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Karen’s Story

Welcome to our CaringBridge site. We've created it to keep friends and family updated. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most.

Hello everyone...first off, I never thought I'd be making one of these for my mom but here goes nothing.  Since about November of 2012 Karen has been suffering from random migraines and blurred vision.  In true KP fashion she prolonged getting it checked out mostly due to the chaotic lifestyle she was living.  Who knew teaching, finals, a new job, and a family trip to Disney would leave you with minimal time.  Anyways, about three weeks ago symptoms started getting worse and she began seeing a chiropractor.  Some days were better than others but mostly things were just remaining constant and not resolving.  She had already been through many blood tests prior to starting with the chiro but on February 13th she went back in to have things looked at again.  Gina (her chiropractor) had pushed Karen to get an MRI and have things looked at closer due to a pressure point on her neck making symptoms worse.  Her general practitioner wanted to do a vision, hearing and more blood tests but with enough persuasion she was able to get an MRI scheduled.  

Stephen brought her to that appointment in Coon Rapids and within an hour of leaving the clinic she got a phone call that she needed to head to the hospital due to a mass that was found on her brain.   We don't know a ton of information right now.  We know it's approximately 4.9 centimeters. We know it's on the back left side of her brain/skull, they're hoping it's confined and not going to spread.  They've ordered a biopsy and that is currently scheduled for Friday the 15th and will be starting prep at about 7:00. I'm hoping that's a good thing that they didn't rush it and it's not as severe as we're fearing but for now it's just the waiting game. It will still be a while after the biopsy before we have results from that but will pass info along as we get it.

In the meantime she is in the ICU at United Hospital.  They moved her there last night after being admitted to give her fluids to make sure no swelling in the brain occurs or causes any sort of hemorrhaging.  

Karen has the best support system possible.  My dad, myself and my brother will be by her side through all of this.  For now it's a day at a time until they get the results of the biopsy.  I will keep everyone posted to the best of my ability.  For now we ask for your prayers and thoughts to help her pull through.  She's the strongest woman I know and has many angels that are going to get her though.  

If anyone has any questions or messages to pass along to Karen feel free to post questions here and I will update as quickly as I can.

I'll be back with another update soon.

Latest Journal Update

What a whirlwind!!

I can't even begin to wrap my brain around the fact that it was two years ago today that they found mom's tumor.  It feels like it was yesterday!  While things never get easier in accepting that she's gone, she certainly makes her presence known.  I don't know if I never noticed dragonflies in the past or what but holy cow are they everywhere now!  That and bald eagles...pretty sure I've seen more eagles in the last two years than I did in the prior 31 but they give me a sense of comfort knowing she's close by.  Here's some quick updates on what's happened over the last year since I last updated...

Dad has kept busy with toys and travel.  Between work trips and fun trips it's like a never ending game of where's Waldo sometimes.  :)  He finally got his Harley, he's still got the snowmobiles (although a lack of snow this year have made them pretty useless), and he's been doing a lot of nature walks and cross country skiing.  The countdown to retirement is nearing and i'm just waiting for him to ask the kids to make him a paper chain that he can rip one off for each day as it gets closer.  

Stephen worked at camp again last summer and then took a job with the YMCA in Georgia and worked there a few months.  He's been back since Christmas season and has been working at Afton Alps making snow.  He and dad took a trip to Colorado a couple weeks ago and hit the slopes out there for a boys weekend away.  They had a blast and I'm sure can't wait to go back soon!  Stephen has a prospective job out east that he may be leaving for in the next month or so but he hasn't gotten for sure details yet.  It's another camp position and nature educator of some sort from the tidbits I've heard about it.  He's getting out and seeing the country like mom always told him to.'

And then there's us...lol.  The twins were born June 26 of last year.  Prior to that I had broken both of my ankles at 34 weeks pregnant.  Definitely wasn't my smoothest move but the babies were safe so that was what mattered.  I managed to carry for another five weeks and Cole was 6 lbs 11 oz and Kaelynn (little KP) was 6 lbs 3 oz.  They're both doing awesome now and are becoming more and more mobile every day.  KP's got a pretty good army crawl going and Cole's more of a roll to where he wants to get but in no time they'll be running and then watch out.  Gavin is in second grade this year and Faith is in Kindergarten.  They were at Community of Saints in West St. Paul for the first half of the year but we ended up moving them over to Northview right down the road from us after Christmas because the commute was getting to be too much with the babies.  So far it's been a smooth transition and they're both loving the new school.  Kai's contracting company is in the slow season but jobs are starting to pop up so before we know it he'll be back to working 60 hours a week.  Such is the life of construction and owning a company but he's trying to focus more on remodels and getting to use his creative side for designing bathrooms and kitchens.  Then there's me, I started up at St. Kate's again last fall semester and finally made it through my struggle with Anatomy & Physiology.  So now I've started in the radiography program this spring and will be starting clinicals in the fall.  So far it's been an exciting outlook as to what the future holds and these next couple years will be a challenge but I'm excited and ready!

The walk is coming up in just a few short months on May 17th and last year with the pregnancy and chaos of that I dropped the ball in doing much planning.  I've set up the team so if anyone wants to register to walk with us feel free!  The link is at the bottom of this post.  In the coming weeks/months I'll also be hosting a Jamberry, Younique and Tupperware party that commissions will be donated to the walk so if you've thought about ordering anything from them feel free to let me know and I can get an order towards the cause sooner if need be.  I'd love to have a turnout for the walk like we did the first year so anyone interested please join us!  We've still got tshirts left and we're talking about ordering a few more sweatshirts for anyone interested so if anyone would like those please let me know.  

Here's the link to the walk and more will be posted in the coming weeks!

Love and hugs to all!!