Friday, July 31, 2009

SOLD

The closing on my condo yesterday, July 30th, was bittersweet. I am sad because I feel that I just closed another chapter of my life, much earlier than I would have liked. I am happy because I feel that a load has been lifted. Now I can move forward with God's direction and with whatever the future holds.

"You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you, O God." Isaiah 26:3

Dory Lakes Vacation - July 2009

Johanna, my aunt, reserved the lodge at Dory Lake for the the week. My cousin Mary Pat and her daughter and son-in-law and their three children joined us. They took off each day and everyone went their own way. My cousin Johanna and her dad, uncle Larry were traveling through Colorado and spent a day with us.  Johanna is a common name in our family and there were five of us present at Dory Lakes. What fun we had. It was such a good time. I took Johanna, my aunt, to Mount Lindo so she could see my resting place. We had a picnic lunch and enjoyed the beauty as well as the peace and quiet.

And then one afternoon - I knew that I had a blood clot when I was rushed to Boulder to the hospital. The pain had been going on for 4-5 hours before I told anyone, but I knew what was happening. By the time I left the hospital another 4 hours later the pain had subsided. I was really puzzled about what was going on. You can not mistake the pain of a blood clot once you have been through one. And then, I ran across this article on Altitude Illness. It was a wonderful article about what actually happens when we change altitude. I would have never guessed that it would cause thrombophlebitis, but it actually made sense after reading the article. I caught it in time and getting to the lower altitude helped until I was told by the ER to use moist heat packs. This is just a short sentence that caught my eye in this article. "Studies have shown that there is an increased tendency for blood to thrombose (clot) in arteries and veins at high altitude." If you would like to read more about Altitude Illness, check out the site - http://www.elbrus.org/eng1/high_altitude1.htm

There is always something funny if you look for it. When I go to Dory Lakes it is with my aunt. The last time we were at Dory Lakes was ten years ago. I was napping one afternoon and my aunt woke me and said that she need to get to the hospital. She was having numbness in her arm and her breathing was very labored. The doctor said that she needed to get to a lower altitude and stay there. So, ten years later she decided that she could probably handled it if she really paid attention to what her body was telling her. This time (ten years later) I woke her from a nap and said that I needed to get to the hospital. At the moment, of course, it was not funny, but as we looked back on it we had a good laugh. Maybe we will try it again in another ten years.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Ladybug, Ladybug

For some it was fun and for others it was not so much. This was the summer of the ladybug invasion in Jefferson County in Colorado. I live on the 15th floor and I would never have expected to have my picture window covered with ladybugs - between 25-50 at any given time, with many, many more just flying around. I found this to be a mystery and a friend started investigating and found that the ladybugs had invaded Colorado. A couple of weeks ago when I was in the mountains I noticed that the bushes were covered and the air was filled with thousands and thousands of the little good luck charms, according to folklore.

I just returned from a week in the mountains (higher altitude) and did not see any ladybugs. Not sure if they left or if it was truly limited to the Jefferson County area. You can click on this link to see a sampling of the massive amounts of Ladybugs. http//media.smh.com.au/ladybugs-invade-colorado-629437.html

I must say, however, that the wild flowers are magnificent this year. I have never seen so many varieties. I had a wonderful week with family at Dory Lakes, just the other side of Black Hawk and celebrated my birthday, on Saturday, at Georgetown with my aunt. I did have one little incident and was taken to the emergency room at Boulder. After about 4 hours it was determined that I did not have a blood clot at that time and the pain had almost subsided. After warm, moist compresses the pain finally went away. They said that I did the right thing by getting it checked out since I seem to be a high risk for blood clots (due to my episode in October).

I am feeling relatively well and I am scheduled for another PET scan on August 6th. My CA125 (blood test) two weeks ago was up to 53 which is above the normal range. In April it was 20 and an indication that it was on the rise.

It was a birthday like no other. I received well over 50 cards from my church family alone. I thank you Father for close friends who help me build a stronger character and draw me closer to you.

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" John 15:13

Friday, July 3, 2009

I have chosen my resting place!

Colorado’s Mount Lindo Cemetery and Mausoleum rests on top of a mountain that overlooks Highway 285 and Denver. On the East side of the mountain is the largest lighted cross in the United States. The cross is 393 feet high and 254 feet across, and can be seen from the highway and parts of the city it watches over.

This has been a very busy week with getting a contract on the condo and making all of my funeral arrangements. I am very excited about the place that I have chosen. I will be cremated and my ashes scattered in the Garden of Freedom on Mount Lindo. I will have a small bronze plaque with my name and years of birth and death on a Cenotaph sitting in front of a magnificent view of the mountains. (A cenotaph is a tomb or a monument erected in honor of a person or group of persons whose remains are elsewhere.)

Several months ago I met with my aunt, Sister Johanna, to plan a service in the Kansas City area for all of my cousins, family and friends that want to attend. We planned a very nice service with biblical verses and songs that are close to my heart. Today, I met with my pastor, Steve Heese, to plan a completely different type of service for my church family and friends in the Denver area. Since we wound up choosing many of the same verses and songs, it will be different only in the fact that it will be on Mount Lindo where he will scatter my ashes.

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you O Lord, are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me." Psalm 23:4

Contract on condo

As of July 1st I have a contract on my condo. Please pray with me that the inspection and closing go smoothly.

Life is fragile, handle with prayer.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I have survived my first year with cancer

When concerns cloud our minds and steal our serenity, we often seek instant comfort through words of the world. But we’ve been given another means, and even better means: the complete package of God’s Word. And on those pages we will find peace beyond all earthly understanding. ~ from “God Things Come in Small Packages”

One year ago today, July 1st, was the start of my journey, better known as “Katherine's Cancer Journey”. No one knows for sure how long I had the cancer before I was diagnosed as Stage 3C. So, I consider this my first year of survival. I know - I know, everyone has set five years as the true survival rate. I look at it a little differently - each day, each month, or each year that I am alive is survival for me. I will turn 66 this month but instead of celebrating my birthday I want to celebrate the fact that I have made it one year living with a very aggressive cancer that has taken over my body.

I was reading another persons blog that has the same type of endometrial cancer that I have. I love this quote from her doctor so I took the liberty of borrowing it. "This is YOUR fight, not theirs. You will do as well as you think you will, do not believe in any statistics but your own! The statistics your are reading are old by the time you read them anyways. Keep positive!" ~ Dr. Jeremy Sturgeon