Keri's Metastatic Breast Cancer Story: It Hurts to Sit in This Chair Too Long
I’m Doug Haberstroh, and this is the story of my wife Keri. Keri was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005 at the age of 25. Well, now you’re in for a real treat in this post. Keri starts off with a reaction to how the chemo treatments for metastatic breast cancer have been progressing and the pain that still just won’t leave.
The pain has become so fierce at times that she is not able to move or sit in one place for any length of time; I cannot even explain how painful and annoying that was for her. To end this SharePost I finally send an e-mail to our family and my friends, a much overdue e-mail.
Subject: Quick Notent: Monday, July 31, 2006 2:56 PM
I only have time for a quick note. My fourth treatment is this coming Wednesday on August 2nd. The pain is still hanging around and we are trying all kinds of things to find a good medicine to help mask the pain. The doctor is a little concerned that the pain is still so prevalent therefore we will probably have to do more than 6 treatments in the end.
We are doing blood work and other tests along the way though. Last week we did some blood work to check my liver, kidneys, and other organs and things came out okay. I didn’t realize how much trial and error was involved in finding medicines that take care of your pain, but don’t cause too many bad side effects. Anyway that is the latest and I will still keep you posted.
I do as much as I can on my good days, but they are not as often anymore. I have to go. I can’t sit in this chair for too long, before it starts to hurt. Take care all of you. I thank God everyday for all of your prayers and thoughts. I will win this battle.
Subject: Doug’s Updatent: Sunday, August 13, 2006 4:58 PM
Guys & Gals,
I know you all have been receiving updates from Keri on a regular basis but while I was outside this morning doing some yard-work and washing the cars I couldn’t remember the last time I actually sent out an e-mail to everyone from myself. So, apologies, but I would like to take this time now to make amends. Buckle yourselves in.
To start, life is good. Married life didn’t really start off the way Keri and I probably would have guessed but we’re making the best of it, not to get too mushy but this cancer stuff really made us look at a whole different side of life and I say our love, friendship and companionship is stronger now than ever before. We’re continually fighting this crap and some day soon, I have faith, we will win and get on to living normal, healthy lives again. Thank you for all you have done, I don’t really know how to pay back all you have done for us but we appreciate it and know that your friendship will always have a special place in our hearts.
Another round of apologies goes out from me to all of those in the class of '96. I totally missed our reunion this summer due to prior engagements but I did see some of the pictures from the website and it looks like everyone had a lot of fun. I just wish Moody would have included names with the photos because I suck at trying to guess with faces only.
I did get an update from Papa Rich back in June and I was impressed with the list of people that actually came into town and participated. Wish I could have been there but I’m happy that I’m still in touch with you all even if we do see each other on an irregular basis.
Now for the meat and taters. The past, the present, and the future. I started school again back in January, I’m going through Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University working on a masters in Aviation/Aeronautical Safety and Management. I’m about a year out from finishing, taking only one or two courses a term. Not that I really like school or anything but I need the masters to make rank, the Air Force just passed a new regulation that starts in '07 that in order to make Major your education will be viewed by the promotion board. Makes things a bit more difficult but shouldn’t be an overwhelming factor, as long as I don’t get booted from the Air Force all together with the new budget cuts.
I’m still in the 81st Range Control Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City, Fl. It is a little more definite now that we will be moving this coming March, where, I have no idea. Most likely Tinker again in Oklahoma City but I do have about a 10 to 20% chance of making Germany, it’s a crap-shot but we’ll have to wait and see. The 81st is treating me good.
In about a month I will be leaving for Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama to attend an Air Force school (SOS) from September 11th through October 13th. Josh, I’ll be close to your area and I’ll have weekends free. The thing that has me worried is that the school starts on 9/11 and ends on Friday the 13th. Just my luck.
So that’s about it, not too exciting but life has been keeping me busy enough. Aside from cancer, work, school, and honey-do (all) lists, Keri and I have been able to have some fun. This past April or May we visited Disney World for a week, I think Keri bought every Mickey item available, she went nuts. This past week my parents and sister with her two kids came to visit and this coming New Year the Haberstroh family will be taking a cruise to celebrate my parent’s retirement. A lot to look forward to along with a move shortly after the New Year begins.
Well, thank you for your time and I hope I won’t be a stranger as long as I have been recently. Please keep Keri and I informed on your lives as well.
Thanks again and hope to see you all soon, when we can.
A Note from Doug: We’re also telling Keri’s breast cancer story as a weekly comic strip. Check back each week to follow her treatment. In this week’s episode, Episode 16, Doug reviews what his life has been like, as a newlywed supporting his wife in her breast cancer fight.
Doug Haberstroh wrote about breast cancer for HealthCentral. Doug produced a reality-based comic strip chronicling his life with his wife, Keri, who was only 25 when she was first diagnosed with invasive/infiltrating ductal carcinoma. Keri passed away in 2006.