It was, as I have said, a fine autumnal day; the sky was clear and serene, and nature wore that rich and golden livery which we always associate with the idea of abundance. The forests had put on their sober brown and yellow, while some trees of the tenderer kind had been nipped by the frosts into brilliant dyes of orange, purple, and scarlet.... As Ichabod jogged slowly on his way, his eye... ranged with delight over the treasures of jolly autumn. ~Washington Irving, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My friend Karen

My friend Karen will be surprised when she sees this old picture. It's one of my favorites of her because she has always loved our dogs and I think this is the only photo I have of her with any of them.

She is holding Oscar, our dachshund and talking to Brandy, our shepherd. Both of these dogs are gone now, but they always knew that they could get some extra holding and petting when Karen was around. All our dogs know that now too.

This seems like a very long time ago . We were still raising our kids and living "in the suburbs". Both of us were working and our husbands both worked for Pacific, Gas and Electric in Concord, Ca. That was how we met in about 1974 or 75. The four of us went to a retirement dinner together.
We always hit it off and so did our kids. We had dinners at each others houses and took road trips together.
Karen is a great southern cook. The prospector says that she makes the best fried chicken and milk gravy he's ever eaten. She introduced us to sweet tea and coconut cream pie. Whenever they came for dinner , she would bring a pie, sometimes two. Pecan was my favorite. We never went hungry.

Some of you that read this blog know Karen and her family and , to my amazement, practically all the new friends who read my blog and only know her from what I have written, have continuously expressed concern over her illness with good wishes and prayers. For this I will be forever greatful. So I thought that an update was in order.

She has had a very tough year. I think that , for such a little woman ( she's one of those "petite" gals ), she has a lot of strength. It's been one specialist after another for a very long time. I don't think that there is a test that she hasn't had.
Her blood is clumping and they have been giving her transfusions but her red blood count keeps dropping which indicates bleeding somewhere. She had more tests last week and was waiting for the results. This was the last email that I got from her on Tuesday.

" Just to let you know. the oncology doctor called me last evening about 6:30 to tell me that there was NO internal bleeding; that my liver disease has not progressed further, kidneys & all other organs look fine...., so praise the Lord for answered prayers. The problem is the Lymphoma, as they suspected all along...the lymph nodes are swollen in my lungs this time, which explains why I've been having so much trouble breathing.There are several of them swollen in both lungs. Dr M. has scheduled me for more Rituxan infusions which will be; one a week for 4 weeks & usually I feel great afterwards. I am waiting to hear from the infusion center to schedule them. Thank you all for you continued love, support & prayers, it means so very much to me. Much love, Karen"

I'm still here and the prayers are still coming, Karen. Even Mokie and Maggie are rooting for you.

I also want to thank my friend Jo, in Ohio. Her blog( Moodscapes at jonjdsbitsandpieces.blogspot.com ) is a safe haven. This woman is remarkable. She has "sent up prayers" for Karen, so many times I can't count them. She asks others to pray or send good thoughts to those in need and she just does this without question. I've told Karen about her. Jo has her own stories and her own pain but she always thinks about others first. Thank you , Jo. I may not know what you look like but I hope we meet someday. You have taught me a lot about care and compassion, and the power of prayer.
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4 comments:

Laura ~Peach~ said...

isn't jo wonderful?
We will add our prayers to yours for Karen as well!
Laura

Karen Deborah said...

Awhh this is so sweet. Aren'told friends precious? Yes, we will pray, how can I forget a Karen?

This is too amazing did you husband know a Ray Bunten that also worked at PG&E?

It's a long haul with cancer. I will start a new full time job in oncology again in October when I get home from Colombia.

I'm really glad I found your blog.
How's your mom?

Jo said...

My dear sweet Elly Mae...... Right now I am working to get as many prayers going up as I can for a blogging friend who lost her 13 month old grand daughter to a car accident. It has been weighing heavy on my mind and in my heart since I read about it yesterday. Then you go and post such a heart tugging post as this one. Well the bottom line is I am in tears once more. Thank you for your wonderful heartfelt words.

I continue to keep Karen in my prayers and will until the Dr. fixes her as good as new.

Much love and many hugs my friend.

Anonymous said...

Oh my, I am so humbled by this extraordinary insight into the wonderful friendship/sisterhood relationship we have had so very long...it has always been a blessing to me to have you for a friend & sister by osmosis! I love you. I also want to thank each one of you from the bottom of my heart who have been praying for me - we all have so many others to pray for, it is amazing when you can also fit a "sort of stranger" into them & I am grateful. The Rituxan went well for me & I fully expect to recover from it all in a couple of weeks or so. Ritxan has done wonders for me in the past. (Sort of puts you into remission for a couple of years). And, Connie, this friendship tribute shows your talent with words (writing) because you captured it all about us. Much much love, Karen