Saturday, September 30, 2006

Honestly, I'm almost sitting here in hospital shaking as I write this....and don't be has nothing to do with Ramona's health...she is sleeping right now...and we just finished having a rather pleasant afternoon chat outside with Corey and Melissa thing Ramona mentioned after the chat was just realizing how huge the mental aspect of cancer is....physically Mony is feeling sick from chemo...but decent considering the circumstances...and as I'm rambling...the main thing Mony said I should mention while I'm blogging is to thank everyone for praying about her anxiety...God has blessed Mony with amazing...peace...this round...relative to last round.......i'm just trying to think how to word this...but I'm once again realizing how huge a factor a person's faith is in times of sickness...two of our friends here in the hospital have been on our minds quite a bit...down the hall from us there is a newly married couple....i didn't ask them if i could write about them on the blog...but they are intense Christians and their news seems more hopeless than ours...she was having seizures from the cancer in her brain...even without their names you can pray for them...they were a huge encouragement to us...and looking back on this week we are incredibly thankful for the friends and family we have...we are excessively blessed...i'm excited about playing hockey in Mitchell and frankly blown away by what Ray and everyone are doing...and i guess i rambled and I have no time to explain why i was i'll explain later...i'm just blown how much exposure our random thoughts have
Keep going nuts,
Earl Petkau (only funny for those who read the sun)

Thursday, September 28, 2006

just a note...we were incredibly encouraged by the people that stopped by last night...Ramona and I are sitting here in the Atrium of the St. Boniface hospital...having just finished 2 of chemo begins in a few minutes......Ramona isn't feeling "too horrible"...we're still plugging away...

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

okay, they started the first bag of chemo a few minutes ago...Ramona and i were going to watch the Mother Teresa movie together...but Mony is sleeping i came down to far as the ultrasound is concerned...i don't know what is dead tumor and what is infection...the part that is infection they think they can have under control by the time her counts are down the chemo begins...all the nurses tell us to expect delays and all sorts of 'complications' at this point in chemo...essentially we should throw the chemo 'schedule' out the window...anyway...i was telling Mony a story of what happened to me and she thought it would make good comic relief on the here goes...

Beware of the Crazy ST. Boniface People :)
Yesterday Rick and Elaine and their 5 year old daughter Robin(my uncle and aunt) visited us (which was awesome). Just to hang out I walked with them to the Louis Riel park/tomb/church close to the hospital. Now, as we were walking back to the hospital, Rick picked up Robin and carried her on his shoulders just so we could walk the same speed. For no reason in particular a guy walking behind us mentioned, "your daughter's butt is hanging out". Which in and of itself is a small problem...whatever...but he thought it needed to be mentioned and we weren't sure if he was joking around or i stopped and making sure i was catching his point i asked him to repeat himself...this time more vehemently he repeat that this little girl was immodest and her parents were this time he was right beside us and it seemed apparent that this was a big deal to i came beside the man and was trying to usher him by us and i mentioned to him that he could keep walking hand touched his back and instantaneously he turned and kicked me in the stomach...needless to say i was a little thrown off...there was no more physical contact...which seemed wise at this point since the combined weight of Rick and myself was about 3 times his this point his side of the conversation consisted mostly of words that aren't worth repeating and not fit for family radio...apparently that slight contact on my part insinuated that i may be confused on the type of gender i choose to love...also...we were all cowards...and speaking directly to Robin...your parents are from Satan...and as he was walking away from us...unfortunately i couldn't stop smiling and so...he shared with me that if i didn't stop smiling he'd find me and he'd have a knife next anyway that was our pleasant walk in the park......

on a completely different note...i was really encourage from reading 'the purpose driven life' today...i often forget that the main thing God desires is a relationship with us...he doesn't love us because of what we do...He just loves encouraged...and have and awesome day...earl
Good morning...back at the hospital here it looks like chemo will be underway anytime...Ramona's dressing is being done right now...the hydration will start...then the chemo starts pouring in a few hours...Ramona looks as good as healthy as I've ever seen her in the was hard for her to hear they were going to make her sick again...for now...earl

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

They just finished Ramona's ultrasound...either she has a lot of infection...or there is dead tumor...they don't know...while we wait...they'll give her a transfusion...likely chemo will start tomorrow...pray that it is dead tumor and not infection...and by the way...we have had a really awesome day in spite of all this...thank you so much for praying...earl
We're back home at St. Boniface...I've been impressed how Ramona is handling all the delays that they are throwing at us...i was going to write a long list...but i'll save that for some other day...right now...Ramona is waiting for an ultrasound to see how bad her biopsy wound infection is...we think it should be good enough to get some antibiotics and continue with chemo...but apparently we're not doctors...we're actually thankful that they take things chemo is on hold right now...also...Ramona's hemoglobin is low again so they will be doing a transfusion in the afternoon...after they take the TPA out of her formerly plugged PICC line........anyway...that's the medical story for be continued...
Keep up the good fight,

Monday, September 25, 2006

Hey everybody
Well in about half an hour Earl & I are off to the city to begin my 4th round of chemo. Chemo won't actually start today but the bloodwork and hydration does. To put it quite simply and honestly, this is something that I am dreading immensely. The last few days have been truly amazing. I have been so incredibly healthy. Many times it has felt like 'the good old times'. Not only have I felt good physically but my spirit seemed happier than it had in a while. And yet there are times when it all hits me and the only way to describe my emotions is that I am sad. Somehow feeling so good makes it so hard to go to a hospital and be stuck on my ward and get sick. However I know that it's the only way and praise God that we know chemo is working. One of the biggest fears that I have for this round is that I will get anxious like I did last round. I have decided to refuse the drugs that make me anxious and rather deal with the nausea. I guess I'm writing this to ask all of you to pray that God would keep the anxiety away. It means so much to me that I know that I can tell you this and so, so many people will be praying. Thank you
Well Earl has cooked up a delicious brunch so I'll go

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Wow, a blog! This is cool.

Wow, a blog! This is cool.

Hello from Steinbach!

This is Ramona's Uncle Ray with some info about a new website and an upcoming fundraiser.

The fundraiser, Friends of Ramona 24 Hour Hockey Marathon, will be in Mitchell Manitoba beginning Friday Oct 6 at 7pm and ending Saturday Oct 7 at 7:45 pm. This is a recreational level hockey event that will require at least 100 players over the 24 hours. We have been asking local businesses and individuals to sponsor this event for the last few weeks, and now we are asking all blog readers to join us in making this event a huge success. We have been working on this for some time now, but we need many more players and we need many more sponsors to help reach our fundraising goal.

Players are asked to pay (or raise the amount in pledges) an entry fee of $50 each to play up to 10 hours over the course of the event. Players who raise $100 or more will keep the commemorative Friends of Ramona hockey jersey. Entry deadline is October 2, so don't delay!

We are asking businesses to sponsor the event (businesses may use this as an advertising expense) and individuals to donate to the event. We are expecting this to be a fairly large scale event with local news, radio and newspaper coverage. All profits raised will be forwarded to Ramona Reimer Trust Fund, and as previously determined, in the event that we raise more than needed for this cause the remaining money would be donated to Cancer Research in Canada.

The Player entry form as well as the Donation/Sponsor form is now available on the new website,

The website, will be up in full very shortly. Limited info is on the site now but it should be complete sometime this weekend, so keep checking back! The site will be your primary source for fundraising information (dates, times, forms, pictures, contact info etc.)

The organizing group for this event is Ramona's family in the Steinbach area (Petkau Grandma, her Children and Grandchildren). We have come together for "brainstorming sessions" as a big group and numerous small "coffee time" meetings as well. We are all looking forward to a great celebration of what God is doing in the lives of Earl and Ramona and so many others as a result. We hope you will join us in anticipation of Ramona's healing.

Your involvement as a business sponsor, individual donor, player, referee, volunteer or spectator is greatly appreciated. Please contact us with any questions.

Ray Petkau
204-326-6201 home/office
204-371-9146 cell

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Since we last wrote we have spent two mornings in the Arborg Hospital. And Ramona still has the same amount of blood as before. The first morning was a wee bit frustrating...Apparently Greyhound was supposed to drop off the blood in Arborg...instead they missed the drop off and the blood travelled safely back to Winnipeg...and so the blood went back to the blood bank got re-packed and sent to Arborg via another route and this time arrived safely in Arborg this this point in life Mony is feeling quite a bit better so a blood count was done again to see if Ramona really needed the make a long confusing time short and to the point Ramona doesn't need the transfusion we left...and another thing...her white blood cell count is really scared the doctor(until he found out that Ramona is taking Neupogen which is a drug that help the white blood cells) ya...we continue on with life...thank you so much for the helps us retain our focus...earl (and mony is laying right beside me here)

Monday, September 18, 2006

Well we're sitting on our couch at home after a fairly eventful weekend. Friday night after celebrating my dad's birthday at my parent's house Ramona had a fever, and we headed straight to st. b. Ramona spent the night in emerge with everything relatively under control but on some pretty intense antibiotics. Saturday was a day of waiting for the oncologist in around 4 o'clock they discharged Ramona...and at relatively the same time Ramona started feeling a little worse...we weren't even sure we should bother coming home, but we did.....on Sunday afternoon while I was playing hockey in Gimli with the boys...Ramona had a fever again and her parents took her to st. midnight they discharged her and we went to the Norwood hotel expecting a blood transfusion this morning...for those of you interested in numbers...on Friday Ramona's white blood count was 0.4 and by Sunday night it was 1.3...non-chemo humans would have numbers ranging from 4.5 to 11...anyway...the transfusion didn't happen today...but we're expecting it to happen tomorrow morning in many ways it feels like the spiritual battle is increasing...this is fully into chemo with all the pains and side effects...the novelty of excitedly becoming healthy is different when there is such a realization that the chemicals will be flowing in again right away bringing in a fresh wave of pain.....on a slightly different note...when Mony and I write our book when we're 90 years will have a few really long chapters about relationships with family/friends/each other/strangers/medical professionals/and God....but i'm not 90 yet...i'll quit writing...earl

Friday, September 15, 2006

A picture

This is us on December 3, 2005. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I guess we haven't posted much in the last few days...which is a combination of a few things...first of all...Ramona has been feeling significantly better in the last few days...there was no wheelchair needed to get out of the hospital on Monday...and things at home have been.......fairly normal....i guess...We keep in touch with the hospital staff...and visit local hospitals...but that is the definition of normal...Ramona has been helping out my dad in school here a bit and helping her sisters do homework...and things like that...i have been helping the housemovers with a few local moves in the last two days.....sometimes it's nice to act like the cancer doesn't exist for just a little bit...everything on the blog feels like it is cancer related and that sometimes makes it hard to the same time...when life is is incredibly encouraging to realize how many people are praying on our behalf...and this blog is a nice connecting point....keep praying hard...there is still minor infections and a a slight cold in Ramona's any point this may become a serious problem and we will be in St. B......Ramona and I have been reading in the book 'Purpose Driven Life' by Rick Warren recently...It is once again so good to put things in perspective...that book is written with eternity in mind...instead of trying to sum up that book i think i should go rest beside my wife soon...earl

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Good morning...we may or may not be attending mass here at St. B this morning...actually...while i'm trying to joke around here i should check how many different kinds of a Christian a person can be in this hospital...anyway...things seem to be going quite well here...Ramona has yet to vomit this round...the worst thing seems to be a sort of drug induced's pretty intense at times...Ramona really needs to be the one to explain what it feels like...we also both have colds at this point...if Ramona still has it in a week...that will not be a good thing...everything seems to be on pace for us to be out of here on Monday morning...also...i had written a long update the other night while i was in deep thinking mood...i read it over and realized i couldn't publish it...there has been some learning about God in the last few days...later...earl

Thursday, September 07, 2006

I guess we were in for a little suprise again today. After Ramona and I were outside we came back to the ward for what we thought would be a little surgery to remove potential infection from the site of her biopsy wound. It turns out that they put her under for surgery, but on the bright side they found little/no infection...what may cause pain in the wound is that the tumor is dying and the dead cells in the middle of the tumor have no where to go...essentially what this little surgery did was make the wound bigger and raw again so that it can heal faster...a dying tumor i would say is a 'good' reason for pain...I haven't talked to Dr. Wong alot since we heard about the CT Scans...Ramona's day nurse-Michelle- told us that Dr. Wong was starting to mention the idea of surgery...this is quite something from the doctor who said this was incurable and that surgery was not an option unless they thought they could get everything....praise God...I'm going to go get some sleep...earl
just a quick note...we are downstairs in the hospital reading the comments is a huge encouragement for us...we'll head outside and get some fresh air before Ramona's freedom is over...i'll fill in life's details later...earl

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Hugs all around....We definitely heard some exciting news today...they suprised us with a CT Scan today...the scan shows that the lung and auxilla (armpit) tumors have shrunk significantly...this is a giant answer to prayer....our doctor told us we aren't nearly out of the woods yet...but this is incredibly significant...i can see a mess of medical information floating around out of news like this so i will keep things vague until i have a clear picture of what this all means...for now...the chemo continues...they have reduced the chemo because Ramona has had serious infection both times after treatment......anyway....keep praying hard...i have been hit with something lately as well...focus on your relationship with God...He isn't just a giant vending machine that gives us things when he feels like far as visiting here is concerned...pretend this is our party hard every night makes people tired...but it sure is boring alone...since july 4 we have spent 24 nights at home and 21 in the's hard to know how to sum up everything with one toonie in a kiosk...we just thank God for the way he showed Himself today...earl

Sunday, September 03, 2006

We just want to praise God for the wedding yesterday...already in the first round of chemo we had the invitation to Reg & Ang's wedding posted on the wall of Ramona's room as a motivation for Ramona to get out of the hospital...and after the second round now it was Ramona's goal to be at the wedding and to eat all the wedding food...and honestly...a week ago when she was in emergency and hadn't eaten properly in about 5 seemed unlikely...yesterday....we were at the wedding...Ramona was healthy enough to be candlelighter and to help with other wedding things and she ate alot of food (including the delicious cheesecake my mom made) other, but related news Ramona also received some new hair...not only does it look amazing, but it provides a great way to frighten unsuspecting people...all joking around aside...the last week has posed interesting questions for me/us...i think about the blog/everyone praying/our church/myself/cancer/healing etc...and i wonder what is missing...God has chosen not to heal Ramona yet....there are many people we know how to pray?...i was tempted to ask everyone i knew to fast and pray for 3 days before the big CT Scan that is coming up in 10ish days...but something doesn't seem right...for myself i feel like i don't even have a clue who I'm talking to...i'll just spend three days begging an impersonal force to heal my wife.....the cliche of making my relationship with God #1 is my big question of late...what does that look like?...who is God?...I threw some of these comments at Al Friesen the other night...he told me to show up at church on Sunday because he was speaking on these type of's time to go change Ramona's dressing and get ready to head to church...for now...earl