Friday, September 17, 2010


I am done with my cancer treatment!
(for the most part)

I still need to go in every 3 weeks until April to see Dr. Singh for a mega dose of Herceptin. But, that is just preventative stuff and has no side effects so I don't consider that to be anything difficult. After that I will get my port out. It has never really bothered me too much but doesn't feel great if you bump it (or Ava or Jack bump it when sitting on my lap).

I am Cancer Free! (really have been since December - thanks to Dr. Duven)

Now, we need to find a cure so that no one else has to do this crappy chemo/radiation stuff.

Please donate or join my Race for the Cure team!
I am doing both the Denver Race and the Des Moines Race.

For the Colorado friends - please donate and/or join in Denver.
For the Iowa friends - please donate and/or join me in Des Moines.
If you live elsewhere - no problem - just donate!

Above is the web site and my team name in both locations is
Kristin's Fight for a Cure

Thank you!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

# 19 out of 33!

I am past the half way point!

So far it has been easy - I go for radiation every morning on my way into work. It takes about an hour out of my day with the drive time.

My skin is holding up - my left side is slightly more pink then the right side - but I don't have a burn.

The anxiety is another story...funny thing cancer...I am feeling good other than the times my mind likes to wander (which is mostly at night).

I should be done with treatment on September 16!


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Time for Radiation Baby!

Hello Blog readers!

I started Radiation yesterday - which I will have each weekday for 6 1/2 weeks. I have them scheduled in the morning prior to when I go to work to cut down on the driving around town. So far so good...they shoot me from 3 different angles right now as they are not only radiating my breast but the lymph node area as well. My friend Trela purchased some fancy dancy lotion that Mayo Clinic recommends when she traveled through Rochester a few weeks ago - this lotion will help the "burn" that I will develop from the treatment.

The other downside to radiation is the possible lymphedema risk - or as I like to call it "The Big Arm" syndrome. I hope this doesn't happen and I am seeing a lymphedema specialist this afternoon and have a special yoga practice that I can do to help increase the use of my lymph system function. Here's hoping that I won't have to wear a compression sleeve on my left arm.

I am also receiving Herceptin every 3 weeks and will until about April. Dr. Singh started the Herceptin with the Taxol - and now I get a mega dose each time I see the ladies at the Cancer Treatment Center. My echo cardiogram came back showing NO signs of heart damage so that is very positive!

Thank you again for all your support!


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Movin' On

Chemo is done - whew!
I am feeling pretty darn good about it!

I have an appointment on July 20 to see Dr. Jain to discuss my upcoming radiation. Another echo-cardiogram scheduled on July 21 to make sure my heart wasn't damaged during chemo and my Herceptin treatments will continue on August 2 (every 3 weeks until next April).

I am sporting my own hair these days and have left the wigs at home.

Now if I can just convince my eyelashes to grow back...

I will let you all know how I feel after the radiation starts - hopefully it won't zap my energy too much!


Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I am almost done with CHEMO!

I have a treatment this Friday and then my last one will be Friday, July 9.

As many of you know we are hosting a party to celebrate & to thank all of my dear friends & family who have donated funds, food, cleaning services & mental support!

Saturday, July 10
4-8 pm
Open House Celebration
1422 Clay Street/CF

We will hope for sunny skies so that kids can play in the park across the street - even if your day is full - please stop for a quick drink and say hello. If you could RSVP to me that would be wonderful...would hate to run out of anything!

Hope to see you on July 10!


Friday, June 4, 2010

The Finish Line is in Sight!

I had #8 Taxol treatment yesterday - 4 more weeks to go!

To Celebrate the end of Chemo
Travis, Jack, Ava and I are hosting a party!

We invite all of you who have donated food, funds & cleaning services - picked up, dropped off or entertained Jack & Ava during the past 7 months to join us!

Saturday, July 10
4-8 pm Open House
1422 Clay Street - CF
Grilling, serving food & drinks
please RSVP to me so that we know how much food to prepare.

Thank you for your ongoing support.
I will start radiation in August - hoping to put this entire ordeal behind me by October!


Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I had Taxol #6 out of 12 yesterday!

Side effects are not too bad - it does zap my energy for a few hours due to the benedryl. Yesterday I had to counter act that with some caffeine towards the end of the day (which I have cut out of my diet) to make it through my 3 hour class and 1 1/2 hour rehearsal. So, I was having problems sleeping and Jack decided to throw up at 12:30 am. Apparently, I am the only parent to hear such sounds - so I was stripping his bed and doing laundry in the wee hours.

I am happy to report that Jack is doing well this morning and back at school - not sure what that was - hope I don't get it! Too busy to be sick!

If I stay on track I will be done with chemo on July 9. Radiation will then start and the drug Herceptin will continue for the next year via my IV port.

If you are in the area - get your tickets for The Music Man!
Performances are June 4 -13 @ The Cedar Falls Community Theatre.
I am playing Marian the Librarian - don't miss it!

Thanks for all your support.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Good Day Love(s)!

What a wonderful trip to London & Paris!
I can't tell you how much I enjoyed the entire experience.
The sites, food and friends were all amazing.

My energy level held strong - and all of the walking was so good for my health. I really needed to get moving after those 4 weekends of being down and out for days at a time.

I had chemo #5 out of 12 yesterday. I was extremely sleepy (from the chemo and jet lag) so I slept through most of it - then took another nap later in the afternoon. I resumed rehearsals last evening and was dancing until 10:15 pm! I will continue with the Taxol next Monday - then I need to switch to Tuesdays due to the Memorial Day Holiday on May 31.

My hair is growing back - It will still be a while before I go wigless!

I appreciate all of my family & friends who continue to offer support and encouragement as I tackle life head on. I am so very fortunate to have all of you in my life!


Monday, May 3, 2010

Happy Spring!

What a wonderful weekend!

I spent Friday evening at the Price lab Carnival supporting Jack & Ava's school (Ava will start Pre-K in the fall). They had so much fun playing all the games, eating all the food and Grandma Teig was along for part of the festivities.

Saturday was a day that I didn't have to do ANYTHING! No work, no rehearsal, I did have to post comments on Web CT for class - but that I can do in my pj's. I took J & A to meet good friend Denise and her two kids at the Muffin House (aka Panera). Went grocery shopping - and bought flowers to plant in our window box and in planters for the deck. Then went home and spent the day outside. We built a fire in the Chimnea (clay fire pit thing) and then after bath/shower time Jack and Ava camped out in mom's room while dad got a much deserved guy's night out.

Today is Taxol #4 - 8 more to go after this week.
I will have chemo this afternoon - then get Ava after school, home for dinner, then take both kids to rehearsal where Travis will pick them up after his softball game.

Thank you friends for your continued support!

Love, K

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

10 more to go!

I had my second Taxol treatment yesterday afternoon (was a bit worried as I didn't have the massive doses of premed prior) I did very well. Went grocery shopping immediately after, went home had dinner, did take a quick 15 minute nap as I "watched" The Princess and the Frog with Ava. Then actually went to yoga class at 7:30 pm!

So - I think I am going to sail through the next 10 treatments really well. Of course there are potential side effects - numbness in fingers & toes. And I have to let you all know that I lost my eyelashes...thought they would stay, but no - they didn't eyebrows are thin - but I still have a few. I am now living in the world of false eyelashes. You would think I would have worn them before during shows - but I never really did (I have always had good lashes and my eyes are large so never a need).

All of you local friends can catch me onstage this June in CFCT's The Music Man! You just can keep me off the stage for very long. I will be playing Marian opposite Gary Kroeger - many other fine local performers are signed on the join the fun. Mark your calendars for June 4 - 13. Friday's & Saturday's @ 7:30pm - Sunday's @ 2pm.

The London trip for Allen College Alumni & Friends is still on as of now...we need to get that volcano to stop erupting and the wind to shift.

Busy, busy, busy...just how I like it!

Keep sending the positive vibes!
Love to you all

Friday, April 9, 2010

What a difference!

I started Taxol and Herceptin this morning -
No allergic reaction
ate lunch
am at work!

I am a bit tired due to lack of sleep from last night. I had to set my alarm to take medication at midnight - then couldn't fall back asleep. I also had benadryl in my drip - so I did get a bit loopy - but feel back to normal now.

I should sleep well tonight!

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Phase 2 shall begin...

I should be cleared to start Taxol on Friday. I have an appointment with Dr. Singh tomorrow to make sure my white cell count is good. Last Friday I had it checked and it was low - not a low as the time before. I am on an antibiotic again - darn sinus issues. I felt better immediately after taking the first dose on Monday.

I am hoping for the best for the next 12 weeks -
No side effects
Hair to start growing back (on my head only - I really like not shaving the pits, legs and well...elsewhere)
More energy

I will report back after Friday -


Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I haven't been posting as much due to the fact that things are pretty calm around here!
I have been feeling very good - anxious to get started on the next phase of treatment. I will start the Taxol on April 9 and take that for 12 weeks. Then after that I will have radiation and take a years worth of Herceptin.

For now - I am just trying to keep my head above water with work, grad school, family responsibilities and restoring my health. I started a yoga class last evening and was surprised at how much I could do! I am trying to talk my hair into growing again and the warm weather predicted this week should give me a good idea of how hot a wig can be! So far - it hasn't been a big deal - they have actually been keeping my head warm.

I appreciate your continued support and help - life is wonderful and it has been a true blessing for me to see how many people care about me and my family.

Enjoy the Easter Weekend!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Hail, Hail, the chemo's here...

White counts were good yesterday (still a wee bit low from where I started) but, Dr. Singh said everything looks great! So - It is CHEMO DAY!

No white cell booster...and he wants me to start the Taxol in 3 weeks to give me a little break (so nice of him)! I felt my treatment plan was behind schedule and he said - not to worry - a week or two here or there would not be a problem. Again, he said I will feel great on the Taxol and that I will know how I react to the drug after the second week.

I will post this weekend if I am feeling up to it.

Yesterday was such a glorious day - Jack, Ava, mother in-law Betty and I went for a walk (kids were riding bikes) and then stopped in the park.

I feel the positive energy of the spring and all of the well wishes sent by all of you!


Friday, March 12, 2010

Hold the curtain...

My white cell count was too low today to have chemo.

I was very bummed out by this news...actually shocked - because I thought I was feeling okay. By okay I mean...alright...after all, I am getting chemo treatments - how good am I supposed to be feeling?

Apparently, most people get very run down at this point. That - on top of my sinus infection and the fact that I opted not to have the big bad white cell booster has lead to this.

So - until next week my friends.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

One last weekend!

Tomorrow is the last day I will receive the big bad chemo drugs!
I am hoping to not have the white cell booster - but we will see what Dr. Singh says.

On March 26 I will start 12 weeks of another chemo drug - Taxol. I am told I will feel so much better on this drug. To tell you the truth I have done fairly well in between the chemo weekends - so I am really hoping to see my energy level soar. After the 12 weeks I will have radiation (8 weeks if I remember correctly).

Thank you all for your support through my journey. I am looking forward to the spring season renewal & we get to spring forward this weekend to help me hop into my healthy future!

You will hear from me again on the other side of this weekend!


Friday, March 5, 2010



I do have a sinus infection...but, I am on antibiotics for that.
No more surgery - and my sweet little Ava doesn't have to worry about the possibility of having the gene.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Chemo is not for whimps!

Seriously people...
I would take LOTS of things over chemo...delivering Jack & Ava for example...piece of cake, tearing ligaments in my knee during a basketball game...let's do it again!

While you are in it - you just want it to be done with.

I only did one booster shoot this weekend (Dr. Singh said I should have 10 of the shorter acting read it correctly 10!) After Travis shot me up on Sunday - I more. So, please dear friends of mine - put all your positive energy into my immune system - that I keep those white cells up. I go back in on Friday to see Dr. Singh and have my blood checked. I just need to make it through the next two weeks avoiding all those germs that people are sneezing and coughing in my direction!

Then I need to summon up my Warrior Spirit and do this one more weekend.

People -
Let's find a cure for cancer!

Love to you all -
thanks for the cards, food, prayers and Warrior chants you are doing for me!


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Jumping the half way hurdle

Hello Dear Friends -

Tomorrow will be chemo #3 for me.
I am gearing up for the weekend and actually glad that all of this is happening during the dead of winter. It is so cold today - that I don't mind spending the entire weekend sequestered in my bedroom...I don't feel like I am missing anything!

I have talked to rock star nurse Tracy (who is also an Allen College student...*double rock star*) at Dr. Singh's office to see if we can lessen the side effects of the white cell booster shot. I am hopeful that Dr. Singh might let me do a lower dose over three days - I see him prior to my chemo tomorrow.

The Hair Update:
Gone Baby, Gone...
I have SLOWLY gotten used to seeing my bald head in the morning - I'm not sad about it just freaked out. I showed Travis for the first time last Sunday and actually let some of my super supportive colleagues see me yesterday (what better thing to have on our Student Services agenda - then to see my bald head). I have two wigs - a blonde one and a brunette one...Jack FINALLY asked what was up with my hair this morning when I stepped out of the bathroom with the brunette one on. We had a long talk and he actually said..."Are you bald under there?" I had no idea he knew the word bald!

Here's to finishing this crappy stuff I have to do and getting on with Spring - daylight savings time begins March 14!

Love to you all!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Not my favorite Valentine's Day

Hello Friends...

I am pleased to be able to actually look at a computer screen and formulate the thoughts needed to type a new blog post today. Yesterday was not my best day. I had a horrid headache - much like a migraine for those of you who suffer from those. I know it was from the white cell booster. I just couldn't do much of anything. Reading and watching movies were out of the question and unfortunately unlike the first treatment - sleep was not coming as easy to me yesterday.

On the bright side - I feel 95% better today - and have eaten a few bites of food and am trying my best to drink the bottled water my dear friend Denise brought me this morning when she picked up Ava for school (the water from the front of the fridge tastes funny to me - damn meds, or maybe we need to change the filter).

I will also inform you all that slowly strands of hair are leaving my head...weird feeling. I always thought that if I was going to not have any hair on my head I would be receiving millions of dollars to be in a movie...GI Jane part II with Demi or maybe the sequel to whatever that movie was that Natalie Portman was in. Huh, something is very wrong - since I am actually paying A LOT of money to lose the hair.

Just doesn't seem right does it?

Thanks for the continued thoughts and well wishes!



Thursday, February 11, 2010

Round 2...*ding*

Here we go!
I will have round 2 of my big bad 4 tomorrow afternoon.
My appointment with Dr. Singh went well today - my blood work is good and I am a go for more chemo.
I will post something over the weekend - I imagine I will feel "ok" until I get the white cell booster on Saturday.
Thanks to family & friends for entertaining the kids and cooking us meals this weekend.

Gotta Go Kick Some Cancer Butt!

Happy Valentine's Day

Thursday, February 4, 2010

One week out

I am feeling very good! I just had my lab work done and my white cell count is where it should be. Whoo Hoo! It took until yesterday to start feeling like I had energy. My biggest complaint since Monday was fatigue and a nasty headache. That has now run its course and I looking forward the the week ahead. I will go back for my second round of chemo either Thursday or Friday afternoon. Yes, this will mean that I will be tired again - but I will also be HALF WAY DONE!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Well...that was fun

The first weekend is over. So excited to know that three more await me! It wasn't horrid. I slept through most of it. Both kids are ill now...Jack with a cough and Ava with a fever. Travis is taking them to the Dr. today at 11:30.

The white cell booster shot caused the most discomfort - I was extremely achy. Hopefully I will slowly pull out of this fog as the week progresses. I also need to make sure I stay healthy and not catch the crud that my kids are sneezing around the house.

Thanks to all who checked up on me, watched kids and brought food.


Friday, January 29, 2010


This is a very strange experience. I have never had so many different kinds of drugs in me. I wouldn't ever take sudafed for a head cold because I hated the way it made me feel & now look at me - (a glass of wine is another story.)

Anyway, I am holding my own. Haven't been sick...just feel dizzy at times and the car ride to get my white cell booster shot was a wee bit too long. I was ready to get back home to my comfy bed.

Jack is off with the Swanson family at the NU basketball game and Ava is having an overnight at Grandma & Grandpa Teig's! WOW! this would be a perfect date night for me...too bad I will be sleeping in about an hour and a half.

Blessings to you all!


Thursday, January 28, 2010

First one down

I survived - it was very easy.
We will see what the weekend brings...tomorrow I go back for a shot to boost my white blood cells.
More later.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Port is in!

It wasn't too bad.
I think he used a chisel and hammer to place it - and now I can't lift either arm above my head. I am sure range of motion will come back...someday. I went to bed last night at 4:00 pm. I am at work today - feeling groovy - more good pain meds! Don't worry I hitched a ride with my co-worker Denise.

More tomorrow night or Friday about the chemo.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Here We Go!

Today is the day for the port surgery.
I have been told by some it is not big deal and others that it is very painful. I guess y'all had better check with me tomorrow and I will let you know!

I will be home this afternoon after surgery. Tomorrow and Thursday morning I plan to work and Thursday afternoon I start chemo.

This is it - after Thursday I will know what it feels like have chemo.

I have SHORT hair - Jack tells me I look like a boy.

Stay tuned...I will update again soon!

As Always -
Thanks for the positive thoughts - please keep them coming


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It's a Go for the Chemo

Dr. Duven gave me the ok to start chemo on Jan 29.
The drugs I will receive will be
Adriamycin & Cytoxan
I will have these every other week for 8 weeks.
Then I will have Taxol for 12 weeks and after that start the Herceptin which I will have for a year.
My port will be in for the entire year - however, I am told my hair will start growing back after the 20 weeks of the first 3 drugs.
After the chemo I will have radiation - which I haven't received the details on yet.
If my results for the breast cancer gene test come back positive it has been recommended that I have a double mastectomy and hysterectomy and I would not have radiation. I do not expect to have the results of that test for a month or two - so that decision will be down the road.

I got the drainage tube taken out yesterday - what a great feeling!

Keep the positive thoughts coming for little or no side effects from the chemo & for a negative result on the breast cancer gene test!

I will let you know how surgery goes next Tuesday!


Friday, January 15, 2010

Whoo Hoo!

Great News - The cancer has not spread!
We are moving on to the next step - port placement and starting chemo on Friday, January 29 (if Dr. Duven gives the ok.)

I am walking on air!
So very thankful that my cancer was caught early - was removed and now we are going to zap any remaining unwanted guests (if there are any) and be done with it all!

I will still have some decisions to make regarding the BRAC1 BRAC2 - but that will be a few months down the road.

It is one month to the day from the mammogram - bad news in December - but, good news for January and the future!

Love to you all!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Testing, testing 1,2,3...

Back to reality - I returned from my yearly trip to the CASE Conference yesterday. It was nice to get away and always nice to be back. I am moving forward with all the tests tomorrow. I will head back to ADI for a brain CAT scan and a PET scan in the morning (I am looking forward to the nap - as I have to sit still and be quiet for over 90 minutes for the PET scat). Then later tomorrow afternoon I will head over to Allen Hospital for my Echo Cardiogram. After all that fun stuff I get to go to my first class of the semester for grad school (classes actually started Monday eve - but I was in St. Louis).

I am hopeful that the scans will give me positive news - and that I will be able to begin chemo in February. I am healing very well from the surgery - so nothing should delay my start at this point. I have an appointment on Jan 26 for the port placement. Dr. Duven says I can place it pretty much anywhere I want - so I am going to go put on my bikini and draw an X where I want it - so no one will know I have a port scar when I frolic on the beach this summer.

Thank you all for the constant support, cards, cookies and calls. I feel very fortunate to have the love and understanding of all of you who care so much.

More later...

Friday, January 8, 2010

Dr. Singh (My Oncologist)

I was able to see the Oncologist for the first time today (he used to live next door to my Aunt Nadene & Uncle Gary) so I got in sooner than Jan 19! Hurray! The news was ok...not all good news - not all bad news. He has ordered the PET scan, a brain CT scan and an echo cardiogram. I already have the echo cardiogram scheduled for next Thursday at Allen and have asked for Miranda at ADI to do the other two tests. These tests will let me know if the cancer has spread. One negative to my cancer is that it tested abnormal for HER2 - which has to do with my receptors and is a negative factor for Dr. Singh's computer statistics - however, they have a new drug that will increase my survival rate. There is also the fact that I could carry the breast cancer gene (this is the BRAC1 BRAC2 that you hear about in the news.) Down the road if I decide to do the genetic testing this could impact my health if I am positive - but we are not going to concentrate on that now.

Dr. Singh recommends having a port put in for my chemo treatments (I have heard good & bad about ports.) These treatments will start when I am healed from my surgery (Dr. Duven will give the ok). I will have 4 heavy duty chemo treatments - they will be every other week for 8 weeks with IV bags/2hr sessions. Then it gets a bit easier for the next 12 weeks with chemo shots. Then following chemo I will have radiation.

So -
Positive thoughts for the scans that I will be having and that I will heal well from my surgery and possible port placement.


Monday, January 4, 2010

Stage 2a

Happy Monday!

I spoke with Nikki at Dr. Duven's office this morning to get the scoop on my pathology reports. They tell me I have Stage 2a cancer. Basically - out of the 4 nodes that were taken at the start of the surgery - 1 tested positive. Dr. Duven then took the rest in that line and one out of the 12 that he took tested positive. So - 2 out of 16. Nikki says those are pretty good odds. She can't give me a 100% guarantee that the cancer hasn't spread - but odds are in my favor. I need to have the scans ordered by the oncologist to know for sure. I am healing well - actually back at work this morning. I stopped the vicodin in order to drive Jack and Ava to school - that medication sure did take the edge off of the discomfort! I will see how long I last today...Nikki wanted me to go back home and rest and that just might be what I do!

Now I have to wait...wish I could see the oncologist today!
Let's get this party started!

Health & Happiness to you all!


Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year - I have Clean Margins!

The call came from super nurse Nikki yesterday that Dr. Duven was able to remove the tumor and the margins were clean. NO MORE SURGERY! I was asleep when the call came in - so the news on the nodes got lost in translation (Travis took the call). I believe that the report is - out of the 14 nodes that were taken 2 tested positive. My guess is that they were the first two in the chain. I won't be able to talk to someone in Dr. Duven's office until Monday.

This is very good news - as I need to recover and heal from the surgery before I can start radiation and chemo.

Keep the positive thoughts coming my way...I have started down the road to recovery - but the road is a long one.

Happy New Year to all of you wonderful people in my life that give me strength and encouragement.