Sunday, November 11, 2012

Just a not to let you know that, while I am still here I am not posting as often here anymore.

Don't be sad! It means this part of my story is no longer the biggest part. I survived Cancer! I've been in remission since January and have had no major health issues since then. OK, just a few weird things, but mostly I am really, really good!

Come read me over at Snip-Its Of Me! It's bright and cheery and super duper happy over there!

Thanks for reading and sharing in my Cancer story.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Hippofatamus Goes Pink For Thyroid Cancer

If you haven't seen my original post, you really should begin there. However if you already read it, or you just want to skip to the good stuff, feel free to continue reading.

I committed to dying my hair pink in honor of Brooke, a fellow thyca warrior. She wasn't as lucky as many of us are. She lost her life to Thyroid Cancer. I had never met her, but I am well aware that despite her diagnosis, she was a fun spirited girl with lots of life in her. She could often be seen with pink hair or fun pink highlights. So Team Thyroid decided to go pink as a tribute to her.

At first I mulled it over, then I shot my mouth off, jumping in quickly with very little thought. I tend to act based on my heart quite often. More often than not, my heart beats my brain to the punch. It was too late, despite nerves I had already told CancerGirl I was in. Then my brain kicked in with: "Oh no, what did I do? I can't go pink, I'm too old! What will people think." Then I slowed down and really thought it through. The people who have been there with me understand my passion for social good, cancer awareness and fundraising. They will not judge me based on nonsense, like so many might. I can use it to spark a conversation. My pink hair can generate real awareness if I just take the time to look people in the eye and tell them why my hair is pink. I realized Thyroid Cancer is bigger than me, and people need us to raise awareness for a seldom spoken about cancer. So I now had it all rationalized in my head.

Next I did some research about what kind of pink I wanted to do? Temp/semi/perm? As many people on thyroid medication can attest to, my hair can't hold colouring anymore. I've been told it's a Synthroid thing. At any rate, I chose a demi perm and I bought 'N Rage Demi Perm in Bubble Gum Pink.

I was warned it would turn anything it touched bright pink, so I took precautions. I can safely say it smelled great! Just like bubble gum! It was messy but as I mentioned I was careful so I had nothing go wrong. I did not strip my hair first I did it on freshly washed, oil free hair and here are the results:

I've had rave reviews  on the colour and how it suits me. It says it will last 3-6 weeks, I doubt I'll get that long since it has already faded a bit, but I really like it. So what do you think?

Don't forget you can help the cause by donating $10 to me directly via email money transfer or by going to CancerGirls donation page . Ask me if you have any questions about it!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month - Check Your Neck

September is 
Thyroid Cancer Awareness

It is a cause that is very close to my heart because I was diagnosed in June 2009. I spent nearly 3 years of my life fighting it and I'm repairing the damages it did to my body and my family. But rather than tell you about my cancer (you can read it here) I want to dedicate this post to awareness. I want YOU to know what you need to do to be proactive. 

I know what you're saying... "But I'm already busy buying daffodils, planning a 'stache for Movember, Hosting a Girls Night InRunning for the Cure, and feeling my boobies, and the list goes on." 

I completely agree! With so many people being diagnosed with so many kinds of Cancer it's really hard to keep on top of all the initiatives to keep us safe. Cancer awareness can be a full time job, but I promise you this; as someone who has had it for over two years, spending time on awareness and self checks is NOTHING compared to how much of your life you can lose if you yourself are diagnosed. Sadly if you ignore your health and choose not to play a  proactive role in your well being the only alternative is playing a reactive role, and dealing with it when it might be too late.

Beause my story is one of Thyroid Cancer I am urging you to please do this for me:

Check Your Neck!

There are many ways to do this. One is a self exam. Easily done in 5 minutes. FIVE minutes!!! There is no excuse please do it. Right now. For me. If something's not quite right you'll know.

The second is to schedule an appointment with your Dr and request that he or she take a few minutes at your appointment to check your neck for you.

The third is to help me bring awareness by sponsoring me! $10 will buy you one day with my hair pink! The money will go to the Thyroid Cancer Survivors Association. You can read more about this fundraising effort here at Team Thyroid. To make a donation contact me and I'll tell you how!

I also have a favour to ask; please take a moment to share this, tweet this, like it, whatever you need to do to get the word out there. Everyone needs to know!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Blissful Thank You!

You all must know about the contest I entered over at "I Don't Blog"! It was a really big deal and I made a crazy amateur video staring my Roo, all in an effort to get my uninspired blogger but to BlissDom Canada.

Well... I won! I have no idea how but I am not going to question a good thing. I am just telling myself that the universe is making up for some tough times that I've gone through recently. I am proud to be able to display This badge on my site!

I'm Goin', Eh.

The whole point of this post is to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who took a couple of minutes out of their day to help my get there. So here it is:

You can bet I`m going to appreciate this gift that Alex aka @Clippo has given me. I'll blog about my experience there including photos!

Now I need to get planning and let myself enjoy the excitement of it all!

Love you all!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Looking For My Bliss - BlissDom 2012

I entered an amazing contest to win a ticket to 

 Here is my entry:


When I think about my life, I know it is abundantly full. I have a great husband with whom I share two incredible children. We live in a modest but happy home in the suburbs. My husband has a great job which we are thankful for every day. In September both of our children will be in school. I could go on and on about all the amazing things my husband and children are up to however, I fall a bit short in that area myself. I've been a stay at home mom for over 4 years now and a good chunk of that time I was quite ill. The focus was on me but somehow while all that was happening I got lost. I became disconnected, unmotivated and very depressed. In January I finally found out I was well again. It was time to build my strength and get into the world. I couldn't wait to dive head first in to life again. Only I found I was scared, unsure of what to do next. So I decided I needed a spark, something to set my creative fuel ablaze once again. I instantly thought of BlissDom Canada Where so many women have had their creative juices boosted.

After a very candid conversation with my husband about buying myself a ticket, I knew that if I wanted to attend I needed to find another way. It was time to push myself to dig down deep for some of the creativity I once had. That lead to entering a contest to win myself a ticket to attend.

In my life I have never made a vlog, so I decided I'd give that a try. Have a look at my lame attempt at creativity. Maybe once you've seen it you will understand how badly I need to be at BlissDom Canada. I also asked around and it seems there a lot of silly people who want to help me get to Blissdom. Have a look at my video and the comments from people who want to see me get to BlissDom!

Even my friends think I should be there! Here's why they think I should attend BlissDom:

Michelle (@MishLockwood) said I should attend because I am a survivor.... And it is entirely.possible that at any moment during the conference I might jump up and break into song and dance... At first I was afraid, I was petrified, not thinking I could live without you by my side..."

Chris (@CancerGirl_730) said "because she deserves it."

Sandra said "because you are a survivor,inspirational, ambitious, creative, a go getter,helpful to others, motivated, an amazing mother and wife, great fun, and so much more. Of anyone Coleen deserves a ticket to this conference and they will be blessed to have her."

Tatiana (@TatianaHedley) said because I am amazing at hair-dos and I'll provide braiding services for free.

Victoria (@GirlGoneWired) said I should go because I am awesome and agreed to all of the aforementioned reasons.

Traci (@PunchDrunkMum) said "Have you seen this woman break dance? Do the running man? Well,neither have I and it probably Wont happen, but it could. How about perform oral surgery during a break just because she can? That probably won't happen either, probably best for someone certified to do so. Coleen is what Mario is to Luigi, what King Kong is to the Empire State building, she is queen of blogs hands down. If anyone deserves to go have the spark in her eye and surprise people it's this lady right here."

Jeannine (@MyBitsandBleeps) said "because if she has to change another diaper she'll scream!"

Ashley Barr (@NewMenuNewOtlk) said "because she'll promise to speak as if she's always being auto-corrected."

Karyn (@KarynClimans) said: "Just because..."

These people and many more believe in me and I promise to do them proud by coming home ready to get back blogging and better yet work towards taking my writing to the next level.


Normally I am uncomfortable with pestering people for votes but in this case I need them in order to win. So I am humbly asking for you to vote for me (I'm #4) at I Don't Blog and if you feel so inclined I would appreciate you sharing this with other so they too can vote for me. Click the share button, but first, go vote! 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Chopping My Kids Hair

Recently my kids reached their goal of growing their hair to a length long enough to be donated. We selected an organization that takes your hair donation to make wigs for children who have list their own hair as a result of cancer treatments. It was bittersweet for me. Bitter, because I was sad to see my daughters hair go. I'd invested so many hours into maintaining it, and it was so beautiful. No that's not even a good enough, it was long, lush, shiny, healthy and stunning.

The hair cuts were also sweet for me because I was thrilled to see my teenage sons hair return to normal lengths.

I battled cancer for nearly 3 years and the decision to donate their hair came while I was still sick. In January 2012 I found out was finally in remission, so this event was a wonderful way to celebrate and give back.

Have a look to see how beautiful my daughters hair was when it was long. Also you get to see their before and after photos.

I'd love to hear what you think!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

2012 is bringing changes!

A tearful conversation with my mom about my recent emotions, as well as a candid one with my hubby, brought about a lot of thoughts on how I can feel better. I spoke to both of them openly about how hurt I had been by a couple of people I thought were friends. I can see very clearly they are not anymore, and was struggling with that. I was also struggling very deeply with mixed feeling after being cleared by my dr. Finding out my cancer was gone was really a shock to my system and I haven't been coping as one would expect to such amazing, life altering news.

A couple of weeks have passed and I am not the big weepy mess of confusion I last wrote about anymore, but rather I am inspired to feel better by being better. Basically I am going to push down the negative thoughts and feelings and immerse myself in my ability to see the positive in any situation.

I don't do resolutions but I decided after these conversations that this is what I will strive for this year.

  • I will no longer let bullies make me feel bad. I'll kill 'em with kindness instead. 
  • I will stop worrying about how other people feel about me and learn to love myself again.
  • I will think of 5 things that make me smile every time I feel negative thoughts bubbling up  
  • I will push myself to see the good in every situation, no matter how tough it is.
  • I will allow myself to move past my illness.
  • I will begin making small steps to get out of my house more often, and work through the anxiety.
  • I will make myself a household binder to get myself on track and on a schedule.
  • I will continue being the best mom I can be and work towards being a less dependent wife.
  • I will actively work on my blogging and keep current.
  • I will make a plan on how to achieve my writing dreams and create a timeline to motivate me.
  • I will put positivity out in order to see it return to me.
It's a list in progress as I am sure I will be adding things as my mind races with thoughts on self improvement. Even though it's only been a couple weeks I have let a lot of negative things go. Like friendships that have clearly faded. I'm finally OK with that. I spent a lot of time pondering what I may have done wrong but now I know in my heart that it really doesn't matter. Those people have shown themselves and my true friends are still right here with me through thick and thin they are the ones who deserve my focus.

Life has been much sweeter these past two weeks, and I know it's only going to get better as I work to find a new, post cancer, normal.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Shouldn't I be happy?

I can't sleep. I feel ashamed of myself. I'm hurting emotionally and I have no reason to be.

I know that the fact that I am cancer free is still fresh news, but I think I should feel happy. But I don't. I feel everything but happy. I feel sad, scared, depressed, anxious, and angry. Everything BUT happy. 

WTF is wrong with me? Am I broken? Who finds out their battle with cancer is finally over and spends 4 solid days crying? Me. Why? No idea.

I have kept this emotional upheaval a secret from everyone but then my mom called me and I completely fell apart on the phone. Granted there were other factors involved that had me feeling a bit emotional, but for the most part it was all over my confusion from being cancer free. I bawled while I talked to my mom, and she didn't sound the least bit surprised that I was feeling this way. She was very kind and supportive of me, explaining that it was going to take time to sink in. 

All I know is I feel horrible for not being anything but happy. I'll talk to my therapist about it and see if I'm normal or not. 

The honest truth is that I just don't know what to do now. How do I move forward? Cancer has consumed my life, my calendar, my medicine cabinet and so much more, and now it's just gone. So what now?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I'm a Survivor!

Wow, Yesterday I had my follow up appointment to find out the status of my cancer. As I wrote in my last post I was scared to death of metastasis. I felt quite certain it had spread. I don't even know that I have grasped what the Dr. told me yet. After meeting my mom, who was kind enough to come with me in case I got bad news, the Doctor go down to business explaining my cancer marker levels at each interval from the past two and a half years. Basically while my level is still not a zero it was low enough that I am safely considered:


Yes! That's right I am finally over this shit! I don't know how to react. I think I'm still kind of numb. I had to ask the doctor 20 times "are you sure?" She was please to tell me she was sure and she commended me on sticking it out, acknowledging that it was a longer battle than the majority of thyroid cancer patients endure. She also encouraged me to go see my family doctor so that we can discuss the pain and other issues that were causing me such concern. She said that it's great that it's not caused by the cancer but that it still needs to be checked out. I will certainly follow up with him, but really who cares about all that? All I know is I have a new lease on life and 2012 is my year!!!

I am a survivor!

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