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,


Anonymous said...

Hi Karen :) I know what you mean about people (mostly dr's and nurses) thinking your crazy for believing that you'll beat this! People do beat cancer every day, and even stage IV cancer! I'm sure you'll be one of them and I will too! :) I think about you often.
From one stage IV survivor mother to another, Alisa :)

Don said...

Joy can surprisingly shine through when we don’t let the horizon’s clouds interfere. I’ve dusted off the memory of Snoopy‘s “Feelin’ Groovy!” poster. Charles Schutz also suffered with colon cancer which now somehow adds more profound meaning to that simple message.

It is a beautiful day…. Hold Fast

Don MacLeod

Anonymous said...

You are beautiful regardless ofbeing bald,acne even a mustache!! And i'm sure you look cute with it!!! I do miss you and want to see you soon!!!! Please know you are in my prayers/thoughts everyday. I love you and you will beatthis crap!!!

Anonymous said...

Karen- you are so awesome to keep your humor despite all. You are definelty a beautiful person so I find it hard to believe that anyone can miss that even wihtout your hair or a bumpy face. It is very easy to look past all that with you. keep going and YES you will live till 80 ( and probably beat the rest of us!) I'm praying ALOT for you!

Anonymous said...

You are the most beautiful person I know (with or without your hair)! They say beauty comes from within and you have it by the bucket load! As for those non believers don't give them a second thought. You'll get Dr Dan on Oprah yet! 4.5 wow - what a result! Keep up that fighting spirit - I think you're amazing. Lots of love
Teresa xx
p.s. The boys send you big hugs, smiles and kisses XX