Karen Howell – Harvesting Hope



Karen Howell – Harvesting Hope

By Karen Howell

Apr 29, 2010 – 6:02:18 AM


Always helping, Karen and Ray at a Kicking Bear Event.

December 3, 2007 is a date that will be forever engraved in my mind.  Ray was hunting white tail deer in Illinois.  This would be a great time for him to hunt because it was during the second rut and his chances of harvesting a Pope & Young buck was very good.  This would also allow me the opportunity to clean closets.  All you ladies know what I’m talking about. 

I had a doctor’s appointment that day to follow up on some earlier lab tests.  My doctor and I had been monitoring changes that had occurred since April of that year and today I would be receiving those results.

As usual, things like this didn’t bother me and as a matter of fact, while waiting for the results, I had been praying for my doctor, Dr. Jeanne Johnson.  I don’t always know why a person’s name comes to mind but when that happens, I pray for that person.  It doesn’t matter what time of day or night; it doesn’t matter if I know the reason I’m praying for them or even if I know the person.  I just pray.

When I arrived for my appointment, I was ushered into a small cubicle to wait for Dr. Johnson.  When she came in, she asked if she could have a young intern sit in with us because it would be a good experience for her.  “Of course, no problem”, was my response.

Then Dr. Johnson proceeded to tell me that the lab results showed some type of cancerous activity in my left breast.  Okay-so now I knew why I had been praying for Dr. Johnson.  This isn’t the kind of news you want to tell your patient.  I told her that too-that I had been praying for her.  She said that wasn’t the response she thought she would get.  She said most women hearing the news that they have cancer either cry or at least ask how bad the cancer is-meaning will a mastectomy be involved, etc.  There are so many questions that went through my head at that point, that I thought it best to just stop and pray.  That’s what I did and I asked them both to pray with me.  Then Dr. Johnson said she would schedule me for surgery and that she would be doing a lumpectomy to see if the cancer cells were localized or not.

When I got home, I called and left a message for Ray to call me when he got in.  He called a little later and I proceeded to tell him about my office visit and about the breast cancer.  He became very concerned and said he would come home right away.  I told him he didn’t have to because I wasn’t worried and that he may as well stay and finish out his hunt.  He would be home before my surgery so that was all that mattered.

My surgery took place four days later on December 7, 2007 and the results were that I had two small cancerous tumors which they described as infiltrating lobular carcinoma in situ which were classified as non-aggressive.  That was great news and the cancer cells were removed.

Following my surgery, I was scheduled to meet with another oncologist and a radiologist.  I was told that after consulting with them, they would schedule my treatment according to my wishes and to what I thought was best for my health.

However, the hospital had a certain protocol to follow, and that protocol meant I was to have 33 radiation treatments which, in itself, could have been overwhelming.  At one time during the treatments, I wanted to quit, but Ray told me I was over half way through and that I should continue.  In retrospect, had I known then what I know now, I would not have opted for the radiation.  But it is what it is. I know God had His hand in all of this and that this was a “path” He was leading me down for reasons I didn’t understand at first, but then I realized I could help comfort other women who were experiencing some of the same things.

Karen with her Rio Grande and Husband Ray.

During the radiation treatments, which took place in the spring of 2008, I looked into anything and everything that could help with any possible side effects and also anything I could do to help myself be healthier.  At the same time, a friend of ours from church, Ray Martinez, introduced me to AdvoCare.  AdvoCare is a 17-year old nutritional supplement company.  I started taking an AdvoCare product called Rehydrate (Electrolyte replacement drink) during my radiation treatments and although my radiologist told me that I would become tired and feel worn out, that never happened! I actually never skipped a beat, although as I noted, I did want to quit at one time, but for no other reason than I felt the radiation treatments were overkill.  I won’t get into what I based those feelings on, but you can contact me at yikesaroo@gmail.com if you have any questions as to why.

While taking the AdvoCare Rehydrate, I also started on Spark (a vitamin and amino acid energy supplement) and a product called CorePlex (a chewable multi-vitamin), OmegaPlex (Omega 3 Fatty Acids) and I added the Herbal Cleanse (a metabolic cleansing system supplement) to remove toxins from my body that could have been created by the radiation treatments and other pollutants.  

I actually threw out any skin care and hair care products that contained any type of parabens or other cancer causing ingredients.  You can check out individual product ingredients at this website:  http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/index.php?nothanks=1

I added the Definite Difference AdvoCare product line to my daily facial regime and have had wonderful results!  

Since being on the AdvoCare products has produced such great results for me, Ray is now also using many of the products for weight training, extra energy, and weight management.  For more information, you can visit either of our websites at www.advobear.com or www.advocareoutdoors.com.

By the way, if you are interested in hearing the “Rest of the story”, Ray did harvest a dandy buck in Illinois!


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