Thursday, June 30, 2011

Guess Who's Coming to My House?

All five of my mom's great grandsons
will be in Colorado Springs next
week to play in the newly created
"grandchildren room".

We had an unfinished room in our basement
and were just in the middle of having it finished
when Kelly, Adrian and David moved
in while waiting for their house to close.
Big David has just finished the painting
getting it ready for the family reunion.
This green background is the green magnetic
chalkboard closet door. There are 2 of them.

I'll post more pics when it is completely finished.
Right now, we just had to rush and get
things situated so that it is functional.

I have a feeling lots of happy times are going to
be had in that room.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Karen Health Update--June 29, 2011

NO
this is not the wig that I will be wearing in
a few weeks, but it is a picture of one that my sweet son
sent me when he was in Seattle. If I remember
correctly, he even offered to buy it for me if I
wanted. After all, it is RED!

As you can see, we are trying our best to laugh our way through
cancer treatments.

I thought my blog might be the best way to keep people updated on
my progress rather than trying to e-mail, post on FB, etc.

One week ago today, I had my first chemo. The process, itself, wasn't bad at all.
I actually played games on my IPad and talked to David through the
whole process without any problems at all.

This past week has been one of ups and downs as I/we learn how
to handle chemo. Mandy suggested that I keep a diary so
that in future rounds I will know what to expect, and I think that
has also helped me to see that, for the most part,
every day has been pretty good.

The biggest problem has been fatigue. I'm used to "blowing and going" so
being tired is hard, but maybe God wants me to learn to be still sometimes.
I've also had a little problem with elevated pulse rate, even though my blood
pressure remains great. My oncologist today said that this is from both
the steroids and drugs and gave me medicine (another pill) to control
it. She said I didn't need to feel like I was running a marathon all the time
(and you all know, I'm not into running marathons).

I don't know if I have shared this before but my surgeon and
oncologist worked together to time my first chemo round
so that I would be in week 3 (which is the week you feel most
normal) in order to be able to enjoy a family reunion that the
Aven/Gibson/Rollett/VanLoenen/Hinojosa/Burke/Taylor
Clan is having in Colorado Springs next week.
I cannot tell you how excited I am to have my family here.
That's going to be the best MEDICINE in the whole world
(and it's not even another pill--yeah!!)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Happy Birthday Dear Kelly

Who is this movie star?
....this beautiful lady?
....this precious mama?
....this adorable sister and daughter?

Kelly

Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!
Although with all that's going on in our world,
this hasn't been the perfect first Colorado Birthday,
next year, Lord willing, is going to be a HUGE CELEBRATION!
We might just birthday party all year long.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

One Thousand Gifts--Highly Recommended Book

This is an amazing and a life changing book that God knew I needed to read right now. It is beautifully written but stick with it because it is not an easy read. A quote from the jacket cover says it best. "A beautifully practical guide to living a life of joy, One Thousand Gifts invites you to wake up to God's everyday blessings. As Voskamp discovered, in giving thanks for the life she already had, she found the life she'd always wanted."

A friend challenged Ann Voskamp to write down 1,000 things she was thankful for in a year's time. She went far beyond 1,000 and thankfulness became a way of life. She discovered the truth of God asking us to be thankful in all things, and it changed her life. The book also changed my life. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Book cover courtesy of Follett.com

Monday, June 6, 2011

Gold and Silver Friends

For some reason the song I learned in Brownies
came to my mind after our surprise visit the other day.
"Make new friends, but keep the old,
One is silver and the other gold."
Terry, Rhonda, Hannah and Zach Kirksey
made an unexpected detour through
Colorado Springs on their way to
Yellowstone, so they came by for a quick visit.
I have known Terry and Rhonda since
they were little children and Terry
and David worked together for many
years with real estate and air conditioning.
You've heard the expression that "It takes a village
to raise a child." Terry and Rhonda were part
of the village that raised our son Jeremy.

Happy and Safe Travels, Friends!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Comfort Books

Book Cover Courtesy of TitleWave

I love to read and thought that while I
was convalescing from surgery, that
would be a great way to pass the time.
You should see the stack of books that
I have checked out of the library and that
friends have loaned me.

When it took me 2 and a half weeks
to complete one of the newest books
of one of my favorite authors, I knew
I was in trouble. Reading
was not doing the trick.
(Of course that could have been because
I was sleeping about 20 hours a day.)

It was then that I decided that maybe there is
a connection between "comfort food", that food we
need to comfort us when we are hurting, and "comfort books."
So I got out my torn and tattered copy
of Christy by Catherine Marshall.

I cannot count the number of times I have read this book but it fills
my heart with joy and strengthens my faith each time I read it.

Here is a portion of the quote from the back cover:
"At nineteen, Christy Huddleston left home to teach school in he
Smokies--coming to know and care for the wild mountain
people, with their fierce pride, terrible poverty,
dark superstitions...and their yearning for
beauty and truth. But in these primitive surroundings, Christy's faith would
be severely tested....."

If you have never read this wonderful book, make it a summer read.
If you have read it before, or perhaps watched the television
series based on the book that was out several years ago,
read it again.
You will be glad you did.
Happy Summer Reading!