Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hi from 3Y at Mac!

3Y Room 5 is isolation.  Reserved for patients who are at risk of infection - in this case, due to very low white blood cell counts.   We were forced to wear this Darth Vader gear and I obliged for the first ten minutes.  Then I had to make a choice.  Throw caution to the wind or suffocate during the line of duty.  
I had Susie capture my ten minute submission to the rules for the sake of posterity - 
besides, we were laughing so hard and gasping for air - McMaster would have had to supply us two more beds if we kept it up!
You've waited inordinately long to hear about Mom's progress.  So here at last is the visual to demonstrate her improved state of mind and spirit... 
She's some kind of cool great grandma - watching movies and playing solitaire on an ipad.  Today I found her wearing headphones under a baseball cap and fixated on the screen with Sense & Sensibility.  
Suddenly, she looked more 17 than 71.  LOL.    
But should you doubt me at all, here's the visual that should clinch it for everyone:
She's hounding us for six dice again - 
AND she's womping us everytime!

Dear friends and family:
Whew!  The past ten days have been 'challenging' to say the least and I am quite sure that I  speak for all my siblings (and mom!) when I say we are VERY thankful to be on the other side of it.  As you know, Mom had cycle two of chemo at the Juravinski Centre on Monday, July 19.
Dr. Ellis (Mom's Canadian oncologist) was very accommodating to our requests for more steroids and lining up home care for intravenous hydration based on our experience in Germany.  A different steroid was used and a slower schedule of being weaned off them - she also had a different anti-nausea drug to take home (Granesitron for those who just have to know) but after about four or five days - very little by way of food or drink was staying down and we had to face that same demon of pending dehydration.  The home-care nurse ordered her into hospital so that she could also get her heart meds thru intravenous.  *sigh*  
Mom spent about two and a half days in emerg and was eventually placed in isolation at 3Y room 5 at McMaster because of her low white blood cell count.  Chemo recipients always face a short lived 'danger' zone when the white blood cell count dips but it generally corrects itself IF you are eating and drinking reasonable amounts.  Hospitals are not generally where you want to be in that particular moment in time - however, by God's provision, Mom plowed thru cycle two and is once again smiling despite her circumstances.  
She is also now sporting some funky new hat-wear and bandanna's, one of them gives her the appearance of the flying nun :) ....but seriously?  I am so humbled watching Mom calmly shoulder some of these chemotherapy indignities!   I think if someone shaved MY hair off, I'd burst into some blubbering bawl-baby fit  and put everyone for miles around on edge.  
There was however, that same gut-wrenching moment of time where Mom wanted to give up and....well, just die.  This is where rubber hits the road and now that Mom is feeling decent again, we have some serious issues to consider and decisions to make - particularly since a CT scan is scheduled for next Tuesday.  Future course of action depends so much on what those test results show.  

So, dear friends and family and all who pray regularly for Mom, we have three very specific requests to make:

1.  Pray for her courage to see those results.
2.  Pray for peace of mind and the mind of Christ to make good decisions based on those results.
3.  Pray that in all respects, Mom (and everyone who surrounds her) will acknowledge and submit to the plan of our loving, gracious, Sovereign God and that we will live out our days in JOY.
He isn't 'safe' but He sure is Good.  (Hit the link and find out what this really means).
With Love,


  1. we will continue to pray for your mom, your family and you Joanne.
    Many hugs from Yvonne

  2. Hi Joanne

    Still praying for your mom.

    Betty Boone

  3. Anita Hulzebosch
    our prayers are with you all!! May He grant courage and strength in these difficult days! and may His perfect and holy will be done!
    August 2, 2010 at 8:15am · Like

    Arlene Medemblik
    Even though we do not know you all very well, as brother's and sisters we will lift you all up to our Heavenly Father in prayer. May He grant you all you need in the days and weeks ahead of you. :)
    August 2, 2010 at 1:31pm · Like

    Sheila Kamstra
    prayers ascending Joanne - thanks for the specifics
    August 2, 2010 at 5:54pm · Like

    Patricia Post
    We certainly will pray for you all. Hoping for good news!
    August 2, 2010 at 10:37pm · Like

    Deb Alkema
    I've been following your story Joanne - wow, such raw honesty in the face of this trial. Thanks for that though, even if it's hard. Our prayers are ascending...
    August 2, 2010 at 10:52pm · Like


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