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.

Jun. 30, 2008

Day 4 Post Surgery

Hi All
Today is day 4 post surgery. Earl was up early this morning and when I came in he told be he had been doing a few exercises in his bed. He is still heavely sedated, but the pain is still there and he continues to use his pain pump although not as frequently. His hemoglobin was low yesterday so they gave him to units of blood (no reaction)which should give him a little more energy.

The Dr. came to see him this a.m. and decided to change the dressing and remove the two drains. Earl was amazingly calm (although he did access his pump to the max) the incision is quite big, but I peeked and it looks really really good.

Physio is hoping to get him up and sitting at the edge of the bed today, but we will see, because I think the dressing change really tuckered him out.

He is in good spirits when he is awake for the most part.

Take care

Jun. 29, 2008

Surgical Day 2

Earl has been moved to a private room (actually the first room he was in on our first visit to Toronto) The phone number is now 416-586-4800 (5900) ext 4381. It is a great room as it is just outside the nurses station (don't worry about the noise, Earl is a diehard earplug wearer) so they are close if he needs them.

I would consider this day a tough day, and he slept pretty much the whole day. He had a few tears in the morning, but once shed they were forgotten. Dr Wunder and his daughter Taryn came to visit and really brightened our day. Earl was presented with a gift from Taryn and when he is craving chocolate he will be rewarded with the toy inside the kindersurprise egg! Could it be an NHL goalie mask?????

Today is a new day and Earl is up and watching TV. Christine goes home today, but I am not sure I can let her. She has been a godsent angel for us and we are thankful that our family back home supported her travel here. She misses the boys and her husband, so I guess I will let her go!

I will update again later.
Love Debbie

Jun. 27, 2008

Surgical Day 1

Earl is resting and the pain level is good. He ate a little breakfast this morning, but really is very very tired. His blood pressure is a bit low right now, but they are watching him carefully.
The report for sugery is this. Dr Wunder said that when his was disecting some of the veins and blood vessels he discovered tumor in some of the small veins. This meant that the cancer was growing in places higher that he had hoped and that he would have to remove the leg and the pelvis. The good news is that they were able to stretch his glutious maximus (big bum muscle) around to form a pad (bum cheek) which will give him a firmer cheek than if they weren't able to use it. I haven't had a look and am thankful for my niece Christine and the nurses, so that I don't have to. The resident said there are more than 100 staples.

I will update the blog with this information and ask that you be patient with me as I try to make sure everyone is aware of things as they happen.

We will likely be here for another 2 weeks as Earl heals and is feeling ready to travel.
He does as most of you know have a phone in his room 416-586-4800 ext 4839 He is in room1102 not 1110 (which is the room they will tell you he is in)

Take care

Jun. 25, 2008

Surgery Tomorrow

Hi Everyone,

Earl is settled in here at Mt Sinai in room 1102. It has been busy few days with appts and tests, but time is up and surgery will take place tomorrow. The tests Earl had, revealed that the tumor has grown quite large and is actually filling up his whole upper leg and has moved into the veins. This being so, the dr's here all agree that Earl's should have his leg amputated. There does not seem to be too many nodules in his lungs which means all going well he should be able to have the lung surgery and chemo.

Earl is doing quite well considering and as usual is finding many positives in this otherwise negative time. He concentrates much of his waking time to dreaming up things he will now be able to do, without the annoying prothesis.

Despite the rather grim news, we are doing okay and are thankful for the many blessings God sends us each day.

Love you all,

Debbie and Earl

Jun. 19, 2008

Off to Toronto

Hi Everyone,

Well, we finally got the call from Dr. Wunder and he wants to see Earl this Monday. We fly out Saturday, and we will keep you up to date on what the plans are. Darby will be at home, so he is around if you want to talk to him.
The plan so far is that we will show up at Mt Sinai on Monday morning, go for xrays and then to see the Dr. Monday evening there will be a Sarcoma Team meeting and Earl's case will be discussed and plans made. Dr Wunder may do surgery on Thursday, but that is yet to be determined..
We are so relieved that things are moving ahead. After I got off the phone last night I could have lit up a dark room. Earl looked at me, I started to cry, we hugged, we cried and then Earl hollered Praise The LORD!!!!!
Please keep us in your prayers as we are headed into a very busy stressful week.
We love to hear you tell us that you follow the BLOG, and it inspires me to keep it up to date.
We will be in touch,

Jun. 16, 2008

Manitoba Marathon "Inspired & Inspiration"

Well, we made it to the finish line of the 2008 Manitoba Marathon. Earl and I met Earl's physiotherapist April there and together we found our way (actually pushed are way) to the finish line. We had a front row seat as Mike came across the finish line. Way to Go Mike...that was a long run! Mike was happy to see Earl, and they had a big HUG! Joanne, joined us and we had a chance for some kodak moments. It was a great experience and Earl really enjoyed being out of the hospital and in the presence of crowds of people.

As of this morning Earl's team is registered for the Terry Fox Run, which takes place in September. I am the contact and the team name is "Earl's family & friends" You can join the team in many ways, participate in the walk/run, volunteer, donate! Earl's goal is to have 100 people on his team and he wants to raise $5000.00.... Let's join together and make this wish come true.

Medically, we are going to have a White Blood Cell Scan done tomorrow and Wednesday and the results should tell us if Earl has or has not got an infection. Please pray that the results come quickly so that we can move on to the next step.

Congratulations Mike and Earl....and a big thank-you to Joanne...at last count they have raised $500.00 which will be donated to Earl's Charity of choice, The Terry Fox Foundation.

Take Care Debbie

Jun. 14, 2008

June update #2

Hi Everyone,

Earl had an appointment with the lung surgeon on Friday and he informed us that he will not operate on Earl's lungs until the primary cancer is dealt with. The orthopedic surgeon at Concordia is still investigating the possibility of an infection, and so Earl will be going for a White Blood Cell Scan this week. This test takes two days to complete and Earl will have to be transfered to another hospital for it to be done. If the result shows infection Earl will undergo surgery here to wash out the infected area and replace the damaged spacer. If the results show no infection we are hoping we will go to Toronto, to have them remove the spacer and replace it with the prosthesis. While there we are hoping that the oncologist will give Earl chemo (the one that is not available here)

I am taking Earl to the finish line of the Manitoba Marathon tomorrow morning to meet his teacher from grade 8. Mike is running the race for Earl and I know with Earl as his inspiration he will do really well. Stay tuned for some pictures.

Please continue to pray for Earl, as he tries to stay positive and that he would be the fighter that we all know he is.


Jun. 7, 2008

June Update

Hi everyone,
It has been a few weeks since my last update and I thought it was time to send a new update.
Earl continues to remain at Concordia Hospital and will likely be there for a while yet. It's been a pretty rough couple of weeks and Earl is still feeling a fair amount of pain, which they are working very hard to bring under control. Earl's leg is in rough shape, with a huge blood clot (DVT), possible fractures in his femur and tibia and the latest news is that the tumor is back. We are currently waiting for the Dr's to decide what kind of surgery they will have to do to take care of the multitudes of problems. Last week was a week of bads news, and has left us quite devastated. Not only is the cancer back in his leg, but it has now spread to his lungs. We are waiting to see if lung surgery is an option and we are waiting also to see if Earl will be able to receive chemo. the Dr. here has said that he has given Earl all the chemo he can but that there is a Dr. in Toronto that may have other options. Let me tell you waiting is the hardest thing there is.
We hope to have news on all fronts soon, and in the mean time I want you to know that Earl is taking the news with a very positive attitude, He just said today that having a positive attitude is the best treatment there is.
For those of you in Winnipeg, please keep in touch with him and he loves to have visitors, for those out of town Earl does have a phone in his room 204-667-1560 room 228

Earl needs lots of encouragement to keep him up and the stories you share with him help alot. He had a special visit from Sister Ginger, who is the director of the day care he attended when he was four, and they had such a nice visit talking and sharing stories. Earl's favorite is how he used to ride around on a pink tri-cycle and terrorize the day care.

Anyway keep in touch
Debbie , Earl and Darby

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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