Monthly Archives

September 2015

Blog Journey

Normal

What is normal anyways? I looked up the definition and this is what I read- normal nor·mal (nôr’məl) adj. Conforming with, adhering to, or constituting a norm, standard, pattern, level, or type; typical. Functioning or occurring in a natural way; lacking observable abnormalities or deficiencies. I haven’t been feeling normal lately. I still find myself thinking that all of what we are going through right now is just a dream. The reality is, it isn’t. This journey we are on is our new normal. What we knew to be normal before is now behind us and we are embracing a new normal. What we eat, what we talk about, everything we do centres around this diagnosis. It’s awkward and uncomfortable at times, but it is our new normal. There isn’t anything wrong with this, except for the fact they tell me I have cancer. I can say I honestly enjoy the new found benefits of all the changes we have made in our day to day lives. I feel the best I have felt in 20 years. The exercise, healthy eating, better sleeping habits and more, have contributed to a better lifestyle. I often say, “It took me to get cancer to understand the harm I was doing to myself.” If I can encourage anyone today who may be reading this, I would say to you find a new normal. Make the necessary changes in your life that will help you live a healthier and happier life. There is nothing wrong with normal.




Blog Journey

Not What I Was Hoping

I woke up today feeling quite refreshed after a good night sleep. I brushed my teeth and headed downstairs where the three little bears were all snuggled on the couch watching a show. Jamie was in the kitchen making breakfast, I mean, she was juicing and I sat down in front of my desk to read the morning news. Jamie wanted me to call one of our doctors today and see if I could start any of my treatments early. I had also sent in my most recent blood results so they could compare them to the last tests. It has been tough having to wait throughout this whole process. We still don’t have an exact date on when I will be starting my chemo but we don’t want to wait too long. I gave the clinic a call and left a message for our doctor. A little later, our doctor returned the call and informed me she had a look at my most recent blood results and was a little concerned by some of the numbers. She had note that the cancer seems to be growing and becoming a little more aggressive. Now I won’t be starting chemo still for nearly a month but I will be starting Vitamin C treatments. She wants to be aggressive with treating the cancer, so in the meantime while we wait for chemo to begin, we will do whatever it takes. I have my first treatment today beginning at 3PM and then another one on Friday. At this time, I would really appreciate your prayers. This wasn’t the news I was hoping for this morning, but it is what it is.

Blog Journey

Warm Blankets

Today was a pretty big day in our journey. I visited the BC Cancer Clinic in Vancouver for my PET Scan. For those who don’t know what a PET Scan is or does this is what I found on Google to help explain it: Positron emission tomography (PET) uses small amounts of radioactive materials called radiotracers, a special camera and a computer to help evaluate your organ and tissue functions. By identifying body changes at the cellular level, PET may detect the early onset of disease before it is evident on other imaging tests. For this trip I wasn’t alone. Our Pastor texted last night and said he wanted to drive me down into the city. It was nice driving into Vancouver with him and chatting about life, church, and a lot of other topics. It was such an enjoyable car ride. We arrived at the clinic earlier than we thought as the traffic was quite light. We parked the car and headed towards the entrance of the building. I wasn’t too sure what to expect. The nurses in Abbotsford didn’t tell me much about my PET scan, so I thought we would be there no longer than a hour. I signed in at the front desk and took a seat in the hallway. About 20 minutes I heard my name being called, so I jumped up and headed towards the middle aged woman holding the clipboard. She came out into the hallway to inform Blake about the process. It was going to take nearly 2 hours for the scan to be completed. What? 2 hours. I wasn’t expecting that. Well, there wasn’t too much I could do, so I gathered my belongings and followed her through the large yellow door. I was told to change into my hospital gown and then was directed to a dimly lit room which I was told I was going to be spending the next hour or so while they pumped my body with radioactive material. I sat in the large, beige reclining chair and the nurse administered the radioactive material into my body through an IV. Once the process was over, I was to recline in the chair for the next 45 minutes while it entered my blood stream. What I enjoyed about this whole process was the incredibly warm blankets they put over my entire body while I sat there waiting. I don’t know if there is a greater feeling than having warm blankets placed on your body. I think I fell asleep immediately. I put on my music and closed my eyes. The next thing I knew, it was time to have my scan. The nurse led me from my room to a room down the hall with this enormous machine starring me right in the face. I followed their instructions and laid down on the table connected to the imaging machine. The nurse again placed warm blankets on my body and instructed me to lay still for the next 26 minutes while they took pictures of my body. This process seemed like it took forever. Twenty six minutes actually felt like an hour. My nose began to itch and my legs were growing restless. I just wanted off and this whole experience to be over with. Finally, the machine stopped. I sat up and was told to get dressed. I was done! Now the waiting game begins. My results will not be in until next Thursday, but I will have to wait even longer than that because my next doctor’s appointment isn’t until the 17th of September. So, until then, we will remain positive and believe for a good report.




Blog Journey

Frustrating

Yesterday wasn’t one of my finest days. It was a day filled with filling out paper work and bombarded by negative thoughts. My day didn’t start off too bad, I went to morning prayer which was quite encouraging as people prayed for me and our family. It is always encouraging when people pray for you because you sense and experience the genuine love, care and concern people have for you. More than that, people are praying to God on your behalf can be quite humbling. I had some errands I needed to run after that which are not always fun, especially when they involve your mode of transportation. Every thing seemed fine most of the day until I decided to look at our bank account. How many enjoy doing that? Let me preface what I am about to say by saying this: please don’t feel sorry for us. When I had logged onto our online banking one of our accounts was in the negative. That’s never fun. Now there was a reason for this negative number that was unexpected. Have you ever look at your bank account and seen a negative number? Frustrating, right? Well, this frustration then snowballed into another frustration as I have been waiting for some forms to be filled out but when I received them there were not filled out properly. Frustrating! After spending some time on the phone (I don’t do this well) I received some clarity and now have to go back and have the paper work updated. Now I don’t want to bore you too much but my day didn’t end there. After spending more time on the phone with our bank on another issue I was told I had more paper work to fill out. Are you kidding me? Let’s just say I was about done with phone calls, errands and paperwork. I was done. I didn’t want to hold a pen any longer. I didn’t want to look at another piece of paper. I wish I could say everything was fine after putting everything down but it wasn’t. I was left alone with my own thoughts. Do you ever struggle with your thought life? Do you think about things too much that are outside your control? I do at times. I know I shouldn’t, but I do. My mind began to race in a thousand different directions and I didn’t know how to shut them off. My mind filled with fear, insecurities, and what ifs? They were so loud, I just wanted them to stop. I went downstairs into my office and sat on my couch and prayed. For me, I pray by initiating a conversation. I remember praying something like this yesterday:

Jesus, I am overwhelmed and frustrated right now and I don’t want to feel this way. I’m asking that You grant me peace right now. I’m scared and I don’t know what is going to happen but I know You do. I trust that You are good and that You are in control. I hand over all my concerns, fears and insecurities.

I sat in my basement for nearly 20 minutes just sitting there. I didn’t hear an audible voice, the room didn’t begin to shake or anything like that, but my mind wasn’t racing any longer. I seemed lighter. God had answered my prayer. He gave me peace in the midst of my temporary storm. I think that is critical for all of us to understand, all of us face storms in one form or another but we need to understand they will pass.

Thanks for reading…
Sean

Blog Journey

Chemo Class

Today I had to go to what they call a Chemo Class. The purpose of this class is to inform those who are about to undergo chemo what to expect and what to watch out for. I spent two hours with 6 complete strangers all with similar stories. Each person was at least 65 years or older. It is still difficult at times to wrap my mind around how young I am compared to those I come across at the cancer clinic. We all gathered in a conference room as a oncology nurse shared her presentation about chemo and its potential side affects. There was a lot of information covered in our two hours. Nothing really earth shattering, but I was surprised by the lack of conversation around nutrition and even a natural approach to treatment. Conventional oncologists will in no way given any credit or validity to naturopathic approach to the treatment of cancer. To me, this is sad and wrong. So many people just accept what the oncologists say and don’t do enough research about what’s out there for treatment. For us as a family, we will do anything and everything we can and exhaust all our resources to make sure I am getting the best care for my diagnosis. Our hope as we walk this out is that we would have the opportunity to share with others our experiences. We definitely don’t know everything but what we do know we want to share it. I have a PET Scan scheduled for this Friday morning and my PORT will be put in not until October 1. I am told chemo will begin the next day. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.