Friday, October 28, 2011

Hello from Maple Ridge

Wow, it's been over 2 months since I wrote last.  Where does the time go?

Since August, I have finally completed "chemo".  My last herceptin treatment, bloodwork, and oncology appointment was September 21st.  A whole flood of feelings and emotions has come along with finishing treatment.  It's like you go into "fight" mode when you are diagnosed with a disease like cancer, and you work your way through the treatment because you know it is taking care of business.  And one day, the treatment and the regular check ups stop, and it is pretty scary!  I am continuing with my naturopath treatments and daily dose of tamoxifen, but I am in a weird transition place.  I can't shake the thought that every ache or pain I feel could be cancer.  My next oncologist appointment is February 21st - and I'm hoping he will do some more scans/tests to put my mind at rest, even though I know the worries and paranoia will fade as time moves on.

My great friend Shelley recommended a perfect book - Picking Up the Pieces - and it is like someone climbed into my brain and wrote a book about this phase.  It is helping a lot, along with my Young Women's Cancerchat group that I attend online every week, and regular visits to the counsellor.  Someone once told me, "the climb down the mountain can be harder than the climb up!"  They weren't kidding.

I got word back from the genetic testing and it was not the best news, but not bad news either.  The results could have come back that I carry a mutated version of the BRCA1/BRCA2 gene(s), that I don't carry a mutated version, or there is a variable (meaning something in my genes they have never seen before).  Naturally, my results came back as a variable meaning they can't tell me if this variable is a genetic mutuation or not - and that leaves the results inconclusive at this time.  A confirmed genetic mutuation would mean that my daughter and my sister are likely carriers and have a greater chance of getting breast cancer (50%), and my chances of getting ovarian cancer increase dramatically.  Both Kim and Keira could be tested for the gene if my results came back positive - but since they didn't come back positive or negative, neither can be tested further. we wait and see if other genetic findings come up with the same variable as me so they can do further research and eventually, maybe they can confirm or deny the findings.

An ultrasound has determined there are non cancerous cysts on my ovaries.  In light of the inconclusive results that may or may not make my chances of ovarian cancer a higher risk, and these cysts, the decision now is whether or not I should have a hysterectomy/oovarectomy is on the table. This, of course, is a very permanent decision so I am going to contact the Cancer Agency in 6 months to determine if there has been any more research and maybe confirm or deny my results. 

I completed my last expansion last week.  This has been quite a long, drawn out, and painful process.  I started back in May and am just finishing now.  I never knew how incredibly painful this was going to be so I am quite glad to see this part of the journey come to a close.  After tomorrow, I wait for a few months to allow the skin and muscles to stretch and then my next appointment for surgery is January 9, 2012.  My Mom will come and stay with us after my surgery to help with my little munchkin!

..and on that much sunnier topic - Keira is now 15 months old.  Her red hair is coming in now, and she is babbling all the time, and saying quite a few words and sounds.  She starting walking last week so now she is non stop.  She is a very smart little girl - and her favourite word is "Oreoreo" (as she chases our cat, Oreo, down the hall).  We took her swimming to the Leisure Centre this past week and she loved the water. She also had her first visit to the ER as she fell and hit her eye on the fireplace hearth.  Does every kid have to do that?  Anyways, she was fine, no stitches or glue required (but Mom was a bit worse for wear!)

Me and my amazing team, "Kelly's Klique", walked the 5k CIBC Run for the Cure on Octber 2nd.  Thanks to all my walkers, and to those who donated to cancer research on my team's behalf, we raised about $1800.  It was very touching and the venue in Abbotsford was small and kind of intimate (compared to the Vancouver walk). We will, however, be back in Vancouver for the 2013 walk so keep October in mind!

Things are going well with our business - both Mullen Bros Landscaping & Snow Removal, and our newest venture - Albion Flats Landscape Supply.  We took over a Landscape Supply storefront property here in Maple Ridge and things have been running full tilt since then.  We are looking forward to a dry Fall for the Landscape Supply store, and a cold and snowy winter for Mullen Bros.   I never thought I'd ever WISH for snow but I am...sorry everyone!

Anyways, hope you are all well!
Love Kelly, Keira, Oliver & Aidan


Getting into everything...

Cruisin' at the pumpkin patch yesterday

Aidan, Keira and Mommy in the corn maze

Declan, Liam & Aidan

Aunty Kimberley

Keira and Daddy hand and hand in the pumpkin patch

Add caption

You should see the other guy!


  1. I definitely need to pick up a copy of that book - I find myself in the same weird transition as you are. And it feels like I'm in a fog and nobody 'gets it' unless they have gone through it themselves.

    As far as the last picture - omg (!!) I didn't realize it was *that* close to her eye when you told me it happened. Yikes. Glad it didn't require any medical intervention.

  2. Wow you are busy! Alot of fun things though! I saw a group of walkers in Abbotsford the day that you were there - quite an emotional sight but in a very positive way! Great seeing you the other day at the hospital (but not so great for little Keira!). Glad her eye is okay!