A Day of Prayer and Dancing Nuns

Waiting for scan results is living in a state of limbo. I’m scared every time I open my email that I will see my oncologist’s name. It’s not supposed to come until Monday. I have visions of her looking at the pictures all weekend and coming up with my options, trying to figure out how to prolong my life while keeping quality of my life in her mind.

That email will then go to Donnie Yance at Mederi, and his brilliant mind will look at my

Oncologist’s brilliant mind and together we will come up with a plan.

But meanwhile, I sit not knowing how I will be next weekend. We planned on taking madison for a college visit, and I dont know if I’ll be sick from an infusion or losing hair or good to go. I try to stay in the moment.

It’s so damn hard.

But yesterday God was with me all day long.

I decided to be in a detox bath at 9 am with holy water poured into the bathtub. That’s the time that was set for a special prayer to a saint that a woman my sister knows set up. At nine o clock I started to read the words and began to cry so hard I could barely speak. Every time I recited the prayer I went under water afterwards. Then my phone began beeping and I got texts and messages from all over the world of friends praying at that moment. South Africa even had people praying. People shared the post and total strangers piled on in prayer. It’s humbling when even strangers pray for you. I’m still traumatized from Wednesday when we thought I could be dying, and there are some who haven’t reached out with a kind word or “So glad you didn’t die”. So having strangers pray fervently for me made me so grateful.

It took me a while to get going after the bath, and finally came downstairs at 11:00. It was the maritime festival yesterday and I wanted so badly for my kids to go and have a fun day, but we just couldn’t go. We ended up staying home and doing laundry and schoolwork. I took my new bible and tabbed it all up, then began to dive in. I am not going in order, but instead going to where God leads me to read.

Yesterday was psalm 31, a plea for protection. So many verses stood out for me, and I marked them up. It was not as hard as I thought it would be.

The person who kept emailing me and questioning my faith sent another one, but this time finally got the message to leave me alone. Listen, I know I can do all things through Christ…

But that doesn’t mean I still don’t feel at times that God doesn’t care and has forgotten me. And please, don’t ever say God only gives you what you can handle and he gives his biggest battles to his strongest soldiers. Seriously, don’t. That doesn’t help and just makes me angrier in the moment.

I can still love Jesus and be angry that this is my lot in life. Why give me this beautiful family and then dangle death in front of me every damn day? Why make everything so hard and no good scan results for YEARS? It’s like I’m left in the desert with no water and every time I think I see a pond, it’s a mirage.

I dont want a reason.

Whatever purpose this is for, I want it gone. Yet I cling to the purpose even though I don’t know what it is, but it still hurts and there are days I wish I could turn back time because it’s so damn hard.

But here’s the thing.

When your faith shrinks and shrinks and shrinks to being so tiny you can barely see it, that’s ok. It just needs to be the size of a mustard seed and He will hear you. He can hear you when you can’t even speak because you are crying so hard or don’t have the words. You can rest, and He will be your shelter.

I’ve looked back on some of the hardest days and see that He was there with me. He sends me signs and reminds me He is there. A girlfriend of mine who is a pilot sent me a picture she took the day of the petscan as she was flying. It was a rainbow as she was praying for me up in the clouds, at the same moment I was in the machine with Christmas music on, and was dreaming of rainbows.

He did that.

And He had her send me the picture the next da to remind me that He is everywhere, especially when you’re up in the clouds.

I count those blessings and know that more are coming. Even in the hard days.

The psalm I read has that message all throughout.

Rob took Quinn to golf and have a “Bro night”, and I took the girls to see the high school

Play.

Sister act.

Yup. I spent the night with singing nuns on the day everyone prayed for me.

I met three mom friends there whose girls are Morgan’s blessings. I told them about Wednesday and cried, and my hand was held as I was told to remember that I am a miracle. I’m so grateful for people who show up and hold my hand and hug me. I saw other people I know and got hugs and tissues.

The show was amazing, and they have another show today at 2.

I wish every person who comments on our district in the local news would go and see it. Our kids have talent, and are amazing. I laughed and cheered and clapped as kids I’ve watched as they have grown up sang and played instruments and danced.

Madison was excited to go and hung out with friends. She is so excited to be in the next Musical, and said she is “in the club”.

My heart is full for my kids.

I began my day with prayer, and ended my day cheering on nuns with gold habits. God reminded me to sing and dance.

I came home and have had a breakthrough with pills. I can do nine or ten at a time, and it’s a miracle. If it continues, pill taking will become less stressful and I will gain an hour or two of my life back.

Today I’m going to go to Tanger for the North Fork Breast Health Coalition 5K. I’m probably not going to do it, as it is still hard to breathe and I have pain. But it’s one of the few organizations I support. They directly help patients with grants to help them with whatever they need. The money goes to where it should. I’ll be the pink elephant, the one no one wants to be, but I’ll be there.

My friend Candy is celebrating five years

Cancer free. She is the one you all have to thank for this blog and pictures. She told me on the night I was diagnosed to take pictures, as I won’t remember anything.

Then I’ll try to go food shopping and come home and journal again. I wonder what words God will place in my heart today?

Maybe it will be the story of Job, and how the devil tested him for years. He kept his mustard seed through all of his hard trials.

I will too.

So whatever hard trials you are going through, hold onto your seed. Look for your blessings, put one step in front of the other, and breathe.

It’s ok to cry, be angry, question.

But keep talking to Him.

No matter how hard.

Hold that seed, friend.

Keep going.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxo

Keri

Pet Scan, Warm Blankets, Rainbows and Elephants

Prayers are working for me.

I asked everyone to pray Wednesday when i thought I was dying. I told rob over and over I love him and to tell the kids I love them. That’s all I had in my mind.

Not that I wished I worked more, or bought fancier clothes, or had spent more time trying to lose the chemo weight. All I thought about was trying to not die and breathe, and making sure my love for my husband and children was known. It was traumatic, but I know God was near me by sending me people who love me and having people send me love. And by some miracle, I lived. It wasn’t the pulmonary embolism. I didn’t need the surgery. They think it’s the cancer and sent me home.

I even taught the next day, and loved every second, because I COULD. I was ALIVE.

Yesterday prayers surrounded me all over again. We realized I had to be at the hospital earlier and had to drop off Morgan and Quinn much earlier. I knew Morgan would be ok, but Quinn gets belly aches on hospital days and it was really early , 7:30. I texted some teacher friends if they could keep an eye out for him. Candy Perry is my sorority sister from Cortland. Joanne Armstrong is a sister in Christ. Torre Falkner worked with me for years in both Roanoke and Aquebogue and is the living example of if you expect miracles, you get miracles.

Three women.

Three.

They immediately texted me back and his teacher Mike Kanter also hopped on the support train and told the ladies to send Quinn to him. Torre met us in the parking lot, I quick cried on her shoulder as Quinn got out and couldn’t see, them he went off with this woman I love as we pulled away and I cried. I wish I took a picture of him with her. My child is surrounded by angels in Pulaski.

On my way to the hospital I set up my Amazon account to donate .05% of every purchase

To metavivor. They are suggesting Susan g Komen, a machine that only donates 19% to stage four research, which is the only thing that will cure cancer. The salaries of their admins are outrageous. They spend most of their money on mammogram awareness. By what happens when you get out of the mammogram? It was super easy. Take two minutes and register with amazon smiles and choose metavivor today.

http://www.smiles.amazon.com

I also got a message that a school district has decided that for October, instead of the usual pinkwashing for breast cancer awareness month, they will donate to Metavivor. Thank you, Bayport Blue Point!

Amen.

We got to the hospital and the ladies at the main desk know me well by now. Everyone loved my “I’m just here for the warm blankets” shirt. Tara brought me in to the room, and Tim got to work right away trying to find a vein. When he said all he saw was my bottom knuckle of my pinkie, I whispered “Fuuuuuuck”. As I’ve said before, I tend to say that before saying “Jesus, help me”. I’m working on that.

I knew it would hurt, Tim knew it would hurt, and Rob knew it would hurt. I buried my face into rob and prayed. It hurt beyond belief, but it worked.

Thank you, Jesus.

I thought about how there’s some saying , “I can do that with my eyes closed and with my

Pinkie”.

Apparently it’s true.

I went to the radiation room and got the same speech about radiation and not being near pregnant women or small children for hours, but they left off any superpowers I was hoping to get. They laughed at my answer on my form to the question of how many previous scans have I had.

“Too many to count”.

Wayne was my tech, and the hour passed by quickly in isolation. I was strapped down with chest plates and belly plates and the my head had the mask strapped over my face with my earplugs in. Wayne played the entire Nat King Cole Christmas Album for me, I looked at the upside down sailboat picture from the mirror on my mask by my forehead, heard the whirring and clanging and beeping and buzzing, and fell asleep.

Yup.

I dreamed and saw rainbows over and over. I had seen a rainbow appear on my book about Jesus and Buddha on the car ride in and even took a picture.

So in my dreams, during an hour long test where i was strapped down and listening to Christmas music, Hods promise was in my dreams.

We finished and Wayne kept his poker face, which is never good for me. But we joked and said that next time it will really be Christmas and the music will be appropriate. I wished him merry Christmas, we groaned about traffic this coming weekend, and off I went to rob.

We went to a diner and i ate eggs as Donnie suggested. I got a text from my TA that all was well in school, and at the end of the day she sent me pictures of them playing with bubbles and chalk and laughing. My AP sent me a text with a picture of him and my kids all in red at lunch, so my heart was happy.

As we ate at the diner, there are high booths and I kept being called to look at a waitress. I couodnt stop looking over at her section and even rob noticed and asked why I was staring at her. I couldn’t tell him. When we finished eating, he went to pay the bill and I walked over to her. As soon as I did, I knew. She had an elephant pin on her tie. I asked her about it, and she said her daughter gave it to her for Mother’s Day. I explained I just got out of the hospital and elephants mean so much to some cancer patients, and seeing her pin was a sign from God for me. She offered to give it to me, I said no, I just wanted a picture. I touched her arm and said thank you, and she said she had chills all over when I touched her.

That was God.

Elephants don’t get cancer, as they have a proliferation of P53 genes and some scientists are studying them. Trunks up are also symbols of good luck. Stage four patients are also called the pink elephants in the room. That’s why God sent me to see her.

We came home and rested on the couch. Wednesday caught up with us. Rob slept, and I researched. Twitter is FULL of oncologists and researchers sharing clinical trials and studies. One study looked at exceptional responders… “outliers”… and found the majority of them still drank. What the heck? I gave up all alcohol when I was diagnosed and have had maybe five drinks in three years. I’ll ask Donnie about that one. Ha!

I researched coffee enemas. I even watched a video. My mind is like…”Ewwwwwww”. But there are testimonials galore from people who do them daily and it cleans them out, detoxifies their liver, and gives them energy. I received messages from people who have done them and swear by them. I’ll do anything to live, and yet this is blocking me. Preconceptions and social norms are powerful. I’ll keep you updated on my “Starbutts” issue.

Or not.

I went to meet Quinn as he got off of the bus and it was the first time I ever saw him get off the bus. Ever. He ran across the grass to me and hugged me. I know how lucky I am. Many women are getting diagnosed younger and younger and can’t have children. I also know many families have lost children. I thought of them all as I hugged my boy and thanked God for this day.

I went in the car and drove to get Morgan, and a blue bird flew right by me. That’s my sign from my poppa. We all spent the night at home, resting.

It was a week.

I’m still in pain in my side and can’t take deep breaths. Instead of the drug store near me, they sent the prescription to a different one. We went to get it, and it wasnt Percocet. It was OxyContin.

No thank you.

I’ll stick with Motrin. Plus, when the tumor was growing in my neck bones, I felt it and it was painful. But I also felt it as it decreased in size and I felt better.

Today at 9 people are praying all over the world for me. A friend of my sister has organized it and sent it to prayer groups everywhere.

It reads as follows;

“A friend of my family has organized a call for prayer for my sister Keri as she continues to fight for her life and the lives of all Stage IV cancer patients.

Please join us Saturday morning for prayer at 9:00am. If you can make any mass in any church please do. If you can’t make a mass, please pray the below prayer, or any prayer at 9:00am.

********please share************

Call for Prayer

Please join us in prayer on Saturday, September 21, 2019, at 9:00am for Keri Stromski and her family. People will be praying from all over the country and we ask that you, and anyone that you know, join us. The power of prayer is an amazing thing!

Two Easy Steps

1. Please attend Mass on Saturday, September 21, 2019, at 9:00 AM at any parish of your choice, if you are not able to attend Mass, please take time to offer a prayer at that time.

2. Please pray to Sister Claire Sullivan, (a Daughter of Wisdom who was born on Sept 21, 1934), to intercede for Keri Stromski and ask God for healing.

You may use this prayer as an example:

Sister Claire Sullivan, you devoted your life to Jesus through the Blessed Mother. You spent years of your life working with the disabled and suffering. I ask for your intercession at this time for the healing of Keri Stromski. Intercede on her behalf and ask Jesus and Mary to grant Keri Stromski

the Grace to continue,

the Strength to persevere, and

the healing power of God’s loving Mercy.

Sister Claire, please grant us this request in the name of Jesus and Mary. Amen”

So , if you have time at 9:00 am EST, please stop and pray for me.

I get results on Monday. The clinical trial is filling up quickly and only has three spots left. They want a biopsy again quickly. Donnie is prescribing something else. I pray for clarity and healing.

May it all be so.

In Jesus’s name. Amen.

Xoxo

Keri

I Went to Work the Day after I Thought I was Dying

I went to work yesterday.

Yes, I got yelled at by several colleagues, but they also all get it. If I can save a sick day I will. If I am able to function, I’ll go. I was still in pain all day, and couldn’t take deep breaths, but we are just starting to get the kids to follow one step directions and answer their names. Plus, I do love my job, as challenging as it is lately with so many children and so many who don’t speak English. I’m starting to get the hugs out of the blue as well, and the love bonds are starting.

So why would i stay home and let my mind bully me all day?

I sent rob to the Yankee game he had planned to go to with a friend. He was supposed to go to a golf outing the day of the hospital emergency room trip, and i felt horrible he missed it. He never gets to relax or have fun, and doesn’t have much support. The friend he went with has been a true friend and gets it, so I felt he needed a break from cancer land.

I picked up the girls and decided to go pick up the Percocet to help me manage the pain and sleep. The drugstore didn’t have the prescription, which meant I had to look through my discharge papers to find the name of the doctor and call the emergency room. Turns out they never sent the script, and they sent it again. The doctor from yesterday wasn’t surprised i went to work and he said he could tell I’m a fighter. I called the pharmacy and they never got it. Then? It was late and the pharmacy closed. So Motrin to handle the pain.

Looking through the papers was a mistake.

I saw it mentioned damage to the s1 and a new lesion in the t7 bone. It also mentioned multiple liver lesions measuring larger than before. But i looked for the bright side and it didn’t mention any on the heart, lungs or kidneys. So today I head in to the PETMRI mostly concerned about brain, bones, breast, lymph and liver.

I got an email from Donnie and he still wants me on xeloda and adding faslodex. He said the liver is the main concern and the caris biopsy showed an esr1 mutation and faslodex (shots in the ass) were down regulators. Dr stopeck read his email and wants men to hold off until we get results on Monday, but if i really want I can take xeloda and celebrex again. She would rather I not in case I need a new treatment as she wants my blood cells to be as healthy and high as possible. Donnie also suggested a coffee enema. Lots of people in the natural world do them. I even bought the kit but haven’t had the oooomh to do it. I’m more of a Starbucks girl than a starbutts girl.

There has been comforting signs.

I’m being flooded with Leila love. Her mom found a card Leila bought for me before she died and never got a chance to fill out. So her mom finished the task and sent me a beautiful note.

The same day I saw a new post from her husband their son. Her little boy has Down’s syndrome and she made her husband promise to keep her instagram page going so they can see that people with Down’s syndrome are just as beautiful as anyone else.

And Milo is.

I’ve missed her updates on her little boy, and the Down’s syndrome community lost a huge advocate when she passed. Her husband is picking up the torch, and I’m so proud of his ability to move through the pain of losing Leila and be a great dad. It’s always in the back of my mind how rob will be should the worst happen. Just last night Quinn said it was weird without rob home. I caught my mind going to the dark place and stopped it.

I checked twitter and there was a message from an aunt of Leila’s. Then? Her grandma commented on my post from her page. Leila’s mom Terry said i have her whole family praying for me, and yesterday they showed up big time.

Thank you, Leila.

I also got my phi sigma sigma sweatshirt for the big football game everyone is going to. It’s in my birthday and I’ve been afraid i won’t be able to go. My friend kittles sent me the shirt and it was a reminder to keep pressing forward.

I also got a book about Jesus and Buddha. The week I was sent another email asking and questioning my faith. Now I have something to read when I’m in solitary at the hospital this morning.

I ordered metavivor shirts for when October comes and the color pink vomits all over stage four breast cancer patients as we are shoved in a corner because we are scary to everyone else in their tutus.

I’m up and taking Motrin and water bombing to get my veins ready for the test today. I go at 8:3″which means vein stick around 8:45, radiation injection around 9:00 solitary until the 10:00, then?

I’ll ask Wayne my tech to turn on Nat King Cole Christmas music and I’ll try to breathe while looking at the upside down boat on a beach scene in a tight tunnel with my head and body strapped down.

Madison said wouldn’t t be nice for me to get good news? That maybe the hospital was cancers last gasp at trying to take me and I fought through it and will get the miracle and be healed by Halloween. I hate that she daydreams about the cancer, but love that she makes happy endings.

Morgan is doing great at field hockey. I’m so proud of how she is also coping. Quinn is extra snuggly, extra emotional and tells me he loves me all the time. I tell them all that too.

Please pray for me today, and also for my friend Johanna who has had a very hard time and needed more surgeries on her brain. She is over 100 surgeries, and her mom and I keep texting each their support.

Sometimes when your breathing underwater you hold someone else’s hand in the dark.

May my scans be not as bad as my mind is telling me.

May my pain lessen.

May Morgan have a great first game, and my kids all continue to move through their day with grace and compassion and peace.

May rob be filled with strength to help me through another scan, as I’ve lost count now how many it’s been and it never gets easier.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxo

Keri

I Thought I was Dying.

There were several times yesterday I thought I was dying. Then there were many times I thought this was how it would be at the end.

I told rob how much I loved him, and to let the kids know.

That’s how scary yesterday was.

And it happened so fast.

I went to the faculty meeting and had some pain. I taught in the morning, and handed out fourteen breakfasts, dealt with two cereal spills, checked everyone in, did several activities, and as the morning wore on, the pain got worse, then radiated to my shoulder.

I thought I was having a heart attack, as all of the chemo for the past three years can hurt your heart…literally and figuratively.

My TA took the kids to lunch and I went to my nurse. My blood pressure was a little high which signaled pain. We made the decision to have me go home.

I called rob and he said he would meet me home, then called my mom and asked her to be in charge of the kids. By this time I was gasping for air. I called my oncologist and we both decided I couldn’t make it to stony brook, and whatever tests would be run she could discuss over the phone. We discussed the radiation issue from cat scans and X-rays, but she said I had to deal with this immediately. She told me about concern for pulmonary embolism and exactly what to say when I got to the hospital.

Rob drove me there and we got right in. Here is where Jesus was with me.

Rob wouldn’t let me out of his sight as I gasped for air and cried and thought I was dying. His truck was parked right in front of the ER door. I kept worrying about it and suddenly my dad showed up and took his keys to move the car right as security showed up and my nurse wouldn’t let them in because he knew rob wouldn’t leave me to move the car.

Then my friend Mary Maki showed up and as I gasped for air in quick breaths and was crying in pain, she and rob stood over me and held my hands.

Then I was registered by a woman who worked in my building and I’ve known her for years. Friendly faces, even when you are at your worst, are comforting.

I remember crying and telling rob I’m not ready to die.

I’m not.

They took the chest x Ray in the room, then wheeled me for a sonogram. I saw the liver, and it still has tumors all over it.

My dad stayed nearby, holding my hand along with Mary and rob, or making sure rob was ok.

Rob was a rock.

Then the cat scan, and discussions of the possibilities and they all sucked. The doctor even said none of them were good. The pulmonary embolism could be fatal and also if not, take a long time to clear up. The gallbladder could mean surgery. The liver would mean the cancer got worse.

There was no door number four.

I prayed and prayed for the least worst outcome and didn’t even know what it would

be. We decided to put it out there so everyone could pray.

The nurses found a good vein on the second try and one of them is the aunt of a student in my school. Another angel.

My brother in law Jake showed up and hugged me for my sister as she is away for training. My dad said my brothers went to be with my mom so she wasn’t alone. We were both emotional and she knew how serious it was. The doctor came in and said it was not a pulmonary embolism, not the gallbladder.

Which means it’s the cancer.

Then my brother rob showed up and i cried again. It was my nephew Philipps birthday yesterday. I told rob that once again, things tend to happen around holidays and birthdays.

Rob was texting my doctor all day.

The concern is now that the 3.2 cm tumor could be pushing against the diaphragm. That could also be causing the pain to radiate to the shoulder and the shortness of breath.

My oncologist pushed and insurance gave the approval code for the PETMRI to be done tomorrow instead of Monday. So that’s going to be huge.

They decided to send me home on pain medication and discussed how palliative care may become something to look into. In my mind, palliative care is the step before hospice. That may not be the case… but my mind is my mind.

I came home and my parents brought my kids home. They are concerned as well. I saw Quinn off to Boy Scouts, and rested with my mom on the couch . I thanked God that the day ended up with me at home.

Then got another email from someone questioning if I felt Christianity has let me down along with other things.

So here’s something for all the stalkers out there.

Christianity has not let me down.

Jesus has not let me down.

Jesus was with me all day yesterday in my heart, his name on my lips over and over as they kept trying to find a vein, and as I was being told it could be fatal.

I’m not going to be saved by my actions.

I’m saved by my heart.

My relationship with Jesus is mine and mine alone. I only share part of my journey with Him. So to any of the stalkers who keep saying I’m straying and risking getting into heaven… don’t worry.

I’m going to heaven and Jesus will be there to hold me when I do… and hopefully it’s years and years away.

A friend messaged me that she had a similar experience, and after the next chemo the pain went away. So that’s my prayer.

Quinn came home from Boy Scouts and helped me off the couch with rob. Quinn kept hugging me and telling me how much he loves me and I’m the best mom ever.

I hate he and the girls saw me like this… and the thought of them seeing me worse scares the crap out of me.

That’s why I keep banging the gong how stage four needs more. One day your fine, and in hours suddenly you’re not. I’ve had friends go downhill and die so quickly. That can’t be my story. In October, don’t buy pink crap to support breast cancer. Support metavivor, where research for stage four is where their money goes. Or north fork breast health coalition which offers support for women going through treatments.

So please pray for me.

Also please pray for my friend eileen and her daughter Johanna. We seem to go through storms at the same time.

May the pain go away. May I go back to the live I’ve been thriving in. May the miracle happen and the cancer be taken away.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxo

Keri

Today I Wear Black

Yesterday I wore white.

Today I’ll wear black to honor the children who are now gone from our schools.

I still cannot believe how many people don’t see the bigger picture here.

I heard yesterday that a local district nearby, the schools rounded up all The unvaccinated students, about 100, put them in the cafeteria, and marked them absent.

These are citizens of our country.

Children.

Being discriminated against because of their parents beliefs.

Sounds similar to some other events in history where people were rounded up and gotten rid of.

I’m disgusted over the pharmaceutical industry’s power, and how it has seeped into the lives of thousands of children…. healthy children… and is destroying families. Parents who work full time now have to scramble and figure out how to homeschool and have a place for their child to stay.

It’s asinine to think that a high school senior, who has spent their whole life not being a threat, is being kicked out. But if they turn 18 this year, they can come back.

Some people are waking up and saying, “If they try to push Gardisil on my kids next, I’ll put up a fight.” That’s the thing.

No one will stand for others, only themselves.

But in the meantime, the machine gets stronger and by the time it gets to you, you get swallowed up, and no one is left to fight for you.

As for me, we still don’t have an authorization code for the scan. So it looks like I’m waiting until Monday for the scan. Results will come by Wednesday, I’ll hear plans on Thursday, and by Friday or so we will start a new protocol. That’s three weeks without chemo. And the clinical trial coordinator called and said that there isn’t enough tissue frozen from my original biopsy and I will need another biopsy should the pet scan warrant one.

I’m teeter tottering between total fear and trying to kick visions of my wake and my kids and rob crying out of my head, and replacing them with visions of me at weddings of my kids and seeing grandchildren. I’ve got pain in the lymph node, breast, spine and liver. So I know it’s on the move. One woman said it took three and a half years and nine different treatments to find something that worked. I’m praying hard that seven is the number for me.

My sister Jill has a friend who is putting me on a mass prayer chain for healing to a saint. Saturday at 9 am people all over the whole world will stop and pray for an intercession. It’s good timing before the petscan, and a miracle is welcome.

My mom was in the hospital yesterday having a procedure done to help her back. She was in my heart all day. As was Johanna who needed yet another emergency surgery. So many are going through trials now. Be grateful for all you have, and pray for those in need.

It was exhausting yesterday, and trying to teach this new math program is challenging with kindergarten. It’s a lot of discourse and discussion, and with two languages in the room and not much use of materials is hard. However, I’m a teacher of children, not programs, so I’m pulling all my resources out to supplement and make it work. Im also getting another new student today who doesn’t speak English. I’m at 24 children, which is too many in kindergarten, especially with the high poverty and needs and language issues we have. I’m counting my blessings though, as we can go up to 27.

Madison had a track meet and it was good to see her run. She is fighting off a cold and cough and is already getting run down. We all need to slow down a little, including me.

I had open house for Quinn last night, got a lot of hugs and love his teacher. Morgan had him and it was nice to have the deja vu feeling. I also hugged other parents and teachers. I love my colleagues.

Tonight I have his Boy Scout meeting I have to take him too, and he gets his merit badges from the summer. I think tomorrow night I can come home to rest after work.

I’m off to a faculty meeting, and am doing my best to enjoy this time off of chemo while not panicking. Who knows how hard the next one will be, and I dont know how limited I will become. I’m praying I continue to be carried by Jesus and live this life, showing how we can live through cancer treatments. It’s not a chronic condition, it’s terminal. Cokie Roberts from the news died yesterday from “complications from breast cancer”. That’s the line the media always says because “Died from stage four” would be too real and scary, and make people want to fund research instead of pink parties and runs and walks and the pockets of the CEOs.

It’s not complicated. It’s terminal.

Diabetes is chronic. There aren’t diabetics crying over the massive amounts of friends dying all around them. Stage four isn’t chronic. We have the corpses to prove it.

Some day I hope it will be. I hope they don’t run out of treatments for me. I’ve blown through seven in three years. They each get harder, with a toll on my body.

Today may research be funded.

May my mom and Johanna feel good.

May my liver and back stop hurting.

May the cancer be gone.

May the children who have been kicked out of school know that the teachers still love them and will miss them every single day their chair is empty.

May someone come to their senses and let these children back in.

As Jesus said. “Let the little children come to me”…. and he didn’t say, “As long as they had their shots.”

In Jesus’s name. Amen.

Xoxo

Keri

Greed, and A Sad Day for Many Children

Here’s how money has been used to hurt people today.

My insurance company STILL hasn’t given an approval code for the pet mri scan. Rob went ahead and the earliest I could book without one is Monday. Which means this is the second week I’m off treatment, and next week will be the third week as we scan, wait for results, and then try to come to a consensus on a plan. Do you know what three weeks of no answers when tumor markers trend up and you feel it in your bones and sides and breast as being active?

Money also is at the root of the heartache of thousands of families today. I’m going to wear white today. Today is the last day that thousands of children can go to school. Healthy children. Children whose parents have been stripped of their religious rights and parental freedom of choice. They are no danger to anyone. This is a whole facade to make pharmaceutical companies more money as they pressured politicians and played on everyone’s fear. Well guess what? Now that they have accomplished this, they are coming for ALL of our children. In January they are presenting a bill for the HPV vaccine, Gardisil. You see, once a vaccine becomes MANDATORY on the vaccine schedule, the manufacturer is off the hook for any vaccine injuries. If there are injuries, (and there have been injuries with this and no idea about what will happen long term), there is a special court where awards are paid out by TAXPAYER funds. YOUR money, not THEIRS. They can vaccinate your child without knowledge or consent. I know many nurses and doctors who have said ,”Don’t do it. I’m not giving it to my kids.” Soon you won’t have a choice if the politicians take it away. Just like these religious parents who have been suffering for months with this.

My kids, my choice.

Also….

The stage four world is furious. Apparently they’ve removed two stage four patients from the Susan G Komen NYC Board because they don’t present Hope. If this turns out to be true….Mother f*ckers.

Excuse my language.

I hope they choke on their pink tutus and boas.

Do you have any idea how hard it is as a stage four patient to have other cancer organizations raise money and not use it for the one thing every damn patient needs? Research? Then be shoved into the closets and the dark because you are too damn real and scary for the rest of the “survivors”, thirty percent of whom will end up in your dark closet you’ve been shoved into. (Some of us told stage for from the start bypassed the pink parties and parade and went straight to the dark.) Then those patients in pink gear go, “Wait! What happened? I thought I was cured? Where did all my money go?” It went to herding people into mammograms but not helping them when they come out.

Screw you, Susan.

Someone also asked me about the American Cancer society. Go ahead and look at their salaries. Try not to puke.

Money. Greed. Power.

They always go after the weak or innocent.

This week it’s me, children, stage four women.

Who will stand up for us?

Everyone is too busy saying, “That doesn’t affect me…” …until it does.

Rant over.

Last night was a late night as i went to the PTO meeting to support as needed. Tonight is Open House for Quinn. Tomorrow night is Quinn’s Boy Scout meeting. God is keeping me busy so I’m not thinking about the petscan. Donnie emailed me again about a biocept liquid biopsy, as he feels there are two different cancers inside, and we need more information to attack it.

The cancer may be having so much fun it doubles and made a twin. Good times, right?

Today I wear white not just for these families whose hearts are breaking as they tell their children that today is the last day they are going to school. Oh, but they can still go to supermarkets, the zoo, the movies, restaurants. It’s only from 9-3, Monday -Friday, September -June that they are dangerous.

Would you give your kid 48 vaccines in a year? There are reports of families have buckled under pressure and began complying to this crazy schedule. Some kids are having side effects. What will we all do in January when you are told your kids have to have the HPV? Will you buckle?

Or will you be forced to pull your child out of school because your convictions and beliefs are strong but now what the hell do you do? You work full time.

I’m praying for us all.

You better pray too.

It’s going to get worse if we don’t start to stand up for what’s right.

Is this how Jesus felt when he went into the temples and tossed tables?

Don’t worry about me.

I’m breathing and using all the techniques I’ve learned to calm down and stay in the moment.

Just pray.

Especially for the children.

I wish I was rich.

I would quit my job and open a place where we could say “Let the children come to me… and i don’t care about their shots.”

Sending love to the families sending their children to school for the last day.

Sending prayers that this bill is thrown out.

Praying for pet scan approval.

Praying for healing.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxo

Keri

Full Circle at the Farm

Yesterday was a whirlwind. The film crew got here at 7:30 am and we started filming quickly. We shot scenes of me taking my before breakfast pills, making a smoothie with the sea vegetables and mushrooms, making celery juice and carrot juice, taking the breakfast pills, filling the pill bags.

Then I had to get changed and restage the interview scene because there were six more questions they wanted to ask. The hot flashes have been getting more intense and we had to stop at one point so I could clean off my sweaty face. I never felt embarrassed about it though, because the crew was so kind.

Then it was off to school, and I had several first graders who I had last year come in. It was like a family reunion , for me, the kids, and the moms and dad. The scenes went smoothly, the kids did great, and it was nice to remember how far the kindergarten kids come in one year, after spending a week having kids learn how to use crayons and scissors.

After the school shots we went to Maggie’s farm. She and her husband Matt have a beautiful farm where I always feel peace. We shot some scenes in the farm shop, then in the tomato field. The filmaker said as he left that Maggie was magical.

She is.

It was a full circle moment for me to have the film crew sent by Mederi at the farm owned by the woman who sent me to Mederi.

After the farm we came back home, I switched clothes, and we shot a blogging scene. Then we grabbed our bikes and me and the kids rode our bikes. I definitely had an ET moment riding with the kids. I’m sure I’ll look graceful with my big helmet on huffing and puffing up my hill while sweating from a hot flash! Ha!

Then it was yoga time, and me and the girls set out our mats and did some sun salutations, tree poses, childs pose and savasana. It was beautiful practicing with the girls, and I’m glad they will have that memory with me as well.

Rob fired up the pizza oven for the first time in three years. It took longer to heat it up, but he hasn’t lost his touch. They filmed us chopping vegetables, making the pizzas, and then having dinner. Then they sat and we all ate together. It was comfortable, like sitting with old friends. They saw our whole lives together for two days, spent every moment with us, and have become like family.

They packed up all of their boxes and boxes of equipment, and rob will be delivering to the FEDEX store this morning. I asked how long the video would be, and my jaw dropped when he said 3-5 minutes. But I guess if you think about it, an hour and a half movie takes months to film. I don’t know how he will squeeze in everything, but I’m sure he will. Then we hugged and said our goodbyes.

What a weekend.

I’m still so glad I met Kym. She sent me a beautiful text and I know there is someone out there who knows what this is like, instead of hearsay.

I’m glad it was this weekend, as it kept me busy after the last appointment. Yesterday i had pain in my back and some liver pain. I said to rob that this pet scan may be the hardest. I already know it’s bad news, just how bad will it be?

Madison also was my shadow all weekend. She could not get enough of being around the crew and helping out. She also watched the high school YouTube video of A Chorus Line, and said she thinks her part is barking out dance moves. Perfect for the ROTC girl.

The video will be premiered at a benefit in November in Connecticut. I’m hoping it will be on the web so we can share. The goal is to help Mederi train many other people to know how to treat the whole patient. Each one, teach one. I shudder to think of Donnie and my herbalist retiring. What will I do? My oncologist as well. Who will have the knowledge and confidence and hope that my team has?

We need a new generation of hope givers, based on science.

May today the film crew fly safely back to their families. May the video show the best parts of our life. May Maddie’s first day of drives ed be safe. May my back and side feel better. May our kinder routine begin to run smoothly. May the pet scan be scheduled quickly. May I be healed completely.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxo

Keri