Tonight

Wow! I haven’t blogged since June! Life sure has changed since then!

I was just going to say a quick blurp but instead I think I’ll actually blog (I have like 20minutes before I want to attempt going to ‘bed’…more on that later).

My energy truely has returned! Praise the Lord! So much so I decided to do a fall cleaning of our house. I haven’t done a ‘true’ fall (or spring) cleaning in…well…. since the first cleaning when we moved in! Sure I’ve cleaned everything overtime but never a ‘lets do this’ cleaning where you do it all quickly and get it done…. well that was the plan anyway! I started in October, I had two weeks left before November and wanted to get the fall cleaning done before the new month….. I’m now trying to finish it this week (so it’s done before December). I only have half the Kitchen and the master bedroom left…can I do it? I hope so, although delay after delay keep coming up. And it’s not that I don’t have the energy to do the cleaning, I just don’t have the time!

I am homeschooling Joy (Grade 1) and Olivia (Pre-K). Olivia begs to do school work, Joy begs NOT to do it! They are both doing great though and we are looking to change up a few things to make it more fun etc, so over the month of December we will be taking a bit of a break to re-vamp things. To do all their school work, with all their fightings and distractions it takes us between 2-3 hours (we do 45min work, 15min break, repeat). So we are done by lunch time, sometimes (as we are slow in the morning) we eat lunch at 1pm.

Then there is the basic upkeep of a house hold. As well as squeezing in the fall cleaning, crafts and outdoor time (what is that?! I’m so bad at not getting them out!).

By the time I’m done the house chores it’s time to make dinner and Orlund is home. After dinner is cleaned up we have family time, bath time, or just play time. Often times I try and fit in MY crafts in this time when the kids are more than happy to play on their own. (you know crocheting, sewing, cross stitching, etc etc).

Before we know it it’s time for the kids bedtime routine and they are down at 7pm. Then it’s Orlund and my time to do OUR school work! Yup, Orlund and I are taking online courses. (different courses). I’ve decided I’d like to be a ‘Medical Laboratory Assistant’ (as my friend calls them ‘lab ladies’, we collect samples etc). There are 4 courses in the program, plus a 4 day work shop (hands on training) then a 6wk full time (unpaid) practicum. I’ve been given a promise of a practicum placement at the hospital. I want to work at the hospital ~ I know I’m crazy ;)

After we do an hour to two of our school work we watch a tv show to unwind before bed.

Yup. busy.

Saturday night we went out for dinner with my dad. It was so good to see him, although we only live 45min away (and he’s in town every week day) we hardly see him. He does swing by and see the girls in their gymnastics class as it’s at the University (where he teaches), but that’s just a quick “hello” on his lunch break. So we had a dinner out with him, and planned to have him over Tuesday for his Birthday dinner (that’s tonight, his Bday is tomorrow). But Saturday night………….”Mommy! I threw up!” Joy calls…. she was sick until we went to bed at 11pm, and then it was still a restless night. She kept getting better. Last night, 2am “Mommy!! Olivia’s throwing up!” Joy calls, I answer “give her your bucket!!!”. Too late.. change of bedding….She was up every 45min or so…. I couldn’t sleep in between either. Long night.

Tonight…. Tonight I sleep on Jacob’s floor. Orlund came home from work sick, and he did get sick too. Olivia and Daddy are sharing our bed. I don’t want their germs. I changed Olivia’s bedding, but I still don’t want to sleep in their room, I haven’t fully disinfected it yet. Joy’s sleeping in there, she’s already had it and is back to normal. I’m not sleeping in the living room, too bright/cold. I’m not sleeping with the sicko’s, nope. Jacob and I are the only ones showing NO signs… Please pray we don’t get it. We are sticking together…. maybe him eating his boogers has protected him? I’m not going to start!

Pray for a good night, Pray for health. Much love!

ps~ sorry for any bad spelling, or grammar. I’m always bad, but I’m on Orlund’s comp and he has spell check off! (my computer is in the shop, for the 3rd time!).

June 17th… in remembrance

Today is June 17th. Today I can’t help but looking back at what has transgressed in one full year.

June 17th my Mom came over to help me and my best friend Ashley came for a visit. Ashley was the one that got me to first go see the Dr, and her visits were wonderful in keeping me going. I remember sitting on the couch nursing Jacob. Ashley was next to me and Mom was in the Kitchen. I needed to be sick. I wanted to finish nursing first. Little did I know that would be my last time nursing my baby boy, my last time nursing any baby. I ran to the washroom and lost the contents of my stomach. Really the contents of my small intestine. Gross. I knew then and there I could no longer do this. I could no longer pick myself off the floor and pretend I was just a little sick. I needed help, my body wasn’t my own. The pain consumed me, the medications only took the edge off. My pain tolerance is very high, but this, this was beyond pain. I called for my mom. I need to get help, call 911. It blurs. I remember anytime I moved I would vomit. The paramedics carried me down the stairs. Even though I knew I needed this, the pain of knowing that my kids were scared washed over me. Here was their mommy being carried out of the house and was too sick to move without vomiting. I found relief in believing I’d be home soon, they would forget all about this, and they were in very safe hands. I remember thinking they should put the sirens on in the ambulance, and knowing that my mom was following behind. We arrived at the hospital. One of the paramedics asked me if I thought I could walk a few steps. If I was able to get off the stretcher and walk the few steps to the chair in the waiting room I could go through streaming, meaning the wait would be much less. I sat up and heaved into the bucket I hugged close. I swung my feet over the edge and again was sick. The nurse noticed at this point and yelled at us all that I was to sick to be in streaming and to stay on the stretcher. Once settled back in I felt a bit better knowing I was going to get help. Orlund had arrived about the time that the ambulance had so I was content having him and my mom with me. Anyone that asked any question my mom would drill into them that they’d better ‘fix’ me, I wasn’t going to go home until I was fixed. We later found out that there is a ‘saying’ in emergency ‘if mom say’s something is wrong, something is wrong’. I was finally admitted.

We all figured this would be a quick fix. Now that I was at the hospital under surveillance, with proper medication and all the tests readily available I would be home soon.
I’m not going to say everything that happened. However I was discharged from the hospital August 24, 2013. I stayed in the hospital for a total of 68 days. That is not including all the time I spent there before being admitted, Chemo day’s, follow up tests or my re-attachment surgery. I still have many tests and visits to the hospital I will be making but hopefully never in this kind of pain. I’m now going to include a transcript that one of my Dr’s wrote close to my admittance ~

This 29-year-old woman, mother of three was seen for assessment of abdominal pain possibly due to a small bowel obstruction.
Jennifer was a somewhat vague historian. Essentially she describes a two month history of abdominal pain which has been exacerbated since late May, 2013. It appears to be primarily central which will radiate into both flanks. It is aggravated by eating, changes in position and just about anything. In the last week it has been associated with nausea and vomiting and she has virtually stopped eating. Her stools have a slight tendency to be loose and she has noted a paucity of bowel movements and flatus in the last five days. Over the last three weeks Jennifer has undergone a number of investigations including
1. A CT scan of the abdomen May 30,2013 – small amount of free fluid nil else.
2. Ultrasound of pelvis, June 4,2013 negative.
3. Ultrasound upper abdomen June 6, 2013. The gallbladder and bile ducts were normal, multiple loops of peristalsing bowel.
4. HIDA scan June 13,2013; gallbladder promptly fills but does not respond to CCK stimulation, 29% ejection.
5. MRCP June 21, 2013; no evidence of biliary pathology, small amount of free fluid and pleural fluid; multiple dilated loops of small bowel, query small bowel obstruction versus ileus.
Jennifer has had no previous abdominal surgery.
Physical examination~
Pale young woman who is lying on her side with a bucket close to her mouth. She stated that she had been vomiting earlier and is quite intolerant to taking anything by mouth. She has been requiring large doses of narcotics to mange the pain. On examination the abdomen is protuberant. There are no scars. Bowel sounds are hyperactive. Soft to percussion and palpation. There is some tenderness which is maximum in the upper abdomen. There is no associated significant guarding or peritoneal irritation. No masses are palpable.
This 29 year old woman presents with a 4 week history of abdominal pain which was exacerbated over the last 5 days. An MRCP performed earlier today was suggestive of a small bowel obstruction versus an ileus. CT scan of the abdomen performed May 30 was entirely negative. As there may be some progression of her illness I do think it would be prudent to repeat the CT scan of the abdomen.

Although I was in the battle of my life I was unaware of just how serious it was. I still want to write a book about my story, I don’t know where to start, and it pulls me down into this dark place. One I don’t like. I take it slow. I’m starting to think it’s time I visit that place just once in a while before I let it slip completely from memory. Thank you Jesus for deciding I needed to stick it out on earth for a bit longer.

The truth about homeschooling…

I’m just a regular 30 year old mother of 3. Nothing makes me stand above the rest or special (other than being God’s daughter, but you get the point). I like to dress up and do my nails. Being able to do my make up is special and something I do on special occasions, and yes Church is a special occasion.
I was never very good in school, averaging C+’s through most my high school years. So why would I want to home school my kids?

When Orlund and I first got married we discussed casually about what kind of schooling we would like our kids to do. He started school at the ‘church school’. It was a classroom setting however basically a home school idea, then after a number of years the church decided to close the school and he finished school in the Christian school. I always attended public school. I didn’t want my kids in the Christian school. He didn’t want them in public school, he then suggested that perhaps we could home school them…..HOME SCHOOL? Like I have to TEACH them? This idea was so foreign to me, weren’t home schooled kids weird? I don’t want weird kids (weirder than they will already be from being MY offspring that is). I completely dismissed the idea.

Fast forward to expecting Joy. I made a new friend, Rosanne, she was home schooled and not weird. That helped me believe not all home schooled kids are weird. But still that’s a LOT of responsibility on ME, especially since I wasn’t good in school. Orlund made it sound so easy “just read ahead of them, you can do it”… I started to open up to the idea, but it was still very frightening to me. However we had attended some small groups via our Church and I started to realize that a lot of what public schools teach kids is NOT ok with me. So I agreed the kids could go to the Christian school. Problem? It’s a private school so costs a lot of money.

Joy was 4years old. Preschool age. NO WAY was I going to put her IN a preschool. That was never a question, however I realized that I needed to start making decisions about what exactly we wanted to DO for her schooling. I set up at time to go and visit a (homeschooling) mom from our Church whose kids are all in the upper elementary grades and high school. That meeting completely opened my eyes! I found out that there are actually SET UP curriculum’s so that you don’t have to ‘wing’ it, unless you want to. You can ‘enroll’ under a school which provides you with funding and a ‘teacher’ who you email weekly and they come to your house meet with your child, write report cards etc. You can ask them questions, find resources, and all that wonderful jazz! There was someone to make sure we were on track and it wouldn’t ALL be up to me (or at least I wont find out later I screwed her up for life!).

Now we’d decided to home school. Originally back when I was a doubter my mom was too. she was very much against it at the time. However her life changed drastically since then (moving to Thailand and whatnot). I ordered Preschool for Joy in January of her preschool year, then found out mom was going to home school her kids and use the same curriculum as I! (and I didn’t suggest it to her, another missionary did!). It was fun for us to learn about it together. Now she was on board but that doesn’t mean everyone is.

It’s really no bodies business how we choose to raise our children or the decisions we make for them. However that doesn’t stop people from asking or voicing their opinions. My brother for one is completely against us homeschooling. And he voiced it very clearly to me one night when he took me out for a special ‘date’. I was crushed that he thought (or thinks) I’m doing something wrong for my children, however he’s not going to pursued me otherwise. He doesn’t have children, he doesn’t have the beliefs I have, and he doesn’t honestly know anything about homeschooling. He’s one of the people who think my kids wont be socialized. Socializing is dependent on the child (extrovert or introvert), on the way the parents raise said child and other factors. It has NOTHING to do with weather they attend school with other kids or not, or get to go on field trips with other kids (we do cool stuff with the homeschooling group!).  There are many p0eople who don’t agree with home schooling, but those are usually the people who are ignorant to what homeschooling is actually like and about.

We decided to home school all of our children until Jacob is starting Grade 1. I know I’d love to home school them right through, however financially isn’t possible. So I’ll take all I can. This year Joy was in Kindergarten. I went through Chemo treatments/surgery and numerous dr’s apts. She will be finishing the Kindergarten curriculum in the middle of July. Which is fine be me as then we will continue learning through the summer. I was able to do school throughout it all! How wonderful!

Want to know what our day is like?
8am-9am breakfast/chores
9am -11:30am School (break down after this)
11:30-noon make lunch
noon – 1pm eat lunch/clean up
1-2pm free play
2pm Jacob nap, girls play (mommy chores etc)
4pm Jacob up, kids play, mommy makes dinner
blah blah blah evening

School ~ go downstairs, if beautiful out set up table outside in backyard. (this order changes~) Read read-a-loud stories. Read, answer questions science (do experiments). Math, play with blocks and write in math book (she’s good at math!). Writing; she practices writing. we work on phonics and she reads some simple sentences/words to me. PE; we go and play outside (different games etc). We do crafts and games when we feel like it. Teach them new life skills.
I said we spend from 9am-11:30am doing school. In fact other than the extra’s (experiments, games, PE stuff) school will usually take 30min-1hour. The rest is just play time.

Homeschooling is a challenge. Some days I just want to pull my hair out and scream! (sometimes I do!). Then some days you are just bursting at the seams with pride! You get so excited at some new accomplishment they just achieved. I wont lie, it can be very difficult some days. Other days it feels like you could go on forever. I enjoy this challenge, and I truly LOVE teaching my kids. Homeschooling isn’t for everyone, I believe all children could be home schooled, but it isn’t always the right ‘cup of tea’ for some people. I respect that. I respect that you send your child to the Christian school, or the public school. Just please respect my decision as well. I guess I get tired of hearing bashing on facebook all the time, and usually it’s about stuff that isn’t anyone else’s business ~ is your son circumcised or not. Do you spank your children or not. It’s honestly no one else’s business!

Spring time!

Sorry I’m so incredibly behind on blogging…. to you very few people who read this…. Is that crickets I hear?

Chemo finished the last week of February. So incredibly thankful for that to be OVER! Since then I had some CT scan’s and blood tests etc. They were worried as some of my blood tests came back showing high liver counts (if colon cancer is to return it often shows up in the Liver or Lungs ~ and yes it’s still called Colon cancer!). However after the CT and Xray they deemed it a side effect of Chemo.

My mom returned from Thailand to help me out during my last treatment, sure is nice having her home!

My re-attachment surgery was April 1st. That’s right! My intestines are now reattached and I no longer have a baggy!! Woop woop!! I also asked them to ‘fix’ up my scar as it was very large, so they made it smaller and in doing so they also fixed my stomach muscles as they had gotten stretched out when I bloated  (first sick). So now they are back to being straight and I’ll be able to tone them unlike before. So it was almost like a little tummy tuck! Gotta love that!

Since Chemo and Surgery life has been slowly returning to normal. My fingers and feet are still numb, but I’m getting more and more feeling everyday. I tried doing an exercise program, I did day one and now one week later I’m still sore :( guess I should listen to the Dr and start off with walking! lol.

My mom and I went to Kelowna to the homeschooling conference, wow! learned so much and it got me so excited for homeschooling! It made it not feel like a chore, but as something to look forward to and enjoy :) always nice to have the flame of passion reignited! Since then Mom and I have cleaned up the disastrous toy room, and converted it into the ‘school’ room. moved all the books down there and set it up so that I’m able to teach more easily. and since it still houses many toys the littles play around us happily.

Next on the list? sew seat covers for my dining room chairs ~ doing that tomorrow. I almost had my entire office cleaned out, however with the arrival of Joy’s 6th Birthday party it got overloaded with the ‘still sorting’ stuff. Mom heads home on Sunday so I’ll be going the office alone. But if she can help me sew then I’ll be good to go :)

Since my last post we’ve had all 3 kids birthday parties. Jacob’s was monster truck theme, Olivia’s was Periwinkle theme and Joy’s was supposed to be Dora, but got converted to Candy Land/fun colours. We had planned Joy’s to be outside, however the weather decided to not co-operate. Oh well!

I cannot believe it is May already…. It’s almost been 1 full year since I first realized I was sick. I find myself thinking about that time a lot right now, how we thought there was just something simple wrong and it’d be an easy fix. When really we had no idea what kind of curve ball we were getting thrown. So thankful that God knew and was prepared, He’s never caught off guard!

I’m going to try and blog once a week…..wish me luck! LOL. And I’ll be sure to post more pictures as we go :)

Life

Today I had treatment #10! I almost didn’t have it due to my blood being low, but Praise God, it came up in time to receive treatment. I was delayed last treatment, by almost a week. I now have to take injections of some miracle drug that makes my blood produce more to bring up my blood counts. VERY expensive meds! But I feel wonderful! Even though my blood was down yesterday I’ve really noticed a change. I hadn’t realized just how sluggish I’d gotten. I was wondering why I couldn’t get going, or get off the couch! Now I know, low blood.

Homeschooling is going great! I took the week off over Christmas and it set us behind a bit, but we are getting back into the swing of things. Before I had Chemo on Wednesday’s so would cram all of Joy’s schooling for that week into 2 days, but now Chemo is on Tuesdays so I do half the work on Monday and I’ll space it out through the week (more like Thursday/Friday), which is nice for her and me. She also had read 2 words all on her own (sounding out etc), bat and cat. Joy is so excited that she’s learning to read. She knows her letters and their sounds, just has a hard time figuring out what the sounds are saying.

I’m going to be doing a blog post of photo’s. I was looking through our cell phone at all the photo’s we have from this past year. It’s going to be a post letting the photo’s tell the story of our summer. Just gotta get Orlund to make something to display them easier (there are a lot).

We are also in the Birthday season! Already had Hazel and Orlund’s birthday’s. February luckily is the slower month (since I still have Chemo) with just Hugh’s birthday. The girls have already placed their ‘orders’ for birthday cakes and themes. Jacob is having a monster truck theme (girls picked) his Birthday along with cousin Ava’s is in March. April is a bunch of friends birthday’s along with Olivia’s (and my 30th), Olivia wants a Periwinkle birthday theme (Joy had that last year) so I have lots of decorations already organized and I bought a bunch over Christmas (snow theme basically), she also want’s a surprise cake, but I’m listening to everything she’s said. she wants Periwinkle on it, along with a rainbow and hearts, and sparkles… I’m going to have to get creative! May brings Joy’s birthday and Virden’s. Joy wants a Dora theme……. I don’t know where she came up with that as they don’t watch Dora… But I’ll have fun with that, I’ll have a pinata that Swipper swipes and they will have to follow the Maps directions, going down the street, playing hop scotch and a few other things then coming back to find the pinata in the back yard. I think it’ll be loads of fun for a 6year olds birthday. Oh and her cake? Not Dora, nope she wants it to look like the Candy Land board game. I actually have a recipe and directions from a magazine! It’ll be fun except the cake has to be decorated with the candy the day OF the party… so I guess I’ll be busy! But it’ll be loads of fun! And that’s the birthday season, there are 3 birthday’s all in July but that’s the only other really busy month.

Bought Orlund a wii for Christmas, and bought him the wii fit for his Birthday. It actually works out great because with me having a cold sensitivity and low energy the girls aren’t getting much exercise.. but with the wii fit we have them running every night! I don’t like so much technology but for now it’s working out perfectly! They get their exercise and I don’t have to bundle up 3 kids! LOL.

Well I think that’s it for this blog post! I’ll be sure to get those pictures up as soon as I can :)

God Bless!!

Chemo

So sorry I’m behind on the blog :(

Today I had Chemo round #6. So I officially only have 6 left to go :) It’s exciting and tiring thinking that I’m half way…
The Chemo I’m on is a ‘less harsh’ kind, I’m so thankful it’s not a harsh kind! Chemo is not fun. Plain and simple. If you saw me on the 9 days that I feel good you wouldn’t know it’s as hard as it is. But the other 5 days (this is every 14day cycle) you might not even recognize me. You can feel Chemo cursing through your body, like a poison, a heavy weight weighing you down. I have cold sensitivity which makes drinking water difficult, it gets colder as I drink (and due to Chemo and my Ostomy I HAVE to drink at Minimum 8glasses a day). It feels like crystals forming in your throat. This also makes my tongue go ‘lazy’ making me talk funny and slur my words. My hands and feet go numb and tingly when cool, actually any part of my body does. My hands also feel like they are seizing up, or getting lazy as well, making writing almost impossible (luckily they are working right now). nightly Orlund and I play dominos, I fumble the tiles and have to shake my hands out regularly to try to get them to ‘wake up’. I also have what is referred to as “Chemo fog”, it’s like I’m in a fog and have a hard time connecting things like I normally would (took me like 15 times watching those ‘don’t be a luger’ adds to figure out what they mean). I also have apparently short term memory loss, which is a side effect of Chemo, and from the Coma/trauma I endured. So we try to play games and keep my mind active. I’m very tired and some times I can’t physically lift myself up to get going. I call Thursday and Friday ‘movie days’ because when Jacob is napping I put a movie on for the girls so I can nap too.

Chemo makes homeschooling a bit more difficult as well. I don’t have the energy I wished I did to make it more fun, but I do the best I can (and hey, it’s Kindergarten). I basically do the regular schooling on my ‘non-Chemo’ weeks and then cram the other weeks into 2 days! Luckily Orlund is doing math with Joy so he can do that every evening easing the load for me (I just discovered it’s a seperate curriculum so we are a bit behind! lol).

That is basically what is going on in our lives. Our lives are broken up into 2 week segments, chemo-week and non-chemo week. Just like our weekends, making Christmas shopping more scheduled than usual! November 30th we are celebrating Christmas with my family, so had to do all that shopping last weekend. Just like there is only one other weekend that is a non-chemo weekend before Christmas with Orlund’s family! Gotta get their lists!!

Through all of this I have to keep Praising God. He is just so wonderful to undeserving me. Honestly. As I think back on all that’s happened He had everything scheduled and timed out perfectly! And He continues to Bless me, my Hemaglobin is staying nice and high (actually went up a little again), so I’m able to stay on track with my Chemo. (Which keeps Christmas as a non-chemo week!). Thank you God for loving me so much to send your precious Son Jesus to make a way for us all!! And as Christmas approaches we celebrate His birth!

God Bless you all!

 

Things have changed!

Reading my last blog entry makes me realize just how much my life has changed since then. To recap quickly (who am I kidding? I’m never quick!). After my blog I ended up in emergency instead of the Dr’s appointment. I ended up there a lot. I had more tests done. I had two hyperventilating experiences where my body seized up. More ultrasounds, CT scans etc. Everyone admitted I was in pain but no real answers. On my second trip to the hospital via ambulance my mom demanded that they ‘fix me’. She told every nurse, doctor and anyone that would listen (or not listen) that we wern’t leaving until I was better. I got admitted June 17th, 2013. I got sicker, had more tests and bloated up like a balloon. (I got bigger in my tummy than I ever did when pregnant… talk about stretch marks!). At this time my dad came down with phemonia (sp?), he was also bright yellow! He got admitted as well. My mom was able to get us moved onto the same floor/wing so at least it was easier on her for visiting. My dad had a rough go, but got better and went home. The doctors thought they had a diagnosis… They figured I had Crohn’s disease. But they weren’t sure so didn’t want to do a surgery incase it could be fixed other ways. One Doctor figured I was just having abdominal migraines….. I watched the Canada Day fireworks from the 5th floor of the hospital. I was doing ‘better’ on the strong meds and steroids. July 4th I was scheduled for a Colonostopy (sp? I’m on Orlund’s laptop and spell check is off, sorry). I don’t remember July 4th other than texting my mom and best friend, they’d both asked how I was ~ to mom I just wrote ‘hell’, and to Leah I wrote ‘terrible’…

I don’t remember the rest, it’s been told to me. I wasn’t doing good, they thought perhaps I had a blood clot in my lungs as I was having a hard time breathing. They took an X-ray (at my bed) and started to take me down to ICU. One Doctor then grabbed my mom and Orlund (and Leah) to ride in the elevator and informed them that no I wasn’t going to ICU, but into emergency surgery!

My bowl had ‘erupted’, I was septic! (My mom later heard there is only a 20% survival rate). They went in and tried to ‘clean’ me up, they discovered a huge mass in my large intestine, the surgeons thought it might be cancer so followed proceedure and removed it all. They removed approx 1/3 of my Colon, and had to remove some of my stomach as the mass was attached. I might be stating some of this in the wrong order, however at some point they had to do a tracheotomy (thing in your throat to help you breathe – also prevents you from talking). They told my family I would wake up the next day. July 5th, my mom’s birthday. But I didn’t wake up, instead I was put in an induced coma ~ for 2 weeks. There were many issues due to the infection from going septic, my blood pressure, body temperature etc were hard for them to maintain. While my fa.mily was going through the scare of their lives I was having the most horrific hallucinations. The nurses were trying to kill me, so I thought, thank goodness they weren’t actually! My mom had her Ipod playing Christian worship music 24/7 for me. During one hallucination a worship song broke through and I could feel God saying “come on Jenn, it’s time to pick yourself up. I’m here to help. Now go help others”. I was able to get up and fight out of it. I had one more full hallucination, it wasn’t scary like the rest. I still saw odd things after for a few days but no more full hallucinations. Praise God. The Doctors told my family many people hallucinate for weeks or months after the strong drugs I was on.

When I came to it was scary. I couldn’t speak, and I was strapped down with lots of machines attached to me. I couldn’t sleep at night. It was horrible trying to communicate. luckily one nurse finally decided to unstrap my arms, he made me promise not to pull the tube out of my nose (so tempting). I promised. Everytime I went to reach for the tube I’d remember my promise and left it alone. I tried to write notes to everyone so they could know what I wanted etc… I couldn’t write! I just scribbled like my 3 year old. It was frustrating but my family got pretty good at reading my hand/eye gestures. writing came first, what a relief when it did. I could communicate!

I don’t know how long I was in ICU before I got moved to Step-down (a part of ICU but not one-on-one care). In Step-down I got to watch free TV on a giant flat screen TV! (could have in ICU but wasn’t facing the TV). First news I watched? Train crash. Prince George was born. And then I switched to watching HGTV. I noticed my body was different. I was skinny, really skinny (lost over 35lbs). I had a large incision down my abdomen (had a special machine/bandage called a VAC dressing ~ amazing invention). Had a Cathetor (not fun), an illiostomy, PICC lines, Trach…. slowly I got the Trach removed and was able to talk!! HOW WONDERFUL! I also had to start physio it was scary trying to learn to walk again, luckily my physiotherapist was amazing and really worked with me.

I finally got moved to ‘the ward’… I was on the post-surgical ward… basically where all the abdominal patients are ~ who were mostly over 70years old… and smelly…. Oh the stories I could tell, and probably will. just not right now.

Oh I forgot to mention my diagnosis. While in ICU the doctor and a bunch of nurses, social workers etc came in to explain it all to my family and I. It was Colon Cancer. Stage 3. Sounds scarier than it is. They removed ALL of the cancer! They tested 37 lymph nodes, only one (that was against the cancer) showed a little cancer in it. The only reason it’s stage 3 is because it had attached to my stomach. They want me to do Chemo as a precaution. This also increases the risk for my kids to get it, they will have to be tested when older, but I believe they will never have to deal with this.

My infection took a long time to clear. August 24th I finally got to come home. That following week I was at the Dr’s almost every day, or at the Nursing clinic to change bandages. I now have no bandages on me :). Tomorrow I go for yet another CT scan, I had one small sign of infection left, I’m believing it’s gone now so we can get going on Chemo. Then on the 10th of Sept I have day surgery to put a port-a-cath in (it’s like a PICC line but under my skin so I can have showers etc with no issues). Then Sept 11th, Orlund and my 9 year anniversary, I will be starting Chemo. I will have treatments every 2 weeks for 12 rounds (approx 6months). After Chemo is done, in a couple months after (provided everything is clear – which it will be) then I get my intestines re-attached (that’ll be nice).

It is so wonderful to be home. I was honestly scared to come home as I thought it might set me back, but the Doctor was right and it’s made me stronger (and the fact that I can stand our food helps!). My mom has moved in with us to help me out with day to day living. taking care of the kids, house and me. It’s wonderfu to have her here! Orlund has been amazing!!! He’s still working on his courses, and working full time (this week he’s been off), helping with the kids, house and me as well.

Even though I’ve been through a lot these past few months I feel blessed beyond measure! So many people prayed for me, and blessed us with meals, gifts etc. God is SO good!! My cousin gave me a ‘plack’ (for lack of a better word) that inspired me along the way and helped me stay strong it reads “Believe with God all things are possible”.

T3’s

Saturday night as we left our cousin’s beautiful wedding we headed to our Bed and Breakfast in Surrey. I wasn’t feeling so good. my stomach was upset, my boob was inflated (12hours without nursing will do that) and most off all my head was pounding. I slept on the way, waking just in time to give Orlund the last directions to the front door. My headache was finally gone. We went for a soak in the hot tub, it was so nice to be able to chat alone. After our soak I was finally feeling better. It was a wonderful evening away.
Sunday we spent a few hours hunting around IKEA and headed home. At this point all I could think about was getting home to nurse my baby boy! ouch! After we picked the kids up from my parents we got home, had dinner and sent the kids to bed. I didn’t feel so good while eating dinner, I suddenly realized I hadn’t felt good for the past week (or two) whenever I ate. And it was progressively getting worse. Sunday night as I tried to sleep I curled in pain and once again brought out my handy tried and true ‘contraction breathing’. No sleep.
I survived Monday with just some pain, mostly after I ate. Night time was horrible again, I took a couple extra strength Tylenol’s.

Wednesday arrived and I wasn’t doing so good. It was now 3 nights without any sleep and everything just kept getting worse. My stomach was ripping with pain. I wanted to vomit, or use the washroom (just as at other times), however nothing was happening. I had planned to spend the day helping my girlfriend Ashley finish the last of her packing and get her house washed down ready for her Saturday moving day. Instead she insisted I go to the Clinic while she watched the monsters children.

3hours later I had no answers other than I wasn’t pregnant. I already knew that. The Dr tried to give me some medication, however once I reminded him I’m breastfeeding he took back the prescription. He did however give me paperwork to get tested for Celiac disease and Lactose Tolerance.
Ashley convinced me to take 1/2 a T3. I did with little effect, although as the day wore on I felt a bit better.

Thursday, I had my 2 daycare kids here. I had to be tough. Okay so it was basically a free play day. I supervised and only moved to change diapers, wipe bums, make food etc. My parents were coming home from Vancouver. I called my mom “I want my mommy” I whined. At 3:30pm they showed up at my door. by 3:45pm my mom was helping me out to the car to head to the hospital.

5hours~ I had blood tests, urine tests, pelvic test, pap test, poke my belly test, and a CT scan. again the only thing they came up with was ~ Not Pregnant. No Kidney issues. Good white blood cells. Oh, and Yeah, you’re in a LOT of pain. When I was talking to the Triage nurse I’d mentioned taking a 1/2 T3 earlier in the day. She pretty much laughed in my face and said that so long as you have pain then the T3 will only take the pain away, it wont make you high etc….. sure lady… I took 2 T3’s once the Dr decided I needed something. By the time we were heading home I was flying high! It was the first time I could walk more than 2steps without having to stop and breath through the pain, although the pain still washed over me.

Friday I stayed on the couch all day. I slept. High on T3’s. Jacob was starting to show effects of the T3’s ~ he looked a bit out of it. I called my mom in the evening as I thought I’d have to go back to the hospital. She spent the night taking care of me. Well, until I went to bed. I was now taking 2 T3’s every 4hours. Jacob and I both slept through the night!! woohoo! needed that. Saturday I told my mom I could put my big girl panties on and let her head home.

Saturday I don’t think I left the couch either. every 4 hours I popped another 2 T3’s. Orlund took all 3 kids out to McDonald’s to give me an extra break. I was feeling good, so long as I didn’t miss my dosage and didn’t move. Moving, eating, drinking is what hurt. I was upset that I couldn’t help Ashley on moving day, we’d planned it months ago. I really hate not being able to make my commitments. Sunday Orlund took all 3 kids to Church by himself as well. I was finally feeling better. I didn’t take a T3 until around 3pm.

Today, Monday. I had made an appointment for those allergy tests. (apparently you have to book for these ones). My appointment was for 8:30am. I got there at 8am, so I sat in the car until 8:10am. Then headed in. Finally I got into a room, waited another chapter in my book and by the time they started my test it was 9:40am! The lactose test is a breath test, so you breath into a tube thingy. Then drink a horrible drink. Then after an hour breath again, then again after an hour breath again. I had figured I would be out of there by 10:30am. I got out of there JUST before Noon. Grabbed some groceries, got the kids from Orlund’s parents and came home. I took a T3, I was in pain, over did it. I then passed out (Jacob too). at 3:30 his mom called *Bless her* to say they would pick Orlund up and bring him home. I was just going to call her and see if she could as I couldn’t open my eyes so figured I wasn’t fit to drive. I was up by the time he got home and had dinner started.

Tomorrow I have another test, an Ultrasound to check out all the stuff the CT scan couldn’t see. (I think the Dr is leaning towards a cyst in my ovaries). So yippee more time in waiting rooms and with Dr’s. At least I’m enjoying the kid free time and am now able to at least read a book!

I hate that I’m not 100% for my kids or husband. I know I shouldn’t feel guilty, but I think as mom’s it’s natural (right?). The house is keeping up pretty good surprisingly. The laundry will keep me busy for weeks though! I just feel bad that I’m more snappy at the kids, and because it’s my ‘core’ that’s hurting I can’t just scoop them up for snuggles or tickles. They come and gently lay next to me for snuggle time, which is fine so long as they don’t touch my stomach (which is so bloated I look 4months pregnant), or let Jacob see (he doesn’t like to share me much).

So I am getting better, slowly but surely. I’m praying that I get some answers, and soon. I also am praying it’s nothing major. I guess my Dr will call me if there is anything. I tried to book an appointment with him, the soonest I can get in to see him is Wednesday NEXT week (I booked last week, thank goodness). By then he should have all the results, and hopefully I’m 100% better!

Well that’s what’s been going on around here lately, hope you and yours are all doing better!
My God is greater!!

Happy Mother’s Day

My blog is lacking. Orlund is going to help me re-design it. I have 3 birthday parties to blog about (with photo’s). However today is Mother’s day ~ Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mom’s out there. I thank God that He blessed me with being a Mom. What an amazing privilege! Being a mom is the hardest, most tiring, humbling, amazing, blessing… I can’t even find the words to describe Mother hood. I always thought being a mom would be so easy, smooth sailing. I’d be a mom, like my mom, master house keeper, crafty, playful and energetic… oh and don’t forget patient! (okay, that’s the wrong patient but I can’t for the life of me remember how to spell it). I’m not like my mom, well I am and I’m not. I’m Me. I’ve discovered that I need the Grace of God and to rely on His strength to get me through. I’ve been trying to rely on my own strength, now I’m relying on His and it’s going so much better :)

A little update, Jacob is over a year old now, and with that comes a new ‘balance’. For the first year of a child’s life they need Mommy, they cling to you it seems. I love being the person they want most, however that first year is a juggling act of emotions, attention, and life. This past week I realized my baby boy is changing quickly. He’s walking (almost running). He can climb up and down the stairs unassisted, although after his loving sister tossed a toy down at him during a decent, last week, that ended up with his bloody lip he seems less keen on climbing down.  I can leave the baby gate open if I so choose and he doesn’t care. I can now leave the bathroom door open, he no longer chews on toilet paper or rummages through the garbage, and he knows he’s not allowed to open the toilet lid to play in the water. (although if the lid is left up it’s another story). Often times I find him in the bathroom watching the wash spinning. He can pull things out of the toy box, climb onto furniture, and best of all ~ bug his big sisters!! He doesn’t talk however communicates very well in letting me know what he wants. With his new independence comes a new ‘freedom’ to me. I can do dishes without him clinging to me (although he still likes to help with the dishwasher). Cooking, cleaning and tending to his sisters needs don’t put him off like they used to. He’s fun. Really fun, loves to have fun and get you laughing. The girls include him in play and he attempts to play with them. Tonight my mom and sister were driving home from Edmonton, my mom called and mentioned they might need to spend the night here. Usually that would mean clearing a spot in the living room from the toys. cleaning kitchen, and a general ‘tidy up’. I looked around after I got off the phone with her, and you know what? I didn’t do a thing! NOT ONE THING! The house is clean! Sure I spent much of my day cleaning earlier (apparently 1 hour without kids gets lots of cleaning done! happy Mother’s day to me :). ) but it just shows how much more I feel I can accomplish in a day. He’s also starting to finally sleep longer which really helps the energy levels. I’m going to miss the baby stage when I see new babies, but I’m excited to be moving on into the next stage of our lives :)

Princess Party!

Yesterday My baby boy turned 1 year old!!! CRAZY CATS! His party was postponed until this coming Sunday (unfortunately now I realize that’s ‘time change’ day..oh well). Anyhow, this all got me thinking about stuff I had on my list that got pushed off my list with pre-birthday preparations. I haven’t blogged about our Princess day!! oops! so here it is :)

January 24th, 2013 I decided to not do any house chores and spend the day making it special for my 3 kids. It was a fabulous day that started off with a ‘princess’ breakfast (Jacob doesn’t mind doing princessy stuff, any good prince doesn’t mind ;). ). Toast cut into little flowers, flavoured with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon (yummy!). Grapes on the side and as the flower center. It was scrumptious!

breakfast of princesses (complete with Juice)

We of course had to then dress like princesses! (don’t forget it’s January..brr). Here are some pics of them all ‘purdied’ up! (I chose a skirt and shirt, much easier for nursing in!). I did their hair and they did mine, Joy took the pics of my hair ~ aren’t we so cute?

Princesses
Prince Charming.

Then of course it was time for tea! can’t have a princess party without tea….

I asked the girls what they wanted to do, and they wanted to go feed the ducks. so we loaded up the stroller and headed out…. Poor Jacob… Mommy didn’t want to waste the money on a snow suit he’d wear for one year, so he got a hand-me-down from the girls… sorry honey… It was fun! We got a few strange looks but I could careless it was a day all about my kids :)

feeding the ducks.
yup, he's adorable!

I can’t recall what we had for lunch (probably KD their favorite!) but it was fun, we had another special snack ~ Peanut butter, marshmallows and apple. And the girls played princess/tea party stuff for the rest of the day.
It was one of the most wonderful day’s we’ve had in a long time. I get so bogged down with chores, teaching preschool and with life in general that sometimes I forget that we just need to have fun! I sometimes feel like I’m failing as a mom because I have such a hard time staying on top of everything that I feel like I’m not having enough fun with the kids. I’m going to make a personal goal this month (to get into a habit) that we will have MORE fun! Chores can wait for a little longer in the day, or until they are in bed. I only have them for such a short time before they are in school etc. I want to enjoy it. I want to look back on this time of my life and remember having tea parties, doing crafts, having tickle wars, being silly, teaching them through fun, not look back and see wasted time on chores. Chores need to be done, yes unfortunately they do, however they aren’t going anywhere….. my kids will be eventually.