Sunday, August 31, 2008

Keeping me Occupied

As you can see, this is the birth announcement of my newest grandbaby. I want to thank Brooke Owens Slack for making it up for Tara, and I wanted to tell you what's on my mind this week.On Monday, I had minor surgery to take out my port a cath, and I got very sick from the anesthesia mixed with pain pills, and I felt like I had had a SUPER dose of chemo. Luckily i t only lasted 24 hrs, and I started feeling better. Last week before the surgery, I had a SUDDEN attack of a UTI. I have never had one, but it was as painful as giving birth with no epidural. I got a blessing and some antibiotics and was back to normal about 3 hours later. I feel lucky that my bad days have been short lived. I wanted to let you see the fun moments I have had lately with Tara's new little KENYA. Tara and Heather wanted to try their hand at being ANNE GEDDES wannabes. We had a lot of fun and got these cute pictures.
I felt so good by Friday, Aug 30th, I went to the Reber reunion up at Pine Valley and slept under the stars , it was so refreshing to get out of the heat. It was very uplifting to see family that I don't get to see much and feel of their love and support. all I can say is I AM A VERY LUCKY GIRL!! Thank you all for your concern
. I have high hopes that things are going to go well, and I will be up to speed by Christmas. I went back to aerobics class this week and found out that all the energy that L used to have is about 75% gone, but that's understandable, but I am going to try to go back 3 times a week if the radiation doesn't wipe me out. so for now, I am really enjoying little Kenya, and starting to put "Karen" back together.

I have been told by more than one person that I am going to be a new Karen, it's like cleaning out a messy closet. You pull everything out and dump it all over the floor, but then you start putting back the things in the closet that you REALLY want and need and throw the rest away, and you feel better about your clean closet.
Well, that's me , I have been that mess on the floor, but thanks to all of you and your faith, and a Merciful Savior, I am throwing out a lot of unnecessary things and putting myself back together with only good and useful things. I think I have cleared up any bad feelings that I have had with others;, gotten rid of all my grudges, and I am giving everyone the benefit of the doubt. AND IT FEELS GREAT.
By the way, the medicines the Dr has me on are really making me feel better. I see them as a blessing from Heavenly Father and His Son.
I love you all and I will forever.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Last Chemo treatment has been completed...WOW

Well, here it is, chemo #8, it's absolutely amazing that I have made it through 8 chemotherapy treatments. Now, I'll give myself about 3 weeks to get over all of this, especially since the doctors and nurses keep insisting that each chemo gets more lethal, just because of the cumulative effect. The last 2 treatments have been quite easy ones with all the extra fluids they have been giving me, but this one hasn't been quite as easy, probably to be expected. Especially since so many of you fasted that this would be the final "kick off" to all remaining cancer cells. Words cannot express to you how much it means to me that you would fast and pray for me.

This is my friend Paige Allred, we wanted to have our last chemo together. She was struggling with some bad side effects, so they split her last 2 chemos into 4, making them half strength, so she will still go in 2 more times, and I am going to show up just to keep her company. She really encourages me so much. Tara brought little Kenya, (Now 6 wks old) in to see me too. I was so happy that it was my last day of treatment that I made a big batch of cinnamon rolls, and Paige made homemade cheese ball and chips and salsa. We tried to make it a party, but neither of us had much of an appetite, but it was the spirit of the party that was important! Please pray for Paige too, she has 3 little ones under 6, and has kept going regardless of 3 surgeries, and all these chemos. She's 28 yrs old and has a great attitude.

I wanted you to see two of my ANGEL nurses that have truly nurtured me through all this. I have missed my mom more than I ever imagined, and there were times when these nurses would rub my shoulders and give me hugs and listen to me cry, and give me encouragement all the time. This first one is Beth, and the 2nd one is Julia. I truly felt that they loved me, and there were other nurses every bit as helpful that I didn't get pictures of, but the Lord is with these people who are in the service of those in need, and I am SO grateful. It has changed my life forever, (I hope and pray this compassion stays with me)

The next step is to have a minor surgery next week to have my PORT out, it is where all the meds and fluids have gone in , but apparently it is in the way of where the radiation needs to go, so after a couple weeks of recovery, I will start radiation, with Dr. Richards, and he says I will be tired and sunburned feeling, but not near as bad as the chemo. I figure that puts me finished with treatments around Halloween.

I have discovered things about myself that I don't know if I would have ever realized had I not gone through this. When you are asking the Savior to heal you, it makes you wonder if you have pleased him or not over the years, and what can you do to be more like him, after all, he says, "Come Follow Me". I think I have made it too hard over the years for myself and ALL He wants is my heart, everything else is already his. I can now commit to give him all of my heart, and TRY to live like him, maybe sometimes fail, then TRY again, and never give up. My first big project is to read everything I can about HIM. Heavenly Father knows this is a sacrifice for me, but He is helping me to make it easier.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


-This is Tara writing.

On behalf of my mom I wanted to let you know that this Friday is my moms last chemo treatment. While we are very happy that this is her last one, its a little scary to because this is the last chance for the medicine to go in and kill any more cancer cells if any. We are going to have a family/friends fast on Sunday Aug 17th. We wanted to invite anyone who is willing to participate with us, but if your not able to fast we always appreciate prayers! :) We want the lords will to be done, and are hoping and praying it means that the chemo therapy was successful. Thank you all for all the love and support you have given my family especially my mom during this hard time. I think that is why my mom has done pretty well these last few months because of all your faith and prayers.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Chemo #7

actually this picture is from a couple weeks ago. We were on top of the houseboat, and my 18 yr old son had just had his wisdom teeth out, and his pain pills made him feel like dancing, which got everyone in on the act. FUN times. (once in a lifetime picture)

This is my oldest grandson, Damon. He has come with me twice to chemotherapy, I'm not sure why he wants to, but he brought his coloring stuff and sat at a table for most of the 2 hrs I was there. In this picture, I am actually just getting IV treatments of fluid and medicine to help curb the chemo effects. Damon is 6 and he prays daily for help with my chemotherapy, maybe he's proud that he knows a word that no one else his age does. this is Kalia, she is Heathers only little girl, 11mos old, until Nov when another little girl will arrive. Just like all little kids, she loves the phone, and it has to be a REAL phone too!

This is a typical afternoon at my house when all the kids are there, and this week, after treatment #7, I had Krystal and her family, Heather and her family, and Tara and her family here. We just all pile on my bed, but I got to hold baby Kenya!!

this is Kyla (Yeah, there's 3 of them, Kyla, Kalia and Kenya) she is Krystal's 3rd child, and just as true to the telephone as these kids are, they want the REAL remote too1
This is my best friend from high school, and after 30 years she still loves me and came up from vegas to spend the day with me. I do NOT deserve this much love, but I am the luckiest girl in the world to have so many people care about me
Now, to bring you up to date on the chemos. It's almost impossible for me to believe that I have done SEVEN treatments. The original number was 8, and the Dr hasn't said any reason to change that, so on Aug 18th, I will have my last chemo treatment and approximately 3 weeks later, I will start radiation, and do that M-F for 6 weeks. I am going to ask if they can just radiate my whole body, that should keep it from coming back, dont ya think?
I don't know how often we will be checking lab work and pet scans, but I will be bugging them to do them every other day. j/k There has truly been a miracle with these last two treatments. The Dr has given me these IV fluids that are keeping me from being nauseated. He put me on meds that are controlling the anxiety, and so now I just feel like a lazy bum around the house trying to think positive thoughts. I still don't have enough ambition to clean out closets or anything, we'll save that for spring cleaning or something. The ONLY thing I can complain about right now is my meltdowns. They still happen every 3 or 4 days, but I think I figured it out. It's because I don't have any estrogen anymore. They've taken that all away, then you take away my energy and my normal everyday life, and who wouldn't cry?? I always feel better after a good cry, but please don't take it personal if you find me in one of these heaps on the floor. I think it came with the package deal, and I want to finish what I have started!! And I feel the Holy Ghost has told me that this "Karen" isn't permanent, I am going to be the better version when I get out of this refiner's fire.