Monday, February 13, 2012

Ashley and Her Mom

A little over a week ago, I was adding a bunch of medical appointments to my calendar, and I was feeling sorry for myself, and then I got email that blew me away.  I got permission from Ashley to share it with you.

Hi Karen,

I found your blog about a year ago. My mom was diagnosed with LMS in January 2011. She too had fibroids - or what the doctors thought were fibroids - and she too had a hysterectomy after which the doctors discovered the cancer. At the same time, she had a cyst on her ovary that also turned out to be cancerous, and it ruptured before the doctors even realized the cancer was there. We live in NC and she too sought treatment at Duke with a Dr R, maybe the same as yours.

When I found your blog, I looked at your smiling face, with short hair, on the  homepage, and I thought, that is not my mom. My mom can't do this, she can't make it through 4+ years of the poking, prodding, testing, waiting... But I remained hopeful. While her doctors gave her around 18 months to live, I told her about your blog, and how you have made it, living with this cancer, not dying from it.
But after radiation & a few weeks of chemo, she said, "I can't do this anymore. I would rather have only 10 days of being at home & smelling my roses than 10 years of this treatment." For a few weeks after, she seemed ok. She even stopped taking her pain meds altogether.

On memorial weekend, I was visiting my parents, and my dad sprained his ankle. My mom & I took care of him, together, one last time. She died on June 25, 2011.

Now, reading your blog is like reading an alternate universe, one in which Mom is still here & undergoing treatment.

I don't even know why I am sharing this all with you. I guess i just wanted to let you know that you inspired hope in myself & my family while Mom was fighting her own cancer, and I know you have inspired so many others whose doctors have told them they would not live with this cancer longer than a number of months. And I am praying for you, I AM cheering you on. It's like you & my mother, although strangers, were on the same team, and now I'm cheering you on to take the team to the finish line.

Ashley N


Anonymous said...

Wow that nearly brought me to tears.
Karen, you are an amazing strong woman facing so much head on. I think that is so cool Ashley is on your cheering squad in the alternate universe. I can't imagine having to choose unknown quantities and qualities when you have to pick drug regimens out of many options, some with horrifying potential side effects. It makes me want to keep working in research even when my work days drain the life out of me sometimes. I love you and look forward to seeing you in May for sure and maybe this summer!!
soon to be from Kirkland, not Kent!

Anonymous said...

Thank You! Love, Sharon

Georgia said...

Dear Karen,
I'm reading your blog for the first time and am overwhelmed and so encouraged at the same time. My LMS blog and journey has only been around since June 2011. All the best for this new trial.