As I mentioned a little while ago I will soon be heading out to Halifax for a few weeks. I'm going to be the support person for my sister Mary Lynn, who lives in Prince Edward Island, after she receives a stem cell transplant from my brother Jim – a perfect match.
That's the three of us at Niagara Falls. I'm the one wearing the queen's headgear waving a flag. Kind of hoping it was 1967 the hundredth year of Confederation or something. I'm not sure that we have any pictures of us near the actual falls. Pretty sure having us pose in front of beautiful gardens was more important to my mom.
Mary Lynn (or Mally as I called her when I couldn't say her name yet) and I are four years apart and Jim is one year older than her. We still needed Karen to complete our family. I believe Jim is perilously close to sporting a mohawk in this picture.
The Martin girls all grown up at Deborah's wedding:
I don't have any recent pictures of me and Mary Lynn. That's her with her hand on my shoulder. She's a lot slimmer now due to good diet, exercise and maybe partly from the leukemia.
Jim and me at sushi:
I bet he's looking forward to some good seafood in Halifax! I actually won't really see him because he will be flying home around the time I fly out on April 8th. It's all done with blood now, not bone marrow. But he does have to receive some injections to increase production of stem cells. The injections might make him ache but he's a pretty tough guy so I don't think that will bother him. He can beat 19 year-old Kitchener Ranger hockey players at squash - he'll be fine.
ML and I will be staying in a lodge across from the hospital mostly playing games, doing puzzles and eating good food prepared by a chef.
We should only need to go over to the hospital for appointments twice a week to check on how things are going.
My cat Harrison will be staying at Hotel uncle Henry and aunt Marcia while I am away. He disapproves of me leaving but they are the next best thing.
The process starts for ML this Friday the 28th with a week of more chemo before the transplant. Your prayers and good wishes are appreciated as she goes through this adventure. My sister is a wonderfully positive, resilient person, with a very strong faith that has sustained her through the last few years. She is very much looking forward to feeling better and stronger.
My plane ticket is open-ended because we're not sure exactly how long she will need to stay. It will probably be 2 to 4 weeks that I am away. We will have Wi-Fi so you will probably be getting even more updates than usual.
There is a park close by where we are staying and we are not too far from the harbor. I'm hoping we will get some walks in while the doctors take Jim's squash playing stem cells and God turbocharges them in ML.
ML has a lot to live for certainly not the least of which is this little Poppet, her granddaughter Rebekah, all decked out for "spring." And I use that term loosely.
Those eyes! Rebekah's uncle Brent is marrying the love of his life Joannie in August so I will get to see Rebekah again then!
It's kind of full circle, because I was in Prince Edward Island for several months to help ML while she was pregnant with Brent. We had a great time then and I know we will again now.
Today it has been a year since my mom was released from Earth. Not too long before she passed away ML gave her these roses and Emily took these pictures.
I can't wish Mom back but I do miss her.
Emily and Caleb made collages for each family for the funeral and this was mine.
That's Karen on my shoulders top left. She's been so great in helping me get ready for this trip.
And Anne dropped everything and drove me to see my doctor on Friday so we could rule out more skin cancer. Because as you know, cancer scares are an important part of getting ready for a trip. Fortunately it is just a radiation ulcer - looks like I may be dealing with those for the rest of my life. Sure as heck beats the alternative!
Tons of pictures from this past fun filled weekend tomorrow. Birthday party, hockey and eating at a place in Fergus called the Goofie Newfie!
My life is ridiculously good!