29 March 2011

where the heart is.

That month went so much faster than I thought it would. Thank God.

Gord was discharged from the hospital on Saturday! Honestly, this couldn't have happened at a better time. I was really starting to loose steam. Going to work & going to the hospital (almost) every day was really starting to take a toll on me. Luckily, I had my last day of work last week & Gord is home & now I can relax. Kind of. It was my birthday on Sunday & honestly - all I wanted was for him to be home. It was nice to get my wish.

The nature of the new protocol G's on is different than the first go-around. There's way, way more hospital time. He's doing something called Hyper CVAD - which is 8 rounds of 'Cycle A & B'. Cycle A is done as an outpatient, twice a week going to PMH. Cycle B is given every 21 days (depending on counts) and requires a 10 day admit into the hospital. B cycle really does a number on him - mega high dose of some pretty brutal stuff. How we will work this with a baby in the mix is not yet clear, but I am so glad I don't have to also juggle work!

And me? Creeping closer to my due date, mindful of every single twinge & new sensation I feel -- wondering if any of it *means* anything. I'm nudging up to the 39th week & incredibly thankful (and somewhat surprised) that I feel this good. My feet aren't swelling, my blood pressure is nice & low, even my hormones are mostly in check. Hard to believe that some time within the next couple of weeks this little person will be in my arms & not taking up so much space inside my body.

They threw me a wonderful shower at work - I'll show off the goods in my next post. Lets just say, it's really nice to have knitwear designers as co-workers.

23 March 2011


I'm 37 weeks, 6 days. 2 weeks away from D-Day. Seems like only yesterday I was peeing on the stick & waking a sleeping & disoriented Gord up to tell him that there was something(someONE) growing inside me.

Things are mostly in place - we got diapers (a bunch of prefolds & covers), we got a place for her to sleep, a place for her to take a bath, and a bajillion tiny outfits. Now, all we need is a baby. And for Gord to come home.

Just need some tiny feet to put in these.

Gord's been doing well - some days are better than others, but on the whole I'd say the good ones far outweigh the bad. It's easy for me to say that though. He was able to come home for 2 nights last week on a hospital pass. It gave him the opportunity to see the painted nursery & make me dinner (!). I had 2 of the best nights sleeps I've had in about a month. There's a chance he'll be home this week, which is great. I'm really hoping to have at least a week of not doing much of anything.

Help has been coming in from all directions & it's been wonderful. I don't know what I did to win the friend lottery, but I'm sure thankful. Not being afraid of asking for help is a new & useful skill! I just hope I can repay all of these amazing favours some day.


15 March 2011


I get bigger & slower everyday.

It's incredibly frustrating because I want to be able to help G as much as I can, but the truth is - I'm loosing steam. Balancing work (only got 1 1/2 weeks to go!!), growing a tiny person & being there for my guy is sure taking a lot out of me. In some ways, the fact that this is a relapse has it's perks. We don't have the same worry & fear of the unknown. We've been through it before, we know what to expect. Energy is not spent worrying about what is ahead of us. I know all too well what's coming up.

12 March 2011

strange days.

So much going on with the whole world, the universe & everything. My heart & mind is all over the place.

Yesterday when I opened the front door to go to my OB appointment, everything felt... different.
I can't really explain it & Thursday was a heavy day - a couple of things happened that got both Gord & I thinking about the whole world, the universe & everything. Despite waking up to the devastating news of what was happening in Japan, I felt good. Light. Hopeful.

My appointment went well - everything's going good, I'm right on track. I can't believe it, but now I'm at the point where I have a Drs appointment every week. I'm so thankful that I've had such an 'easy' pregnancy. I hope she's this nice to me when she's on the outside.

After seeing the Dr I felt so great...so happy. I wanted to see Gord & just enjoy the day. We ended up having the nicest, most relaxing day! He's got an exercise bike in his room to help keep his strength up, so he'd hop on there & I lounged in the reclining chair (this chair changes visits!! My hips are getting bigger every day & the tiny chair I was sitting in before was rotten!) We watched the news, I knit, I got us snacks, G's friend came for a visit. It felt like we were hanging out in a poorly furnished hotel room. It was lovely.

We talked about how it felt weird to be having such a fine time in light of our circumstances. We know that there are some seriously tough days ahead of us though, so for now, I am not going to feel guilty or bad about enjoying the good ones.

11 March 2011

our beast friend.

Wednesday I went & hung out with G. By the time I got there, he had just finished getting a platelet transfusion. He gets these lots & has never had a problem with them. Today though, he had a reaction. itchyitchyitchy all over, mouth felt like it was closing in & his face went very flush. They shoved steroids in him and gave him (lots of) Benadryl.

As he was drifting off into a Benadryl coma, he asked where Quatchi was.

Quatchi....sasquatch, something of a 'spirit animal' to us - been with us through thick & thin, some of our best jokes have been told through him, plays a larger role in our lives than is probably 'healthy' or 'socially acceptable' but whatever. Quatchi had been hanging out a PMH, keeping Gord company & looking out the window at traffic copters.

It was difficult for me to part with him...I sleep with him every night (and he likes to hang out on my tummy) and being without both him & Gord took some restless nights to get used to.

But I couldn't find him. Anywhere. Long story short - Quatchi is somewhere within the UHN laundry services - we've made more calls than you'd expect in an effort to find him. There are lots of eyes on the lookout for Quatchi. Fingers crossed.

05 March 2011

thank you for being a friend...

Accepting help when it is offered, and especially asking for it, has always been hard for me. The first time Gord was sick, when people asked if they could help & what they could do, my answer would always be 'Nothing, we're fine.' I felt like the energy I had had to be used on myself & taking care of G. I didn't have any to spare on other people - I couldn't waste it. What I didn't realize until it was far too late, was that way of thinking only drained my energy more.

This time around, we've made a pact - we're accepting help.

This past weekend, we called upon two friends to come over to paint the nursery (!!!!) It looks amazing. I'm really, really happy with it & I am so thankful that Donald & Avril could help. Avril even arrived with 2 bags of groceries (!!!) - so that was also really wonderful. I'm really feeling the love (and it feels great!)
I helped with what painting I could, but mostly I sat & watched while they asked me lots of questions about the baby & being pregnant & I just ate it up. I put the crap that's happening aside & was just a pregnant lady, enjoying her pregnancy for a while. It was refreshing!

G called as the painting was happening & I showed him the painting in progress on video chat, which was so great - he wants to be a part of all this stuff, so it was good for him to feel like he was 'here'.

Now the room is ready for 'stuff'. The baby will sleep in our room for the first several months, so technically, this isn't *her* room, but rather a room for family to stay. One sad thing for me since finding out the Cancer is back, is letting go of our vision of life for after the baby arrives. We pictured ourselves cuddled up, just the 3 of us, bonding as a new family. This new reality is so different. Yesterday we found out that Gord will most likely be in the hospital well into April. A month ago, I was worried that he'd only get 2 weeks off of work - how was I going to take care of the baby on my own once he went back? Now, I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to look after the baby on my own right from the beginning. Luckily my mom is coming to stay for a little while, which is amazing & reassuring. I'm going to try & make the room into a cozy place for her (and others) to be while she's away from home.

04 March 2011

The light at the end of the tunnel is a train.

Since my last post, there have been about a million times I've thought to myself "This would make a great blog post!" But I wouldn't write it - I was far more concerned with living it.

After this post where I so excitedly wrote about Gord & I having come through what we thought would be the worst part of treatment, there still lay before us a bumpy, bumpy road. Sure, there were more ups than before, but it was tough - and it was during this tough time when I thought for the first time since his diagnosis we might actually lose him.

BUT! Like the su-per-per Troop-per-per Gord is, he rose above it & everyone marveled at how just totally awesome he is & he bounced back. The end of chemo came, life returned back to its normal, simple pace - we took some great trips, I started focusing hardcore on my own health, we had a chance to live happily as a normal, everyday couple, I got pregnant (!!), we got engaged, and.....

Gord's cancer came back.

Now, for real, I'm going to blog.

I got pregnant in July - I am due on April 7th (5 weeks!). On February 18th, we found out that Gord's ALL had relapsed. Yeah, kind of a crummy time line.

A lot of the reason I want to blog now, at this incredibly crazy time in our lives, is that when I went to the internet to find some support, I could find nothing. What? No one's been pregnant with a partner going through chemo? There must be! I need to have an outlet to share my experience as both caregiver & new mom & I'd like to quite possibly help someone else in
this same situation if I can.

So here's what's happening now:
Gord was admitted into Princess Margaret last Friday to begin his month-ish long induction period. Thankfully, his Drs are aware of my looming due date & they are trying their best to ensure Gord is able to be at the birth, even if he has not yet been released from the hospital. Luckily the hospital I am delivering at is attached by bridge to PMH!

He is on a different protocol than the first time, which makes sense. Another big difference this
time is that they are really pushing for a Bone Marrow Transplant. This, of course, brings along its own terribly scary list of risks but no more scary than enduring 2 more years of chemotherapy. He is ready for the fight, and I am ready to stand along side him.

And someone else is, too! The thing we cannot forget in all of this, the thing that is giving both of us the determination & strength to go down what we know will be a terribly difficult road is our baby. Our tiny little lady.
She nudges me often, reminding me that she's still here, happily growing inside me. Ready to be a source of strength & light to us both.