I BELIEVE YOU

 

Lets do a health update and then answer a few readers questions!

Health Update:

Friday the 19th I went in for my pain pump checkup and Refill. Good News all around….infection seems to be gone for the moment( they think it might come back once i restart chemo meds and biologics later this week, but all POSITIVE THOUGHTS HERE!!!) and the Dr got into my pump the first time to refill! Whoo hoo!!

I restarted my biologics that same night and Chemo i restart tomorrow MONDAY. YUCK

Just restarting the biologic doses I am on, restarted the internal bleeding. UGG I can’t wait to add in the Chemo again…..(i hope you hear the sarcasm in my voice.) HA     At least I can say they finally might have my pain(mostly) under control with the pain pump, which is great…I EARNED this scar!!!! 

BEFORE PIC                                                                                   AFTER PIC(9 weeks later)

    

People ask if it hurts still…yes it does if i move to fast or bend over to far. At night I can’t sleep on my side and sometimes it pinches. Other than that I am NO LONGER screaming which is good..RIGHT?!  The goal for me is to be in less pain with whatever time I have. So I am hopeful this pump will do its job 24/7!! I will keep you all posted! If you missed out on Pain Pump Surgery 21, read post titled, “speak the truth.”

Once i restart the chemo/biologic mix tomorrow, I will write an update on how my lovely body is reacting to the fun!

 

 

Readers questions:

  1. How do you respond to people giving their opinion on how you should treat your disease? This one is easy to answer….

 

2  I read your post on how people have treated you in the past for your illness/disease, does this ever get better? The honest truth is NO. I see it with others and personally experience it all the time. In MY opinion many people get scared when they see their loved one battling something they know they can NOT win. Because of that they sometimes push that person away  so they do not have to go through it too or they become complete jerks(to put it nice.) Truth be told, i would rather have someone push me away than treat me like crap. I have had people leave me when I need them the most, take life experiences away from me,run away because “watching” me die was to hard. But you know what, it IS their loss and it always will be. And that is what YOU need to believe because it is the TRUTH. It is ok to feel hurt but pick yourself off the ground because it is YOUR life now you are wasting on someone who wants NOTHING to do with you. 

Be THANKFUL they left when they did! You do not need people that treat others like this in YOUR life, let them be other peoples problem! 😉

3  What does your normal week look like? And are you satisfied with your life as it is right now? HMM great questions. I work mostly Sun-Tuesday for a few hours a day. The other days, i am either in bed or in my comfy chair due to my meds and disease beating my ass. Sometimes i am able to go on motorcycle rides, sometimes I am able to train(guns/personal defense) which i love to do! But mostly I spend my time sick. 

Am i satisfied with life? I would be lying  if I said Yes. Before I was diagnosed with Multiple Organ Ra, i was working on my bachelors degree in Criminal Justice and planning my future. Then my cells started attacking my organs and changed my life forever. Now I spend my time with Dr’s more than friends. I am on weekly POISON medications, I live in my bed/chair. I walk with a cane most days. I am internally bleeding, i have had 21 surgeries, i now have a permanent pain pump in my spine. Satisfied NO!!! But with that said, i am trying to accept my life now. This does NOT mean I give up, i still push myself especially at work.

 #TRUTH

My advice to someone who is just getting diagnosed with a chronic/terminal disease is this: NEVER FUCKING GIVE UP ON YOURSELF! I could have given up years ago when Dr’s had ZERO clue what was going on, When Dr’s gave me 7 years to live, when people i fucking LOVED unconditionally left me without batting an eye, when my body hurt so bad I wanted to Jump off a bridge. NEVER DID I GIVE UP

 

I will answer more questions later this week as long as the chemo/biologic mix doesn’t fuck my life this week…..

Final words……..If you are reading this, chances are my life sounds a little like yours…..don’t worry so much, you GOT this! This is OUR life now. Enjoy the good days as much as you can….

DO NOT let go of ALL your DREAMS or HOBBIES…..Find days that are good for YOU!!!!!

Enjoy time with friends WHEN YOU CAN!

Even when they act WEIRD Ha!!!

MOST OF ALL…..

 

REMINDER TO EVERYONE NOT BATTLING A DISEASE

XOXO KARI

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trying to wrap my mind around what’s REAL..

A Quick Update About Last Weeks Events

The beginning of the week I felt OK, i worked on Monday, walked a mile on Tuesday, did some grocery shopping and even made it to the HOG meeting.

My belly was hurting some and my pump had been being an ass but I thought i was really improving.

I will not say I was feeling great but I was able to do some of the things that i normally did before last months surgery.  I really felt I was finally making some progress….I should have known that it wouldn’t last long………..

Here is how my Thursday went….

I got up around 9 am, had a cup of cocoa coffee, got dressed and then headed to see the Infection Specialist. Within 10 min of talking to her, she said, you are going to be admitted today. She continued to say that due to my autoimmune disease, this pump would never fully heal. It would stay infected and eventually turn into sepsis. In that moment i felt so helpless and overwhelmed.  I asked her if I could please go home and get a hospital bag packed and make arrangements and she agreed. I left her office in tears because out of 21 gosh dang surgeries this one was the worst!!! All i could think about was i being told I had to do it AGAIN. How could I?! I am still healing from this surgery, so how can you rip me open and take it out? I could not even make it home, so i stopped half way home which was at work. Thank goodness Kim was there! She got me to calm down enough to get back into the car and drive home.

I packed a bag and waited for Brian to get his post covered so he could take me  to get admitted.  While waiting I called my main Dr who disagreed with the Infection Specialist. He said he believed it would heal eventually but told me to go ahead and go to the hospital where they could run some extra tests. Brian and I checked into my room at the Hospital around 3 pm. Once I got settled the Dr on call stopped by with a “game” plan. He had talked to both my specialists and said they were on separate sides of the issue but that he had convinced them to run some tests and then decide my fate. All i kept thinking was WHAT??!! what about what I want??????!!! Next thing I knew they were in the room poking me a million times, they took so much blood i became dizzy.

Then came the fun IV pokes…OH HOW I hate that i have shitty veins!!! I can not wait to get a port. Thank  goodness after 7 pokes they brought in a vein finder…

 This was able to show deep veins.

I wish they had started with this!

My Dr also showed up around 9pm which was nice because at this point I needed to see a familiar face. 11 pm rolled around at apparently this is a great time to do a CT scan. We then stayed up watching movies on my laptop. If you are like me and hate staying in the hospital, take a laptop and some movies or use a website like Netflix. Doing this keeps my mind busy and I seem to worry less about what is going on around me.

Friday morning I awoke to my CNA taking my damn blood pressure and the phlebotomist taking my blood. OH how i hate this shit! Let my ass sleep!!

About an hour later my Infection specialist popped her head in to tell me the news and the plan agreed to by her and my other Dr. Since the CT scan showed NO deep infection only top skin infection that they would give me MORE antibiotics and watch me for a week or so.  IF the top infection began to go deeper, the pump would have to be removed immediately. Ok great so now we have a plan?! at least for this upcoming week…?!  She said yes however she thought she would warn me about having any kind of an infection could turn to sepsis in a blink of an eye due to my serious autoimmune disease, so in her opinion it should just be removed.  UGGG Yes i get it Doctor, you want it OUT of me! And he wants to salvage it!  Got it!

With that I got up packed my shit and left the hospital.

NOW with all this said, these are MY THOUGHTS on the subject…..

Several people think i should be removing this pump. Some of you think i should stop working the few days I do and spend 7 days on bed rest instead of the 4 I already do.  Some of you want me to stop doing chemo. Some of you think i should do more chemo. Some of YOU have LOST your FUCKING minds!

This is MY body, MY life and some people have forgotten that! Until you have walked in my shoes, do NOT tell me how to BE sick. Trust me if there  was a damn manual on how to die, i would have read it a time or two. Do you think that I like doing chemo meds, biologic, pain meds every week? Do you think i chose to walk with a cane more than not? Do you think I like not being able to eat the foods i want? Do you think i like thinking about death almost every day? Did i choose to have 21 surgeries and counting?! Do you not think I am so overwhelmed by all of this?

I would never tell you how to feel about watching me be in pain, suffer and eventually die. I know no one is purposely trying to do harm but it really does. It makes me feel awful and it angers me. My time, all our time is limited, so why waste it on hurting someone even if it is accidentally. The only solution I have to this problem , is just talk to me about how you feel. I will try to listen to all you have to say but please understand I do not want to hear about the latest greatest “cure” for this and that and I don’t want to hear about how i should spend what little time I have doing this or that……. so try to keep these 2 things to a minimum.

Trust me when I say that I try with everything I have to be positive. Which is very hard as you can imagine.

 

If you want to know more about my health and how far I have come, READ here: All About ME   This is where you can read a “readers digest” version. I am currently writing a more in depth version that will be available later this summer.

Having more BAD luck than good does not keep me down, it just reminds that the Best is yet to come!

  #TRUTH

Besides I did have a few good things happen this week:

I got my compact back from Zephyr Defense. My friend Dan does amazing work!! I love the Punisher looks fantastic on it! Now both my Gun Kidz look great thanks to Dan!

 

I also was able to make it to work TODAY which was so good for me! My coworkers have a way of making life a little more worth living!

I am sure this week will have its complications but I will hit them dead on like I do every damn week! Just remember to NOT judge others!

 

I always try to follow this plan…..

And when that stops working, I always have a place to go….

 

For I know that my body is getting tired….

 

But never fear I will not just GIVE up, I will continue to crawl, scream, fight and push myself until I hear, “come to me.”

Have a good week and i will keep you all informed, no matter what the Dr’s decide…..Thanks for all of you who continuously supports me in all I do and don’t. Love you all times infiniti xoxo

 

 

I Stopped waiting for the light at the End of the tunnel…..and LIT that Bitch up Myself!

Hi Everyone,

It has been a few weeks since my last post, so lets catch you all up……

April 6th I had a Dr appt with my Rheumatologist. I have a really hard time dealing with her because she is one of those Dr’s that says, “even if I have your diagnosis wrong, I am giving the meds that will attack it all, so no worries.” Umm excuse me, I am having some new symptoms can we look at those?  “No Kari, as I said before it really does not matter, I treat all blood/immune diseases with the same meds.”  UGGGG   The only thing I got out of that appointment was my blood work forms.

Friday Morning, i spent with a vampire(phlebotomist.) I have been seeing the folks at quest diagnostics for more years than i would like to share 😉 They have online appointment scheduler which I love, no more wasting *spoons* at the vampire house! The ladies who work at quest are always super friendly and I do not feel like a number to them which is NICE!

Saturday I was still feeling this shit spinal headache so i spent most of the day at home, although we did have dinner at beefys. I really do not care for their food but everyone else does so I am about 80% sure it is the chemo meds fucking with my taste.

Sunday the 9th, i made it to work which was great! I love when I can get out and talk to adults instead of spending the entire day with furkids, day in and day out. Even though I get to be around such cuteness….

Cuteness everywhere I go……Girls with guns RULE!

 We do have fun!

Monday I did manage to make it to work although I was having a lot of pain around my pump area. For 5 hours i faked my way through it with a smile. I even got to shoot some new guns. The Glock 10mm was awesome!

The rest of the week (Tuesday-Friday) I did my chemo and continued to have pain around my pump area which by Friday was making me just miserable.  My arms and shoulders were also aching like i had spent the last 3 days at the gym……My blood tests also came back and were shitty, like i expected. I will write more about this in a moment.

Even though all this bullshit, I did have a few positives this week…my BFF Rhonda called and we chatted for over and hour which was great, i really needed her. My friend from work (kim) came over on Thursday to save my ass which I was very grateful for! I drove to Quincy, Ca for a LOH pre ride. I enjoyed this time just driving and trying to clear my head. It was so beautiful up in the mountains. I do LOTS of things to relieve my stress, my health gives me..

 

Brian and I started the Netflix series Iron Fist which has been pretty good so far.  Sometimes when all the shit is hitting the fan, it is good just to occupy your mind with other stuff.

Ok back to the Blood test, I have avoided it enough!  The test was bad as I projected it would be. I know my body!!!! I can NOT emphasize this enough. We all know our bodies….healthy or not! Listen to it! Anyways, my liver is struggling, both my ALT/AST are high, My white count is down(more than the methotrexate(chemo drug) usually does,) and MORE importantly the numbers that tell us how much my cells are killing me is has sky rocketed…..let me explain.

Lets say, you are a healthy person, you go in for some blood work…you MIGHT see a 1-3 on the scale. This is  Normal.

Abnormally High begins at 14

Mine is 98

Now do you get it?! I certainly hope so. So you  can see why I have been in a pure panic. The chemo and biologic drugs that i do EVERY gosh dang week are supposed to be pushing these numbers down! IF THIS IS WHAT it looks like when they are supposedly doing their job..what does it look like when i quit them???????

BUT life goes on…I pull up my big girl panties, fake a smile and go into work.  I can’t talk for everyone but when I feel so much frustration I do one of 2 things: i either freak out or I do funny things..like drive in the middle of the Gun range….HA! Laughter truly is good medicine!

 

This past week was a long week for me, not only because I was not feeling well or the fact that my blood tests were on my brain 24/7 but because I worked extra hours and I was also dealing with another sick cat. Oh when it pours it fucking pours at our house.

I did manage to walk 2 miles this week.. HOORAY!!!

As if things couldn’t get worse, i was reminded that it can always get worse…

On Sunday i went to work as usual, was feeling bad but not enough to call in. I worked my hours, headed home and as I undressed, i saw all this yellow stuff on my belly guard that goes over my pain pump incision. In my head i made all these excuses of what it could be, and just went on with my afternoon.  It wasn’t until around 10 pm, i looked down at my incision and saw a whole in the incision that was leaking out some kind of liquid. I panicked, called the Dr and he said get to the hospital NOW. We headed over and good thing we did, i have not 1 but 2 infections around the pump. There is a saying,” God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.” I call bullshit! Seriously Lord, I am so overwhelmed. How can I possibly keep going?

Always amazes me how the morning can start like this..

and end like this………

So for those people who say, You look so good, how can you be so sick….spend some time with anyone fighting an autoimmune disease…my door is always open….

In the hospital they filled 4 of these bottles with my blood and 4 other vials for testing.

It was no Buenos! Then made me stay the night so they could give me extra strength IV antibiotics. If you know me, you know how much I love spending the night in the hospital. ;-( I will say though, the Dr was nice and so was my nurse. They even wheeled in a spare bed so that Brian could stay with me, because It was the RIGHT thing to do……although he slept…LOL

The following day I was sent to see my Specialist….who was an hour late……

He said he was worried about the infections because of my no immune system, so we decided to take me off of chemo and biologic’s for the next few weeks so that the antibiotics can do their job…or so we hope.  I also have an appt for May 4th with an infectious disease specialist.

I feel this is a double edge sword and this is why, first off taking me off all chemo and biologic’s means that my damn disease will have a party(remember my number from above?) so this will make me very uncomfortable and might do some real organ damage. Secondly, the Dr is unsure if these antibiotics will help with what infection my body is currently fighting which means if it continues, I will have emergency surgery to remove the pump and worse case i could die from the infection spreading to all my organs that are already sick.  Like I said double edge sword.

But with all this going on…

and even if I don’t I will go down fighting with everything I have.

 

 

To everyone out there dealing with Life….Hang in there….never give up. It can always be worse…..

We are all worth fighting for. We are all dying the moment we are born. Some of us are just meant to go sooner than others. I would like people to say after I am gone, that I lived every moment I could. I fought and never gave up. I believe that God has a bigger plan that I have for myself. Am I scared, yes everyday, but if i let fear win, i die now. So when you see me out and and about, know I am fighting with everything I have to be out and about. If you have your health, do NOT let anything or anyone else take time from your life. Live to the fullest. Do it for you and no one else.Everyone goes through bad stuff, just remember it isn’t always going to be like this. As my friend told me once before she lost her battle to breast cancer, “don’t be sad we are sick Kari, we are going somewhere pain and sadness does not exist.” And i KNOW this but it is the getting to that place that is zero fun. I have a hate/love relationship with my disease. I hate it because it is so damn painful, i have to take meds that make me sicker, i see Dr’s more than I see friends, I am bed ridden 70% of the time, I can’t enjoy the things i used to do like play the drums, hike, jet ski, train like I want, work full time, finish my bachelors, and so much more. I love my disease because i now appreciate every second of my life(for the most part), I love people wholeheartedly, i take very little for granted and i have more compassion for those around me.

Speaking of compassion, I would love if everyone I know locally would join us/help on June 24th when we ride for the 22 veterans who commit suicide daily.

Be grateful that we live in the USA and for the people who put up their lives DAILY for ours! a HUGE thank you to all veterans and active duty!! Prayers to those who have lost family members to suicide.

 

Life will never be perfect for any of us, however It is what we do with what we are dealt with, that makes or breaks us. I might be a mess 4 days out of 7 but I get up on my own two feet and fight back the other 3. 

I will never stop believing I have a purpose.

One last note….I know many of you are worried about me, i can tell by the many texts, calls, etc. I promise you all, even when i am as quiet as a mouse, I am not giving up, sure I am probably thinking about it but I am a fighter, I always have been. I don’t give up easily. This health journey has been super hard, I never thought in a million years that I would wake up sick and never get better. I never thought so many people would leave me because I was sick. I never knew how evil people could be when you needed them the most. I never thought I would have to give up so many life goals due to being sick. I never thought I would be living in bed most my life. I learned a long time ago that it is normal for the chronically/terminal sick to go through the 5 stages of grief. I often find myself especially after bad blood tests and or bad health news, that i like to stay in the  Isolation and anger stage for awhile. It is hard to get through your head that your OWN body is killing you and that no matter what you do…it doesn’t change.

Thank You all for your continued support, I love you all so much. Support each other, treat others with respect,  be grateful for every second you get and no matter what your struggling with be BRAVE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 5

How does being chronically ill make you feel?

This is a hard one for me to answer. It is honestly an emotional question. Physically it makes me feel like i have been torn apart, put in a wood chipper, rebuilt and then continuously put on repeat.

Emotionally it is depressing and frustrating because there is nothing anyone can  do not even myself. I feel isolated and hurt by those who claim they love me. I watch as people just go about their buisness and pretend i am even in the room. Its lonely, scary, down right scary! 

I feel pain all over and when i say all over i mean all over. I internally bleed which makes my belly and kidneys hurt. My spine has some issues so my back just screams. My legs refuse to work like they should so sometimes every step feels like someone is ripping them off. My hands swell and fight me on everything i used to be able to do. Most days i have trouble gripping things. Both my ankles and wrists ache continuously. I have sores on my feet and in my mouth sometimes. I habe skin rashes that itch like bug bites. 

AND there is the fatigue!!!! I could sleep for two days straight and get up exhausted, so exhausted one would think i haven’t slept in weeks. It amazes me just how tired i am. Then som noghts its insomnia night(my favorite) its the night i get to see how many shows i can watch while others are fast asleep.  

I am sure i am missing somethings because there are so many to name but i think you kind of know how i “feel”. 

Oops almost forgot to mention how many meds i take, these also make me feel certain ways, but mostly i just feel like a medicine cabinet. Many drugs make me feel dizzy, agitated,sweaty, barfy, Not hungry and just plain ‘ol SICK! 

I hope this answers the question.