Friday, October 17, 2008



I have learned many things in the last 7 months and the first one is: Life is precious, everyone's life. I have come to love many songs that seem to say just what I am feeling, but I had Tara record this one. It is called "YOU GIVE" I was just going to put the words to the song, but then I realized if you could hear it, it might be even better. You might be able to relate to it, even if you haven't been through exactly what I have, you have been through "LIFE", and probably a few bumps, big and small, and we can all relate to that. This is going to be the beginning of "THE LIST OF WHAT I HAVE LEARNED". As I have gone through this experience, I have known all along that I was supposed to be learning something from it. One thing about breast cancer is, it doesn't take your life away overnight, like some tragedies do, thus there must be lessons to be learned for both the patient and all of their loved ones, family and friends. Before I list what I have learned, I want you to read these words, then click on the "play" button and listen to Hilary Weeks sing this and see if you agree with it.


You give me sight when I can't see

You give me breath when I can't breathe

And You give me love and You give me peace

Amd You always seem to give just what I need

You take my doubt and replace it with truth

You take my fear so all I see is You

You take me as I am and You take me by the hand

You see to my soul and You take just what I need.

You give me strength and You give me life

You give me hope and You give me light

You take my pain and You take my shame

You bless me to see the give and take is just what I need

You give and take away and refine me day by day

As you lead me through the bitter and sweet

I am trusting you to make me complete

Though You see the heartache, you're sending your sweet grace

As You give.....................and You take

Please send Your perfect grace.......... as You give................. and You take.

So here's the list of the things I have learned in the year 2008, things that I probably would not have learned any other way.

1. Life is Precious

2. I need to RELY on the Holy Ghost continually.

3. Doubt not, fear not: faith and fear cannot exist at the same time.

4. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are in charge

5. I need to improve my relationship with my Redeeemer, who understands exactly how I am feeling.

6. Grudges, bad feelings, and hurt feelings are USELESS to hold onto: Let them go

7. Anyone who seems unkind or unfriendly is experiencing a private pain or suffering of their own that we cannot see.

8. The Savior has shown me firsthand what mercy is: getting something benefecial that we haven't earned.

9. No way can I ever EARN my way into His kingdom, I will NOT be perfectly worthy in this life, but if I can become His partner, as he has invited me to be, I will qualify.

10. He wants me to take these feelings of love that I have for everyone and show mercy to all of God's children......because I NEVER know their whole story..... only HE does.

11. I am overcome with LOVE , such as I have never known. I am truly a blessed person, and I am VERY , VERY grateful to such loving angels around me , and angels unseen, and a Heavenly Father and a Savior that love me without end.

12. I know now that I will never waver again, I know that the Father and the Son live, and their mission is to mercifully bring us home better people than we were we left his presence.

13. One last thing comes to my mind tonight, I will NEVER be able to repay all of you for your kindnes and concern and love for me, so I want you to know this: I will "Pay it forward" at every opportunity I have.

14. I love everyone of you that has read my blog, and sent me such uplifting comments, I love everyone of you that has come to visit me, I love everyone of you that has sent me a card or called me on the phone. I want you to know that I want to be there for you if this situation ever arises in your life. I pray that it won't , but it might. My love is 4-ever, Love, Karen

(PS I will finish radiation on Wed. Oct 22nd, but it will be a month or so before I know anything about my condition. Thank you once again for your prayers, they have made a huge difference in me being able to handle all of this. Let us all remember to THANK HIM for answering our prayers.)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Radiation:no problem, but still not much HAIR!!

Krystal bought a whole bunch of inexpensive t-shirts that say SAN DIEGO on them at Old Navy. Since Eric is on a mission there, we love to think about that place. We hope his mission president will let us come pick him up, but if not, he can take us back on a trip to meet everyone.
Krystal's husband has a great camera, so my 4 silly daughters wanted to take a picture of us jumping up in the air, this is right before we "Took Off".......

I am feeling much better, the weather is so beautiful and cool, I love to be outside and you can see our back yard (all 10 acres of it that the city owns) makes a beautiful background.
Dale really wanted to have a place on the front part of the house that I could sit on and relax, so we took our old pink couch that is in great shape, but just very outdated in color and put a couch cover on it. I think I told you that he has been going crazy over planting flowers ALL over the yard, front and back, isn't this one pretty right next to me?He told me the other day that this PLANTING spree he's been on is his therapy for handling what's happening to me. He said he wants me to have a positive environment. It is looking very pretty and refreshing, I love it.

I wondered if anyone wanted to see what my hair growth looks like. I have not done chemo since Aug 15th, and I am feeling a touch impatient with it's SLOW growth back, even worse is that is appears to be GRAY!!
Now look at these pretty flowers. Dale and I had a 2 night get away and when we got ready to go, Dale had cut all these different roses , one from each bush he has planted. We thought is was so pretty, but I feared it would tip over in the car so we did not take it with us to the hotel.

Ok, here we are , we have made our jump up just so you could see how much energy I have back. It's not all back, and I am a little lower than the strong YOUNGER girls, even Heather got higher than me, and she is 8 months pregnant. The grandkids were all jealous that we were having so much fun, so we took a rather calm picture with all of them.

Krystal and Heather are holding their own babies , but I am holding Tara's new daughter, Kenya, and Kimberlee is holding Krystal's daughter Allie. Tara's twins were fighting over the CAR that we have, so Maddux decided he would ride around on the top, until he fell off. I don't think you can tell here, but Damon is going to be asking for his 2 front teeth for Christmas. In his hand, he had a little special box holding the tooth, since one of his previous losses really did get lost and even though he wrote a note to the tooth fairy, he didn't get very much money, so he wasn't taking a chance on losing this one.
I was told that I would have 30 radiations, and if you can believe it, I have already done 22. Only 8 more to go. I am NOT fatigued at all, and only a slight pink sunburn is starting that doesnn't hurt at all. I asked the DR how we could tell if this was working, and he said they can't. I was a little surprised, and asked why we do it. I guess there have been clinical trials where they did a lumpectomy and radiation (this is when the lymph nodes are not involved) and they found they don't have recurrence of lumps in that breast. Then they had women who just had the lumpectomy and NO radiation, and most of them had new lumps 6-12 months later, so I guess we are just ASSUMING that it is killing any microscopic cancer cells that the surgeon couldn't catch. The chemotherapy was for the bloodstream, which is if any cell broke off from the original tumor (there's only hundreds of thousands of cells on one tumor), it would travel through the bloodstream looking for somewhere else to set up camp. The chemo should have killed ANY cells that were multiplying and dividing quickly, and my tumor was very aggressiive Now, what do I do after all therapy is done? it's kind of scary. We had a lesson in Relief Society today about trials, and how we HAVE TO BE TRIED AND PROVEN, and the most important thing to Heavenly Father is for us to trust HIS WILL. As scared as I was of dying, I felt more peace today, and had a stronger desire to do whatever HE wants me to do. In Sacrament meeting, we sang, "I'll go where you want me to go", and I thought it Really is the Best to turn your will over to the Lord, and say, "What do you want me to do next?"

I am really trying to not be a brat about all this.
I am still reading JESUS THE CHRIST, and I can't believe it, I am enjoying it, even when I don't understand what he's really saying, but it's very interesting. I am feeling tonight that I can TRUST the Lord more, where at the beginning, I knew that was my weakness, so I am making progress.

Does anyone want to go out to lunch somewhere and celebrate when I finally get an answer from my regular cancer doctor that I have a few more years to live? I think before Christmas, he will order a PET scan that looks for any cancer spots or tumors that are anywhere else in the body. If the chemo did it's job,(along with all the prayers), there shouldn't be any more cancer. Now I will have to do self exams monthly and regular checkups and blood tests to stay on top of this. I know your prayers are still helping, THANX AGAIN I LOVE YOU ALL, Karen