Things began to change in the summer of 2008. She felt fatigue and noticed that the lymph glands under her arms were swollen. She also developed an annoying cough.
Karen had numerous medical tests run and eventually she was diagnosed with CLL/SLL (chronic lymphocytic leukemia/ small lymphocytic lymphoma). My sister had cancer in her blood.
Hurricane Ike hit southeast Texas in August, and our electricity was out for over a week. We loaded up the truck and went to my mother-in-law's house in Oklahoma to wait for our electricity to be restored. While we were in Oklahoma, my sister was in the hospital in St. Louis.
I decided to fly to St. Louis the next week and stay with my sister when she got home from the hospital. I arrived in St. Louis on Saturday and Karen was out of the hospital and feeling much better. On Sunday, my mother, father, Karen and I spent the afternoon at the Route 66 State Park in Eureka, Missouri. I took some pictures and later used them to make the video slideshow that I have posted below.
The next week, I went with Karen to receive a chemotherapy treatment at the hospital. This was the first time I had witnessed a treatment like this. She laid back in a reclining chair and received the chemotherapy through an IV in her arm. It seemed to be fairly easy and painless.
Karen was not going to let this affliction keep her down. She went back to work at Joyce Meyer Ministries before the end of the week and I was left at home watching TV and catching up on my reading.
I headed back to Texas thinking that she would soon be in remission and back to her old lifestyle.
She was in remission several times...but the disease kept coming back.