Wednesday, January 5, 2011


I want to preface today's post with a thought.  I have yet to read any books or other types of informational literature out there that are available for coping skills and/or information written by others going through similar situations.  I'm sure I will eventually,  but I realize that my thoughts might significantly change with time and other sources of information.  What I've been writing at this point are things that have crossed my mind or things I have thought about essentially off the cuff.  Of course, all my thoughts have been tempered by all the people and events that have crossed my lifetime.

One of the things that was said to me very early on was by my sister.  I'm not sure where she got this sage piece of wisdom, but she said to try and  not focus on the why, but the how.  There are no answers to the why me question, but she said we can try to deal with the how.  How will I get through this? How will I live day to day? How will I keep fighting?.  I'm sure she said it more eloquently than I have but you get the gist of her words.

Even though I understand what she is saying, I also remembered something that another friend (a cancer survivor) said to me not so long ago.  She told me that she felt betrayed by her body and that she had a difficult time coping with the way her body reacted to anything physical.  This even occurred after her cure due to the fact that there were other physical issues that she had to deal with besides the looming "c" word.

So in a way, I'm circumventing the "why me?" question... tsk, tsk, I know, but it just can't be helped.

Now in the midst of my new circumstance, those words she spoke to me do resonate.  I do feel betrayed.  By no means did I treat my body as a "temple", but I surely didn't abuse it.  I did and do not smoke, I did and do not drink, not for moral reasons but just because it didn't suit me.  I loved my veggies, but have consumed my fair share of Big Macs in my youth.

The betrayal I feel extends to everything that my body is doing now and really extends back to the beginning of December.  Now, its not just the cancer, but the way it reacts to the chemo.  My body isn't my own anymore, its become a living lab of sorts.  The only way that I can even attempt to control it during chemo is by a very specifically  timed ballet of sorts where the main characters are a variation of nausea and pain pills with smaller characters that include laxatives, supplements, and anxiety pills.  Its crazy,  I went from no medications this past summer to bottle after bottle of this and that to take just to make the chemo tolerable. And they say that it takes a few cycles of chemo to work all the "kinks" out!  I guess I'll let you know.

I hate not knowing if that twinge in my stomach is going to turn into cramps or maybe some nausea?  Will that nausea be controllable or not?  I have one medication that is specifically for "break through" nausea... what a name huh? I hate not knowing how my body will feel from one minute to the next, can I trust the way it feels or is it hiding something?

I hate feeling queasy just by looking at some or sometimes all foods.  I hate the fact that I ate that egg yesterday and it tasted pretty good, but today not so good.  I hate the fact that my husband heated up this "good for me" soup and I smelled it and asked him for something else. I hate the fact that I can't trust my own stomach to tell me when I'm hungry, full, or somewhere in between.

Yes, its all a betrayal to me.

Today I go in for routine blood work and I hope its routine.  I don't want any more blood transfusions... I now have more of other people's blood than my own.  I don't particularly relish having to take 6 potassium pills due to vomiting (that was my last meal before I left the hospital on Sat.) - huge pills let me tell you and they were the ones that started to disintegrate in your mouth as soon as you added water... icky!

I also have a hair appointment today that my friend Lisa gifted me... I love my friend Lisa.  I don't know for an absolute fact that my hair will fall it, but the likelihood is strong.  Everyone says to at least get it cut short... but it has to be cute just in case I do get to keep my hair.  This is supposed to occur within a couple of weeks so I guess my time is ticking.  I'm just waiting.  Obviously, a future post on this issue!

Alright, I think I'm done for today.

Until next time.



Ted said...

Katie, continue to write. I feel I better get to know you this way.

My thoughts (though you never asked for them). :) - Our bodies are not our own. They belong to One who loves our bodies more than we can ever love them. Why would He allow this to happen to us? A mystery, perhaps.

I tend to think that if God made it so that our lives were FULLY comfortable 100% of the time... nothing but joy and happiness in this world, then we would DESPISE Him when the time comes to be with Him. We would reject His invitation to join Him. Why leave Disneyland for the unknown?

You are a strong woman, Katie. You WILL get through this. If you feel like crying, cry. If you feel like screaming, scream. If you feel like yelling at God, yell at Him. He's big enough to take our frustration... but always trust that He loves you so much. Your soul, not your body, is His ultimate treasure.

I hope my words bring you some sort of comfort. I won't pretend to know through what you're going. Just know you're in my constant prayers.

Becky Sorensen said...

Katie - I am glad that you are so honest and when you first told me that dreadful day, I told you, we can do this. You have a fight in you and you will live each day to its fullest. You have a wonderful support system, especially in Kevin. He is one of the most wonderful men I have ever met - and a great cook and I know he will cook you anything you want :) hugs,

Conquest Keepsakes said...

Hey girl! I had to take Potassium for two years after my 12 day stint in the hospital for my esophageal erosion. It got as low as 1.2, spasm/stroke/coma range. I still don't test in the "normal" range of 3.5 to 5, but close enough for now. Those are honking huge pills and they routinely got stuck in my esophagus, which is worse because they can really do some damage there, and I already had a 1 1/"2 lesion for it to bypass on it's way to my stomach. I ate Animal Crackers to force it on down, with lots of water. I ended up spitting a few out because they got stuck. For you, you may not have even that option. They are ABSOLUTELY icky! I found myself craving cantaloupe, which is an excellent source of potassium along with bananas. Try dipping the pills in pudding or Carmel sauce (like you use on ice cream) before throwing it back. They kind of act like a lubricant and mask the icky taste for a moment... :-) My two-cents for the day!

SherryBee said...

More prayers for you, from me....
Keep writing.
Sending big cyber hugs.

sweet craf-tea chick said...

hi katie. saw a link to your blog today...just wanted to let you know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. *hugs* steph

Margie H said...

Hmm...dipping those cow pills in something might work.

I am so sorry on what is happening. But hope that writing it out will help you get through this feeling. Keep writing :)

I just want to hug you and say keep fighting...we are here for you!! xo

Anonymous said...

Katie...I can't even begin to imagine what you are going through. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.
Cathy Nichols, Bethany, IL

Holly said...

I have to say that I like your "off the cuff" writing Katie. It's honest and somewhat brutal, but I also think it's a type of therapy for you. I have a sister who has gone through two bone marrow transplants, and two rounds of chemotherapy treatments and reading your thoughts helps me to understand more of what she's going through.
Your sister's words are so very wise! I will keep you and your family in my prayers and believe that there are better days ahead for you all!

Liddy said...

Hi there Katie, I found your blog by accident and read your last posting and just had to comment. I understand exactly how you feel, (been there done that and am now well again). My version was Chronic Myloid Leukemia and have now been in remission for 7yrs. But you do feel "out of control" of your own body and putting something in that you know is going to have horrible side-effects is so hard to do.
I hope you get some comfort from knowing people are praying for you, thinking of you and on your side, I know in even the dark times, there is a comfort in that.
Be strong and take care.

Stacey said...

Thinking of you Katie. You are doing the "how" portion. Believe me, that is the easiest part of cancer. You will begin to experience and continue to see glimpses of "why". You will come through this with more wisdom, clarity and beauty towards life. As strange as it sounds, cancer has never made me feel so alive and focused on living the essential and peaceful life I was meant to. You are too fresh right now to know which way is up and that is OK. Remember whatever you feel right this second is the right thing for Katie. There is no handbook for Katie's cancer as it is evolving everyday you are here to grace your presence here on earth. We are all better for it. Thinking of the Renz family, Stacey

Suzi said...

One of your fans from CDS here. Went back to the beginning of your battle to catch up on what you are battling. You got slammed hard and fast, girl!
Five years ago, a routine chest x-ray on a Tuesday, put me in the hospital for an open lung biopsy on Friday. I've had an up and down physical and emotional battle since. I tell you this just so you know others are right there with you when you cannot get your head around what is happening to you.
God is my constant. He is the Creator. He has the parts manual. He can fix me if He wants. My job is to be useable in the meantime, even if I don't feel like it, don't want to. . . . Do you hear that stubborn child in me stomping her foot? :o)
You will continue to love your family and teach them about life. That may be the only job you are up to some days.
God has your attention. Listen to Him. He loves you. Just like you love that family. It's His job and He's good at it.
I will be praying for you, hoping to encourage you along this rough road!

Cricket said...

Hey Katie,

I too had to take potassium - nasty stuff. I have trouble swallowing regular size pills, let alone those horse pills. You can take liquid potassium. Ask your doc.

God Bless!

Candy F. said...

Aww Katie -- I don't have any wise words but I can tell you that I love you and am so proud that you are blogging about this. You strength is really inspiring.

IamDerby said...

Katie I had to take potassium pills and its god awful. I am so sorry you have to do that on top of everything else. I kind of understand the betrayal thing. I have type 1 diabetes and wear an insulin pump. I went from medically boring to someone who cant survive without my vial of insulin. And while its no where near as serious as what you have it was a great shock and upset and it upended my life when it happened. I was mad at my body for a very long time.
Your writing is beautiful. I hope it helps you to write it all down. I cant wait to see your new do. Maybe you will get to keep that lovely hair. big big hugs to you.

Nancy B. aka Jean said...

I don't know you and don't understand what it's like to have Cancer. But I do know God can help you through it.
Our Cousin is going through this same thing right now. First it started in her Breast. then moved into her spine. Now it's in her lungs and liver. She knows that God is taking her hand and teaching her.

I found this Bible Verse today. And it seem fitting for what I've praying to God about.

Maybe it will help you too.

I tell you the truth if you have Faith as small as a mustard seed,
you can say to this mountain,
'MOVE from HERE to THERE' and it will Move.
Matthew 17:20

Take care my friend.

Chef Mama Lori said...

Katie, I think YOU are the eloquent one. Your words convey so clearly all that you are feeling. I have no doubt that someone, somewhere, who is also starting this journey, will read your words and feel some relief that SOMEONE understands. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

I know you will indeed look cute with your new "do." I think that I enjoyed your curling iron pictures so much b/c I knew it could be a long time before you need it again. Though, between the time my friend Kathy's hair was cut short and falling out, it grew enough that I think she had to get another hair cut! It's coming in nice & thick now. :)

Hoping tomorrow will find some food tasting good and your tummy able to eat it!

Davi said...

Katie, Our bodies are strong and powerful and fragile. Its very easy to speak words when you aren't the one going thru difficult times, but I tell you Ive learned one thing the true and living God will be your strength in the hard times. Just ask HIm. Keep writing it helps you and others. Will be praying for you.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry I didn't read this yesterday. But I'm late due to a little stinker who has strep. Blah.

I love the way you write about this. You bring it to a level we can understand/empathize with.

You also remind me what a blessing you are and what a blessing life is.

I can not wait to see your cute hair. That darling face will look good in any great cut.

I hope you are having a nausea free day.

Hugs & Blessings,

Axes DesigNs said...

Nooooooooo.. no, no!!!! You do not need to cut your hair! I didn't and I keep it! I never loose it! and I had Chemo and radiation everyday so do not cut if you do not want! that doesn't happen to all.. I remembered when the girl who went to my house to conect the first time the pump for the chemo and told me .. you going to loose your hair.. and I said Nop! I don't.. she look at me and didn't said anything .. but I always think positive.. I said I'M NOT GOING TO LOOSE MY HAIR!! I'M GOING TO FIGHT.. I'M GOING TO BE HEALED BECAUSE I LOVE GOD! so everyday all day I pray for my health and for all those pain I had in my body.. don't feel as you are thinking.. just focus yourself in be healed.. nothing else.. that is my advise.. FOCUS.. FOCUS.. and pray! Gos is with us.. and things happened for a reason.. why I'm writting you now? God bless you..

Anita said...

Thank you for putting into words that I am feeling. I have my own health challenges and it is a balancing act of which med works and doesn't work for me. You are in my prayers and that all the blood work was just routine.

loisglossip said...

I am praying that your appointment is just routine blood work and that the day is a bright one for you!

Diane said...

Katie you are officially 1st on my everyday pray list, you sound like a fighter, and a very good writer thanks for sharing your life with us. Arms wrapped around you, Hugs, Diane

Leeci said...

Katie--prayers are continuing to be sent up for you! Love your writing - thank you for sharing with us what you are going thru. You are a very strong person (even though at this very moment you may not feel that you are). Please know that there is a lot of people who care about you out here in the "cyber world". I pray that God gives you strength and the courage to continue fighting this battle. We will be here to "listen" to you whenever you feel the need. {{hugs}} Leeci

Leeci said...

Katie--prayers are continuing to be sent up for you! Love your writing - thank you for sharing with us what you are going thru. You are a very strong person (even though at this very moment you may not feel that you are). Please know that there is a lot of people who care about you out here in the "cyber world". I pray that God gives you strength and the courage to continue fighting this battle. We will be here to "listen" to you whenever you feel the need. {{hugs}} Leeci

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