Update on our friend Karen Sutherland



Many of you know our dear friend, Karen Sutherland, who has been the very embodiment of loving kindness in our blogosphere over the past few years. Although Karen doesn’t have a blog, I’ve always considered her an honorary blogger.

I adore this picture of Karen with her precious grandchildren – you can see the love and warmth shine through. And even though we haven’t met in person, Karen has shared that same love and warmth with many of us through her comments and personal emails.

You may have noticed Karen has been quiet of late in the blogosphere and this week she shared with me the reason why. Karen also asked me to let you know what has been happening in her life, and I am sure you will join with me in sending her prayers, love, and healing thoughts.

My Dear Marie,
I am sorry I have been so out of touch.  I hope things with work and family/friends matters have been good to you.  You have done so much travelling – I am in awe of your enthusiasm and energy!  I went back to all the e-mails we exchanged and again experienced such gratitude for your love, your support, and your encouragement. 
I could use a bit of that now.  I am once again facing a new cancer – the THIRD in 6 years.  How?  Can it really be true?  I know it is true but it doesn’t feel real – can’t quite wrap my head around it.
I had my usual diagnostic mammos and ultrasounds at my breast center.  The mammos showed nothing, but the US’s picked up a suspicious area of concern.  I was immediately scheduled for a biopsy that was located in my axilla, adjacent to my right breast.  I was terrified that I might have mets from my left breast, but stayed fairly calm – and so fortunate the results came back so quickly.
No, thank heavens, there was no metastatic carcinoma detected.  But when I was given the diagnosis it was still shocking – I have B-cell non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.  It never entered my mind!   Did I mention THREE cancers over 6 years?!?!  However, I feel enormous gratitude that I am still NED with the MBC and metastatic cervical cancer. 
I am being scheduled for a PET scan.  Then my oncologist and I will determine a treatment plan.  Physically, I feel fine – but I have experienced profound fatigue over the past 8 months; I thought it was due to still deeply grieving for Hugh – perhaps it was from both grief and the lymphoma (the only symptom on the list I read about). The worst has been having to tell my children – their shock and anguish has been palpable, but they have both been giving me lots of hope and encouragement and BIG love.
I have realized over this past two weeks that I cannot do this alone.  I need to allow myself to ask for support and encouragement.  It has been a very heavy and hard road I’ve been on – but I know so many others are suffering right now – and that makes me feel selfish.  My therapist is of course encouraging me to do all I am able to gather a loving and supportive network.  So I am sheepishly stepping into a zone in which I have not been comfortable, but realizing that it resulted in isolation and stagnancy as I was determined to go it alone. 
I have a request for you, Marie, and I hope you will be very candid if it seems inappropriate – I am truly not in my right mind at this time so forgive me if what I ask for is out of line.  I need all my bloggy friends in our BC community – you all have been so incredibly kind and loving and supportive, especially over these last three years since Hugh died.  Would it be possible for you to give a brief word about my news – maybe on your round-up, or however you deem appropriate? 
At any rate I will keep you posted.  I am in a holding pattern, but expect to have the PET scan and a treatment plan soon.  Thank you for listening.  I hope you are having a good week-end, relaxing and having some fun.
With Much Love,