An update on my dad & my 2013 One Little Word

Hi my friends!

Thank you so much for sticking with me thru the month of December! I know I wasn't posting near as much as usual nor was I posting anything festive likeI thought I would {December Favorites album?!} it's been an off-month to say the least! I had mentioned earlier that I was going to sit down to give an update on my dads health after his surgery on December 3rd but it's been crazy busy with the holidays and 8 hour days at the hospital. Truth is, I wasn't ready to talk about it. I'm not sure I am even now..but, I'm going to try...

On December 3rd at 7:45 am my Daddio was scheduled to go in for a major exploratory surgery to find any/all cancer tumors and remove them. You may remember from this post that dad was diagnosed with colon cancer 4 years ago, had chemo, radiation and eventually, a surgery that left him cancer free and with an ostomy bag. He went to all his check ups and tests and passed them all with flying colors! Then, in September of this year his gall bladder caused him so much pain they had to remove it. While in the OR, the surgeon spotted some suspicious cells, did a biopsy and it came back positive. My dads colon cancer had come out of remission. We did all the tests they requested and they all came back reassuringly positive that there wasn't much for cancer and that they'd be in, clean them out and he'd be good to go after a recovery of 2-3 weeks.

December 3rd at 9:30am my mom texted us to let us know that dad finally had been taken in to the ER and she was headed downstairs to begin the long, agonizing wait. What happened next made my heart stop, freeze in time and beg for mercy. At 11:00 am the phone rang. It was my aunty who was with my mom. They opened my dad and closed him right back up. There was nothing they could do. The cancer is a big mess that has spread like salt and pepper throughout his intestines and in to his liver. My dad went from cancer free to stage IV colon cancer in the blink of an eye. I couldn't believe my ears. I hung up the phone and lost myself in a blurry mess of tears and heaving. And the truth is, it hasn't quite stopped.

When my dad woke up they had to give him the news that there was nothing they could do for him. And, like the trooper he is, his response was, "well, we have a fight on our hands. Lets do it" and he hasn't lost hope yet! Adam and I arrived in Calgary the following day and it was so good to see him, smiling and happy to be alive. We talked and laughed and made the commitment that I hope any of you would if you we're in our position, to never give up.

What has followed has been 3 weeks of day long hospital visits, walks around the hospital floor,tears, laughter and facing our fears in the quietness of the night. My dad healed from his surgery but had yet to pass anything from his stomach to his ostomy bag so was put on a liquid IV diet with a strict No Drink/No Food policy. After a few days (almost a week before Christmas) they transferred my dad to our home town hospital where he remains to this day. He has yet to have any movements and therefore hasn't eaten anything in weeks.  But, at the very least, he's in our hometown!

The truth is, I don't know what will happen in 6 months, 1 year, tomorrow or even 1 hour from now. Everything is constantly in the air and we just sit...and wait for something positive. The truth is I can see how many people facing this diagnosis can grow fearful and give up. The hospital is a dreary place to spend your days and many doctors give you no hope, just doom and gloom. Can you imagine a doctor saying, "well, you just never know when its your time"...I mean, really? Thankfully, we are stronger than that. We hear those things and toss them back out to the universe because we will not let that get us down. We can't. We are strong. My dad is strong. And we have a lot of people behind us, supporting us along the way. I need my dad, he is far too young (55) and he deserves to live out a full life and witness his grandkids being born and grow. He deserves it and I won't stop til he gets it!

So this has been our ending to 2012. As you can tell, this is why Christmas was so hard for our family and why we can't wait for this year to be over! I'm so ready for 2013, its not even funny. I don't know what the new year will bring us but I'm going to face it with a fresh start and a peaceful mind..

and with that, I'd like to introduce my 2013 One Little Word: Brave. I decided to take Ali Edwards class OLW this year because my word holds so much meaning to me, especially in this time of my life.
adjective: Ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage
verb: endure or face (unpleasant conditions or behavior) without showing fear
In 2013 my word is "brave". I'm going to be brave for my family, for whatever faces us. I'm going to be brave when faced with situations that normally would make me fearful. I'm going to brave the adverse conditions, no matter what

I'm going to be brave and step out of my comfort zones..challenge myself to not be afraid, take the leap when I normally wouldn't. Scared of trying something new? Not this year..I'm going to be brave

I'm also going to be brave and force myself to really start my photography business. To bravely put my work on display and advertise that I'm available to work. Its going to be completely uncomfortable for me..but I'm going to put my word to good use and I'm just going to be matter what. Have you ever taken this class or created a word for your new year? If so, what was it/is it? I have decided to add the 8.5x11 monthly inserts to my PL album, put everything together for one year. How are you doing yours?

No matter where you are...I would like to wish you a very Happy New Year and all the best in 2013. See you next year friends!!


  1. Dear Dawn,
    I'm crying just reading this post. I am so very sorry all of you are going thru this right now. How awesome and strong your dad is to me, look at him smile and be BRAVE!! Without a doubt you are his child, look how brave you are already and have been this year. I'm seriously amazed at all you've done in this newly marriage lifestyle in the country this year. What great parents you have to raised you into such a wonderful, sweet, strong girl who can do anything. How lucky they are to have you and know that you will be right by their side and helping them thru this.
    Please know you are in my prayers and heart and thoughts!! Wish I could do something more and you weren't so far away.
    Hold onto your faith and OLW this year, I'm here to keep you motivated!!

    Wishing you and loved ones a Happy, HEALTHY New Year!! So thankful to have met you this year and be inspired by you.

    1. Hi Dawn,
      Thank you so, so much. I didn't know if I should share this part of my life or not but I'm grateful I have! I needed to write it down as it felt cathartic to get it out and talk about it! Some days are better than others but I've realized it's better to talk about it than to just push it down and try to forget about it.
      I'm apprehensive about the new year, not sure what it will bring us. But, I am hoping it will bring us health, happiness and will include healing my dad, bringing him home and getting his cancer to slow down enough to give him many more years to enjoy as he deserves!
      Thank you for being there for me my friend, it means the world! And yes, I will tell Adam he owes me a hug ;)

  2. Oh my word Dawn...I will keep your dad and your family in my prayers. A year ago just before Christmas my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer and he passed away early in January 2012. It was so very sad. The Lord is our hope.

    Your word had me in tears..because I know that you have to be brave not only for yourself but also for your mother and the rest of the family.

    Wishing you peace and joy for 2013 despite this trail.


Thank you so much for your sweet comments!! I appreciate hearing from you, have a great day!

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