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Hello, and thank you for having me
3 Posts
Introduce myself. I barely know how to do that anymore, but I suppose here I am a cancer survivor, patient, and fighter. After having spent much of a year teaching scuba diving in Thailand, my partner and I moved back to Canada (we're from Alberta) and took the first job that was offered to one of us - me, in Vancouver BC. 7 weeks after arriving to my new province and a new contract job, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2016. I had a lumpectomy, chemo, and 25 days of radiation. HER2+ and ER/PR+ means I also had 17 Herceptin treatments along with Tamoxifen.

In August 2019, after weeks of being tired and having no appetite, the breast cancer showed up again this time in my liver and a small spot in my ribs. I had another round of chemo, and Pamidronate every 12 weeks. I switched from Tamoxifen to Letrozole, and I went back to the Herceptin every 3 weeks as well. That treatment was to include Pertuzumab also, but after 3 attempts at taking that we quit, after I had three severe adverse reactions to that drug. In August 2020 my CT scan showed that the liver tumours were growing again so we moved to the next line of treatment. When I saw my oncologist the day before that treatment (TDM1) was to begin, I complained of having severe night time headaches. She ordered an MRI, and a week later we discovered that I had 3 tumours in my brain. Two were small enough for radiation, and 2.5 weeks after the MRI I had surgery to remove the largest of the three. That was followed by another round of radiation, to the brain this time, but just 5 days.

In March I had my first follow-up MRI, which will happen every three months going forward. They discovered 3 more spots, small, and I had another radiation session, this time just a single day. Then last week I had my follow up CT scan to look at the liver; that also happens every 3 months, and of course those two scans are exactly offset so every 6 weeks I have someone look at something. It's a lot of scans, isn't it?

Still taking the chemo every three weeks, and the Pamidronate every 12 weeks, plus the surgery plus the radiation - well it puts a bit of tired into the soul of me. The week after the March MRI I started going to a support group via Zoom for metastatic cancer patients, and now I'm here.

I try to remember a few things:
Turn my face toward the sun so the shadows fall behind me.
Keep my chin up, and my plough in the ground (my dad tells me this regularly).
Another Dad-ism - Never holler "Whoa!" in the middle of a bog.

So I keep doing my best to move forward with a smile on my face. I am working full-time (ish) and it's good to have work. I try to prioritize myself and listen to my body and rest when I need rest. I am, as I have always been, a work in progress. Thank you for having me and I look forward to listening, sharing, and for us to be supporting each other. I wish for a good day tomorrow, with a CT report from the oncologist that says I am stable. Fingers crossed.

18 Replies
40 Posts
KTA‍ Hi Kari, So sorry you find yourself here, but I think you will find it comforting to be in a community of people who understand. I love your Dad! He sounds like a real gem! There are lots of very supportive people here that I am sure will chime in shortly. With all you have been through your positive attitude shines through! DMT
39 Posts
Welcome to the site KTA‍ . Looking forward to getting to know you:-)
143 Posts
keri--holy moly what a life you have lived---simply amazing

THANK YOU for coming to this forum
we are all works in progress...I am so happy you found this place to share, find some support and I just know I will learn from you as time goes on

best of luck today with the CT results....I'll cross my fingers AND toes for you

cheers & hugs

ps-had to google the dad-ism - had never heard of it; see I'm learning from you already ;)

8 Posts
Wishing you nothing but the best. Welcome to this group. They are so supportive and I appreciate them so much. You are a cancer survivor, patient and fighter so keep it up. I hope you have a great report from your oncologist. All the best!
508 Posts
KTA‍ welcome. What a roller coaster you have been on. Like supersu‍ I love
your dad. Based on your post I sense you’re a little bit like him.

There is a new forum called Living with Advanced Cancer that you may be interested in following and participating in. It can be found at the link below:

I hope you find this community to be a support for you.

Cynthia Mac
3133 Posts
KTA‍ - Kari, please give my love to your Dad! I had never heard that “middle of a bog” dad-ism and it made me laugh out loud!

It appears that there’s a consensus forming about your Dad - not sure whether it’s to have him adopt us or date us, but he sure is well admired already!

I truly hope you are a chip off his “old block”, and that your scan today goes well. I’m sorry for your reason for being here, but already you are proving to be a valuable addition to our discussions. Welcome to the site.​ I hope we can support you as well as your dad has entertained us!
KTA‍ - Cheering you on for a stable scan report today. Please let us know.

I'd like to introduce you to Mammabear‍, and Beespecial‍ who are also living and working with advanced cancer. I hope you all can connect.

I'm so glad you found us,
3 Posts
Lacey_Moderator‍ it is Mammabear‍ who led me here, and who is my rock as we go through this together!
KTA‍ - Amazing she is a gem! :)
453 Posts
You have had such challenges since being in Vancouver..... thinking of you and your partner teaching SCUBA in Thailand warms me up as if I were on a Thai beach! How beautiful and rewarding that must have been.
I have such admiration for your strength and never-ending truth you have conveyed on this amazing site.
Mama Bear‍ is so positively unique and all of us on this site are so glad you have joined in.
33 Posts
KTA‍ thinking of you and sending positive vibes your way for tomorrow. I love the "Dad-isms", I will remember those & maybe pass them on to the grandkids!!
392 Posts
That is a lot! Your positivity is inspiring, thank you for sharing.
Wishing you a stable report.
All the best.
34 Posts

Wow you are what I describe a true warrior! Keep it up you are an inspiration.

38 Posts

Welcome! I, too, love your Dad's sayings. I think there might be a KTA's Dad Fan Group forum starting somewhere here...LOL

Hello from Ontario. You sound like you were living the dream before this started and with your spirit, you will continue to live the dream (albeit, while putting up with those treatments and scans and such.) I got scuba certified in Ontario by a BC scuba teaching company many years ago. I may have loved it if I could have travelled to clear waters, but the dark, cold waters of Northern Ontario didn't make for a very enjoyable training ground. I admire the skill you must have to be an instructor and envy the beautiful underwater sights you must see.

All the best to you.
Im glad things are going better for u .im a 2 time cancer suvivor .i started with stage 3 vulva cancer squamos cell carcanoma which spread to the lymp nodes and ovaries .i did 6 weeks of chemo cesplatin and 45 rounds of radiation .i lost 80 pounds . i was told to rest i didnt i was scared if i stopped id die. I rode a cancer bus to radiation 4 days a week there was a total of 18 people im the only one alive out of the 18 . when i did my pet scan the cancer was gone there but moved to the cervix.utras.womb.i had to start trestment all over again .that was nov of 2012 and 2013 .so far im still in remission.i will pray for u to be strong..and that u are cured of cancer
Brock C
59 Posts
What an inspiring post! Attitude is everything. Wishing you many many sunny days ahead.
1 Posts
Thanks for having me here!
961 Posts

@Ima Hello Kari…..I usually have a lotta words…..but right now..I just am in aw/awe (spelling ?) of your strength, and more…..I will now remember, to NOT yell WHOA…..anywhere…..

And to remember…..to put my face in the sun….for sunshine (and Vitamin D)

Welcome, Kari


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