A Very Belated Birthday and A Bit of a Double Whammy

October 17, 2012

Anyone who knows me also knows that My Birthday is my favorite holiday.

This year… there was plenty to celebrate.  Scans/pathology reports coming back clear.  The return of my hair, fingernails, eyebrows.  The incredible life I get to live daily despite disease.  But mostly… the undeniably amazing family and friends that fill my life.

Seriously… y’all spoiled me this year.  SO many cards, well wishes, surprise gifts.  I was showered with presents ranging from a bubble cannon, a juicer, a painting to giant stuffed microbes, ruby red toms, youtube serenades and just about everything in-between.  I feel cherished.  Loved.  Cared for. You all made My Day extra special this year.

 I will be working on thank you cards for weeks to come.

The day itself was celebrated by some good hiking and swimming at Jemez Hot Springs/Falls.  Here are some pictures:


And the day after, AA hosted Sugarfest 2012.

My current thought is that while I am staying away from refined sugar… most sugars… throughout the year, sugar consumed on my birthday doesn’t count.  So anything I have wanted over the past year that I have been denying myself, I ate on my birthday.  Cookies, candy, cake, ice cream, eclairs, pie, champagne.

We went all out.

Here are pictures:


Sugarfest accomplished two goals.  Satisfying my sweet tooth and insuring that I will not want sugar for another year. (Well… maybe…)

And about a week after my birthday, the lovely EDS and Le Chat Lunatique took me along on a Spookeasy fall train ride through the mountains.  It was a beautifully restored train.  We rode in the parlor car and enjoyed Le Chat’s filthy mangy jazz.  The changing Aspens were breathtaking.  And on the way back down the mountain, we spent some time on the open car… whizzing through scenery in the open air lit only by the moon and the starlight of the milky way.  Here are some pictures:




Everything about my Birthday this year made me very Happy indeed.  I look forward to many more years of celebrating.

Which brings us to the Double Whammy…

A couple of days after my birthday, my momma went in for a hysterectomy.  During surgery, they discovered that her ovaries had swollen to the size of tennis balls and were completely cancerous.  Tumors have spread to her uterus and colon.  Official diagnosis is poorly differentiated serous carcinoma, Stage 3B ovarian cancer.  The plan is for her to undergo chemo and then have more surgery to remove her uterus and cervix.  The hope is that the chemo will shrink everything down enough that the colon can be left intact and the rest of the cancer can be removed surgically.

It’s so much.  It has not even been a full 10 months since my own diagnosis.

And my momma is the best in the world.  I would do anything to be able to take it all from her.  I would gladly face more treatment and more surgery if it meant she did not have to.  Although, I know she has felt the same through each of my adversities in The Cancer Games.

But I am blessed.  My family is strong.  And trials are meant to keep us closer to that which is sacred.

Momma’s first chemo treatment is happening tomorrow.  And my first radiation scans are happening this morning.

Thank you all for the continued thoughts and prayers for me and my family.

End cancer chapter 16.


3 Responses to “A Very Belated Birthday and A Bit of a Double Whammy”

  1. Tara W Says:

    I love you. Strength to you all.

  2. Marcia Shaver Says:

    Gwen, I am so happy and so sorry, this certainly is a bittersweet time. Will be keeping your mom in prayers and continue praying for you.

  3. Deana McGuinn Says:

    I am feeling like Marcia. So happy that you are completed and so saddened to hear about your Mom. She is a very sweet lady and I will be praying for you, Karen and your entire family. Blessings of peace and comfort to you.

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