About Me….

When the ER doctor walked into my room after hours of testing, on that evening in October 2007, and asked, “Did you know that you have a mass in your stomach?”, I knew instantly that my life was about to make a dramatic turn.  “No!  Can I see the pictures??” I eagerly asked with a faint smile on my face, both intrigued by the idea and wondering what God had in store for me now.  I was out of town at the time, house-sitting for friends, and shortness of breath was the only symptom that had brought me to the hospital that day.  Two weeks later, after further testing, I learned that I had non-Hodgkins Lymphoma…and a blog began…

Trying to keep up with the many phone calls and e-mails following my diagnosis was exhausting and blogging became a good way to keep friends and family up-to-date with my treatment.  I spent time online, researching my illness, and discovered that some of the most helpful information came from the stories of other cancer survivors who shared their experience in books and blogs.  Over time, the purpose of this blog has evolved from sharing my story with friends and family to sharing my story with those who are faced with a similar path.

Back in October 2007, I knew that I was stepping out on a different path but I had no idea at the time where that path would lead me.  Two rounds of chemotherapy (which were ineffective) were followed by partial gastrectomy/vagotomy/pyloroplasty in October 2008.  Four months later I had a seizure (the first of three that year) and spent the next year heavily medicated and unable to drive.  Bankruptcy, foreclosure, and divorce after 26 years of marriage followed…this was quite a path I was on!  The most difficult loss was my hobby, my passion:  breeding show beagles.  I had worked hard and built a successful breeding program but could no longer afford to keep the dogs that brought so much joy to my life.  I had lost everything:  health, home, husband, hobby…and at age 49, I started life over again…with one Best in Show winning beagle, a few pieces of furniture, a Honda CR-V with 200K miles, and half a stomach.

“Here I am, where I ought to be”

Isak Dinesen wrote those words at the beginning of her famous memoir, Out of Africa.  Her life didn’t turn out quite as she had expected either.  Midway through her life, she had to leave her beloved Africa and return home to Denmark and reimagine what her life could be.  Karen Blixen took up writing and the nom de plume, Isak, meaning “laughter”.  Laughter and a smile are always a good place to start when faced with a new path in life.  Some are meant to walk a straight and level path through life.  For others, the trail may be a bit more rugged.  For some the path is short and for others it is long with many forks in the road.  I have no idea where I am on my path, whether it be long or short, or how many forks I may encounter.  What I do know is that I am here because this is where I ought to be.  There are lessons to be learned here and choices to be made.  Choosing to face each day with a smile and laughter is always the best place to start….

Carrie

28 thoughts on “About Me….

  1. Hi Carrie!

    I read this part last night (during conferences!) I tried to respond on my phone but didn’t get good enough service in the gym! I find it very inspiring and I look forward to reading your new entries!

    Let me know when would be a good day for a green cocktail party!

    Barb

  2. Hi Carrie,

    Just thought we would check in. Rosa is doing good although she is in her terrble two’s stage. All she wants to do is chew on everything but her toys. She also seems to want to pee inside the house now. Who knows what is causing it. Its possible she is seeing to many changes at the Warren house. Warm weather is here so all the lawn furniture has come out and the pool is now open. More ouside living and thus her daily pattern is interupted. Hoping once she ajust to the new changes all will return to normal.

    We have been checking in on the Blog and admiring your strength and positive attitude fighting this monster called cancer. Keep up the fight and remember “never give in”.

    Rob & Cheryl and “Rosa” Warren

  3. I know you do not know me, but Larry is our Realtor, and shared about you having Cancer. Very interesting site you have here talking about what you are going thru. Just wanted to let you know we will be Praying for you and your family, and wishing you the best.

    Toma

  4. My name is Alexandra Snyder; I am the Content Editor at HealthCare.com. I’ve been reading your blog, Carrie’s NHL Blog, and was really impressed by the content. I would like to invite you to feed your blog to our blog community.

    We have a growing community of bloggers, health care seekers and care providers, and are one of the top online health destinations in the U.S. We currently receive millions of visitors each month! By feeding your blog to our site you will expose your posts and work to the millions of users in our network since each post is featured on our homepage. This is a great way to increase traffic for your existing blog or website and gain notoriety.

    Best of all, it’s simple, no need to write a separate blog or leave your current blog site. You would simply create an account at http://blogs.healthcare.com and feed your content. Please feel free to contact me if you need help setting up your blog feed, I will be glad to help you.

    Have a great day!

  5. I followed the link to your beautiful new puppies from the Showbeagle list and started poking around your blog and noticed you’re in Washington. Our first beagle, Rebel, came from Olympia when my husband was stationed at McChord AFB in 1994. We’ve been hooked on beagles ever since!

    I created my own blog in the Live Journal community just over 4 years ago after our 19 year old daughter died from Pulmonary Hypertension and related heart problems. Like you, I found so much love and support from my fellow bloggers – many of which had never heard of PH, let alone known anyone who had had it. Much of my early posts are still public; particularly those related to grief, but eventually I began filtering things pertaining directly to my husband and surviving children out of respect for them. It can be a tough call in deciding how much information we want to share on a public blog, but even with filters, I have found that blogging is so good for the soul and can honestly say blogging saved my life when it was at it’s darkest.

    Good luck with your journey and your beagles! Our animals gave me so much comfort right after Taryn died and they still do. We no longer have our first beagles from Washington, but we now have two wonderful Rockwood Beagles (from Keller, Texas) and I have started dabbling in conformation with Rockwood Marias JJ Greta May…aka… Cha Cha. It’s a fun sport and I look forward to really getting into it once my youngest goes to college next year!

    Best to you-
    Tina

  6. Jim and I are in Germany visiting Matt. You have been in our prayers for a long time. Our church family back home is also praying for you.
    We are doing a lot of traveling, and enjoying Bavaria, where Matt lives. We are even getting used to driving his 16 year old rusty car, which lets people know to get out of the way when we are coming. We love driving on the Autobahn!
    We know you will do as great a job recovering as you have done accepting this cancer. What a great attitude you have.
    God be with you, and keep us up to date.
    Luv you, Martha and Jim

  7. Hi Carrie,
    We met a few years ago when my family was looking for another beagle. I was just checking back with your website to see if you had any new puppies and learned of your diagnosis. My prayers are with you!

    I know from meeting you what a wonderful person you are. Visiting your home and seeing your dogs was so much fun for my family. The love you have for your animals is so obvious in the care you and Larry provide. I’m still jealous of your dog washing area!It seems only natural that you would take something negative (NHL) and turn it into something positive with this great blog!

    I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis eight years ago and check in with my favorite RA blogs religiously. Having the support of those who “speak your language” is so important. I also have been on Rituxan. RA and NHL work against the body is a very similar way, so hopefully medications will work for both as well. I wish you success with your treatments. (Please feel free to use chemo as an excuse for not doing anything you don’t really want to do! Even the strongest soldiers need their rest!)

    Thank you so much for spending your valuable time blogging! You are helping more people than you will ever know by sharing your positive outlook and spirit!

    Blessings to you!
    Shannon

  8. Hi Carrie,

    I just noticed that you added my site to your blogroll. I just wanted to stop by and say thanks. I feel quite honored to be included on a list with many sites that I admire.

    Best of luck to you.

  9. What a fantastic and strong person you are. Wish all the best, everyday day, every second. We all have some stories to share and my belongs with my best friend and bestman who is fighting a sort of bone cancer(sorry, do not know the name).It’s Not About The Bike, no better way to describe it.

    Here we go, all together. Ever.

    Regards,

    Fernando and Daniela(my wife)

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  13. I created my own blog in the Live Journal community just over 4 years ago after our 19 year old daughter died from Pulmonary Hypertension and related heart problems. Like you, I found so much love and support from my fellow bloggers – many of which had never heard of PH, let alone known anyone who had had it. Much of my early posts are still public; particularly those related to grief, but eventually I began filtering things pertaining directly to my husband and surviving children out of respect for them. It can be a tough call in deciding how much information we want to share on a public blog, but even with filters, I have found that blogging is so good for the soul and can honestly say blogging saved my life when it was at it’s darkest.
    +1

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  17. All the best to you on this journey you are taking. I got my beloved beagle, Mario summer of 2007. Just wanted you to know the joy he has given me. He’s a food hound and was a real handful as a pup but has turned into a handsome and loving member of the family.

    • It’s wonderful to hear from you and so good to hear that you and Mario are doing well. His littermates are doing well, too. Thank you for taking the time to write to me! 🙂

      Carrie

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