Changes afoot

Dear Doctors                                                                                                               June 2023

I survived CyberKnife — the weeks after have been rough with lots of unpleasant side effects. I am making it through but it’s not something I would want to repeat.

There are larger life decision changes afoot, nothing carved in stone yet, haha, but I want to give you both a heads up of what’s brewing and what to expect from me.

I have begun the process of retiring from my job teaching incarcerated students

through Adams State University’s Prison Education Program. This is a bittersweet decision.

Although I went in for a scheduled infusion of avastin last Thursday and will go again in a couple weeks, I’m beginning to consider stopping Western medical treatment of any kind.

I don’t imagine either of you will be happy to hear this but I bet you’re not surprised either. I would like to spend my days at home, painting, puttering, writing, and enjoying the company of my sweet funny soulmate

There are a few additional factors in addition to just being dog bone marrow tired as a baseline.

I don’t want to count on Henry being able to drive me to Colorado Springs even once every quarter, and more importantly I don’t really want to burden him with that job.

General financial difficulty

 In short, I think I owe it to myself, my family and my husband to consider taking an exit so that I can be a homebody and paint and write, and so that we can let go of  some stressors.  My job is now to face sensei mortality and be grateful for every day.

So that’s where I am, listening to my body and what it needs and wants. I have proven that I have grit and courage in facing this formidable sensei glio, and I really don’t need to prove that anymore.

Besides, four years ain’t shabby for surviving glio.

At this point I really don’t know if I will be coming back for another MRI or doctors appointments later this summer. 

I suspect this will disrupt your script and your best hopes for me, as well as stir up your complicated feelings about glioblastoma, but I bet you’ve been at this juncture before. You must do what you were trained to do and what you are moved to do.

But I am in another place looking from another perspective and let me tell you the view is quite different when bowing into sensei mortality.

I am open to one more MRI just to follow-up on the status of Abbott and Costello, but I would prefer the procedure to be much closer to home. Is there a decent MRI machine in Salida? I am not open to CyberKnife or any other kind of radiation despite Tony’s charms. Continuing the local Avastin treatments and labs would not be a big deal but I’m not sure how helpful they would be.

I hope you both are well and enjoying the summer.

Thank you for your dedication and for your interest in me as a person, not just my disease.

Kathy Park Woolbert

Replies:

To the contrary, I’m not at all unhappy with your chosen path forward. I think you are focusing on the important parts of life. Western med gave you a better run than many with this disease, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay on board the ship all the way. You’ve probably taken the best it had to offer, and anything we did from here on out would be of questionable utility.

Best to you and Henry – it’s been quite the journey and I’ve been privileged to be part of your story.

 I also support your decision and we will be here to do as little or as much as you would like. Your creativity and journey are inspiring. All the best.

One comment on “Changes afoot
  1. karen hanron says:

    Thank you for many years of wisdom, experience and vulnerability.

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