Skiing in the Shower

Confessions of a Mountain Girl

About five days before Christmas, I was diagnosed with DCIS, ductal carcinoma in situ. This was a small breast cancer, one which we believed we could fight with a very straightforward treatment. Because I have medical insurance, and it seemed like a lumpectomy and just a couple of radiation treatments, we figured we had this one licked.

Unfortunately, I have some extreme sensitivity to radiation, and some other strange and scary complications from the treatments such as blood clotting, extreme fatigue, and difficulty breathing, as well as infection. We have temporarily stopped radiation (after only 3 treatments) while we go through the possible causes for these issues, and do our best to treat each one.

I feel very grateful for the incredible emotional support online, for all the docs who have weighed in on my confounding case, for the yoga studios who let me come flop around in the back while I try to stay sane, (under doc's supervision!) for Jack's place who gifted me an incredible place to stay, for my friends and family who have rallied mightily with good vibes, hugs, food, and love.

I did not want to reach out for financial help because over the years, you all have been incredible helping me raise funds for expeditions and ski tryouts, and I just feel so amazingly held and supported by this community already. So first, I just want to say thanks very much, for all you've done for me and for my family along the way so far. If you've given what you can already, thank you so much for that. I put the goal donation on this page at $100 because I don't even know how to navigate this space. 

Trying to go to the antarctic has a real, clear, definite destination and a dollar amount it takes to get there. People either want to be involved or they don't, it's more straightforward. I find myself in uncharted territory here. 

Due to recent developments in my cancer situation, I've spent the last week in and out of the ER, and I think it's time to ask for help. My amazing sister has agreed to come out and stay on our couch so that our lovely teenage boys don't disintegrate right into their pajamas on the couch. 

Any funds raised will go directly to medical costs, transporting myself and my partner Tom to specialty care not covered by insurance, and some help around the house for the boys, including some counseling for them. We are also now way past the time when we thought I'd be treated, and so I have missed approximately 11 weeks of work this year due to cancer, although I do my best to work in between moments of downtime. 

Your thoughts, prayers, texts, and smiles all help just as much, so I really just want to say thank you to those who have been through this before me, who have stepped up to hold me as I go through it myself, those who've never been through it but care so much, and just to the community at large. I am grateful beyond measure for your love and support. 

Any amount helps defray the cost, and I'm keeping an update with pics on my old blog for anyone who wants the nitty-gritty.

It's at http://katehowe.com/blog/calling-all-boobie-doctors-wanna-solve-a-cancer-conundrum-with-me

Thanks for your love and support!

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