Inspiration: She Hunts, Fishes and Took Back her Life after Cancer.

My name is Karen and I’ve always loved being an outdoorswoman – both hunting and fishing. It’s my passion to be outside and enjoy nature whether hunting different game, fishing, walking trails, or just sitting by the lake.

My life changed back in March of 2013 with something that put a halt to my outdoors living, and it was something that I thought no one would ever say to me.

The Frightening Beginning…

It started back in March, I was working and standing for a long time when I felt something running down my legs and all of a sudden I got light headed and passed out to wake up to blood all over my clothes and running down both legs. I was sent to the emergency room where I was put through random tests and wasn’t able to return to work. Through the remainder of March I went through pet scans, x-rays, pelvic exams, numerous blood tests, and was sent to a gynecologist.

The News.

It was March 25th that I got the call that no one ever wants to receive. My gynecologist called to tell me that I had uterine cancer and they found a tumor that was shadowing my whole cervix. I was devastated and scared. I thought my life was coming to an end and my future gone. She told me that she wanted to see me in her office and consult me on my options and the restrictions I would have due to having cancer.

The following month of April, she examined me and went through all the tests that I had done and she told me and my family that the cancer was contained in the uterus and that I would be undergoing 25 sessions of radiation and 5 chemotherapy treatments and then have a full hysterectomy and would make a full recovery. It was a blessing to me, my family, and friends to hear that.

They Told me I Couldn’t be In the Sun..

When the gynecologist  began to give me my restrictions, me being an outdoors lady, I didn’t take the news so well.

She told me that I would be restricted on how long I could stay outdoors due to the chemotherapy and radiation because the skin becomes more sensitive and blisters easily, and that this could cause me to become more sick and set up an infection. She had also told me that my body was going to become more tired and weak throughout treatments…and boy was she right.

I never was the type to stay indoors let alone stay in bed all day for that matter, but as weeks went by through treatment, I became more weak and tired. “Why Me?” Just kept playing over and over in my head and I wasn’t sure my body could take it anymore. It was like the  life that I knew was ending and my body was in a prison that I wanted out of.

“I’d Decided I’d had Enough”…Getting Back Outdoors.

My shady spot to sit…

One morning, around the third week of treatment, I got up and decided I’d had enough and so I got up out of bed and started fighting back for the things that I loved. I wanted to live and be happy again, so I put on my workout clothes and headed to a place in my hometown in Arkansas called Craighead Forest. I started picking out spots where it was shaded enough for me to walk,fish,and just sit by the water and just enjoy nature again. Instantly I began to smile and feel better because I was getting back a part of me that I love.

Just being outside and breathing in the outdoors air over the lake was already making me feel at peace and feel good. On my good days throughout the rest of my treatments, that’s where I would spent my time at. I’d walk the shady trails that I picked out, feed the ducks and geese, and sit by the lake. Nothing made me happier and put my mind more at ease than being outdoors. The more I stayed in the outdoors that I love the stronger my mind and body became. My mind became more positive on fighting my cancer off.

No More Cancer!

Its been three months now since I found out that I had cancer and I just finished my last chemotherapy and radiation two weeks ago. This past Tuesday, July 9,2013, The doctors that have been working with me told me that my cervix is clear and there’s no tumor left and cancer is gone!! YAY!! I still have surgery to go through, but the fight on cancer I WON!!  Someone once told me to get up every morning and tell myself, “My name is Karen and all is well”.. Those words made such an impact and was a blessing to me throughout my treatments.. I thank that person with all my heart for those words.

I learned through this that each woman, no matter how young or old,  should always go to their check ups and doctor visits. With uterine cancer, you have to be checked out by a gynecologist….and just a pap smear cannot detect it.

I now live life to the fullest and never take life and the love for the outdoors for granted. I am truly blessed by God and the love and support of all my friends, family, and my twitter family that kept me in their prayers. From the bottom of my heart, I can’t thank everyone enough.

Now, Back to Hunting…

Karen Combs

I am a fighter and a survivor of cancer and I fully intend on being back to the sport of hunting this fall with my other brothers and sisters that enjoy the outdoor world and game as much as I do.