Sunday, June 20

survivor - part 1

As many of you know, Friday was my final chemo session.  I'm happy to report that all went really well - my liver and white blood cell counts were good and everything moved forward as planned.  My fantastically friendly and supportive oncology nurse Nancy, who has been with me through out, decorated me with colorful star stickers, which attracted a fair amount of stares and questions as I made my way through the hospital!  I was still finding them the next morning, both in my bed sheets and some how later on my foot - she snuck them in well!!  You can see them scattered through this collage.  A fun little celebration!

I've been somewhat buzzing ever since.  Yes I'm swollen and about five pounds heavier than I was before the infusion (water retention is part of the fun.)  Yes my appetite is wonky, joints achy - but I'm done!!  And I've had some family here, coincidentally on a layover before a big trip to Italy, so I've been able to enjoy them too. I know it's going to catch up with me if I don't reel myself in, so tomorrow is kick back day.  Family is gone, a good book is in hand, and hopefully the steroids will have worn off, so that i can truly rest!

Of course there is still the chocolate bomb.  Yes, in celebration we got a decadent cake that is appropriately called a chocolate bomb - it is everything I don't usually eat, and I loved every bite :)  If I remember, I'll insert a photo of the half eaten remainders!

(click on images for closer view)

Now I get a three week break, before I begin taking tamoxifen, and then a week after that starts the radiation process.  But I've got a little break here that I'm going to try to enjoy.  Take my mind off thoughts of cancer, if possible.  Visit all of you and your blogs, read for enjoyment, enjoy the garden, eat some of my favorite foods I've had to avoid, and have a glass of wine now and then!  relax....

And now I want to thank you all, from the deepest place in my heart.

I'm not sure I can express what your support and care has meant to me.  We don't know who will show up when crisis hits.  We don't know who will disappear.  People, even family members, that I would have thought I'd hear from, who I wouldn't have questioned were my friends have faded away, while others have become so precious to me - like so many of you - I can't even put it into words.  You simply don't know, or perhaps you do! but how that support does arrive doesn't really matter; that it comes from where it is most needed is what matters.  For me, the best medicine has arrived, in the purest forms, and you all have become a part of my cure, and I thank you so very much.
with love, 


  1. wow karin,
    that is such great news! and after hearing some bad news this week... it really means a lot. i wanted to call you yesterday, but i fell asleep halfway through the day... and when i woke up i was groggy. i will try tomorrow before both of our sets of parents come. if not maybe monday.
    lots of love and smiles for you.

  2. *HUGE HUG!!*

    Karin, this is fantastic. I'm so very glad for you, that you've been able to make it through chemo with positive results and that you've had the chance to celebrate a little. Chocolate bomb, indeed!

    I think I'm going to go out and get myself a slice of chocolate cake in your honour, to celebrate right alongside you, even if I am on the other side of the world.

    Lots of love to you! xxx

  3. I'm so happy for you Karin. I wish you nothing but the best. Chocolate cake is so good. I haven't had that in the longest time. Maybe I'll make one and dedicate it to you. Yes, I will. :) Have a great Sunday and just enjoy yourself.

  4. Great news, and wonderful images!

    Word verification: light

  5. Doing the jig of joy here!!! So happy you are at the end of chemo with 3 wonderful relaxing weeks ahead. We will open the champagne tonight and make a toast to you. Destination Health Karin! Glorious collage!


    You gem, you heart of furious grace (go on -- Cuss your face off -- Renee would be proud), you perpetual stream of colour and mythmaking! So alive!

    Ecstatic for you ... and I will devour, with reverence, a molten chocolate ganache cake in your honour.

    Huge love xoxoxoxxoxoxo

  7. Angels and warriors at your side always. Expand into the relaxation and keep those supporters at your side.
    Enjoy the cake and pie and wine and everything in moments to savor all that you have been missing.
    xox Corrine

  8. HOORAY! I am so happy for you that this is done and you have a vacation before the next part starts. enjoy.Eat, drink and sleep in peace! todays collage is wonderful.

  9. I love this celebration, my friend !!!! Yay ! I can feel your spirit, full of gratitude and strength, glowing from here. Enjoy all your well-deserved treats, Beautiful One and rest...Big Love to you.

  10. Smooth sailing ahead Karin. Congratulations!

  11. WOOOOOOHOOOOOO!!!!! oh happy day!!!!

  12. The relief of energy that floods your life comes from putting another hurdle of the healing process behind you. So gentle now and gives you rest.

    Blessings, it is always great to see your art and listen to your words.


  13. Congratulations on being done with chemo!!!! How wonderfful the chocolate cake sounds, and your collages all together making a page of peace and dreams. Have a beautiful day! roxanne

  14. " ... this is about expanding my own person... "

    this is beautiful!!! i was thinking the same about you yesterday.

    your paintings, your collages, your words talk about hard times, but beneath that i see you expanding, becoming biger, taller greater !!!

    you are stonger from that makes your body suffer. You are a winner !!

    thank you for sharing your struggles with us. thank you for inspiring us. Thank you for reminding that even we are enclosed in difficult situations, there is always a way to expand .

    sending love and virtual chocolate ;)

  15. Blessings to you, Karin! I'm doing the happy dance for you. You are so strong.

    I love your collages -- so expressive. Get some rest.


  16. Hey darlin' K
    What a deight to view the 'View Beyond Words' of today, Sun-day, in contrast to this past Wednesday...YAY!!!! You!!!

    That's what makes the life soar...the contrast, the chiaroscuro, and you're showing us what that looks like through your beauty-filled eyes.

    I love that you've included Vajrayogini the Buddhist Yidam Diety who tames the mind of afflicted emotions...she teaches us to make the effort to broaden the mind through our practice overcoming the outer obstacles.

    As you are demonstrating...right here, right now...chocolate cake and all!!!

    Happy Solstice and the opening of the wheel to Summer's beauty in your garden.

  17. I am not an artist, but do appreciate your work, and just LOVE what you do with collages. You are SO talented, and SO full of courage. It is inspiring to come here and be with you, even though for a brief moment.

    Prayers are for you Karin, from
    Naples FL.

  18. I am crying and my heart beats for you as you step forward in the star shine :O). The steroids will diminish and the weight may stabilize and the aches will hopefully begin to disappear. You are discovering a new Peace... only those who love you and have traveled with you can try to understand this awesome accomplishment you have made. This is a new beginning in learning to survive the darkest of moments in a person's life long journey. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

  19. Congratulations! And you have this most magical of weeks to relax and recharge. Happy Solstice and Midsummer to you sweet lady xxJ

  20. thank you for sharing your journey, your pain, insights, the details and drama... just wish you could share the chocolate cake! (just kidding:)
    There's a term, chosen family, and I'm not sure that I coined it, but I've always used it to describe those that mean the most, are there when needed - or not - and always with love, understanding and open heart and ears. I'm glad the cancer is gone, gone, gone, and I hope you can enjoy this time, relish the small and seemingly insignificant, use your hands (hopefully), create and continue being your wonderful, loving, amazing self!!!!!!!!!

  21. Happy Dancing for you here in the NorthWest! I hope the next few weeks allow you time to just be and enjoy those around you.
    Always sending love and hugs!

  22. I knew it was coming and now it is over, seeing stars and waving to the IVs and bags of bottled cure. You are well on your way my friend, a piece of cake and happy thoughts to encourage you on


  23. Sooooooo happy for you- I even had a little chocolate cake of my own! (Well, that's my excuse, anyway!) No need for the thanks, really- I'm sure that we have all gained more from bearing witness to your journey than we could have possibly given to you. Your willingness to be open and share your experience, painful as it has been, has taught me so much about real strength, true grace under fire, and remaining positive. You're my hero; I mean that. :~) It's I who owe thanks to you for being such a wonderful teacher!

    Now go and relax, rest, be happy, make art, or whatever you feel like! By the way, I'm eating the chocolate cake, so I might as well drink a couple glasses of wine for ya, too!

    p.s. the collage is very cool!

  24. Okay. I had to get the Gulf comment out of the way first so that I could fully enjoy THE HAPPINESS of this news! I am ALL smiles, from ear to ear, and nothing can wipe it off! WOOOOOHOOOOOOOO, girl! Oh, thank goodness, thank goodness, Hallelujah! You ARE a survivor, and you ARE a star.

    Say WHAT? You mean to say you did NOT eat the entire chocolate bomb???? Well, there is always today.

    Congratulations! XOXOXOXOXOX

  25. karin, this makes my heart dance the quickstep. i am so happy and relieved for you.

    i am honored to be among your friends here who root-toot-toot for you. i am envisioning you beyond radiation, beyond pain. i can see your hands move as you create!

    YAY. that fucking wonderful darling!(heeheehee)


  26. you are so much more than a survivor are a thriver an inspirer a force of nature a child of God a blessing...we will all be with throughout the next steps of this spiritual and physical healing journey (wait, they are one and the same!!!)

    enjoy this in between time as much as is, rest, rest!

  27. thank you
    thank you
    thank YOU

    FOR THIS SITE AND your beautiful words set to such illuminating art.

  28. How wonderful for you that this part of the treatment is completed. Survivor indeed! Your use of art throughout this whole process is inspiring and a lesson to us all!


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