Monthly Archives

April 2016

Health Journey Life Update

More Tough Words & Some Statistics

It is amazing to read statistics about how many people are affected by cancer. The unfortunate reality is these numbers are not accurate. What do I mean? Cancer doesn’t just affect the individual – it affects everyone and everything connected to, and attached to that individual. Maybe you have read some of the previous posts where I share about some of the struggles we face with my diagnosis? If not, you can read them here and here.

The other day, I experienced another tough moment with Nola. Don’t get me wrong – there are a lot of great things happening in our life – but this is a fresh memory I wanted to write about. Nola had soccer practice the other day, but she didn’t feel comfortable with me taking her. I was in the bathroom when I overheard her say – “Mommy, I just feel more comfortable with you.” “I don’t want dad taking me because I’m afraid he may pass out again.”

Those words cut like a knife.

She doesn’t know I heard her either. I just laid there on the bathroom floor – crushed!

I don’t blame her. She has every right to be scared after witnessing her father pass out in the middle of Castle Fun Park. It is just difficult as her dad to see her struggle like this. It just seems so unfair. It breaks my heart to know that she is scared to be alone with me. I know it won’t be like this forever, it’s just tough seeing you kids trying to make sense of everything. She is 9, and none of this makes sense to her or her brothers.

Cancer doesn’t just affect the individual – it reaches into, and affects everyone and everything that is attached to the individual.

Below is some information I found from the website.

Cancer Statistics At A Glance
Cancer statistics tell us how many people in Canada are diagnosed with and die from cancer each year. They show us the trends in new cases and cancer deaths. Cancer statistics also tell us the likelihood of surviving a cancer diagnosis and the number of people who are alive after a cancer diagnosis.

Canadian provinces and territories collect data on cancer cases and cancer deaths. These data are combined to provide a picture of the impact of cancer for all of Canada.

Incidence and mortality
Incidence is the total number of new cases of cancer. Mortality is the number of deaths due to cancer. To provide the most current cancer statistics, researchers use statistical methods to estimate the number of new cancer cases and deaths until actual data become available.

An estimated 196,900 new cases of cancer and 78,000 deaths from cancer will occur in Canada in 2015. (The number of estimated new cases does not include 78,300 new non-melanoma skin cancer cases.)

Cancer is the leading cause of death in Canada and is responsible for 30% of all deaths.

Note: The total of all deaths in 2011 in Canada was 242,074. Adapted from: Statistics Canada. Leading causes of deaths in Canada, 2011, CANSIM Table 102-0522

It is estimated that in 2015:
* 100,500 Canadian men will be diagnosed with cancer and 41,000 men will die from cancer.
* 96,400 Canadian women will be diagnosed with cancer and 37,000 women will die from cancer.
* On average, 539 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer every day.
* On average, 214 Canadians will die from cancer every day.

Lung, breast, colorectal and prostate cancer are the most common types of cancer in Canada (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer). Based on 2015 estimates:

* These cancers account for over half (51%) of all new cancer cases.
* Prostate cancer accounts for about one-quarter (24%) of all new cancer cases in men.
* Lung cancer accounts for 14% of all new cases of cancer.
* Breast cancer accounts for about one-quarter (26%) of all new cancer cases in women.
* Colorectal cancer accounts for 13% of all new cancer cases.

Trends in Cancer Rates
Cancer is a disease that mostly affects Canadians aged 50 and older, but it can occur at any age.

Across Canada, cancer incidence rates vary because of differences in the type of population, risk factors (including risk behaviours) and early detection practices. Similarly, rates of cancer death vary because of differences in incidence, but also potentially differences in access to and outcomes of cancer control activities (for example, screening, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up) across the country.

Chances (probability) of developing or dying from cancer
Based on 2010 estimates:
* 2 out of 5 Canadians (45% of men and 42% of women) are expected to develop cancer during their lifetimes.
* 1 out of 4 Canadians (29% of men and 24% of women) is expected to die from cancer.

Prevalence is the total number of people living with a diagnosis of cancer at a certain point in time. This statistic can be useful in planning healthcare services for people recently diagnosed with cancer and for cancer survivors.

In 2009, about 810,045 Canadians diagnosed with cancer in the previous 10 years were alive. This represents about 2.4% of the Canadian population or 1 out of every 41 Canadians.

The number of newly diagnosed cancer cases in Canada is increasing, but survival rates are also increasing. These improved survival rates account for the growing number of Canadian cancer survivors.

Survival is the percentage of people who are alive at some point in time after their cancer diagnosis. There are many different ways of measuring and reporting cancer survival statistics. Most survival statistics are reported for a specific time period, namely 5 years.

* Based on 2006–2008 estimates, 63% of Canadians diagnosed with cancer are expected to survive for 5 years or more after a cancer diagnosis:
* Survival rates vary from low to high depending on the type of cancer. For example, based on 2006–2008 estimates:
* The 5-year relative survival rate for lung cancer is low (17%).
* The 5-year relative survival rate for colorectal cancer is average (64%).
* The 5-year relative survival rate is high for prostate cancer (96%) and breast cancer (88%).
* Between 1992–1994 and 2006–2008, survival rates increased from 56% to 63% for all cancers combined.

For more information, go to Canadian Cancer Statistics publication.

Read more:

Family Fun

Make My Day!

The other day I took River out for a bike ride around Mill Lake and then we went to fly a drone. All I can say is River is awesome! Flying a drone wasn’t too bad either. Enjoy!

Family Health Journey Life Story Update

Some Words Are Hard To Shake

  • It’s not everyday you are told you will only have 6 months to live if you stop taking chemo.

    That’s what my oncologist told my wife and I nearly 6 months ago.

    His words still echo in my ears.

    Those words hit me like a freight train. My knees buckled. What are you suppose to do with news like that?

    I remember leaving his office in a fog. I was confused. What just happened? What did he just say?

    Jamie and I left the cancer clinic that day in utter shock! We knew what we were doing was (and is) the right decision. We had a hard time wrapping our minds around the theory of chemo. It didn’t (and doesn’t) make sense to us. I am not here telling anyone what they should do when it comes to your how you should treat your cancer. After a lot of research, some personal experience, and wise counsel, I knew stopping chemo was best course of action for me to take.

    Cancer is a personal choice nowadays.

    It wasn’t always like that. Just a few years ago there were only 3 viable options to treat cancer: chemo, radiation, or surgery.

    Today, there are other options. Clinics and ND’s all over the world are doing great things working with people who are diagnosed with cancer. Sadly, these ‘alternative methods’ and others are not given the recognition they deserve. There are some amazing success stories out there if people who have been healed because they took control of their lives.

    People are realizing that cancer isn’t a death sentence – in many cases – it is a wake up call!

    I am thankful for the path we have chosen to walk at this time in our lives. We really do feel the Lord’s leading in our lives. It sure has been ride though. We don’t know what each day holds, but who does?

    It’s coming up on 6 months since that doctor spoke those words. Although I can still hear them at times ringing in my ears – I refuse to let them define me.

    All I know is I am very thankful for each day I have and I want to enjoy those close to me and encourage as many as I can along the way.

    We only have today – make the most of it!

  • Family Health Update

    Health Update

    It has been a little while since I have given an update with my health, so I thought I would share what’s been happening. Besides the battles in my mind, I have felt overall pretty good. It is still hard to believe that it has been nearly 9 months since the diagnosis. I am still doing my Lymphatic & Vitamin C IV therapy treatments on a weekly basis. We continue to juice and eat as much plant based foods as possible. I have 5 different supplements I take to help my liver 3 times a day, and to top it all off – I do 10 enemas a day. It may seem like a lot, because it is. Getting healthy has been a full time job!

    The plan is to have some blood work done in July, and a possible MRI. I meet with my doctor on a weekly basis for testing and all seems to be doing well. My liver has been under some pressure lately, but this week it seems to be doing a lot better. It is the result of moving so many toxins out of my body. One of the things my doctor asked me last week is if I ever feel any pain? I guess when you have tumours growing inside of you they begin to cause pain. I have not had any issues with pain from any if the supposed tumours. I continue to walk on a daily basis, and remain as active as possible.

    This process was never going to be a 100 meter dash – we knew that coming in. It’s been quite the race so far, but it isn’t over yet – but it won’t be long.

    So that’s it. That is pretty much what is happening with me regarding my health.

    Thanks for all your continued love and support during this time.

    On a side note…

    Jamie and I are celebrating our 11th Anniversary next week. I am so excited to celebrate that day with Jamie! It is crazy to think we have been married for 11 years. I am very thankful for the first 11 years, and I am going to keep fighting for the next 50 + years.

    Family Life Update

    Jekyll & Hyde

    How many remember the story Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde?

    Have you ever seen any of the films?

    I think it is pretty safe to say that most, if not all of us have seen a movie, or heard the story of Jekyll & Hyde. Lately I have been feeling like a maniac. Ever since getting back from Mexico I have felt ‘off.’ I have had no energy, my body has ached, and I have been an emotional basket case. It’s hard to explain at times the wild range of emotions you experience on a journey like this. Emotions can be like a tee·ter-tot·ter.m – sometimes you are up, and sometimes you are down.

    I feel helpless at times. It feels like I can’t control my emotions, and that’s a problem. I like control – don’t we all? I recently came across this quote about control: “control is an illusion.” I was curious to understand more so I Googled the origin of the quote and this is what I came across:

    “The illusion of control is the tendency for people to overestimate their ability to control events; for example, it occurs when someone feels a sense of control over outcomes that they demonstrably do not influence. The effect was named by psychologist Ellen Langer.”

    It’s painful reading that paragraph. As much as I want to think I have control, the reality is I don’t. None of us do. Our emotions are powerful. They can be a gift and a curse all in the same breath. If not properly dealt with, and understood they can become dangerous. If we let our emotions get the best of us – we could be asking for trouble. Trust me – I know! This why I have been feeling like Jekyll & Hyde as of late. One minute I am on top of the world, and the next minute I am either angry or want to hide under a rock somewhere. All I want is some balance. I just want off this terrible ride.

    Please continue to pray for our family – especially for Jamie & the kids. I hate putting them through this. It doesn’t seem fair. At times I would rather just be alone, because it is too painful to watch your family have to deal with a Jekyll & Hyde. Thanks for all your love and support during this time, it has meant the world to us! Love you guys!