- Peace for Shawn and I, for Kyle and Miranda and Braden and Connor, for our parents and siblings and nieces and nephews and inner circle friends watching and hurting as we go through this
- that God would keep soft our children's hearts toward Him through all the emotions of this hard journey
- strength and stamina; physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually
- that the cancer shrinks to gone, gone, gone!
- gentle side effects to this second round of chemo
- family unity, harmony, love, strength, joy, happiness
- anything else you feel God puts on your heart

Monday, December 31, 2012

Thank you, 2012, you have brought so much

Thank you, 2012!!! You brought us so many amazing and precious moments at Disneyland, in Drumheller and then Calgary, in Quebec, at the campsite, in our home, with our family and with friends! We are blessed beyond measure and so grateful!!!

Tonight we are making our own party... seafood pasta, bbq ribs, sparkling cider (thanks to all who contributed to our celebration meal!), the kids set the table with great-Nana's fancy china, wine glasses, fancily-folded napkins, candles lit...and I fell asleep just as the kids were coming down in button-down shirts and all dressed up.  I missed it... to be woken by a kiss as Daddy took the kids out to skate.  This is the current reality, being happy when my kids are happy and trying hard not to pout when I miss things.  Silver lining...the arena was closed so Daddy phoned, I quick-ate some food and they picked me up for a plan-change and headed to the castle of fun (the local arcade)!  Turned out to be a great evening and then we stopped for a New Year's Eve hug at my parents and McFlurry's treats from McDonalds.  Nice!  Now it's jammies and hoping the littles will fall asleep on the couch as the rest of us stay up (I'm trying hard) to watch the ball drop and do our annual yell-and-scream ringing in the New Year on the front porch!!!

Christmas has been very lovely, I declared it (to myself) a cancer-free week and it was awesome!  No calls from the hospital or cancer agency, no appointments, no deep discussions about anything.  It was fabulous.  

Christmas Eve day... was harsh.  Wow.  My emotions were in over-drive, I felt so much pressure to keep Christmas cancer-free and just fun and normal... not just for the kids and my family but for ME!  What if next year I'm too sick?  What if next year I'm still fighting this and ... or... what if?....  it's a lot of work to keep those "what ifs" at bay and Christmas Eve day was the morning the dam was trying hardest to break.  I mean, come on, December 24th is already a last-minute-panic day...add this current mess and wowza.  Had a good freak-out on the phone (thanks Mom for letting me vent my ugly-Kristin fears and panics) and the day went on.  

Christmas Eve... was lovely at Shawn's parents' house.  We had a newly engaged couple shining their joy and light on the festivities, we had four super-excited kids, we had two super proud grandparents, and we had my hubby and I just soaking it all in.  What a normal and awesome Christmas Eve.  Thanks Mom and Dad E for making Christmas magical!!!

Christmas Day Morning... I was the first one up, as is typical around here...I'm such a kid-at-Christmas still!  At 7am I got the fire going (yay flip-of-switch) and the tree lit and then just waited... fortunately for only a few more minutes until the little boys came down.  What magic to watch the eyes of a child light up at the gifts under the tree, the full stockings, the bite out of a cookie, the emptied glass of milk.  Oh but my heart just fills with the memory of that.  Next came oldest, then girlie and then Mommy sent kidlets up to get Daddy out of bed!  Come on Daddy... it's CHRISTMAS!!!!    We had our typical leisurely Christmas morning.  This year even youngest got to shop at the Christmas Store at school (gifts for 10cents, everything comes home wrapped by volunteer parents) and Mommy had a good happy-cry when youngest presented his gift to oldest...a special "book about biking" (an autobiography of Lance Armstrong) for his big brother and the family biking-fiend.   Each child's gift to his sibling was just absolutely thoughtful and perfect and should a true understanding of what the recipient would really appreciate.  Seriously, the only time I cried over Christmas was at the pride this Momma felt at the seeing the gifts given by my kids.  Oh my... so proud of the humans I live with.

Christmas Day... lunch at Mom's ... this was the one I was most figuring-I-would-cry at.  My Dad has the hugest heart, my Mom has the most generous spirit, my sisters are so hurting over this current situation, my brother-in-laws have just been amazing... seeing my nieces and nephews and seeing a new kind of love in their eyes for me... [melt]... it's a lot for this girl.  Christmas Day at my parents was... lovely.  Just so nice and so easy and so just lovely.  Started to lose it when Dad prayed and started to lose it... but we all regained and the day was ... a normal, lovely Christmas.  So grateful.  We had fun watching the kids open their gifts, the food was amazing, the adults exchanged stocking gifts (so fun!) and the evening just unfolded lovely-ly.

Boxing Day ... dinner at Auntie and Uncles... normal, nice, traditions, relaxed.  Another great Christmas.  We are so blessed to have so much family around and gathering together still.  I never get tired of it, I could eat turkey ten days in a row, I love the hustle and bustle and the busy.  It just shores me up and makes me happy. 

Happy New Year to you!  Praying peace and love and joy and health and kindness and good things to you and for you and for your dear ones for 2013!!!!   Thank you for your continued prayers and support... I think of your prayers in random moments (good or rough) through the days and it just makes me feel so ... hugged... to know you are out there praying and holding us up.   Thank you.  So much, thank you!!!!!  HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

Sunday sermon from Pastor Chris:

Learn from yesterday,

Hope for tomorrow,

Live in the present.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Thursday, December 27, 2012

My Sisters

Some of you may know these lovely sisters of mine? To those who don't... Yes, they are twins. Yes, they show up in identical outfits a lot. No, you should not let them be a team at any mind-reading type games (Pictionary) unless they are on YOUR team (cuz then you will win... It's like they have telepathy or something!). Yes, they have been an incredible support through this hard journey and yes, I am so incredibly blessed by them both... In their own ways, not just as a set... And yes, they often have to sit back-to-back to open gifts even still!
Love you Kori and Keri!!!
From your older, and wiser (by 18months but it totally counts), 'not-the-twin' big sis


Taking some cancer-free days. Not thinking or talking about it. Just enjoying my family around.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Thank you.

Alvin & The Chipmunks: Christmas Don't Be Late (video):

When my sisters and I were kids the cartoon characters of Alvin and the Chipmunks had an awesome Christmas movie that I looked forward to every year.  We might even have had the record copy of the movie, I'm not sure.  I just know that it was funny, and Alvin was sneaky and always in trouble but his heart was in the right place.  In the Christmas movie Alvin gives his brand new 'golden harmonica' to a sick little boy...and then needs that harmonica for a special Christmas concert he is to play in at Carnegie Hall.  Of course Alvin now has to scramble (including dressing up as Santa to sell photos) to earn some money to buy a new 'golden harmonica' before his Dad, Dave, finds out!  Ah, the silly fun and antics of those little chipmunks living in a big human world... loved it!  The touching moment of the movie is that the little boy, Timmy, is so sick that he might die... but then the genersouity of Alvin's gift warms the little boys heart and buoys his spirit to the point of full recovery and even playing a duet at Carnegie Hall with Alvin! The way Alvin receives his replacement harmonica is due to the kindness of a stranger (who looks a lot like Mrs. Claus, if you ask me!).  Timmy is recovered, Alvin plays Carnegie Hall and doesn't get in trouble... It's a Christmas miracle!!!  Ahhh, warms the heart just remembering all the love and kindnesses packed into that one little movie, and Timmy's recovery gets me choked up every time.

For the last many weeks I have wanted to post a thank you... but my heart has just been too overwhelmed by kindnesses to get the words out.  I lay in bed (at my usual 4am awake it's 5am so that's better!) and in my mind write blog posts to you as a group, note cards to you individually, and I make phone calls (even though I have no idea who many of you my mind I use my super librarian researching skills and somehow get my gratitude to you!).

To every one of you who has sent love, who has been praying (either once or without ceasing and every quantity of prayer in between), who has sent meals or gift cards, who has sent mail by post or be email or by Facebook message or by word-of-mouth through my extended family... to the lady who stopped by my table at the foodcourt yesterday when I was at the mall with my sisters to tell us that you were praying for me... wow.  wow.  wow.  Happy tears are welling up.

I am just so very deeply touched.  I cannot fully fathom how much love your actions and thoughts would all add up to.  Love for me.  For my family.  For peace and for healing and for victory over this cancer and the fears.  Each one of you, whether you let me know it or not...I feel your love, I know you are praying, my heart holds that love and those prayers lift me up, dance around me... I feel God's faithfulness in answering your prayers... I am just so incredibly grateful.  I wonder even if my gratefulness will ever be deep enough to cover the magnitude of love I know you all are sending?  I am humbled.  Your kindnesses are a 'golden harmonica' blessing to me, my husband, our four children, my sisters, my parents, my in-laws, my brother-in-law and his fiance, our closest friends, the other readers of this blog and my Facebook wall, the prayer chains praying, the readers from as far from Canada as Iraq and Guatemala and Finland and Mexico and Japan and Luxembourg... connected.

We are connected by the kindnesses and love and prayers that we share.  I am just so good-overwhelmed that you are sharing so much of that with me.  I truly value it as the best medicine.  I truly am greedy that you don't stop.  I am just happily-mind-boggled and bamboozled...gobsmacked, even...that you have all come around me to share the burden of this cancer diagnosis.  I pray that God will bless you, that He will keep you, that He will bring you extra measures of His perfect Joy this holiday season and throughout the year.  I am a hugger... I love to hug.  This shoulder pain and mobility issue has made hugging a difficulty over the past few months but I have adjusted to being a pretty good one-arm hugger...

I am sending you each my very best hug... my heart swelling with gratitude, my mind just happily unable to grasp the grandness of your love towards me.  Thank you.

Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.
Sincerely, and Merry Christmas!!!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Brain won't rest

Didn't sleep well last night. Neither did Shawn. I was in discomfort at my sharkbite and back and coughing a lot. Exhausted today.

My port insertion will be January 4th.

Every time I close my eyes I see a scalpel cutting into me. Cutting my skin open to shove a thing under my skin so the chemo nurse can poke through it for the medicine that will hopefully evaporate my cancer.

I can't close my eyes. I get so scared of that scalpel.

My academic brain knows that my emotional brain is just overwhelmed. But I am scared to close my eyes.

Best not to be alone to think too much today. So much info from the chemo teach and I am too not-rested to let my mind wander through and process.

Shawn took the kids to their school Santa Breakfast, we didn't think I should be with all the people and germs and commotion. Anonymous crowds are okay. Seeing people for the first time since cancer diagnosis is really hard and must be managed in smaller batches.

Hope today finds you smiling and laughing with the joys of the season... I'm going to do that, too!!! I choose joy.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Chemo Teach (workshop...boot camp...class)

Today is Chemo Teach day. 9am. These things are always so early. Mornings are difficult for me. I was awake at 6am after a good 7hr sleep... but by 10am will be ready for a nap. The Chemo Teach is 2-3 hours. That's a long time to walk around and listen and learn and be overwhelmed with a whole lot of information and reality. And it's a group thing... which means rebuffing the emotions and fears that may be in the air around every single person in the group.

I stood in the shower this morning, my mind wandered to sitting in the waiting room, touring, how that's going to physically feel (I'm still not walking great distances) especially since I am going in feeling exhausted...and I started bawling, no tears, no sound. Just this big huge cry that couldn't get out. So grateful for the recharge that is my kids' giggles, listening to them sing Christmas songs, hearing them obeying Daddy's requests. Gotta keep filling my love and joy reserves. Yesterday was a big day. It takes a solid day or two for my brain to process.

When I sit in these meetings my ears receive the information but my brain is pretty numb. I feel... hot and warm and cold all at once. And I feel like a punch to the gut and lightheaded. And it is like being in a vaccuum...still, silent. alone. I am aware of my husband in the room, and/or my mom. But I cannot bare to look at them. It is too much. Eye contact overwhelms and tears are usually just there. For them. For me. For this whole mess of a situation. And God is there. I feel peace. I feel all of these things and I feel peace. And in the middle of the feeling nothing-and-everything I feel peace. God is good. It is mentally weird to wrap my head around...the afraid and at peace at the same time. I don't question it, I just am aware that it is God and know that I wouldn't want to do this, maybe couldn't do this, without His peace.

Shawn and Mom are coming with me. These are my primary caregivers, it's good for them to be able to hear the information, understand, know, explain to me later as needed... know how to prepare themselves for the task ahead. I can't even think on it. Overwhelms. The level of love and care... mind-blowing.

Feeling so many things. Too much today. Waiting for my port appointment... I'm scared about that. It sounds gross and icky and I worry about being claustrophobic about having that thing in me for the next months... year?!?! How long? Please pray that I am totally not-freaked about the catheter procedure, the process, the thing in my skin just near my shoulder... hopefully the left side?! I have no idea. Pretty much the Cancer Agency phones, or the Hospital phones, and you say yes, I'll be there. I go when they ask. I am fortunate to have an open schedule and a ready fleet of drivers (parents, sisters, in-laws, friends) that I can go wherever, whenever... take the first available appointments, anywhere within the lower mainland. Just go. I feel panic every time the phone rings. The hospital/cancer agency phone number comes through a lot. A really lot. I am so grateful for getting to appointments fast, getting such a quick access to medical intervention and God's healing...but it is a shock every time.

Still haven't wrapped my head around this. I have cancer. Wow. That is the strangest normal thing. It happens. I'm not so special as to be immune from it. Still, very surreal... as is probably any life-threatening, life-altering situation that drops into your day/life/plan/existence. I don't spend a lot of time thinking. I spend a lot of time just cultivating being at peace. Sometimes that means praying, reading the Bible, reading Jesus Calling (book you should definitely get!!!), sitting still and knowing that God is fighting for me, that He loves me, that He is in control. He's got this.

Feeling testy. Feeling tired. Feeling sharp and prickly and nervous and trying hard to shore up against all the movement and talking and faces and noises and memories and emotions that build during the drive to the hospital.

The kids are testy today. That doesn't help me. They are ready for the school Christmas holiday. Son3 is whining (sounds like moo-ing) over his meds this morning. Son4 is listening poorly. Daughter is on the edge of emotional explosion. We are all ... not sure what.

Please, pray peace, pray rest, pray joy, pray thankful hearts and good attitudes for us all. Pray that we will be gracious with one another (my family and yours) and that the Joy of Christmas will permeate each of our days.

With love.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Chemo Doctor

Chemo doctor today: "this kind of cancer responds well to chemo" and "highly unlikely that it is genetically inherited" and "prescription that could take away nausea fully" and "week 1: chemo, week 2: chemo, week 3, off... For up to 6cycles (5months)". Also, hair loss is not a gaurantee, thinning maybe... so bald or not... Could go either way. Feeling positive. She was lovely.

I feel... light. My heart feels... this is do-able. It might be hard, but we can do hard things. I went in feeling peace and nervous. I came home feeling positive and hopeful and good and empowered. God is good, all the time.

I am waiting to hear when I will go for day surgery to have a port-o-cath (long-term IV site) put in. Then I will be ready to start chemo. Given holidays (cancer agency closes for stats ad Saturday's) I am also waiting to hear my chemo start date, I will start within the next two weeks.

And another silver lining... super happy to report that I am up 2lbs!!!! (I lost 20+ over the summer from lack of appetite due to the ibuprofen for my shoulder, lost another 20 since surgery). The nurse laughed, "I've never seen a woman happy to gain weight before!". In his culture (Iraq) a more robust figure is desired... I think he was tickled (happy) to see my happiness.

Thank you for your prayers... Let the happy dancing commence!!!!!

Curious not fearful!?

Today we meet w the oncologist to find out the chemo plan. I am scared and not scared. Nervous and calm. Curious and afraid of side effects. For the most part I feel quiet today. And teary. I keep breaking into tears the last three days. PMS? Wouldn't that just be a freakin' bonus on top of the cramping of stitches and the crazy sore ribs that were banged around during surgery. [eye roll]

Ah well, let us laugh and smile and let ourselves get lost in the joy of Christmas. We woke up to snow and I love it!!!!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Only one week til Christmas!!!

Hooray for the last week of school before Christmas break. I am excited to have my family home and with me. I like it when the kids and the daddy are all in this house with me. I am looking forward, as always, to Christmas morning around the tree. We are slow and leisurely and huggy with lots of oohs and aahs and kids telling kids "oh! That's exactly what you wanted!!!" I love it. And we read the nativity story from Luke 2 and we all have moments of silly and silent and excited and it is home. I love it.

Today I am home with son4. He was claiming pukey tummy, though I think he just needs a break from the full days of kindergarten. Holidays are late this year and everyone is feeling it. I have a bit of a dizzy headache and weird tummy, praying I am germ free and will feel better as the day progresses!

Wednesday we meet with the chemo doctor to find out the plan. Please pray that God will lead her to the right chemo for me right off the bat. Pray wisdom and that when she thinks on me she sees the right path and plan for success and healing and remission!!!

I feel... so many things. I just am still mind-boggled that this is happening. That I will spend the next months in chemicals and cures. That I may lose my hair... bald. That everything is changed, but we are all still the same.

Peace, that seems to me the best thing to ask you to pray for. We are okay right now... but waves of sad or scared keep washing over at random moments. For the most part days are good, just lazing on the couch wishing I could help Shawn carry the burden of caring for me, the kids, the house, everything.

So surreal.

So glad for the birth of Jesus, that we can bask in the joy that is the Saviour's birth. Omnipotent God became a dependent baby... laying on the couch these weeks has given me a new perspective on that.

Blessings to you this Christmas!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Saying "NO!" to germs!!!

Lysol disinfectant wipes, masks, hand sanitizer, soap&water, quarrantine, loads and loads of laundry.

Last night son4 came down with 'the pukes'.  Poor guy started throwing up at about 8:00pm and all through the night.  On his bed, on his floor, on his blankets, in the bucket, in the toilet.  The kid is amazing in his efforts to get to the bathroom and we are so sad that he was so ill. 

I was awake in pain but too tired to get up to get meds at 2am.

Son3 was up with bad coughs and stuffy nose and ear ache at 4am.

I finally dragged myself downstairs to take meds at 4:00am and fell fitfully asleep around 5am.

Everyone slept in til 9 and 11 this morning.  Oi.

Please pray extra for us to be germ-free over here.  And pray extra for Shawn as he is now adding Nursing-the-flu and Nursing-an-earache to his list of things to do today.  That man is amazing and I pray stamina and health and all good things for him.

Son4 is asking for food and looking pretty good...ah, the beauty of being 6yrs, you bounce back quick!  Right now he's sipping gingerale "spicey pop" and thinking he's pretty special to have such a treat!

Shawn is going to take Son3 to the doctor for some medicine... Son3 doesn't always cope well at the doctor, so praying Daddy puts on his "what would Kristin do" thinking cap to make a smooth experience for all.  [smile]

Thankful for medicine.  I personally am working on being more willing and more pro-active in taking the meds... it is just such a huge mindgame for me... I just have been so fortunate to not need meds in my life.  I have always been healthy or found herbal remedies (vitamins) to work.  This is a whole new ballgame and tonight I think I'm convinced to take the meds before bedtime because a solid sleep is really the "must do it" thing these days.

Glad for a lazy Saturday.   Son1 has a soccer game tonight at 6pm and tomorrow at 11am...I miss going to his games a lot!  Hoping to make it to Daughter2's swim practice at least once next week... I love watching her swim.  Feeling that I can do "normal"... until I make the effort of putting on pants (and then my sharkbite goes a bit numb and my gut feels heavy) and then I remember "Oh yeah, it's only been 3 weeks post-op and a 9 days after radiation... be patient Kristin.  Be. Patient!!!"   Working on that.  Oi.  Such a game changer this has been.  I'm very used to go, go, go-ing in my days.  Coffee dates with girlfriends, running errands, doing my homework, house stuff, playing with the kids... life stuff.  Now... I'm stopped in my tracks with but one task: rest to heal.  It's strange. 

As my sister pointed out... I hate to miss anything!  

I hope that you are taking time to enjoy the Christmas season.  I know it's busy.  I know it's "one more thing" and the to do list is long.  But... stop in the middle of all the busy and acknowledge that the busy is kinda fun!  Something different in the year.  And we are building up to Jesus' birthday... Christmas Day.

Love this quote: "Don't think too much, you'll create a problem that isn't even there in the first place." [source: FB share]  This photo was taken a few days pre-op.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Breast surgeon follow-up

8:20 am appointment w breast surgeon today. Even though the biopsy doc said he saw nothing it is part of the process to then see surgeon for biopsy results. I feel confident that surgeon will agree w biopsy doc... I wish they could just phone and let us know. I get nervous about these appointments. Praying no surprises. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

Biopsy results say nothing, dr notes say likely fatty tissue. Breast surgeon said very rare that kidney cancer would travel to breast. Six months follow up mammogram and ultrasound as is protocol.

Thank you Lord. I do not have exuberant joy today, I am exhausted, but I believe You are "rejoicing over me with dancing"!!! Zephaniah 3:17

I am grateful. Shawn and I are so very grateful.

2nd UPDATE: After a nap and lunch we are out finishing Christmas and birthday shopping. Feels good to be out of the house. Merry Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Post-op update

I went in fully believing for great news. While there were no surprises the news was more heavy than Shawn and I had prepared for.

Kidney tumor is the aggressive kind that doesn't have a sure-fire chemo plan. There were two lymph nodes behind the kidney that were affected. The tumor was very close to a major artery. Scary. "what's surprising is that such a small tumour could wreak such havoc... Lungs, scapula".

I will start monthly iv therapy of medicine to strengthen my bones as to increase density to protect me from bone breaks. I will have blood taken monthly to watch my kidney function while chemo happens.

Shawn asked if the kidney was the primary, that seems up in the air.

The surgeon was very pleased that I have an appt with the oncologist next week already. God is good. He just keeps lining things up for us!

Our hearts are so heavy. We are scared and overwhelmed.

Right now I am watching my kids' school Christmas concert. I sure do love these precious gifts.

Please, pray peace and wisdom.

Pray that our chemo doctor finds the right chemo right off the bat. God uses chemo for miracles and we pray for that for me.

Serious, but not hopeless. Please, pray fervently. We had hoped and believed for better news.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Post-op meeting

Sitting back in the surgeon's waiting room. Feeling a whole lot of things. Praying peace and great news. Great news is totally within God's power!!!

Monday, December 10, 2012


Woke up at 4:30 as seems to be the new norm. Took time to pray. Put my left hand gently on my right shoulder, was feeling good. Touched on a spot at the tip of my shoulder that set off fireworks of pain that have not let up. The pain runs down my arm, up my neck, it's throbbing and stabbing. It is now 11:22am and I am waiting to hear from the Cancer Agency Radiation Nursing line, took heavy meds at 7:00, didn't even touch the pain but let me sleep an hour or so. Please pray wisdom and the right meds and that this pain will stop. It's an 8 out of 10, that's pretty harsh.

Mom came because Shawn wouldn't leave me alone. Pray for him, he is a good man. Pray for my mom, she has to listen to my moaning.

Prayers appreciated so much!!!

Mom took me to the doctor at 1:00.  The pain stayed high and I was not able to manage it at all.  My doctor has put me back onto the big meds and I came home pretty drugged and feeling a little loopy.  I don't like it.  Apparently my body wasn't ready to be off everything yet.  I have had a nice two hours nap and am up feeling headachy and a little groggy.  I don't like the meds.  I'm going to figure out a compromise and try once in 24 hrs, not once in 12 hrs.  Don't tell my Mom on me, she'll be mad.  I was in a hard-to-watch level of pain.  Glad for the rest, grateful for meds to try.  Please pray that we can find a compromise as these are the drugs that are extremely constipating and I have no desire to go back to that side effect either!  The pain is definitely way lower, I have discomfort constantly on these meds, but the pain is gone.  So that's awesome.  Thank you for your prayers!!!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Big hairy deal!

Donna Summer called... She wants her big hair back! I had to post this. After so many ponytail days I set my hairs free with a shower and shampoo and this huge mop is what sprung out! Made me laugh!

Today we are celebrating 3 of our 4 November/ December birthday babies. Son1 had his party pre-op. Daughter's birthday is December 23 so we are celebrating hers early for scheduling reasons. I am looking forward to having our home filled with family this afternoon. We have been loved and cared for, prayed over and petitioned for by these amazing people. What a blessing a family with strong roots can be!!!!

I'm feeling better now than I have he last few days. That being said, I have the stamina of a 90yrs old... Well, probably there are 90 yrs olds who could outlast me. I am praying patience for me with me. God will provide!

Have a great day!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Silver lining

Super silver lining of all this laying around is that a) my kids always know where to find me; b) watching tv together is "together enough" for me... no fancy outings needed; c) my children's servant hearts are getting lots of opportunities to care for another...their mother!

Saturday Status Report

Last night was Family Night.  Our first night since all this started that we were all in the same place at the same time, same room even!  We ate dinner together and then took a roll of pre-made gingerbread dough from the fridge, divided it six ways and gave everyone freedom to create.  I made: me!  That girls got heart, meaning love to give.  It was actually quite fun, no mess and just one cookie for each person which is the perfect treat. Also, with the blessing of dinner being brought for us, we didn't have to clean the kitchen up for that either so straight to congregating on the couches we went.  Lovely.

Today, Saturday, has been weird.  I've had a lot of queasy and icky the last two days now.  It sort of crept up on me and I'm not sure if it's from weaning off the narcotics (so glad to be past those!), or maybe because my epidural is finally wearing down (my tummy still feels like it's rubber and not quite there...weird) or just plain tired and post-op...or maybe the radiation?!  Who knows.  Whatever, today I spent much of the day in my cozy bed, trying to get my right bicep to comfort, revelling in the movement of my right shoulder, feeling like I should eat something but nothing appealed.  Weird day.

What I ate today:

- 4 saltine crackers
- 1 huge (venti) water and another 1/2 venti water
- 1 venti gingerale
- 3 pieces of a small BP Royal pizza (no ham, double pepperoni)
- almost the entire starter Mediterranean salad (minus the onion, thank you)
- 1 cough candy (tickle in my throat... please, Lord, no coughs and colds!!!!)
- 2 pieces of raisin bread (almost the whole thing)
- 1/2 orange, small handful of blueberries tossed in Greek Yogurt
- probably an apple yet and some carrot sticks (I crave, crave, crave carrot sticks, weird!)

Feels like I put the bulk of my energy to eating so I wanted to list my meals.  Plus, this blog is my record of the journey and food is always interesting to note.  I miss the joy of sitting down to eat, of smelling the yummy food smells and tasting the yummy tastes.  I know it will come back, right now, I'm adjusting to missing it.

My prayer requests right now:
Please pray away the queasy.  I hate being queasy.  Please also pray for my incisions and ...guts?!  Whatever it is that feels like I'm going to crumple up into a ball and not make it another step.  Please pray for energy and stamina.  Pray for joy.  Please, please pray for joy for me and for my family.  I choose joy and some moments we need the reinforcements of your extra prayings!  I find weepiness creeping up on me, totally naturally, totally understandable, totally fine... just want to keep an eye on that.  [smile]

Thank you for your continued love and support.  Is your Christmas tree up?  Is it even Christmas in whichever country you are reading this blog from?  Maybe not?  What season is it?!  What something special your family does if you do celebrate Christmas?  Let me know... I feel like I'm just always hogging the microphone over here!

Much love,

Thursday, December 6, 2012


Just back from biopsy. Was so nervous. Took a pain med when we got there because I knew I'd have to lay on my sharkbite.

Got in. Tech did set up. "I'm nervous" I said. She was so nice, explained things. Took preliminary ultrasound measurements.

Dr came in, told him "I'm scared." I laid there praying, remembering to trust. Dr took up the ultrasound wand to find the spot. "where is it?" he asked... "9:30 and 11, 7cm" said tech. Dr looked again, "where?" Tech said "here, I'll find it"

Me praying that God would give wisdom to this guy... he seemed confused.

Dr. "that's it? That's breast tissue."

Me "what?"

Dr "the radiologist must have been very good, I wouldn't have seen anything"

Me, trying not to burst out praising Jesus as needle was coming at me.

Dr did take three samples (me, "I don't like that" cuz he had to dig to try and find something). He said "the report will say can't rule out cancer because lab doesn't have context. Looking at the ultrasound I can tell you not to lose sleep, it's nothing.

Me, "Nothing nothing?"

Dr, huge smile!


Miracles my friends!!! Miracles!!!

When I was laying there working at calm I saw Jesus standing beside me, not just his presence but him. He was chuckling, just looking at me with a 'I got this, you know it and I know it...' and I smiled. I felt brightened and lifted up. And then "nothing, nothing"!!!!


God, I thank you. Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!

Celebration cake:

Awesome in this place

When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll. Whatever my lot, thou has taught me to say, even so, it is well with my soul. God is awesome in this place. Even though I am weepy and arming hard to maintain calm.

Change of plans

Hospital just called. Due to job action tomorrow my biopsy is today at 3:00. I am having a panic moment. I am scared. Nervous. Wimpy. Don't want to go to the hospital today. Was my day off. Scared. I'm sure it will be fine, I am praying peace and peace and peace. And the radiologist said it was a small shadow so I am claiming victory and no cancer. And I am asking you, again, still, always... Please pray.

Mom is here. Shawn is on his way from work. I'm scared.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Emotions and pains and grumpiness, oh my.

Today was okay. Didn't sleep enough but felt like I had slept too much, fuzzy head. Last radiation and feeling a little lost. 39 days of life feeling like someone yanked a drawer out of the kitchen cupboard and shook it all around, plans and life and everything just everywhere.

Was enjoying a quiet evening of Duck Dynasty (tv show) with hubby and kids when shoulder stab hit. Took meds, doubled over with queasy. Empty tummy didn't eat enough today. Trying to eat or have a protein smoothie all through the day. Feels like all I do is try to convince myself to eat things that just don't appeal. Headache. Stiff neck. From all the sleeping. Mixed blessings [smile].

Went for a big walk just now. Eyes mostly closed, thanks hubby for not letting my wobbly self fall off the sidewalk.

Feeling whiny and weeping and totally bitchy and mean. Still seeing silver linings: fresh air, rain drops lightly refreshing my face, legs to walk me, a nice and safe neighborhood. Food to come home to and enjoy [still not feeling interested in food, so fingers crossed-lol].

Just feeling ... Bamboozled. Weird. Exhausted. Lazy. Missing from my own life. Glimmers of normal, so loved being cuddled on the couch w son4. Little one is my biggest cuddler and every time he comes running up to me for a hug he stops just short and I see his mind trying to remember how to touch me and not hurt my shoulder or sharkbite. I hate that he has this fear. I love that he is so thoughtful and considerate. Precious.

God is good. All the time.

May your evening be peaceful!

Radiation 5

Last one!
Check this step off the list, we did it... well, in about 15 minutes! Yay us!!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

love and kindness grown here

Last night was the TeamKristin fundraiser that my two friends have been planning. All day I have been thinking of how best to articulate my gratitude and the cozy-blanket-straight-from-the-warmer love that was spilling out of the venue as we walked up. I have no words. There was so much love. So much connection and support and caring and smiles and hope and joy and friendship. And it wasn't just for me... I fear rock star status, let us never forget this is bigger than just me, this is God at work, drawing us together, drawing us to Him, filling our hearts. The love and caring was for all of us... It was my sister's co-workers coming to support her, my parents' friends coming to support them, friends of Diane's coming to support a cause dear to her, it was my other sister's co-workers and friends coming to support her... The connections running through that room: priceless.

I wish I could say it better. I am just so love-cup-filled for having walked through and received the smiles and hugs and care.

Thank you Diane and Erika. Thank you so much to all who came and contributed and brought the love.

Thank you.

Radiation 4

Done! Only one more to go!

This morning's appointment was early at 9:26am. Did the treatment and then cam home for a 3hrs nap! I woke up stiff from sleeping the wee hours on the couch (laying flat in bed makes my chest tight so I switched out of bed), then to be anywhere before 11:00... My hospital schedule was pretty slow-mornings and posh!

Tomorrow is my final radiation.

Friday I have a biopsy for the shadow on my right breast. Got that call late yesterday and then the date/time thus morning. I'm scared... Apparently their is a "burning sensation" when they freeze the biopsy spot and this morning I was feeling tired of sore sharkbite and sore shoulder and sore neck and don't touch the radiation shoulder and make sure to take the meds and and and.

Thankful for a huge nap. Things are brighter now.

Silver linings:
a) super nice tech told me she had no pain through her biopsy!
b) same tech also had her kidney out fifteen years ago!!!
c) the agency nurse was able to meet w me as a drop-in, and then spoke
to their doc, to adjust my meds... I cannot take my beloved anti-inflammatory meds for the next six days due to biopsy... I was concerned to have no pain management plan and God provided, no problem!

Sitting on the couch, watching tv w my husband. Like. Like. Like.

Monday, December 3, 2012

And it's all mine.

Floral bouquets.
Baskets and cards.
Kibbutzing (meaning the silly-fun play, almost wrestling, just before crying starts!).
Meals provided.
Cookies on the counter.
Kids playing all around.
I am home.

Thank you God, you brought us through!!!

Please forgive, I am asking no visitors yet this week as I adjust to home and have three more days of radiation.

Keep praying and texting and dropping notes, k? I read and re-read everything you send!


Fundraiser... TONIGHT!

Team Kristin is so appreciative of the encouragement, donations and support for tonight's fundraiser. We are happy to report its SOLD OUT!

Here are just a couple things you should know:
- if you have spoken for a ticket, it will be at the door with your name on it
- doors open at 6:30
- please being cash or cheque for the auction or team Kristin merchandise (sorry no credit or debit available)

It should be a really great night of support for Kristin, Shawn and family. Thank-you for being a part of it!!

Team Kristin

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Never alone

My request coming in to this hospital stay was that I never be alone. Yes, God is with me always. Yes, I know your thoughts and prayers are with me and holding me up. But my love language is "meaningful touch" and "time spent". What a very blessed and spoiled girl I am to have had loved ones around me at every turn. Day and night! My family is incredible, they have lavished love on me in such epic and subtle and huge and quiet ways. I am so blessed.

Saturday, December 1, 2012


Thankful for amazing medical staff and kind and patient nurses. Thankful for meds to dull the pain and apple butter on toast from a stocked hospital ward kitchen. Thankful for the smile of volunteers coming to pray. Thankful for a new and high-tech hospital and cancer center just minutes from home. So many silver linings and miracles along the way. Thankful, very thankful.

Answered prayer

After a long couple of days with no luck in the loo, tonight I share success! Bowel movement accomplished. Trust me when I say mom and I were singing praises in this hospital room!
Thank you for praying. Seriously, thank you! Look, rainbows and ponies and lollipops... Next topic!

2:00 am w LaLaLuna

Meet LaLaLuna, my sweet little sister-friend-giftie from Kori and Keri. Tonight we are taking a walk cuz I have wicked gas pains in my side. These are some of the things we see on our nightly adventure hikes.