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.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

In the swing of things!

Hello Friends,
Well, I'm approaching my first year anniversary. I had my cytoreductive surgery with heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy on November 10th, 2005. I finished my folfox + avastin chemo on June 16th, 2006. I'm feeling pretty well, though not 100%, yet. I say - yet - because my energy level improves slowly and steadily.

Meanwhile, I've reentered my life. I am keeping quite busy! It seems I am more busy now than I was before my surgery! I'm trying to help in my kids' classrooms, at the school and at church. Tom and I are also pretty active right now with the Pendleton Foundation (www.thependletonfoundation.org).

Our fundraiser is coming up November 9th at Rancho Las Palmas. See the website for more information. The Foundation popped up after the community came together to raise money for my surgery. Everyone involved wanted to continue to help other people who face fighting a rare cancer. One of the things that is most frustrating about having a rare cancer is finding and getting to the doctors who have the most experience with the kind of cancer you have. So the foundation was formed to help patients get to the specialists they need to consult with and then help with any medical treatments. Everyone involved with the Pendleton Foundation has a heart for this cause.

Now, more personal information. I have been really struggling with overcomiting myself to things. I'm so eager to be active again and have a new desire to help other people. However, my energy level can't keep up with my ambitions. I'm trying to find the balance between, family, sports, church, school and Jazzercise. It seems that every sport my kids are involved in requires parents volunteers. I don't mind that, but it's hard to fit in! Jazzercise is a blessing in that it really helps me get stronger and blow off the stress of the day. I'm really thankful for my students and fellow instructors who support me so much. They don't seem to mind when I huff and puff toward the end of class!! People also expect you to be "normal" again. They want you back the way you were. It's hard to jump right back into your life after not participating for a while. I feel like I've been a couch potato for 8 months and am now trying to run a marathon with only 2 months of training. The transition can't happen that quickly! Attending Gilda's Club in Cathedral City has been a great help. The support groups there are great. What I like about it is that the groups are for anyone with any kind of cancer. There are a lot of support groups for colon, lung, breast and prostate cancer. Not too many for appendix/colon cancer! Gilda's club is so great. If you know anyone dealing with cancer, check them out.

Well, I have to run now. I really want to thank you for your continued interest. The adventure with cancer doesn't end when the treatment ends. There are new struggles and challenges. I never expected that.



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