Friday, October 3, 2008

Sweet 16...

Happy Birthday Ashlynn!

My sweet daughter turned 16 today - how is it that time flies so fast. It is true what "They" say, "Life passes in the blink of an eye" gone are the days of soothers,dress up, high chairs and car seats. Here are the days of, solo trips to the mall, dressing, over seas band trips up and car keys.... YIKES!

October 3rd, 1992 - I remember it with unmarred clearness. Oddly because I could not tell you the events of yesterday like I recall that day. I awoke around 5am feeling a little "odd" something was just off... The baby was already a few days late so you would think I would have a clue - or at least clue in. Nope I got up went to the bathroom and went back to bed. At 7 I woke up again still feeling "odd" and mentioned it to Royd who thankfully "had a clue". To this day I am thankful for his calm! This was not going to be a regular Saturday for us, it would be the Saturday that changed our lives forever for the better.

Around 8:00 I called the doctor (I did not want to wake him or be a bother, it was a Saturday!) who said I should probably get to the hospital, but not to worry there would be lots of time. HA! We got ready at a leisurely pace, by 9:00 we were in the car and on our way. In the mean time, there were no doubts that labour had started. It was not unbearable, but it was certainly more than just an odd feeling...

First stop - my sister's to pick her up. (Thankfully she lived on route to the hospital) That turned into the longest 5 minute car ride of my life! The 30 seconds I had to wait in the car on my own as Royd went to the door seemed like an hour. My time perspective was a little off I think. Thankfully it was a Saturday, and traffic was light. When we pulled out into traffic, heavy contractions set in - my poor dear husband was trying to drive, and keep me calm, while trying to remain calm himself... I specifically recall one corner, turning from Lougheed Highway to North Road - and a superdoopercrazy contraction hit, my back was arched, my feet were pushed into the floorboards and the car starts to turn the corner.. I seriously thought I was going to be on the sidewalk - Just the over active imagination of a woman in labour. Then as quick as it arrived it was gone. Once Dawna was in the car we were at the hospital less than 5 minutes later - then I had to get out of the car... between contractions, breathing, trying to focus. We eventually made it into registration, then the labour room.... I was 4 cm dilated when I arrived. Then my water broke... and as they say all hell broke loose, I was too far along for any sort of pain meds to be given, which would have been our choice anyways. I was wheeled into delivery and Ashlynn Danae entered this world at 12:45 - healthy, and beautiful.

I remember the total euphoric awe when I held my precious baby girl in my arms for the first time. The sense of responsibility that God had entrusted us with.

Now 16 years later - I am still in Awe with all that God has done in our family from that day forth. Ashlynn is a beautiful teenager with a sense of style and individuality that is inspiring. Happy Birthday - my sweet girl.

I love you.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

October is Breast Cancer awareness month....

Oh I am very aware of Breast Cancer this month as I sit on my couch.

I am aware that when you google Breast cancer there are 50,800,000 hits. That is WAY too much information.
I am aware of how your heart stops for a minute when you hear "its Breast Cancer" and how it sinks deeper when you hear "it's come back"
I am aware that I am now one of the statistics (1 in 9 Canadian women).
I am aware that you can actually feel the monster growing in your body

I am aware of the sleepless nights as you wrestle with treatment options.
There are so many options.....
I am aware of the fear as you play the "what if game"
What if it comes back AGAIN, what if surgery is not successful, what if I do not wake up......
I am aware of Doctors and medical teams that have dedicated their lives to eradicating this ugly disease.
I am aware of support groups, that are there to see you through it.
I am aware of friends, grandparents, mothers, sisters, aunts, cousins who have all been touched in some way....

I am aware of the pain and discomfort associated with surgery.
I am aware of drains, and tubes and home nurse visits. (I am thankful for the home nurse visits!)
I am aware of how people look at you differently (and how this can be in my own head)
I am more aware of my body,how it will look, how it will be different. How it will never be the same.
I am aware that the reflection in the mirror is the"NEW ME"
I am VERY aware that I am one of the "LUCKY" ones.
That Phylloides tumors account for less than 1% of all Breast Cancers.
I am aware that my prognosis is good!
That Phylloides are successfully treated with surgery. Chemo and radiation are not needed.


I am aware that I have a large network of family and friends both old and new, who love me beyond measure, who have brought meals, sent encouraging notes, cards, email, flowers. Who have dropped my girls off, picked them up, gotten them where they need to be. People who have lifted us to God in prayer. People who have dropped things in their lives to make ours easier for this time. I am more thankful than words can say. I love you all.

Are you aware....
That Breast Cancer can be detected early by regular Mammograms
That it takes less than 5 minutes to do a self breast exam. (I found my first tumor doing a self exam!)
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do regular self exams and get your annual mammograms! It could save your life!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

When I grow old...

I hope that I can make people laugh and that I am happy.

There was a dear soul next to me in the hospital, 89 years old, and well let's just say that physically she was in the bed next to me, mentally we were not too sure where she was at, but it was not there. She was disoriented, far off somewhere, BUT she was happy... well for the most part. She did NOT want to be in bed - in fact she wanted to be up and partying. . . "Life is too short for bed" (That just made me laugh.... )

As the nurse came to get her ready for bed she was adamant that she was not going to bed, and that she wanted to see each of us in our fancy gowns and then go to the party. I happily paraded by her in my lovely "hospital gown" of green stripes, snazzy blue squares with a plunging back that left the world gaping.... did a little twirl on my way to the bathroom - to which she clapped, and let out a little whoot whoot.... I was happy to make her smile. Besides anyone who says you look lovely in such a gown can only be trying to make YOU feel better.

She truly was a sweet thing that reminded me of a few grandmas rolled into one. Esp when she let out a "so so so" something that Royd's grandma would come out with when she was not to sure about what was going to happen next. Or when she in no uncertain terms let the nurse know she was NOT going to bed... that she wanted to party - something I could hear my own grandma saying. She was a feisty little bit of a thing - she did party all night long, at the nurses station - where the nurses said she did not sleep a wink. Then when she was wheeled back "home" for breakfast she went on and on about how those girls out there sure chatted all night long about nothing, no one could sleep a wink out there. The 3 of us left in the room hooted - and smiled about it for the rest of the day.

Truly laughter is the best medicine.