About Me

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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Facing Cancer

Well, it was a new experience to walk into the BC Cancer Clinic yesterday. Jaclyn and I were both very nervous but we each kept up the front for each other. Everyone there was extremely kind yet not patronizing and treated both of us with the utmost respect.

Since Vancouver General Hospital is a teaching hospital, we first had a 3rd year med student take Jaclyn's medical history and even my gynaecological history. Then the resident (a lovely young woman) came in with more questions and she performed the physical exam on Jaclyn. I was so proud of my daughter because she did so well under the circumstances - it must have been so uncomfortable. The resident said that the mass is around the size of a newborn baby and has moved up into the abdomen area. I guess that's why her abdomen is so extended. We both had noticed her weight gain but put it down to the new drugs she's on for her bipolar. Finally, the "big guy" came in with the other two and we discussed treatment.

First, they will definitely remove the growth but because of its size she will need an incision rather than a laparoscopy. If necessary, they will have to remove her ovary and the fallopian tube, but if they can salvage any of the ovary, they will. Finally, if they can see it's cancerous when they go in they will have to do a complete hysterectomy by removing the uterus, both ovaries, both fallopian tubes and all the lymph nodes in the area. If they have to resort to that, we will face the next steps at that time. Jaclyn has given them written permission to do whatever is necessary when they open her up.

After this week of thinking about it, my daughter has decided to prepare for the worst and anything better than that will be a massive relief. She will let her support group (family, friends, church, and all you guys out there in cyberland) do the praying and hoping for the best. But she feels that if she's not prepared psychologically then the bottom will drop out of her if it's not good. She seems to be trying to have a sense of humour about the whole thing and has named the growth "Hilda" (an inside joke).
I'm coping as well as can be expected. I'm suffering from dizziness, nausea, and lethargy. And I have this shaky feeling throughout my body. I know I have to be strong for my daughter and I will be there for her through the whole horrid experience but I am grateful for my own family and friends who are there for me, too. I'm trying hard to think only of the most positive result because the alternate is just too much for me to handle right now.

The surgery is going to be within 3 weeks. Because of the holidays, I'm thinking the week of Jan. 7-11. The hospital will be calling soon with the date and we have been assured she won't be bumped. So please continue to pray for a positive outcome for Jaclyn. We'd both really appreciate all your prayers or good vibes from whatever belief system you have. Thanks.


Ruth said...

That is a long time to wait for you both. I will be praying for good results and trust the Lord that he will cure her.

I myself have not faced cancer, but have seen many others do so because of working in a hospital, and it is a courageous battle..just remember you have many blogging friends out there who will with in this journey.

leslie said...

Thanks so much, Ruth. Yes, it is a while to wait but even if it weren't the Christmas season I think it'd still be about that long to wait. The doctor seemed very positive; hopefully, he's being sincere and not just saying the odds are good to relieve our fears. Prayers grately accepted.

beachgirl said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as you go thru this cancer scare. That is a really long time to wait for the surgery though. I hope all things are in the positive and it's just a growth.
I find that every time I have a health scare that I worry for nothing, and things tend to work out for the best. But it's God's way of testing us for sure.
I love your daughters attitude. Positive. And with humor.

God Bless you and your family. I am praying for you.

Ruth said...

Leslie....I have forgotten to tell that the majority of these cysts I see going through surgery are non cancerous. The odds are in her favor. However, I will do my best praying for her.

Donnetta Lee said...

Hi, Leslie. I'm sad to hear that you and your daughter are going through a tough time right now. Oh, yes, you are certainly in my prayers. All my Christmas candles are lighted tonight, so prayers, like smoke, are rising to heaven. Please take care.

Smalltown RN said...

That is a long time to wait....but at least you have a plan...and able ot mentally prepare yourselves for what is ahead.....I do wish you all the best....and yes I will keep you both in my prayers....

leslie said...

Thanks, Donnetta. Prayer is the most powerful tool we have and "God's Word" encourages us; NO...He directs us to ask and bring stuff before Him, good, bad or indifferent. I have to continue to pray for a miracle but in the end we must endure what God has in His plan for us. That's not to say that there's no need for prayer...in times like this it's all we can do.

Josie said...

Leslie, the worst part is the waiting and the worrying. As Ruth said, the odds are in Jaclyn's favor. I have a very strong feeling it is benign. I have nothing to base it on except instinct. What you need now is the strength to get through the next few weeks. Please let me know if there is anything I can do.

jmb said...

Leslie, this is a very hard time for you both. I'm glad that you have confidence in the doctors looking after your daughter.
I will be praying for you both during this time of waiting.

lindsaylobe said...

Hi Leslie
I would like to join with your blogging friends and let you know I remembered you and your daughter at our church mass in special prayers yesterday.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Leslie, I am thinking of you both all the time. You are facing it with tremendous courage and I'm sure all will be well. You have my email - do use it if you want to talk, let off steam or if there is anything I can do to help. My love to you both. xx

leslie said...

lindsaylobe Oh my gosh, you have no idea how much I appreciate that!
Welshcakes Thanks for your care and concern and offer of "talk."

You are all so kind and it warms my heart to know that there are people ALL OVER THE WORLD praying for my daughter (I still think of her as my baby since she's the youngest - mine and of all the cousins, too). I'm actually choked up right now feeling the love towards us whom you know only through cyberspace. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

Sienna said...

Absolutely all over the world and down under!!

Prayers, love and thoughts are with you all.

Good on her using humor too! Hilda will have the boot. Marching orders. Nothing less.


Susie said...

Dear Leslie,
Sorry I haven't been by to visit lately. I'm sorry for your daughter's health issues. I will keep both of you in my prayers.
Sending your warm wishes for a Merry Christmas.

Liz said...

Oh, Leslie, I've only just read about this: I am so sorry. But what a fantastically brave daughter you have. I will add my prayers that the growth will be benign and that it will all be dealt with as soon as possible. I know exactly what you mean about the nausea: I had the same thing when my husband was diagnosed with cancer. Even when the nausea passed there was just a weight hanging on me. But that was 17 years ago and he is well and fit now and it's all like a bad dream. Under the circumstances to wish you a happy Christmas seems pointless but I pray there will be some bright spots.

God, I ask you that this tumour be benign and that any treatment necessary will not affect jaclyn's child-bearing hopes. I pray that the operation will take place soon and most of all I pray for your peace for Leslie and Jaclyn, the peace that passes understanding, the peace we can know in the face of all fears. I pray you give them strength and assurance, courage and an even greater sense of humour. I pray that you wrap them in your arms and hold them tight, to keep our the dread. God, be with Leslie and Jaclyn.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

I will say a prayer for you and your family. Hoping that the Lord will help.

I am a friend of Welshcakes Limoncello.

Love to you all.

leslie said...

Thank you, Liz, and Amen to that.

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