Monday, November 28, 2011

Still looking for Easy Street!

Sometimes I wonder where the heck Easy Street is?  I've looked for it on Google Maps to no avail.  I thought my family had suffered enough bad news for a while but this past week proved to test our strength once again.  

This photo below was taken on Thursday November 17th as we were waiting to pick up the chemo drugs that mum was going to start taking the following day.  We sat there after our meeting with the surgeon and medical oncologist feeling a little apprehensive but hopeful that the drugs would work just as the Dr's said they would.  A promise that mum wouldn't get sick from the drugs, a promise that this was the best form of treatment.

Mum is so cute.  We were driving home from yet another day at the hospital on Friday and she said..."how are they going to know if I don't start taking the drugs tonight....I could always start tomorrow".  I assured her that we needed to start that night and that everything was going to be okay.  And things were okay...all weekend.  She was fine, other than tired, she really didn't experience any side effects.  Suz and I both went to work on Monday and left her with Granny.  I'm not going to get into the nitty gritty detail but things on Monday weren't as peachy as we had hoped.  We took her to the emergency dept. at TGH on Tuesday morning to get the side effects and pain under control.  She complained of "the worst headache she has ever had" and they ran some tests on her head.  

What came next was probably the worst news any of us could have possibly imagined.  We were transferred to Toronto Western Hospital to the Neurological Critical Care Centre.  The blood thinners that mum was prescribed for a blood clot in her leg had caused a lesion in the back of her head to bleed.  Further MRI scans confirmed that surgery was necessary.  
The surgery went well...the Neurosurgeons were really happy with the outcome. 

Note to all...never call them neurologists - they don't like that and will always correct you, I think the difference is 7 years of brain doctor school.  Which makes me wonder...who are these people that grow up and say...I really want to be a brain doctor?  I wanted to be a ballerina or a school teacher but never did Neurosurgeon cross my mind???

The amazing thing about the human body is how quickly it can recover.  The day after surgery was not good but here we are going on day 3 post surgery and the difference in mum is outstanding.  Step by step and day by day she is getting healthier and stronger.
I am meeting with the Neurosurgeon tomorrow morning and then the physiotherapist to figure out what to expect next and when we can bring her home.  The staff at this hospital has been amazing.  These are people I would have never wanted to meet or get to know ever but in a way I am happy I have.  Sean, our emergency department nurse who came with us in the ambulance to the critical care ward, Linda our nurse in critical care from Northern Ireland, Daisy our nurse for the past few days who used to be a hairstylist and cosmetician and Nadia, who has 3 girls and is so gentle and kind.

Then there is Pam and Baby Jada, truly the best medicine.  I will always be grateful to Jada for bringing a smile back to my mum's face for the first time since we got this news and had the surgery. She is too young to know right now but I will ensure that one day she knows how much her smiling face means to me now and will always mean to me.  Thank you Pam for sharing your beautiful baby girl with us.  It's hard to really express and put into words the profound gratitude I have for you both.  Here is a photo that will be ingrained in my memory forever.

There are so many of you to thank, our living guardian angels who are so surrounding us through all of this.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart and soul for everything you do.  Delivering food to the hospital, kind notes and emails that I share with mum, encouraging words and visits, cards and flowers.  Eternally grateful.  

Finally, my family.  WOW.  Support that never waivers, and people who never leave your side.  We stood by each other and held each other up when the other was falling down.  I just  feel lucky to have a family like I do.  Suzie in her big girl pants, Jen with her calm presence, Wayne and Richard, who are really good at holding you up.  Ryan, who is just the best damn brother a girl could ever ask for.  Ian, my steppie who loves my mum so much and his daughter Melissa who has been such a huge support through this.  And Grandma who is just the cutest, kindest soul on earth.  It just doesn't get much better than this.

Here's to more positive days ahead, there will be many.

Love always 


  1. You are such a good writer, Keryn. No matter how bad the news, you manage to put a positive and heart-felt spin on it. I just have one question: Did Dr. McDreamy do the surgery? Can we pretend he did? My love to your very beautiful, very brave mother.

  2. Hello, lovelies and fam.... I am so very glad to hear the silver linings are shining through again.. I had no doubt due to full hope and intention that this would end up being another bump in the road... An unfortunate one and very horrible one at that....but you guys are a force to be reckoned with and I was happy that I got to come and join the battle... Sending love from a distance, wishing I could be there and dreaming of grace and peace for everyone today.
    Xo Erin