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.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hi to anyone who is still checking this blog.

Well, it's been 2 1/2 years since my last surgery - the big mother of all surgeries. It's also been almost 2 year since I finished my chemotherapy. It's strange to even think of that time now. Our family has settled in to a nice "normal" routine involving church, school, and sports. Hudson is now 6 yrs. old and is enjoying first grade and baseball very much! Tucker is 10 yrs. old and is doing well at school, his sports and his french horn. My life has changed a lot.

As you know The Pendleton Foundation was born out of my experience with having to raise money to have the surgery that would best save my life. The foundation has grown into a nice little business. I started working there in October, 2007. I go in almost every day and work until I have to get home to the kids at 3:00 p.m. I'ts been a little difficult going from a "stay at home mom", volunteering at school and church, to working almost full time. It's been great to help shape how the foundation is run. I've accomplished a lot, but I want to do so much more to streamline the operations. We get up anywhere from 2-10 applicants a week. The needs vary quite a bit. We focus mainly on household expenses while a cancer patient is in treamtent: going through chemo, radiation or surgery. There are so many needs that sick people have. I wish I had more money to meet them all. Maybe some day we will! But for now, we will focus on the household expenses.

There are a couple of cool things that have come out of my experience working for The Pendleton Foundation (TPF). The main this is all of the really neat survivors I have met. I wish to meet more, in person, in the future. Time does not allow it right now because we are getting busier and busier! The other, more recent, event is seeing the birth of another foundation. One of our recipients was a little baby who needed treatment at St. Judes Hospital. The baby is now doing very well. In response the the great generosity of the foks here in Coachella Valley, her parents have established a foundation to help families of children with cancer!!! That sounds familiar doesn't it? I'm really excited about it!

One of the reasons why I decided to post after all of this time is that it seems that cancer is affecting more and more of the people that are close to me. This may be happening because of the community of survivors, social workers, etc.... that I'm involved in. Some have said that I'm their inspiration. It has brought to my mind who my inspiration was. I think that when you are diagnosed with cancer, you rely on the advise from those who have had it before you. Then you progress in to a role where you are the one giving advice. It's domino effect, except instead of knocking each other down, we build each other up. My friend, Skip, comes to mind specifically. He was one of my first phone calls after I was diagnosed. I called him when I found out how much money I needed for my surgery. He helped organize a fund raiser for me because he was the recipient of one. I know he since has organized another fund raiser for another mutual friend of ours. He was, and still is, so giving of his experience and time. He, most importantly, prayed with me. He was so strong and I know he helped more people than just me. He also supported The Desert Cancer Foundation by speaking at their fund raising events. I know people were inspired by him in that avenue as well. He was, and still is, a great role model. My point is that I'm so glad that I had someone to pattern after how I chose to react to my disease. I'm so glad he was there to show me how to be strong and positive and faithful. My hope is that anyone looking at me will also see a strong and faithful person. I am not perfect - I get angry, have doubts and question God. But not for long.

Thank you Skip - from the bottom of my heart. You have made an impact in this community.