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.

Jul. 22, 2008

Earl is feeling better!

HI Everyone,

Earl is starting to feel much better and they are thinking about decreasing some of his pain meds. He has not really been asking for breakthrough pain meds for the the last couple of days with the exception of preparing for physio. The VAC was attached on Friday and changed yesterday. There was still some areas where the healing hadn't really happened so they reattached the VAC and will continue to monitor it.

Earl was up at the edge of the bed on Sunday and out of bed yesterday. He stood up, walked to the desk (about 60 steps) and then sat in the wheelchair for about 10 mins. Getting him into the wheelchair is great news, because with that comes some freedom.

We have been here for over a month now and it doesn't look like we will be coming homing just yet.

Take care and please keep us in your prayers.

Debbie & Earl

Jul. 18, 2008

Not coming home yet!!!

Earl had surgery on Tuesday to clean out the incision. The surgeon had to due some fancy stitching (kinda of like repairing a frayed quilt) to pull all the tissue together. Because the incision split open in three directions they had to put sutures in a circular patter, with big retention sutures to try and hold it all together. The drains (2) came out yesterday and today the surgeons had a look and have decided to use the VAC therapy, which will hopefully be attached this afternoon. This therapy is quite new and is very useful in encouraging healing in places and in situations where healing in not taking place. He continues to be on bed rest so as not to create any pressure where the fresh incision is.

Earl is still feeling pain, and as usual the pain team is working to help control it. The pain Dr. who sees him every day, told us yesterday that he is pretty much maxed out on what they can give him.

Right now Earl is in Interventional Radiology with one of his favorite nurses Paulette because somehow he has gotten a curl in the tubing of his portacath. The problem with it is that they cannot get any blood return , but they were still able to flush and put fluids in. She has just let me know that they got it working again. This is great, because we do not want to loose his port. She said Earl did really well and slept through the whole procedure. When they were done and they told him it was working....he yelled AWESOME!!!

Well that's it for now, keep calling and sending Caremail.....he loves it.

Debbie and Earl

Jul. 14, 2008

Good Morning,

Earl needs to go for surgery (hopefully) sometime today. Over the last week they have been watching his incision carefully and yesterday determined that it was not healing and in fact has opened up in places. The blood circulation at the site is not great due to the fact that they had to remove some large veins. the procedure will take about 1 hour and will involve cleaning out the site, trimming the tissue around the incision and closing it up again. They may use a type of vacuum to close the incision. This is a fairly new piece of equipment and encourages healing at a faster rate than tradition sutures or staples. They are also having some troubles with his porta cath, so please pray that we don't loose it.

On a very happy note Earl had a visit from Darren Dreger (a hockey analyst from TSN's Hockey Central)yesterday and if his visit and gift was not enough, he asked Earl who his favorite hockey coach was? Earl answered "Mike Babcock" the head coach of his favorite team the Detroit Red Wings, at which point Darren asked if he would like to speak to him. Earl spoke to him for at least 15 mins, chatting and giving him advice on who should be on the first and second lines.......! After that conversation Darren's phone rang and Steve Yzermen was on the phone, so Earl spoke to him. As most of you who know Earl can imagine he was in Hockey Heaven and still smiling as he recapped the news to friends and family. I am sure surgery was the last thing on his mind and his dreams must have been filled with hockey players in red and white jerseys as he slept last night. Thanks Darren (and Dan from Winnipeg) for making this very special day possible for Earl.

Take care and keep him in your prayers please.

Love Debbie

Jul. 12, 2008

Earl takes 80 Steps

Hi Everyone,

Sorry it's been a few days. I was away at my brother's cottage on Lake Rosseau from Tuesday to Friday, so was not able to update.

Earl was happy to see me and even happier to see Dale, who has joined me here in Toronto. I am so glad to have her here and we are planning a fun evening together tonight. He was being quite silly last night, but we were happy to see him laughing.

Earl took 80 steps yesterday and then was ready to get back into the prone position. He has been told to stay in bed now for the rest of the weekend because his incision is opening and we don't want to stress it any more. The Dr's will decide on Monday what to do with it. The opening has been packed and they are keeping a close eye on it.

The address here at Mt Sinai is
600 University Avenue Toronto ON M5G 1X5
phone number is
416 586 4800 ext 4381 #
You can also send Care Mail by logging on to the Mt Sinai website at this address https://www.mountsinai.on.ca/patients/support/forms/caremail-basic-e-mail-

Take Care and have a good weekend...we miss you all

Jul. 5, 2008

Earl Takes 50 Steps

Hello Everyone,

Earl is recovering nicely and the pain is finally under control,,,,,not gone but definetly under control. He is starting to feel more energetic and has been sleeping well.
Yesterday was a great day: Firstly, Earl had visitors from Winnipeg, Mike (his worker) and his wife and baby. Earl was so excited and so looking forward to a friendly face. Dr Blackstein (oncologist) came to see us yesterday and the great news is that he does have chemotherapy for Earl. He needs to have alook at Earl's scan's and history and then he will let us know next week what the plans are. He suggested that it may be possible for us to have the chemo in Winnipeg, so let's hope that's what ends up happening. This was the best news we've heard in a while. Praise God!
The next exciting news of the day was that Earl took 50 steps with the walker, making it out into the hall where there was quite a crowd gathered to cheer him on. Mike was there, and that made it all the more exciting for Earl. We tried to get him to sit in a wheelchair, but it was far to painful for him, so we turned him around and he walked back to the bed.
Dr Wunder came later in the day and seems to be very happy with Earl's progress. There was some thought throughout the day that Earl may be brewing an infection in the area of his surgery, but Dr Wunder looked and thinks everything is fine. He gave Earl some instructions about how to get more comfortable and challenged him to try and lay on his stomach. It gets pretty hard to be laying on one side for such a long time.
Well, thats about it for now. Keep those emails, calls and caremail coming (Earl had 10 caremails the other day....he was thrilled)
Love and miss you all,

Jul. 2, 2008

Earl's Getting Bored!!!

Hi Everyone,

Well the good news today is that when I arrived this morning, Earl was in a bit a of tizzy...because he's is bored. Praise the Lord, cause I think that means he is feeling much much better. Who know's what we are in for now.

They removed the epideral on Monday evening and he is starting to really "wake up" now. His pain is still significant, but he is doing well with it. He still has his pain pump and they are adjusting his oral pain medications, accordingly.

For those of you who wish to send him greetings you can log on to the
https://www.mountsinai.on.ca/patients/support/forms/caremail-basic-e-mail-message Earl loves to recieve his mail each morning. This morning he asked me to keep one of his letters close to him (the Patterson's most recent care mail) because he said he wanted to be able to read it when he wanted. He says it makes him feel stronger.
We all love to receive mail and for him it is his only connection to all of you.

Earl sat up yesterday for over a minute and is anxously waiting for physio to come today.
Earl says hi and he misses you all!!!

Love Debbie

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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