Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Thank you

I have been thinking about this for a long time and I'm not quite sure how to say it. I feel like a simple thank you to everyone who has helped us along our journey wouldn't be enough. I feel like writing a few words on a blog can't even come close to showing how much gratitude and love we feel for each and every one of our friends and family at this time. So many pleas to our Heavenly Father have been answered time and time again and it is all because of you. You acted as instruments in the lords hands and showed us the love and support we needed and continue to do so. Every time I feel like this load is getting a little too hard to carry, I get a phone call from a friend or a random envelope in the door! It helps me to carry on and to know that Heavenly Father is watching out for me and knows my needs. Thank you to everyone. If you don't think you have done much, trust me it helps to know that people are out there praying for Jeff and our little family. So many of you have helped us over and above what I ever would have expected and I can't even describe the deep gratitude and love we feel. Thank you!

Saturday, July 20, 2013


We had a really great experience at the cancer institute. It is somewhat surreal seeing how many people are effected by cancer. We were able to talk with a resident radiation doctor who explained to us what germinoma was and how it is basically the same type of cells as a teratoma (the original tumour) but the difference is how abnormal they look under a microscope. The great news is the doctors were very positive and told us this cancer is very treatable and very curable. They hope in future scans to see only scar tissue or complete removal of the cancerous part of the tumour. The treatment all of the doctors on the tumour board decided was the best course of action was 6 weeks of radiation. This means everyday Monday to Friday Jeff will go to the cancer institute and weekends we will be able to come home. Treatment should take about an hour a day and the rest of the day I'm sure will be spent sleeping and resting. The hope is radiation will work to remove the cancer and chemotherapy will only be used as a last resort. A few tests still need to be done before his treatments start. Jeff has a few appointments next week to measure his head for a helmet type device that will hold his head in the proper place during treatment, another CT scan, and also visual field tests for a base line. A few more tests still need to be scheduled so treatment should start in about 2 weeks. 

Monday, July 15, 2013


We had a great 2 weeks with Jeff's family at the beach and playing with all of the cousins! They are gone now and it's time to snap back into reality. We had Jeff's files transferred from Calgary to Edmonton but the doctors didn't want to transfer them until they had made recommendations and completed their end of the deal. So they met in brain tumour rounds on the 3rd of July and his files were transferred on the 5th. Since it was the weekend, no one was available to look at his case until Monday. A nurse reviewed his files and sent them into brain tumour rounds again in Edmonton. The doctors were able to meet on the 11th and from there his files went to another specialist for review. Then another weekend came along. Needless to say, I'm sure every specialist in the province is now aware of Jeff's case.   Today he got a phone call from Edmonton and it looks like things are starting to move along. Jeff has an appointment on Thursday! Jeff has been having a difficult time these last few weeks. He is becoming more and more unstable on his feet and the fact that he can't move his eyes down doesn't help when he is going down stairs or on uneven terrain. His vision is worsening and has to close one eye to read now. He sleeps most of the day and when he is awake, he has a hard time trying to get enough energy to do most things. We have been reading a lot about diet and different things that might help with cancer. So now he is on a sugar free (for the most part) diet and we have been really trying to incorporate more vegetables and antioxidants into his diet. We have been hearing things about essential oils and we (I more than him) are excited to start trying those. I figure if it doesn't hurt, why not? 
We are very hopeful that treatments will help Jeff and, along with a healthy lifestyle, he will start to feel better. 

Sunday, July 7, 2013


Since Jeff first found out he had a brain tumor, I have had a few people tell me they could never go through something like that and it would just be too much for them. I have thought about it a lot and decided to clear the air. 
You are stronger than you think! You can do anything! I have a board in my house that says in big bold letters, WE CAN DO HARD THINGS. I made it right after Jeff's second surgery when I started to realize how true these words are and how much stronger I am than I thought I was. Growing up, I always heard this saying, God doesn't give you anything you can't handle. Thinking more about our abilities as children of God,  I have come to the conclusion that everyone can handle anything! Of course God will not give us anything we can't handle but there is nothing in this world no one can handle.  Just recently I heard someone say, God helps you handle what you have been given, and this is absolutely true. I don't care how weak you think you are. When it really comes down to it, when you have hit rock bottom, you see that there are deep wells of strength you never knew existed inside of you. You may not think you can do hard things, but people who have done great and amazing things in this world are human just like you and me. Before I married Jeff, I used to think I was not a strong person. I had never really been given many challenges in my life, I never lost a loved one or had to deal with physical illness. So I just assumed I wouldn't be strong enough to handle something like that, that is why God never gave me those challenges. At church they always talked about how hardships make you stronger and for the first few years of adulthood I went looking for challenges. I traveled to Africa to climb the highest freestanding mountain in the world. Then again I went to Argentina to climb another of the 7 summits. These challenges I gave myself because I had to see how far I could really be pushed, how strong I could become if I made it to the bottom of my soul and had to search further. I even dreamed of Everest thinking how hard a mountain of that magnitude would be for me to climb. Now, having a husband with brain cancer and 2 small children to take care of IS my Everest. I never knew if i would ever make it to Everest, but this I know now, just like I came back from Africa and Argentina, I will make it back from this. I will be stronger and more determined than I ever was before. Even though Everest may be a hard climb, I have my Heavenly Father by my side and he WILL bring me through it. He can and will bring you through it too. You can do hard things.