Monday, December 10, 2012

Life goes on...

There have been a few changes as of late.  Ken had his spinal chemo last week, and was violently ill a few days after coming home.  To be expected, I guess, but still not much fun.

The worse, most shocking part for me, was the fact that with this chemo, his eyebrows fell out.  I knew it was bound to happen, but I still wasn't prepared for the shock of it.  It just makes him look that much sicker.  I mean, I know he's sick, but it makes it all that more apparent.

The good news is that his CT scan came back basically clear.  He'll have one done every 6 months for the next few years, just to be on the safe side.

He's scheduled to go back to Vancouver once more this month for treatment, then again in January.  I'm hoping he's well enough; I just want to get this over and done with.  Unfortunately, he's currently waiting to see a doctor as he's picked up a respiratory virus and is coughing up awful stuff - he'll pull through this, he's already proven how strong he really is.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


This is late, and for this I appologise.  Ken was flown home by Hope Air on Monday.

I am so happy to have him home.

He's not completely done - he still has three chemo injections to be given into his spine (a few weeks apart), but it's so wonderful that he's here.

He made it in time for our youngest son's first birthday.  And that meant the world to both of us.

Live is so, so good right now.  We're just waiting for the results from his CTscan to confirm that the Cancer is gone.

I know it is.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Happy Birthday, Honey

Today is Ken's birthday.  Another older, wiser and stronger.

He had his 'third from the end' spinal chemo shot today and was kicked back out to outpatient care.  With any luck, he'll get one more at the end of this week, and his last one at the beginning of next week.

Here's to hoping.

Today he told me that his hair is starting to come back in - white.  As if that makes any difference to me... he can have it blue or purple or red, I just want him back home.

My husband is amazing.  And strong.  I am the luckiest woman in the world to have him.

Not too much longer.  Then we just have to play the waiting game to get the 'all clear'... make sure that the Cancer is completely gone.

I'm so emotional; excited that the end is within sight, scared that the outcome won't be perfect, relieved to know my soulmate is coming back to me.

Life is hard, but it is good.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The light at the end of the tunnel...

It's so close I can almost see it.

Almost taste it.

Ken finished his consolidation chemo today.  He has three more shots of chemo into his spine, which need to be spaced several days (to possibly a week) apart.

He is in rough shape.  Consolidation chemo is the highest, strongest dose that they give.  It's the 'last hurrah', designed to make sure not one. little. cancerous. cell. is left behind.

Here's to hoping.

I have a confession to make.  And it makes me feel like an absolute ass, because Ken is all alone, and fighting this disease so hard.

I'm lonely.  And overwhelmed.  And depressed.

I've reached my limit, reduced to tears several times over the past week.  I don't know how much more of this I can take.

The babies are sick.  Again.

I love being a Mom.  But I HATE being a single Mom.  Hate it.

I feel like a failure because I'm having such a difficult time.  I should be stronger than this.  After all, Ken is the one who is struggling, suffering through brutal treatments that cause him so much pain and make him so sick.  He hasn't seen his family in over 2 months.

And here I am feeling sorry for myself.

I just want my husband home.  But I want him home cured.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Round 4 Commences!

I was so happy to get this news today, that I teared up and darn near started crying.  Ken's Oncologist told him three more weeks, give or take.

Please, please let it be soon.

Ken was admitted back into the hospital today, to begin round 4.  As usual, it included a lumbar injection (he has a number of these left to go still).  And as usual, a wicked headache followed.

But still, we are both excited.  With any luck, he'll be home for our youngest's first birthday (though he misses his own birthday, as well as his oldest son's).

I'm hoping these days pass quickly, and that treatment continues to go smoothly.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

I hate to say I'm counting the days...

But I am.

I don't want to set myself up for disappointment, but I know there's the chance that treatment will continually get delayed or dragged out, for one reason or another.

We had a pretty massive earthquake last night - I felt it here.  It measured at 7.7 on the Richter scale at its origin.  But Ken, being almost 700km South, didn't.  And we had our first real snow of the Winter, but not down on the coast where Ken is.

And so I keep on counting the days.

Photos help; knowing that I can share pictures of the kids make me feel good.  And the boys do like talking to Ken over the computer.  Even if they are very young, there's no way they've even remotely forgotten who their Daddy is.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Round 3 - Finito!

Round 3 of chemo is done!  Woo hoo!

Ken's Oncologist says that he'll be able to come home in 3 - 4 weeks... and I can't wait!  Just one more round to go!

There is still lots of stresses for the time being, but at least Ken is doing well, and flying through his treatment.  I can't ask for much more than that.

Less than a month until my amazing husband is home...

Monday, October 22, 2012

... and kicked out once more...

Ken was released from the hospital today, back into outpatient care.

He's still sick, but his spirits are good.  He still has a lot of chemo left to do, but at least today he got his 'care package', which contained, among other things, a jacket and a toque.  It was still summer when he left, remember?

We're rapidly approaching the two month mark, in regards to his treatment.  Two months since he last saw his kids in person.

At least there's Skype.

This ordeal has taught me a lot... Ken and I have learned that our relationship is incredibly strong, and though this has been a challenge, we're coming through it.  Stronger than ever, even.  We've learned that each of us can be incredibly resourceful, and this is something that will continue to carry on from this point forward.  And we've learned that a lot of the challenges we've previously faced are minor in comparison, and when Ken gets home, many of them will be addressed with a new vigor - if we can beat Cancer as a family, we can beat anything!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Back in the Hospital...

... but it's a good thing; it means Ken's chemo is progressing as expected (they hospitalise him for one of his types of chemo to keep a close monitor on him).

Life is progressing.  This cycle is about half way done.  One more recovery cycle, then one more chemo cycle, then home.

I know he can't wait - he misses him kids (all four of them; though he only gets to see our two daily).

So much has changed in the last 2 months - our youngest is walking (at 10 months old!!).  His older brother is finally talking more and is loving preschool.  It was summer when Ken left, and now Autumn is working it's way into Winter.

We're both counting the days.  Soon...

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Here's to hoping...

Ken has picked up some sort of sinus and possibly ear infection.  He's had two days of chemo so far this cycle, with his third scheduled for Tuesday.

I am hope hope hoping that he'll be well enough to continue on Tuesday - at this point, his immune systems hasn't been completely knocked out this cycle.

I'm scared, I know that if his immune system is completely gone, a simple infection like this can kill him.  Best case scenario, he kicks it, and continues with chemo.  If he doesn't kick it, they'll probably delay his chemo until he does -  extending his stay in Vancouver.

This is the part that frustrates me.  Because he isn't hospitalised, he is exposed to every one who comes and goes from the Cancer Lodge.  Most are well, but given the time of year, some are not.  I know Ken is careful to avoid sick people, but there's only so much he can do.  Especially when he has to travel back and forth to the hospital.

At least in the ward they were very careful to keep sick people out.  Ken was isolated in his room for an extended period because of the risk of C. difficile.  I felt safer knowing that he was under the constant care of nurses.

I just need to keep thinking positive that he'll get through this quickly.  Granted, I couldn't even have him here at home right now; our babies have both picked up colds that developed into ear infections.  But that should be dealt with within a couple weeks.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I feel whiny...

... but I don't want to be.

I am so not cut out to be a Single Mom.

I love my boys. I really, really do!

But... I also love sleeping though the night (Ken always got up with them when they woke up).  And when I'm at work, I hate having to rush off to pick them up from daycare, at the risk of getting billed an additional $5 per child for every 5 minutes I'm later.

It'll add up - I sure don't make that kind of money!!

Ken started his third round of chemo yesterday.  So far, so good; he's holding his own as best he can.

I really miss him.  But at least he's doing well.

I think this round of chemo lasts about 10 days - 8 days on outpatients, then back in the hospital to finish it off.  Then, recovery again, and back for the fourth, and final round.

I'm stoked about that part.  I want my husband home.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

This Dost Suck!

I'm too tired to write a real post - my babies are both sick, and I'm walking 10km for charity tomorrow, so I'm just going to copy and paste what I had on my facebook page.

So my amazing husband Ken is fighting hard right now - he's supposed to be on recovery so that begin his next round of chemo soon. In the last two days, he's had to have two platelet transfusions, and two units of red blood cells to replace what the chemotherapy has destroyed. He has also picked up some sort of an infection in his blood, which is causing him to run a fever. To treat that, they ... want him to come to the day clinic and have IV antibiotics three times a day while on outpatients.

Am I wrong to think that if he's this sick, he should be hospitalized again? All the treatments he's currently having to undergo are causing him to miss his meals at the Cancer Lodge, so he's having to spend more money on food (3 meals a day are included with his stay at the Cancer Lodge, but they are at set times), as well as having to spend lots of money on cab fare (the Mason's transportation program doesn't run on weekends or in the evenings). And at this rate, he's rapidly blowing through the funding he received for lodging.

I say, this dost suck!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I don't understand the system...

For those of you who know me well, you won't be surprised that this post is all over the place.

I feel all over the place.

Ken is doing ok.  Not great, not horrible, just ok.

He's on outpatients right now, and staying in the Cancer Lodge.  We've gotten a few reality checks the last few days, and it kind of stinks.

  1. When Ken is in the hospital, all his Cancer-related medications are covered by MSP.  When he's out, he has to pay out-of-pocket for everything.  Which means that 5 days of medication (anti-fungals, anti-virals, anti-emetics, pain killers, etc) cost him $140.  And because he's out, the daily injections that help his immune system recover are also not covered.  And at over $700 each, we just can't afford it.
  2. Because we can't afford the injections to boost Ken's immune system back up, it's not recovering as quickly.  That means that he me not be able to start his next round on schedule (Friday).  Which means the 5 days of medication he just picked up, well, that's going to have to be refilled.
  3. If Ken's chemo doesn't proceed on schedule, that lengthens the amount of time he's away, which is at additional cost (of course), but more importantly, it means it'll be that much longer before I get to see him again.
I hate, hate, HATE this.  It sucks in probably the biggest way possible.  I miss my husband.  I'm getting worn out playing single mom.  I feel... defeated.

And whiny.

Bleh.  I feel like I need to go do something else.  This is depressing.

Friday, September 21, 2012

A little less stress...

I was able to call around today and found accommodation for Ken. 

I am so relieved.

I did get him into the Jean C. Barber Cancer Lodge for a few days, then into the Easter Seal House for the other days.  So he won't be just kicked out onto the streets (which is something that has stressed the life out of me, since I'm in Quesnel, and he's in Vancouver).  With any luck, treatment will continue to go well, and the next 8 weeks will just fly by,

I sure hope so, because I miss Ken so much.

I honestly feel like part of my heart is missing.  I am lonely, without being alone.

At least the babies are doing well; they are both enjoying preschool.  I'm hoping subsidy comes through soon, because without it, daycare is $1600 per month.  Which, would basically leave me enough money for rent, but that's it. 

However, in light of things, life is good.  I get to talk to my amazing husband every night, and though I miss him desperately, I won't complain.  At least I still have him.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Financial Anxiety

For the most part, we've been doing ok.  With Ken in the hospital, I might even be coming out ahead in some aspects.  But, the next few weeks will be tough.

Ken will be released on outpatients on Sunday.  He was approved for funding for the Cancer Lodge, but...

They are fully booked.

So, he has to find a hotel or B & B to stay in (at about double the cost, plus food).

And... some of his medication won't be covered while he's staying outside of the hospital (like all the things he takes normally, that I brought home with me... now I have to find a way to get them back to him ASAP).

It can always be worse - on the bright side, Ken's treatments are going very well.  His hair is gone, yes, and now so is his beard and nostril hairs, but he's really holding his own.  Which, of course, makes me very, very happy.

So, one way or another, I'll find a way to scrape together roughly $500 for accommodation.  It'll come.  And then, a few months from now, we'll just look back on all this as just another 'bump in the road.'

The boys started preschool today, and it sounds like they had  alot go fun.  As long as everything comes through for subsidy, that should all be ok as well.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A quick recovery...

Ken's recovery cycle has been amazingly quick.  In a span of only 4 days, his white blood cell count has gone from 0, back to 8.4 (normal).  This is amazing.  He was slated to start 'B' cycle on Friday, but it looks like it's being bumped to tomorrow, which means he won't be discharged into outpatients at this time.


His hair did start to fall out, which I was told was likely to happen.  As stupid as it sounds, I think this is one of the things that has affected me most deeply.  Because of his hair starting to fall out, Ken had the nurses shave his head... and it made me cry.

Pretty dumb, huh.  I am so thankful that he's getting through this so well, it shouldn't matter that he's lost his hair (what little he has, he'd tell you).  But it does matter, to me.

Ken says he's feeling "almost human" again.  So not that he's ready to take on a marathon, but it sounds like he's done with his week-long headache, and the bone and muscle aches that accompanied his recovery cycle.

I'm doing OK.  Not to sound whiny, but this is difficult for me too.  I never expected to be a single mom to "2 under 2"; I love the boys but they are exhausting.  I miss being able to nudge Ken awake in the middle of the night, so he could take care of them and I could sleep (because he could take a nap with them later, while I was at work).  And I love my job, but I don't know how I'm going to do it if I don't have childcare that I can afford.  That's my big project for tomorrow; getting childcare arranged.  But I'm without a babysitter for Saturday (mine is busy with a fundraiser for a friend that also has cancer), and so far haven't been able to find anyone that is available.

I am trying to take care of myself; I got the boys out for two walks today.  And we're eating pretty decent. 

And I almost got to sleep in today (8:30am, with only being up twice during the night).

I know it will get better.  And I know it's not forever.

Ken figures he will be home in 10 weeks.

I am counting down the days...

Thursday, September 13, 2012

First Cycle done!

I was wrong, Part B is second cycle, then it's back to A, then B...

Then he's done.  And coming home.

Sometimes, I love being wrong...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Still catching up...

It is unbelievable the amount of paperwork that needs to be done at a time like this.  I mean, I know I should be in bed (I work tomorrow), but I was still filling out forms and packing them up to forward to Ken.  I think I'm done with his stuff (he'll have to finish up with some of the details, then mail/fax them off to different agencies).

Now... I still have to look into childcare subsidies.  And potential daycare (because as much as I love my babysitter, this is an awful lot to expect from her... the boys are very busy!)... but not tonight.  In a few minutes, I'm off to sleep.

I packed up my laptop for Ken (I'm using his desktop, so we'll trade computers for now), and tried to throw in a few things to make his stay away a little easier.  Since he's still in isolation, I'm sending a few of his favorite snacks (he can't go down to the cafeteria at the hospital... or even the patient kitchen).  I almost was a complete 'fail wife' when I forgot to put the power cord for the computer into the box... wouldn't that have been just awesome, a laptop with limited battery life and no way to recharge it! 

We Skyped again tonight (I can't imagine going a day without seeing him) and he got to play with the boys.  After the boys went to bed, we got to talk a bit more.  Right now the apartment even smells like him... one of my Scentsy scents is exactly what Ken smells like, and it makes my heart do flip-flops.

I miss him so much.

On the medical front, the chemotherapy is doing exactly what it's supposed to do: Ken's white blood cell count is down to 0.1.  His red blood cells and platelets are good.  If this keeps up, I'm hoping Ken will fly through his treatment, and be home in no time at all.

Monday, September 10, 2012

How about that...

So, my younger baby (9 months old) has been teething like crazy, and has had a fair bit of GI upset over the last few weeks... maybe a month...

It's gotten worse.  Friday night, he was throwing up, and liquid diarrhea.  The vomiting settled, but the diarrhea continued.  So... off to the doctor today.

The doctor was thrilled to hear about Ken's results so far (this is his regular doctor), and then he agreed with me that there's a good chance that my baby has C.dif as well.  So now I'm trying to collect a sample, and just not having any luck.


On a brighter note, Ken Skyped with the boys for about 20 minutes today.  It is so awesome to see them interact with him.  My older son (23 months old) was playing 'peek a boo' with him and babbling like crazy (he's a bit language delayed, but we're having him assessed soon).  The younger was hamming it up and smiling.  I could tell it really made Ken feel good to see his kids - and a positive attitude is exactly what he needs to have.

Not a whole lot else to report at the moment... time to head to bed for a bit, til the 'wee babe' wakens for a snack!

Sunday, September 9, 2012


I guess I've been procrastinating blogging 'for real'... I've only been using my phone for 'short summaries of life's happenings'.

Ken is doing well, he received the final portion of 'part A' of his chemo, and will be starting 'part B' next.  Then it'll be a matter of 'lather, rinse, repeat' for 3 more cycles.

Then, he'll be done.

I can't wait.

My Mom went home today.  But before she did, we took the boys to the park.  I was kind of hoping their brother would show up to visit and play, but no such luck.  Apparently there won't be any such luck until Ken is home.

I feel lonely tonight.  The boys are sleeping, and I'm tired too, but there's still so much to do.  My brain is going a million miles a minute.  I have paperwork to find, tidying to do... it never ends.  I can easily fill my time, but it doesn't help with the loneliness.

I want my husband here.

Even when I was in Vancouver, it wasn't the same... I had to be wearing a gown and gloves when with Ken - no skin to skin contact.  No kisses.  I hate it.  The two nights I slept in the hospital room with Ken, it was still fully gowned and gloved.

11 more weeks...

I am Skyping with Ken multiple times each day.  Hearing his voice and seeing his face are wonderful things (he is getting so shaggy right now!)...

But it still isn't the same.

Don't get me wrong, I am so thankful.  I've been told that my wonderful husband will be coming home, that he will be cured.  Not everyone fighting this battle can say that, and my heart breaks every time I hear about someone else who is fighting, and losing.

It's not fair.


This is one battle I never though we'd be fighting, not this soon...

PS - My dear Ezza, don't play coy in regards to Ken's condition; you've known for over a week.  I received condolences from a member of your family.  Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Home again...

I arrived home yesterday morning, then was back to work today.  As much as I want to stay home with my boys and my Mom, I have to continue to earn an income for my family.

With the news of Ken's prognosis lifting a huge weight from my shoulders, this is now my greatest stress.

Unfortunately, I wasn't well rested for my return to work; there was a horrible house fire 5 houses down last night (the house is destroyed) and Stewart was sick all night. At around 2 am, I curled up on the couch with him, and we got some sleep between episodes of stomach cramping and vomiting. He's still not 100% today, but he's a bit better.

Ken's headache still persists, but it's lessening with each passing day. He's in good spirits, but missing his family.

11 more weeks...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

My last night in Vancouver

Ken wasn't feeling all that well again today; he's still dealing with the headache from his interthecal chemo two days ago.  He did have a pretty decent day, though, once the headache and resultant vomiting were dealt with.

The moral of the story? Don't try to be a hero, take the drugs if you need to.

I'm off to the airport in the morning, and headed home to my babies, who I miss horribly.  This is just a ducky situation that I can't win in; either I miss my husband or I miss my kids.

At least it's short term; the outcome could be so much worse.

Oh, and we got to see my baby brother today, so happy memories can always be made during even stressful times.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A little good, a little not so much

First, let me say that I hate blogging from my phone. But right now, it's my best option. So bear with me.

We spoke to Ken's head doctor today (he has a whole medical team), who was able to go over Ken's treatment plan in more detail with us.

Ken will be on outpatient care in about three weeks. That in itself puts me on the edge of a nervous breakdown.

Because there ain't no way and no how I can afford to support two homes (one in Vancouver and one in Quesnel), full time daycare for two babies, and child support for two more, as well as a car payment, insurance...

This is a nightmare.

The good news - treatment will only be 12 weeks, and not four to six months!

And then we're talking CURE.


Stoked much? Oh yes.

I just don't know how I'm going to manage until Ken gets home.

If my husband can survive cancer, I can survive this...


I didn't blog yesterday because I was frustrated.

The social worker came. He's supposed to provide support, offer solutions, etc.

Instead, he added to my stress when he informed us that Ken would only be in hospital for a few weeks, then would have to live nearby and come in on an outpatient basis.

I cannot afford two residences.

Up until now, I was already paying to support two children in addition to my babies.  I have to find a way to afford daycare now, and I don't know how that's going to go.

In all honesty, I'm terrified.

How the heck am I supposed to make this work?

We're waiting to hear back from the Dr and see if outpatient service in Prince George will work, at least we have family there. Then I'd only have to worry about childcare.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Rough night...

I was given permission to stay with Ken at the hospital last night - I pushed a recliner beside his bed so that we could fall asleep holding hands (yes, we are sappy that way).

It was not an easy night for Ken; his IV has been set at 300 mL/hr since he started chemo on Friday, to keep his system 'flushed'. As a result, he isn't able to sleep for more than an hour in a shot.

And a bit after midnight, he started getting sick.

My poor, poor man; I called his nurse and got him some drugs. Then, thankfully, we were able to get some more sleep.

When the nurse came in the morning to draw blood, the smell of the alcohol prep made Ken ill again. More drugs, and he was able to eat breakfast.

The hospital food here isn't too bad, but the stuff I can get from the cafeteria is actually really good. Like, awesome mac n cheese yesterday, and lasagna today.  I can't complain, even though Ken can over his 'cheese and fruit' platter (two slices of cheese and two pear halves).

New chemo tomorrow; there are three parts to the first half of this protocol, and the second part goes into Ken's spine tomorrow. Scary stuff for both of us; my husband is so incredibly brave.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Positive results...

... on two fronts.

First, Ken's wbc count has started to drop.  This is a good thing.

The second is that he tested positive for C. dif, which is an intestinal bacterial infection that causes G.I. upset and is quite contagious. Because of this, they want to keep him under contact isolation. Essentially, I have to be wearing gloves and a gown to be in the room with him. Thankfully, this has had no effect on his chemo regime.

And because of the chemo, I can't even give him a proper kiss because he is "cytotoxic", nd his chemo agents are excreted through his body fluids (saliva, etc).

We did get wireless internet set up through, so now he can Skype, which I think will make things almost bearable when I have to leave.

I am getting better at navigating the transit system here. And that's a huge stress reliever for me. So is the fact that we got to Skype with the babies tonight.  I miss them a ton, and so does Ken.

Saturday, September 1, 2012


Today was quite an adventure.

I flew out of Quesnel at 11:30am.  I was taken to the airport by a very good friend, and had the luck of seeing other friends there too - everyone is pulling for Ken. And I'm so thankful to Hope Air for making this possible.  Wonderful flight, despite the graveness of the current situation, I can't help but smile a little upon take-off.

When I arrived in Vancouver, I caught the sky train to the station closest to the hospital.  Now you have to understand, I have HUGE social phobias, so this kind if thing is difficult for me.

But my husband is so worth it.

I finally made it to the hospital and found Ken.

He looks good. He's feeling better today than he did yesterday.  His white blood cell count is still up, and hopefully the chemo will start to drop it tomorrow. I know it sounds backwards, but they need to destroy his immune system to destroy the tumor.

On the bright side, his pain is less today. And he was so happy to see me (and me him).  I spent the entire afternoon with him.

I miss the babies, but my Mom is taking great care of them. And I'm lucky to be able to stay with my cousin.

I'll be back with Ken in the morning... My wonderful husband is so strong to be fighting this.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Treatment - Day 1

I was hoping that I would fly to Vancouver today after my Mom arrived, but that was not to be.  Fog at both Quesnel and Williams Lake's airports delayed flights from Vancouver.  So my Mom arrived a little later than expected.

I'll be flying out tomorrow - I have my flight booked.  I am so excited to see Ken - I miss him so much.  But at the same time, I hate being away from my babies.  It's a "can't win" scenario (in that regard).

Ken had a Hickman Line put in this afternoon, then began chemotherapy a short while later.  It's all happening so fast, and don't get me wrong, I'm thankful for it.  The chemo made Ken ill - he told me he was sweating like crazy, and very nauseous.  But I guess his oncologist gave him something to help with both the nausea and the pain, because when I spoke to him on the phone a while later, he sounded upbeat, albeit somewhat stoned.

I'm so glad I get to see him tomorrow - it feels so unfair that I found someone who is everything I was missing in life, only to be faced with the possibility of losing him.

With any luck, my next report with be exceedingly positive, and nothing but good news!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

So many arrangements...

Ken spent the majority of today waiting for his flight out.  I waited with him.

We got him a pass to leave in the morning - we had to make arrangements just in case the worst case scenario happened.  We saw a lawyer, had Power of Attorney designated.

Most of the day was spent waiting.

Finally at around 3:30pm, Ken got the news that the jet was on the way.  We was transferred via ambulance to the airport, then shipped to Vancouver.

My heart breaks.

He arrived at the hospital a bit before 6pm, and was settled.  It was not an easy flight for him.

And by the time he arrived in Vancouver, his pain was out of control.  Thankfully he was later given medication to help relieve it.

I've spoken to my family; my Mom is coming up to take care of the babies.  I've been very blessed - there is a charity called Hope Air that is willing to fly me to Vancouver to be with him.  I am so thankful - without this service, spending time with my soul mate would be so much more difficult.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

CT Scan and more news

Ken had his CT scan this morning - they injected him with some sort of dye so that they could see his lymph nodes better.  It was a very stressful experience for him - because they spent so much time scanning his head, he's paranoid that something is going on there.  I try to reduce his anxiety as best I can - the only thing I can think of is that because is tumor is located in his neck, they want to be especially thorough in regards to the tissue surrounding it.

I was working today while he was having his test done, and really was not prepared for the call I got in the afternoon.

The oncologist called.

They wanted Ken in the hospital as soon as possible.

They wanted to airlift him to Vancouver immediately, to be admitted into the Cancer ward, to begin treatment.

I was so scared when he told me that.  He was terrified.  We didn't know if it was the result of the CT scan, or the bone marrow biopsy...

We did get confirmation on the type of Cancer, though.

Burkitt's Lymphoma.

One of the rarest, and the most aggressive Cancer know.  Fewer than 300 people are diagnosed with it in the United States every year.  And the tumors can double in size in as little as 24 hours.

The good news is, that it is not only treatable, but CURABLE.

As in, no recurrence in 91% of the cases within 8 years - if caught early enough.

I can only pray that is the case.

So tonight, Ken is waiting in his hospital room, unable to sleep.  I'm at home with the boys, unable to sleep.  I left work early.  I've desperately tried to make arrangements, but there is still so much to do.  Ken's family will be down tomorrow.  There is so much to do.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

More tests...

Ken had more tests today - an echocardiogram and a pulmonary capacity test.  And even more tomorrow.

I am praying that the oncologists gets their ducks in a row and gets him started on treatment ASAP.  This is killing me emotionally.

Two more days, and we should have the formal staging as a part of the diagnosis, and hopefully a treatment plan.

Monday, August 27, 2012

At the Cancer Care unit

We're in Prince George today, waiting for Ken to get a bone marrow biopsy. The oncologist here (who isn't the one he's been referred to) has ordered more tests to be done as soon as possible. I don't know if this is a good thing, or a sign that things are incredibly bad.

I'm scared, so is he.

The clock is ticking so slow. Will they let me go in with him?

Still waiting. It's now one minute past his appointment time.

Now two.

The waiting is tearing me up on the inside. I hate this.

I'm trying to think of other things right now, like the fact that my mouth hurts from where I burned it on hot cheese last night.

Still waiting.


It's done. It was awful. Ken doesn't freeze well so they had to give him additional freezing.

The freezing part seemed to be worse for him.  He's doing ok now that they're done.

The doctor suspects he has a rarer form of lymphoma that is very aggressive. But it is treatable if that's the case. We can only hope he starts treatment very quickly.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

10 days ago, the world stopped turning...

... and came crashing down around me.

10 days ago, my young, healthy husband was diagnosed with cancer.

Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.


In less than a month, a lump the size of a grape that he found in a lymph node under his jaw had grown to the size of a lemon.

In one month.

As a family, we have faced many, many challenges in the last 2 years.  The types of challenges that no one ever wants to deal with.

But we survived, grew stronger, and life went on.

This is uncharted territory for me.  I feel lost.

I am scared.

I know that I am not the first person to go through this, and I will not be the last.  By chronicling the challenges we are about to face, I hope that I can help others find the strength to also carry on.

My name is Amy Carlson.

I met my husband Ken in December of 2009; I am his third and final wife... something that I have always said with a bit of a chuckle, but it doesn't seem so funny now.

Ken  has four children - Ashley, Thor, Duncan and Stewart.  Duncan and Stewart live with us full time (they're my babies).  Their ages range from 7 years, down to 9 months.

I never thought I'd be dealing with two children in diapers, and a diagnosis of cancer at the same time.  The concept has been completely foreign to me up until now... I though having two infants was enough of a challenge!

The last 10 days, I've been doing my best to live in denial; truly I have.  Every so often, little bits of reality sneak through, and it hurts so badly.

Yesterday, I had to pick up another pain medication for Ken (his tumor his growing so fast, that it's tearing the normal tissue surrounding it, causing a great deal of discomfort).  We know the pharmacist.  He asked me if Ken had been on this medication before - I didn't know.  He asked what kind of pain he was having.

I could tell by the look in his eyes that he did not expect me to say Lymphoma.

No one expects it.  Ken is all of 31.


And upon leaving the pharmacy, all I wanted to do is cry.

We don't know much at his point.  Ken has yet to speak to the oncologist he's been referred to.  We don't know if he'll need surgery, or if chemotherapy will take care of the tumor.

We just don't know.

And at this point, it's the not knowing that's the worse part.