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Monday, July 23, 2012


I got home from my foot surgery 3 days later.  I wasn't able to weight bear at all and it was casted.  I hated it.  I couldn't take care of my children so my Mom saved the day.  She would come in the morning get Ty off to school and then me, Lucy and Miles would go to her house for the day.  It was painful and swollen.  Two weeks later I went back to Calgary and Dr. Puloski looked at the incision took out stitches and gave me an air cast and told me to start to slowly put weight on it.  At that time my pathology results still weren't available, but he told me that as soon as he got the results he would call me knowing I would want them right away.

I went home and walked on my foot way to soon and it got so swollen it turned a purplish red colour and I couldn't stand to walk on it.  At this time it happened to be Ty's 7th birthday so my mom and Kaylee helped save the day  (did everything pretty much) and Grandma Sharon made the cake.  Thank Heavens for Grandma's and a super aunt.

Last minute while I was still healing I decided to go with our Gibb family down to Arizona for a family vacation.  Dallas couldn't come with work being to busy, but my mom came with me to help me with my 3 kids.  Lucky I had her the vacation turned into sick kids everywhere.  Miles got sick a couple days before we came home and threw up at security at the airport, on the plane and multiples times on the drive from Bozeman, Montana to home.  But we got him home to the hospital and he got better after a few more days.

Looking back I'm sure glad it worked for us to go on that holiday because things were going to get worse.

After I got home from Arizona I had been thinking about the tumour and wanting to know what the results were as it had been 5 weeks since the operation.  I called the Raymond clinic asking if they would be able to check over the computer.  They called and said to come by the office that afternoon.  But before I could go Dr. Puloski called my house.  It was April 16, 2012.  He said Hi Lyndsay.....  This is Dr. Puloski calling well I guess I'm calling with bad news the lump in your foot is a malignant myoepithelioma.  I need to see you up at the Tom Baker Cancer Center but before I see you I need to discuss your case with other surgeons, oncologists and radiation oncologists at the Tumor Board Rounds I think I know what is best but I want to go over all the options before I talk to you so I'll see you here on April 30, 2012.  Make sure you bring your husband and or mom with you.

I was so shocked but had felt that this would happen all along.  But to really here it to know that it was MY DIAGNOSIS was unbelievable.  I was hurt, and scared and felt alone.  I called Dallas and told him it was cancer and then hung up and cried on my bed while my children asked me what was wrong.  I cried and cried wanting it to go away.  So scared I would be dying and leaving my children without a mom.  

Dallas came home from Taber right after I called and said we better go tell your mom and dad.  I remember pulling up to the house.  My mom and dad were outside by the garage.  I can't remember what they were doing but I remember walking to my parents and saying the lump in my foot was cancer.  I didn't cry I just didn't want my family to see how scared and hurt I was.  I could tell my mom wanted to cry but held it in for me.  My dad got stiff and upset and said well are they sure; now what do you do.  I said that they had to talk about my rare cancer with other doctors and I would know what they wanted to do in 2 weeks.

It was so horrible and kind of a blur.  I think my mom told my brother and sister and she told my grandparents and aunts and uncles.  I just didn't want to talk about it.

I was so terrified that I would be dying it's all I could think at the time.

I was given a priesthood blessing by my Dad and brother and another blessing by my Stake President.  It reassured me that this trial was mine and was not a consequence of anything I did or didn't do, but that I had chose to do this and that my body would be strong.

We had a family fast and we had a prayer together as an entire extended family.  More than 70 family members came to my moms house and together we prayed.  My grandpa gave the prayer and the strength of the Spirit was so strong I knew that my Father in Heaven heard our prayer.

I didn't pray for a miracle because inside I knew that this was not going to just disappear.  But I prayed for comfort and strength and I prayed asking that I could raise my children and love them on this earth.

Being diagnosed with cancer was Hard.  There is nothing good about it.  I was a 28 year old mother of 3 and pregnant with my 4th baby.  I hated cancer and hated knowing it was changing my life.  But I was certain my Heavenly Father loved me.  Somehow I knew I just had to keep waking up and going forward.  Somedays I really didn't want to.

I think I knew what was coming.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Surgery #1

I was 14 weeks pregnant and was having the tumour removed from the bottom of my left foot.  Dr Puloski was unsure of the nerve damage I would have and said my foot would probably never feel the same.  I was nervous I'd never had surgery before besides a c-section and I was scared.

Dallas took me to Calgary the night before and then we checked in for surgery early the next morning.  I then had my blood pressure, temperature and weight checked.  I was nervous for me but especially for my little baby, which no one but Dallas and I knew about.

Dallas and I waited for my name to be called and then I was taken alone to wait in the surgery waiting room all alone.  It was horrible.  I was sitting all alone as my surgeon and then the anaesthetist spoke to me about the surgery.  Dr Puloski explained that if the the pathology on the tumour came back as cancer that another surgery would have to be done.  And the anesthesiologist explained that he would use a spinal and an epidural so I would be awake for my entire 3 and a half hour surgery.

I was led down the hall by a nurse to the surgical suite.  I climbed up on a stiff hard table and was then given and iv and and epidural.  The surgery took forever.  I was uncomfortable I felt as though me legs were aching and not lying flat on the table.  I was restless.  When they finally removed the tumour I asked to see it I remember the surgical resident bringing it to my face in his gloved hands.  It was so big it filled both of his cupped hands and was a yellowy white colour.

I was then taken to recovery where I remained for about 4 or 5 hours due to some complications with pain control and the epidural moving up into my face.

Dr. Puloski came in the next morning and explained that the tumour was extremely difficult to remove it was wrapped around every major tendon and nerve and he had not got a large margin around it so it would be likely to come back.  I thought I am never doing this again!

Day 2 in the Foothills Hospital

Day 3 Post Surgery

Friday, July 20, 2012


After waiting for about a week I called the Doctor's office in Calgary, Dr. Puloski.  His receptionist informed me he would be away for the Christmas Holidays and would not be taking any  "urgent" patients until after the New Year.  I was beside myself.  I obsessed about the lump in my foot and cried and wondered and just needed to know.  I read everything about soft tissue cancers that could be in the foot as I was sure my lump was cancer.  Two days later I received a call informing me that Dr. Puloski would like to see me the next week on December 22.  I was relieved and hoping for more information.  Dallas and I headed up to Calgary and I met my surgeon for the first time.

As soon as Dr. Puloski walked in the room I thought oh he's young and good looking, Dallas thought he looked young!  He introduced himself and asked me about myself.  We learned that we both had 3 children the same ages.  And he learned I had some medical background and was not going to be like his other patients!

He looked at the lump on my foot and pushed on it and told me what I already knew.  The only way to know for sure what the lump was was to get a biopsy done.  He believed it would be benign (non cancerous).  I asked him if it was cancer would they have to take my leg.  He said not to think about that and we'd just take things as they came.  I asked him if I could have the biopsy done in Lethbridge and he agreed knowing because of my job I would get in much quicker than in Calgary.

As I left the Foothills hospital I called the Ultrasound Department in Lethbridge and my biopsy was scheduled for the next morning.  I was nervous but looking forward to getting the information we needed.

My mom took me to the biopsy.  She waited in the waiting room and the nurse and ultrasound tech both of which I had worked with prepped me for the biopsy and talked to me about Christmas.  The radiologist the same one that had read my MRI did my biopsy.

First he used a needle to freeze the area of the lump.  Feet are very, very, very sensitive so many nerves.  The freezing worked and the first 2 passes with the biopsy gun where okay, but the tissue wasn't adequate he needed to go deeper so the third time he hit the muscle and the bone and the immediate pain I felt was indescribable.  I was writhing in pain but was surrounded and by my co workers and nurses and with some pain medication they were able to control some of the pain.  I was so grateful for there kindness as tears streamed from my eyes I was glad they knew me personally.

My family prayed and fasted as we waited for results all hoping and praying that the lump would not be cancer.  Then I waited, Christmas passed and New Years and I hadn't heard anything.  Finally about 5 weeks later I was going crazy with anxiety,  Dr. Puloski called saying the biopsy had to be sent away to a different pathologist and both pathologists agreed the lump in my foot was an extremely rare BENIGN myoepithelioma and that he wanted to see me again and discuss some options.

(Miles And SANTA)

Hearing it was benign made my family and husband happy, but I was still unsettled with the diagnosis. I felt strongly that it wasn't going to be so simple and straight forward.

The very beginning

Last Summer (July 2011)  I was at the swimming pool with the kids and while I was in the pool I stepped on a piece of glass with my left foot.  I quickly got out to try to get it out but couldn't see it.  Over the next couple days my foot hurt but then it went away.  Then in August my foot began to hurt in the same place and I was finally able to extract the piece of glass.  Then at the end of September in the same foot I was sitting on my couch and on the bottom of my left foot I noticed a lump about the size of the end of my finger.  It didn't hurt to walk or to push on the lump but I new it hadn't been there before.  

About 2 weeks later I took one of the kids to see the Doctor and showed him the lump in my foot, which he thought was nothing really and thought it would be okay to just watch it and if there was any change I should come back.  But if you know me I don't always agree with what I'm told so while still in the office I told him that I wanted an ultrasound ordered.

Another 2 or 3 weeks later I went and had one of my co-workers ultrasound the lump in my foot.  It was something that they hadn't seen before and the radiologist was unsure what to make of it so it was recommended I get an MRI.  The MRI wasn't booked until February but I talked to one of the radiologist and told him I felt it was a large solid tumour and he pushed it up and  I had the MRI on December 6, 2011.  

I laid in the MRI machine for 2 and a half hours and I new something was odd.  As soon as the exam was finished I was then pulled aside and the radiologist showed me the images and told me the MRI showed a large neoplastic tumour wrapping around my tendons and invading some of the muscle, but he had never seen anything like it so I was seen a couple days later by an orthopedic surgeon in Lethbridge who said I have no idea what this is and the best thing I can do for you is send you to a specialist in Calgary an Orthopedic Oncology Surgeon.

By this time I was scared and the waiting was so unbearable.  But I would soon find out I would be doing a lot of waiting!

To Be continued.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Starting off with GRATITUDE!

Unsure of how to start my blog, which will be my cancer journey, my family life and how I will learn to live without my leg; I decided to begin with the thankfulness that is filling my heart!

I am so amazed and humbled that so many family members, friends, the community as well as so many various individuals have given to me of there faith, prayers, service and countless acts of kindness and love.  I feel so thankful and my heart has grown to notice and love the people that surround me.  It is so unbelievable to know that so many people are lifting me up when I have been unable to bear this heavy trial alone.

I cannot express the absolute love and appreciation I feel to everyone that has thought of me.  With all the support I have received and continue to receive I am truly grateful!