Sunday, April 5, 2009 11:07 PM, CDT
Thank you all for your prayers. I was able to stay out of the hospital and no evidence of infection! Although I still am fatigued pretty easily and have some stomach issues, the last few days haven’t been too bad. On Thursday, I was able to see all of my children…Brett stopped by for a quick hello and Kalina and Steven met up with us at Coffea…we had to check out the beautiful new building (and cool floors Mr. Ferlin stained). Spending time with my children just tickles my heart and I am so proud of all of them!
All my life I have had a love for words and books... Well, Saturday I went out of my “box.” I attended children’s writers and illustrator’s conference (even had a children’s story I had written critiqued.) At first I felt really out of my element with all these talented and gifted people, thankfully though, I was able to find a dear friend, who welcomed me to her table and was so loving and encouraging that I soon forgot my fears. Due to fatigue, I wasn’t able to stay for the whole conference, but the time spent was a great learning experience and helped reignite some buried dreams of mine. Let me encourage all of you, take some time for yourself to ponder your dreams and take just one step in the next week to make your dreams a reality!!
Over the next few entries I would like to share with you all some of my ponderings and thoughts about the cancer journey. (I was hoping to be able to share some thoughts this weekend, but ran out of time, too busy trying to catch up and get things done before I start my new chemo treatment this Thursday.)
If you have some extra time, I posted a few pics: some of Kelsey and I, my mustang and some of the benefit. (I have more pics coming on the benefit that my wonderful son in law took, but couldn’t figure out how to get the disk to work tonight and since he works at 4 am, I didn’t think I would get the greatest mother in law award if I called him tonight at 11)
Thanks again for everyone who is walking with us on this journey. Your love, support and kindness definitely make this a bit easier. One last thought: We may not know what tomorrow holds, but we know Who holds tomorrow. And that is enough.
**caption under cartoon states: Somehow I don't think they are ready for the babes of breast cancer.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009 8:22 PM, CDT
Hi everyone! Hope this week is filled with many blessings and lots of laughter!
Well, tomorrow I start my 2nd step in the “chemo” journey…my new chemo drug is called Taxol. From the research that I have done it is supposed to work well on triple negative breast cancers. (praying so!!) To be honest, it is hard for me to not be anxious about Taxol…so I am going to be bold and ask for specific prayers regarding this med: 1) some people have severe reactions to this medication when it is being administered (like breathing difficulties, etc…)…so would appreciate prayers that this isn’t something that happens to meJ 2) the side effects: should be less nausea, but greater potential for bone pain, numbness in hands/feet, and greater fatigue—so of course, minimal side effects would be great 3) that the Taxol will work to get rid of any stray cancer cells 4) I trust and have faith in God, but I am very human…so some calmness on the nerves that are starting to jump inside of me would be much appreciated. Thanks for the prayers! I will keep you posted on my response. Kicking cancer one step at a time!
Ponderings: Well, as warned, I thought I would share a few thoughts about my journey with breast cancer. I love Easter and the promise’s it brings! It’s the Good Friday before that is a bit harder to get excited about, especially since I (like I believe most people) try to avoid any type of suffering. However, who has ever heard of victory without sacrifice? Christ’s example of suffering and the victory in His resurrection brings such great hope and encouragement to me, especially when I experience the trials and sufferings of life. When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, I went through a time of wondering if I wasn’t doing faith right and I certainly didn’t consider it “pure joy” that my faith and health were being tested. Left to my own, I would have liked to skip this “good Friday” experience. But if I had skipped this part of my journey in life, I may have missed understanding 2 Corinthians 1: 3-4… “God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” God has given me strength, encouragement and hope while walking this road. (Also, last week, I was able to encourage 3 women newly diagnosed with breast cancer.) I know that there are still many unknowns regarding my journey with this ugly disease and there might even be a time when I cry out like Christ did and ask God “why have you forsaken me?”…I pray that I always remember that without Good Friday, there would be no Easter morning!
One of the greatest blessings of this journey: the unique opportunity to feel the love and support of family and friends! Thank you so much for giving my family and me this gift!!
May you all have a wonderful Easter filled with much joy!
Sunday, April 12, 2009 9:09 PM, CDT
Happy Easter! I hope everyone was able to share some time with their loved ones on this special day!
Did you know?
· Breast cancer incidence in women in the United States is 1 in 8 (about 13%).
· 120 women in the US die every day from breast cancer.
· For women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer besides lung cancer.
· About 90% of breast cancers are due not to heredity, but to genetic abnormalities that happen as a result of the aging process and life in general.
· A woman’s risk of breast cancer approximately doubles if she has a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer.
What can we do?
The 21st annual Avera Race Against Breast Cancer will be held Saturday, May 9, 2009 at the Avera McKennan Fitness Center.
Each year, the Avera Race brings together family, friends, cancer survivors and others - all racing toward a common goal: to enhance cancer care for people right here in Sioux Falls and surrounding communities. Every penny stays local to help your families, friends and neighbors get the treatment and support they need.
Come join our team! (we can have as many team members that want to join...and if you come by yourself there will be other team members to walk/run with you and if you are of the competitive type...and want to go solo...those of us cheering will cheer you on as you run.)
Team: Kim's Angels with Attitudes (—will need this name when you register.)
Captain: Jody Reisch (Kim’s brother)
Info: email Kim or Jody at firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline: April 20, 2009
The fun thing about this race is that there is something for everyone: walkers and runners and even spectators! I unfortunately won’t be able to walk in the race, but will be cheering on the side lines with my nieces and nephews!
Update on my walk with chemo: Well, as many of you know, I hit a “bump!” The actual infusion of my new chemo medication—Taxol, went good…the afternoon was spent with family and friends visiting. However by early evening, my mom had to take me to the emergency room with rapid heart rate and tremors. (Didn’t know my heart could go from 100 to 188 within two minutes of standing.) So, I spent a few nights at Avera and was able to go home on Saturday afternoon. As of right now the plan to continue on my scheduled dose of chemo (with some adjustments to the meds) this Thursday with a planned admission to Avera following administration of chemo. If all goes well, I will just be there overnight! The Avera staff has been great, but there is no place like home! One of the hardest parts about this journey is that it is so hard to keep up with life…I miss being a wife and mom, friend and coworker… My prayer is that chemo will kick the cancer but be just a bit easier on my body.
Thank you everyone for your continued help, support, love and prayers. This journey has been made so much easier with all your love! We are blessed!