A bit of background - Karen in my life
1986 June - 2010 April
Created by Tom on 08/05/2010
A Word doc of the full text of these updates may be downloaded at http://tinyurl.com/246u2pl
Karen and I met and fell in love on the 400 person cross-country Great Peace March in 1986. We were both writing journals about life on the peace march for its supporters, so we joined forces. I'd been an activist my whole life and Karen had been one for about five years. In 1988 we became primary life partners. During the next decade I began developing my work on co-intelligence, wise democracy, and conscious evolution. Karen worked at the Berkeley Ecology Center, taught a course on "Creating a Life the Makes More Sense", and developed her earth spirituality, especially through her sacred nature-spot, Pinnacles National Monument in central California.
In the mid-1990's Karen was beset with a number of setbacks including the destruction of her spirit-ground Pinnacles by a major flood. She developed fibroids and a mysterious illness mimicking repetitive strain injury which led to depression. She also began caring for her aging mother who was moved from the East Coast to Oakland, CA, where we lived. But then Karen and I moved to Eugene, OR in mid-1999. In the early 2000s Karen was diagnosed with melanoma, had a hysterectomy for her fibroids (but insisted on keeping her ovaries), and resolved her depression. As her major activity, she continued to care for her mother by phone and commuting to Oakland.
In 2007 her mother died in March and Karen was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in August. She began chemo on September 11, 2007, which -- aside from a wild threee-day "steroid rage" and increasing exhaustion -- was relatively smooth, thanks largely to alternative treatments for chemo symptoms. Her cancer came back in early 2009 followed by another round of chemo. Unfortunately, a second recurrence began in early 2010 within a few months of completing her second round of chemo.
On April 8, 2010, Karen became very ill. It was then that we began the intensive adventure I described in these updates, which I wrote and sent to a list of about 50 friends and relatives -- a list that grew to about 80 people by the end of July.
A Note on Names in the Updates: While Karen and I, and her immediate family, and some public figures are represented in the updates with real names, I have changed other people's names out of respect for their privacy (except for a few who have asked that their real names be used).