60
60
5

Kill Kate’s Cancer!

$12,775 of $100 goal

Raised by 64 people in 5 months

About five days before Christmas, I was diagnosed with DCIS, ductal carcinoma in situ. This was a small breast cancer, one which we believed we could fight with a very straight forward treatment. Because I have medical insurance, and it seemed like a lumpectomy and just a couple of radiation treatments, we figured we had this one licked.

Unfortunately, I have some extreme sensitivity to radiation, and some other strange and scary complications from the treatments such as blood clotting, extreme fatigue, and difficulty breathing, as well as infection. We have temporarily stopped radiation (after only 3 treatments) while we go through the possible causes for these issues, and do our best to treat each one.

I feel very grateful for the incredible emotional support on line, for all the docs who have weighed in on my confounding case, for the yoga studios who let me come flop around in the back while I try to stay sane, (under doc's supervision!) for Jack's place who gifted me an incredible place to stay, for my friends and family who have rallied mightily with good vibes, hugs, food, and love.

I did not want to reach out for financial help because over the years, you all have been incredible helping me raise funds for expeditions and ski tryouts, and I just feel so amazingly held and supported by this community already. So first, I just want to say thanks very much, for all you've done for me and for my family along the way so far. If you've given what you can already, thank you so much for that. I put the goal donation on this page at $100 because I don't even know how to navigate this space. 

Trying to go to the antarctic has a real, clear, definite destination and a dollar amount it takes to get there. People either want to be involved or they don't, it's more straightforward. I find myself in uncharted territoy here. 

Due to recent developments in my cancer situation, I've spent the last week in and out of the ER, and I think it's time to ask for help. My amazing sister has agreed to come out and stay on our couch so that our lovely teenage boys don't disintegrate right into their pajamas on the couch. 

Any funds raised will go directly to medical costs, transporting myself and my partner Tom to specialty care not covered by insurance, and some help around the house for the boys, including some counseling for them. We are also now way past the time when we thought I'd be treated, and so I have missed approximately 11 weeks of work this year due to the cancer, although I do my best to work in between moments of down time. 

Your thoughts, prayers, texts, and smiles all help just as much, so I really just want to say thank you to those who have been through this before me, who have stepped up to hold me as I go through it myself, those who've never been through it but care so much, and just to the community at large. I am grateful beyond measure for your love and support. 

Any amount helps defray the cost, and i'm keeping an update with pics on my old blog for any one who wants the nitty gritty. It's at www.skiingintheshower.com

Thanks for your love and support!

+ Read More
Hello friends and family! I wanted to update you that I've TURNED THE CORNER. It has been incredibly difficult to recover from the radiation, but I am over the hump.

About three weeks ago, I was still sleeping all afternoon and going to bed at 7:30 or 8pm. Then, Bodhi and I had an opportunity to take an art class together at Anderson Ranch, courtesy of one of our friends.

I was very excited to begin academic painting again, and to share that experience with Bodhi. I had NO idea how it was going to work energy wise. While it was tough, we made it through, and just being in the creative hummmm of Anderson Ranch made me feel amazing. I still hit the sack at 7pm, but I was awake and learning during the day, which was awesome.

At the end of the week, Tom threw Bodhi and I a little party on our lawn with our neighbors and some of our fellow students to congratulate us for making it through a stringent academic program (for five days ha ha), and it was incredible.

The next test came in the form of editing and updating a text book that I wrote in 2015 for Yoga Teacher Training in Anatomy in Hong Kong. I took the text from 31 pages to 121 pages, and then I taught two afternoons of Anatomy to the teacher training students at Vimana Yoga in Basalt. This was a big undertaking, but again, with diligent energy management, it was manageable.

Next up for me will be performing on Thursday evening at Writ Large at the Wheeler Opera House with my other son, Ethan, who has a hilarious story to tell.

While I still experience some very strange and uncomfortable symptoms which have the doctors still scratching their heads, I'm so happy to be returning to about 60%KP (kate power). I'm on blood thinners still for another month, (due to clots in my jugular vein) and on some medications to ease the strange symptoms of constricted breathing and pain in my neck and chest, but otherwise, I am doing well!

I was having cognitive issues previously, and, since returning to the art studio, they only seem to rear up when I'm really tired now rather than all the time. (Which was scary.) I still have pain in my breast, but that can linger, and I'm okay with it.

Looking forward, I'm grateful to say that I'm able to look forward mostly because we were not buried by an avalanche of debt as a result of me not being able to work since December. The stress of losing my income was significant, and you as a community removed that stress, allowing us all to focus on healing.

I was able to rest when I needed rest and be with my children as I healed, and there are simply no words for the gratitude I feel for you all. Together, you raised $26,000, exactly the amount I make when I work from December through October. Because of that, I could pay my bills, rest and recover without fear, stress and with massively reduced anxiety.

Thank you so much for your advice, kind words, care, presence, the food deliveries, for coming and playing with the boys, and for the financial assistance. You made what could have been a truly terrifying experience much less scary.

All my love and gratitude,
Kate
+ Read More
Thanks so much to all the folks that have been contributing to our fund for the expenses created by my cancer treatment. I'm now on a hear monitor continuously, and am beginning to recognize patterns in my energy and ability to be a person (rather than another couch covering...). Right now its cyclical, I was in the ER again the night before last, but yesterday was so so much better. We'll just take it as it comes.

Some of you have asked about disability, it's true, I did not receive disability from SkiCo's insurance. Again, I beieve this is mostly becauwe of how insurance works, and had nothing to do with SkiCo itself or my amazing bosses, they did go to bat for me and try to get me covered. No matter how they sliced it, I was five hours short. Thank you to those of you who have offered to call in and purchase a day of skiing with me, unfortunately they can't backdate tickets.

I did have four days of cancellations and a week of pending bookings decide not to cancel early season because of those conditions... the thought that just ONE of those days would have helped ease this burden was very frustrating, but wishing they calculated the hours differently just doesn't change the math. My PSIA hours don't count toward disability, neither do any donated hours to candidates. And finally, they start calculating backwards from the last day worked. So, because I worked, and then took days off to drive to Denver and get a biopsy, took five days off to heal, and then went back to work for a week, and so on and so forth until radiation began, my "last day worked" has a bunch of holes and days off before it for doctor visits, because I kept working until I couldn't any more.

This was frustrating. However, this is how the system works. Instead of focusing on that, I'd like to say thank you to the incredibly generous folks who have contributed to our family, helping close the salary gap and cover the few things that aren't covered by my insurance.

For sure, I was "supposed to be done" by now, healing from the "minimal" effects of radiation, not chatting it up with my favorite phlebotomist every other evening in the hospital, but guess what? We are where we are and we move forward from here.

I will do what I can with the time that I have, and rest when I should. Thank you so much for your care, support and sharing of this campaign, I'm humbled.

With much gratitude,
Kate
+ Read More
The good news: I am CANCER FREE as of yesterday until the next check up in October! YEAH! Second part of best news: We raised enough money to cover my base pay that I missed during the ski season, so we were able to pay our bills and pay the extra medical expenses that insurance didn't cover so far since I did not qualify for disability insurance though my work by five hours (due to how they calculate the hours).

The difficult news: I have some confusing, scary and difficult reactions to radiation. I have energy for about three hours in the morning, and then I can't walk more than about 10 feet without needing to lay down. We are all a bit baffled. I'm working with a Radiation Oncologist, a Hematologist who is also an oncologist, a medical oncologist, and a cardiologist as well as the patient and wonderful people at the Aspen Valley Hospital Emergency department.

Here's the deal: My resting heart rate is 32. My blood pressure is 80/60. I have pain in my neck on both sides, a blood clot in my jugular vein. I'm on blood thinners to manage that situation. The pain situation is a bummer but pain I can handle. It goes up my neck and across my left chest under my collarbone and down my left arm. My heart feels sharp and intense periodic pain, my right lung and ribs feel similarly but all over the whole area. My esophogus feels like its being squeezed, but there's no blockage. It's hard to breathe and I have burning and pressure in my chest, but I can take a deep breath.

The more troubling thing than that is that I am dizzy, nauseous, confused, have trouble concentrating, reading, and holding conversations, and if I walk around, I have to sit or lay on the ground all of the sudden. I fell asleep at a red light the other day on the way back from my cardiology stress test (very scary and unlike me), and had to pull into Starbucks and sleep in the parking lot for a half hour to get home.

I feel so crushed by this... just nailed to the couch, I feel bad for my kids, I can't play with them or help them because "mom's high and asleep on the couch" again. Every day. I am so. Over. It. And i know it takes time and patience. But the problem is, we don't know what's wrong or why. And it's either urgent, emergent, or it's nothing, which is confusing and scary.

The stress test yesterday was normal, my heart is "healthy". Although I could only walk on the treadmill for about SIX MINUTES. She told me to walk until I was so fatigued I couldn't do any more. In my cockiness I thought "Well, do you have all day? Because I like to ski uphill."

Six minutes, and I was flattened, gasping for breath and struggling to help them get the images of my heart they needed under stress. But we know it's not my heart.

The concerning thing is that: It's not ENT (I had a soft tissue x-ray in the ER and it showed no constriction.) and then went to the ENT doc who concurred, and It's not my heart. But it's something, and it's not good.

I did spend the weekend sitting in a classroom in Avon on the floor observing an anatomy class, and while I didn't feel great, I made it through. The day after that was the stress test, and the day after that I was flattened.

I'm worried because when I call the docs, and describe my symptoms, they immediately say "go to the ER". and then I get to the ER and they say, well, we can put you in the CT machine again and shoot you full of Deloted and give you a bunch of fluids. I hate being drugged, and I don't tolerate IV's very well because, as the ultrasound tech who found the clot in my jugular vein said "I've never ever seen such teeny tiny veins in my whole life!" (Oh yay me.)

This does not solve the problem, and I am struggling with being a non-person every day starting at 2 pm every day. I know it could be worse. I am SO grateful that the cancer is gone. I have a very good friend who did not survive her cancer this year, it was shocking and I miss her every day. I am grateful to be walking and talking and with my family and able to do some gentle yoga when I feel good in the morning.

The thing that worries me is that none of the specialists seem to understand a) what is happening and b) why it is happening and c) who should be looking at it to try to solve it. While I'm feeling MUCH better now that my nipple has stopped blistering and peeling over and over again (that was a fun two weeks), and is now just twice the size of the other one and has nice raw baby skin on it rather than an alarming FOUR times the size and covered in black blisters and pus (ew, sorry), I'm really concerned about my current set of random symptoms, the solution to which seems to be the biggest polarity I have faced so far:

Either things are really scary and potentially bad and I should be worried, or it's nothing and it's going to fade and I just need rest. The doctors alternately saying "go to the ER!" and "we'll schedule a follow up in three weeks" is confusing. It's like being caught between dire consequence and maybe just take a nap.

In the mean time, I'm not working until June. I am resting and trying to be calm and patient and see if we can figure this out. I just wanted to update all of you who have been so kind as to donate and help our family through this time, to express my frustration that we aren't through it though we should be (it was BABY cancer! It's gone!), and to just give y'all an update as to why I'm still hard to get ahold of and a bit inconsistent in communication.

Thanks again for all of your concern, for the texts and emails and love and encouragement and food and kid care and financial help. We are beyond grateful and we will FIGURE THIS OUT and get through it!!
lThe good news: I am CANCER FREE as of yesterday until the next check up in October! YEAH! Second part of best news: We raised enough money to cover my base pay that I missed during the ski season, so we were able to pay our bills and pay the extra medical expenses that insurance didn't cover so far since I did not qualify for disability insurance though my work by five hours (due to how they calculate the hours).
+ Read More
The scary news is after the good news, but let's start on a good note: The good news: I am CANCER FREE as of yesterday until the next check up in October! YEAH! Second part of best news: We raised enough money to cover my base pay that I missed during the ski season, so we were able to pay our bills and pay the extra medical expenses that insurance didn't cover so far since I did not qualify for disability insurance though my work by five hours (due to how they calculate the hours).

The difficult news: I have some confusing, scary and difficult reactions to radiation. I have energy for about three hours in the morning, and then I can't walk more than about 10 feet without needing to lay down. We are all a bit baffled. I'm working with a Radiation Oncologist, a Hematologist who is also an oncologist, a medical oncologist, and a cardiologist as well as the patient and wonderful people at the Aspen Valley Hospital Emergency department.

Here's the deal: My resting heart rate is 32. My blood pressure is 80/60. I have pain in my neck on both sides, a blood clot in my jugular vein. I'm on blood thinners to manage that situation. The pain situation is a bummer but pain I can handle. It goes up my neck and across my left chest under my collarbone and down my left arm. My heart feels sharp and intense periodic pain, my right lung and ribs feel similarly but all over the whole area. My esophogus feels like its being squeezed, but there's no blockage. It's hard to breathe and I have burning and pressure in my chest, but I can take a deep breath.

The more troubling thing than that is that I am dizzy, nauseous, confused, have trouble concentrating, reading, and holding conversations, and if I walk around, I have to sit or lay on the ground all of the sudden. I fell asleep at a red light the other day on the way back from my cardiology stress test (very scary and unlike me), and had to pull into Starbucks and sleep in the parking lot for a half hour to get home.

I feel so crushed by this... just nailed to the couch, I feel bad for my kids, I can't play with them or help them because "mom's high and asleep on the couch" again. Every day. I am so. Over. It. And i know it takes time and patience. But the problem is, we don't know what's wrong or why. And it's either urgent, emergent, or it's nothing, which is confusing and scary.

The stress test yesterday was normal, my heart is "healthy". Although I could only walk on the treadmill for about SIX MINUTES. She told me to walk until I was so fatigued I couldn't do any more. In my cockiness I thought "Well, do you have all day? Because I like to ski uphill."

Six minutes, and I was flattened, gasping for breath and struggling to help them get the images of my heart they needed under stress. But we know it's not my heart.

The concerning thing is that: It's not ENT (I had a soft tissue x-ray in the ER and it showed no constriction.) and then went to the ENT doc who concurred, and It's not my heart. But it's something, and it's not good.

I did spend the weekend sitting in a classroom in Avon on the floor observing an anatomy class, and while I didn't feel great, I made it through. The day after that was the stress test, and the day after that I was flattened.

I'm worried because when I call the docs, and describe my symptoms, they immediately say "go to the ER". and then I get to the ER and they say, well, we can put you in the CT machine again and shoot you full of Deloted and give you a bunch of fluids. I hate being drugged, and I don't tolerate IV's very well because, as the ultrasound tech who found the clot in my jugular vein said "I've never ever seen such teeny tiny veins in my whole life!" (Oh yay me.)

This does not solve the problem, and I am struggling with being a non-person every day starting at 2 pm every day. I know it could be worse. I am SO grateful that the cancer is gone. I have a very good friend who did not survive her cancer this year, it was shocking and I miss her every day. I am grateful to be walking and talking and with my family and able to do some gentle yoga when I feel good in the morning.

The thing that worries me is that none of the specialists seem to understand a) what is happening and b) why it is happening and c) who should be looking at it to try to solve it. While I'm feeling MUCH better now that my nipple has stopped blistering and peeling over and over again (that was a fun two weeks), and is now just twice the size of the other one and has nice raw baby skin on it rather than an alarming FOUR times the size and covered in black blisters and pus (ew, sorry), I'm really concerned about my current set of random symptoms, the solution to which seems to be the biggest polarity I have faced so far:

Either things are really scary and potentially bad and I should be worried, or it's nothing and it's going to fade and I just need rest. The doctors alternately saying "go to the ER!" and "we'll schedule a follow up in three weeks" is confusing. It's like being caught between dire consequence and maybe just take a nap.

In the mean time, I'm not working until June. I am resting and trying to be calm and patient and see if we can figure this out. I just wanted to update all of you who have been so kind as to donate and help our family through this time, to express my frustration that we aren't through it though we should be (it was BABY cancer! It's gone!), and to just give y'all an update as to why I'm still hard to get ahold of and a bit inconsistent in communication.

Thanks again for all of your concern, for the texts and emails and love and encouragement and food and kid care and financial help. We are beyond grateful and we will FIGURE THIS OUT and get through it!!
lThe good news: I am CANCER FREE as of yesterday until the next check up in October! YEAH! Second part of best news: We raised enough money to cover my base pay that I missed during the ski season, so we were able to pay our bills and pay the extra medical expenses that insurance didn't cover so far since I did not qualify for disability insurance though my work by five hours (due to how they calculate the hours).
+ Read More
Read a Previous Update

$12,775 of $100 goal

Raised by 64 people in 5 months
Your share could be bringing in donations. Sign in to track your impact.
   Connect
We will never post without your permission.
In the future, we'll let you know if your sharing brings in any donations.
We weren't able to connect your Facebook account. Please try again later.
$500
Anonymous
3 months ago
$100
Alan Wagner
3 months ago
SM
$100
Shannon McDermott
3 months ago
DH
$50
Dwight Holland
3 months ago
MB
$200
Mike Bell
3 months ago
AW
$200
Alan Wagner
3 months ago
$200
Anonymous
4 months ago
MS
$100
Mark Schindler
4 months ago
GS
$100
Gina Silverman
4 months ago
KF
$40
Kristen Fehrenbach
4 months ago
or
Use My Email Address
By continuing, you agree with the GoFundMe
terms and privacy policy
There's an issue with this Campaign Organizer's account. Our team has contacted them with the solution! Please ask them to sign in to GoFundMe and check their account. Return to Campaign

Are you ready for the next step?
Even a $5 donation can help!
Donate Now Not now
Connect on Facebook to keep track of how many donations your share brings.
We will never post on Facebook without your permission.