Carrie Gauthier-Laakes Carrie's Earth Angels

First post: May 23, 2019 Latest post: Aug 14, 2020
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As some of you know, we have been on this Cancer journey since the Fall of 2016 when I was first diagnosed with Endometrial Cancer Stage 3.  I underwent a radical hysterectomy at LHSC with Dr. Jacob McGee, my oncologist, followed by chemo and radiation along with brachytherapy, with Dr. Velker. Treatments were not kind to me as I had very bad reactions with every treatment which usually ended me up in Bluewater Health for the week between treatments. I was supposed to complete the plan with a 6th treatment in May of 2017 but due to being just “done” I chose to stop. Things seemed to be looking up and my health was slowly returning to better day by day with the help of Dr. Kim and the Palliative Care team from St. Joseph’s Hospice.I got a phone call the same day as my follow up scans in October 2017 from Dr. Velker who congratulated me -I was ALL CLEAR!!  Christmas came and so did a few pains. I went to my Chiropractor who suggested in April 2018 that I go for an MRI.  Easter was upon us and I was determined to make dinner for my son, Matthew, in Toronto (He at that time a 2nd year student in Film Production at Ryerson) as he was too busy to come home due to Exam time crunch. So, with my daughter, Charlotte, then 7 yrs old, in tow that’s what we did! Made dinner for Matt, nephews, Asher and Kaleb and Matt’s roommate Andrew. When we returned home, things turned downward very quickly and within the week, I woke on a Thursday and could not get out of bed to get her off to school. My husband, Norm, rushed home from work and they rushed me back into Bluewater Health to the amazing staff on the 5th floor. It was then that the news that cancer had returned was devastating to say the least. I had almost made it within a year of my last chemo treatment. May 2018 -There were some spots in my abdomen that weren't showing activity but it was a tumor on my spine that had ceased my movement, and just like that!! 5 more treatments of radiation seemed to do the trick this time. Back on track…slowly healing, slowly...As Christmas approached, so did more scans. Mid December 2018 scans revealed a few nodules on my lungs. We decided to wait till January for treatment. In the meantime, because I am so passionate about cooking good healthy food and absolutely love the holidays, when we have the opportunity to share and open our door to feed people, I pushed myself to do as much as possible, getting together with as many friends and family as we could meet up with. Except once again, was done in by Christmas Day. Radiation, again, in January 2019, but only on the upper left lung-and shrunk the larger of what was there. I took notice that the pain had returned in my back and hips. I was pretty much on the couch for the duration of the winter until I finally gave in and requested pain meds in March 2019...I just couldn’t manage any longer. Back in for more scans in March 2019. The reveal…the tumor on my spine was continuing to grow and further. To my understanding, this is one that will not give in. ☹ And paralysis is inevitable. Talking to my team of doctors, including a neurologist Dr. Siddiqi, this time was not very hopeful at all. Radiation is no longer an option for this area of my body and they are saying that chemo will not be very effective. So we moved forward to Dr. Siddiqi, Dr. Kim, from Sarnia, to find out more about surgery. As of this year we are on round 4 and ready for a KNOCKOUT! We headed to meet up with the surgeon in London again for consult #3 and follow up x-rays on  Monday May 27th to find out how we are doing and booked surgery for May 31st  to remove this tumour on my spine that continues to grow.  It proved to be successful, removing 95% of the tumour, with spinal fusion and laminectomy. It has reduced the pain and I am still able to walk, just not expecting to do marathons any time in the  Feeling very blessed with this outcome and more time with my family! We are continuing with the renovations on our house to transform the living room on our main level into a bedroom and accessible bathroom so that I am able to function as long as possible in our home. As time marches on there are still mobility issues and paralyzation will be determined as the tumour progresses at it's own pace. There are no further options for treatment so we just make the most of our days and continue to work towards making this house into the comfortable gathering home I envision it to be!  I am really grateful for all of the help we have and continue to receive from our family and friends. Currently we are approaching to finish the tiled shower, planning to add a stackable laundry set in the kitchen, and getting estimates to do some work on the back of the house to replace old windows and insulation in the sunroom/new living room which is causing some leaking in the basement. The several fundraisers that have been held, Wellness Event at Charlotte’s school in April, Thirty-One from Amy Zavitz in May, Silent Auction and dinner put on by TOVA in June, Yard and Online Sale put on by Brenda and Bob Nicholson in July, friends who have sent to us personally, and our GoFundme page that is ongoing, combined to date raised around $15,000.00!!! What a blessing!!We have used those funds towards our supplies since we started the renovations in May and will continue to move forward as we can.  It has been decided that I "retire" from work so all of your help, whether it is financially, bringing meals, helping with tasks that bring us closer to completion, every helping hand is appreciated! That is where we are as of today, August 22, 2019. We are praying for the right people, right place, right time as we walk through every step of this journey and we have not been disappointed! He watches over us ALL the time!! We want to take this opportunity to Thank you for walking alongside of us and for your support! Without the love and support from family and friends, this would be far more difficult.


Much Love and peace,

Carrie, Norm, Matt, and Charlotte

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