His Journey with Cancer

Congratulations to this years NHL Alumni Ace Bailey Award for Courage our man Earl!!!!!

Darby and I (along with 26 others) were there to accept the award for him. It was a grand event, but could never compare to the grandness of Heaven.

Feb. 25, 2008

Good News

HI Everyone,
Hmmmm...which good news should I give you first?
  • Earl is being discharged on Wednesday and with that news has suddenly gained some new found energy. He will be discharged on oral antibiotics, but will be back on IV antibiotics once we are back in Winnipeg. Iv will run until we leave for Earl's Wish Trip to Hawaii. The second surgery will likely take place as soon as we get home from Hawaii.
  • He was up walking several times today, the first included a whole flight of stairs. The second a walk to the lounge, a rest there and a walk down the hall to visit with his friend Jimmy. He is still feeling a fairly high level of pain when he is up and around and by the time he gets back to bed he is out for awhile.
  • Earl can and has been weight bearing on his left leg (which really makes walking a lot easier)
  • The other good news, actually great news is that the cultures came back negative, meaning: Earl is infection free.
  • Lisa, from Starlight Starbright came to visit us tonight and she surprised Earl with a new PSP (play station portable) and a gift card to buy a new game. (I have orders to stop at Best Buy on my way in tomorrow to purchase NHL 08) We had a great visit with Lisa, and I know she was happy to meet Earl.

I think I will stop there because I am not sure any one can handle this much good news.

But I do have a riddle for you: If we leave Toronto on Thursday morning.....and arrive in Winnipeg on Monday night....where will we be in between????? don't tell any one,,,,,it's a surprise!

Take care,

Debbie and Earl

Feb. 24, 2008

Day 3

Earl is starting to recover and was out of bed yesterday for about 1 hour. He will be getting up again, as soon as his pain medication kicks in.
Earl has a new room #1102 (for Care Mail) and a new extension number. 1-416-586-4800 ext 6231
Darby and Christine are now back in Winnipeg
No word yet on how long we will be staying here, but the disappointing news is that we will not be going to Quebec City.....it's just too close to surgery and recovery.
The other news is that Earl cannot bend his leg until he has the next surgery, because he has no knee joint right now.
Take Care,

Feb. 22, 2008

Surgery is Done!

Hi Everyone,
Earl's surgery was yesterday and the surgery itself went very well. Dr. Wunder said the prosthesis was very loose and came out easily. He said everything looked good, and that it didn't look like there was any infection. They still sent cultures off, so we have to wait a few days to get those results. Post surgery was a little rough, as Earls heartrate was up to 186 and his blood pressure was high too. He was in recovery for 8.5 hours and finally came up to his room at 11:30pm. His heartrate was still up last night but it had come down a good bit. They did allow me to stay with him in recovery, he was asking for me and they thought it might help him if I was there. They also allowed Darby and Christine to visit as well.

Today, Earl has been zonked out. He did get out of bed for a 2 step walk. He has a bit of a temperature and is still using his pain pump. They will start oral pain meds right away. He doesn't have much of an appetite, but is drinking well.

Thats it for today,

Feb. 20, 2008

One Day Until Surgery!

Sorry about cutting off yesterday, Darby came and told me the resident was in with Earl, so I had to sign off quickly. Dr Wunder came in around 5 and we now have a much clearer picture of what is happening. Earl has been for 2 sets of xrays and will be going to have the IVC filter placed at 1 today. He is looking forward to seeing Paulette, one of his favorites.

This is the plan.Earl's surgery will take place later in the afternoon tomorrow, as it is considered a dirty surgery so comes last in the day. The surgery will be about 5 hours and will involve the removal of all moveable and loose parts. They will then place the spacer which is a molded piece that kinda keeps the space preservered for the new prosthesis. The spacer is made of cement which contains antibiotic beads that will slowly release. They will do a culture and the results of which will detemine how long the spacer stays in. If there are no signs of infection it will stay for 6 weeks (as a precaution) and if there are signs of infectiion it will stay for 12 weeks, at which time we will return to Toronto for the removal of the spacer and placing of the prosthetic.

We told Dr. Wunder about Earls wish trip and he seems to think it is possible........Praise God!
The other good news is that it is not out of the question for us to travel to Quebec if Earl recovers quickly enough.

It amazes me how much new information my brain can hold. I am thankful that Darby is able to be here and that my niece Christine is on the plane as I write this to you.

I will update again when I find out what time the surgery is! The phone number in Earl's room is 416-586-4800 ext 4380
Keep on Praying!

Feb. 19, 2008

Safe and Sound in Toronto

HI Everyone,

Well, we arrived on Sunday evening ate a little supper and went for a swim. Earl was thrilled to be in the pool, as it has been many months since he has had a chance to swim. We settled in to our room and had a great sleep. We woke up late, went for a nice breakfast at the hotel and then set off to ....you guessed it "The Hockey Hall of Fame." We were able to use a wheelchair and I told Earl he had all the time he needed. Just as you enter there is a giant bronze statue of Ken Dryden, so I took Earl's picture with him. Some of you may not know, but Earl had the opportunity to have lunch with the legendary goaltender, Ken Dryden several weeks ago. We spent over 3 hours looking around the HHOF, then headed back to the hotel. I went off to Dominion to pick up a few groceries and then went back for a little rest. We set out a little later to go for dinner, our first choice the Salad King was closed, so to Earl's delight we settled for Iranian Kebobs. Earl loved it.....I could pass it up. We came back to the hotel, played cards downstairs and then went for a swim and a soak in the hot tub. Darby arrived and shortly afterward we called it a night. At 1:30 in the morning we had a fire alarm and thankfully did not have to evacuate the building. It did keep us up for awile, so we are all pretty tired today.
Earl is settled in at Mount Sinai in room 1110 C on 11 south. (the number at the hospital is 416-586-4800). We are still waiting to see exactly what is going to happen. What we do know is that Earl will be going to have another IVC filter put in tomorrow at 1pm.

Feb. 14, 2008

Off to Toronto

Hi Everyone,

We received the phone call this morning from Toronto letting us know that Earl will be admitted to Mt Sinai on Tuesday Feb 19 for surgery on Thursday Feb 21.

I have few details, but will inform you as I know more. I am busy trying to make all the plans as we only have a few days before we leave.

The difficult part of this, other than the obvious is that Earl will not be travelling to Quebec City with Teamtoba for the National Winter Games. In typical Earl fashion he took the news very well and wanted to know why I was crying. He said, "Debbie, think of it this way...the sooner I have the surgery the sooner I can get rid of these (holding up his crutches) and get on with my life....playing hockey." It amazes me, how he can be so positive and be my encourager. I thank God that He has given this positive attitude and outlook to Earl.

I will keep the blog updated. Again, it is www.hisnameisearl.blogspot.com and remember that Mt. Sinai has an email service where they print off and deliver your words of encouragement to Earl in his room. The link for that is http://www.mtsinai.on.ca/CareMail/#basic. Earl received many words of love and encouragement last time and it really brightened his day and mine as well.

You all have touched our lives in one way or another over this past year and we thank you for your love and support. We are not at the end of the road yet though, so please continue to pray for us and do keep in touch. You will never know how important it is until you are touched by tragedy yourself...and it is my prayer that you won't.

thanks again,
Love Debbie, Darby and Earl

Life can be seen through your eyes, but it is not fully
appreciated until it is seen through your heart.
-- Mary Xavier

Feb. 11, 2008

February Update and Hockey Day in Canada

Hi Everyone,
There hasn't been much news lately so I apologize for not updating the BLOG. We are still waiting to hear from the surgeon in Toronto. Earl had to have a CT scan done and now the results are on their way (hopefully sitting on Dr. Wunders desk) to Toronto. It would be great if we could hear back from him this week and so that is what we are praying for. Earl is scheduled to leave for Quebec City on February 25 with Teamtoba and his Special Olympic floor hockey team. Then we are booked to go to Hawaii for his wish trip on March 25th. I realize that the surgery if needed is most important, but we are really hoping we can still make these trips.

This weekend we went out to Winkler Manitoba where they hosted Hockey Day in Canada. Earl was pumped and had a great time. Hockey all day long. We saw Don Cherry and Ron Mclean and Russ Romaniuk and Ab Mcdonald former Winnipeg Jets. Here are some of the pictures.

Please keep Earl in your prayers, as he is experiencing more pain than usual and we are very anxious about what the future holds.

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Getting to know Earl

Getting to know Earl
Earl and the Kickers

Earl's Trip To Minnie

Earl's Trip To Minnie

Checking out the New Guys

Checking out the New Guys
Earl and Paul Lapolice

Earl Cook

planning block

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