Tuesday, June 26, 2018

How We Wore It | Back to Basics

White t shirt, Jeans. Easy. Basic. Simple.

 Kind of how I need my life to be right now...
But who am I kidding.....its SUMMER! It's time to get busy and play all day! I can relax and be a simple human next year.

I am back here in Alberta for 7 weeks! Our summer is PACKED.
A reunion in Utah, Camping in BC, Sister's Bachelorette Party, Weddings, Canada Day, Play Dates, Beach days, Photoshoots, Appointments, and so on and so on.
Maikal is currently still in Cleveland doing clinic, which he loves! He's working as an actual Dentist!
And we miss him SO MUCH. But we leave for his fam reunion in 6 days and he will meet us there (he's flying of course).

Just a quick Post OP info session: Maikal is doing Ok. His scar has separated behind the knee and it is very painful. Thank goodness for drugs. He is doing everything he can to keep it as good as possible so it heals nicely. Since I can't be there, friends have been taking excellent care of him! I am truly grateful for the people looking over him. So amazing.
PS. we had appointments booked for Aurora's teeth surgery for months and could not get out of it, so I had to come home when I did. I was devastated to leave Maikal so soon after surgery, I have pretty bad wife guilt. So we are just so excited to see him soon!

It has been so great staying with my parents and sister. I feel like I have constant support when dealing with the kids, which I really needed lol. I've just been GO GO GO the past 3 months!
Also, Maikal does not like taking pics of me, and Savannah does. So....thats a huge win for me!

This Month's HWWI is obviously the white T and jeans. I haven't worn actual jeans in .....years i feel. Simply because I find them stiff and uncomfortable. But these......they are so soft and so comfy....I may be converted back to Jean-ism. And wearing a white top isn't really ideal for a mom.....but every once and a while I will whip it out and get fancy!

It is a busy week for us! Aurora has her surgery tomorrow, so we will see how that goes, then wedding dress shopping on Thurs, then driving down south on Friday, then to the reunion in Utah! I try to keep up with my shinannigans on my insta-stories, so feel free to follow me on there!

Thanks for stopping by!

Check out my other Blogger Babes and How THEY wore it!

Monday, June 4, 2018

Our Cancer Story | Surgery + Hospital Stay

So here we go. A very big post with a lot of emotion in it. Plus some cool pictures! If you have been following me on Instastories, you will know a lot of these experiences already. But I hope to add more detail here on the blog.

MAY 1 - Collapsing of the Vessels
This was a 4 hour surgery to stop blood from going into the Tumor.
In the middle of the process (maikal was awake) they said the Tumor was having spasms, which the Doctors replied with 'hmmm thats weird'.
The DEMON knew it was about to get taken out!

This woman. She is an Angel. A Saint.

MAY 2 - Surgery Day. The Big Day.
Mom and I left the house at 6:30am and headed straight to the hospital. We actually caught Maikal as they were pushing him down stairs to get prepped.
We sat with him for 2 hours before they took him. Our nerves. I was also so excited for this surgery. It was hopefully an end to all of this!

Mom and I went and did some errands and took a walk around the pond. The surgery was set to take about 8 hours, so there was no sense in just stay in that waiting room worrying the whole time.
We went back in the late afternoon and set ourselves up in the waiting area. After about 1 hour of waiting, the Doctor came out and sat right in front of me. Was I ready to hear the news if it was bad? I had to be. So I sat up, eyes wide open, holding back the nervous tears. He started talking and my brain was on fire waiting for him to say it. Hoping he would say it. Needing him to say it.

It was a success.

Im sorry what?? Say it again. IT. WAS. A. SUCCESS. That Doctor sat there, and i felt like he was just so proud of himself because it was actually a very very tough surgery and it went better than he ever could have expected. He was even positive that he would 'put the sciatic to sleep', meaning it would be paralyzed for a few months, so Maikal wouldnt be able to use his leg. But when Maikal woke up and he moved his toes....his Doctor was shocked. I was shocked.

So, you're telling me, that you are very positive that you got ALL the tumor, there is no never damage, and he's going to be fine? It was unreal. A few months ago, we were making back up plans, and 'what if' plans. Plans that put me to tears almost every single night. 

Mom and I just sat there in tears. We couldnt even believe it. It was everything we were all praying for. And Maikal didn't even know yet. He was going to be in the recovery area for a little longer, which we were not aloud to go into. So we quickly went back to the kids, made some amazing phone calls and I went back to the hospital to give him the news myself. I looked into his very tired and drugged up eyes and said that he was going to be fine. He replied with 'oh thats awesome' hahahaha. Then an hour later he asked me, 'so how did the surgery go?'. Drugs lol
The night was long and painful for him. I helped in anyway I could, but theres little anyone else could do except for that green drug button lol.

MAY 3 - Things get complicated.
Later that evening, a nurse put in an IV. Right after that Maikal's arm and part if his chest became ICE cold. He was shivering. Turns out the needle was not in his vein at all. Those liquids were being emptied right into his body. This is the last pic I took before it all happened.
Pain. Chest pain. I yelled for that nurse and she came in and started running around to see what was wrong. Then I heard CODE WHITE, which basically means 'emergency team is needed, this guy might die'.

CLOTS. 2 in his left lung. 

Maikal was shaking in Pain and couldn't breath. One of our Church friends was already on his way to the hospital to bring Maikal a burger, and he just so happen to be an excellent Doctor who deals with these cases. I mean what are the Odds....Angels were surrounding us. When he got there, he watched over us like a bull dog. Making sure he got the best care for this circumstance. It was a very scary few hours. He was eventually sent down to the ICU where they needed to watch him closely.

He spent 3 days in the ICU. Hooked up to wires. It was a very uncomfortable stay. You don't get much sleep at a hospital.

So 10 days in the Hospital. Would have been half that if those dang clots wouldn't have formed and made everything all complicated. Now he has to be on Meds for a year because of it. But it happens.
He was so so happy to be home, where he was finally able to shower haha. We taped a garbage bag to his legs to cover his leg ha.

2 Weeks Post OP Appointment.
We took those bandages off and had a look at that scar! It's so intense!

This was also the appointment that 100% confirmed that they got all the Cancer.
The Doctor sat us down, he went on as if it was going to be bad news....so my heart was kind of stopping.

But, I am happy, ecstatic, amazed, and  to let everyone know,
that Maikal is officially,


He did it. He beat it. He survived it.
This is the best news ever.

You know, May is my favourite month. It's our anniversary, mothers day, may long, and my birthday. And although this has been one of the toughest months of our lives, it's also the month that Maikal Beat Cancer. Just one more thing we get to celebrate in May every year :) 

4 weeks post op photo.

These were taken 2 days ago.
The back of the knee, yikes!
Maikal describes his pain as knives stabbing him and/or ripping skin.
So it hurts...

OK, now for the fun part.
Warning: if you are squeamish.....LOOK AWAY!!!

The Tumor is right there in the middle.
That long white thing in the middle is the sciatic nerve.

Its out!

Maikal continuously calls the tumor a 'demon heart'. So I did a little funny thing in photoshop..

OK heres the real thing,...

It looks just like a demon heart right!???
So happy that thing is out!!!
We wanted to keep it, but that was a no go lol.

Again, I would like to give shout outs to those who have helped us along this journey. Couldn't have done any of this without you. Especially Mama Lowry. You were there for every minute during this tough time. Love you.
For those who gave us encouragement, for checking in, for meals, for babysitting, for kind words, for rides, for praying and fasting, for coming to the hospital, and the continual offer to help. Even still.

Man, we are surrounded by Love. We are blessed.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

How We Wore It | Florals

So what happens when you have no one around to take a few outfit photo's for you? You bribe your 6 year old and pray to the heavens they don't drop your very heavy camera.

Florals. I feel like this kind of print will never go out of style. There's basically an infinite amount of ways to wear floral, so I feel like it won't get repetitive or boring. And I am currently in love with this colour of yellow. I tend to gravitate towards colours that compliment my hair, which this yellow does very well. I feel so summery! Also we are 5/5 with our Series! Be sure to check out my blogger babes at the end of this post!

Speaking of summer. I went to the beach this past week, twice! I am learning how to get around with 3 kids without Maikal around to help. It's a learning curve but I think im finding my groove! With Winter, youre stuck indoors all the time so keeping an eye on all 3 was a breeze. But now we are outside.....where they have room to run.....and climb.....and hide. My mommy radar is on HIGH all the time hahah.

This past month has been one of the most stressful and overwhelming times of my life. I feel like I am being tested. It's like everything is happening at once. Maikal's surgery happened, and with that, recovery follows. Which has not been a smooth process for him. It hurts! He started school again on Tuesday and I am just in awe at his strength to go. But he pushes through! He just lies on the ground at the back of the classroom to get through it haha. And of course, Roka has decided to start teething. Over the past 3 weeks, he has popped 4 teeth. That's a lot of teeth for a 5/6 month old. 7 days ago, he turned from an independant happy baby to a 5 stage clinger. He will not leave my side. If I leave or put him down, Melt down. If I hand him to someone else, melt down. If I break eye contact with him, all Hell breaks loose. Then, Aurora got Croup. Which then got everyone else sick. While being distracted by keeping everyone else alive, my housework has gone down the drain. I have a pile of laundry on my couch the size of everest. All my projects are on the back burner. And sometimes I only have time/energy to make sandwiches or cereal for every meal. In the middle of the night last night, our neighbour was creepily looking through his window and staring into my house. So now I feel like he will come in and murder us all at any moment.
WOOF! My brain feels like scrambled eggs and my body feels like i've ran a marathon every day.

But even in the midst of all this stress and pain, I feel blessed. Things will be ok. Life will move forward. There is Love and Happiness everywhere, be sure to make room for it in your life.

Im going to go have a nap now.
Thanks for stopping by!
PS, next post is Surgery and post OP recovery.....with PICTURES! Stay tuned this weekend.

Dress :: Burlington (sold out, but love this ONE)

See How They Wore It!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Our Cancer Story | Radiation + Surgery Announcement

I feel like I've learned a lot in the last 2 months.
Lessons of Patience. Fear. Empathy. Hope. Sadness.

Man, Cancer treatment is a long, painful, tiring process. And Maikal only did Radiation! I can't even imagine the process of Chemo. It's painful enough just watching the person you love most in this world go through so much pain and suffering, let alone BE the one enduring it.

Radiation was killer. Literally. It was killing Maikal's skin both in and out. When treatment started, Maikal had the great idea of taking a photo once a day or every other day to see the process of this leg. The burn was so subtle in the beginning, so I only have a few posted here. The marks on his leg are there to help the machine target the exact same spot for radiation so as to not damage anything more than it needs to.

The first 2 weeks seemed to be just fine. No pain or fatigue. Week 3 came along and the symptoms came in full force. By 6pm Maikal would crash and fall asleep almost every night. His leg was throbbing in pain 100% of the time, and it seemed like nothing helped. He applied his creams and gels 20x's a day to help, but it can only do so much. The nights were uncomfortable, which only fed the fatigue. Although Maikal did miss some schooling, he has done SO WELL in spite of all he is going through. I am a proud wife!

When the 5 week treatment ended, the doctors made it clear that it would get worse before it got better, and man were they right. As you can see from the last photo, his skin did split, it was like a bad burn with cuts along the back of the knee. Doesn't that just make you cringe!?? That stayed the same for about 2 weeks! 3 week post radiation, and his leg was FINALLY starting to heal. Hurray!! Now, look at that last gross photo of the split skin.....and imagine that inside of his leg, but 10x worse. I know, crazy. The radiation was more powerful on his insides than outside, in order to do its job on the Cancer.

So currently, Maikal is doing very well. The pain has gone down significantly. But it is really itchy!! Still a ton of healing to do, but he is still doing everything he can to heal so there is minimum damage.

Now onto more scary news.


May 2nd is the big day. SO SOON!

Maikal met with his Doctors this past week, and it was an intense appointment. The first 45 min of the appt was about his option for Amputation. Yup....you read that right. CUTTING HIS LEG OFF. 
Ummm what??? That wasn't even on our radar as far as outcomes. Honestly it has made us sick to our stomaches. It is the better way of making sure they get ALL the Cancer. But Maikal has made it clear to the Doctors that he would like to keep his leg and go for the plan of a successful surgery. 

Which is: They plan to go in and cut out as much of the mass as possible, but, with the mass surrounding the Sciatic Nerve (big important one that controls everything), the DR won't be able to get it off of there himself, they will blast his nerve with radiation DURING the surgery and have the hope that that will get the rest that they are unable to get. There is also the complications of all those capillaries and veins running through, which they are bringing in a specialist for. So....basically he could bleed out. Yup. But.....that's obviously not what we are hoping for, if everything goes well, Maikal will be able to keep his leg and he will be Cancer free! 

You guys, this is a very big, scary, important, and life changing Surgery. So many things could go wrong, but so many things could go right!!!!!

So, we would like to invite you to pray with us for a successful surgery. For minimal damage to Maikal's leg so it will heal from nerve damage, and for a smooth recovery.

#Maikalcanmakeit #wecandohardthings