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Dec 7, 2017 Latest post:
Mar 17, 2018
This is the detailed email that Karen sent to her family today, 12/7/17:
I'm sending this as a group because it's the easiest way to handle my news. It's clinical in sense I'm trying to be clear, organized, give you sense of what's happening, not an emotional letter to you all (not right now anyways!). It's very long but hopefully will answer many questions. I have stage 3 uterine cancer with metastasis (aka 'mets'). Surgery to be in Eugene (3 hours away) next week Thurs. 12/14. I'll drive up 12/13, stay in motel likely thru 12/16 to begin recovery. My months of treatment with chemo/radiation will be done in Medford, nearby city. Surgery puts me into immediate remission. The treatments are insurance it doesn't return. This has happened very suddenly and most unexpectedly.
Here's what I/friends are setting up as a way to reach me because there's simply no way I can handle multiple calls, emails, texts in midst all that's happening. It'll be good during treatments too: 1. Caring Bridges: friends set me up on this free, non-profit, medical health support site so everyone can check it for latest updates, leave messages, ask questions. (I'm not on Facebook)
2. Robyn (Calif.) will help me today to get it working so everyone gets an email invite to join it. I'm really focused right now on prep I have to do for surgery (plus motel room, insurance, medications in place, getting cancer society support, dietary changes, cleansings over several days, etc). Not sure if I'll get it all in place by end of day.
3. Team Leaders: 5 friends are now Team Leaders taking on tasks for me. They will be another source of contact for you. Each friend will have a list of people to contact letting everyone know I'm out of surgery/recovery. You'll have Caring Bridges but you will also be able to contact Team Leader. My nursing school friend Mary (now in Idaho) will be your (my family) Team Leader. You know her; she's a nurse who can answer medical questions too. 4. Friend Mary from Vermont called early this morning to tell me she's flying out here Tues. 12/12, I'll meet her in Eugene/motel room 12/12. She will help me on surgery/recovery day 12/14, getting me back to motel in evening, stay there 12/15 in motel room, return with me 12/16 to Ashland (southern OR), return to Vt. Sunday 12/17.
5. During treatments many friends will fly in; Robyn will drive 8 hours from Santa Cruz; JoAnne will drive even more hours from Olympic Peninsula to help.
6. Joan (Don's daughter) was, until this morning (12/7), originally going to drive to Eugene from her city, take me early to hospital, meet with doctors after recovery (to be my ears with all the instructions), take me back to motel, return to her home. She told me she was so glad to help me and remember we're sisters. She had cancer/treatments in 2013. We've always gotten along well; spent time together. Joan felt like a life saver in midst of all that's on her plate. Now Vt. Mary will come (she was on her book tour - wrote An Address in Amsterdam which has been selected for many awards/is on major book lists with high ratings, and book is now in the Holocaust Museum in DC. So her plate was more than full; but she's stopping to come here). She's one of my 5 Team Leaders. Those 5 talked among themselves to figure out which of them could shift something. Mary has lots of frequent flyer miles which helps too.
7. You can leave email/text/call directly to me, but please know I may/not be able to respond, or not right away, or say it's not a good time to talk. I trust you'll understand even though I know you'll be worried and wondering WTF?!!
To answer some questions you'll have: here's a history of how this unfolded: please see first journal entry due to limited space here!
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