Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bathrooms Progressing!!

I am so grateful for my Amazing Girls who are willing to help my Rob with the construction!!
We are ready for concrete! Amy helped tamp sand down most of today!! Yeaaaaa Rob!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Amazing Girls!!

Wow! The Girls hired Katy King Hersey, a great photographer (http://www.picturemefoto.wordpress.com/)
They totally surprised me Christmas morning with a great slide show of these photos! Oh how this Mamma wept!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A lovely Bouquet

Our Wonderful 'Charlie Brown' Christmas Tree! It was so fun going to get it... and now we have it up!
I love the beauty of lights and decorations... and then, a special bouquet arriving from my Dear Friend next door. Our Table Set for Christmas Eve Dinner...
So lovely to gather with family on this special day. The Girls reminded me that I was so sick last Christmas Eve, we had pancakes... There was no making of wieswurst sausage, sauerkraut and mashed potoatoes. But we were back to our Christmas Eve Traditions this year. Much to be grateful for! We had such a good evening. May your Christmas day be rich with joy and with those you love! Merry Christmas ~ Lorna

Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas!
What a rich lovely day yesterday. Amy brought me into VGH and I have photos of two of my favorite nurses! They are both Lovely. I have been so blessed by an incredible caring medical community! What a rich gift they have been to me! What a day of celebration! (Even if my counts are going down when they come up on Tuesday... it is still all good! I just need to be very careful not to be around groups! No Christmas Eve Service, but I had a wonderful Christmas Eve dinner with my family and we are ready for Christmas day... now if I could just sleep! It is almost 5 am and I have been awake since 2 am!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

paths in the mighty waters...

A note from my journal...
"Thy way was in the sea, and Thy paths in the mighty waters, and Thy footprints may not be known." Psalm 77:19

'O Lord, Your ways are not our ways. How could we know Your footprints... yet Lord, lead us, call us, direct us in the way You would have us go.'

I came home so happy on Tuesday... my blood counts are on the way back up! I am that much closer to being DONE!
Such a good thing, being led on this journey by the One whose footsteps may not be known! May you be led, though you do not see His footsteps, into places of abundance and joy this year! Lorna

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I have picked up a throat infection! But I go into VGH today and will start on antibiotics, once the Doctor sees me. Otherwise, there is great Joy in my heart!

May your Christmas be lovely! We are all so blessed to have each other! The Leukemia Mamma...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Numbers

Hello to so many Dear Ones! Thank you for 'keeping up' with my blog!

Yes, my numbers are coming down! My White blood count is at 2.1, Neutraphils are at .8, Hemoglobin is 89 and Platelets are 39... it is good that I stayed home from church today! They give blood transfusions when the hemoglobin is at 80, so Tuesday may be a long day.

And these are the names of the two chemo drugs that I will be on for two years: Methotrexate and Mercaptopurine. I start them once my counts come back up again. I will have to be on an antibiotic for those two years, to protect me from pneumonia, as well. One that I have not reacted well to. So, they will start me slowly on that antibiotic and hope my body can handle it.

Otherwise, all is well! Our Christmas tree goes up today and it is so delightful to be able to enjoy Christmas! Blessings to each of you this wonderful season. Savor those times with those you love.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Purdy's Icecream

I was home on friday and asked Angela if she wanted to bring me to the Mall to pick up a Christmas Gift from Purdy's...
so, we had an icecream together after and watched the people walk by! So nice to be getting ready for Christmas! May you have as much JOY in your home as we have in ours!! So happy to be "better" !!

Renovation Update

Rob had More Jack hammering to do, But it is now ready for the Plumber!
Rob and DJ put in the frame for the sliding door! It is coming!
Very Exciting!
We will enjoy having a bathroom downstairs for us and for those who come to the Gallery!

Christmas tree Hunting

Well, what a delight!
We were so happy to be Christmas Tree hunting all together. Last year, with H1N1, I stayed home.
We picked a 'charlie brown' tree that is slender, to fit into our living room with our new 'on loan' Jelsma leather couches! And it rained After we were all done! We have had such a good day altogether. Starting with a pancake breakfast and Starbucks on the way home. So So good to be with all our Girls! I am feeling stronger.

My white blood count is dropping as it should be right now. But good news: I will be home Christmas Day! I go into VGH Tomorrow, maybe the 21st, the 23 and 26th, and then every three days till they release me mid January! Happy to be home for Christmas!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Great Wig!!

This was taken after Christmas Dessert Theater, Saturday, December 11. It was lovely to be able to go and see this years production written by the amazing Barbara Warwick!! GREAT Play!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Feeling Better!

Hello Loved Ones!!
Hey ~ The nausea is GONE!!
It is great to be feeling better and getting stronger.
I need to wait for my white blood count to be 'killed off' one last time and then come back...
But my numbers are still fairly high so I was able to go to church this morning and to our Christmas Dessert Theater last night! It was wonderful! So good to see people!
We are celebrating the beginning of the end.
Tomorrow I head in for the bi-weekly dose of Pentamidine... Apparently it is to stop pneumonia, so it really is a good thing. I am in every 3 days till my counts drop.
These buildings were taken in Quebec QB 2009. Looking forward to the opportunity to "capture beauty" again! Soon!

Friday, December 10, 2010


The Last chemo dose of the Last round.... IS DONE!

Wow, so excited to be done the ugliest part!!!And what a gift God gave me.... while I was getting my chemo... Cathy showed up!! My room-mate from T15! Oh pray!! She was down from Prince George because she is having "graft vs. host" issues with her Bone Marrow Transplant. Please heal my Cathy friend, Lord!!

Wonderful Day!!
YOU have blessed us so much as you have walked with us!!
Lorna ~ the Leukemia Mamma!
This photo is from a 'few' years ago!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

One more day of chemo

Well ~ I started chemo on monday... on schedule!! All has gone well. I have one more day, tomorrow and then the chemo is DONE!! I went in Monday celebrating! There has been nausea but it is controlled by gravol! So, after tomorrow... I will go in every few days while the Doctors monitor my counts going down and then coming back up again. I should be done by early January. My 'PIC' line will come out (this is what it looks like!) and I will be on an oral chemo tablet for two years. We are almost there! Thank you so much for standing with us! God is good!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Very Last Round!!

Thank you ~ for keeping up with this blog and for your encouragement along the way!!

This Monday!!! I start my LAST round of chemo!!
I have a sniffle... so I am trying to be really careful not to catch anything more! I do not want this last round compromised! Very glad to be near the end!
AND happy to be well enough to 'enjoy' Christmas coming! It will soon be a year since I contracted H1N1 ~ last December 16th!! I am Better than I was last year!! Praise God!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

White Spot Drive In

And when the counts are too low, and I cannot go to public places... there is always the 'White Spot Drive In'. There we can sit and order a burger and not worry about picking up 'bugs'. Thank you Donna for a lovely lunch!

Funny Moments

Sometimes you just have to laugh!! My hair was finally growing in thick... and to think I did not take a photo!! Four days ago it started falling out... lots! The dark hair goes first... leaving a thin (very thin) halo of white hair!! Angela and I just laughed! This is taken by her on her cell phone!!


Hello Dear Ones!!
Did I say that during this journey we are also renovating?? Jessica moved out of the suite October first and so, we decided to put a bathroom in where the laundry room was and keep the bathroom for our side of the house... but it means that 'we' ( I should say NOT me...) have had to jack hammer through both floors for access to the 'stack'. That was last weekends work. Praise God for two daughters that have done construction and could help with the process!!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Quiet Day

Very quiet day today after a full family snow day yesterday! I even did a little editing of snow images! My hair is falling out again. Amy says that instead of looking like Yoda, now I look like Bilbo Baggin's on his 111th birthday! Well, that is just how it goes right now! This is one of my favorite place to photograph ~ our friends home two doors over! Blessings to each of you ~ Lorna, the Leukemia Mamma!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Snow Day!

What a Beautiful Day with Rob and Jessica to share it with... and Angela home at noon too!
Plus Michelle and Amy (writing papers)! We have shared meals, had candles, Christmas music, watching snow and naps! I did NOT have to go into Vancouver today! And I have permission from Dr Mary to come in Saturday! So, four days off!! Wow, how wonderful!
Plus I had Michelle and Rob help me walk my tripod, camera, umbrella and ME, outside to take a 'few' photos of the snow!! Here is our gate under the arch! It has been lovely!
Good for the heart!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

jewels of colour

In all the days of walking the Leukemia journey, it is wonderful to see such color and beauty. This is the sugar maple in our front yard. It does not usually get red leaves... as we do not have the cold snap of tempature that they do back east.

I had my blood transfusion last tuesday. All went well. I was back in on friday and tomorrow and Tuesday. They are just monitoring all my levels. I was at .4 in my neutraphils on friday, so back onto two antibiotics and staying out of public. No church service this week, but I did get to go last sunday and it was wonderful!!

I am Celebrating Life and Christmas approaching. I am feeling MUCH better than last year when I had pneumonia at Christmas time! I even have some wonderful "Elves" to help me get ready for the season!! Tomorrow we make our traditional Christmas Sausage and all the Girls will be home for the afternoon. I am hoping to be back from VGH in time! (And hoping that I do not need a Platelets transfusion!)
The snow is beautiful here and through Alberta too! Drive safe and enjoy!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Blood Transfusion...

"Hello" to so many wonderful people who care!!

Just when I was thinking how incredible it has been, that I have not needed to have a blood transfusion.... and how my blood has been able to ~ on it's own~ rebuild the white blood count.... Yesterday in VGH, I found out that my hemoglobin was at 85! (They give a transfusion at 80).

So, tomorrow I will get two units of blood. It is a familiar feeling from when I was going down to 55 last March. When I go upstairs, I am heaving for air! So it is a good thing to be looked after. I guess with the ugly round of chemo and then one more right after, my body is not quite strong enough to rebuild the white blood supply!!

My last transfusion was June 11th, and I have not been below 100 since! So, I have been doing well for 5 months!!

One Day at a Time!
The Leukemia Mamma

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Beautiful Days

Well, it is the end of November 10th...
I have had two wonderful days home since chemo finished. Really enjoying the sunshine coming through the jewels of colour displayed on the trees!!

This is the sidewalk on the way to VGH. It made me think of a quilt with the little leaves and the stems curving.
So good to just celebrate life!

Nine years ago, this day, we celebrated Rob's Nanna's 100th birthday and Memorial Service, on the same day. All of the family had planned to come and she passed away just a few days earlier. What a life she lived and the impact that she made on my Rob still resonates. The Rande clan is an amazing group! It was a delight to have Rob's cousin Keith come, a few years back, and hear him tell stories with the same mirth and laughter as my Rob!!

Tomorrow, I "will remember", from a bed in VGH when I will get my pentamidine and have my counts checked. We are all blessed by those who have given their lives for the freedom we share! Thank you ~ to the many who serve in our Canadian forces. We are grateful! We have so much to celebrate! Remember Well!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Level place....

"My foot stands on a level place; in the congregations I shall bless the Lord." Psalm 26:12
It may only be one foot, or two, that stands level... but from that place, I will join the congregations everywhere and bless the Lord!

I had a phone call from one of my Doctors on Wednesday, asking if I was taking a certain antibiotic. I said 'no, but I am taking two new vitamins'. She suggested I stop taking the vitamins as my liver counts have started to rise again. And yesterday was the first day of the next round of chemo. Five days in a row, finishing on monday! So, if my liver cannot handle vitamins, will you please pray that it handles the chemo?? I go for an ultrasound today to check my liver and have the second dose.

I am feeling better and more at peace after some of the reactions of the ugly round. Glad it is done! Blessings to each of you, Lorna.

Monday, November 1, 2010

thank you for praying!

Thank you Dear Friends and Family for your thoughts and prayers this week.
I met with the Head Doctor, Dr. Forrest this morning and the final decision is that I will not finish the ugly round of chemo.... (8 doses of Ara-C, over two weeks, and 14 days of oral chemo).

I will begin the next round of chemo, which I have done twice already with no complications, (5 days of Ara-C and V-28) starting next thursday. Oh thank you Lord, it feels manageable. It also means that the next round of 5 days of chemo should be within the first 10 days or so of December. Which means I should be ALL DONE taking chemo by Christmas!!! Yahooo!!

I will have an oral chemo drug that I will have to take for two years and bloodwork to be done... but I won't have to go in and out to Vancouver! So So grateful to be done the heaviest part in about two more months!

I do need to avoid stress probably till I am done chemo. Because my body has gone through so much... I am having difficulty with my words if things get to be "too stressful/busy". So, prayer for balance for my heart and mind till the physical is done, would be very helpful.

So grateful to have you praying for wisdom for those Doctors. They did much talking this morning! Blessings to each of you ~ Lorna, the Leukemia Mamma

Saturday, October 30, 2010

please pray

Dear Friends and Family,

Please keep us in your prayers and pray for Mom's Doctors to have wisdom. On Monday Mom will meet with Dr. Forrest to assess whether it is safe or not for her to finish her current round of Chemo and what is the best way for them to proceed. The reason for this is that the Chemo she is on has been creating a chemical imbalance which twice has caused Mom periods of confusion where she is not herself and has difficulty finding her words. The last time this happened was on Monday, they have given her a break from the chemo for the last few days and though she is herself again, and able to articulate they still want to know why this is happening and continue her treatment the best way possible. Please pray for Mom to have peace and to be encouraged and for the Doctors to have wisdom.

with affection Jessica

New Hair

Lorna with Lynn and New Wig!!
and Lorna with her own new hair growing in!
It is getting thick!!

Thank you to everyone who put $ towards the wig. It looks very real!!
Angela and Leah... for cutting you hair for a wig for me... Thank you! Even though your beautiful hair will go to bless someone else with cancer. I am blessed beyond measure! The Leukemia Mamma

Saturday, October 23, 2010

He is Able...

I am so grateful to be feeling more "normal" and very grateful for an amazing Doctor that 'caught' me being "off".
So I begin the remainder of this protocol of chemo: Mon Oct 25 - Thurs October 28th, and Mon Nov 1 - Thurs November 4th. As well, I have an oral chemo drug to take for 14 days.
Thanks for your prayers and care! Lorna

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Greater is He who is in me....

Wednesday October 13th, Mom went into the hospital for her regular outpatient treatment. Very quickly the doctors and nurses noticed that Mom was not herself, she was very quiet. They were so worried that they put the chemo on hold and called Rob to come to the hospital. They started running tests and admitted Mom to "T-15" the Leukemia and Bone Marrow Transplant inpatient unit, where she stayed for five days. The medical team spent Wednesday and Thursday trying to figure out what had caused the significant change in Mom. They were worried because Mom was not 'presenting' normally. Internally, Mom knew something was wrong but did not know what, she felt as though she was fighting a battle in her mind. Ultimately the doctors ruled out all physical causes of illness and have determined that it was related to the chemotherapy. The drugs created a chemical imbalance in Mom's brain. It has taken Mom eight days to begin to feel normal again, and she has quite a journey ahead of her. The doctor's will not start chemotherapy again until they are sure that Mom's body and mind can handle it. Please continue to keep us in your prayers and continue to pray for Mom's healing. We have so appreciated your love and support on this journey.

Amy (with Mom)