Saturday, October 31, 2009

Today is a good day!

Well I am one day closer to stem cell harvest which means one day closer to going home to be with my boys! We went to check in this morning a little later then usual, for reasons I will get to, and my cell counts are now on their way up!

The reason we were later getting to the hospital today was, Melissa went to get her H1N1 shot this morning after trying 3 other times this week. She was up at 5 am and was at the vaccination site at 5:45. She had to grab a Timmy's so early in the morning. Even being there so early there were about 100 people ahead of her and then when the rest of the families showed up there was probably 300 people ahead of her. She had some nice families around her so she had some good conversation with people. Melissa did wear a mask though because she cannot risk getting sick now because we are so close to being done. She said she had some weird looks from people probably thinking she was sick, but they have no idea our situation right now.

It actually ended up our transplant doctor was right in front of Melissa in line so she got to talk to her about H1N1 and our situation. I know some of you are thinking right now, "here goes another rant about the vaccine," but this comes from my doctor and her husband who is a microbiologist and works with vaccines. Our doctor told Melissa and I am sure she will reiterate this to us closer to transplant and afterwards, to be really careful about who we are around. Her advice was to not be around anyone who is NOT vaccinated for H1N1. This will go even for 4 months after my transplant because my body still will have to build up my immune system. I am so susecptible to getting sick, fever, infections, it ridiculous. As my cell counts return to normal my body will able to fight those things but its going to be like I am a new born child again rebuilding all my immunities I had built up over the past 28, almost 29 years! So if I can say anything to everyone out there, please get immunized for my sake and all of those around you, eventhough you don't think you'll get sick and if you do, your body will most likely fight it off, but please remember not everyone around you will be able to fight this flu!

Enough about that. Today I feel good and am getting excited about my stem cell harvest. It should be a fun day hanging out with Melissa! I am so greatful for all the time we have had together through this getting to know each other more and more. I know our marriage will be even stronger and we will be better parents. I am a little nervous though just because I am human, but I trust the doctors and nurses, plus I have God on my side! He will ultimately keep me safe and walk with me through the remainder of this journey as He has so far!

Please continue to pray for us and that I am protected from sickness as I have to stay in the hospital tomorrow night, Monday to Tuesday. Thank you again for your continued prayers.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

After another long day, we're at our Calgary home and just relaxing. I've had a "missing our boys really bad" kind of day today. So tonite when we got home, we called and talked to Corban and him and I just cried together because we missed each other so much. I'm angry at all the time we've had to spend away from them. I never dreamed that when our kids are so young that we would have to leave them for extended periods like this. I just wish there were some way to keep our family all together all the time, but unfortunately, life just doesn't work like that. I just miss holding and cuddling my boys and how they make us smile all the time! Today, i'm SO jealous of our family and friends who get to love them 'in person'! I know they're in good hands and that my parents are very good cuddler's, but it's just hard not to be there to wipe their tears and tuck them into bed!
Anyway, God has something bigger than us in store here, and i'm just praying that the time we do have together is just that much more amazing, and i'm sure we'll make up for this time that we've missed when this is all over. It's just hard for me to see the other side on days like today.
Hope you don't mind my unloading, just what we're dealing with today.

Colin had his second hemaglobin transfusion, another two units, so hopefully he'll start to stabalize and his marrow starts responding to the G-CSF shots. Please pray that the harvest takes place Monday and that we can be home putting our boys in their own beds by tuesday night! That's what i'm dreaming of right now!

I'm gonna go get ready for bed now!
Good Night!

Luv, Melissa

Another check in day

This morning Melissa and I again are at the Foothills hospital for blood work and a G-CSF shot. We also had a meeting with the Apheresis nurse about my stem cell collection next week. It is amazing what modern medicine can do and how blood can be seperated to collect the cells. We will update when it will be but we are hoping it is Monday so we can go home to Medicine Hat sooner then later!

Lastnight Melissa gave me my G-CSF shot at home and she was actually better at it then some of the nurses who have given it to me previously. I am greatful for an amazing wife who is willing to do everything she possibly can do so we don't have to come to the hospital so much. We asked today to get enough shots for a couple days so we don't have to keep checking in everyday. Its about 25-40 minutes to drive to the hospital everyday.

We are just waiting my blood counts for this morning and hopefully I don't need another transfusion today so we can go home and rest.

Hope everyone has a great day and may the Lord bless you all!


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

At It Again

Well, today we're up here at the hospital again. Colin will most likely need a platlet transfusion today. Good thing is that it only takes about 20-30 minutes. Unlike yesturday, we spend almost 11hours at the hospital. Colin needed a transfusion of hemaglobin, which lasts 6-7 hours.....when the nurse started the blood drip, Colin began coughing really bad and then he said that his throat felt funny and that it was kinda hard to breath because he was coughing so bad, and then he started throwing they stopped the transfusion and quickly got him some gravol and benadryl. I guess the more tranfusions you get the more likely you are to have an adverse reaction. So they didn't get back started again until after 330pm. Let's just say it was an extremely long day!
This morning i tried to go brave the long line-ups to get the H1N1 vaccine, but with no luck, the security guard was on the phone and i overheard him saying that the lines would be about 6-8 hours of waiting! It's important to get this done, but i clearly don't have that kind of time......i just haven't seen so many people waiting like that before. It makes me so happy i live in Medicine Hat, less people equals less lines! I'm going to ask up here at the hospital if i can get it done with the nursing staff, they're in the middle of doing it now and i'm going to hopefully sneak in today!!!!!
ok, so things are going good, Colin's feeling good, aside from the occasional nose bleed which is nothing a little platlets can't fix!
My nursing resume is going to grow tomorrow, they're teaching me how to give the G-csf shots, i'm pumped, there's nothing like helping out! Then we don't have to come back to hospital so much!!! Colin's a little nervous but i have the utmost confidence! heehee :)

ok, wish us luck! haha
Have a great day!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Tearful goodbye

Well today was a tough day because Corban and Keegan went home to Medicine Hat to spend the week with Nana and Papa. Corban, Melissa and I had a good long cry together before they left but as soon as the movie started in car, Corban was ok. Keegan just thought he was going for a car ride. It was really hard to say see you later to the boys because we have been together for almost a month with them! I hate having to leave them even though I know in a week I will be at home.

It's a good thing they are not here this week because everyday but Tuesday, Melissa and I have to go to the hospital. Monday is my check in day for blood work, then the rest of the week I have to get G-CSF shots to boost my stem cell counts before the collection next Monday, Nov 2. The doctor was saying I get 2 shots a day so they are going to show Melissa how to give the shots, so we only have to go in the mornings and she will give the other shot at night. Maybe Melissa missed her calling and should have been a nurse because she is a great care taker and I am so blessed to have her as my wife!

I am doing well these days. I know my cell counts are close to bottoming out right now because how my body feels. I walk up the stairs and need to sit down when I get to the top. It's kind of frustrating because before I got diagnosed, I could run for an hour and still have lots left to work out. I know I will be back at that point eventually once I can start running and working out again, but for now this is what I have to deal with and I just take it easy.

Please pray for this week to go quick and the stem cell collection to only take one day. Also for Corban and Keegan who are at home with Glen and Sue for this week that they don't miss us too much or more so that we don't miss them too much. Thank you all for your continued support and prayers!


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Trip to the park!

Today was a great day! Corban and I went for a walk this afternoon to a park close to Andy and Nat's place. Corban kept a good pace for me so that was nice. He actually told me to slow down because I was going to fast for him. It was about 15 minutes to the park which was a block over and then Corban played for about 30 minutes, up and down the slide, running around! I am so blessed to have an awesome son like him! We had a great talk while we were walking too. He is so smart it boggles my mind sometimes. We talked about airplanes because we are close to the airport, about Daddy coming home soon for good because Jesus healed me and also about getting ready to go back to work once I am cleared. Corban wants to come with me to the police station to workout and see my "pinker," which is my gun. He saw Fox and the Hound and Corban has always called guns, "pinkers." We haven't really felt a need to correct him yet he's pretty young.

Tomorrow I go back to the hospital for blood work so hopefully only about an hour or so. I feel good today and I am sure I won't need any transfusions. We are probably going to have to check in again on Sunday but it won't be until the boys head home to the Hat with Glen and Sue. They will only be at home for over a week then Melissa and I will be home after my stem cell collection which is hopefully Nov 2. After that we should be home until Nov 21 minus a day that I have a dentist appointment in Calgary on Nov 9. I am going to see if I can drive myself that day because it would be nice for Melissa to be able to stay at home with the boys. If I cannot drive, it might be a family day trip.

Thanks again for all your prayers and support! Please continue to be praying for us and our family as we travel back and forth to Foothills Hospital and also to and from Medicine Hat. We love you all, be blessed!


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

So tired....

Some Good News today, Colin actually slept through the night last night. I feel like i'm talking about our kids or something....he's just finishing up chemo right now and he's been sleeping for most of the morning. I think his body just has nothing left to give....he hardly could make it into the hospital this morning, we had to stop and sit down a few times along the way. We thought his levels were low but they are good, just a rough side-effect from this round of chemo, he's being hit pretty hard, but still not throwing up, so i'm praying he can stay that way!
Other than that, we're headed out on pass again, until, i'm not sure when, Doc has yet to determine when the next check in will be, i'm sure in a couple days.
We're tired, but having the kids here is good. Just shy of two weeks and we should be home, so we're excited for that! I'm hoping next week without the kids, Colin can rest and bounce back from this extreme fatigue, it comes in time, that's the hardest part!
Anyways, that's all i have report today!


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hey Guys, i just have to make this quick cuz it's gettin' to be bedtime around here, and i've got lots to do before the kiddies hit the hay!
Update on how Colin's feeling is, well, to be honest he's feeling really crappy! He's nauseous, but the blessing is that he's not yet throwing up but he's not sleeping good and he's just SO exhausted. To climb the stairs is taking every ounce of strength he has, so i'm praying he gets a much needed good sleep tonite and then it's off the hospital bright and early to get an hour of chemo and to see what his blood counts are at. i hope he starts feeling better soon!

I'll write more tomorrow!

Luv, Melissa

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Family Time!

Hi All!
I just wanted to let you know what has been happening since the last you heard from us. Colin came out on pass today (only to stay 'in Calgary' until after cell harvest Nov. 2nd). He's very tired and the Doc's have said with this cycle of chemo, severe nausea comes after the chemo is over. So, with that being said, we're praying that the next few days aren't full of nausea and that Colin can rest and be comfortable for his time out.
Colin's parents left today, but we were able to spend the entire day with them at Andy and Nat's place, so we could all be together for at least a few hours to catch up and hang out!
We have some appointments for Colin this week, and 1 hour of chemo on Wednesday that he still has to do, but other than the usual checking in for blood work, he'll be out on pass until the harvesting happens! At least now, he can have a good sleep and rest comfortably and still be able to see the kids play and laugh (like they're doing right now, in the bath tub)
Please pray that this week with the kids is good and that Colin is well, that no nausea or sickness puts him back in the hospital. A funny side effect that we're just finding out now, is post-chemo hiccups~Colin sure has a bad case of those. I guess they're said to last for the duration the chemo lasted, so for the next couple days, the hiccups will be on and off.......funny but a little frustrating for Colin. I read everything from pulling your tongue, to burping, to taking anti-acids (which has helped so far), so i hope he can get to sleep good tonite and have a good long sleep without any interruptions!
i'll keep you posted on how the week goes, and let you know how Colin is feeling as the days go on!

Thanks for reading and praying!

Luv, Melissa

Friday, October 16, 2009

Day 2 done!

Hi everyone, Colin here. Day 2 of chemo is done and one more day tomorrow. Sunday I should be out on pass already for a few days atleast. I will probably have to come and check in every couple days but as long as I can sleep at home then I am happy.

Today Mom and Dad came to Calgary to visit us, Melissa came with the boys to the hospital this afternoon so we could all be together. Drew and Lara were in town too so they came up to the hospital to see us as well.

I just wanted to write to let everyone know I am doing well so far with this chemo, even though I did feel nauseated yesterday for a while. Tomorrow should be a good day then Sunday morning I hopefully will be going home (in Calgary) for a few days. Mom and Dad don't leave until after supper so they can stay and play with the boys for a while.

Thank you everyone again for your amazing prayers! Please continue to pray for us as we still are not finished the entire treatment yet. The last chemo before my transplant is the heaviest chemo I will get so I will be needing prayer then too. From now to then a big prayer request would be health during the times I am low in my blood cell counts for me and for those who are around me everyday. We treasure your prayers and thoughts, and you may never know what all this support has meant to us. Thank you!


Thursday, October 15, 2009

So, i'm just getting ready to head back to be with the boys for the evening, just wanted to let you know that Colin's chemo is done for the day but he's now starting to feel side effects. He's VERY puffy and really tired, and if he gets up, he's feeling pretty nauseous as well. Pray he has a good sleep tonite and that medications can relieve his symptoms!
i'll update more tomorrow!

Still Sinking In

Hello All!
Today i think, we're both still in shock from our great news yesturday! Colin keeps confirming with each Doc that comes in, if his marrow is clear and if there are any other signs of cancer. Our transplant Doc came in today and she said they can't quite say that Colin's in remission yet, but they are very hopeful that with the PET scan test still having to be done, it will only confirm that there FOR SURE is no cancer! She told him that he's in the most perfect position for transplant and the last half of treatment. This part of the process will only be insurance that the cancer won't come back. The fact that Colin's marrow is clean, is so awesome for transplant that they won't be reinjecting any cancer cells back into his body!

Today i came up and Colin has been eating almost non-stop.....he's laughing and being a "funny-guy" (or at least trying to be, heehee). He's retaining a lot of fluid which always happens when he goes back on chemo after a break period. He's wanting to get up and walk and keep active and he's planning to be out on pass by Sunday already, so if he keeps this positive, he's gonna breeze through this cycle of chemo! Pray for his strength to stay, and for limited side-effects.

Just wanna thank you again for praying, and to keep us covered in prayer throughout this entire process, some people hear 'no cancer' and figure we're done, but our road is still long but we have renewed strength and hope for Colin's FULL RECOVERY into remission and then after 5 years to be CURED! Pray for his cure rate, and that he can continue to stay healthy and strong and have many more happy healthy years ahead of him!

I should go get some lunch, talk to you all soon!

love, Melissa

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Great News!

Thanks to all your prayers, we have just heard from our Doctors and THERE IS NO SIGNS OF CANCER ANYWHERE IN COLIN!!!!!!! God has heard our prayers and answered them! We were really hoping that we would get this news, so the chemo that will be done from now on, will only make sure that the cancer will never come back! PRAISE GOD!!!!!
Colin's weight is up and we're really excited, even though he has to be doing chemo for the next few days......He's got his game face on and we're just looking to the next time he gets to come out on passes!
Besides the huge amount of snow here in Calgary, we got here safe and the roads were not so bad for travel so that was a blessing as well!
We're actually just hanging out in the lounge up on Unit 57, they are still getting Colin's room ready, so we haven't fully seen and talked to our Doc yet, but she did come and make sure we knew that there was NO CANCER!!!!!
That's all i have to report right now, but if it weren't for your prayer support, we wouldn't have never gotten this news! Please keep praying that the cancer is gone forever, and that these next rounds of chemo go ok for Colin.
We thank you so much and most importantly we Praise our Powerful God for His protection and healing!
i'll update as we hear more!

BIG HAPPY HUGS to you all!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Off We Go!

It's been what seems like a long time since we've updated so here's the scoop. We're packed and ready to head back up to Calgary, this time we have the boys with us! It makes it easier to leave, having everyone in toe, so there's no goodbyes for our boys! Our Thanksgiving here at home was AMAZING, thanks to my mom's awesome cooking and having Colin's Brother and his wife stay for the weekend! Great times, and so good to see family!
I'm so happy to report that my cold along with Corban and Keegan's colds are pretty much gone and Colin didn't catch a single thing! YEAY! Praise God, He has been faithful to take care of Colin and protect him from any germs that may have made him very sick! Thank you for your prayers of protection! We're headed tomorrow to get me and kids flu shots and we'll deal with the H1N1 shots's scary this year with these crazy flu bugs going around, continue to pray that we will be protected from anything that could harm Colin's transplant schedule and recovery time!
SO this is the second half of our journey, we'll be getting results back from the marrow biopsy this week, so you can pray for the cancer to be gone from his marrow as well!
I know we've vaguely explained the transplant stuff coming up.....right now, Colin will go back into the hospital on Wednesday and have a half chemo treatment already that night and then 3 more days of 6-7 hours of chemo each of those days. Then they prepare him for harvesting his stem cells, so pray that his body responds well with treatment and that he can bounce back quickly after he's finished this round!
I will be with the boys for the most part and Colin's parents are coming up this next weekend, so that's the plan for the next few days!
Thank you for still reading and keep us in your prayers! We are truly blessed to have you helping us in this way! This Thanksgiving was an emotional one. We are so thankful to be under one roof as a family, to have my husband beside me, for modern medicine, to have my brother and Nat and their house to live at and draw support from them, while we're in Calgary, for my parents and Steph (my cousin) who have been so awesome at keeping the boys while we've been gone, for our friends who have also taken days to watch the kids and care for them while my parents are at work! To those of you who have helped financially to make up the extra costs in going back and forth to Calgary. You have no idea how God has used you all to get us through this difficult time in our lives, May God Richly Bless you all for how you've blessed us!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Home again!

Well my hip doesn't hurt like it did the first time I had a bone marrow biopsy, except they used what seemed like medical duct tape to keep the gauze in place over the opening. Either way I guess I was a riot for the people in room, next time I might sell tickets to my performance. Melissa showed me a video she took of me trying to spell bone marrow with my hands, I was so sedated and you can tell because I had no coordination at all.

Yesterday was a test filled day for the transplant clinic doctors so they could get a reading of how healthy I am and if I would be able to go through with the transplant. From meeting with the doc at the end of the day, she didn't have any issues with proceeding. She said my CT scan showed improvements over the last one which was done before I started treatments and the MRI was completely clear.

Now we are home until the 13th and the 14th I go back in for the next round of chemo. Corban and Keegan are coming with us to Calgary and they will stay with Melissa at Andrew and Natalie's place. We are hoping to get passes right away after my 3 days of chemo so I can with the kids. When we go back in on the 14th we will get my bone marrow results, so please keep praying the cancer is gone from my body and I can focus competely on the transplant. The doctor yesterday said when I went into Foothills my bone marrow was 95% cancer cells. She was optimistic they less then 20% now, but I believe it is almost gone if not comlpetely gone!

Today is a lazy day at home with the family. I am masked up still because Corban and Keegan have the sniffles and are sneezing, so I am just taking the extra precaution so I don't get sick. My cell counts were up again yesterday so I am able to fight colds and infections, but I don't really want to risk pushing back any treatment in the future. Yesterday driving home I told Melissa I feel like I want to start the next treatment already to get them over with, but I also want to be at home. It seems like quite some time since my last chemo and I just want to be done and be at home recovering, getting ready to go back to work.

Its seems like a long time still until I can be at home again for good, but also know it will probably go by fast because everything has gone by so quick so far. Anyways, keep praying for us that we can all stay healthy. Also this weekend my brother and his wife, Kris and Jennie are coming for Thanksgiving and as well Andrew and Nat and kids are coming too, pray they drive safely.

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving, because I know I am going too and I have so much to be thankful for this year! If you think you cannot find anything to be thankful for, remember the little things in life that always get over looked: health, our homes, food, friends, family, being happy, modern medicine. Remember this one thing when you wake up every morning and your days will be alot better, my days through this have been better because of it, always choose JOY! When you get ready in the morning for your day, just think to yourself, I am going to have a good day and be JOYFUL!

Be blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Good Laugh!

So, today has been quite eventful and very funny! So the Doc came in this morning around 11am for Colin's bone marrow biopsy, which he has been dreading since the beginning! He was obviously sedated for this one, which was the most funny part about the whole thing. I always ask to stay in the room during the procedure and today was no different, but the Doc actually let me take some pictures while he was doing the biopsy! (Call me crazy, but it was really cool to see!) Colin is always so forgetful about events when he gets sedated so i thought i'd take some pics and some video of him talking away to whoever would listen! I think i'm still wiping tears from laughing so hard! He's finally sleeping now, after i had to physically make him stay laying down.....he kept thinking we were going straight to the car to go home, but first i had to take him for ice cream! lol
To let you know how the procedure went today, FAST! Like less than 10 minutes! Colin kept asking me when the Doc was coming in, but truth be told, the Doc was already done and gone! Colin won't remember a thing, so i'm glad for that, and he gave everyone in the room a pretty good laugh, so all in all, it's gonna be a good day. They were able to get both a bone and a liquid sample which, the last one that was done before our diagnosis, there was nothing but tough bone, which explained his cancer.
Tomorrow will be busy but we are hoping when we come back on the 14th for treatment, that we'll be going in with a clean cancer. We don't have any tests back yet, but please keep praying for the cancer to be all gone!
The kids are just coming down with the cold that has been going around, so please say a prayer that Colin keeps healthy and feels great! By nothing short of a miracle, he's managed to keep healthy so far, so we're very thankful! He's putting on weight and very excited for Thanksgiving dinner (we have a whole lot to be thankful for this year!).
Anyways, this will be a quick 2 day trip and then back HOME!!!!
i'll update when we get to Medicine Hat!

Luv, Melissa

Saturday, October 3, 2009

So, i'm happy to report that i'm typing this from HOME in Medicine Hat! Third time was a charm for the Doc.....he finally gave in to our constant begging to go home. Colin's cell levels were safe enough to come home until Tuesday. We leave Tuesday morning at 6am to go back up to the hospital for more testing, just for tuesday and wednesday and then we're coming back home for a whole week! Unfortunately, i've come down with a touch of a cold, so we're masked up and i'm cleaning to high heaven making sure i don't pass on my germs, not when we're already home and coming back for Thanksgiving! Please pray that i can get over this without giving it to Colin or the boys! This time of year sucks, especially when you have a cancer patient in the house! YIKES! But, God is keeping Colin safe, and he feels great so far, so we're very thankful for that! The kids are good as well, and Corban almost started to cry when we surprised him last night at Mom and Dad's house! It is so good to see our kids, God knew how much we needed to be at home and be together and we are so blessed to have the time that we do, to be here at home!
Anyhoo, i just wanted to let you know the good news and to thank you for covering us in prayer so far......the second half is fast approaching, and i pray it goes as fast as the first half has!
For right now, it's so good to be home!

luv, Melissa

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Testing Begins...

Hey Everyone!
We're here again at the hospital, Colin is just waiting to have an MRI done on his brain, as well as a CT scan today. I know that you all are already praying, but i have to ask to pray extra for Colin's cancer to be GONE completely.....and that all these tests today and on wednesday Oct 7th to be clear for no cancer. We are believing and praying that God got rid of all of Colin's cancer already using the chemo treatments and the fervent prayer he's already had. We'll let you know as soon as we get all the results back!
Unfortunately, Andy and Nat and they're kids are all sick so we're going to be staying with some other family friends that live here in Calgary. We are so thankful for their hospitality, in letting us stay in their home! We are going to hold off on bringing the kids up, until we know everyone is healthy. What we are actually praying for right now, is that we would get to come home for the weekend until Colin has to come in for more testing next week. We've had our hopes up before on this issue, and our plans fell through, so we're not holding our breath to be able to come home.......we just miss our boys SO much and we're both SO homesick to just be in our own home together as a family!
Today, we wait.......again.......i'll be in touch as soon as we have more details, but until then, please pray that the cancer is GONE!

Thanks guys, Don't know what we'd do without you all!

luv, Melissa (Colin says Hi behind me!)