Karen's Page

Welcome to Karen's Page, a web page intended to keep Karen's family and friends informed about her cancer. Karen, age 40, has a rare form of cancer called Pseudomyxoma Peritonei. She and her husband Tom have 2 children ages 4 and 7.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Pididdle

Hi Friends,
Tom and Tucker are away for a camping/Legoland birthday celebration with one of Tucker's good friends and his Dad. I wasn't up to hosting a party this year. He's having a blast.

I lost some sleep last night. I got angry about my situation. This does not happen to me often. I guess it's good. I'm already tired of dealing with cancer. I'm tired of the chemo (I've only had 3 sessions) and I'm tired of it running my life. I want my old life back. I want my kids to see me healthy. I don't want to have to chose between going to church and taking my 4 yr. old to see the Curious George movie, because I don't have the energy to do both. I'm missing my 8 yr. old birthday, because I can't walk around Legoland. I'm missing out. I want to work out whenever I want to. I want to teach Jazzercise. I don't want to get used to laying around.

I want to fight this cancer. I want to beat it. I want enlightenment. I know this is happening for a reason. I know that my God is with me, holding me up, and loving me. My family is awesome. My 4 yr. old thinks it's fun to sit around and watch movies with Mommy (even if I have to suffer through Blues Clues a million times). Forgive me for rambling. I can hardly sort out my feelings, sometimes.

What does pididdle mean? It's a word my mother used whenever she felt frustrated or indignant.

Love,
Karen

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Round 3 is done!

Hi.
Well, round 3 of my chemo is done. It went well, though I was emotionally drained. I really hate to go there. The doctors, nurses, nursing assistants, and front desk personnel are really terrific. Everyone is sooooo nice. I just hate to go. I started out the treatment in tears. The other patients were so kind to try and cheer me up. Then an amazing thing happened. A good friend left me a gift there. It was a dancing and singing red gorilla, for Valentine's Day. That gift couldn't have been more perfect. I played with it, and the other patients enjoyed it as well. I still teared up throughout the morning, but just had to look at my gorilla and knew that I am blessed by such great friends and even strangers, who pray for me.

I feel pretty good today, but I know that starting tomorrow, I will start to feel the real fatigue and nausea. The tingling in my fingers has already started (couldn't peel a orange for my son last night)! Tom's parents and youngest brother are here and are helping out quite a bit. I'm so lucky.

Well, I'm doing my laundry now, while I feel decent. So, I better get back to it. Thanks again, to everyone out there who are praying. Going through chemo is really the pits, but I'll make it.

Love,
Karen

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

A good week

Hi Friends,
Hi! I just wanted you all to know that it has been a good week. I have attended several jazzercise classes and have actually made it through the whole class! I'm totally excited about that. It's really amazing the difference in how I feel this week from how I felt last week. That chemo really does a number on you. My energy level is so much better. Still not 100%, but definitely better.
I have come to the realization that my life is not going to be what I want it to be, right now. And I'm not going to feel the way I want to feel. It's been a hard pill to swallow, but I'm slowly accepting my situation. I'm truly amazed at the other chemo patients who seem to have good attitudes. I met one man last week that went golfing with his grandson after his chemo. Amazing. Each chemo drug has different side effects and different time frames when the side effects show up. Maybe his showed up later! I don't know. I still think it's amazing.
I am getting ready for a great weekend with my yaya girlfriends. I hope I can keep up just a little bit. So, shopping, good food and great company are in store for me.

Love,
Karen

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Thursday. Status: Ehhh.

It’s Thursday afternoon, and Karen has weathered the first day just about completely without me, from 6:00AM until about 8:00PM. She hung in there, but when I arrived home to find Tucker sitting on our bed reading to her, not 15 seconds would pass without her cracking into a huge yawn. She’s really bushed.

As we lay there and chatted, I had the opportunity to do something that I have not in several weeks: Do an up close incision inspection. Now, don’t worry, I know that this is a G rated show. . . but what I see is really encouraging. If you all remember, the incision runs from just about her sternum up top all the way down to the middle of her pelvis. From day one it was quite the site, and the stitching for a while was rather red and angry in places. The scar was rather stiff, painful, and rather uneven in how it was healing so of course Karen was rather unhappy with how it looked. Now, however, it looks pretty good for what it is. The tissue has softened up and Karen says that it does not feel so tight and touchy anymore. Cool.

It is strange to see her without a belly button. I know that I have mentioned this little fact more than once but it is such an anomaly that I may never see it as a usual thing. But she looks really good and has definitely returned to her ‘Karen the Hot Jazzercise Mama” look. I am so proud. The lack of energy has Jazzercise Mama pretty frustrated, though.

We are learning to plan with the chemo as part of the schedule, and you’ll notice that I did not say necessarily around the chemo. When Dr. Luke advised us to not live our lives around the chemo sessions, but rather move the chemo to our wiles, well, we took that to heart. So Heed Us, vile substance!

We have plans.

It has been a good week, but I am very excited to have the weekend upon us. I am going to do one of my favorite things on Saturday, and that is to tinker with Barnaby the Airstream pretty much all day. With the SANT (See America NOW Tour) starting soon, he must be in top shape! As his restorer and keeper, I enjoy tinkering with him a great deal as well as making little changes here and there.

We are going to be in town this weekend, and it will be nice to just . . . . be. You know?

Tom

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

How am I feeling?

Hi Friends,
This has been a common question lately - how are you feeling? Well, overall, I'm feeling just okay. Which is way better than it could be!! I'm tired and have moments of nausea. I have been able to run errands and such, but usually come back tired. I want to thank everyone who has helped bring meals for my family. This is helping so much right now. You all know that cooking isn't my strongest talent, so it's such a relief not to worry about "what to make for dinner". This time around in my chemo treatment (no.2), I'm feeling more of the cold sensitivity (neuropathy). My throat hurts if I eat or drink anything cold. It's so strange. I tried to eat an ice cream sandwich the other night, and had to warm it up in my mouth before I could swallow it. It took the joy right out of eating it!! And my fingers tingle when I handle cold objects (mostly out of the refrigerator) too long. This is supposed to be a common side effect and will last for a while. Yuck. But, overall, the experience could be worse, so I try not to complain too much.

I had such a fabulous time in Vegas with our good friends. You may know a lot about it from Tom's view (scroll down to his account, if you haven't already read it). He's pretty accurate. I do, however, want to add my two bits about Ricky Martin. I fully expected a evening full of eye candy, watching him perform. He's such a great performer and entertainer. I am biased, but I really enjoy his music. He performed a lot from his new album and some fun spanish songs. I didn't have to understand the words to enjoy it! The light show was great and his band was phenomenal. I can't believe I actually made it through it all. He had a great combination of his upbeat songs and slow songs. I was able to sit and rest during the slow ones. He ended his performance with a call for peace in our communities and world. It was really nice. Ahhh.

Well, that's it for now. Unfortunately, I have not been to a jazzercise class lately. Hudson has been sick, and now I'm too tired from the chemo. But, I will be back to it soon - hopefully by the end of this week.

Love,
Karen