Fire in the hole!

HEALTH UPDATE: Doing well! As I write this, my good friends at UWCarbone Cancer Clinic have me all set up for treatment and the miracle concoction is dripping. Fire in the hole! It will take an hour and then another half hour for observation. My labs are good. We are holding steady. Steady is absolutely wonderful news for me. I am blessed.


God is so good! I am feeling an incredible and an explosive feeling of gratitude today. I’ve been nervous. I’ve been feeling different leading up to this appointment. I’ve been extra tired. I discovered a leg bump. Not just any kind of bump. One of those bumps that not one doctor could provide an explanation about in the past. Sister Beth found the explanation. The bumps are caused by high lipase levels. These levels also have coincided with tumor monster activity. I was once at over 9,500 when the normal level is around 8-60. Immunotherapy quickly brought my lipase level down to normal. When I felt the bump pain again, I panicked. Quickly…add up the symptoms. Tired, leg bump=high lipase, tumor monster with only a slight decrease in size last scan. Here we go again. The bitch is back. It’s growing. My miracle concoction, ab122, is no longer working. My rare cancer is outsmarting my immune system on crack.

My inner voice of panic is familiar. Distant but familiar. I’ve been here before so many times. The self diagnosing. Insecurity. Why do I deserve to win? My family snaps me out of it. Willow is an avid camper now. She’s loving the tent in the back yard. I’ve slept in the tent with her for two nights now. I tried to scare her out of it with stories of bugs and animals coming out in the night. Nope. Not scared. She’s tough. She kicked my butt actually. My bruised ribs from my latest bike accident didn’t fare well with the leaky air mattress on night #1. I convinced her to go back in the house around two am at her first noticeable squirm. It didn’t take long for her to wake enough to realize she wasn’t in the tent any longer. Screams. Begging. Pleading. I need to sleeeep in myyyyy teeeeeeennnnttt!!!! Deep breath. Make it work. We headed back out. Made a make shift bed with a few comforters. She was so happy. So appreciative! Thank you so much mommy! I ask myself, how can I be so selfish to take this away from her?! It all worked out. Last night we had the brand new 18” high mega air mattress. More memories made, camping out in the yard.

It’s times like these that remind me of how lucky I am. Calm down. If it stops working we move on to the next plan. More importantly, it helps me to remember how it’s very possible I may have not made it to experience bike accidents, bruised ribs and agonizing “sleep” on the cold earth’s floor without God’s grace and ab122. Good or bad, I am here! I am HERE! I am here. These tears today are different. I am here and my worries were for nothing. My lipase is now 7. Too low. How ironic and also not a concern.

I love my friends and my family. Thank you for your continued prayers and thoughts. I wish the same to you during this time of turbulence. Speaking of wishes…happy birthday today to my wonderful brother Bill! I’m so proud of you and my heart screams love when I think of you and how you have never left my side during my “journey”.. thank you and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Also, a very special young man celebrated his 22nd birthday a few days ago. Happy birthday Ben Keegstra! I’m so proud of you! You are brave and amazing! Always thinking of you even though I’m always late sending you a card. I love you.

Wishing you all happiness beyond measure!

My girl is learning from an eagle scout…and the best dad in the land.
New crib, yo!
Cozy but comfortable!
All the comforts of home. This is one happy camper!
It’s not camping without spooky stories. She’s still not scared. Oh Willow!!!!


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Wife, mother, cancer fighter and lover of life!

5 thoughts on “Fire in the hole!

  1. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the photos! Willow is SOOOO brave! I can barely make it a night out on the back porch:) Glad you have a new air mattress and may the weather bless you with lots of awesome nights out in the tent!! LOVE you much, J


  2. C-Dawg you look great. What a beautiful little girl Willow in her ⛺️ how fun for you all. Miss you. Prayers to you all. Love you.


  3. Great news on your Lipase number Cathy! I feel honored to be mentioned in your world famous blog!! Keep up the great work and happy camping to you and Willow and Tom!!!


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