Kim Rixen

First post: Sep 2, 2019 Latest post: Jun 22, 2023
OK, I’m putting it out there. I have cancer – a rare one. It’s called thymoma (don’t Google it – it’s way too confusing), and it apparently took up residence behind my breast bone years ago. It’s now in the lining of my lung.

It’s supposedly slow-growing, which is why I really didn’t notice the sneaky bastard. It wasn’t until this spring/summer when I had what was probably a case of the flu and started having trouble breathing.

I powered through it, not letting it stop me from dancing, doing yoga, and walking. In fact, I made it a point to go over to the U’s Rec Center at noon, walk up the 60 steps, and then walk one to two miles on the track because I thought I needed to build my stamina after the flu.

I saw my doctor, who thought it was my asthma and the bad allergy season we were having. But a chest x-ray showed the large mass.

That led to CT and PET scans and a biopsy that didn’t yield a definitive diagnosis. My doctors sent me to Mayo Clinic. Last week, I was there on and off for three days. They confirmed the thymoma and did a bronchoscopy to cut out a section of the tumor that was on my windpipe. Breathing is now much easier.

Right now, the plan is for me to start chemo September 18 – after a long-planned vacation to the Black Hills. The hope is to shrink the mass. I start with three rounds, 21 days apart. We’ll reevaluate after three cycles.

I feel like I’ve been riding a rollercoaster with a faulty brake. It’s brought up all kinds of emotions and anxieties.  Sleep is one of my biggest challenges right now, as I often wake up panicked.

Steve has been my rock. He’s been to every appointment and has sat with me during the dark times. We’ll get through this, he keeps telling me.

Bailey has been my therapy dog. We lost our sweet Alex in June, which was so difficult. He was my boy—never out of my sight. Now Bailey is having to pick up the slack.

I’ve been selectively telling people what’s going on. I’ll try to keep you updated through this page.

I’m so grateful to have so many wonderful people in my life. I appreciate each and every one of you more than you know.