There are so many C words that make your heart flutter like…couture, cashmere, or better yet closet!  I have to admit that I am a big fan of most C words…especially coffee and cash!

But somehow in my 30’s, I had completely forgotten there were other C words-words that make your heart feel like it has stopped.  Words like carcinoma, cancer or chemo.

In my 20’s I had experienced those words first hand with family and friends and while you never forget the “who” in those lost, over time I had slowly forgotten…the “how”.

So at 6:30am on November 4th the only “C” word on my mind was coffee…creme brulee coffee to be exact.

Brian was making me drive to his doctors appointment.  I don’t drive.  So If he didn’t let me make a pit stop…this could be grounds for divorce.  We made our way through traffic in Beverly Hills.  My eyes were definitely on the clock, not the road.  As we approached our destination I saw an oasis in the distance-the most beautiful Coffee Bean EVER!

We had 4 minutes till his colonoscopy appointment. We were practically early!


He looked at me and said “Kara, forget about it.  I don’t want to be late.”

I retorted, “You’re just getting checked for celiacs stop being so dramatic.”

He laughed and said, “Me dramatic?  Ok drop me off.  I will fill out the paperwork out and you run and get your coffee.  You are an addict Lady!”

And with those words I frolicked to the Coffee Bean clueless that in hour our lives were about to be changed forever…by the “C” word I had forgotten.

The rest of the day is pretty much a blur for both Brian and I.  Brian was coming off a twilight anesthesia.  I was obsessing over the thought, “Why was that damn coffee so important to me?” As if I had NOT stopped somehow things would have been different.

I remember the gastroenterologist was wearing a red tie.  It clashed with his shirt.  I also remember he would not look me in the eye.

I remember a women in her 60’s in the CT scan waiting room.  She had a purple bandanna on her head.  It was silk.  She told me, “You get through it.  Don’t worry, you do.”  I wanted to say to her, “Sorry you must be mistaken. You see were in our early 30’s we don’t belong here.”  But instead I said, “Thank you that is a beautiful scarf.”

The doctor who finally told us Brian had cancer was wearing a blue shirt.  It matched his blue eyes.  He was the best dressed I had seen all day.

The tumor was the size of an orange.  The scan indicated 3 lymph’s were most likely infected putting us somewhere around an early stage 3.  He had no major symptoms or signs.

I thought about how two days before we had just returned from a football game at my alma mater.  He had looked so cute in that black and gold shirt.

In my mind I screamed, “Why is this happening?”

The doctor continued to talk.  His vital organs were clear.  We should be thankful.  He said,”A tumor that big, the news is usually a lot worse, even fatal.”

Somehow, we didn’t feel very lucky.

I was wearing my gray cashmere sweater with a hood.  I pulled the hood over my head as too not let Brian see me cry.

The days that followed were to be the biggest tests of our life.  We changed the way we thought, we changed the way we ate and we changed the way we dressed.  We eventually started to un-closet our own Karma.

Brian has asked that I share our whole journey with our readers. So I will continue our story in future blogs. His hope is that you will find inspiration in whatever obstacle you come across in the new year and take it on with an open heart and mind.

And to be honest, that is just the type of amazing man I am married to.

Brian and Tess joke around just 80 hours after surgery.  Brian’s doctors said his release was a record, but I will tell you more about that later.  I just dig the xmas pants and the robe.

Life has a funny way of redirecting our path to get us back on track.  I hope you check back daily to see where the road took us.

Love and Light,

And remember the light inside of all of us burns bright even on the darkest of nights. You just have to remember to open the closet doors and let it out:)


*Lifein2lemonade is edited by Ryan Howard

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Chef Stef

about 11 years ago Reply

Oh Kara and Brian! What a terrible thing to have to contend with, at the holidays no less! You are such a strong unit, you will definitely pull through this. My thoughts and prayers are with you both. My mom was diagnosed 3 years ago with rectal cancer, had her surgery and has been cancer free ever since. I know it will be even easier for Brian. He is an incredible, strong man. The lady in the waiting room was absolutely right, "You get through it". I'll be sure to send light and love your way every time I think of you.


about 11 years ago Reply

Well written and truley heart felt. My love, support and prayers are with you and Brian always. Love Wayne"O"


about 11 years ago Reply

Kara and Brian, My prayers are with you. Thank you for being so strong and sharing your strength with us as you move along this journey. Blessings, Sarah W.


about 11 years ago Reply


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