West Coast living sees many seasons. We had a great start of warm weather in May which led us in to a spectacular summer. Just last week the sun was shining and a debate to go to the beach or not was upon me. Fall is now in full swing with multicoloured tree leaves, the rain pounding the pavement with sounds of raindrops falling down my window.

My life is similar to the weather...sometimes I spring forward and other times I fall back. I’m nearing 8 months since my surgery that ridded me of my cancer for a second time and of course the beginning of my life with Winnie. I’ve had some bright sunny days and some gloomy stormy ones too. I follow a lot of other ostomates on social media and see that no forecast is the same, that I’m not alone and that big picture I’m doing pretty good.

My massive hernias are like a hurricane that touched down, made its damage and takes time to recover from. Still have no date for repair but my doctor has submitted my referral and I’m hoping a call comes sooner than later. I’m starting to exercise in the only way permitted but one I love, the pool. I attended my first deep water Aqua Fit class last week and did surprisingly well. My right arm was sore the next day from pushing the water side to side, up and down. Hernias did fine. Winnie did great, she loves the water just as much as I do.

My ostomy nurse has told me that my stoma will change post hernia surgery so yet again I’ll have to find my perfect bag fit. I’ve been fairly consistent of late with Coloplast bag 16757 (sounds like a jail number lol) but my skin around my stoma struggles. I have a more innie stoma than most other ostomates with outties. So this means my stool doesn’t fall down in to its bag but instead stays up falling slowly. I’m very self aware and pat it down as needed but it irritates my skin even with all the tricks my nurse has taught me. Lately I’m sore and when I remove the bag to clean and apply a new one I’ve got blood from cracked skin. You can’t just not put anything back on so regular changes are on my radar. I’m lucky though that I don’t have many leaks which I know is a huge struggle for lots of ostomates.

I still like to stay home more than not and find myself cooking a lot more than I used to. Living alone there’s always 1-2 friends over as taste testers and I like that. You’ll often find me in PJs or lounge wear as it’s just way more comfortable. When you have hernias like I do wearing tights really gives its name a run for its money! 😆 I go to my friends birthdays but I’m usually the first to leave. It’s all about balance really and the days that I push myself too much I pay for. One all day fun day usually means double the time to recover.

Where I’m at in recovery right now isn’t a bad place. I’m in the middle. I’m able to go to hockey games (wink to my loved ones with tickets) but the next day I just take it easy. Simple. Choose my battles. I’m going out dancing for a friends birthday this Friday but won’t be doing any leg kicks! One big win is that the reintroduction of veggies seems good so far. I still need to avoid roughage to some degree but all around doing pretty good. I see my plastic surgeon in a couple weeks but still have some healing from where my tumour was, and most likely a small surgery to finish where the skin flap was attached. I need to avoid stress when I can because Winnie seems to act up if I don’t.

My adorable 17 year old ginger cat Simba continues to thrive although his hearing is gone and he’s skinny from his thyroid condition. He meows for wet food to the point of frustration on my part but he knows I’ll cave! I find it funny how vocal he is when he can’t hear himself ... ha ha ha! He does feel vibrations like the door slamming shut and I can’t imagine going through all this without him. Pets are such comfort and he always knows when I need him most. He’s laying beside me right now as I compose this entry. My sweet little Sim. 🐱


Like a change of a season or of the weather Winnie and I continue to forge our path. I’m so grateful for what independence and strength she’s brought in to my life. Hopefully by this time next year I’ll be done falling and sprung back with even more purpose and vengeance. Stay warm if you're in for a cold fall and winter season and remember a cute scarf always gives your outfit that extra light!










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Thanks Carly for your great message. You are navigating life pretty well. It is so good that you have friends to do things with and who are supportive. They are almost as good to have as a 17 yo kitty. Kidding aside, I have a great family but my friends really make my life full and interesting. My husband has a huge hernia but he doesn't mind having it. I guess after what he has been through, a hernia is pretty mild.

Will you always have Winnie or will you be able to do without at some later date?

Sending love and positive energy your way. Deb

Friends, family and furr sure help right, lol. Winnie is forever as my tumour was near my spichter so they had a lot of cutting to rid me and of it and get margins. My hernias are umbilical type and really in my way. I look pregnant lol But as we know things can always be worse but this is my current worst. Xoxo
Glad to hear you are getting out with family and friends. I love your writing and the comparisons to the seasons. I pray you are able to Spring ahead soon.
Thank you Laura! I love to write, never knew this until cancer when I started my blog. I’m at like 98, 250 views. Hope things are trucking along for you. Xoxo
Hi! Glad to hear you have friends up for dinner, etc. Any word on the hernia surgery? You'll feel better with those taken care of. Mother has one, umbilical. She's 83 and plans on having the surgery in the new year. Simba is such a good boy. I have two chihuahuas, 11 and 16. Stella, 16, sleeps all day now, but eats like a piggy. We have her on CBD oil and her gait is better.
No date as of yet. Both my hernias are umbilical. I look pregnant and so uncomfortable but things have been worse right? Lots of hugs to you & the doggies. Xoxo
Marcia likes this comment
Reading your postings are so enjoyable. I really think you should write a book. Your stories with little tidbits of information about this cancer or treatment or tricks along the sides. Kind of like the Looneyspoons cookbooks. You have a special way of writing that could really help educate people on this type of cancer which hardly anyone has heard of!
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Vital Info


September 23, 2015

Vancouver, Canada

August 16, 1975

Cancer Info

Vulva Cancer

Vulva Cancer

July 4, 2014

Stage 3

3.1 - 4.0 cm


Change in my body

I'm stronger than I thought I was

Hyperbaric Oxygen treatment to help heal wound

BC Cancer Agency

February 16

Pain in vaginal area

I didn’t lose my hair.


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