Joan’s Story

Site created on March 25, 2018

03/25/2018   Welcome to my CaringBridge website.   I am using it to keep family and friends updated in one place.  As always, I appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement.  The past two years have been  the longest in my life to date, with a few  physical ups but mostly downs.  Mentally, many months are  virtually a blur from rapid growth cancer cells to chemo brain .  Both found me in bed staring into space, sleeping, and overall just zoning out of reality as much a possible while biding my time for a hopefully favorable outcome.  

My journey started with an ulcer and then bronchitis on top of that.  Next, Alien I was discovered in my ascending colon  which, post surgery, was found to be stage I (NOT perforating the colon wall).  I opted not to have chemo and instead  to try the nutrition route.  Seven months later and just as I was preparing to feel normal again, Alien II (extremely aggressive) became apparent in my transverse colon.  So much for ridding the cancer cells with nutrition.  This time it was stage II cancer with perforation.  Another surgery and four and a half months of chemo later, as reported by a nurse via CT scan, I have one enlarged lymph node and a small spot on one lung.  

I see the oncologist Tuesday the 27th to get the official results and am hoping it is all good.....forever.  But, we know cancer and reality and I will not be foolish enough to think there isn't a chance it will drop by sometime in the future.   Facing your mortality head on is quite the event.  Someday maybe I will be able to put it into words.  In the meantime, I look for employment, signed up at the gym, and am phasing back into a plant-based diet.  Smiling is on the agenda each day for as many hours as I am able to muster and keeping friends and family close has turned into a necessity. 

Newest Update

Journal entry by Joan Kerns

I have been quiet....waiting to see what the side effects are for the new treatment.  It is less hassle than the chemo treatments, as there is no neuropathy or chemo brain or intense nausea.  Instead, I have hives in various places all over my body for which I take Benadryl at night because it puts me to sleep.  There is a constant ache in my back, to the point I must stand and orient when rising from a prone position or risk a face plant.  A few other bits of pain or annoyance are present, but I can live with it all, key word being LIVE.  Over the past month I have been searching for the ideal job working online or in a facility where access to restroom facilities is close at hand.  That narrows it all down and so far, no go.  Being honest with a potential employer about my treating cancer will NOT happen again.  The law says no discrimination for a basket full of situations.  But, they DO discriminate, so no more honesty.  Learning to lie by omission.  Hope your lives have smoothed out, as we all have burdens to bear.  😊 
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