September Madness

 

I know 3 weeks ago, I promised to go more in depth in regards to chronic illness and relationships, however my health has unfortunately taken a turn for the worse. These past 2 weeks I have been in the hospital, so my post on relationships has been pushed back but I promise to get it done by the end of the month.

Due to the overwhelming messages I decided to write a little post about what is going on with me.  My cell death and inflammation around my organs is at an all time high right now. It appears that the chemo and biologics are doing absolutely nothing except making me miserable. Which in turn makes my pain go from a 6 to 1 million. No SHIT. The pain is so unbearable that I find myself praying God just takes me. With that said I have been in the hospital a LOT.

Thanks Brian for being my Javier to my Letty 🙂 Nothing is ever perfect but it always seems to work itself out……

I would like to shout out to Alisha who has become a really valuable player in my health crap. I am so grateful to her for taking time to help me. Although I think next time Alisha, You will be required to pick me up on the scooter…I mean it just makes more sense than riding in your truck….HA! * I promise not to  pee*

I also would like to thank the BEST NURSE ever, Rocco. Rocco is an amazing example of what a nurse should be like. I spend at least 70% of my life in hospitals and he is the only one that I have ever met who has so much compassion for his patients. He always goes over and beyond.

He will rub my hair until I feel safe, he will do whatever it takes to make  me comfortable. I am NOT a number, to him I am a person. When you are sick like I am, being a person to those taking care of you, is one of the most important things. So many treat us like numbers or like paychecks.  God definitely put him on my path for a reason. I really love this man, he has been taking care of me for over 8 years. I pray all of you battling your illness/disease have at least one person like Rocco on your team, it does make all the difference. If I ever win a million dollars, I would send him and his family on a dream vacation. 😉 No one is more deserving.

I also wanted to touch a little on the dark side of dealing with your body killing you. I know last month I touched a little bit on the Suicide subject because it unfortunately is a huge part of the chronic/terminal community but these past weeks have been the worst for myself. I think it is important that we be able to express how we feel and not have any repercussions. Like I said last month, your thoughts are normal, this life IS hard. The pain, the Dr’s, the hospitals, the lack of support, frustration etc it is REAL. I hope that all of you going through it, keep pushing through it. I have my days when I am just DONE, but I pray that God brings me/all of us through it. Lately life has been really hard on me because I feel that everything is now beginning to slip through my fingers. Everything that the disease to this point has not affected is now affected.  I feel so empty and so vulnerable. I often wonder what the point of my life is?! Some days I can answer this question and some days I just feel so clueless.

Last week I had an appt with one of my specialists who I know hears me but really does NOT listen. It took all I had but I told him that I AM DONE, I will NOT live like this anymore, so he needs to help me figure this out. I am still unsure if he was  completely listening or not but I see him again this Wednesday to change some of my meds that go directly into my spine via my pump. Only time will tell if this will help, if it does not then this….. was for NOTHING.

I told my Dr……

I also see my disease specialist this Thursday because this chemo/biologic mix IS NOT working and we need to look at more aggressive(like the shit i already take isn’t ) treatment options.My disease at this point is winning. My cells are taking over and attacking all my organs, If it continues at this rate, I will not survive much longer. I try not to think this way but it I see my body deteriorating. The internal bleeding is insane, I would show you pics but do not want to freak you all out. The weakness that has always been apart of my disease is extremely overwhelming now, I barely make it up to go to the bathroom anymore. I am lucky if I make it work 1 day now. As I said above, I see all these changes coming on…..as much as i want to keep fighting….I am tired. I still believe this is ME….

but my body quickly reminds me..

I am no longer afraid to die, I believe wholeheartedly that I have fought as much as I possibly could. So if my time is coming, I am ready, I am tired, this life has been full of battles, battles I am proud to say I fight standing up. I am living proof that you can keep going no matter what. In 2001 my specialist said I had 7 years to live, here it is 2017. I have already beat the odds and I will continue to fight until the very end.

I still have a few things to finish, I have this book deal that I want to finish and I just became part of another project that I am super excited about. Not to mention I love being at work…..I mean who wouldn’t want to work around this shit?! And I  really miss training……#america #pewpewpew

So until God takes me I am going to continue to fight and try to enjoy what good things life does bring my way…..I pray you all do the same….XOXO

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My March Madness✨

Only on day 2 of March and i already have so much to share!  

First off the biggest news is, i unfortunately was forced back onto chemo meds. Within 2 weeks off treatment My disease not only took over but it skyrocketed. I was suffering and seeing a whole new bunch of RA issues.

Although i am sad and feeling defeated, i have to do what is best for me. To be honest,  I had a rude awakening. I honestly thought i could fight this  terminal disease on my own but i was wrong. I now understand that i have to stay on chemo meds until i die, whether i like it or not. This is a very touchy subject so i appreciate your compassion and kindness during this time. 

Secondly due to this “rude awakening” i have been forced to take a long hard look at what’s important. I really realized just how sick i am.  I believe i am finally going through the  5 stages of loss & grief. I was told a while back that eventually i would go through the stages as most people diagnosed with chronic/terminal diseases do. It sounds kinda crazy but i believe i just went through denial. Not denial that i am sick but just how sick i am. 

Anyways this has been a hard week.  Extra bad blood tests, worse than when i was first diagnosed. Something I try to remind myself of is I was once told that I can either be happy about my terminal chronic illness or I could be angry at it either way I was going to be living with it. And although I know this is very true I still find myself so angry asking myself why me you know all those crazy things people ask themselves but I know there’s a purpose to all of this I know that God has a purpose for me I just get really frustrated. Sometimes I just want to scream because I’m in so much pain and I’m so tired and all I want to do is to go out with some friends and have coffee or anything really. And then I get in this place where I am angry about my health and I’m reminded about everything else I’ve had to go through because of my health so you kind of spiral you find yourself spiraling down this hole of negativity and it really sucks and no one wants to talk to you about it because they don’t know what to say and you just kind of  get stuck until you get yourself unstuck. Unfortunately a lot of people never get unstuck and that’s why suicide is so high with this illness and that angers  me too. I wish we had more help and more understanding of this disease of all diseases. I wish that doctors were more compassionate and if they listened more to us and not put us in a box like we all are the same sizes and we all fit in the same box because that’s not the case even if we have the same illness that doesn’t mean we all should be on the same treatments because we all have different bodies. And outside of doctors then there’s the emotional part of the people around you and how you’re treated. You know like your friends your family or the lack there of. Sometimes when I get in my negative downward spiral I think about all the people who have been in my life and promise to be there through all of this and who later turn their back when they thought it was too hard for them; boy I wish I could turn my back on my health. My favorite personal story that I’ll tell you is about Mr. Rossi who used to promise me he would always be by my side,  he would promise me so much that he would even pound on his chest like a gorilla and say I’m always going to be here for you I’m always going to be here for you, i guess 4 years was forever in his book. He left and ripped our family a part, like it was nothing.  And then i have blood family who pretends i dont exist. I wonder if they think by turning their backs on me, i will not be sick, or is it they just dont want the hassle or my favorite…. ” i just cant watch you be sick, its to hard.”     

Anyways i just would like people to mean what they say and do what they say they will do. If something is too hard then SAY dont make promises YOU cant keep. I am a person and i do have feelings.  Its hard to trust people with our delicate lives. And i am not going to sugarcoat it when you were sick your life becomes very hard and those around you need to be ready for all the changes too. 

Also if you are living with a chronic disease and you just need someone to talk to you about the things that I have just spoken up about please feel free to email me I’m not afraid to tell you my story nor am I afraid to tell you how to deal with it please don’t commit suicide please don’t get wrapped up in your negativity there are people like me who would love to help you get through those black negative days. I mean I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again I have negative days (i just gave one of my personal painful experiences)too, because dealing with dying and pain and discomfort and fatigued affects everything in your life and you cannot hide in your room or in your house you have to reach out to someone and I don’t even care who that person is a give me a family friend a stranger I don’t care who. Mr. Rossi rocked my world and I went through a lot of painful treatments and Tests and finally then the awful terminal diagnosis and if I wouldn’t of met who I met in California I don’t know if I would’ve made it through but I did. It’s really scary to reach out to someone but you have to do it because committing suicide is not the answer I believe we all have a purpose.

Ok so now on to the rest of March Madness FUN stuff, i get to see my favorite singer songwriter and friend , Tyrone Wells in a few weeks. I am super excited, he really has been a HUGE blessing in my life and i can’t thank him enough for the things he has done for me. We also have another knife class @ Titan Academy. I have a few photo opportunities. I am really enjoying the art of photography! It gets me out & about when my health allows it! It reminds me to live and even through all the fear of dying & pain its a beautiful life!!!