2 Years Without Cancer

It’s hard to believe I finished chemo 2 years ago and had my transplant. It’s such a blessing to be here today. Everyday is a gift. At my 2 year visit with the long term care doctor I was given some bad news that my bone density dropped a lot. I have osteoporosis. I will be receiving some sort of shot every six months that will help strengthen the bones. On top of that I have a very painful hip and back. It’s been this way for about a year now . The doctor is requesting an MRI to see if anything abnormal is spotted.

My immunoglobulin is extremely low as well. On paper my immune system looks great but when they check further there isn’t much fight in me. An example of what happens to me is , a common cold for my kids turns into a 3 day fever , low energy , difficulty breathing for me and lingers twice as long. It used to be easier for me but since transplant my body has to fight a lot to get rid of infections. So the plan is once again IVIG. I had infusions every 4 weeks that took about 4 hours for 6 months. Now I will be doing it from home more frequently. It will be a learning experience I’m sure.

With it being 2 years since my transplant, I have inquired about finding out who my donor is. I haven’t heard anything yet but am hopeful for some news soon. At the same time I think how on earth do you thank someone who has given you so much. I don’t even know.

Our family was able to have a trip to California. We really wanted to do this with the kids because our last couple years were so tough. Walking into California Adventure and seeing Mickey Mouse was the most magical part. I was almost in tears. The fact that I was there and my family was there and I was alive to experience it, was far more than I could handle. The excitement didn’t end. I was the least excited about the trip and In the end I think I absorbed it the most. I’m definitely going back.

That’s my update for now. I hope and pray that there won’t be another one for awhile. ❤️

Tania

Feeling Blue

When I decide the way my health “should ” be ,

God says, ” Be still”. (Psalm 46:10)

When I am frustrated and I don’t understand the path He has chosen for me ,

God says, ” You don’t understand now what I am doing, but one day you will.” ( John 13:7)

When I just want to give up the fight ,

God says, “come to me and I will give you rest”. (Matthew 11:28)

A New Season and Guilt

Summer has arrived! What a gift the seasons are. I am thankful for every season . I love summer because the sun makes me super happy . Fall is cozy and gives me a feeling of warmth even though the temperature is dropping. Winter we celebrate the birth of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who has given me so much peace and joy in my life. The togetherness of family and friends. Spring brings the beautiful flowers. I definitely see beauty all around me in every season.

When I look back through the past couple years and see how this beautiful struggle has past by, it reminds me of how far I have come. I’m thankful I have documented through my blog. I see how strong I am mentally and physically. Though not as strong physically as a few years ago but a new broken body strength. The hardest parts are when I experience set backs. I have been keeping up with life for the most part. Volunteering , seeing friends more, doing my chores and cooking. It feels good. Then suddenly I am reminded that I am not in control. I have no immune system which is very hard on my body. It can stop me without warning. That is the case the last few days. I have been full of plans. It’s taken me a long time to make plans without being nervous about it. Life is unpredictable for all of us but for me everyday can change.

I spiked a fever on Thursday. I haven’t had a fever in a long time. The fever came with many other bad symptoms. Thankfully the fever has passed but all the symptoms remain. Even though I don’t have control over what’s happening I feel an incredible amount of guilt. I miss things, I get behind in chores, feel like a bad mom , a bad wife. I know this isn’t just a problem that I have . Having had cancer doesn’t single me out in this department. We all struggle with it. We struggle with keeping up with what is expected of us in our social circles , church, family , or whatever else. The reality is , that’s not practical. It’s not how we should be living. We need to live with the now we are given. God has chosen this life for us. We need to navigate it to His glory. Not what’s pleasing to the world. Not what we think our expectations are. We need to find contentment in the gifts we are given from His hand. I may be sick but I am alive. I have people around me who love me even though I am not making them gourmet dinners or keeping up with their laundry.

Hebrews 10:22

Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

If I focus on what God has taught me and live in love and in all circumstances show that love , my guilt will be washed away. It’s a work in progress for me. Especially showing love to myself.

Matthew 11 :28-30

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

God gives me rest . He gives me peace and understanding. He is who I need to focus on . If I do that , even when I am unable to do much, then I am fulfilling all my duties.

This is a place for me to write and clear my head. So if you read this, thank you for being part of my journey.

Spring Update

Things having been going pretty good over here. I think having that polyp removed helped a bit. I have been fighting a cough for a couple months and quite a bit of side and hip pain. Yesterday I had an X-ray of my chest and right hip. If hip X-ray doesn’t show anything I will get an MRI. Due to high chemo and transplant as well as high doses of steroids and having osteopenia , there could be damage. I’m also getting a ct scan done to find out what is bothering my stomach on the right side. I have a constant dull ache. I also had a stomach scope to get a couple biopsy’s to check for gvhd. Sometimes I have a hard time swallowing.

As much as is going on I see the improvements I have made. I am lowering my steroid dose once again and really hope it’s successful. My body can’t seem to live without the stuff but I won’t give up.

I had a fantastic weekend away to Kelowna for Track and Field provincials. Super proud of my kids and all the kids. Gavin places 4th in senior boys triple jump and he and Madison did great in all their events. I brought my mom along . She is having a big surgery in a couple weeks and it was nice to get her out for a bit.

We celebrated Madison turning 15 on Sunday. My kids are growing up and I feel so blessed to be here to watch them grow. I will never take that for granted. Gavin also got his drivers license. 😀

This coming Saturday is the Relay for Life. I have been raising money for a couple months and am thankful to be participating again. This is my 3rd year in a row. I have done Relay before I was sick as well as weekend to end woman’s cancer. It is something that has always been close to my heart. It’s going to be a great day.

Still Uncertain

I know I haven’t updated but I haven’t had anything positive to say. I try to always keep my head up but it’s hard when there is so much going on.

We were told by my BMT doctor that everything regarding my biopsy was ok . So the relief of colon cancer had washed away. Well a week later Aaron and I went and saw the gastroenterologist and her news wasn’t bad but was not good either.

The small polyp was removed and had pre cancerous cells. This isn’t uncommon. It’s gone and nothing to worry about. However the large polyp is in a complicated location and was also pre cancer but had a few worrisome characteristics. The biopsy taken was very tiny and only on the surface. So there’s some concern about what’s underneath.

The talk was that due to it being complicated she couldn’t remove it. She gave a couple options and said I could see someone higher up who could possibly remove it or remove a section of my colon. There are risks with both. If removed through a colonoscopy the chance of recurrence is high and if it does come back the chance if it being cancer are even higher. Also if it ends up being cancer , I will have to have part of my colon removed anyways. Part of me thought, just take the section of colon out.

In the end after the other specialist looked at video and photo taken, he believes he can try and remove it. So May 2nd I have been booked in for a couple hours to try. If no cancer is found they will be monitoring me closely.

I have been very nauseous and fatigued again lately. Sometimes barely getting out of bed . I do have good days occasionally and I am always thankful for that. I struggle with the unknown and do fear the worse based on how I have been feeling. At the same time I stay close to my faith and am reminded that no matter what, God is always good and He is the author of my life and that comforts me. It makes me feel ok that I can not control the outcome.

Thanks to those who read this and continue to pray for me. We appreciate the love and support.

Only God Knows What’s Next. Please Pray .

I have been feeling pretty good the last few weeks. I’m thankful for all the sunshine we had last week, it really brightens my mood and gives me energy. I was able to spend some great time with Brandon while the other 3 kids had other things going on. We went to the park with friends, enjoyed ice cream for lunch in Fort Langley and took Molly for a walk to look for birds. I was thankful I was able to do all this.

This week is a little more low key. I seem to be fighting some stomach issues. It’s not uncommon for me but leaves me feeling tired and run down. That’s why I take things one day at a time. I am feeling a bit more comfortable making commitments. I am happy to be stepping out and helping where I am needed. I do come with a warning, ” as long as I’m ok”. However I feel like it helps me not feel so secluded from life. I enjoy being around other people and it feels really nice.

However the future is never certain. As far as leukaemia goes, I’m good! I’m thankful for that. I have some concerning spots in my mouth that need to be monitored but I am not worried about it. A biopsy has been done and another one needs to be done in April but I’m feeling ok with it.

I did have a colonoscopy last week Monday that does have me worried. The results couldn’t come quick enough. I’m trying to distract myself so I don’t think too much about it. The reason I had it was because last year they found a small polyp while looking for gvhd. I had taken my blood thinner so they couldn’t remove it. Due to me being high risk for secondary cancers it was decided to do a full colonoscopy. I honestly wasn’t expecting anything else to be found. Unfortunately a large ugly looking polyp was found. I watched the whole thing and cannot get that picture out of my head. Another doctor was called in. I don’t remember what was said ( I had a bit of sedation) . However the doctor didn’t want to talk about it with me until I wasn’t on any sedation. She wrote a note on my paper to discuss surgery because it’s too large to remove via colonoscopy. She also wrote that my kids and siblings need colonoscopy starting at 30 instead of 50. So I wait.

I know God has my life planned out and I know if this is cancer that I’m pretty tough and can kick it again with Gods help. The thought of going through it terrifies me though. So I’m reaching out to anyone who follows me to please pray that this is not cancer. I really feel like things are starting to get better for me and I just can’t imagine going back down this road.