Circle of Strength Update: Getting through the first painful hours of post op.

Diane Linden: We are looking forward to pampering her ! We haven’t seen her yet but hear the nurses that she s quite chatty. That is a good sign!

Patty Nixon: Yay…I am so happy to hear that all has gone according to plan with the surgery Karla!!! I will be praying for a smooth and quick recovery from it!! Lo❤ 💕❤💕❤💕❤💕❤💕 ❤💕

Deb M: Wonderful news. I am seven hours ahead so she was still in surgery when I went to sleep. Grabbed my phone as soon as I woke and was thrilled and thankful to hear the news. Thanks Dianne. 💕

Nancy MacGregor: I am still away in Italy with my boys – 6 hours ahead – but have been keeping up with posts. Smiling and nodding my head in full agreement as I read these posts. Sounds like things went really well for you Karla💆🏼 Keep us posted ….lots of love and hugs 💓🤗💓🤗💓😂

Deborah Hamilton: Thinking of the one and only Karla. It wont be long before she she know everyone on the hospital floor and all of their stories. Thats Karla. Wherever she goes she collects people and learns from them. Lucky to be one. 🐕

Diane Linden: Hello everyone.

Another sister Diane update. First off thank you all for your kind messages-I was reading some to Karla last night and she so appreciated them. Although we are all celebrating the successful surgery, post-op has been incredibly challenging as Karla is dealing with excoriating pain and the pain management plan is severely lacking. Karla’s Oakville medical team has been incredibly supportive and although they don’t have a presence here, they are working with us to advocate for her. A huge shout out to her palliative care doctor in Oakville that has been coaching Al and I in the middle of the night on how to help advocate for her and for nurse Erin that was there this morning and will do the same. In terms of sons, Zach wins the award for best son ever. He stayed with her all night sitting in a horrible chair in a ward with many other patients. Most importantly he kept us updated. I am feeling optimistic that today will be a better day as the hospital is no match for the Stephens/Tolstoy clan. Before 7 am m this morning Al, Zach, Tony, Erin and myself were all standing around her bed working hard on reassuring her and promising that her pain would be dealt with. Even in the midst of this, there was still some laughter. I know the next few weeks will be challenging but I also know Karla is up to the challenge.

Pat: Many thanks for the update, Diane. Zach and Karla are real hero’s and tears are coming to my eyes as I think of such a wonderful son Zach is — having remembered him from his younger years — and years for the pain that Karla is currently experiencing. I hope and pray that her pain will soon be under control. Sending love to all of you!

Linda Riddoch: Diane it breaks my heart to hear that she is in that kind of pain. I pray that she gets relief. I’ve made her favorite broth and I’m going to bring it to the house today . I wish I could put some CBD oil in it. That’s the future .

Cindy P: There are no longer visiting hours at the hospital as studies have proven that having family by your bedside 24/7 speeds recovery decreases anxiety. Sometimes two people so one can stay with the patient and one can go get a nurse because my experience has been that nobody moves when the call button is pushed. Spent two weeks at that hospital recently when my father had quad bypass and your right those chairs suck so koodos to zack. 👍 fight for a private room and if you complain enough they will move you to semi private when someone get discharged. Take care of yourselves as you support her recovery. Caregivers have a tough job. The coffee shop has amazing mararoons there. Sending lots of love and hugs for everyone. 💕

Sylvie Joncas Scott: Crazy woman! I can’t believe you are talking to us! And you still look amazing! How is that even possible! I hope your pain gets under control and fast. Lots of love! I will be thinking of you every minute today!

Hilary Rankin: Lovely to see you! Happy that night ended. You did an amazing job getting through that. You have such a cushion of love around you, I can hear it in your laugh.

Lisa: Wow Karla so great to see your beautiful face and smile. Sorry for your pain in the night, I hope this morning brings you some relief. Sending you much warmth and love. 😘☀🌷

Julie Pezzack: Glad things went well-good luck with the recovery Kars. Di bribery of hospital staff works well to get little extras-they are very over worked so dropping off some cookies, dried fruit, etc. to the nurses station saying thanks for taking care of our Karla can go a long way. Good luck taking care of the patient! 😉

Laurie Ann Egan: Even after major back surgery you manage to give us a smile – you are a force! Hoping your team gives you loads of good meds to decrease the horrible pain.
I know all too well how brutal those chairs are, at the hospital- great to hear your lovely Zachary was with you through the night, by your side.
Always in my thoughts and know we all love and support you from near and far. Xo LA❤❤

Karla (Al): Hi all gals. This is Al. Karla is in some pain today and taking extra pain meds so will not likely be responding to many of your messages. She’s doing okay but the next day after serious surgery is not a walk in the park. She’ll see her surgeon later today and we might have more concrete news for you all tomorrow. Thanks for all your great inspirational and positive messages.

Diane Linden: Just with her now and all really good. They have adjusted her pain meds , her day nurse was lovely and she is in a private room She is resting a bit too which is great.

Colleen Cormier: Thank you for all the wonderful updates Diane! So glad Karla is resting and managing her pain better now….thinking of you all and sending lots of warm hugs and blessings Xx💗

Libby Gunn: Just got home from a three day kayaking trip and dropped my gear on the front deck and sat down immediately to catch up on the messages. Thought about you heading into surgery while I was lying in my sleeping bag looking up at the Big Dipper and listening to seals splashing (Gulf Islands, west coast!). Went through the wonderful family video and all the updates in compressed time –the last two minutes. So relieved to hear surgery went well, so sorry you are going through such terrible pain, so glad you have so much family/care around, so hoping caregivers are also looking after themselves. I know it’s very tough work.
Love to all.

Karla: Looks good feeling thankful

Kelly Jung: Karla, thank you for your update& picture… How strong you are! You are my hero😘 I pray for your pain🙏& your family!
I can’t write much as everytime I try to type can’t stop crying…really sorry, karla. I think about you all the time. I miss you…seeing picture, made realize how much pain you are going through…all I can say is sending love to you from my family👍🥰

Diane Linden: There are so many people that are helping Karla get through this but I really want a huge shout out to Nurse Erin. She has been there through thick and thin almost since the very beginning. Knowing she is there this morning allows our family to worry so much less. She’s always going above and beyond and most importantly she can always put a smile on Karlas face We love you and appreciate you Erin ! 😀❤💛💕

Cheryl: Karla you are a one in a trillion human being✨I am stunned by your ability to endure, fight, share, be grateful in the face of indescribable pain and challenge. You are a light to all of us… you demonstrate what true courage and love are… I wish with all my heart this wasn’t your path💕 humbled to know a true life warrior in every sense of the word!! You are STRONG in spirit and that will get you through this! And when u don’t feel it we are all here to remind you💕💗🌸💪🏻👩‍👩‍👧‍👧 👩‍👩‍👧‍👧👩‍👩‍👧‍👧👩‍👩‍👧‍👧👩‍👩‍👧‍👧👩‍👩‍👧‍👧👩‍👩‍👧‍👧👩‍👩‍👧‍👧👩‍👩‍👧‍👧(closest emoji to girl tribe I can find!!)

About The Author

A few months ago, I was told that my boobs are trying to kill me and being misdiagnosed for two years allowed them to recruit throughout the rest of my body by way of my spine. Before this, I knew f*ck all about cancer. Now, between sipping chemo cocktails, I want to talk about the truth of living with Stage 4 Breast Cancer with my support system and people I have met along the way to recovery.

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