Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Well we are through Christmas and heading into the New Year! We had a great Christmas, pretty low key, but very fun! As Melissa wrote previously, we had our family Christmas on Christmas Eve. I love the look on the boys faces when they get to open presents! Being home this year was extra special for me to be able to see it first hand.

Christmas Day was spent at Glen and Sue's place with Andrew and Nat and family. It busy house hold with 3 boys running around. Great meals and fun times with family. Yesterday we drove to see Melissa's grandparents in Claresholm which was about 2.5 hours from home so it was a long of travelling for the boys. The day was fun visiting with family again. My favorite part of the day was our family walk to see the cows. Corban, Keegan, Melissa and I took a little stroll to get the boys out of the house, mostly because Keegan didn't nap with all the people around, to look around the farm and see some animals. The boys love looking at animals, Keegan especially loves dogs, they all have the same name, "Sash." Our friends Chad and Jessie have a dog named Sasha, that's where he got it from.

Today was another long day for me as I drove to Calgary again for another appointment. Just a regular check in again, blood work and a chest x-ray to make sure my lungs are still looking good. I left at 8:30 this morning and was home by 5:30 tonight. The drive wasn't to bad, but I can see it getting really boring and long.

My blood work wasn't back when I saw the doctor, but she said if there was any problems she would call. No phone call yet so that's a good sign! I have to go back on Monday and probably weekly for another few weeks. After that the doctor will most likely allow me to stay home for 2 weeks at a time but have blood work done here in Medicine Hat on the off week I am not in Calgary. Hopefully by the end of February I am only going to Calgary monthly.

I am feeling good these days and would like to start light work outs at home in the next week. I have to wait a couple more days to start because I had my stitches out today from where they removed my center line.

Thank you again for your continued prayers for our family and as I continue to build my immune system, I will be getting out more, so hopefully I can begin to see more people and thank you in person for your prayers and support. For those not in Medicine Hat and I will not be able to see in person, God hears your prayers and I will always be thankful for you!

Be blessed in all you do! Happy New Year!


Thursday, December 24, 2009

We Made It!!!!

Guess What?!?!? IT'S CHRISTMAS! We made it! This morning we had Christmas just the four of us and now Colin and Corban are putting together our 'family gift'......we decided last Christmas that we were going to get a Wii for fun family times! Corban was yelling and saying "oh i always wanted on of these, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!" lol, it was SO cute! So now, him and Colin are in the living room, getting things all set up to play! These next months are going to be so good to get reconnected as a family again, and i'm sure there will be many great memories around our new Wii! Plus, i'm sure all the moving will help Colin get back into prime shape! haha, don't tell him i said that!
I'm just so thankful that we're here, all home and healthy....Colin, Corban and my dad made it back from Calgary yesturday safe, and now Colin doesn't have his "tubes" as Keegan calls them! Corban watched the whole thing, and told Colin how proud he was of him and then he told him, "Daddy, you're going to be just fine! You're so brave!" as he laid with him after it was over!
One more step to soidify being done, with this first part of our journey!

Merry Christmas to each one following along with us, we love you, and we hope for many happy memories to be made with your loved-ones this Christmas. I know we sure won't look at Christmas the same again! We're still blown away at how BIG the little things in life are!
Blessings on each of you!
Luv, Melissa

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Drive....

So, as we speak, Colin is on his way back from Calgary from the Transplant Clinic. He did end up getting a bit of a cold the past few days, but he's had no fever, which means that his body is fighting on it's own! This is a GREAT thing! He's starting to build his own immunity back up, and the sooner the better! The Doctor seemed to think he was doing just fine and she had no worries. Plus, he's headed back up on Wednesday to get his Central Line taken out of his chest! He'll be able to sleep on his stomach again! haha, i told him he should try being pregnant and doing the same, now we're even! heehee.....We're starting to feel a lot more settled, getting reorganized again and just being able to "live" at home! It's been nice, although we still feel like we're catching up on much needed sleep, but it'll come! Corban is slowly not asking as much, if we're going to be leaving soon, and he's getting used to us being here again....he's been pushing his boundaries, so it's been a bit of a struggle that way, but we're good, and it's refreshing to be able to just be parents again! I can't believe Christmas is this week! We have everything ready and i just can't wait! What a year, but what a year the next one will be! I sure hope it won't be as stressful, i mean i still want to grow and get some wisdom under my belt, but you know....i'm just excited for what is in store!
i'll write soon!
Merry Christmas!
Luv, Melissa

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Good to be HOME!

Well, Colin was forced to be Mr. Mom today.....I've had the worst migraine that i can remember, and believe me, i'm SO glad for Colin.....he's tired but he was AWESOME today! I'm finally, after 24 hours of this thing, feeling like i can function again. I don't know what it is, but i think we're both still adjusting. Colin said last nite, he walked down the stairs after tucking Corban into bed and he just cried, realizing once again, what we had all been through these past five months! He has beat cancer! I know we're flooded with relief for this portion to be over. But i guess we've coped with making it our reality for what seemed to us, like an eternity, and now it's all over, that security blanket has been wiped out from underneath our feet, and we're reeling a little bit. I keep looking at Colin, asking if he feels ok, if he feels like he's getting sick.....we just keep praying that we can make it to be home for Christmas. I know we're home, but this next week until Christmas comes, it's going to be a time of holding our breath to make it there! I thought we'd come and we would be sleeping great, just being relieved to be home, but that's taking a little while as well. I guess, like this entire process, this is all taking time, we adjusted at the beginning, and now, again, we must adjust back to our new normal!
Let me tell ya, we are sure enjoying each other! The kids have been sleeping in for us these last few days, and it just seems we're all catching up on our rest.....kinda we're all relieved we're back together! I can understand where all the emotions and exhaustion can bring on a little bit of despair or depression, but i'm praying that we can be support for each other and just ask that God keeps us from anything that could creep in during this time!
WE'RE HOME! It keeps sinking in a little more everyday! We're going through some sort of culture shock......but we're home....God is good and Christmas is SO close! WOW! This holiday will never mean SO much to us as it does this year and in the years to come! We are together, we have our "Daddy" home with us....and for now...all is right with our world!

Luv, Melissa

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Answered Prayers!

Well, I guess God knew what we needed the most, and i am happy to report that i am typing this from OUR COZY, WARM HOME! I mean, Medicine Hat, HOME!!!! Yesturday Colin went to his appointment as scheduled and just thought he'd mention how badly we wanted to go home. Much to our surprise the Doctor didn't even hesitate! We left as soon as we were packed up and we got to Medicine Hat around 6pm last night! Oh, it feels SO good to be home. We've all been quite emotional, first leaving Andy and Nat's, it was so weird to have spent so much time and then all at once, we were leaving. As Colin was driving in our neighbourhood, we just wept that we were finally coming home! Corban was even crying (probably because we were), but he kept on saying how happy he was to be home with us there with him! Needless to say, we all had about a 12 hour sleep and the kids 13hrs, so today we're rested and just enjoying being together at home again!
We're slowly getting settled, but we do have to make one more trip up to Calgary for a few days before Christmas. Colin has a routine appointment on Monday and then on Wednesday, he gets to have his Central Venus Cathedar (Central Line) removed! We had no idea it would be this soon, but we are very excited, as this is the constant reminder that Colin is still not quite done with this process! I guess we'll never be done, but the real tough stuff is hopefully over! Now we just have to lay low and keep away from big crowds and germs, to make sure Colin doesn't get sick. In the first 3 months, Colin will most likely need hospital care to help him get over any little cold virus, he has to start all over now....but we're at home, and that makes everything better, just being able to be altogether for longer than a week or two at a time!
Please keep praying that Colin can stay healthy, beacuse we still are just praying he can be home, healthy for Christmas! We just take one day at a time, and enjoy what blessings we have in that day!
The Doc's are very excited that Colin has done so well, and it was only because of so many praying with us! THANK YOU!

Luv, Melissa
YEAY! We're home!

Monday, December 14, 2009


whew! It has definitely been a busy couple of days, but so very good to have the boys up here with us! Corban has been taking the transition a little hard.....just being really grumpy and not wanting Colin or I to even go upstairs without knowing when we'll be back down! Every morning he makes sure we don't have to go anywhere. Colin left early this morning for his first appointment as an outpatient and Corban had to ask several times to make sure he was coming home TODAY! It'll just take time to get back into things as a family again! Keegan has been SO cute, he just has to hug me constantly, and then he'll sit up and just stare at me and smile. It's quite cute, he just wants to be with us and be held and cuddled and i love more than anything to finally be able to do that with both boys!
We are really getting antsy to come home to Medicine Hat......with another round of colds and flu going around, i pray that the Doc's let us come home sooner than later! We both just want to come home, and get settled again. AND i'm sure that Andy and Nat want to do the same. The sacrifice that they, as a family, have made is amazing, but they also, just need to go back to being the four of them! We all do!
It blows me away to sit and think of the sacrifice people have made for us throughout these last 5 months! The kindness and generousity of our family and friends still bring tears to my eyes! I don't know how else to repay you or say thank you, than to pray God's Richest Blessings over each and every one of you, and believe me, we have been!
God is such a good God, and i feel that only now have i really come to appreciate the true meaning of living my faith. After going through something like this, Colin and i had no choice but hold on to dear life to our faith that God would bring us through this, somehow, someway! Guess what?! He did! We have all learned such valuable life lessons, and through this process, our sweet Corban asked Jesus to come into his heart! Something that, at first, broke both our hearts, beacuse we wanted to be there with him when he prayed so badly, but we know walking with Jesus is exactly that, a daily walk, a daily choice. Now we have the awesome responsibility of sharing in that journey with him, and seeing where God takes him! This last bit of the process has been emotional for Colin and I. We are feeling a little lost, like where do we go from here, and what now?! BUT the Doc's are helping us through that and they are still here to answer our questions and make sure we are well equipped to enter this next phase! I guess nothing will ever really go back to the way it was before, but i'm not sure it's such a bad thing. We are all changed, and we have been refined and made better for going through this. I'm not sure what the future holds, but I know that God is going to be holding our hands every step of the way!
Thank you for your ongoing prayers and support, you have no idea how just that alone has changed us!

Luv, Melissa

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Well everyone, I am officially on to the next phase of getting back to 100% health! Today I was discharged from Foothill Medical Centre Unit 57. I am so excited and even some what apprehensive. Excited I can begin to regain my strength and endurance in a couple weeks once my counts go up more. Apprehensive because we have surrounded by the most amazing medical staff here on Unit 57 and now we push forward. I should say the apprehension is very minimal. We still are part of the BMT clinic here at Foothills and I will be checking in with them once a week for a couple months now. After then, we come every month for a bit, then who knows, never?! My counts are stablizing, low, but my body is starting to bounce back on its own, which was supposed to happen. The doctor, Nancy, was very happy for me this morning when she said I was getting discharged. She was amazing up here on Unit 57, she kept joking these weeks after transplant about checking my chemo doses that they were correct because I didn't have any ill side effects after chemo and transplant. I know its because God was watching over me and it was just part of HIS perfect plans for me.

So now I am writing this sitting in the room I checked into for the last time on Unit57 waiting for Melissa and Mom to show up to pick me up with CORBAN AND KEEGAN! Yup we are going to get to be to a family again starting today! No more leaving the boys at home for weeks on end and hopefully no more hospital stays. God, please protect me from sickness, fever, infection until my body is able to fight again on its own, Amen.

I am at a loss for words right now because this has been surreal for us and without everyones prayers and support, I don't know we would have got through all of this. We still have a road ahead back to 100% I need to sit down and write out some goals for the coming months. If my body allows, I would love to be running again by my birthday in January. Its lofty to even think I could that but I am determined to be 100% sooner then later. I know my limits and never thought I would ever have to overcome cancer so young, if at all in my life, but look where I am now. Thank you Lord.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hurry Up and WAIT!

Hello All!
I wanted to give you the scoop on how Colin has been the last few days. He is tired, and we have just been checking in at the hospital everyday. With the weather it's been taking an hour to get here on most mornings this week, and with the lab at the hospital getting some new computer system, let's just say, i'm ready to start filling in a time sheet and getting paid for the full days we've been putting in here! Anyways, Colin's cell counts are still all really low, and today he's getting another unit of red cells, with hopes that this will be the last transfusion he will need! The good news is, tomorrow, we get a day off. So we can maybe even sleep in a little bit! WOW! This weekend Colin's mom is flying out to spend her birthday with us and we are hoping to get the kids up here with us either Saturday or Sunday! It's a big weekend for us! I hope Colin is up for it, i just don't want him getting run down, so i'm hoping that he'll take it easy, even though he'll want to be playing with the kids!
Colin really has done so amazing this far! God has kept him protected from any sickness and we're hoping that nothing pops up before we can get home for Christmas! Our work-up nurse was in today and she said that if Colin gets any type of sickness within the first 2-3 months post transplant, that he would most-likely have to be treated and hospitalized. So as we enter into this next phase of this process, i'm praying for God to take my fears away and bring us comfort that HE will keep Colin safe and healthy! The good thing about if he does get sick, is that he can be treated in Medicine Hat, by the oncologists there, so at least we can stay together as a family. The thought of just now getting to be back together again, makes me hope that we can have some time and rest before any other "bump" comes our way! We are SO ready to get home and be settled again. Please pray that we can do that soon! That Colin won't get sick and that we can be discharged and get some rest at home for Christmas!

Luv, Melissa

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Day 8 and some personal thoughts

Today I feel good again, not like the past couple days were bad, but I feel like I am starting to get some energy back after transplant. We are at the hospital right now just waiting for my blood counts to come back. I think and feel I should be good today. I received platlets and red blood cells yesterday and they also started G-CSF shots to boost my white cells. Hopefully today my whites are up so then we wouldn't have to check in everyday.

We are hoping to be discharged from Unit 57 on day 14, which is next Monday and then only have to check into the BMT clinic down stairs once a week. We are hoping they will let us come home for Christmas around the 21st. I would have to come back just for the day probably around the 28th or 29th.

This weekend is a big weekend for us with discharge and hopefully being able to bring the boys up to stay with us in Calgary until we go home again. Also Dad surprised my Mom with a plane ticket to Calgary for her birthday so she will be with us this weekend too! Lots going on but nothing really exciting with me, which is the way it should be, because it means I am doing well and starting to recover more.

With Christmas just around the bend I want to say thank you to everyone who has prayed for us and helped me get the best Christmas present ever, ANOTHER SHOT AT A HEALTHY LIFE WITH MY FAMILY! Doctors, nurses, PCAs, family, friends, co-workers, prayer warriors, people I have never met, everyone who in some way or another touched our lives during these 4 months in Calgary, THANK YOU. WE love you so much. Life will never look the same for me and you have all been through this with us!

I know the list above is very broad, but I cannot even start to mention everyone who has helped us out at one point or another. One person who I have thanked over and over is Melissa. I will never truly think or show how thankful I am for her. The LORD is my ROCK and Melissa is second to HIM in my support system. Without her this journey would have been a nightmare. Many nights she would hold me while I cried not knowing what the future held, worried I would never see my boys go to school, graduate or get married. Her words would reassure me God was watching over us and HE was taking care of me. When my outlook was bleak Melissa gave me strength to fight and to not loose sight of Christ in my life and to reach out to HIM who spared HIS life for me!

This Christmas I don't need presents, a Christmas tree, lights, a big dinner. I have already been given everything I need: a second chance at a healthy life, family, great friends, Corban and Keegan, Melissa and my LORD and SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST!

I love you all! THANK YOU!


Sunday, December 6, 2009

We Made It!

so i'm glad to report we made it to the hospital this morning safely. The roads are better than they have been the last couple days but it's SO cold! Colin's doing good, he's still low and so they are giving him 1 unit of red blood today and then they aren't even going to wait for blood results tomorrow, they've just ordered more red blood and platlets for tomorrow. This is great, because usually by the time we wait a few hours for results to come back, it's after noon by the time the blood gets started, and way past dark by the time we're driving home! Tomorrow we should be outta here by just past noon and today we can be on the road by about 3pm! AWESOME! We met another Doc that works part time up here and he says the fact that Colin's been out on pass says it all. If a patient is healthy enough and strong enough to be out on pass, they are doing GREAT! Praise God for getting us through one day at a time!
They're trying to get the outbreak under control but our nurse did say that it was
H1N1. They haven't quite got to a point of control that they're happy with yet, and she mentioned that there were quite a few more patients that have it than they would like, but we are over on the other end of the Floor, and 3 big doors all of which are closed are between us and the main area of Unit 57, so with masks and washing our hands at every turn, there's not much more that we can do! They have put Colin on Tamiflu, which is a preventative antiobiotic that is used to treat people with
H1N1, so we're hoping that can give him some protection where our falls short! I mean, our prayers and trust that God will protect him don't fall short, but earthly measures is what i mean!
Today is a good day! Colin is still one of the few healthy one's up here, and i'm praying that it can stay this way!

Luv, Melissa

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Snow Day!

Wow, so here's another day inside not going anywhere! We were actually supposed to be checking in this morning at the hospital for blood work, but we were not able to get there, after seeing countless vehicles just in our cresent having to be dug out of their driveways and around the corners. We called in and said there was no way we could make it there. They had no objections, and said that if Colin was feeling ok, with no fever that we could just try again tomorrow! I can't believe this weather, the blowing snow is drifting, making it impossible to get anywhere without getting stuck!
I also count this as a blessing, because we are all healthy, and warm, and we can wait another day for the outbreak up on Unit 57 to be contained! We still haven't heard what the "bug" is, and we're just thankful that we can stay away!
I am in awe at how well Colin is doing. Post transplant was supposed to be a "doozy" of side-effects and symptoms, all of which were awful and unpleasant, but Colin seems to be coming through unscathed so far. Our prayer is that this continues! God is SO good and we know people are praying, because the other gentleman we met with Burkitt's Lymphoma had a terrible time and had to stay 10 days in the hospital becuse of getting sick both from the past chemo and getting run down! God is BIG, and we're so glad we can call Him for help for things that we can't control! I'm making sure Colin takes it easy and rests almost constantly. He really isn't up for anything else and he's still eating, not as much, but he's getting nutrients in, and that's all that matters!
We are warm and safe, and we pray the same for you, too!
Be safe, and stay in!
i'm gonna go make some tea!

Luv, Melissa

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Unwanted Anxiety!

So, another day checking in at the hospital. All routine, we've done this a million times, but this morning, we experienced a lock down on the entire unit. I guess, sometime this morning, the Doc's declared an outbreak of some sort of flu, not sure yet, if it's H1N1, or just one of the other nasty flu-bugs going around. Needless to say, Colin and i got worried. We have heard from everyone there, if you're going to get sick, you'll most likely catch it from the hospital. Yikes, especially now that Colin is extremely at risk for any little bug. I have nothing I can do but pray that he stays protected, and that God sends His mighty angels to cover Colin from any germ that might come his way! Please pray the same! I could start to worry, but it won't do anything productive, so we're both just trying to relax and pray the time goes quick until Monday when they can start giving him G-CSF shots to boost his immune system! Nothing's changed, he's exhausted and sleeping more than he is awake. He's healthy so far, so please pray he gets through the rest of the way until he starts stabilizing and getting some cells to fight infections!
Good news is, that the Doc's felt better about not having him come in again until Saturday. They want to try to get this outbreak under control, and keep the healthy patients away as much as they can! Unfortunately, by Saturday, Colin's going to need some blood transfusions, so we'll have to be there all day, again, unsettling! I'm so tired of living in fear of the germs we can't see! It's scary not having any control, but i guess that's where our faith comes in and God takes over! How comforting to know He's watching all that going on, and making sure Colin stays safe!
I should go check on Colin, i'll check in with you guys later!

Luv, Melissa

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Nowhere to go but UP!

Sorry it's been a few days, but treat no news as good news on our end! Colin has been out on passes since Monday evening! It's been good to get him out of the hospital and eating good homecooked meals at our Calgary 'Home'! We checked back in at the hospital this morning and Colin is on his way to the bottom! His cell counts are low and tomorrow we suspect they'll be no lower they can go. He's extremely tired and just trying to rest and sleep a lot! I'm happy that his mouth is free of sores to this point and nausea is also quite minimal! He's eating good, so that's all we can hope for. I think the two of us are so tired of these 'low' times. It's SO nerve racking for both of us to think about how suseptible he is to ANY infections, especially now after his transplant! We just want to get out of this huge risk and all Colin wants is to just start to feel better. This time, he knows he doesn't have to feel better just to "go through it all again"! HE IS DONE! Please pray for us now, as Colin is at risk, that he stays healthy and safe! I'll make sure i'm in touch with how he's feeling and how our days are going! We are SO blessed to have a home to come too, so many people have no where to go, so they have to stay in the hospital. THANK YOU ANDY AND NAT, for opening up your home and making it our home, too! Love you guys!
ok, i should go, they rented some good movies, and it'll be nice to sit and relax!

Thank you again, for praying, things would be much worse without those powerful prayers!

Good Night!