Welcome to the June blog hop with the Scrap 'n Stamp Design Team... this month we are doing a Stamp Out Cancer Blog Hop... While this Hop has a bit of a personal twist to it, we are here to raise awareness... here to encourage others to talk about their concerns, no matter how difficult or embarrassing it might be.
For those that are new to my blog, you probably don't know that at this time two years ago, I was newly diagnosed with Colon Cancer. On June 20, 2018 I am walking in the Colon Cancer Canada Push For Your Tush... a walk that raises money for education and patient support in Canada. If you'd like to donate to my fundraising, you can click HERE.
I wanted a card I could send to a friend who was dealing with a cancer diagnosis. I wanted it to be bright and cheery. I know how much I appreciated the cards friends would send... funny ones, serious ones, hand made ones, bought ones.... just a little piece of sunshine in the mail. I kept each and every one of those cards...
To start, I stamped the Picket Fence Studios stamp on white cardstock with my Versamark ink pad and I embossed it with clear embossing powder.
I then grabbed six colours of Distress Ink (Picked Raspberry, Carved Pumpkin, Mustard Seed, Cracked Pistachio, Salty Ocean and Wilted Violet) and did a diagonal rainbow over the top of my embossed image. A trick I find helpful when blending inks to put down your colours and then go back over the transition areas with the lighter colour of ink to create a good blending. I used a paper towel to remove the excess ink from the embossed image.
I then took two of the stitched rectangles from My Favorite Things and taped them down to the front of the panel. I was careful to try to create an even border with each of the rectangles
After cutting it out, I put things back together, but I flipped the outside frame so that the colours are in an opposite order to the main part of the card. I want that inside frame to be the white card instead of the rainbow but I was worried about how well I could get my matting even, so I taped all of the pieces together before flipping them over and applying liquid glue to the outside frame and the inside panel. I then added it all to the front of a white top fold card and removed that inside frame (which I used in a card a few days ago!).
I grabbed a piece of white grosgrain ribbon and I coloured it using the same blue Distress Ink, making sure to get good coverage on both sides. I used some small glue dots to put the awareness ribbon together and then on to the front of the card.
If you shop at Scrap 'n Stamp this weekend (Saturday and Sunday), 10% of all sales will be donated to my fundraising efforts.... I am so thankful for this support!!
I hope you'll HOP along with the rest of the hop... check out what the rest of the design team has put together as well as see what a few Guest Designers have put together as well! Please leave some comment love along the way!
Not only did they find a polyp, but they found a mass that was large enough they could not pass the scope past it to see what was going on with the rest of the colon. Within the week I knew it was cancer, I knew it wasn't Stage I and I had a date booked for surgery.
I was scared.
On June 23, 2017 I had surgery where they took just over half of my colon (the ascending colon and most of the transverse colon). They also took 43 lymph nodes from the area (I had no idea we had that many lymph nodes in that area... I thought maybe 43 in the whole body). I was in the hospital for 3 nights and recovered quite nicely, all things considered. I did have a little set back with an infection that put me back in the hospital on IV antibiotics for 4 nights, but otherwise I did pretty well.
On my 47th birthday, I met with my oncologist for the first time. We found out at that visit all of the lymph nodes were clear... which was excellent news. However, there was a fine line between whether I was Stage II or Stage III... the tumour was large enough that it was starting to breach the colon wall which could indicate something closer to Stage III. For Stage II, chemo isn't usually recommended but because of that possibility of the colon wall breach, I decided to go ahead with chemo. I did 6 rounds of oral chemo over the next 7 months and was able to return to work full time again in May 2018. From diagnosis to going back to work, I worked very sporadically.
While going through all of this, I worked with some friends of a friend who work for Alberta Health Services and they have created the elements for a campaign, featuring me (oh God!), encouraging people to talk to their doctor... to talk about the embarrassing things... to get regular check ups. I was honestly *this* close to not mentioning the symptoms I was having (exhaustion, lack of nail growth, thinning hair, diarrhea...) to my doctor. I figured it was all just the anemia and if I kept taking my iron pills I'd be OK. I am so very glad I put on my big girl panties and stopped him from leaving the room, asking him to listen to my concerns... and very happy that something led him to send me to the lab to leave a stool sample.
Last year, on the one year anniversary of my surgery, I walked in the Colon Cancer Canada Push For Your Tush in Calgary.... and this year I will be walking again on June 20th. We are using this blog hop to not only tell you all that you need to take your health seriously but to also help me with my fundraising! Not only will you find my fundraising link on many of the blogs in the hop, the gals at Scrap 'n Stamp are going to donate a portion of all sales this weekend to my fundraising! So if you were thinking of making a purchase, this would be a great time to do it!