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Michelle Kendall - Journal

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Posted 2018-08-01T20:49:00Z

crashing through Europe

We spent the past two weeks soaking up some much needed R&R in Breckenridge after our Rick Steves “Heart of Europe” tour.  We hit some bumps on our journey -- by bumps I mean a Volkswagen SUV driven by a priest who blasted through a stop sign right in front of our bus.  We totalled a beautiful 50 passenger Mercedes touring coach and squashed the VW like a bug.  The priest was lucky (I refuse to say miraculously) to be alive with only broken legs.  I had the bad luck of having my seat belt and shoes off because I was about to put lotion on my feet; I went sliding down from the front seat to under the driver's legs/steering column.  I cut my big toe and punctured the inside back of my right knee.  As much as I love Europe, I’m not sure it loves me: this was the third incident there where I wonder if the universe is trying to kill me off!  Porlock in UK; a lyme infected tick in Finland; and a reckless priest in Poland!!  Come on, Europe, let’s be friends.  Always trying to look on the bright side: it did result in us having a nice evening with Rick, who stopped by to say hi to our group after the crash.  In all other ways the tour was lovely, with fabulous traveling companions and abundantly informative tours of Prague, Krakow, Aushchwits, Budapest, Ljubljana, Lake Bled, Rovinj, and Plitvice Lakes National Park.  After the tour we spent four days wandering the back waters of Venice. Wow, we saw and experienced so much.    Pictures[...]

Posted 2018-06-19T05:02:00Z

What haven't we been up to?

I bumped into my friend Loren at TJ's.  As usual, he greeted me with a radiant smile and a big hug.  "Michelle," he said, "where have you been and what have you been up to?  Your last blog post was months ago- months!  'Old & Broke' way back in March."  So indeed, it has been 3 months and I have been so busy working on "Broke" I haven't sat down to write.  Here is the cliff notes version. [...]

Posted 2018-03-08T16:45:00Z

2nd Rebirthday celebrated with clear PET scan results and re-remission

It has been an emotionally exhausting week.  March 3rd was my second "re-birthday," the anniversary of my surgery at Churchill Hospital.  Looking back feels like peering through a distorted fun house mirror: how did this become my life?!  There was little relief looking forward, either.  Our house had a nervous heaviness as we anticipating my post-chemo PET scan results.  The great news -- there is "no evidence of disease," which is obviously a huge relief.  The tumors were still very sensitive to the Carbo/Taxol, I am back in remission.  But of course we have been here before (August 2016) and ovarian tends to reoccur.  If only remission came with a lifetime guarantee!  [...]

Posted 2018-02-16T20:46:00Z

Valentines date with Taxel/Carbo

I spent Valentine's Day on my last date with Carboplatin and Paclitaxel, with my doting Mom as chaperone.  Unfortunately the date didn't end well.  I had a VasoVagal reaction: my blood pressure crashed to 60/30, my arms and legs went numb, I couldn't talk, my GI track went ballistic, and I had tunnel vision and spots.  My body said enough! and we had to stop my carbo infusion early.  It was scary and I can't say it loudly or often enough -- nurses are the true heroes.  Thank you, Betsy, Colleen, and Amanda, for taking care of me.  Most patients don't make it through two full 6-infusion cycles of Carbo/Taxol, and I did much better than most.  So I have to be happy I lasted as long as I did and just hope it was enough to get me into remission.  From here on out I have Avastin-only infusions every 3 weeks, which is classified as immunotherapy, not chemotherapy, and should have more manageable side effects.  [...]

Posted 2018-01-24T06:22:00Z

Chemo Eve

Chemo # 4 came and went in betwixt the chaos of three separate evacuations: fire/ash, rain, and flood.  Tonight is the eve of chemo # 5 (or 11 depending on how I am counting.)  I am marshaling my strength for the last two months.  We watched "The Darkest Hour" tonight and I was reminded that much bigger battles, with equally terrible odds, have been won.  Churchill’s words will rattle in my dreams tonight.... “It is the courage to continue that counts.”  I will keep fighting!!  [...]

Posted 2017-11-14T23:11:00Z

support soup delivery for cancer patients

Thank you everyone for the numerous and varied offers of support this past month.  I have an easy way you can make a positive difference in my daily life during these 4 months of chemo.  Consider making a donation to the Organic Soup Kitchen.  They have approved my application for soup delivery and I am so grateful!  Having meals delivered to our home is a twofold blessing.  I can minimize my shopping and thus exposure to germs during flu season and I get nutritious and well balanced meals that I don't have the energy to cook myself!    Use this link to Donate to the Organic Soup Kitchen.  Be sure to put my name in the "in honor of" box.  Thanks everybody! [...]