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A note from a VERY 'old-timer'....still alive and kickin' and NED!

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8037
Joined: Aug 2005

‎8 years ago today, I was undergoing tests, scopes, etc for rectal bleeding and severe low back pain.

Sadly, the day after Thanksgiving that year 2004, I heard those 3 life-changing words for the first time "You have cancer". And then, to my amazement, my very self controlled GI gal hugged me with tears in her eyes (traditionally, Asian women do not show emotion in public) and told me she loved me (I figured it MUST be VERY bad for her to act this way). Then said the second crusher: "We don't see many cases like yours living very long".

Things blurred in time...my first chemo/rad session came the day after my beau left for his dad's funeral. Christmas eve my 5FU was dc'ed by a nurse who opened the office just for me so I didn't need to wear that pump for Christmas day. New Year came and went, and then all treatment ended with surgery in May to remove my rectum, sig colon, and make a 'new' rectum out of descending colon.

July started the second battle with cancer, unrelated primary site breast cancer found on a PET scan for the rectal. Lumpectomy with an overnight hospital stay (strong reaction to the anesthesia). Home to recover before starting chemo/rads...2 weeks later back in the hospital with a total bowel obstruction. Another resection to remove strangled small intestine.

After recovery, chemo/rads for the breast cancer started and ended the following year on July 4. My MAJOR independence day!

I am thankful each and every year at Thanksgiving that I had so many, many loving people helping me along my journey. I am thankful that I am one of the few cases that beat the odds that my GI gal gave me so long ago. Most of all, I am thankful for all of you, my friends! Without all the support I had from so many, I would not be here today, writing this story....

BIG hugs, Kathi

fauxma's picture
fauxma
Posts: 3570
Joined: Dec 2008

So good to hear from you. I and others always worry when one of the "oldies" stops posting. But someone said that you were active on facebook. And so glad you are sharing you story. It is a story of hope and courage. We are not products on a shelf with expiration dates. We are individuals that will respond, react and deal with our cancers in very different ways despite the fact that we might share some commonalities.
Hoping that you are enjoying whichever country you are currently living in and missing your stories.
For those that don't know Kathi, she is a vital, vibrate woman who lives half a year in Holland and 1/2 a year in the US. She is wonderful at describing her split life. Her battle against these two cancers was never easy but she (as our dear Chen would say) did what she had to in order to do what she wanted to. She is one the first ladies I met on here and I learned much from her. A very special woman who supported and helped many a newbie through their journey.
Stef

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8037
Joined: Aug 2005

It's a weak excuse...but a true one...

This past year, since my mom died, has been all-consuming. My sister was dx'ed with BC, and so I was solely responsible for executing the estate. I decided to take 100% of mom's house, and so the time renovating it has left precious little. I am now finished with that, so I can resume my 'social network' posting...*smile* I figured that you all here at CSN were doing quite well without me (don't take that wrong...I will post now), but my daughter is on FB and so I needed to stay busy there (she misses us alot when we are gone!).

We have also done much traveling. Currently, I am managing 2 cruises, one in December, one in February. I laugh...I sometimes get confused when talking with the travel agents...

We are still in the 'every 3 months switch countries' mode...in The States for the holidays, and then back to The Netherlands. It goes easier now that I can speak Dutch fairly well. I am helping with 4 ponies in Holland, and got to watch a calf being born this summer with our cows that graze in the backyard from the dairyman. We took a cruise of the Baltic region, also, this summer...Estonia, Russia, Scandinavia. SOOOOOO many, many pics to post! I have started making photobooks for chronicle things...

So, again, thank you, dear Stef, for the kind words....I promise I am still around, and will start posting again soon!

Hugs, Kathi

fauxma's picture
fauxma
Posts: 3570
Joined: Dec 2008

So sorry about losing your mom and about your sister's BC but happy to hear that you are still the busy world traveller. Glad to hear you will be popping in now and again.
Stef

SIROD's picture
SIROD
Posts: 2204
Joined: Jun 2010

Wow, You have been through a lot and am glad that you are enjoying your life at this time.

That lady had no business to tell you anything much less state what she did. How awful for you. Glad that you beat the odds.

I do believe you would still be here even without the support. The "will to live as long as we can" is in us all.

Wishing you a lot of happy cruising.

Doris

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8037
Joined: Aug 2005

Hugs, Kathi

CypressCynthia's picture
CypressCynthia
Posts: 4017
Joined: Oct 2009

Kathi, You are a truly amazing woman and inspiration to us all. And I love, love, love reading about your adventures. I so enjoyed meeting you in California a few years ago and I am soooo happy that you continue to be a "thriver." :-)

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8037
Joined: Aug 2005

Thank you for your warm words!

Hugs, Kathi

sea60's picture
sea60
Posts: 2601
Joined: May 2010

God bless you and I hope you enjoy many, many more Thanksgivings!!

Hugs,

Sylvia

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8037
Joined: Aug 2005

Hugs, Kathi

New Flower
Posts: 4250
Joined: Aug 2009

Thank you for your experience and inspirational story. Since I have joined this board you have been my hero and both your optimistic outlook and wisdom have helped me and many other survivors. I hope some day give you a hug in person.
Wishing you many more years with NED
Hugs
New Flower

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8037
Joined: Aug 2005

I have a special hug saved just for our meeting face-to-face!

Hugs, Kathi

VickiSam's picture
VickiSam
Posts: 8677
Joined: Aug 2009

get an update on your live, and adventures. You have mastered the 'Dutch' language -- I am so PROUD of you!

I am interested in seeing pictures of your adventures, as well as pictures from your
upcoming 2 cruises.

Living ... Life after cancer -- Music to my ears.

Vicki Sam

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