Monday, November 30, 2009

Day 0

Well I am officially on the road to recovery! The transplant went really well this morning, no side effects, just a gross taste in my mouth. It was kind of like cream corn gone bad. I cannot smell it but Melissa says I smell like tomato soup and cream corn. It only took about 30 minutes to infuse all my cells they collected about on Nov 3. The other great news for the day is I am able to go to our Calgary home for 2 days then check back in on Wednesday. Those 2 nights will give me some much needed uninterupted sleep. Hopefully if all goes well, I won't have to spend another night in the hospital. I will probably have a few blood transfusions in the next week because this chemo basically irraticates all my cells. We'll keep you all informed.

Anyways I just have to say I have the most amazing wife ever. She has been so strong for me and the family during this process. I am so blessed to be with her and to have her love in my life. I am so touched by what she said in the blog she wrote lastnight and it just goes to prove how our marriage is getting stronger and rooted in God's Word everyday! I am so glad to have her and I don't know if I will ever be able to fully show her how much her strength and companionship through this time truly meant to me. The nights she would go home early or when she wasn't able to come up to visit me, my days were not fun. Seeing her walk through my door everyday made my day! Melissa, I love you so much and I am so glad you are my wife and best friend!


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Colin!

I just wanted to write and be the first to wish my brave and wonderful husband a happy birthday! This day...November 30, 2009, marks the first day of a new life. A life of the most amazing and endless possibilities! Not many people get a second chance to live a healthy life, but God was so gracious to grant us this! Colin, you are my hero, my bestest friend, and the man i want to have many, many life adventures with! You have taught me so much about following God's will, wherever that may take us, and even as you lay in a hospital bed, you have been the leader of our little family and kept us altogether with your great attitude and love for life. We did it! We have taken a terrifying walk down the deepest darkest path and with God right there holding our hands, we've made it out the other side! I'm so proud to be your partner, to have stood by you, and walked through this with you, we're changed people! You make me better everyday and i'm excited to see your smile! You're a fighter and you have such patience and perseverence, our boys are SO blessed to have you as their Daddy! We still have you! I think i'm in shock that this point in the process is where we never thought we'd be. When we came in those first few days, we'd just heard bad news, after bad news, but through it all, you kept your focus on our God who will only give you what you could handle, each day sometimes a struggle, sometimes a smile, but you kept looking for the blessing, and it never was hard to find the many blessings!
I am so proud to call you mine! As uneventful as the "actual" transplant procedure may be, this is YOUR day! A new day, and new bright, full, amazing future for YOU. I am SO excited to see what chapter is next for us, how God wants to use you and our family! Through whatever "bumpy road" is ahead, we WILL be ready.....beacuse, in the words of our sweet Corban, "Jesus Keeps us Safe and Strong"!
So, Happy Birthday, Colin, you've done so well, I hope that soon, we can have a little bit of a break, and just collect our family unit again. Be together and not have to leave each other, oh what a sweet day that will be! Soon, so very soon!

I love you with everything in me!

No more chemo!

Hey everyone! I finished my last chemo this morning without any major side effects so far. I did get a little tired from it so I slept for an hour. I was given a diaretic to help clean out the chemo from my system and that made me a little crampy like I was dehydrated even though they had me hooked up to hydration. I have drank lots of water and feel better now.

The big side effect from this chemo was mouth sores and a remedy for preventing the sores was to chew ice for a half hour before until 6 hours after. Needless to say I was eating a lot ice today. I think my mouth was half frozen all afternoon. I have been told by the nurses this will almost eliminate getting the sores. I have to keep rinsing with medicated mouth wash and club soda for a few days to try to keep the sores at bay.

It was kind of a bitter sweet day for us. The nurse who admitted me to Unit 57 here at Foothills was the nurse who administered the last chemo of my treatment today and is likely to do the stem cell transplant tomorrow. I was actually thinking last night about leaving this unit. I was almost choked up by the fact I am done. The nurses, doctors and PCA's here have got to know us so well it will be hard to say good bye, but on the other hand I cannot wait to get out of here.

So tonight Melissa and I are just hanging out not watching the Grey Cup. We aren't big football fans, but we will keep an eye on it so Melissa doesn't get caught up in the rush leaving McMahon Staduim because we are a block away. I think we might watch a movie and relax until tomorrow.

Thank you everyone for your prayers and even though I am having my stem cell transplant tomorrow, we will not be out of the woods for a while. I have to recreate my immune system and I won't have recovering cell counts for about 10 days from tomorrow. Please keep praying and we are so touched by all the prayers that have gone up for us! Thank you all and thank you Jesus for all You do!


Hi! it's Melissa here now, just wanted to say we had a great time with our kids this weekend! Colin felt great yesturday and we spent a wonderful day, just playin and cuddling! Today i said my last good bye to the boys as they'll go back to Medicine Hat until Colin is out of the woods for infections. Wow, our last good bye! Then we don't have to be separated for a very long time! It feels good to be in the tail-end of treatment....but kinda scarry for what's to come.....once we're not under the blanket of protection offered here by our Doctor's and nurses. I'm praying now, that we'll be prepared for this new "normal". Enough of that for now, it's day before transplant, day and God hasn't left us yet, so there's no reason to doubt Him to take care of us for all of our tomorrows!
Good Night!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Winter Wonderland?! Who came up with that?!

Good Evening! haha, oh yes, i'm writing two posts today. Life has been eventful, but it has nothing to do with Colin or his health! I know, it's kinda refreshing! heehee, Calgary got a little bit of a snow storm today, first with some rain this morning and then with a heavy blanket of thick snow, it made for a very icy, slow and messy drive to get back to the hospital tonite! It took my brother over 2 hours to get home from work today and so when Colin offered to drive to the hospital, i've never been so happy to let someone take the wheel. I am SO not a winter driver. It took us nearly an hour, and normally it takes 20-25 minutes. There were accidents EVERYWHERE and the traffic was aweful, so we hadn't even made it half way when i made my decision to just stay put at the hospital tonite. So here we are, safe and sound, having a snack and watching TV, it's nice and quiet up here on Unit 57, and the nurses working are all our favorite young one's! i'm still waiting for my pull-out bed, so now all i can do is hope i get some sleep. Colin's excited that i can finally see what he means to have the "full hospital experience". Oh boy.....wish me luck!
Pray that the roads clear up enough that mom and dad and the kids can make it up here tomorrow!
Sweet Dreams!

luv, Melissa

Pluggin' Away

Good Morning!
I can't believe it's already Friday! This week has just flown by and Colin has breezed through treatment so far. Today, it's catching up with him. We went for an hour long walk yesturday afternoon while he was out on pass again, but i think that was the last one for a little while! He's very tired today and the nausea is creeping up on him. The anti-nauseants have been managing it so far, and as long as he's not sick, we can head out for another couple hour pass again today.
So, i need to clarify about the PET scan that Colin was supposed to get. What we didn't know is that this scan is still in the research stages, so it can't be a conclusive answer for declaring remission. That being said, our Doc's have reviewed all of Colin's CT scans and Biopsies and they have enough information to conclude that in their opionions, Colin is officially in remission. In case they somehow missed something, this last chemo treatment will kill any last remnants! Praise God! Whew, i just keep exhaling, like letting a huge deep breath that i've been holding all these months. This is great news, a miracle in my mind, with how sick Colin was coming into this. We are changed people, inside and out, and in a weird way, i'm thankful to have learned the lessons i have been learning along the way. I never knew what i was capable of handling, but don't get me wrong, all by myself, i would've crumbled, this was God, He carried us every step of the way, so there's no way we can take any credit for getting through this, it was your prayers and God's ever-present provisions. I will never look at my faith or what we've been raised believing the same way again, this is not just a belief system, this is tangible evidence of a Higher Power who so desperatley loves us. WOW! How lucky are we!
So, we're just going to keep pluggin' along, taking it one day at a time. Tomorrow the kids come up and we get to spend some time with them again. Colin's planning on getting a pass to spend time with the kids when they come, so that's the plan for tomorrow anyway. Sunday is his last chemo injection, but the most potent for side-effects. The treatments will catch up to him probably next week sometime, it's very common for patients to go back into the hospital after being out on pass for the days following transplant, so we'll expect the worst and hope for the best!
That's all i have for today!

Luv, Melissa

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Day 2 of the last chemos!

Today is a good day! I had my chemo in the morning and I will have it again at 8pm tonight, but in the mean time, they let me go out on pass for the afternoon. Melissa and I came back to our Calgary home, thanks Andrew and Nat, and we are just hanging out. We will go back to the hospital around 7pm.

I am on the same regiment for the next 3 days also, so if everything goes well each morning, I can go out on passes during the day. Saturday will be the biggest day to get the pass because Corban and Keegan are coming up with Glen and Sue for the weekend. Andrew and Nat's baby girl, Myla, is getting dedicated at their church on Sunday. Unfortunately I won't be able to make it as I will be getting my LAST CHEMO that morning!

Please keep praying for my energy levels to stay high and that side effects of these last chemos will be minimal, especially on Sunday as the last chemo dose can cause mouth sores again. I have been told to keep my mouth very cool by eating ice chips and slushy drinks that day to avoid getting bad sores. Thank you everyone for your continued prayers and we cherish each and everyone! My God bless you for your faithfulness.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Day 1: Almost Done!

Well, today is Day 1: Seems like it's been taking forever with everything today. When we got here at Foothills this morning, we were put in an outpatient room, just until ours was cleaned and ready. Well it was 3pm before we got to "move in" to our room up here. Then chemo didn't get started until about 330pm. Then again, we have no where else to be, so what's the rush. I guess we're both just anxious for this last "mad dash" to the finish line! It's starting to sink in that this is the end of this portion of our journey.....feels almost like we took a really intense condensed university degree, HANDS ON, on how to deal with cancer! I have learned more about the human body, and about what nurses do, than i ever thought possible, honestly they are special people, and now i'm sure that i am not meant to be one, except with my own family, heehee!
It has been getting progressively more difficult for us to leave our boys. They are settling in good with Nana and Papa, but when we call's tough for Corban because it just reminds him that we're not there with him! Hold on buddy! We're almost done!
Please pray that all goes well so we can in fact be home for Christmas! That has been our one wish since we began this process!
On a lighter note, Colin is almost done day one of chemo, well, almost half done, but again, we have nowhere else to be, so hopefully the time goes fast and we can be done soon!
Honestly i never thought we'd ever get to this point.....the time has gone fast, but slow, i don't know how else to explain it, in the moment, it has been slow, but as a whole, it's been fast!

Well, i'm gonna go lay with Colin and watch the News, hopefully supper will come soon!

luv, Melissa

Monday, November 23, 2009

Back to the grind...

Well Melissa and I are back in Calgary getting ready for the last cycle of chemo. I was at the hospital today checking in with the Transplant Clinic talking to our doctor. She was just getting us prepared for what to expect during this chemo and also during and after transplant. She was very optimistic I would do very well and the transplant would go well also. We start tomorrow and for the next 6 days I endure chemo for hopefully the last time in my life!

The best news from the doctor was if all things do go well, and we will be praying they do, she would discharge me on Dec 14th and then on Dec 21st we could possibly go home for Christmas until the 29th! Please pray everything goes well so we can spend it at home with our family!

That's about all we have right now, but as the week progresses we will surely update the blog. Thank you again for your continued prayers.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Hurry, Quick!

Seems this is the only time i have to sit down today, so i might as well maximize my time and let you all know where we're at! The last few days have been a blur of getting everything ready for our return to Calgary. I'm surprised at how settled we have gotten is such a short time, it was so good to be home! Colin and Corban have been pretty much inseparable since he's been out of the hospital, and well, Keegan has his last two eye teeth to cut and then hopefully by the time my parents and friends are watching him, he'll be himself again! I'm glad he was miserable with us, and not our dearest loved ones!
Once again, we are in awe of God's timing, with everything, but just with Colin's infection and the kids being sick, and them being healthy before we was able to get home, so he didn't get sick! WOW, and that's just the part that we can see, who know's the other dangers, that God was protection him from!
How blessed we are to have such amazing people around us, honestly at every angle, we are surrounded by people with the biggest hearts and with a genuine willingness to help. We are forever grateful to each one who has blessed us!
We will make sure to update when we get back up to Calgary, and probably before we leave again. This might just be our outlet to get our feelings out. Thank you for being the listening ears, this has been our "dumping ground" throughout this process, which Colin and i are so thankful for!
ok, off to get Keegan up so we can get the rest of our busy day over with!

Happy Friday! Except to all those on shift work....i guess weekends aren't that exciting unless you luck out and get one off! i better go now, the rambling has begun!

Luv, Melissa

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Some Mixing of Emotions

Where do i even begin! So much has happened in the last few days, and i wish i would've wrote sooner to break some of it up. Well, here it goes!
So, Tuesday afternoon they let Colin out of the hospital to do outpatient antibiotics once daily. That meant he was supposed to check in at the clinic every day for his meds. Thankfully, they offered to show me how to do it from home, and so we went this morning by 730am for them to show me. Blessings on my cousin who was so gracious to come over and watch the boys so we didn't have to get them up to come with us! Anyhoo, they sent us home with an IV pump, and pole (oh the sight we must have been trying to get it into our car to take home! haha). So now i'm all caught up on administering Colin's IV meds from home! They want him on these meds for another 10 days at least. So we naturally thought we would be set back another week, at least. Well today we called up to check in with our team of Doc's in Calgary and they gave us some great news! Our schedule for transplant is still the same! They believe Colin is healthy enough to continue with chemo and he'll just keep going with the antibiotics for the set amount of days. Colin is thrilled as this next round has been hanging over his head, and he really just wants to get it over with! We both just want to be done with this mess (if you can ever be done with cancer). We were happy with the plan to stay for an extra week for antibiotcs, more time with the boys is always a good thing! I'm mixed about this, i have SO much to do to get ready for this weekend's return to Calgary. I really just don't want to leave the kids. Honestly, i think it gets more and more difficult every time we have to say goodbye to them! awe, Today i just wish we could be normal, in a regular routine, with regular work and life schedules! Please don't ever take regular and routine for granted, you are luckier than you'll ever know! BUT, we still do have a chance to be home for Christmas, so that's our goal to work towards! Wherever we are, we'll be with family, so i'm happy with that!
Colin is feeling good, he's resting a lot, which is good for him, he needs to just take it easy, so he doesn't get run down! Corban isn't venturing too far from his side, poor little guy is all twisted around in this, i'm glad they're so young, i pray they don't remember any of this!
So that brings us to this evening, i think we'll make a couple cups of tea and make a homemade rendition of a london fog! (I'll give Starbucks a run for their money, heehee)

Good Night, we'll keep updating as we go!

Luv, Melissa

Monday, November 16, 2009

Tomorrow seems like the day I can go home again! I have some x-rays at 8am then the Dr said I would probably be out by noon. Another good thing is they will give me pills to take and have to only come in once a day for a shot for the infection. The antibiotics they have given me already have been working and each day I feel better and stronger. Hopefully everything will be cleared up and we will be doing the last chemo soon.

A few things have changed in our schedule in the last day also. I was supposed to get my PET scan tomorrow in Calgary but my transplant Dr wants to wait until I have had atleast a week of antibiotics so tomorrow is just a day at home! The clinic in Calgary will call when they re-book for me. I am hoping we will know middle of the week as to when we are going to be heading back up, but for now I am going to cherish the extra days at home with the boys.

It should be a fun week once I get home again and I know Corban is looking forward to me being home too. Melissa definitely is because Keegan is getting pretty busy too. Well thats about all I have right now and look forward to only one more sleep at the Medicine Hat Hospital, can't wait to get out of here.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Well, today was good, we talked with the Doc tonite, and he made us smile. Colin is doing great with the antibiotics, so coming in on an outpatient basis will be a reality for him! YEAY! He still has to get some XRay procedure done tomorrow, and a blood transfusion. Since his body has been working hard to fight this infection, it lowered all of his blood counts, so he's gonna be getting some G-CSF shots to help his immune system as well! We are still possibly looking at being behind from our original transplant schedule, but we get to spend those extra days at home, so all in all, we haven't really lost any days with the kids, so that's a blessing!

I need to catch up on some laundry and tidying up, so i should go, but i wanted you all to hear our good news!

oh ya, before i forget, Colin has his PET scan on tuesday, if you could be praying that he is indeed 100% cancer free, this is the test that confirms it for sure. They inject radioactive sugar into Colin and if there is any cancer left, it goes right to it and glows, so we know exactly what we're dealing with. Pray that there is no area that glows! We want a clean bill of health (at least cancer speaking!)

Luv, Melissa

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Today was better. Colin started off pretty lonely and feeling like he was going to go crazy in his hospital room, but right now until the kids are better, he's in the safest place he can be. Thankfully, today, the kids are much better than they have been, so we're for sure on the mend! There's no sign of fever for Colin and his appetite is coming back today, too! Come Monday, we're for sure going to be exploring some passes, and making sure Colin can at least be home, and only checking in for his IV antibiotics. We'll just have to see if the Doc is on bored with our plans!
God is so faithful in taking care of our every need! My cousin, has been wonderful at watching the boys while i go up to spend some time with Colin and a good friend brought supper over to us tonite! God knows what we need, sometimes before we do, and i'm SO thankful that this has all worked out so far. I'm confident that Colin will be stable enough to come home, so he can be comfortable, and get a good night's sleep and just be around our kids. This is the only thing that will help prepare him for the chemo and transplant ahead. Other than some home-cooked meals to get his weight up!
We don't hear any more news until either tomorrow nite or Monday morning, so i'll keep you posted on what we find out!

Luv, Melissa

Friday, November 13, 2009


Shew! This afternoon when the Doc came back to see Colin, he brought some news that we really didn't want to hear! It turn's out, it's not just a 'bug' that Colin has, but a severe infection in his intestines! By the fever and throwing up yesturday and the results of the blood cultures today, it showed the infection was already in his blood stream and if not treated, it could spread to other organs! BUT God is good, Colin is being treated and he is on isolation at the hospital, so no other germs come into contact with him....he is stable and starting to eat again. Bad news, is that the Doc wants him in the hospital here for 2 weeks on antibiotics......WHOA! That means that if the infection isn't gone by the time we are to start the next round of chemo, our transplant schedule goes out the window and everything gets pushed back. Not such a bad thing just hearing that, but to us, it means that there will no possible way we will be home for Christmas. AND our dearest Corban has a birthday that we were planning on celebrating with him while we are home, Colin might have to miss altogether! It's heartbreaking to be this close to finishing and having those plans take a different route. I am trying to find the best in this, which, as it stands, is that Colin is in the safest place he could be. Today both our boys are sick with the sniffles, and i'm glad Colin is away from those germs. We miss him so much, and Corban is really taking him being gone, really hard. He cries a lot, and makes sure that I can't go far without him.
Colin's doing ok, he's upset, but glad we caught this when we did, it's serious, but he's safe now, and in good hands! They want to do more testing and scopes on Monday and hopefully he can get stable enough to be allowed out on pass, but as it sounded today, the Doc was not comfortable with that liability, so it's going to take some persuasion, i'm not sure how far we'll get but there's always a chance.

Sorry to bring more not so great news, but we'll wait the weekend and see what next week brings. This sucks, plain and simple, but i just have to keep reminding myself that God has carried us this far, i can't stop trusting Him now, but i'm still disappointed, and tired, and crying, BUT it doesn't mean that i'm not trusting......i'm trying to 'let go and let God'.....i need to get some rest. i'll make sure the post as we have more information!
Thank you again for praying!

luv, Missy

A Sigh of Praise and Relief

As i write this, i'm crying, but not because i'm sad, but because i'm in awe at how our prayers have been heard! GOD IS SO GOOD! Colin is better today, they have his fever under control and he was able to keep lunch down! As we talked today, he feels so much better, just a bit tired. The Doctor thinks it was a nasty 'stomach bug'. With all of Colin's chemo, he has no anti-bodies built up anymore, so everything in his 28 years of being sick has been erased to a newborn state! So although he has somewhat of an immune system, he has nothing is storage to fight these 'new' germs off anymore. I'm just glad we were able to get him treated here in Medicine Hat, as far as we know, he'll have some antibiotics and then when he's able to keep things down and feeling better, i'm sure they'll let him come home! PRAISE GOD!

I have no choice but to be in a constant state of Praise to a God who has been so real, and so faithful to hear our prayers and protect Colin from anything more serious. As one comment read, this is a minor bump in the road, and we have been SO blessed to have had no illness this far. We're on the home stretch and all Colin wants is to finish our time at home, "at home". I just can almost taste the day we'll be able to come home to STAY!

Thank you for being there, to pray when we need it, for your comments to encourage us and give us peace. There is nothing more comforting than knowing, we have powerful prayers being sent up on our behalf, i've said it before, and i'll say it yet again, it's scary to think of where we would be without all of you! WE ARE FOREVER THANKFUL TO YOU ALL!

i'll make sure i write more as we get news back from our Doc's here, and i hope that the next time we post, it will be to report Colin is home, safe and sound!

The biggest Hugs of Thanks to each of you!

Luv, Melissa

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Not So Great News...

I wish i didn't have to bring this news, but today, Colin has taken a turn for the worse. This morning it just came up in a matter of hours, his temperature went from 36.6 to 40.6! We quickly called our Doc's in Calgary and they told us to get to Med Hat Cancer Clinic as fast as we could. So when the Doc here saw Colin, he had to admit him, his fever was still on the rise and he had some lower abdomen pain that he couldn't ignore. So they finally found him a bed and he is there now, already having had the XRay for his abdomen, he's a little more comfortable, i have yet to hear if he's keeping anything down, he hasn't been able to all day since his fever started.

I'm glad that for now, we can stay here in town, just for the kid's sake.....please pray that it's nothing serious, that the antibiotics they have him on with TONS of IV fluids will do the trick.

We are SO not ready to cut our time at home short, so please pray that he's feeling better tomorrow, and his meds start working!
i'm not going to panic, we've come WAY too far, not to trust in The God who has carried us this far! If you could do anything to help, it would be to pray!

i'll make sure i update as i hear details!

Tomorrow is a new day, and i will be very glad to put this one to rest! Time to put the kiddo's to bed!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lookin' like Christmas!

Wow, i can't believe we're in our second week home already! We've been up to all sorts of things, all together the four of us, of course. We can't seem to venture too far from each other these days, but we're enjoying it! We put up our Christmas Tree last nite, what a great time, a little exhausting trying to keep Keegan from taking the entire tree down several times, and then having to 'redecorate' from where the kids thought all the decorations should go! We got lots of great pictures though! We're in the middle of wrapping all our Christmas gifts now, since we have to send stuff out to BC and get everything ready for us here, just because we won't have any other time before our last round of treatment and transplant! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?! WE'RE ALMOST READY FOR TRANSPLANT!
I've been printing off our blog entries and all the comments, and it occured to me, yet again, what a great support system we have around us! You all who are reading this are absoutely amazing! It still just amazes me, that you would even take the time to read this, and care enough to share in our journey this way! AND WHERE WOULD WE BE WITHOUT YOUR PRAYERS!!!! I can't even imagine walking this road alone, so Thank you, to us, we won't ever stop saying how much we love you all for helping us through this!
So, i'm planning on BBQing some steaks with sauteed mushrooms and oinions (one of Colin's favorites), i'm trying to get as much weight on him as possible. If he has every advantage going in, this last bit of the process will be as good as we can possibly make it! I guess we just want it to go as fast as possible, at least the chemo and first few weeks of recovery, then HOME.....oh when we can be home, for good, will be the sweetest thing, i think, i've ever known! HOME!

Oh, i better go, Colin needs some help in the wrapping department!

Luv, Melissa

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Morning with the boys

This morning was a fun morning, a little tiring, but it was a blast! Melissa went out with some girl friends to do a "big cook." Essentially they make different recipes, enough for 4 families that can be frozen. So I got to be at home with Corban and Keegan this morning. What didn't we do?! Well Corban and I played hockey in the basement first while Keegan climbed on the couches and ran around. Then Keegan wanted to play on the stairs so we did that. Of course playing so hard requires a snack so without Mommy being home we had chocolate at 10:30 this morning. We did share an orange after that too, so it wasn't all bad. We all watched Ice Age after snack time. Lunch came next without Melissa, I never do lunch for the boys, but I had leftovers and the kids at sandwiches. I put Keegan to bed after for his nap, now Corban is playing games on the laptop and I am taking a nice little break for myself. All you stay at home moms, you are amazing, I know Melissa is for sure! The energy the boys require is astounding and I don't have too much right now but its coming.

That's been my day with Corban and Keegan so far. I am doing well. I have a little scar where the line was in my neck but I don't need bandages to cover it anymore. I am lifting Keegan again but not Corban.

It is so nice to be at home again and I look forward to the next couple weeks here before we head back for the last round of chemo. I am not sure when the next post will be but we'll keep you in the loop of any changes or exciting events in our lives.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Life at home

Hello everyone, this Colin writing you from HOME! Yup that's right, Medicine Hat, Alberta. Melissa and I arrived home today around 1:30 to lots of hugs from Corban! Keegan was napping and when he woke up we went into his room and he just stared at us for a minute, then got really excited. Melissa was holding him and I think it really hit him that we were home and he started to cry and snuggle right into Melissa. After he calmed down Melissa set him on the floor and he immediately ran over to me and cuddled into me! It was awesome, got home and big hugs from Corban and Keegan.

Because of my IJ line that was in my neck for the stem cell harvest, I cannot pick up the kids or anything over 10lbs for a few days. Today Keegan kept coming to me smiling really big with his arms out stretched but I couldn't pick him up. I just knelt down and let him hug me! Corban I watched some cartoons tonight and he asked me to sit with him because I keep him warm!

Its so nice to be home for almost 3 weeks now then my FINAL chemo and then stem cell transplant. We are excited and cannot believe we are 3/4 of the way through! Thank you everyone for your prayers and support! God has truly answered our prayers so far. Please continue to pray for health for all of us during this flu season and for a great time at home with family.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Whew! Seriously, what a whirlwind! So last i left off, when we had about 277 million, and our nurse was gracious enough to stay late, all the math pointed that we'd have just enough cells and be finished today, well 4pm came around and the Doc said enough, so the nurse took her time and gathered the last sample.....our previous count had just came in and it was 306 million. ugh! We were SO close, and the nurse said we'd just have to wait for the final sample. BUT the lab said it wasn't protocol and that we had to wait until morning. Then the team of Doc's started to talk and decided that we needed another day for harvest! ARE YOU SERIOUS?! We were both SO disappointed, that right there in front of everyone, we burst into tears. So close to getting to go home, and then we had to wait! So we got packed up and thanked our nurses for staying so much later than usual, and went back upstairs for another night. We cried some more, and then called the boys and they made us smile......then out of nowhere, our Doc came back in our room, with all the supplies to pull out Colin's IJ line from his neck (this is where they hooked him up to harvest the stem cells). WHAT?!?! She said, they've called the lab, ran the test and the final count is over 400 million!!!!!!!!!! PRAISE JESUS! we needed 350 million! AHHHHHHH.......i had to ask her to double check, just in case it was a sick joke! But she laughed and said that everyone saw how badly we missed our kids and wanted to make it happen.....Well i can tell you who made it happen, Our Mighty Doc in the sky, that's who! It was your prayers, nothing short of a miracle made this happen, and we have you all to thank for praying and getting us home tomorrow morning! HOW AWESOME IS THAT!
So, now Colin's laying in his bed with a 5 pound weight on his neck, because they don't actually stitch the vein back up after taking the line out of it, i guess it's just supposed to heal itself, we're waiting a certain amount of time, to stop the bleeding and get the air-tight bandages on, then to sleep, and after the early morning blood work, WE GO HOME!!!!!!!

It's been a really long day, but i learned a lot, the most amazing people, are the people who are SO unselfish to care about someone else, and go that extra mile, our nurse actually came up when she heard the great news, so we hugged her and thanked her again! One thing i will take away from this, is patience......whoa, it's an ugly one to learn, but we getting there. i'll never master it, but God's grace is good! It fills in the cracks where i come up short!

With that, i need to end this long day with a hot cup of soup and a good night sleep!

i'm sure we'll be in touch to tell you how good being at home feels!
until then, HUGS to you and thanks again for walking with us today and each day of our journey!

Luv, Melissa
That last number that we got back was definitely off, cuz this last number we got was that we have about 270 million cells so far.....this is good, these nurses are AWESOME, they are doing everything possible to get us out of here today, bending every rule.....With consent from the Supervising nurse, of course! They all want us to go home to be with our boys, and we are so grateful for their doing everything possible to get us there, we're going to be close, i'm confident we can do it! i'm going to start rolling Colin up from his toes, to squeeze every last free stem cell out of him!
I guess this last number that came back from the lab was really disheartening! In the last few hours, there was only another 33 million stem cells collected, with those kinda of numbers, we'll never make it all in one day.......the nurses aren't happy with the specific lab that is staining these samples, but i guess this one was tested again, so we just have to keep praying that there are WAY more collected in the next few hours!
Ok, so i know God's hearing our prayers, because we just got the second round of counts back and they're actually higher than they estimated, which surprised the nurse, so we're hopeful, but we need the keep praying! it's going to be a long day, they are talking that our nurse will have to stay for some overtime to get Colin done today, but i think they're doing everything they can to get us home for tomorrow! i'll keep ya posted as we find out more! 350 million stem cells is the magical number, the count so far is 153 million.......keep praying!

The Big Day!

Hi, i'm writing this from the 4th floor at the hospital this morning! I am excited to say that they've been harvesting Colin's stem cells today from about 9am this morning! We are just waiting here now, to see how many stem cells they've been able to get so far and if they can get what they need today, or if we have to do another harvest tomorrow. Please pray that they get what they need today! It's going good so far, kinda boring, but i've taken some pictures of the machine and how it's all hooked up as well as the actual bag of stem cells! It's pretty cool! Whoever invented this whole thing, is brilliant!
Anyhoo, i'll post with more details in a little bit!


oh wait, we are just talking to the nurses now and things are looking pretty tight.......please, please pray that his levels stay high enough to get the cells TODAY! Based on what counts they've just gotten back, if things keep up, they'll be exactly what they need, but that's in a perfect world! So please pray that somehow his levels come up more, the nurses faces aren't so hopeful, but we just need to get home to our boys, so we're trusting God to get this done ASAP!

Not the news we wanted to hear, but now we're praying like crazy that the next sample will show some improvement!

Monday, November 2, 2009

This morning was a busy morning for me. I had blood taken at 3 am for my cell counts and my white cells were up to 10.8, unfortunately the nurse didn't take blood for my stem cell counts. I was then woken up at 6 am for another G-CSF and at 8:30 I had my IJ line put in my neck. They finally took blood for my stem cell count at about 9:30 and when it came back my count was not high enough to harvest today, so we wait until tomorrow.

I did have 2 units of red cells this morning because it was not high enough for harvest either. Hopefully they stay high enough for tomorrow and continue to climb like everything else. I know the G-CSF shots are working because between blood work at 3 am and then again at 9:30 I jumped from 10.8 to 15.4! My stem cell count was 27 and needs to climb to at least 35 which it should do with everything else going up. I get another shot tonight and again tomorrow morning.

Other then that, Melissa and I are hanging out in my room at the hospital. When I found out about not being able to collect today, I was very disappointed. I just want to go home and see Corban and Keegan again and be a family in our own home. I know I only have about 3 more weeks in the hospital with 1 more cycle of chemo, then its all about recovery!

Those months before I go back to work are going to be so special for our family. We haven't been at home all together for more then a couple weeks since April!

Hi, it's Melissa here, that last part above was from Colin, and i know i thought i would finish, seeing as he's exhausted and fast asleep right now! We are disappointed about not being able to go home tomorrow, but, God has shown us that His timing is perfect. Though we may not understand, we know and we trust, God's impecible timing! His protection has also come to mind.....who knows, maybe He's protecting Colin from someone who is sick, so he doesn't get sick! It sucks, but we've come way too far with God's provision to give in to worry and stressing over things that God is taking care of! We just miss our kids! I just can't wait to go home, and watch cartoons in our bed with the boys! Soon enough, i know!

Keep praying that things can go ahead for harvest tomorrow! I'll make sure to take some video and pictures, it's a really neat procedure!

ok, i better go!

Colin and Melissa :)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

So today, we really need your prayers! Colin has to go back to the hospital for the night tonite around 6pm......what we're waiting on are his levels to get to where they need to be for the stem cell harvest....yesturday when we checked in, they still weren't there. BUT they were started to rise, and Colin has bone pain today, so i guess that's a good sign! They make the final decision tomorrow after blood work in the morning! I told the Doc's that we'll be home to put the boys to bed on Tuesday night, and i meant it, so now we gotta trust God is going to shoot those cell counts to where they belong for a good strong harvest!
Thanks for standing with us in Prayer! Have a great 1st day of November!

luv, Melissa

p.s. i'll make sure i post as soon as i know where things are at tomorrow morning!