Monday, April 28, 2008

PET and CT Scans

Karen's doing well. After 3 months of CPT-11 chemo + Erbitux it's time for some scans. Her CEA is at a new low of 3.9 which is amazing. Tomorrow she'll undergo a CT and PET scans to detect for any activity.

We'll get the results at a consultation on Friday. Until then there's plenty to keep us distracted.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Waxed Mustache and Bald Head

Well I will keep this one short and sweet. My glorious, kind, loving friend Jill (who is also a hair stylist) shaved my head for me Monday night. It goes without saying it is not on anyone's top ten list of super-fun things to do, but it's done. It would have been a far worse experience if it wasn't for Jill, so Jill I thank you.
I also got my mustache waxed which made me so very happy!!! Thank you Jen and Sarah for being there for me.

Well that's it. I just wanted to let everyone know so if they see me they don't have to be like "oh I see you cut your hair." Sydney and Ethan see it as a different haircut that I got and Ethan told me he likes, and Sydney informs me she likes it with the scarf on. Gotta love it.

Lots of love to all,

Friday, April 18, 2008

Updates and Thoughts

Hello to all. Our most recent amazing news is that my CEA is down to 4.5! My heart was soaring when I was told and felt that beautiful emotion of hope. Thank you God.
I will be going for a pet/ct scan on the 29th. I feel very positive about these scans they will be a good checkpoint.

I had my most recent chemo last friday, and the week that follows is a difficult one for me both emotionally and physically. I am starting to feel better today, especially on the emotional side of things. I keep thinking of those words from Jesus, "who, by worrying can add a day to their life?" Much easier said than done but it is so true. Ever since I was diagnosed I look at the elderly and think "how did you get here, how did you make it to be old, I demand you tell me!"
But then it comes back to me that it is all out of our hands. And that is most likely a good thing.

It is a struggle at times to mentally blast through the negative. I told a nurse today at my erbitux infusion how I told Dr. Dan that I will be living well into my 80's or so, and she said (in a kind way) "hey never say never." I thought to myself these people are crazy! They think I am not gonna beat this!? It genuinely surprises me. They are not being cold but they know what they know and have seen what they have seen but I still say horse@!#*! But it is those kind of things that push you back sometimes and try to lure you to the dark side of your thoughts.

I also been thinking/dealing a lot with the superficial side effects of my meds. Since I have started the erbitux/cpt-11 combo I have been learning a lot about humility. My hair is definitely down the tubes (though I have been very fortunate to keep it this long). I will be shearing myself (well my friend Jill will be shaving it) probably in the next week or two and getting ready for a nice spring buzz cut. My skin is an acne-sandpaper disaster and God has decided to top it all off by giving me a nice mustache. Yes I said mustache. And I am not talking about the run of-the-mill female type of upper lip hair. I am talking about an italian-13-year-old boy type mustache deal (this is from the erbitux). I will be heading to the waxers soon. I mostly joke about these things and say they don't matter, but it still bothers me and obviously makes me a bit on the self-conscious side. I think to myself "you look hideous, you look terrible." Then I go out and people aren't running away screaming and I think, okay maybe I am not that scary.
When I am at Syd's school or at a party for one of her friends I do think "please don't judge me I'm a nice person!" When the parents are talking to me I am hardly listening because I am thinking "are they staring at my 'stache? Are they staring at my bald spots? Do they know I have cancer?" I am not going to lie, it's a hard lesson to learn. But I am learning from this that, yes, your exterior is your exterior, and doesn't reflect at all who you really are. I never realized that I struggled so much with this before but I obviously have. I know this sounds all very cliche, but it is my experience at the moment.

Thank you as always for your prayers and support, and I say to those who are struggling with whatever battle faces them to pray for courage.

I just want to also send out a delayed congrats to my sister Jen and her fiance Walter as they recently got engaged and are getting married this fall. We are very happy for you both.

I also want to thank my husband for his unconditional love and his tremendous strength. For listening to me and allllllllllll my many complaints, and for kissing me on the lips even though the stubble of my mustache scratches him. You are my hero, and I love you.

Much love,

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A Year with Cancer

Karen's doing well. Next chemo is this Friday.

Has it really been a year? April's here, and so I suppose I should mark the occasion. Karen was diagnosed on April 07th of 2007 and if you're just joining us you can catch up here [LINK].

On the one hand I could say the year has flown by. On the other it seems like a million years. A full year with an 800lb gorilla in the room.

Sometimes I feel like this year was stolen from us. Yet on the other hand we've probably grown more in this year alone than in the many years prior.

We've also encountered so many kind people and been blessed in many ways. This was always the case but now we are more cognizant of these blessings. As a friend of mine would say "we are living on the edge" and things are very raw.

I've known Karen since 1995, we'll be 10 years married in October. She's an amazing person and I can honestly say I've never been more proud of her.