LIFE ADVENTURES!

LAUGH ~ LOVE ~ LIVE

PLEASE READ THIS FIRST

Thank you for making your way to this page.

If you are someone who knows me personally and feel like you have missed this being public knowledge, it was not public knowledge until now. The first video talks a little bit about why I chose to keep things low key until it felt like the right time to do otherwise.

I ask that if you are going to take part in watching the videos and reading the words that you start from the beginning with the Introduction Video and make your way through the posts.

And in case you are wondering, especially after watching the first video, how this Adventure ends, know that I am very well. Know that all is well. It always has been, even throughout my Adventures with Marty. 

My hope is that you will find inspiration, hope and appreciation for your own life, whatever the life defining moment is that you are in. And if you wish you could 'handle things like Lora did' I'm here to help! If I can use my wellbeing tools to navigate positively through this particular defining moment, as well as the others I have had in my life, I can help you too. Reach out and we can talk about which of my wellbeing services will support you best. ♥

​*INTRODUCTION VIDEO - AUGUST 19/19*

*UPDATE - SEPTEMBER 15/19*

Hello!

I wanted to do another video for the update but my wifi options are a bit spotty at the moment and text is much easier. 

Let me start off by saying all is still very well. I am well. There has just been a slight change to the scheduling of one part of Marty's eviction phases. 

On Friday, September 13/19 I went for a scope at Met Hospital so my surgeon could take a general look at things after radiation. I had been experiencing bowel spasms over the past week and told him about them. I had enough inflammation that he couldn't do the rectal scope. Because of this his recommendation was that I stay in the hospital and wait for an available surgery time to have my temporary ileostomy bag put in now rather than when I have Marty's eviction surgery. (In my video I didn't give details about surgery. It has always been removal of part of my rectum and a temporary ileostomy bag (attaches to the small intestine to remove waste from the body - which will help the rectum to heal) until after the 'clean up' chemo phase is done.)

Right now (Sunday, September 15/19) I am still in the hospital waiting for a surgery time. They put me in an awesome, spacious, quiet room (with a lovely roommate!) on the gynecology floor to wait until surgery. (After surgery I will be moved to another floor that will have nurses to educate me on how to take care of my new accessory. Lol.) I have been doing yin yoga on the floor, meditation, journaling, enjoying visits, and doing my best to be present and not feel like I am 'waiting'. As many of you know, Dave and I have our Nova Scotia trip set to depart in 1 week. I continue to trust in the process and the support of the Universe and that everything will unfold in perfect timing. Whatever that will mean in the end. 

Once the surgery happens I will most likely be in the hospital for about 3 days or so. This gives time for the medical staff to ensure that my new accessory is working properly and that I know how to take care of it. 

I truly am feeling good in mind, body and spirit. I am ready to get this portion of my Adventures with Marty underway. It will relieve any of the spasms I was having and ensure that I don't end up with a blockage while I am away or after. And it means that when I have Marty's eviction surgery I will already be healed from this one and I will only have to experience the sensations and recovery from one surgery at a time. The surgeon also wants to move Marty's eviction surgery to the end of October (no date yet) rather than the beginning of November. Even better! 

I will continue to do my best to update you when I can. Please continue to also "Hold the vision. And trust the process" that all is well. Because it is. :)

And please continue to attend your classes! The other teachers have been nothing short of amazing with coming through to cover classes as best as they can. Please show your appreciation by continuing to attend the classes you normally would. If there are any cancellations I will do my best to send an email. In the event I am unable to, my apologies in advance. I will have to ask Dave to post a note on the front door. (As of now all classes are covered up to and including the morning class on Thursday, September 19/19. I am working on Thursday evening and Saturday morning. A slight schedule change will be posted for when we are away. That was organized in advance.)

If you have any questions at all, or would simply like to reach out with your amazing and supportive energy, do not hesitate to email, Facebook message, text or call me (the studio number). If you don't hear from me it probably means I am enjoying some good recovery drugs. Hee hee. Or feel free to visit me in the hospital if that's something that feels right to you.

Sending ooodles and ooodles of gratitude and love to you!

Namaste
Lora

P.S. Please remember that it is possible that not everyone you are sharing a class with knows about Marty yet. I ask that you continue to keep the studio space, as one student called it, a 'Marty Free Zone' as much as possible. Thank you!

I'm hungry and thirsty (nothing after midnight each night in case I have surgery) but I'm still happy! 

Making myself at home! Do you see the yoga eye pillow in the background. I've been sleeping well.

*UPDATE - SEPTEMBER 18/19

I had my ileostomy surgery on Monday night and I'm doing awesome!

Surgery went very well and I have been healing wonderfully. I haven't even needed anything for pain since the recovery room. (This yoga, meditation and breath work stuff really works! ;)

My surgeon just saw me and said I could be discharged today if I want but I am going to stay until tomorrow so that I can learn more how to take care of my new accessory (meet Bilbo Bag-ins. lol!) before Dave and I head on our trip. 

I will not be teaching for the rest of the week but all classes are covered. I may even peak my head into the studio to say hi if I have the chance. 

I am so very grateful to all of you for reaching out, touching base and sending your fabulous vibes my way! And I am so very grateful to the Yoga with Lora teachers and additional awesome teachers who are covering while I heal. (Not to mention my gratitude to my surgeon, the hospital staff, my friends, my parents, Dave and our families.)

Having this part of my surgery earlier than usual really is a blessing. It gives me the opportunity to get used to my new accessory and heal before the second surgery at the end of October. (No date yet) 

Dave and I are very excited for our mini honeymoon in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia next week! Bilbo and Marty will be tagging along but this week is all about Dave and I, not them. ;)

Sending big Lora hugs and lots of love!
Namaste
​Lora

​​​*UPDATE - OCTOBER 27/19*

​​​*UPDATE - NOVEMBER 2/19*

*UPDATE - NOVEMBER 8/19*

I had asked my dear friend to pick me up a purple Minion balloon so that I could have an actual 'release' experience of Marty before surgery. It turns out that purple Minion balloons are not easy to come by. So she got creative (and very funny) and went with a star shaped balloon because it looked like a sphincter. LOL! Perfect! 

The image of the note is what I wrote and attached to the balloon before letting it go. It was a way to release Marty and have it become a positive for someone else who finds the balloon.

A temporary tattoo that 2 of my student friends gifted me with. I put it on when I put on my hospital gown just before surgery. Even when I was hooked up to the IV pole after surgery, it stayed on and was a constant reminder to reach for grateful thoughts. 

*UPDATE - NOVEMBER 20/19*

​*UPDATE - DECEMBER 2/19*

Hi! 

I had my port put in this past Wednesday and it has healed well. (I have named her Portia. :) Chemo starts this Wednesday morning.

I am as prepared as I can be moving into this next phase of the Marty Adventure. The biggest variables and unknowns are how I will be feeling, at any given point, along the chemo receiving journey. (Which is scheduled to be 4 months of 2 week cycles.)

Rather than getting caught up in feeling like a victim or helpless about this, I continue to do the things, and focus on the things, that I have control over. Things like how I take care of my mind, body and spirit through supplements, food, physical activity, time with loved ones, etc. I have a dry erase board of several of these things to help remind me of what I have control over and how many things I can choose to do or not do.​

And to keep things light, fun and 'Lora', I am getting ready to 'bling' up my chemo pump bag. Meet Mr T. (I like naming everything because it makes it more personal and fun. And maybe because it's another thing I have control over. I have named the pump T, or Mr T. Short form for Technotronic. They are the group that sings Pump Up The Jam. It's the first thing that came to mind when I was wondering what to name the pump. And Mr T is good because 'I pity the cancer cell fool who may still be around in my body'! LOL!)​

My craft supplies.

The finished product. ♥
In every situation in our lives we have choices. And there are always things we have control over. Even if sometimes it feels like the only thing we have control over is our breath. ;) I encourage you to focus on what you have control over. Empower yourself. Go within. Be present. Find gratitude. For each and every moment, even the ones that are filled with 'Adventure', are your life. 

I will update again after chemo depending on how I am feeling. Thank you for your continued love, support and good vibes!

With gratitude,
Namaste
​Lora

​*UPDATE - DECEMBER 5/19*

Hello!

Chemo IV #1 of 8 under my belt! I will have the pump on until shortly after 10:00 am tomorrow.

Here's my 1st chemo experience... 

I have decided on a pre-chemo ritual for my treatment days. It will consist of wearing my magical unicorn pants, some of my good vibe gemstones, one of my positive reminder temporary tattoos, and an at home dance party to Pump Up The Jam. My positive focus and spirit were ready to go!

When I checked into the chemo suite at the cancer centre, Dave and I then hung out in the waiting room until my nurse called my name. You can imagine my absolute delight and surprise when my name was called and I turned around to see that Renee (the older sister of my dear friend Lee Ann, who has been a fabulous addition to our Yoga with Lora teachers) was my nurse! She used to work in pediatric oncology and I had no idea she had switched to the regular chemo suite in September. And it just so happened that at this exact time 10 years ago we were all in Mexico for Lee Ann's wedding.

I was scheduled for 8:30 am and by the time the usual prep was done my actual chemo IV injection started close to 9:30 am. And I was out by 12:30. The experience went very smoothly, was relaxing and casual, and everyone was very nice.

I became really tired towards the end of treatment. After we got home Dave picked us up some food. As soon as I was done eating I crawled into bed for a solid 2 hour nap. Once I woke up I was still a bit woozy, sleepy and light headed but nothing I couldn't handle lounging on the couch for the rest of the night.

It's now almost 1:00 pm the day after. I had a really good night sleep. And still no nausea. (Yay!) I am feeling a bit weak, shaky, light headed and foggy brained. Nothing that is preventing me from doing things. I'm just continuing to check in and give myself whatever I need moment to moment. I will be teaching classes tonight and definitely feel up to it. I will most likely still be feeling the way I am now and will take it easy. (I take steroid pills on my 3 chemo days. I have no doubt the steroid pill I took this morning, along with the caffeine from my home made cafe mocha, have my inner energy flying a bit right now. I'm pretty chatty and my body is willing to do the things if I allow it.)

I feel really good overall and am glad this was how I experienced my first chemo treatment and 2 day pump wearing (done around 10:00 am tomorrow). The effects of the chemo will potentially be cumulative over my 4 months of treatment. So I am glad my first experience went so well because if it gets 'worse' from here or more side-effect intense from here I am starting really low with all of it. I will continue to keep you posted along the way!

As always, please don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions or just want to share some words.

Big love and gratitude!

Namaste
Lora

​​​*UPDATE - DECEMBER 15/19*

​*UPDATE - JANUARY 3/20*

​​​​*UPDATE - JANUARY 16/20*

Hi everyone!

Treatment #4 went well yesterday. Once the pump is off tomorrow that will bring me halfway through treatments. YAY!

I am still noticing a slight increase in some of the symptoms from the IV chemo, and there's a possibility of the same thing happening for the chemo in the pump.

Thankfully it's still nothing earth shattering and things that I have some control over how I experience them. My sensitivity to cold is increasing slightly so I just make sure I eat or drink warm foods and beverages. I could even feel it in the soles of my feet on the flooring so I'm making sure I wear something on my feet when walking around. The sensitivity to cold will probably only last the 5 days around my IV chemo.

I did also start noticing a little bit of tingle in the nerve endings in my fingers, and cramping in my hands and legs. These are all a different nerve side effect than the cold effects.

I had a really great sleep last night so my energy feels decent today. And I am hoping that the medication I used for my indigestion last round does as well as it did then for my possible indigestion tomorrow and the day after. Overall I'm feeling well all things considered. I'm doing my best to give myself some time just to be and not focus on doing too many things.

I'm learning so much about myself through my Marty Adventures and am so grateful for the opportunity to grow and then support others through their own life adventures.
​(In all areas of life, not specifically cancer related.)

My temporary tattoo reminder this round is shown below, with an excerpt from a lovely book I picked up for myself as a Christmas gift. (It was from my 'minions' who are my healthy cells. ;) It's a reminder to stay connected to myself, to my inner guidance, to what feels best to me moment to moment. And it's a reminder to
​be present in my connections with others because that feeds my mind, body and spiritual wellbeing too.

Thank you so much for your continued support! And if you are reading this I would love to hear how me sharing my Marty Adventure, and the way I have chosen to experience it, has positively impacted, influenced or inspired you. This will help give me some clarity on how I can support others in the future.

With much gratitude and love,

Namaste
​Lora

*UPDATE - JANUARY 30/20*

  

My tattoo for this round. :)

​​​​​​*UPDATE - FEBRUARY 12/20*

Dave took a picture of me during treatment.
And when I asked him what inspired the picture taking, he said "Cause you look cute".

He's such a great partner and team mate!
I love that he sees me in me no matter what.

​​​​​​​​*UPDATE - FEBRUARY 23/20*

Not so much a Marty Adventure update but something to share that certainly plays a role in my Marty Adventure experience. (If you are connected to me or Yoga with Lora through social media you may have seen this already.)

Today is the 12th anniversary of my sister Andrea's passing. Many of you know that she passed from Inflammatory Breast Cancer, at the time, a rare and aggressive form. She was diagnosed while breast feeding her second child Lincoln, at the age of 8 months old. (Her oldest Nolan was just about 2 1/2 years old.) From diagnosis to passing was only about 14 months. She spent her last 5 weeks in the wonderful care at the Hospice resident building in Windsor. (They are amazing!)

As you can imagine, for our family to have had this experience, and to first hear about Marty... naturally it brought all kinds of stuff up. Which is why it was so important for me at the beginning to be very clear about how I was going to move through my experience, mind, body and spirit. Where I chose to place my thoughts and my focus, and what emotional or vibrational space I wanted to be in more often than not, were the things that I had (and have) control over. Which is why I was very selective in who I told at the beginning. And look at me now! :)

After 12 years I continue to be amazed at how one life can positively affect so many others, both directly and indirectly. Even after that life, as we know it, ceases to be.

Every time I am coaching a client, or interacting with the Yoga with Lora community, part of my inspiration for doing what I do comes from my sister, who she was, and how she chose to experience life and illness.

Every time I am with her amazing boys I know that part of the depth of my love comes from my love for her, and her love for them. 

Every time I feel the excitement of life’s possibilities, or am feeling appreciation for life itself, or celebrating a magical moment (and in my life there are LOTS of magical moments!), I think of her and how through her life experience I learned the gift of laughing, loving, and living. (And how she no doubt continues to celebrate along with us all when we are in those moments.)

Andrea, my sister, my friend. I love you always. And am forever grateful for having you in my life.

I continue to be a deliberate, present, and connected person in my life because of what you inspired within me. And I continue to share what I know, what I have learned through you and through my own life, with others.

Towards the end of your time here with us I told you that your purpose here will be bigger than you could have ever imagined, and that you and I would continue to make a great team. And that we have.

Thinking of you, celebrating you, and loving you. Today and every day. ❤️❤️

LAUGH ~ LOVE ~ LIVE

Every year my parents, and my brother-in-law, entrust me with the honour and privilege of writing the In Memoriam for my sister. I do my best to speak for us all and am very grateful to be able to offer this gift for those of us who love Andrea and miss her daily. 

*UPDATE - FEBRUARY 24/20*

Hello!

I saw my chemo oncologist today to check out my blood work before I have chemo (#7 of 8!) this Wednesday.

As you may remember from past posts: a few treatments ago my white blood cells were low but then they were ok and nothing needed to change. And the blood work for my last treatment showed that my liver enzymes were high. But today's blood work showed the liver enzymes were ok and nothing needed to change.

Today's blood work also showed that my blood platelets are low enough that we will slightly reduce the IV chemo this week (reducing by 15% of the original dose). Blood platelets help with healthy blood clotting. And now that I think about it, I have been noticing I'm bruising a bit easier and getting cuts that bleed a bit easier. (Like paper or cardboard cuts from breaking things up for recycling.)

The change in white blood cells, liver enzymes, and blood platelets, are all common when receiving chemo. Other than the blood platelets, the others were within acceptable ranges while on chemo.

I'm super grateful that we aren't skipping a week to help the blood platelets rise again. 

I also now have a plan moving forward after my last chemo. Blood work and a Cat Scan (from chest to pelvis) to make sure everything looks good and clear. I will also see my oncologist about 3 months after that and if everything looks good I will go for blood work and a Cat Scan once a year for 3 years. We will wait until the results of my Cat Scan before we schedule the removal of my port.

​And I see my surgeon the beginning of April to learn more about the timing and procedure for my Bill (ileostomy) reversal surgery. I have an appointment with my radiation oncologist right after my chemo and I will report on that Wednesday or Thursday.

I am very happy that I get to enjoy Vegas as kind of a bonus week off of chemo. It will be the first time, since chemo started the first week of December, with 2 weeks off between treatments. And it will bring me to my last one.

WOOT! WOOT!

​​​​​​​​*UPDATE - FEBRUARY 27/20*

I had round 7 of 8 yesterday! Another uneventful chemo IV, and so far pump, treatment. Yay for uneventful. Lol! No new chemo side effects or anything different so far with this treatment. The usual. I just know more of what to expect, and which days in my chemo cycle to expect it.

I also had an appointment with my radiation oncologist yesterday. Just to touch base at this point in my journey. He said all of the information coming back is very good. He referred to my surgery and that it was a complete removal as well as (as we already knew) how good it was that all 23 lymph nodes removed were clear.

I did talk to him about (*personal lady information coming next - lol*) the fact that I haven't had a menstrual cycle since the beginning of August. (Radiation ended towards the end of August.) I told him it doesn't bother me in the least if the radiation kicked me into early menopause. I've told Dave on many occasions how it would be great if I could press a button in my body telling it that all of my remaining eggs could exit with my next cycle. Lol!

So along with the stopping of the periods I have no doubt that my hot flashes (which started way before chemo) are not just because of drugs. I'm probably experiencing some of my weight gain from the hormone changes too. But I can't blame it all on that. At least during treatments I'm gaining weight rather than loosing. So many people have such horrible nausea that they can barely get calories down and they lose too much weight.

The oncologist said that my menstrual changes could very well be from the radiation because the ovaries were part of the area (pelvic area) that were being treated with radiation. I'm grateful I haven't had to deal with periods while I was going through everything after radiation. I couldn't imagine having had one while I was healing from my Marty (mass in my ass) eviction surgery. One less thing to tend to.

So that's all of the update info for this round so far. One more chemo round to go!

I did cancel a yoga class tonight and got the other class covered. I didn't sleep very well last night. I woke up with sweats which happens once in a while during my chemo days; and then I woke up because I had quite a Bilbo (my ileostomy bag) leak. Thankfully my pj bottoms kept the output mess contained and I didn't sh*t the bed. Lol! And I take steroids on my chemo days and they tend to loop me up (as you may have noticed in some of my videos here if I'm talking fast) so I knew I wouldn't get a nap in today. (Just keeping it real for everyone. These things too are a part of my Marty Adventures.)

I am so very grateful that I have only had to make a few changes to classes while on chemo. Most of my needing coverage has either been because of vacation (our Vegas trip is less than 2 weeks away!) or during my surgeries.

I absolutely love teaching and seeing the Yoga with Lora community. And it's also my job to walk the walk of self-care and tending to the wellbeing of my mind, body and spirit. Today that meant not teaching tonight. I also want to ensure that I can bring the highest quality version of myself to share with the Yoga with Lora community. It isn't about being perfect. It's about bringing the best of me, whatever that means each day, to share with others. And every once in a while I just need to pause and step back in order to have anything worthwhile to give.

Other than being tired and worn out today, I'm feeling really good!

As always, thank you for all of your love and support! Dave and I are so fortunate to have such an amazing support system! 

Thank you!
Thank you!
Thank you!
​xoxo

​​​​​​​​*UPDATE - MARCH 18/20*

​​​​​​​​​*UPDATE - APRIL 1/20*

​​​​​​​​​​*UPDATE - MAY 9/20*



*I had forgotten what I shared in my update on April 1 so there are a few things repeated in this update, but there are also a few new bits too.*

​​​​​​​​​​​*UPDATE - JUNE 24/20*

Hello! 

We are just over 3 months of COVID-19 shut down. One of the things that have started up again are medical tests.

At the beginning of June I had a rectal and colon x-ray. Turns out the dye they use isn't blue like I said in my last update. Lo! I have to say, it was the most uncomfortable (and painful at one point) test I have had so far. For all of the other tests I have had while they are poking at my backside I have either been completely sedated or semi-sedated. Not this one. Owie!!! (Heads up... Medical bum details coming next...) To do the test a well lubed tube is inserted rectally and a balloon on the end is inflated in order to prevent the dye from escaping. The dye comes out of the tube to coat the rectum so that they can get the x-ray pictures. When the tube is inserted and the balloon inflated it hits a nerve and WOWIE!!! Fortunately the ouchie only lasts so long. It's obviously uncomfortable but the test itself doesn't take very long. Then I had the dye exiting my body for the next 12 hours or so. Considering my bottom has not been used in almost a year, it was an interesting experience overall. 

I have my sigmoidoscopy (rectal scope - not as full on as a colonoscopy) scheduled for next week as well as my CAT scan. My CAT scan follow up appointment is schedule with my oncologist (by phone) for July 20. And I'm sure my sigmoidoscopy follow up appointment with my surgeon will be scheduled soon too.

So, by the end of July I expect that I will know all of the things - that my body is clear of anything showing up as possible cancer concern (there's no reason why it shouldn't be clear - nothing other than Marty showed on my first CAT scan, Marty was completely removed, 23 lymph nodes were removed and came back negative, and I have undergone all of the radiation and chemo), and the surgery date for my ileostomy reversal. YAY to it all! 

Overall I have been feeling good. A few things I am experiencing are: neuropathy (nerve issues) of my finger pads and the soles of my feet; a couple of numb fingers on my right hand (my chiropractor thinks it might be carpal tunnel from using the computer so much these last few months); and I have been having some achy butt experiences and changes since the x-ray test. If need be, these are all things I can live with.

All in all I'm good! I'm loving this weather and this time of year. I am missing the Yoga with Lora community very much too, and looking forward to when we can open the studio. 

Dave and I just celebrated our 1 year wedding anniversary yesterday, and this Sunday is my birthday. The end of May was also the 1 year anniversary of knowing that Marty existed. It's definitely a time of year for celebrations and positive reflections. 

Sending lots of love to you and yours! I hope everyone is well.

​Hugs!

*UPDATE - JUNE 30/20*

If I ever wanted a sign that everything is a'ok, I sure got it! Look who was hanging out in the CAT scan testing room...!!!
IMG_5227.JPG 73.42 KB

I can't make this stuff up! Lol! 
I always imagined Marty, the mass in my ass, to be like a purple Minion. And all of my healthy cells are yellow Minions. I used this as visualization through out my Marty Adventure. So here they are, letting me know, 'nothing to see here in your CAT scan - healthy minions/cells only'. :)

*UPDATE - JULY 15/20*

I had my butt scope (sigmoidoscopy) about a week and a half ago with my surgeon. 

He said that the results from my rectal x-ray (the uncomfortable one I told you about) and the sigmoidoscopy look good so he was going to schedule my 'Bill' (ileostomy) reversal surgery.

I got a call yesterday from his office. My reversal date is Aug 27! Yay! Bye bye Bill and Bilbo (Bilbo Bag-ins - he's the ileostomy bag). You have served me well.

I will need to get a Covid test because I'm going to be in the hospital in surgery but I figured what the heck... I have been poked up the bum a few times medically, why not up the nose and sinus cavity too. Lol!

And if the yoga studio is able to open sometime in a couple of weeks that will still give us a couple of weeks to find our new groove before I have to hang out in the hospital for a few days. All good stuff! (No surprise there. )

So now I'm just waiting for my appointment with my oncologist on the 20th to go over results from the CAT scan. I am also going to ask her about the numbness I’ve been having in the bottoms of my feet and part of my shins and some of my fingers. I’m having the neuropathy tingle in the fingertips but all the numbness is a very different experience and it’s quite constant. I’m pretty much just getting used to it now and I just want to ensure that it’s an OK thing whether it’s going to be temporary or permanent.

My thought is to make it more public knowledge about my Adventures with Marty shortly after that. I’m hoping that I can continue to inspire and support others through whatever life experience they’re having.

I’m heading to the cottage for a few days next week and I’m very much looking forward to it. Things have been quite busy the last month or so and in a really really good way.

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer!

Thank you for your continued support! ♥

*UPDATE - JULY 20/20*

I'm a gold star patient till the end!  ☺

My CAT scan came back clear and my bloodwork that is a marker for cancer cells came back good! WOOT WOOT! My oncologist also said there is some soft tissue thickening where I had my main surgery but that's not unusual for this point after surgery. It should become less over time.

My port is scheduled to be removed in just over a week from now. (It's a super easy procedure. They numb the area and I'm in and out!)

For the next 3 or so years I will have that bloodwork done every 3-4 months, a CAT scan done every 6 months and a colonoscopy once a year.

And the numbness in my fingers and feet is neuropathy from chemo. She said often the nerves do regenerate over time. This means that the numbness may completely go away or it may lessen and I will have some version of it forever. The change and regeneration can take several months to over a year. (I'm glad to know that it is for sure from the chemo.)

So there we go! My sigh of relief actually wasn't as big as I thought it might be. I think because I knew this would be the outcome. I just wanted the confirmation.

I definitely feel lighter though. I'm not afraid of it returning. I know I got from the experience what I brought it into my life to gift me with. And I am so grateful for the experience, for all of you, my family, of course Dave, all of the medical people... ♥

I am heading to the cottage tomorrow or the day after and will no doubt come back to this update page to share more thoughts around everything. Right now I'm just filled with appreciation and letting everything soak in. (And while at the cottage I will soak in the sun, soak in the lake and soak in a bevie or two. Lol!)

With massive gratitude....
xo

*UPDATE - JULY 30/20*

Good bye Portia (my port)! You served me very well and I am so grateful for the ease you brought to my treatments.❤️

Next up in about a month... Bye Bye Bill and Bilbo!

*UPDATE - AUGUST 29/20*

Hello! 

Just a quick note to say on Tuesday (September 1) I am headed in for my ileostomy reversal surgery. ('Bill' is the stoma and 'Bilbo' is the ileostomy bag.)

I feel really good about everything and am ready. The surgery will only be 1-2 hours and I am expected to be in the hospital for 3-5 days. My time in the hospital is mostly to ensure that my reattached 'plumbing' is working again. 

I will update when I can post surgery. 

Let me leave you with a really wonderful story of something that happened to me today. One of those stories of how my life beautifully flows. ♥

When I went to get my Covid test this morning (required before surgery) it turned out that the nurse doing my test was a very dear childhood friend of my sister's. That on its own made me smile and my heart happy. Of course the energy of my sister continues to let me know that all is well. And when I experience these fun sisterly connections I am also reminded of how my mindset and focus keep me in the flow of my connection to the Universe and 'all that is'.

On top of this lovely surprise of her being my nurse for the test, as we were talking about my Marty Adventures (she saw the information I posted publicly) she shared with me that her father had gone through the exact same thing many years ago and has been very well since then. So not only is it a connection to my sister, it's a direct 'message' for me. I can't make this stuff up! So fun!

So on that magical note...

Thank you for your continued support!

Big Lora love and appreciation to you all!

*UPDATE - SEPTEMBER 9/20*

It is now officially 1 week after surgery and I am happy to report that everything went well.

Surgery was on a Tuesday afternoon (about an hour and a half surgery time) and then I was home that Thursday by lunch because I had met all of the surgeon's requirements to go home. Naturally it's much easier to heal, recover and relax at home so I was very grateful that my body (mind and spirit) once again supported me enough to get me home quick.

The non-specific details are:
•my body is healing both through the surgery incision and the re-connection of my large intestine/bowel
•there were a couple of days that really challenged me mentally and emotionally
•things will continue to heal and change over the next several weeks up to a year or two
•I will be seeing my surgeon in a week

The specific details are:
*PLEASE NOTE THEY CONTAIN SOME GRAPHIC INFO ON MY PHYSICAL EXPERIENCE. AKA POOP TALK!*
Physical Health:
•right after surgery I started moving gas through my body which was a really good sign - my large intestine/bowel had not been fully functioning for a full year
•then the frequent, uncontrollable watery bowel movements began (oh boy!)
•I stayed on a liquid diet for only a day after surgery and have been mostly eating the BRAT diet (bananas, white rice, applesauce, toast) since then along with a few other easy on the gut basics - I will slowly be adding other simple foods in as I go
•as you can imagine there was stomach cramping as my bowels were getting their groove thing going again - fortunately it wasn't horrible and I only used pain drugs until the end of the first day home - I am also doing some self abominable massage with magnesium cream which helps with muscle spasms and cramps
•since being home things moved from uncontrollable and watery to full mucus, to super mush normal (which I have no doubt means I am on the way to 'normal') - protective adult undies are my friend right now. lol!
•it may take from several months up to a year or two for me to find my new bowel normal - part of my rectum was removed with Marty so my store house is smaller which typically means emptying more often throughout a day - it will take some time for me to figure out what foods, how much and when are best for me - and all of this won't make sense to start to figure out until everything has healed and settled down from surgery first
•my incision is healing well - the surgeon didn't completely close the incision in order to allow for some drainage and that will close over time - because it's the stomach and included muscle when closing up I am not to lift, push or pull anything over 10 lbs for a while - the actual process of the ileostomy reversal surgery is pretty cool, it's like reattaching two ends of a hose where both ends were already outside of the body and easy to get to
Emotioanal & Mental Health:
•for a day or two (at home) my mental and emotional health were feeling very challenged and frazzled - I went from almost 5 months of feeling pretty good and back to my old self to feeling helpless, frustrated and sad because of it 
•when I was feeling these feels I reached for my wellbeing tools: my breath, gratitude, being present and not getting caught up in thoughts, resting when I could, feeling however I felt and being ok with it, and reaching out to my support system and letting them know what I needed
•after a few days of using my tools and my body making a shift away from the shitty experience (pun intended) I began to feel much more like myself, although a much more tired version

Overall I am now feeling myself in the flow of moving forward. I'm riding the wave of the end of my Marty Adventure just as I rode the wave through out each of the other parts of the Adventure. There are still different experiences to be had in this final piece but if I can do what I have already done, I can no doubt do this too.

One of the things I love about contrast in life is the perspective it gives us. 

Just last night we had ordered out for food and I'm still eating really simply so I ordered chicken, lemon, rice soup. I had been eating very bland food and was excited for some flavour. When the soup arrived I realized it was a slightly creamed soup, and I'm not eating dairy. So I left the soup for Dave and had some of my normal food. I wasn't bummed in the least. It just was what it was. Dave felt bad for me and I said to him "I had rectal cancer. The fact that I can't eat this soup isn't going to get me down." Perspective right?
So with that I will leave you with a picture from the hospital, after I had some poop type action out my butt for the first time in a year, wearing my nephew's hat to celebrate. :)