Thursday, July 18, 2013


I was released from the hospital on Sunday. I was able to remain home until Wednesday afternoon when I was sent back to the hospital, where I still am. Everyone keeps saying it’s “where I need to be.” I understand this and guess I agree, but that doesn’t make it easier being in here.

My days at home were rough. I was very weak, lethargic, alternating from nauseous to hungry to not knowing what I wanted. I’d go from fevers to sweats to clamminess. Every tissue in my body hurt. It was obvious that the chemo was ravaging through me. I could barely walk up and down the stairs. My mouth began to fill with thrush and ulcers. I was not in any shape to take care of myself.

Craig took care of me on the weekend and in the evenings and my mom or sister or a combination of during the days. On Wednesday my mom and dad came together to take care of me.  I was scheduled to go into the clinic for bloodwork, but I knew before getting there that things would be very low. I woke up with dotted bruises along my arms and my stomach and even around my eyes, indicative of low platelet count (the blood cells responsible for clotting). I now know that’s called petechiae.

I could barely stand getting to the clinic in Avon. They pricked my finger and ran my blood through the machine. My counts barely registered. I am very neutropenic, meaning no immune system. My white blood cells are 0.1 and the machine couldn’t even calibrate the breakdown of types of cells within that. My absolute neutrophil count was unreadable.

Most concerning was that – as suspected – my platelet count was only 6 K/uL. People are supposed to fall within the 140-440 K/uL range. Transfusions are usually done around 12.

Dr. Dailey didn’t want me walking around like that and didn’t like the low and high temperatures I was having, nor the symptoms I was describing. I got a direct admission back to the cancer floor I had come from just three days earlier.  I’m still here and probably will be for a few more days. Despite having received the bone marrow-stimulating shot of Neulasta on Monday, my white cells haven’t started climbing yet. I’m on broad-spectrum antibiotic just in case there is an underlying infection. I’ve already received a bag of platelets and am right now waiting on a bag of red cells. I guess this is like a tune-up. However, they really don’t want to let me go until my white cells start trending upward and it’s tough to know how long that will be.

I’m wiped out for sure. But I signed up for this. I knew it was going to be hard. I guess it’s hard to imagine how hard it would get and it’s hard to remember that I’ve been this low before and I have come out of it. My doctors told me before we started that it was very likely I’d be back in the hospital after not too long receiving blood products and rebuilding while being monitored. No one sugar coated this for me, I just hoped I was going to slide through a little easier. 


  1. Karin, I've been reading your posts for a looong time and have never commented. I am not a cancer patient nor do I have anybody close to me with cancer...I just come here because you amaze and inspire me. I love hearing about your non-cancer adventures and my heart breaks at your cancer and chemo adventures. You are one of a kind. I'm sorry to hear that this round of chemo has you so wiped out. You hang in there girl...let the staff there take care of you and get you strong again so you can go home and snuggle your Sammy dog. Please know that I think about you and I pray for you and I send you positive ju ju every day!

  2. I found your blog through your Huffington Post article. Just know that I am thinking about you and sending good vibes your way.

  3. Karin - we are putting our foot down on the prayer WILL get through this...

  4. You are amazing, Kar. Even in this state, your writing is clear and articulate and powerful. Praying for some relief very soon. Love you.

  5. You HAVE come out of this before and you WILL again! I had a good sign today - "Eye of the Tiger" on the radio. Thinking of you and sending you love and prayers ALWAYS!!!! xo Michelle

  6. Praying for you honey, with all my heart. I hope that things will begin leveling off, even a little, soon. Holding you close, precious girl. God bless you, Irene

  7. Thinking of you, Karin. You continue to be an inspiration. God bless.

  8. It's good to hear your "voice" - you sounds STRONG, even though what you describe sounds so hard. Keep pushing through and letting the chemo do its work. Sending healing thoughts your way.

  9. Karin, I too have never commented nor do I have a direct cancer connection. I learned about your blog through the Huffington Post and read all of your story from the beginning. As a very small gesture to you, my husband and I went on a run in your honor after reading this post. I know getting out there and exercising is something you would very much like to do- so we went out there and ran with gusto in your name! You will continue to be in our thoughts...sending good vibes your way! ~Mary Kate

  10. Thinking of you and sending warm vibes. You are one tough lady and your determination to kick the shit out of this cancer will prevail! Believe!

  11. Although I have followed your journey since the beginning, this is my first post. Like all your other devoted blogosphere fans, I too am privileged to accompany you on this crazy roller coaster, gripping that grab bar with everything I've got, praying for your remission.

    Like so many others, I laugh with you, love life with you, holler, scream and cry with you. Hundreds of us are simply awe-struck by your raw courage, your captivating “word smithing” skills, your intellectual acumen, and the fierce beauty of your soul. We look forward to that day when this terrifying ride finally rolls to a stop so you can jump off and embrace all your hopes and dreams on your terms.

    Well, now it looks like this roller coaster is climbing another treacherously steep grade. You have held on before and you will hold on again. We will hold on with you as these roller coaster cars careen around the next hairpin turns.
    We send you every good vibration we can muster to uplift you as you wend your way into the unknown. Our hearts embrace you. We are cheering for you with wild abandon. We are screaming our heads off for YOU. GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO KARIN!!!

    Sending love and hope to you, to Craig, to your family and to Sammy girl on a fluttering feather straight from a Baltimore Raven --- and you know that’s gotta have plenty of good juju since they won the Super Bowl! XOXOXO Joanna, Mother of 2 HL Warriors

  12. I am relatively new to your blog, but I am completely amazed at your story. You have gone above & beyond what most could handle. You are so strong!

    Since I first started reading your blog, you have been in my thoughts daily & I will continue to keep good thoughts & prayers going for you.

    I sincerely hope that your blood counts rise & you start feeling somewhat better. I know hospital stays are rough & I know you want to be home. I wish there were words that would make it better, but I know there aren't. Just know there are so many of us out here in cyberland pulling for you & your family. Stay strong, hon.


  13. Pulling for you Karin! I wish we could all just take a little bit of your misery and suffer it for you so you could slide through.

    Hugs and Prayers

    Laura Hedgecock
    (met you @ SFWC13-- I'm the Treasure Chest of Memories girl.)

  14. Thinking of you all....... and holding you in our virtual hearts!