Only Good News Today, Please

“Only Good News Today, Please”

I’ve been up since 2:00 am.

My breast is hurting, and my stomach too.

I’m saying it’s cancer carcasses disintegrating for the breast and nerves for the stomach.

It’s kind of inhumane to make a person wait 48 hours or more after a test that will say either, “Ok , still clean. Here are a hundred more tomorrows just like you had yesterday…” or “Sooooooo, the horrible thing has happened. On to the next chemo.”

I had really hoped that I would have gotten results yesterday, while I was home. Apparently the snow held it all up. Seriously?

Now I’ll be teaching all day waiting for the email or text or call.

How did this become my life?

Rob held my hands last night and I said I wondered what our life would look like right now had this never happened. The what if’s can break your heart. We promised to take more walks together and hold hands more. To take more trips, even if just for a day.

Waiting for news like this can put things into perspective. Big things become inconsequential and little things matter so much more.

I’m also praying for my friend Johanna and her mom Eileen. Johanna is a hero, and her mom has taught me all about grace under fire, and breathing underwater. She writes for a column every Sunday and her columns about faith lift my spirit. Johanna is undergoing brain surgery again today, for something like the 90th time. I’ve got a lot of prayer warriors here. Please hold them in prayer today for a successful surgery. They have been in the arena for twenty one years together, and they know how to keep moving in their chariot. I’m still learning, and watching them has helped me give the wheel to Jesus more.

Jesus, take the wheel.

I was so naive when I was walking around saying I would be cured right I after I got the stage four diagnosis. Now I understand what all those other stage four people meant. There was a video I posted of two other stage four women, one in her thirties and one in her twenties. One has been stage four for the past seven years.

She said she is tired.

Don’t get her wrong, she is grateful to still be alive when she has had so many friends die from the disease. She feels like an eighty year old woman physically and emotionally because many of her friends die. She is tired….because she has been on chemo for seven years.

And as horrible and exhausting as that sounds, that’s what my best news today will bring. More of the same chemo. The same chemo that exhausts me, keeps my body in a constant state of danger from infection and if you listen to the commercial, death from infection.

And that’s if the good news comes.

I’ve spent the past four hours reminding myself that I have Dr Snuffleuffugus and the herbs. I have organic juices and supplements and reflexology.

I have Jesus.

So today, may my friend Johanna be surrounded by His love and peace. May her surgery be successful and her recovery quick. May my good news come early and give me the hundred more tomorrows and then some.

In Jesus’s name, amen.



I didn’t have any pictures for today’s post. So I’ll just add one here.

Suspended in Air

“Suspended in Air”

That’s how I feel, like a freeze frame. When someone jumps, the movie freezes, you hear some narration voiceover, then the movie starts again.

I feel like I’m suspended in midair, mid jump, waiting to land when I get the results.

I woke up yesterday and was strangely calm. We got the kids ready and dropped everyone off to school.

When we got to the cancer center, Rob said, “Let’s go show them what a miracle looks like.”

He may not be a man of many words, but when he speaks, he always says the right ones.

There is a technician there who I’ve seen a lot, and she was there yesterday. I said it was good luck.

It took a little while to find a good vein, but one popped up eventually and they started the IV. Then they brought me to a door with a large caution sign.


Then another man loaded up this machine with the radiation dye, pushed a button, and this red liquid flowed through the tubing into my arm. I saw him backing away and he said there wasn’t any protection around the tubing so he had to move away from me.

I asked,”WOW… should I step away too?”

Then we both laughed.

Radiation humor.

I asked if I was turning green yet, like Bruce Banner, and he better not make me angry.

I wore my superhero shirt and my Wonder Woman socks. I decided to make it a theme day.

The IV was removed and I said it deserved to stay in a little longer after all the trouble to find the good vein.

I was then brought to the isolation room, and they close you in with an automatic door that closes and opens very slowly with a button. It reminded me of when they rolled the stone in front of Jesus’s tomb.

For one hour I sat and read a book, texted rob, and saw an episode of Friends.

Then it was time, and my technician was Wayne, the same one from May. It fit in with the superhero theme of Bruce Wayne and Batman, and I imagined I was being slid into the bat cave.

They put two heavy plates over my chest and abdomen, and my arms were stuck to my sides. Earplugs were put into my ears and I realized no music would help me get through. Then my head was wedged into place and a huge white mask was placed over my face. It looked like a goalie mask and I said, “Lets go Islanders!” and Wayne laughed.

Then he gave me the “Holy crap” button in case I started to panic and needed to get brought out.

The test started and I was slid into the long tube. I tried very hard to not imagine it as coffin. The whizzing, whirring and clanging began. At first I thought my heartbeat was too fast because I heard a loud and constant thump thump, and realized it was the machine. It was a challenge to make my heart beat slower than the constant beating in the tube, but I did it.

I prayed a lot. I Imagined getting a phone call today saying it’s all clear. Pictured my oncologist walking into the room Thursday and saying, “You look good, Keri”.

I may have even dozed off.

After almost an hour, I was slid out and the tech and Wayne moved with lightning speed to unstrap me. They said they don’t want anyone to have to be like that longer than they have to be. My superhero name is “The Hot Flash” and they could be my sidekicks. I was told 24-48 hours for results.

I came out and rob just hugged me.

We went to a restaurant and I ate. A ladybug landed on my shirt, and rob just shook his head. We’ve had the same waitress a few times and we talked. She became emotional, told us she is going through some things with her kids and life, and said she had asked God for help or a sign, and then I showed up. I laid my hands on her and prayed for her. We’re now friends on Facebook. I told her that’s how God works. Instead of looking around us in times of trouble, just look up and talk to Him.

I said to Rob I feel like I’m crazy sometimes, and who have I become? He said that what I had just done I never would have done last year, and now I helped someone who needed it. Again, right words, right time.

Morgan had been on a trip to the museum of natural history and was sending updates. She sent us a picture of a naked lady statue and we laughed. She is one funny kid.

I spent the rest of the day resting. A friend I used to work with and had been messaging with passed away. He had played Santa for our school assemblies for a few years and I will miss him. I was sad for his loved ones, yet know that when he took his last breath on earth, he took his next breath in heaven, surrounded by loved ones and with Jesus.

I prayed for the faculty and families of Mercy high school. Everyone was caught off guard with the school closing announcement. There wasn’t much compassion or loving kindness shown to them, and I pray they are all given peace. The home districts of the children will hopefully say, “Welcome Home! We are glad you are here!” I hope they all remember it was men who made those decisions, and men who handled the way they were told. Anger is understandable, but to not lose faith in the love God has for them. They are shocked, sad, confused, and angry. My district is going to have a seventeen acts of kindness program coming up where we honor those lives lost in Florida. Everyone now has a chance to make a difference for these children and families, and welcome them with open arms and hearts. Laws about guns will be written by men, but loving kindness can be shown to others by all of us.

We’ve got a snow day today.

Which means I get to clean and catch up and use all the nervous energy to do the laundry I’ve procrastinated about. My brother said to see if the radioactivity can melt snow, and if so, can I come clear his driveway?

Humor runs in the family.

Today may we all stay warm, safe, and know that when the freeze frame gets unstuck, we can keep on moving forward, with laughter and loving kindness.


In Jesus’s name, amen.



When a Picture is Worth a Hundred Tomorrows

“When a Picture is Worth a Hundred Tomorrows”

There is a saying about pictures.

“A picture is worth a thousand words”.

Usually when you look at a picture, you are reminded of something from your past.

A loved one, a special place, a special feeling, words that were said.

Today I will have pictures taken that will tell me my future, medicines I will have to take, which path I continue to walk on.

I’ll have an IV put into my arm, become radioactive, and then sit for an hour isolated in a room.

Because you know, being alone is a great thing before a test that decides your fate for the next few months.

I’ll imagine the radioactivity that is injected will make me a superhero, with superhero powers. I’ve actually got a paper stating i can’t be working three feet of children or pregnant people for six hours after the test.

I’m a danger to babies and children, imagine that.

Then I’ll walk into a cold room with a giant machine, be strapped down so i can’t move, have a mask placed over my face, and then be slid into a tunnel that will make banging, clanging and whirring noises for the next hour or so while a voice every so often will be piped in and tell me to hold my breath while I’m trying to breathe and not panic.

The last time I walked into the room there was a painting on the wall of a beach scene with a sailboat. The thing is they want to keep you calm. But they forgot that when they strap your head down and place the mask over your head, the mirror they place over your head so you can see the end of the tunnel? Makes everything upside down.

That’s fitting actually.

It has seemed like my life has been turned upside since the stage four diagnosis.

“What’s up is down and what’s left is right and the carefree future I had planned went poof overnight.”

I went to church yesterday even though I was anxious and exhausted. I had hopes it would ease my soul.

It didn’t.

Which means I drove out to the Giving Room to find my peace there.

I did.

I sat and breathed in the smell of fresh organic fruit that has helped my body stay healthy. I received a beautiful sketch that Paula had someone make for me of the condensation Rorschach picture that was on my bathroom wall after my hot shower this week.

I originally had seen an angel, or me in someone’s hands.

Now I see me at the crossroads of two paths, forging ahead on my own path.

My path to healing.

I tried so hard when I came home to hold it together and not let the horrible things stay in my head.

The “What ifs”.

Images of organs, bones, side effects, a future without me kept fleeting the horrible thing happening pictures into my mind, and I would have to push them out and make new ones.

Healthy organs, healthy bones, healthy days, a future with me in the pictures.

I cried in bed last night, and rob was once again whispering into my ear the good things.

How I long for the days when he only had to whisper sweet nothings to me. I’m sure he does too.

“No matter what”.

So today, I’ll go have my pictures taken.

I’ll try to smile when the person says to not breathe.

That’s a choice I have control over.

And I may feel alone when I’m in that long tunnel, but I’ll have Jesus with me, and we will have plenty of time for me to ask Him for plenty of time.

I’m also praying for my friends who are going into the city today for a test of their own and pictures being taken.

May we all get pictures back that not only tell us of our past and present inside our bodies, but give us a future too.

In Jesus’s name, amen.



Keeping Positive

“Keeping Positive”

When rob texted me he emailed me my labs, I was just walking into the school.

I opened them up and was disappointed. My white blood cell counts and neutrophils were low again, despite everything I’m doing. I’m also mid-chemo cycle, which means they will be taking a dive by next week, as they always do.

I said to a friend in the hallway, “What else can I do!!! I’m doing everything!! I even added beta glucan and juiced more!!!” Then I remembered the video the posted just that morning of a preacher saying that it’s not by work, but by grace. Instead of working so hard, rest it at His feet.


I saw another friend and she said it’s a stressful time to be a teacher, between the school shootings, report cards, challenging curriculum. Stress lowers the immune system.

I’m also not sleeping. I get bits and pieces all night long, between anxiousness for the scan and physical pain in the breast and rib and stomach and bones. Scanxiety is real, people.

I keep saying I’m wasting all this good time by worrying.

Paula dropped off more juices for me, and she looked right at me and said, “You’re good.” Sometimes we just need to hear that.

I had to run to get Morgan after school, then bring her to dance, then get quinn to rob for cub scouts. In between that, I took a pause.

I texted my dad and sandy that I was running to the beach to grab rocks. My friend Joann sent me a picture of a red bird on a rock during a rough moment this week. There is some group that paints rocks and hides them. Long Island Rocks. I wanted rocks to decorate in case we have snow and are stuck inside. I also paint rocks gold every year for St Patrick’s Day.

I said yesterday I would be a rock, and I was. Even though I didnt get the results I wanted, I’m still here. Chaga Deb sent me a message that although the counts were low, I had to remember that not only am I on chemo, I’m also functioning, teaching kindergarten which is just one big Petri dish, and I’ve survived the worst flu season in years.

So maybe everything I’m doing is keeping me going, and once I get through this seemingly never ending winter season, my body will be able to focus on increasing my healthy cells.

I went to Michael craft store to buy the gold spray paint for the rocks, and also bought some bead necklaces, gold coins, and sparkly shamrocks. The day after i get my PETMRI results is the St Patrick’s Day leprechaun trap party.

I’ve decided I’m planning on getting great news the day before, and celebrating with all the green … or mint…and gold.

As I was typing, another ladybug just appeared. I also took a picture of the steam on the wall in my bathroom. I had been praying for Jesus to keep holding me in His hands, and when I looked up, I saw the steam condensation on the wall . I saw a person reaching up inside hands. Kind of like a Rorschach test. I also saw a green orb in the sunset picture yesterday. When I looked up what it meant, green orbs mean healing angels are with you.

Three signs.

I’ll take it.

We’ve got rain on the east end, and the west end of the island is going to get a lot of snow. May everyone stay safe today, and make plans for a great St Patrick’s Day full of good news and good luck.

In Jesus’s name, amen.



Stay calm and carry on…

“Stay Calm and Carry on, …and be affirmative and spread light”

The needle didn’t hurt at all yesterday. Dorothy had sent me a message to drink, drink, drink the night before so I did.

I still cried.

I didn’t spend enough time in my car crying because as I entered the school, two other teachers were walking in and gave me the loving kindness and compassion look.

You know when you just about pull it together and then someone looks at you with love like a mom?


Lost it in the vestibule and cried in the corner.

I am usually so good about crying in private, and was embarrassed, but was shown such love and compassion. I work with great humans.


I took a deep breathe, got calm, and carried on.

I had a great discussion during my post observation about using the affirmative when speaking. Instead of saying the “not” or “no”, speak the affirmative.

“We do not sit on our knees,” instead say, “We sit in our bottoms”.

We can all use that.

Instead of “I am not afraid”, use “I am brave”.

Instead of “There will be no cancer in the scan”, say “It will be clear and show all healthy organs and bones”.


During lunch we had a lockout. Apparently someone decided to make a threat against the entire county. Such a crazy world we live in these days. It’s different from a lockdown in that we are all safe inside, the threat is outside, so we just close blinds, cover windows, and keep calm and carry on.

The kids weren’t in the room, and I knew as soon as they came back they would notice the paper covering the door.

I didn’t choose black, I chose purple.

The color of a King.

I wrote love notes using affirmative language on it, and when they came back in, they squealed with joy… and even came up with some more positive and affirmative things for me to write on it.

It reminded me of the movie, “Life is Beautiful”. When the dad did everything he could to make the crazy world and concentration camp into a game, to shield the son from fear and panic, but instead keep the sacred time of childhood safe.

The kids were sad when I took the paper down, and I’ll have to make a game of moving these love notes around the room more often.

When I got home, my own children asked me about it. Parents, you have a choice. You can either fill the children with fear, or you can simply fill them with affirmative.

“You are safe in school. Your teacher loves you. Always follow the rules, be a good listener, and be kind to everyone.”

Filling them with the very scary scenarios that may happen but probably won’t would do nothing but create anxious children, and Lord knows they’ve got enough on their plates already.

I showed my kids Mr Rogers. My older ones at first thought he was creepy. That’s what Our society today has taught the children.

I told them he was kind. I told them how he always said out loud when he was feeding his fish, because he knew a blind child used to cry when listening to his show because she was worried he would forget. How he went to the bedside of a child who had a brain tumor removed and she told him the fears she never even told her parents. How he had children with disabilities

on his show and looked at them with loving kindness. How he had an African American man on the show and not only did he put his feet into the same kiddie pool as the man’s feet, but he also dried off his feet. We are all the same.

Mr Rogers wasn’t creepy.

He was a man who made you feel like

You were special and loved, no matter what.

A man who treated children like friends, and everyone was loved.

Those are the people who I want around me.

It’s easy to go on social media and complain about how things go.

But it’s also easy to take a deep breath and think how to make things better.

It’s a choice.

Which person will you be today?

An affirmative, positive, keep calm, carry on, and shine the light for others?

My friend Paula posted a video of the angry Long Island Sound yesterday as the sun was setting. The waves were pounding this one rock that stood tall in the water, as the sky looked like it was on fire and burning.

But the rock?

Didn’t move.

It stood tall.

Today, I am the rock who stands tall and still, and sees the beauty all around when I look up.

May we all be like the rock, and like Mr Rogers, and like that father from the movie who taught his child that even in the darkest of times, life is beautiful.

In Jesus’s name, amen.



Parking lot prayers

I went to church yesterday and cried like I always do. We came home and I decided to run to the Giving Room to drop something off for my friends there. Cried all the way there.

Chances are if you see me alone in my car, I’m probably crying, as my kids don’t have to hear me.

I called my mom and she said to get a juice and go to the beach…

So I did.

I made a pit stop at a shopping center to pick up something, and just before I pulled away, a car pulled up and stopped for a moment. It was my neighbor Paula.

I had her son nineteen years ago or so in first grade, and then we bought the house across the street from her.

We’ve recently been praying together, as she runs a bible study online and in her house. I’m too tired to go at night to the study, but I start every morning with her at 5:30 am in her group online.

I got out of my car and told her how hard I’m trying to not be scared. To not worry about all the pain I ‘m feeling, the rash, and now? A vein that I couldn’t see before is prominent right above where the tumor was.

Three things that keep a girl up at night to pray and talk to Jesus about. I told her at first I was going to say I’ll just live with the dead tumors, but remembered that Jesus can do anything, so I’m asking Him to take all signs and traces away.

Well, right there in the busy movie theatre and supermarket parking lot, Paula laid her hand on my chest, grabbed my other hand, we closed our eyes, and she prayed.

I mean, she PRAYED.

She declared.

She praised.

She spoke healing over me.

Even with my eyes closed, I felt the stares of the other drivers trying to maneuver around us, but I didn’t care.

I was getting an extra dose of Jesus when I needed it.

When she finished, she went in the store and I went to the beach.

Wouldn’t you know, I saw my friend Joe and his daughter as I pulled up. We both had the same idea of looking at the beach. I was so glad I wasn’t alone, and because I saw them traipsing through the flooded water, I felt the courage to do it too.

I did a Facebook love video because I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The devastation to the beach was unlike anything I’ve ever seen, even after a hurricane.

As I left, another older woman was there. She started to speak to me right away, like we were supposed to meet. She told me her name, I told her mine, and we both said we had heard of each other. She told me she beat breast cancer twice, has had many other issues, and just had her 31st surgery.

She said to keep laughing,

And to keep fighting.

I said I would.

I went to pick up Morgan from dance and my friend Melissa told me about the Bay, so we went to look at it.

It was so calm, a total opposite body of water than the one I had just left, but still damaged from the storm.

Sometimes the water is angry, sometimes the water is calm, yet it still shows its power to give and take away.

We went home and I grabbed Maddie and Quinn so I could take all three to the beach to see the power of the water.

They couldn’t believe it, and I know its going to be one of those, “Remember the day mom took us to see the beach after the big storm?” memories.

We went to my parents house and my mom has a bunch of old picture she is going through. I took a bunch of pictures that showed me as I was growing up, and marveled at the pictures of my grandparents and their families. How they all were always dressed up, and looked classy. How I wish sometimes we had a bit more of that these days.

We came home, had dinner, and I started to watch the Oscars, but turned it off. The thing that put me off the most was when the fancy movie stars went to see the little people

In the theatre across the street, and shot hot dogs out of arm held hot dog cannons and candy bags. When they showed the people all the fancy movie stars, the movie stars politely clapped and looked like they were thinking…”Oh look at the peasants, how cute. Let’s get back to the show.” Meanwhile, in the theatre, the regular people were going crazy over hot dogs being shot at them and candy being thrown by people in tuxedos who, if the cameras weren’t on them, probably wouldn’t give them the time of day.

We should go crazy over the sanitation workers, who help clean up the garbage. The nurses who help confort the sick. The police who run in to danger. The firefighters who run into fire. The waitresses who serve you dinner. The cooks who cook it. The teachers who care for your children. The ministers who spread the word.

*stepping off soapbox*

Today I’ve got to go for bloodwork before school. I’m praying it shows good counts. I’m also praying we don’t get the big storm Wednesday, as well as the one they are predicting for next monday, the day of the PETMRI scan.

I need to get it over with.

Either it shows I’m clear and clean and everything that is scaring me so much i can’t breathe at times is just more healing, or it shows the horrible thing, which means I adjust my sails.

Either way, I will be here next week.

As I wrote this, a ladybug appeared at my feet. I heard yesterday in church we aren’t supposed to look for signs, just look to Jesus, but it was a nice moment.

Good morning, ladybug.

Today may my veins in my arm pop out and the vein in my breast disappear.

In Jesus’s name, amen.



The Lion and the Lamb

Wooooooo…. let me tell you.

A detox bath can let it all out.

Apparently, every fear and feel can come out when alone in a detox bath.

My mind keeps telling me that the left breast is firmer and there are more lumps I am feeling under the skin. Which then leads to my mind telling me that the all the horrible things will be coming sooner than later.

Add on the stress of assessments for report cards, writing report cards, formal observation today, blood work Monday, PETMRI scan in eleven days, results three days later, middle of round 14 chemo, bones telling me we are in for a big storm tomorrow, and being a mom raising three kids in a world where other parents aren’t doing the same job I am while the news is all about guns and schools…

It’s amazing how life continues.

It’s March 1st today.

March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.

So true.

I’ve always loved the quote about the man in the arena.

I feel like I’m in the arena, surrounded by circling lions, soothing each one to sleep as it comes near.

My prayer is that it goes out like a lamb at the end of the month, which is fitting, as the first day of April is Easter.

The lamb that was slain for the sins of the world.

Jesus is also the lion, the lion of Judah.

Roaring with power, fighting our battles.

The lion and the lamb.

The chronicles of Narnia is a book I think I would like to read. I looked at some quotes today and discovered some amazing quotes. I’ll share them with you.

Today, if you hear a lion roaring, maybe don’t run.

Maybe think it’s Jesus, fighting our battles for us.

It’s been a crazy week at school. It’s spirit week, so every day we are all dressed up in a theme. Yesterday we even had the NY Islanders come with representatives and mascot. I was selected to come up and do a challenge, and at the end I went yo to tell the representative how much it would mean to my dad to see that I was with the Islanders. He was a huge fan when I grew up, and painted cars on the side. Mike Potvin, Bobby Nystrom, Clark Gillies, all came to my house. He drove them in their first Stanley cup parade around the coliseum.

As I told her, she said I must be a Nassau County girl. When I told her my high school her eyes widened. We realized I graduated with her brother. I told her to thank her brother for me for the fundraiser last year where my class raised money for my herbs, and I told her not only herbs saved me, but Jesus. She said she was born again.

An amazing conversation happened in three minutes behind a school curtain all because a dragon pulled me up for a demonstration.

See how Jesus works?

Today, may we all let the lion of Judah roar, and the other lions sleep.

In Jesus’s name, amen.