Kill Kate’s Cancer!
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!
Unfortunately, I’m suffering once again from the effects of Radiation, and while I was able to stay out of the Emergency Room for a few days, yesterday I ended up back in there with difficulty breathing and pain in my neck, chest and left arm like before.
Once again we repeated CAT scans and did Ultrasound scans, and we found a clot in my Jugular Vein, which is scary and dangerous, but which explains a lot. Clots can form as a side effect of radiation.
Today, I will go in to see an ENT specialist at the Aspen Valley Hospital, to see what the rest of the story is from here. A whole new round of testing begins.
Health wise, I need to be really chill and quiet, not very physical and not very stimulated until we get more info.
My wonderful sister, who has been here for three weeks, needs to head home tomorrow, and we will
Miss her help keeping the boys happy and grounded.
Thank you guys for your incredibly generous contributions, of food, home-made and delivery service (yummy!) canvases, and funds to help us buy groceries, and cover costs that aren’t covered by my insurance.
The surprise visits to the ER are partially covered, but some of the big tests are not, and, since I’ve been run through the CAT scan machine more than six times in the last six weeks, the contributions you guys have made have really helped make that less stressful, because we know we can pay for the testing we need.
I know there are a lot of people out there who have medical issues and who need support. Thank you so much for including me in your thoughts, paraders and for contributing to a smooth and
Much less stressful recovery. ❤️❤️
There’s really no point in projecting forward; will the radiate me, won’t they, will it be fine, will it make me sick. What if it doesn’t work? Do I get a mastectomy? Do I just leave it? I can’t answer any of these questions, because we are missing data.
The last thing was: we had a great morning. My sister is with our kids, so that stress level has gone down somewhat.
The next thing is: we are driving to Shaw Cancer Center, where my awesome Radiation Oncologist and my surgeon will take a look at the girls and see how they’re doing.
I’m almost back at Zero: no infection, no swelling, no burn. I still have constricted throat and funky breath sensations in my chest. I still get very tired, but it’s happening later in the day. In other words, I’m healing.
And if I’m stable and healing and there’s no unknown influences, it’s time to aim the ray gun at my breast and see what happens. If we have another adverse reaction, that will give us information and we will make choices from there. If I don’t have an adverse reaction, that will give us some good info and we will make choices from there.
So right now, all we are doing is driving to the Dr. to see what they think. When we get the next piece of data we will make the next decision. SO, since we don’t have that info, we don’t have to be in crisis or stressed out. Which is way more fun. Instead, I’m day dreaming about thicknesses of Kinney canvas and feeling grateful my kiddos are playing board games. :)
Thank you all so much for your support, both emotional and financial, it has been a huge relief to know that even though I didn’t get disability and I was unable to work for Most of the season, we are going to be okay.
There’s not really a way to tell you guys how much that massive reduction in stress has done for our family and for my own personal healing. ❤️ Thank You.
My amazing sister has joined us and is taking the boys outside and into the snow, they are playing g games and are off the computer and becoming humans again. This makes my stressed out mama’s heart very very happy.
In the meantime, I am sleeping a LOT and we went to the local movie theater to watch Cosi Fan Tutte live from the Met today, what an awesome vacation from cancer! ❤️ It’s fantastic. If you can catch the encore in the theater or if you live in New York, go see it, it’s wonderful.
Thank you so much for the incredible support and encouragement, this little “baby” cancer which was supposed to be so by the book took some very scary turns, including a day where we were facing the scary moving target of a blood clot, and your notes and support and live have just been tremendous. Thank you.
From it... thank you all for your help, support and good wishes! ❤️