ~ but that's okay right now ~ it's my speed in my current state, that may change though when the brick wall comes down ~ I will be sure to be using this as my venting station

This past weekend we were the happy guests of Mac & Donna at their most beautiful cottage north of Point au baril - My belly is sore from laughing non-stop.

There also seemed to be a theme of late night hair cuts across the country -I believe there was some drinking involved - My friend Dave did a little shave in my honor while on holidays in Calgary and Colin also did the same (he just really needed a hair cut) So a few pics below....

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Summer Camp

I wish I could go to summer camp. I have such fond memories of my 8 years going to Camp Kawabi ~ Camp allows the opportunity for kids to come into their own & grow. I just dropped Riley off for 2 weeks @ Camp Kandalore - This is her 5th year and she couldn't get rid of me fast enough - so I don't think she will miss us very much!

Riley and I went a stayed with our friend Dianne before going to camp as her cottage is very close to camp. Had a great visit & dinner!

I'm feeling fairly good this week, I would say almost normal (whatever that might be) - So, back to Bayfield for the weekend before chemo on Monday and we can start this cycle all over again!

Have a great weekend!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Weekend Report

What a beautiful weekend! And chalk full of activity....

It was my Dad's 70th birthday - family dinner

We (Well Colin & Chris) dug out the foundation for our addition

Spent an afternoon at the beach (having spa treatements from Riley, Sasha & Kiki)

Dinner out @ the Mill with Colin's parents - pre-celebration of Riley's birthday next week

Old friends Erin and Rob came to visit with a lovely lunch & moved furniture

I can't complain about that weekend!

Riley is going to camp in 2 days for 2 weeks - She is over the moon excited and has been packing for the last week - I am thrilled for her, even though I will miss her terribly!

I think this is going to be a great week.........

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Appointment Free....

All week has been appointment free, which is a nice change, but unfortunately the weather is so unbearably hot, that spending a bit of time outside knocks me out. So I have been trying to get a few things inside done and venture outside as little as possible.

We are going to do a renovation on our house the summer and we are just waiting for the plans to be approved to move ahead(Hopefully in the next few days). You may ask, why would we do this while all this other "cancer" stuff is going on... but we did have plans for this prior to this blip in our lives, and quite frankly I need a focus that is not just being ill... Stay tuned for the stress of renovations in combination with having cancer ~ I guess I can't pull my hair out, because I barely have any... should be interesting?
Last night we were invited to our friend Lee's house for dinner and a swim - Lee's house is absolutely beautiful - Riley described it as a castle for a princess when she was younger. She and her friend Hannah were doted on like princesses, so its hard not to leave there thinking it is somewhat magical.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Holiday Week...

This summer is going to be very different for me this year ~ although I seemed to be making the most of it and it is only the first week of July! Last week was a bit of whirlwind of three days chemotherapy, echocardiograms and various appointments in Barrie and Toronto. I had some excellent company and support from Jill, Heather, Meesh, my dad, Riley and Colin.

My hair is still trying to hang on at the bottom, so when I wear a hat it still looks like I have a little bit of hair - it may look ridiculous, but it makes me feel not so sick.

We spent the last 5 days up in Honey Harbour for some beautiful weather, good food and fun - My dear friends and family took excellent care of me while I re-gained my energy ~ they also made me laugh alot ~

For instance, Pye using the shock bark collar & Willy sending us pictures in his sharp cheddar velour outfit in various Ontario locations...

Monday, June 28, 2010

Day 1 of cycle 2

Today I started my second round of Chemo - I go for 3 days in a row, this day being the longest (It was about 3.5 hours) and the next 2 days are just about 1.5 hours. I met with my Oncologist first, who seemed to be quite pleased as to how I was responding to treatment.

I was very anxious today/yesterday, as this time I was not an "inpatient" and it all happens a little differently.

Thanks to all my drivers and companions today - My dad drove me to Barrie, Jill spent the day with me and Marci drove me home

Jill and I had big plans of game playing today, but managed to only get one game of backgammon in. I did reign victorious, but there will be several re-matches in the near future I am sure... Thanks Jilly for making the day fly by.

This chemo stuff is tiring....and I'm feeling a little useless on the homefront as I have no energy to watch Riley's soccer game or celebrating the last day of school tomorrow ~ Colin and Jenny will be my heros and pick up the slack...
Although a short day of chemo tomorrow, they sprang a surprise appointment @ Sunnybrook hospital @ 3p.m. to meet with a radiologist - so a busy day again... I need to go to bed!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A slow week...

I have very little to report this week - no hospital drama, no procedures and I have been living a very low key life this week. Other than my obsession with my balding head, it has been quite boring. I have been reflecting on the many acts of kindness and encouragement from all my "peeps" over the last two months. I'm sure I've mentioned this, but it is overwhelming.

What hit me yesterday, is that my friend wrote me a letter... a 5 page, handwritten letter - when was the last time you received a handwritten letter? It was very touching (& funny) I do not even think I could physically write for that long... I think my hand would cramp!

So thanks to all who have sent emails, cards, flowers, books, dinners and special pick me up packages that certainly make the day a little brighter!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Hair obsessed

I apologize for all the writing about the hair, but it is a bit traumatizing. We were fortunate enough to travel to Honey Harbour this weekend to Jeremy's (Pye's) cottage. The weather was beautiful, there was a little swimming, fishing, eating, drinking and hair cutting. I was again going to cut it all off, but chickened out... I did however hack off my pony tail, and then Riley trimmed it up - She kept saying to me "mommy, I'm not a professional you know..."

For the next few days I am sporting a very short cut, with hats, as its a little thin on the top.

Friday, June 18, 2010

It's Friday!

Friday certainly doesn't have the same feeling as it used to.... however, it does mean that my family is together for the weekend, so its still a great day.

About 10 days ago, I had a "port o cath" installed just under the skin under my right collar bone ~ It will be where I am injected with my chemo as opposed to intervenously, which can be very hard on your veins and I think my arms would be a mess ~ I had not really looked at it because it has been covered with dressings and when they change them, I did not really desire to see it (it looks okay ~ not as unsightly as I thought )- Today I had the port "flushed" to make sure it was working - another weird sensation. I wonder what other uses this port might have? Injecting red wine or some vodka to take the edge off? Perhaps double as a blue tooth device when I'm driving?

My hair has started to fall out for the last 2 days - I still have quite a bit, but a few handfuls a day are blowing in the wind - I almost cut it off today ~ but chickened out - so if you see me with a "comb over", pull me aside and help cut my hair!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I miss work

Somedays my work life could resemble any episode of "The Office". It has some wacky days, productive days and rewarding days. I did not envision myself taking an extended time away from work this way ~ I would have preferred to make a choice to take a leave or go travel somewhere very cool. I went to visit my workplace yesterday ~ I miss my co-workers - they have been a big part of my life - it is strange not having that place called work to go to - like I have been doing for the last 22 years. So a shout out to my friends @ Tracks ... kxo
And some good news... the fluid around my heart has actually decreased.. so I still need to go for echocardiograms to monitor, but this is good. The first good news I have had in 7 weeks!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My heart.....

I had another echocardiogram yesterday. This is basically an ultrasound of the heart that measures flow and in my case has been monitoring the fluid in the perdicarial sac around the heart - I've had ultrasounds when pregnant with Riley, and thats exciting, but to see one of your organs functioning with full squishy sounds wigs me out. The technician didn't think that there was too much difference from last week (re: fluid), but I did get the dreaded call this morning that I have to go back again on Friday for another - I suppose it is a good thing that they are keeping on top of this - as I don't want to get into the same situation I was in a week ago. It looks like it is going to be a beautiful day ~ hope everyone enjoys :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A mellow weekend....

I have very little to report from the weekend... which given the last few weeks is a blessing - I have had a few "side effects" from the chemo - but nothing crazy. If anything, it has sucked the energy from me. I had some wonderful visits from friends ~ with lots of laughs. I have talked with many, reminiscing of the "wall of hats" and have found a few pictures that I will post for a giggle -

Friday, June 11, 2010

Oh to laugh....

Over this last week, there are a few things that I have had to come to terms with - I knew they were inevitable, but none the less, I'm sure every person fighting cancer has to figure out how they are going to deal.
I have hair.... and lots of it - It's insane hair, but it's mine... and when you don't have the option to keep it anymore, it is a bizarre process to go through - My oncologist indicated 100% that I would lose my hair given the chemo cocktail I am on - So... what to do... am I a hat/scarf/wig person?? I have collected some hats and scarves from friends and continue to shop for a variety of head wear -

Jill thought I should ressurect my Dad's old hat collection that we used to have hanging at the chalet and use all those hats in my wardrobe... Remember the crocheted molson golden hat - everyone had a favorite that they were drawn to - I believe my mom tossed them all unfortunately -

This week Jenny and I went to Barrie for one of my various appointments and went to the "Wig Store". We did laugh alot, as we both tried on quite a few wigs - and I think Jen laughed the hardest when I tried on wigs that make me look identical to my mom - I did find one that is really not much different than when I actually brush my hair and it will do the trick if I feel like "having hair" - Who knows if I'll have the guts to wear it??

Jen... Thank you for everything over the last 6 weeks - I don't think I/we can do this without you -