Happy Birthday Karri!! Final Chemo is 10/15 - hooray!!

Happy Birthday Karri!!  Final Chemo is 10/15 - hooray!!
The actual date of Karri's birthday is October 8th but we've been joyfully celebrating all week long. She's been able to go out to eat, see movies, watch Allie play volleyball, and attend church. We love watching her enjoy her favorite foods again. We are so grateful for all your support; it has been critical to help her to celebrate this birthday with gratitude for her return to good health. She continues to improve steadily each week. Pictured here: Allie (14), Brandon (24), Karri and Jerry, and Abby (6). Matthew and Jordan are away at school. Love from all of us to all of you.

Sept 13th: Happy Birthday Jerry!

Sept 13th: Happy Birthday Jerry!
The Robisons (sans Jordan away at school) celebrate. Karri has had a good weekend too! She is eating a healthy normal diet without nausea, and with the benefit of an epidural shot, she is beginning to regain some mobility. While her back pain is not entirely diminished, she has begun to get around with a cane instead of a walker - yay!

June 22: Welcome Home from the hospital Karri! Good Luck w/Chemo

June 22: Welcome Home from the hospital Karri! Good Luck w/Chemo
The Robisons with Mother's Day gifts and the "Wrap Yourself in Our Love" quilt made by friends from church. L to R: Matthew, Brandon, Karri, Jerry, Jordan and Allie

May 31st - Jordan's Senior Prom photo op

May 31st - Jordan's Senior Prom photo op
Despite looking great, Karri is fighting post surgery complications including serious infection and debilitating, persistent nausea.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Spring Break!

Hello Everyone! I don't know if anyone even checks in anymore because it's been so long since I've written. That's because things have been going so well lately that I seriously have forgotten about the blog. However, a few people have asked me about it and thought that I should at least put up one more posting to say good-bye and end things, so here it is! It is now spring break and I have been teaching school for a little over 3 months now and everything is going great. I have a great class, a good student teacher and it's been great to be back with all my friends at school and to be busy- I finally feel like my life has returned to normal! My back has been cooperating very well for the past several months. I had a bad week during the beginning of March where I was out of school for 5 days due to my back, but before and after that it's been doing fine. I am still seeing a chiropractor on a regular basis and still taking a lot of medication, but am no longer in physical therapy. I still have to have regular blood tests, and tomorrow I'm having another CT scan just to check up on my insides and make sure everything is still OK. We just got back from a 4 day trip to Utah and Idaho to visit Jerry's family and pick up Jordan from BYU Idaho. It was a long drive, but totally worth it to have Jordan home again. Matt is still in school down at Cal Poly Pomona, but will be home in June and then we'll have everyone together at home for the first summer in two years! Thank you to everyone who was following this blog, it was great to hear from everybody from time to time and to hear your words of encouragement and love. Let's hope I stay in remission for a long time so we won't have to start another blog!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Hi there everyone! I know that it's been a long time since I've written, but no news is good news as they say! Several people have reminded me that I haven't put a posting on the blog in about 6 weeks so I thought I'd give it a whirl. I have been living at home now since October 26 and things have been going very well. I have been keeping busy with doctor's appointments, walking in the park, re-organizing my closets and cupboards and getting ready for the holidays. I had a very nice Thanksgiving weekend with my family and Matt was able to come home for a few days. We went to San Francisco to do some shopping and we went to Napa to get our Christmas tree. This weekend both Matt and Jordan will be coming home from college for the holidays so our house will be pretty busy. I have been feeling really good lately and have got my strength and energy back to the point that I am still planning to return to school in January. My back has been doing pretty well - I have my good moments and bad moments - but mostly it has been steadily improving over the past few months. I am still in physical therapy and am also seeing a chiropractor, so hopefully my back will also be ready for me to start school in January as well! Until then, I plan to enjoy my holiday season completely and I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Empty Nest

Empty Nest    by  Mother Myrth 
This is the other half of Karri's Home Sweet Home. Here we are, Claude and I with an empty nest for the first time since May. It is an adjustment for us as well as Karri. We had grown so accustomed to her presence in the house that I still wake up at night and think of things to talk to  her about in the morning. 
We are all thrilled about her being home. She has made such great progress. She is truly a amazing person. During this whole ordeal, and it was an ordeal, she has never complained but has saved her energy for healing. I am in awe of her. 
This has been a life altering experience for all of us. It would be impossible for me to explain it to anybody.  The feelings go too deep. But it has given me a much deeper appreciation of life and love and family. Maybe especially love because this is what allowed Karri to heal so well. The power of love is amazing. Claude and I are glad to have had this experience to love and cherish and take care of Karri . It is one we could have done without, but, oh well. As they say, someone had to do it and we were glad it was us. 
When I start missing Karri too much I just go and clean out a corner of the house. And Claude reminds me that although I have lost a daughter, I have gained a bathroom again.
And so it is with a grateful heart I thank my Father in Heaven for allowing us to go on as a complete family, and  I end this blog entry.
As a P.S. I must mention how much we enjoyed having Allie with us for 2 months. She is a typical 14 year old, in fact she gives new meaning to the term "teenager", but she is ours and we love her. Claude and Myrth 

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Yes, that is right - as of last Saturday, October 25, Allie and I are now living back home. It has been an interesting adjustment for me - I feel like this is where I need to be, but I miss my mom and dad and sister, not to mention my two boys Matt and Jordan who are away at school. I didn't get to see very much of them during the summer! On the plus side, I get to be home with Jerry and Brandon and Allie and get to start being a wife and mom again. I get frustrated by my back because it's not back to normal, but it is slowly getting better due to physical therapy and exercise - I can walk without the cane most of the time.
I finally finished my chemotherapy treatments two weeks ago and am now officially done - Woo Hoo! I also saw my surgeon today and he said that everything had healed very nicely inside and out. They will still be monitoring me through blood tests and occasional CT scans, so I guess it will never really be over, but for now I feel great! I'm just waiting for my hair to grow back and then I'll feel like a new woman!
I want to thank everyone again for your continued support and love and prayers. I have been so fortunate and blessed to be cared about and thought of by so many wonderful people. Love, Karri

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Physical Therapy

Hi everyone - it's been a while since I've written on here, but you know the saying - No news is good news! Things are still going well for me - my stomach is totally back to normal since all the fluid disappeared and I am enjoying eating all the foods I missed during that few months. My blood tests are still turning up good - my cancer markers are back to the normal range and my red and white blood counts are normal as well. The only thing that continues to plague me is my back, and I recently found out why. I have started physical therapy as of last week and my therapist read my MRI that I had at the end of August and it showed not only degenerative arthritis, but a bulging disk that was affecting the nerves that run down both of my legs. The physical therapy has been in a swimming pool the first two times and it has really seemed to help me. I do a number of different water exercises for a whole hour and it really feels good, not to mention that my range of movement has been better and I am able to walk around more without my cane and without pain. I will have some therapy in their clinic where I'll be doing exercises out of the water starting next week - so I'm hoping that will help me even more. I've been able to be out and about and go lots of different places recently, and it really feels good. I want to thank everyone who's been out to visit me, or bring me gifts, or call me or send me cards - I really appreciate all the support from all you wonderful people out there! Take care,
Love, Karri

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Speaking of remission....

Today was Karri's fifth chemo appointment - only one more to go!! It was a good meeting with her Nurse Practioner and we asked some more specific questions about what it means to be "in remission." Lina said that 'remission' is the more common usage in the field today - they don't speak of being 'cured' of cancer, particularly in cases, like Karri's, where it has spread beyond the area of origin. But remission is a good thing, and Lina pointed out that Karri looks good on paper as well as in person - her lab work shows the tumor markers down and her immune system not particularly suppressed from chemo - a little anemic is all.

Lina said that being in remission means the growth of the cancer is suppressed and the cancer is controlled – it doesn't appear to be lurking anywhere. However, it isn't possible to say with certainty that there aren’t some cancer cells somewhere in her body that the chemo didn't get, and they may very likely start to grow in the future. This could occur relatively soon, or not for many years. But for now there is no sign of such activity, and the oncologist will continue to do blood work and scans on Karri to monitor her health, not only in the region of the abdomen but also in nearby areas – bones (back/spine), liver, lungs etc. Theoretically the cancer might re-occur in any of these (or other) areas. The theory is that monitoring will pick it up early and they will then treat it as indicated, depending on where it is growing. For now, we celebrate Karri's continuing progress toward health. She goes in on Thursday for another epidural and evaluation of the situation with her back, which seems to be slowly but surely improving. Thanks as always, for your wonderful support, Kim and the rest of the gang.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Things Are Looking Up

Hi everybody - Karri here to give a current update. I had a Dr. appointment yesterday and it yielded some important news. He said my cancer is now in remission, but I still need to go through the next two chemo treatments. He also said it would probably come back someday, but they don't know when or how bad it will be. So I guess I will be getting checked and tested quite a bit for the next while, but I suppose that is to be expected in living with cancer. I am also now officially off the TPN - the liquid nutrition in a bag that was hooked up to me every night - and I am a free woman without a needle in my shoulder anymore. I still have the port under my skin to use for chemo, but that's about it. I feel really good these days - I can eat almost anything I want and I don't get sick at all anymore. The only problem is that I am still having a lot of back pain and I still need to use the cane to walk around, but I guess that's better than the walker. It feels very strange for me to have school be in session and not to be a part of it, but I will return someday when I am totally healthy and can handle the work and pressure. Until then - I am still staying at my parents house until my back gets better. Please feel free to comment or call or come and visit me anytime.
Love, Karri

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Pain, Pain, Go Away

Yesterday Karri met with a pain management specialist. Although her back pain lessened last week, as she tried to become more mobile over the weekend, it increased again and so we were all looking forward to seeing what the doctor would have to say. Myrth and I went with her. We were favorably impressed and infuriated - because the doctor confirmed Karri's the diagnosis initially made (but later changed) in the hospital (disc impingement on nerves) and indicated that the most efficacious course of action would be a spinal epidural. We are delighted that Karri will get an epidural (on Thursday) but so angry that she wasn't simply given one two weeks ago in the hospital as she had specifically requested. The entire hospital experience was demoralizing in the extreme and visiting with Dr. DeLaney simply confirmed this. She also changed medications for something that is more specifically targeted to this kind of pain and intends to get Karri into a physical therapy practice once her pain is under more control, hopefully within a few weeks. All of this could and should have been done so much earlier - it seems so unfair that Karri has had to endure all of this pain so needlessly - and particularly since we were asking all the right questions all along. We are keeping our fingers crossed that the initial epidural will bring relief, but since she has been coping with this nerve damage for an extended period, it may take more than one epidural. However, we are cautiously optimistic that the doctor has Karri's case well in hand and will have additional remedies to use as needed. We would all like to get past this debilitating back pain so Karri's limited energy could be channeled into something more productive. Today she will try to go with Jerry to see Allie play in her first high school volleyball game if she is up to it. Love Kim

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

MDUSD Teachers Reading this Blog: How You Can Help -- Donate Sick Days to Karri

Kim and Karri reporting the GREAT news that Karri's back pain is, finally (and as mysteriously as it arrived), after two excruciating weeks, greatly diminished! Hooray!! She is way down on pain meds and she is moving about much more easily, and with greater body strength, although still using her trusty walker. We have high hopes for a continued recovery, and we hope the horrible swelling in her legs and ankles will be the next thing to go. She sees a physical therapist tomorrow and a back specialist on Monday.

In the meantime, Karri is down to almost no sick leave days left but the district has just approved her for catastrophic leave, thus clearing the way for fellow teachers in her bargaining unit to donate sick leave, if they so desire. To donate sick days to Karri, contact Denise Larkins, Employee/Employer Relations Specialist for the district, at 682-8000 x4136; larkinsd@mdusu.k12.ca.us. THANKS HUGELY in advance -Team Karri

Monday, September 1, 2008

Out of Hospital; Not yet ready to Dance the Limbo!

Karri came home to Myrth and Claude's on Saturday evening in time to be a part of Myrth's birthday celebration, which under the circumstances was rather bittersweet, not only due to Karri's weakened physical condition, but also as it is the time of year when grandchildren depart for college and there are more departing every year. The Sunday dinner ended with cakes and family blessings for those staying behind. Here is a brief look ahead at our week:

*the two youngest grandchildren, Karri's Allie and Randy's Jenna begin their second week of high school and their first week of early morning Seminary (religious instruction) at 7:00 am, at the church across the street from the high school. Both girls will be staying at Myrth and Claude's this week while Jerry takes Jordan and Randy and Colleen take Rachel and Kenny up to Rexburg to begin the school year at BYU-Idaho. Our week with the girls will be enlivened not only by Seminary and high school, but also by volleyball, soccer, band practice etc.
*Amidst this excitement, Karri will be trying to recover from chemo and from Jordan's departure. (We are thrilled for him but sad for us b/c he is such a great kid.) This is assuming she gets the go-ahead for chemo tomorrow - we hope the lab results will show her infection is gone and her blood counts are good. She is on a new round of pain meds, which make the back pain manageable, just barely - they sort of dull the agony. She is sleeping in a hospital bed, using a walker, and trying hard to build up her muscle tone and body strength, but she is clearly very weak, and it all happened so suddenly. We are all very perplexed that the hospital stay did so little to address the issue and hoping for a referral from her oncologist to a back specialist so we can get better answers and a comprehensive treatment program going. (Any answer would be better than the non-answers we got at the hospital.)
*On the Hooray side - the acites fluid build up seems to have ceased. Although Karri is very miserable with the back issues, we are all so grateful she isn't dealing with that as well. Given what the oncologist said previously about this fluid, we are assuming it has stopped due to a combination of chemo killing off the cancer cells which produced it and to Karri's improved diet helping her vascular system to absorb fluid more normally. Karri has almost no nausea these days and is able to eat small meals two or three times a day. I'll post a new report after her appointment for chemo tomorrow. Posted by Kim with regards to all on behalf of the family

Friday, August 29, 2008

Still in Limbo

Kim reporting today that Karri is still in the hospital. It has been a very intense week - working with the hospital staff has been quite challenging as they have changed frequently, and now with the Labor Day weekend upon us, many of the primary physicians are away. The hospital ward doctor, the pain management specialist and Karri's oncologist all have to agree to each new treatment plan and each of them have their own ideas about what is at the root of Karri's pain and how best to treat it. This is a kind way of saying that it has been a rather hellish week for Karri, and for Jerry, Myrth, Claude and I as we have tried to trouble shoot and bring the doctors together into some sort of consensus. In the meanwhile, Karri has contracted an e-coli infection and had blood transfusions on two different occasions. That she is still smiling when not in pain is a major testiment to her internal strength, stubborn perseverence, and determined focus on battling back from each new roadblock. As of last night she was in pain less frequently, and she was, with the help of pysical therapists, able to sit, stand, walk a short distance, and eat a meal while sitting in a chair. We believe that given this progress and given that most of her medications have now been changed to oral medication from injections, she will be discharged this weekend, probably with follow up physical therapy. We still have many unanswered questions, but if we can get her home again and she can continue, through rest, physical therapy, and the prescribed regime of medications to recover from the back spasms, we will take it and be grateful.

On the positive side, she is having less fluid build up over the past week - yay! They are taking only about half as much out a week. Also she is experiencing almost no nausea and is eating small meals three times a day! WOW!! She missed her chemo last week, but is scheduled to resume it next Tuesday and go back on the 21 day schedule between treatments. So...we are all hoping and planning on her having a much better week next week, even with the post-chemo blues (physical) that accompany the treatment. That may seem easy by comparison with this week. Bless you all for your continued concern and strong support - we all feel it with great gratitude.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Cancer is NOT for Sissies

Hi all, Kim again with the latest update. Myrth will add her thoughts again soon as well, but Karri remains at the hospital so she won't be able to get online for awhile yet. Today was a very exhausting one. Karri's pain from the slipped disc has continued unabated so they got a great deal more aggressive on pain management today. The result was more sedation along with a slight decrease in spasms and pain. Meantime, a physical therapist visited and evaluated her and decided that she was in no condition to try to sit or stand yet - she was either in too much pain or too loopy from pain meds to have the necessary balance. He was very patient and good with Karri who was as compliant as anyone could be who is lying flat on their back and susceptible to frequent knife sharp lower back spasms without warning. The hospital doctor explained that her lengthy period of enforced rest due to recovery from surgery and ongoing chemo has left her back muscles very vulnerable, hence the disc issues. But at the same time, the latest blood work reveals a serious drop in red blood cells - quite common with chemo. [This is a reversal from yesterday - turned out that they had gotten an erroneous lab report that her count was up, so they triple tested to verify.] So they decided to up her red blood cell count with a transfusion. At the same time, they put her on continuous drip of her pain med - result was not so good. She went into a drug induced stupor with labored and infrequent breathing - Myrth and Claude were with her when this happened and said it was pretty dramatic. So they quickly cut off her pain med drip and carted her off to Critical Care down the hall to keep a careful watch on her while they finished the transfusion. She will remain in CCU at least overnight while they watch her vital signs to become stable again and make sure nothing else is going on. Then they must continue to work to get her in less pain so her inflammation and nerve impingement from the disc can be ameliorated. They are calling in the pain management specialist to consult on how that might best be accomplished. She is likely looking at several more days hospitalization, a possible postponement of her next chemo treatment, and ongoing physical therapy as she recovers from the back issues. Thank heavens we can at least report that her tumor markers are all down - the CT scan revealed no new tumor tissue at all, and her blood work aside from the low hemoglobin (red blood count) is excellent. And her appetite is also picking up - nausea is NOT an issue at the moment - hooray! Just wish she wasn't so looped on her pains meds to appreciate these bits of good news! We are trying to be patient but it is a bit challenging just now. Thanks for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Good news and not so good news

On the not so good news front(but could be worse)- Karri's MRI today showed that she has a 'slipped disc.' She is still having MANY back spasms and barely controlled pain, but we assume they'll kick up the meds now that they know what the situation is. No news yet on how long she'll be in the hospital, what their recommendations are for treating it etc. Stay tuned. On the better news side, her oncologist did tell us today that her tumor markers for the cancer are within normal range, hemoglobin, which had been low, is now back up in the normal range and the CT scans did not pick up any new tumor growth. We look for a bigger picture prognosis on what is ahead for Karri from him very soon after he has a chance to review the MRI in more detail. Meantime, she gingerly but patiently lies quite immobilized and hopes for a rapid recovery. We know you join us in wishing the same for her!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Another stint in the Hospital

Hi folks! Unfortunately, Karri's pain worsened overnight and after more tests and x-rays and another 8 hours in ER this afternoon, she was admitted this evening and will have an MRI tomorrow morning to see if they can figure out what all the back pain is. Unless she is lying flat and is completely immobilized, she has truly awful and very painful spasms - like nothing you've ever seen before, I promise you. The doctors don't think it is related to the cancer - it may be just her string of luck to have her back randomly go out on her. At any rate, she is on mega-painkillers to try and get it under control. We'll post more details as we know them.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

27th Anniversary in ER

Well, ok, I'll tell you the story, but just promise that you won't try this for a good time! Karri, as she has noted below, has been feeling pretty good. (She is also pretty plucky - in a good week, she sees doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel no more than five times between blood work, IV needle change, getting her fluid drained, checking in with her oncology practice etc. Does this sound fun to you?)

At any rate, this was a busy week - she had a needle change and blood work on Monday, and on Tuesday she met with her Nurse Practioner, Lina, at Dr. Sherman's office and she also had fluid drained (another 7 liters!). Kudos to Claude who is most often the volunteer driver to and from her appointments. [As she gets closer and closer to another chemo treatment, it seems as if the fluid build up increases again - each chemo treatment 'kicks it' for a bit but so far only temporarily.]

On Tuesday night she had to drink "gunk" for a CT scan, which she had on Wednesday. She had been feeling a bit of hip/lower back pain for about 24 hours, and then on Wednesday evening, about 10pm, it began to intensify. By 11pm, it was the worst sort of back pain she could ever remember experiencing, and so once again, she and Jerry were off to the ER to see what the heck was going on. While they were grateful that it has been a couple of months since a late night trip to ER that didn't really help with the pain, the worry, or the fact that as midnight came on, they realized it was their 27th anniversary - ouch! Eventually the ER staff accessed her CT scan from earlier in the day and said whatever it was didn't look tumor-related (a relief!); they took X-rays and said it wasn't bone related. For REAL relief, they shot Karri up in her hip and lower back with her favorite IV pain killer (Dilaudid) and she began to feel splendid. At it wore down to 4AM (when they finally went home), Jerry probably wished they'd given him some also. Today (Thursday) she has been pretty miserable once the IV pain killers wore off. The pill substitutes don't work nearly as well, as you can imagine. After deciding that it didn't seem to matter what position she was in or what she was doing, she decided to join Myrth, Allie, Jenna and others to see "Sisterhood of the Traveling Paints 2," figuring it couldn't make things worse. When I (Kim) talked with her not long ago, Myrth had helped her shower, dug out Grandma Harriet's wheelchair to transport her (her back is so locked up that she can't easily move), and they were off. Characteristically, Myrth was doing everything humanly possible to make life easier for Karri, and Karri was being pragmatic through the pain and discomfort. "I'll take my pain meds round the clock and it will get better," she told me. Her Nurse Practioner speculates that it is a major muscle strain, possibly made worse by the fact that long needles are used in that part of the body for the abdominal taps she has regularly and by the procedure of the CT scan she had on Wednesday -- all of which can tend to aggravate her already sensitive spinal and abdominal regions. Now we are hoping that she is right that the meds will help, and we hope that will happen quickly and she can go back off them soon as they will be tough on her already fragile gastro system, aggravating her gastritis.

If things DO calm down, we're already scheduled to see Dr. Sherman for a meeting to hear more about the CT scan results on Monday afternoon, so we'll let you know what comes of that. And we are all keeping our fingers crossed that things DO calm down and she doesn't need any more visits to ER or anywhere else in hospital except medical imaging where she goes regularly every 5 days or so for her fluid drainage. Thanks, as ever, for your wonderful support. Love Team Karri

Monday, August 18, 2008

Things Have Been Going Pretty Well

Hey all you bloggers - sorry that it's been so long since I wrote. There hasn't been a lot of exciting news to report - the main thing that's happened is that I moved home. I still go down to my parents house a lot, but I am sleeping at my house now. I just got to the point where I missed being with Jerry and the kids all the time and since I've been feeling better - they don't have to worry about taking care of me. My parents certainly did their share of taking care of me when things were not so great! The only problem I really face now is that the fluid build-up in my abdomen still hasn't gone away, so I still have to go and have it drained every 5 days or so. It still causes nausea at times and prevents me from keeping food down, but luckily only about 1 or 2 days a week does this happen.
On a positive note, I was visited by some teachers from Cambridge and it really lifted my spirits. I had already been visited by Kathy O'Brien and Kathy Flores, and then last week Beth, Wendy and Mary came to see me one day and Colleen and Vicky came to see me the next day. It's really weird to not be getting ready to start school like everyone else, but at the same time I'm in no shape to be working full time! Hopefully by January my strength will come back and I can return to see all my friends at Cambridge.
Looking ahead - I have a CT scan on Wednesday, so I'll let you know the results of that as soon as I know. Thank you again to everyone who's been calling me, sending cards, visiting, or bringing meals in. I really appreciate what everyone is doing.
Love, Karri

Saturday, August 9, 2008

3rd Chemo not so bad

Well, I had my 3rd chemo treatment last Tuesday and so far the after effects have not been so bad - definitely better than the previous two. I think I may have turned a little corner as far as treatment goes because I have been able to eat and keep food down for a whole week now! This is probably due to the fact that the fluid build-up in my stomach has been a lot less - which is what the chemo was supposed to take care of all along! I have been taking it easy this week because I've been extra tired, but tonight Jerry and I are going out to another movie, and I'm going to my 2nd A's game on Tuesday night - so wish us luck! I want to say a BIG Thank You to everybody in Jerry's BNI morning networking group for all the wonderful gifts and cards you've been sending me. I don't even know most of you and you've shown me such kindness and support - I really appreciate it. I'm also loving hearing comments from a lot of you on this blog - Keep it up! Love, Karri

Sunday, August 3, 2008

A Great Vacation!

Karri here, reporting on our fun in the sun. We had several good, sunny days at the beach where those who went in the water said the waves were great!. I couldn't go in the water, but I could certainly sit in a beach chair(with my new scarf and hat) and read my book. We went on a long bike ride one morning and Jerry and I just got a bicycle for two and then I kept my feet up and he did all the pedaling! We managed to stay with the group the whole time. We rented a transport chair, which is a scaled down version of a wheelchair, and Jerry pushed me along the strand with the group for our morning and evening walks. The transport chair worked really well at Disneyland also - helping us to get in quickly on many rides without a wait. I rode a lot of rides at Disneyland, but by late in the day I'd hit my limit. Jerry, my dad and I drove back to our hotel after dinner and I slept extra good that night. We also went to dinner at Cheesecake Factory - all 20 something of us - on our last night there and I was actually able to find something I could eat on the menu! It was a fun end to a fun week. The only not-so-fun part was that my sister and I had to spend the better part of a day at a local hospital getting the ever-present fluid drained from my abdomen. They took out 7 liters again - where does this liquid come from? Hopefully the chemo treatment I'm having on Tuesday will take care of it once and for all! Well campers, that's about all on our vacation - next time I'll fill you in on exciting details of my "Chemo week".

Friday, August 1, 2008

Dateline Hermosa Beach: Fun in the Sun

Hi Friends,
Oh the bliss of being away from the world for a week! We haven't even had computer access - and we haven't missed it! We've had wonderful weather and we've been busy enjoying it!! Karri has hung in there, determined not to miss a single moment of the good times whenever possible. She has felt pretty good, and she has loved the time with family on the beach and on vacation OUTINGS, especially considering that she goes in for chemo treatment #3 next week. She will post more details about our vacation and we'll put up some "show and tell" pictures once we get home this weekend. Thanks for all your love, prayers, and continued good wishes! Love from "Team Karri"

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Vacation Time!

Hi everyone, Karri here to apologize for not writing in so long. I had my 2nd chemo treatment last week and haven't been feeling very well and there was no real news to report. I've had the usual nausea and trouble eating and keeping things down, but now it all seems much better. The fluid build up in my abdomen got to be so much that when they drained it at the hospital they took out 7 liters of fluid! That is almost as much as 2 gallons of fluid that was drained out of me at one time! The chemo is supposed to take care of the fluid build up, but so far it hasn't so I'm a regular at the hospital to have the draining procedure done.
This coming Saturday, 7/26, we are leaving on a family vacation to go and stay at the beach in So. Cal. where we go every summer. The whole extended family is going so it will be very fun and nice and relaxing. I only have to have my TPN bag (nutrition) on for 12 hours a day so I will be a free woman most of my waking hours. Carrying the TPN bag around isn't very much fun - it's like a lightweight backpack. Since this will be the 3rd week after chemo I should be feeling my best and have a great time. Wish me luck - I'll write again when I'm down there to keep everyone posted on my condition. Thank you again for all your prayers and love and support.