Archive for December, 2009


Karen had a bit of a rough evening, with a short bout with nausea.  Gave us a little concern, but then this morning, as vitals were all coming in good, Dr. Dudley freed Karen of her i.v., her oxygen, and the inflatable leg cuffs, with the proviso that Karen continue to lengthen her walks. Dr. Dudley also hinted that the two remaining artificial appendages (the wound drain and the Foley catheter) might be removed tomorrow if she continues on this upward progression. Well that was all our girl had to hear and she was up and about walking three times the length of our prior walks. The walks are difficult, but Karen is doing better each round.

Taysa visited today, with a teapot, tea cups and some of Karen’s tea – no styrofoam cups or Lipton tea  for this patient. Karen also gobbled up some carrot cake from the Flying Star.

We’re hopeful that Karen will be “sprung” from this joint early in the week if things keep going as well as they seem to be. Got our fingers crossed.

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Day 3 at the hospital and Karen is doing amazingly well.   Yesterday, at 6:30 a.m. she got up for the first time and walked to the doorway of her room.  She walked two additional times, each one longer than the one  before.  Today she volunteered for 2 walks.  INCREDIBLE.  Karen was starting to fuss more about all the tubes, which also is a very good sign!   We’ve since seen Dr. Dudley and he removed one tube and some bandaging.  

Dr. Brown visited last night and noted that he feels her ostomy is one of his “top 3” for the year. Made us both smile and we certainly hope that is the case – as we understand that will make for less complications down the road.  This morning the ostomy nurse visited and she commented how nice the stoma looked – reaffirming Dr. Brown’s assessment. Makes one realize that  surgery is an art form and we’re hoping Dr. Brown and Dr. Brown are the “Rodins” of their trade.

 Please keep the prayers and good thoughts coming !


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After battling snowflakes and slick roads, Karen arrived at Presbyterian around 11 a.m.  Around 11:30 she went off to pre-op with dear Shawn at her side. 

Karen’s surgery started at 1:13 p.m. and to all of our surprise she was through in less than 2 hours (prediction had been 3+).  Dr. Brown came out to the waiting room to give Shawn, Tasya and I an update – he was very pleased and positive. The tumor had shrunk since Karen’s last exam at his office (a very good thing-yipee!). Surgery went well and he will be checking in on her tomorrow.  Karen entered surgery with an incredibly optimistic attitude that was noted by Dr. Brown  Which we all hope will go a long way toward her speedy recovery. 

Karen spent a few hours in post op. She’s now in her room and is trying to get some sleep in between the various beeps of the IV, etc. She’s in really good spririts.  Will keep you posted further tomorrow. Thank you for all of your love and prayers. They were definately felt here.

 P.S. The staff here at Presbyterian have been absolutely wonderful – supportive, reaching out to give us updates.   Particularly Theresa in the surgical waiting area. An absolute angel.

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We’ll be leaving for the hospital shortly…and – surprise! – it’s snowing this morning.

Just wanted to say a quick, heartfelt thank you to everyone who is thinking of me and praying for me today. I can tell I’m already being carried through this on the arms of your love. Although I’m getting a bit more nervous by the moment, I’ve still got some peace tucked away in my heart knowing so many of you are with me today and everyday.

Alison will be posting the next update when she can…

Okay, I’m off! Much love to all.

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The Ghostwriter

It’s just Alison with Karen’s help seeing if I can navigate the blog – huge leap for one as technology challenged as I am. Karen is sipping her Go Lytely and we’re looking forward to a fire this evening the fire-place once that innocuous looking liquid has done its job.

Karen is being incredibly strong – amazing me each moment we’ve spent together today –  she’s facing tomorrow with strength and determination like only Karen can.  Will post an update as soon as I can post the surgery. I know Karen is so grateful for your love, prayers and thoughts. Please keep her especially in your thoughts over these next few days.

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Well, you’re hardly going to believe this: although I made it up to a whopping 112 lbs. over Thanksgiving weekend, looks like I’m going to head into tomorrow’s surgery at about 109. Honestly, I’ve done my best to “bulk up” but I think my nervous energy of the past few days has been burning up calories as fast as I can eat ’em.

Yesterday, Tim and I went to Harry’s Roadhouse for breakfast and I purposely chose the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes AND the Homemade Turkey Sausage in an effort to put on a final pound or two. However, after breakfast, we bought a truckload of pinon and cedar firewood, and I helped unload it and stack it on the back porch – which was more energetic than I’ve been in months. It felt great to be able to do it, but I probably burned up all the calories from breakfast in the process!

I’ve also had a bit of a creative streak unexpectedly hit recently. I awoke in the middle of the night a while back with an idea for assembling some old junk (what real artists might call “found objects”) into birds or angels or art dolls – I wasn’t entirely sure what the outcome was supposed to be. I tried to get back to sleep, but finally gave up and went into my little studio/office and began putting bits and pieces together. Over the next few days, I raided Tim’s wood scrap pile, pulled an old box of doorknobs and rusty escutcheons out of the attic, and dug out some vintage watch faces I’d picked up somewhere over the years. A few beads and buttons, plus scraps of stained sheet music, and these “assemblage angels” began to unfold.

I’m delighted with the results, and I think it’s been a wonderful way to channel my nervous energy about the upcoming surgery (even if it meant a little less sleep and more burned calories). I’m reminded by this experience that if you’re willing to listen to some of those crazy middle-of-the-night notions, occasionally you get guided to an unexpected gift.

My latest creative effort: a few more angels to watch over me!

So far I’ve completed six of these “angels” and I have six more in various stages of the process (with ideas for so many more!)…but it looks like everything is going to have to go on hold for a while now. Today I’ll be running around doing last minute errands in preparation for going into the hospital tomorrow. I’m back on a clear liquid diet today and this afternoon I’ll have to begin taking the “Go Lytely” (what an ironic name for that vile stuff) in order to be completely cleaned out for surgery. My best guess is that after today’s ordeal, I’ll be down to 109 lbs. by tomorrow morning.

But the best part of today is that Alison arrives! In addition to being my chief hand-holder for the next week, she’s also agreed to post an update or two following my surgery. I figured you’d want to know how I’m doing, and since I won’t be in any shape to sit at the computer (for quite a while probably), Ali is going to be my “spokeswoman” for a few days.

Okay, it’s time to make the most of this day. And thank you everyone, in advance, for all your prayers and healing thoughts as I go into surgery tomorrow (scheduled to start at 12:30 and last for about 3 hours – that’s roughly from 2:30 to 5:30 for all you folks “back East”).  I love you all!

"love you yet...beautiful memories have no regret"

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