It never occurred to me that I would get cancer. From the first symptom through the doctor’s appointments and tests, through the specialists and more appointments and tests, I hadn’t worried. This would turn out to be another nothing deal. I sat with Bruce, my husband of 25 years, as the doctor opened the folder to discuss the biopsy results.
The day was January 24, 2013. That day, One24, there in the doctor’s office, I was diagnosed with bladder cancer, later confirmed as advanced bladder cancer. I can’t tell you much of what else the doctor said after bladder cancer, but he talked for a while. I vaguely remember Bruce asking him to repeat the diagnosis, as if he’d hadn’t heard correctly. Bruce told me later that it felt like in a dream – or nightmare – and he expected to wake up and sigh with a sense of relief.
One24 had started as an ordinary day. An hour before, walking from the car to the doctor’s office, my mind was busy with what seemed important then, frustration of missing work and errands to run on the way home. Bruce and I must have looked the same leaving the office as we did going in, one foot in front of the other, but nothing was the same for either of us, and it wouldn’t be, not for a long while.
I was 45 years old and facing the greatest challenge of my life. Our lives were changed in one sentence, you have cancer, and it wasn’t only the two of us, but our two children as well. They were happy, successful young adults – I was grateful for that – and we were very close. My mind began to wander right away. Will I be able to see my son Carter get married? My daughter, Katlynn, enjoyed her life as a newly minted registered nurse. She was happily married, and she and Joey were ready to start a family. Will I be able to experience the blessing of grandbabies? I didn’t say these things aloud.
Bruce and I talked about how to tell the kids, when to tell our parents, and we went through what we did remember in reassuring tones, but my memories of that day are fuzzy. Bruce says the same thing. January 24 – One24 – marked before and after for us, even though we couldn’t have put words to how we felt. In the flood of emotions, clear thinking didn’t come easily to either of us.
But we had the sense to reach out to our preacher. He read a scripture to us that has remained our “go to” verse: Isaiah 41:10 “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” What peace that verse gave us through our journey!
After multiple rounds of chemo, long car rides to get there and home again, some on icy roads, after nausea and moments of fear, after a radical surgery that included a complete cystectomy, hysterectomy, and bowel resection in June, I am now considered “cancer free.” I was very blessed through my journey to have Katlynn – my own personal registered nurse and my much loved and adored daughter – by my side through the good times and the bad! My husband couldn’t have been more loving, my son was there whenever I needed him, and I’ll always be grateful for the wonderful support from countless family members and friends.
Still, Katlynn was my rock – my rock with medical knowledge! During the battle, our family found that through our faith in Jesus Christ, we had the almighty peace that can comfort anyone in their time of darkness. My journey is currently a work in progress as I go back frequently for CAT scans and testing. But, I am very happy to say, I will be able to see my son get married in January 2015! Too, my daughter and son-in-law blessed us with a grandbaby in November 2013 (I controlled myself and put up only one picture, for now!). We consider baby Georgia Kay our 2013 blessing!
One24Boutique is an inspiration that Katlynn and I were given to share the spiritual word of support to those fighting cancer, who have fought cancer, are the caregivers of cancer fighters, and to those who have lost loved ones to the battle. Our clothing line, Team Karla Isaiah 41:10, is personally designed by the two of us and our vision given from God to spread positive support through the word of Jesus Christ. We know not everyone will win the battle against cancer, but if you are a Christian you will win the war! Romans 12:12 “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
In 2016, God opened the door for us to open One24 Storefront and we give back a portion of all of our sales to bladder cancer research at The University of Kansas Medical Center. We truly appreciate you shopping with us and hope you have enjoyed your experience at One24 Boutique.
To God Be The Glory
A portion of all of our sales will be donated back to the University of Kansas Medical Center cancer research program, where Karla has received, and continues to go, to receive all of her life-changing treatment and care.