This is Me

Greetings! Welcome to my Blog. “Mastering the Art of Living while Dying”.

I have been advised to write about my experience, which is quite daunting for me since I am not a writer, but I am a good yakker so I will just yak on and please forgive me for any grammar or spelling mistakes.

Forgive me for the long introduction, but this is to give you an idea of my story and why I am putting it in a blog.

My name is Karin, I live in Prince Edward Island, Canada and I am terminally ill.

I have a very rare type of cancer called Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma. I was diagnosed in April of 2008, 2 years ago. This particular type of cancer tends to attack the head and neck area and I discovered it first with pain and then a lump in my neck about 2 inches below my left ear. It took several trips to doctors and about 2 years from the time I noticed the lump until I was diagnosed. I don’t hold anyone responsible for the delayed action. This is just a weird type of cancer and difficult to detect.

When I was diagnosed, it was determined that the lump was in my left parotid gland. I was sent to a specialist in Halifax who assured me that this wasn’t much to be alarmed about. The plan was to do a parotidectomy and I would be good to go, but during the surgery, it was discovered that the tumor extended past the parotid gland and was wrapped around some of the nerves. So my doctor recommended an 8 week course of radiation at the PEI Cancer Treatment Centre in Charlottetown which I completed without major side effects.

Six months after my radiation treatment (February 2009) ended, the doctors discovered about a dozen very small tumors in both my lungs. The doctors couldn’t offer me any treatment for this. The tumors were scattered about both lungs rather than a mass in one area, so it didn’t make sense to radiate them and surgery could remove them once they increased in size, but more would replace them.

I was assured that I would be monitored and with the nature of this crazy cancer, it wasn’t expected that these tumors would grow quickly.

So, for the past year, I have been living with the knowledge that I’m going to die.

It took some time for my head to get around the concept, but it did occur to me that none of us are going to get out of here alive and perhaps I’m lucky to know in advance.

I really mean it when I say “lucky”. Sure…we are all going to die, but do we put much thought into it. Perhaps some do, some of the time, but for me, it is a certainty. I think of dying most of the time. How could I not?

I must admit I have had occasions of “freaking out”, but generally I’m pretty good about it all. I really don’t have much fear. I AM NOT A VICTIM.

So this blog is for me to tell my story and for you to hear it.

Perhaps you would share your story, or a story of someone you know.

My hope is to remove some of the fears we have about dying and to provide some comfort to those who are grieving.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I have plenty to yak about so stay tuned.


(The stories at the top of the page are the latest, so if you want to read the stories in order start at the bottom with Angels and Spirit Guides)