My New Journey πŸ€

Staring at the pictures of my family taken these last several weeks gives me instant HUGE smiles. Giggles, tiny sweet voices, cries, yells, questions, and the words, “I love you!” echo through my home. Hearing “Mom” and “Grammy K” puts me over the moon! Trust me when I say they are the cutest families ever!

My mornings are filled with so much gratitude for a new day. With each new day I’m navigating my NEW LIFE.

Speaking of life…do you know how RARE YOU ARE? πŸ’›

“I praise you for you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalms 139:14

Twins are rare, too. According to my parents there’s a 50% chance it could happen to you (SOME other sources might vary). Another rarity? Me trying to find words. Surreal is the only word I can use to describe the last 6 weeks (beginning with Covid). NOW? Sometimes the words leave me and last night they held me captive. Here’s a bit of my experience thus far. My oncologist? He’s a quirky smart man. He’s just a man. He’s human. Many years of training led him to my room. N.E.T.S? Yet another rarity. They’re not his specialty. There’s 3-4 of us he’s seen in TWENTY years. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (pNETs) are a “group of cancers that can occur in the hormone-producing cells of the pancreas.” (Mayo Clinic, 2021). An article from Healthline, stated that “Neuroendocrine cells are found throughout your whole body. They receive messages from your nervous system and release hormones into your blood. It’s estimated that about 12,000 people are diagnosed with neuroendocrine tumors each year in the United States.” STOP RIGHT HERE.


I began this post 3 days ago. That same night I was adding chemo pill #2 to my 14 day regimen. It was a rough night. Last night a new plan was in place. You should have heard the prayers. A grin has been plastered on my face all day. Glory to God! No matter the ups and downs I will continue the fight. Just as in writing this post and all future ones. A paragraph might form, an idea hits my heart, and then nausea might step in. Or fatigue. Will you hang in there with me?

Nothing is the same but this: my faith in God, healing, family, friends, and the good that is still in the world. I choose to replace fear with faith. Yes, I am scared at times. I refuse to allow cancer to hijack my peace.

There will be pain. All of us. There will be suffering. All of us. There will be victories. All of us. There will be setbacks. All of us. There will be sadness. All of us. There will be healing. All of us. It may not look the way we want or wish. What do you do? I literally don’t have the time to worry about the small stuff. Friends, please allow me to use my platform to update you, encourage you, love on you, laugh with you, cry with you, and learn with you. I’m still here. I’ll be making hay when the sun shines and joining you on your porches, trails, beaches, and offices. Should we have coffee or tea? Let’s talk about the goodness of God, grandkids, and giggles. Let’s let loose of lofty life lies and leap to why love is the only thing that remains. What are you victories? The small things you adore most? How are your families? Friends? Pets? In the meantime know that I love you, pray for you, and am elated and proud to know you.

To my family and friends here in SW MO: I can’t type this without tears in my eyes. The words and cards of comfort, the calls, texts, and the support make me shudder by all the shoulders in which I lean. In an effort to ease burdens of family trying to update everyone, I’ll use my blog. I’ve found my purpose again. To bring awareness to my disease is my focus. I’ve got my head in the game (hear that, Dad?) and my heart is healthy. And you? You are loved…no matter what. 🀍

“For God has not given (INSERT YOUR NAME HERE) a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”

2 Timothy 1:7

“Have you heard of N.E.T….yet?” This is my new phrase for my awareness campaign to whomever I can reach. There’s much misinformation regarding pancreatic cancer vs. pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. Friends, can you share my journey? I do not want another person to go through this. Trust your gut. If you believe something is wrong investigate it-don’t stop. I’m empowered, I’m present, and I’m anchored. I’ve found my voice again. I’ll be singing until I can’t. May my words never leave me.

Have faith πŸ’š

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95 thoughts on “My New Journey πŸ€

      1. Karla, I deactivated my IG for awhile (taking a social-media break), but I’m still here! ❀️ And at lauradenisecreative@gmail.com. I’m still finishing up moving today, and tomorrow I’m going out of town to get my daughter situated in college. 😰 I will return to my WordPress family soon. Thinking of you every day. ❀️

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      2. Laura, I thought maybe you were moving! I’ve thought of you so much when I’m trying to write words (particularly in poetry). I hope the move goes well and I’ll say prayers for your daughter’s transition. For both of you!! I’m here. And I’m sending love and prayers. πŸ’›β€οΈπŸ™πŸ»

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  1. Right here with you girlβ€” laughing, crying, fighting all the way!!!
    You made me both cry and smile reading your post Karlaβ€” lemonade or anti nausea meds it is!!!!
    I’m in!!!
    Tying my shoes to walk, run, or crawl this journey with you!!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Julie,….I’ve missed you! It’s so good to see YOU HERE! Yay! Thank you for being here with me! Thank you for lacing up with me. I’m not running like I used to,…but I’m not done tying my shoes. Love you! πŸ€—πŸ’ͺ🏻πŸ’ͺ🏻πŸ’ͺ🏻

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  2. Hey beautiful sunshine, it is great to hear your voice Karla. I can hear the love from here…and He is most certainly there with you, all the way. And I know this with certainty, on that night that He spoke to me He said…’I am the giver of life’…and He will too, in more ways than one, regardless where we are. So from me too, a big hug, lots of love and many wishes for your journey my friend…you got this πŸ˜€ ❀️ πŸ™πŸ½ πŸ¦‹

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    1. Mark, thank you so much. It’s so good to be back with my WP family. Your testimony of love and life are always inspiring. I’m sending the hugs and love back! How are things down under? πŸ’›πŸ™πŸ»πŸ’ͺπŸ»β˜€οΈ

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      1. Thank you kind lady, and gratefully received. I have beautiful sunshine, warm winter days and even some humpback whales waving their flippers hello as they swim on by. i think they may be for you πŸ˜‚ 🀣 ❀️ πŸ™πŸ½ πŸ¦‹

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  3. Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall. Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident. One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple. For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock Psalm 27

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  4. God’s blessings to you. I can tell he has been blessing you already. How wonderful to be surrounded by family when you need their support and comfort and cheer. By the way, twins “run” in my family: I am father to two pairs of identical twins. Since that happens roughly three out of a thousand pregnancies, having two in the same household is quite an accomplishment. Anyhow, I will keep you in my prayers. J.

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  5. Karla, I am sorry to hear this news. I am here for you if you need anything. I went through chemo and radiation 14 years ago. Keep laughing and a positive attitude. You have many friends who will be praying for you daily. It might be rough but God never gives us more than we can handle. This is just another chapter in your journey and another way for you to help others. You will always be in my prayers. β€οΈπŸ™πŸ€—

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  6. Praising God in the midst of the storms of life. Knowing He is lifting you into the rock that is solid with Him. The foundation of the cross where all is lost! May you find great peace, and knowledge in this found journey you’re walking. Many prayers for wisdom, and discernment. For our Lord God is Sovereign! Sweet girl He has you! Let Him swaddle you, and wipe your tears. May all your fear fall at His feet. Trusting your unknown future to a very known God! Wow I will do all those things with you. Come have coffee with me in Spokane πŸ˜ŠπŸ™πŸ»
    My heart goes out to dear child of God! Rest in Him! ❣️❀️❣️

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    1. Lisa, you’re a survivor. HE has me. Just as HE had you. I let him hold me and I feel all the love of everyone around me. How can I not smile? How can I not have hope? I have found NO security in ANYTHING but God alone. There’s a peace that passes understanding~even when I might fear for just a fraction~peace returns. Your message and support, your testimony and grit, your undeniable praise,…it’s contagious. Sending love and hugs. I’d love to get out there again. β˜•οΈ πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ™πŸ»πŸ₯°πŸ€—πŸ’ͺ🏻πŸ’ͺ🏻πŸ’ͺπŸ»πŸ™πŸ»πŸ™πŸ»πŸ™πŸ»

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    1. Crystal, thank you. I stand with you in faith. How do people live without faith and hope? πŸ’›πŸ’›πŸ™πŸ»πŸ™πŸ»πŸ’ͺπŸ»β˜€οΈβ˜€οΈ

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  7. Karla, I am overjoyed to see this post from you. Oh how I wish I lived close enough to walk through this journey with you. But, I am walking with you every step of the way as we hold to the One has you in His Hands. You have the beautiful gift of encouragement as we all attempt to be an encourager to you. Praying for God’s strength and peace to surround you! Love, prayers, and hugs beautiful friend β™₯οΈπŸ™πŸ»πŸ™πŸ»πŸ™πŸ»πŸ€—πŸ’•πŸŒΊ

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    1. Good morning Pam. πŸ’› I’m so happy to be here and to see you. Your words of comfort and encouragement mean so much to me and my family. I know that you, and Butch, are walking with me. I feel the love and prayers and send them to you and your precious family. πŸ’›πŸ’›πŸ’›πŸ™πŸ»πŸ™πŸ»πŸ™πŸ»πŸ™πŸ»

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  8. I’m glad you have been diagnosed accurately. So many times the rare cancers take so long to figure out because no one is looking for them (all the docs are looking for horses and then zebras but hardly ever look for unicorns!) I’ve worked with a researcher who deals with rare and orphan diseases – there is hope and lots of research going on! I’m so glad you are surrounded by friends and family and that they are walking with you on this difficult journey. I will continue to pray!! ❀

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    1. Val, your thoughts make me smile and nod in agreement. I love unicorns by the way {I’ll not digress into a past unicorn mask and why and where I’d wear it πŸ™ƒ}. I won’t deny that I’m sad they couldn’t find this BEFORE it went to so many places. Thus, my goal and message to others. As a constant learner it’s important for me to self-advocate ~all of us should. I have found touching stories of those who succumbed ~and those who are succeeding! I’m so thankful for the support I’m receiving. Tonight is my last night of round 1 chemo. It has been a difficult regimen, but one that I’ve learned to navigate. I’m not going to feel the best always. It’s just the way it is. I have cancer, I don’t want it to take over me even though it’s made a pretty good home in places. I think of your sculptures. My cells are well-differentiated which cause them to look like normal cells. I’d like to add a β€œNET” label to my cell sculpture. Sending hugs and love! πŸ’›πŸ’›πŸ’›πŸ€—

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  9. Oh Karla, this is so poignant, and I am so sad for you but yet happy at your outpouring of faith and the hope you are feeling! Prayers and ((((HUGS)))) ❀ and I leave you with a favorite verse of mine from Isaiah 43, "When you pass through the waters, they will not sweep over you and when you walk through the fire you will not be burned, I will be with you." ❀

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    1. Joy, I feel your joy! That’s one of my favorite verses. I feel the love and hugs too! Stay well my friend and thank you. πŸ’›πŸ’›πŸ’›πŸ™πŸ»πŸ™πŸ»πŸ™πŸ»πŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ€—

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  10. When our lives seem the most fragile, we learn to appreciate the gift they are. I am glad you are surrounded by friends and family to give you strength through your ordeal. Stay strong and know that you are loved!

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    1. Brad, I’ve missed your poetry and your place. Thank you for being here with me on this journey. Yes, although some may not understand, this was a gift in ways that will bring miracles otherwise stifled. Sending hugs and love! πŸ’›πŸ€—πŸ’ͺ🏻

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  11. This scripture came to mind this morning as I was reading your blog post. Psalm 41:1-3 NIV “Blessed are those who have regard for the weak; the LORD delivers them in times of trouble.
    The LORD protects and preserves themβ€” they are counted among the blessed in the landβ€” he does not give them over to the desire of their foes.
    3The LORD sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness.”

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    1. I know, MAK. When I need to get away in my meditations I’m walking the Great Refuge and see you, Bear, and Teddy always. We love you. My blood labs looked good today and I count all wins. Soon, very soon, I’ll be back in nature and my body and soul will sigh. πŸ’›πŸ’›πŸ€—

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  12. I’ve been thinking so much about you wondering how you are. You are in my prayers and thoughts always. I am also glad to be more educated about your condition, NETs, and what they really are so thank you for sharing that. Sending prayers for healing and strength! ❀ ❀

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  13. Oh my, Karla, what a joy it was to see this post from you pop up in my feed. I’m overwhelmed but not surprised by the love that surrounds you, it speaks so loudly of the unconditional love you offer others, and the legacy you leave with all those lives you have touched and continue to do so. You are truly a miracle of God and you bless our world enormously. I’m on my knees, wrapping you in prayer, love, strength. I believe in your innate strength, your devotion to God, your determination. Use everything in your arsenal, you’ve got this my friend. Much love to you today and always, hugs, C

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    1. C,…I’ve been thinking of you. How are you? I’ve been absolutely overwhelmed with love and support. Thinking about it brings me to tears. β€œUse everything in your arsenal”…that’s exactly a phrase I can use. C, I feel the hugs and see you praying and hugging me. I’m smiling thinking of your adventures and book. I love you dearly. Hugs πŸ’›πŸ™πŸ»πŸ’ͺ🏻πŸ’ͺ🏻πŸ’ͺ🏻πŸ’ͺ🏻πŸ’ͺπŸ»πŸ’•β€οΈπŸ€—

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  14. Karla; Thank you so much for mustering the strength and courage to post this update on your situation. I have thought about you many times since your post that first announced your diagnosis and wondered how you are faring. I am a passenger on the cancer journey with my wife, Joan, and know how many ups and downs, twists, and turns, mountains, valleys, and plain old dead ends there are along the way. It sounds as if you have an amazing support scaffold of friends, fans (like me), and family to lean on when you need to. DON’T EVER HESITATE TO LEAN! It inspires all of us when you make a heroic effort to connect and communicate with us, but save your strength for the battle ahead.

    Your story reminds me of one of my best moments in life and ministry. It came when a confirmed, atheist friend of my youngest son’s sought me out after receiving a pancreatic cancer diagnosis (I know this is NOT what you are dealing with, but it reminded me of this story). Andy called me up one day and said, “I want to know what you think all this “GOD STUFF” is about. But you need to know this; I have a very sensitive bullshit meter (sorry… quoting verbatim here), so don’t waste my time.”

    Andy and I ended up meeting once a week at a Panera in Kansas City just to talk about “this God stuff.” Lots of times he was coming straight from chemo and was exhausted. But he kept coming. He was often abrupt, rude, profane, and impatient with me, but he kept making new Panera appointments.

    A couple of months into our conversations, Andy asked me a startling question. He looked me right in the eye and asked, “Will you baptize me?” Long story short, I said, “Yes. Of course,” and the next week we had a baptism service with a small group of family and friends in a church I “borrowed” for the occasion.

    God has been using you for God’s purposes for a long time now… as you well know. This newest chapter of yours is just an example of God’s endless creativity about how he will continue to use you to tell his story.

    Blessings and Peace to you;

    Russell

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    1. Russell, I’m typing this through tears. Good ones. I’ve read it twice and have saved this. I’ll not forget Andy of Panera. I’ve had special memories at Panera~one particularly in meeting my illustrator, a former student, who helped me see step 1 in my dream of my children’s book start (which IS NOT over yet ;). But the β€œGod stuff” meetings is really what matters most. I’m not offended by BS as there’s a lot out there. But what I do believe in is a Savior. I’ve often wondered and even said, β€œEven IF I didn’t believe in God or eternal life WHY WOULDN’T I follow a man such as this as my example? I’ve failed him before and he never gives up on us or looks back. With Christ, we get to move forward, closer to our designed purposes if we choose. I see him in everything, Russell. Today was my best day since the day before my diagnosis. And it won’t be my last. I’m so thankful to know you and have you here guiding me and others with wisdom and grace. I’m so thankful Andy met you. Thank you for encouraging me and reminding me of the purpose in all of this. It’s truly in my weakness I lean on his strength. It’s so easy to praise when things are great. He’s kept me humbled and relying on him all while helping me to move myself the way HE loves me. If just one person can see HIM in me, than I’m doing what he desires. Russell, I didn’t know of Joan’s cancer. She’ll have my prayers and support. And again, I thank you so much for…everything! Please give Joan a hug. Better yet a group hug? πŸ’›πŸ™πŸ»

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  15. Dearest Karla,
    To read you is to love you and to be your friend and part of your blog family such a gift.
    I love your attitude and this:

    “A grin has been plastered on my face all day. Glory to God! No matter the ups and downs I will continue the fight. Just as in writing this post and all future ones. A paragraph might form, an idea hits my heart, and then nausea might step in. Or fatigue. Will you hang in there with me?”

    πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’– I’m here dearest friend and I’m not going anywhere. I applaud your faith, your love of God, faith, courage, outlook “ALL OF US”.
    LOVE THAT repeat as it’s all true. We are one of the same and I am here to share your wins and losses, ups and downs and happy to share mine with you Karla.

    Hugs and love and always smiles, giggles and laughter!!! πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ˜˜πŸ˜˜πŸ˜‚πŸŒΉπŸŒΉπŸŒ»πŸŒΌπŸ˜ŽπŸŒžπŸŒžπŸŒžπŸ˜˜

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    1. Cindy, you make my heart leap! Your energy is electric ⚑️ ~it landed on me. I feel the wave of love, hugs, prayers, and support. I know you’re here. And thank you for that. Truly, love remains in it all. β€œAll of us.” It’s so true my friend. Thank you for being here for the ups and downs. Hold on. πŸ˜˜πŸ’›πŸ’•πŸ₯°πŸ™πŸ»πŸ™πŸ»πŸ’ͺ🏻πŸ’ͺ🏻πŸ’ͺ🏻

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      1. Oh I’m so happy to here this Karla! I just caught your wind and flame that is fired by source which called upon mine. You are more than welcome! It is an honor, a joy and I’m blessed to bare witness to your trials and tribulations and healing. Life is holding on to each other tightly yet lightly while we create space for miracles. I’m here for the duration and your light shines bright within me as mine does within you!!
        I’ll be here!! Promise. πŸ’•πŸ₯°πŸ’•πŸ₯°

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  16. Americaoncoffee

    Sending you faithful healing love KL. Never be scared. God has us all embodied in his love. β€οΈβ€οΈβ€οΈπŸ™πŸ™πŸ™

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    1. Thank you precious friend. I’ve been doing morning meditations and devotions on fear. I don’t have any. Dread? Perhaps at times. After my life has seen some topsy turvy times, and dealing with some chronic issues, I feel more prepared. Does that make sense? And I’m not alone. I’m saddened to think of all in the world who suffer alone. πŸ˜­πŸ˜­πŸ’›πŸ’› God has us indeed. Thank you for your healing love and prayers. β€οΈπŸ™πŸ»πŸ’ͺ🏻

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      1. Americaoncoffee

        In spite of all the ails suffering and trauma in our world today, we are living in some of the most glorious moments of all of history. We are blessed within all of or challenges. There is a lot of healing energy amidst all negativities β€” and all of the positive energies come thru faith. And you are blessed not to be alone. May the most precious, healing Blood of Jesus cover you entirely! Our prayer here at aoc are with you in our devotions. πŸ™

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  17. There’s not a word of this I don’t love….because it came from you. You, sweet cyber-space friend of mine, who sees all the goodness in life and shares it abundantly with each of us – please take the time necessary to minister to your body and to your Spirit. Let us lift YOU up, as you have so often done for us. We are all here waiting to rejoice with you as you are able but until then rest assured of my continued prayers for you, especially for your comfort. May the Peace of Christ continue to reside in your heart, despite being tempted by occasional moments of despair. HUGE HUGS to you my friend!!

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    1. β€œMay the Peace of Christ continue to reside in your heart, despite being tempted by occasional moments of despair. β€œβ€¦Dawn, thank you. The support I’ve received has been overwhelming. I’ve given myself so much grace to just heal and BE. No expectations other than healing and loving every second to it’s fullest. God’s peace is the ONLY way to describe how any moment of despair will dissipate and dissolve. Music is so healing. Sometimes I think of memories and start to cry. And then smoke because I HAVE THEM. I’m young. But I’ve crammed an entire life and more of love, loss, learning, and adventures. I’ll not take a day for granted; as always. I welcome the prayers and love~it fills me up! And I can’t help but take that overflow and give to others~it truly heals me too. I’ll follow Dr’s orders and ultimately obey my one and only physician ~I just believe!! Sending you mega hugs, giggles, and love. I appreciate you, Dawn. β€οΈπŸ’›πŸ₯°πŸ’ͺ🏻πŸ’ͺπŸ»πŸ™πŸ»πŸ™πŸ»

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