Touching and Breathing

I’m posting this post from last year.

Still true.

“Touching and breathing”

I keep thinking what the doctor said. “It’s not the cancer that will kill you. It’s the sicknesses you can get while your immune system is compromised”.

I think it especially as I teach my 26 kindergarteners in the height of flu/cough/cold/conjunctivitis season.

If one child coughs, suddenly EVERYONE coughs to show how they can remember to do the vampire cough I taught them.

I imagine myself as Keanu Reeves in the matrix. As all of these invisible sick particles head my way at once, I block them with my super powers.

I’m a touch teacher. I hug, hold hands, rub backs. I’ve been less of a touch teacher lately. But then…

I brought one of my little girls to the nurse yesterday. She is quiet, and has never been there… and didn’t want to go.

I walked her down, telling her how much I love her and that I just wanted her eye to be looked at.

As she sat on the cot as the nurse and I spoke, I saw it.

I saw the fear and panic in her eyes.

I saw her start to breathe in shallow breaths as she looked at me.

I know that look.

That’s my look every time I went to Sloan.

I made a decision.

I called her over to the door, (I couldn’t go into the room as it was full of sick kids.)

I kneeled down.

I hugged her.

I held her.

I kissed her head.

She cried on me.

I did my “mommy hug”, the one where you just hold your child and let them cry on you as you whisper and tell them to breathe.

I knew my doctor would yell at me, but I knew at that moment, it was what she needed.

And I need it too.

We decided she would stay with me until she got picked up.

Touch is important. I missed it when rob was so sick last week.

So is breathing.

I get headaches and nausea as they day wears on. As I walked the kids to the buses yesterday, by the time we got to the last bus, I just couldn’t breathe. I work hard all day to make sure the kids don’t see any of my headache or nausea, and I’m exhausted from being wound up tightly.

I got home and slept, and felt guilty how much I give to other people’s kids and have barely anything left for my own.

But then rob came home, made them dinner, I woke up, he made me my magic herb potion, we watched Toy Story 2. (And I sobbed when the song “When she loved me” came on and maddie grabbed me tissues.)

Quinn laid down on top of me and we snuggled. Morgan kissed my forehead.

I read the book “Joy.”

I did deep breathing, and more reiki on myself. (I also just did reiki on Kasha the wonder dog. What else does one do at 4:00 am when you can’t sleep?)

So today…

Hug more people. I mean, deep meaningful hugs. Just make sure you know them.

Breathe deep. Hold it for three counts, then let it out slowly through your mouth and make the “shhhhh” sound.

We don’t realize how we are barely breathing all day long.

I will hug, breathe deep, and imagine myself as Keanu in the matrix when my kids cough and sneeze on me.

(And maybe not breathe so deep at that moment while I grab some sanitizer ).

I am cured.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxo

Keri

The State of the Union

If you watched the speech last night like one half of America, you cheered, clapped, and felt so much hope.

If you watched the speech like the other half of America, you sat with rage in your belly, mouth pursed, hands clenched.

My feed is full of President supporters and President haters. I become sad when I see the President belittle, demean and make fun of people. I teach five year olds not to do that. Then I just shake my head at the total irony when people who despise him do the same about him.

We have a long way to go, people.

We need honest conversations, without anger, judgement, or sarcasm. Even if you don’t agree with someone, you’ve got to validate that they have feelings. Our feelings are real and true.

It’s what we do with them that sets our course.

I loved the story of the police officer who heard God whisper to him to adopt the baby from the pregnant woman who was about to shoot up heroin. That guy would totally get what I mean when I say I get whispers.

God didn’t stop talking to us when the Bible was written. We just have to be still and listen. He puts things in our heart and soul.

Be still.

Listen.

I loved the little boy who say that graves of heroes were not decorated and decided to do something. Let’s honor the dead, but let’s do even more.

They fought for our freedom. For our country. Not for a country that is so divided.

I watched the #metoo movement and didn’t cheer, because there’s nothing to cheer about when women are victims…and victims in so many ways.

Women are not taken seriously.

I had an issue… actually two issues, recently. It took several emails and four face to face meetings before I got results, as well as the proverbial, “Soon, my husband will get involved.”

Then I got the results.

I wondered what would have happened had my husband sent the first email?

(Go ahead, men, shake your heads and think how crazy that is…

And go ahead women, can I get an amen?)

I watched the politicians sit on their hands in protest. Make faces. I saw the other half cheer and stand up and smile.

It made me sad. The people in that room represent US. Are we really all that different? Are we all really refusing to even acknowledge each other?

I dont think so.

I think we need to get into each other’s lives. Many Facebook walls are full of people who look like you and think like you.

Get out there and get to know people who don’t think like you or look like you.

You’ll be amazed at how much you can learn about others, and yourself.

Today, it’s a super blue blood moon.

That hasn’t happened in something like 152 years.

It’s also the day after an unexpected snow day.

Pray for me.

The weather and the moon phases totally have an effect on the kids.

The politicians too.

I spent the day dusting and vacuuming and mopping and cleaning up from the scaffolding.

I also had a red bird come while I had my soup for lunch and was looking out the window.

Today I’ll go get my mouth guard to see if that helps with my jaw, do a juice fast to prep for tomorrow’s labwork, then go to a beach and send out my prayers while the rare moon rises.

I’ll pray for our country, and our world.

The speech ended with the story of a man who overcame hardship in North Korea, and now uses his history of pain to make a future full of hope for others.

That’s the America we need to focus on.

We’ve all got pain.

Let’s turn it around and make it into a positive.

It’s possible.

All things are possible with God.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxo

Keri

Support groups

Another throwback…

I’ve got a snow day, so maybe I’ll work on the blog a bit…

Or rest and hug my kids.

“Support Groups”

Yesterday started off a little rough. I started my new formula of herbs from Dr Snuffleuffugus. Yup. It must be more powerful, because it tastes and smells worse. While trying to gag down the huge chemo pill after taking the formula, I started to get sick.

Swallowing a pill while trying to hold down vomit is not easy.

But then I went to church. I had tears running down my face as Pastor spoke about the beautitudes in Matthew 5. Then one of the women in bible study, a woman who will be 91 and who gave me so much courage when this began, spoke about how she has to wait until April for a medical test. She is scared, no family around. Something came over me and I spoke in the group about Joshua 1:9. I told her how she is never alone, that God is with her, and that she was one of my rocks and supports when I was so scared and waiting on my tests.

Then I got a message from Danielle at The Peaceful Scorpion. Even though she is just starting her business, she has decided to not give me the 10% discount on all of my treatments, but has been moved to give me a 60% on all of them. I had just been speaking to Sandy the night before about how I can get free reflexology at the north fork breast health coalition, but I feel God sent me Danielle and need to stay with her, even though I pay for it. God sends me angels all the time. She is one of them.

Then off to the Giving Room. This group of friends didn’t all know each other, but we were meant to be together. Paula DiDonato once again opened her heart and business and soul and educated us all. I have now five more field trips full of women who want to learn. I was surrounded by friends and my sister and felt loved.

We got home and went off to see Maddie run. I love to see her run. I spoke with other moms, her coaches, other girls I have seen grow up. After the meet, we went to Whole Foods and bought a whole bunch of organic food with gift cards from Rotary and a woman I work with.

We came home, and while unpacking..

I got sick. The kids saw me heaving on the lawn, trying to get into the house, then getting sick. Morgan was frozen in fear. Her social worker should have an interesting week with her.

But I cleaned myself up, got out my new magic potion and pills and swallowed them down. I think it’s because I got home late and didn’t take the potion until about three hours later than usual.

We put the kids to bed and I got a call from my former union president, and now school board member Ann Cotten degrasse. She called to tell me how I need to send in the paper for the NFBC to get a $1,000 grant already earmarked for me. I have the paper, but feel weird taking the money. She convinced me to do it.

Then rob and I and a good friend of ours ate dinner. He wants to get healthy, and is a bachelor. We bought him a whole bunch of organic veggies and fruits and at 9 pm we all made juice. I sent him home with four mason jars. He helped us laugh.

I know some people love their support groups. I can’t go to them. I feel scared, and hopeless.

I realized after he left that all day long I am surrounded by support group.

Here on FB, in my school, my friends who text me and get me through hard times when I reach out, my PTO moms,my family, my reflexologist, The Giving Room, Madison’s track family, my swim family.

Rob, Madison, Morgan, Quinn, and even my crazy dog Kasha. (I practiced reiki on her, I think it worked a little).

So, thank you.

You are all my support group and helped me get through this hard time.

I know a lot of people

Are posting lately how much they hate FB now because of politics.

Please don’t leave. Block everyone else but stay with me.

Plus, you don’t want to miss my post when I say I am NED.

I am cured❤️

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxo

Keri

Decisions and Delays

All day long we make decisions.

Some are little.

What to wear? Blow out the hair or leave it curly?

Some are little but add up to big results.

Will I eat a salad for dinner or mcdonald’s? One glass of wine or five?

Some decisions are huge.

Chemo or no chemo. This hospital that everyone said is great but OMG I feel like I’m gonna die there or this one where I feel hope but isn’t known as a top cancer hospital?

Lately there have been some spirited discussions on Facebook about another decision.

To get the flu vaccine or not?

Listen, I didn’t get it. Some of you out there think I’m crazy because it’s a tin foil hat conspiracy about vaccines and I’m on chemo. I didn’t give it to my kids either. It’s a personal decision. I stand by it. I’m doing all I can to stay healthy by eating right, cleaning, disinfecting, hand washing etc.

I told someone yesterday to turn off the news. The news is feeding the flu frenzy. You would think it’s the Black Plague. Yes, kids are getting the flu. Yes, some are dying from it. But it’s not at the panic crisis level that everyone on the news wants you to believe. They should be focusing on what’s really in your food, what we feed children, and how we are slowly killing ourselves with what we put in our mouths.

But that would cause billionaires who run this world to lose money, so…,

Quick! Divert the attention and make a panic about the flu!

Listen, if you got the vaccine or didn’t,

wash your hands, eat right, boost your immune system with a good vitamin D (Garden of Life is a good reputable brand), get outside and breathe in fresh air, wash your sheets, use thieves essential oil, exercise and stay hydrated.

Make those decisions.

I had another decision to make yesterday. I’ve been in the dark place since December. Jaw pain and body aches from medication and menopause will keep you there. Add in cold weather and rain and snow which is a bariatric pressure issue…

I make the decision to get up and fake every day.

I read some articles yesterday and reposted them on my wall. One told exactly how I feel, and the other told exactly how people treat me at times.

I am the angel of death.

People look at me and are reminded of their own mortality, as well as how miracles can happen.

It’s a weird place to be.

I sometimes feel like I should have a special cape.

I came home exhausted. Reading articles that speak to my soul can also keep me in the dark place. I just wanted to wipe off the smile I put on all day long, crash on the couch, and watch tv…(but not the news, because, you know… FLU EPIDEMIC!!!)

When I walked in the house and saw scaffolding and dust al over the house when I spent all day the day before cleaning when all I wanted to do was stay in bed…

I cried a little in the bathroom.

Then?

I slapped on a tutu, climbed that sucker, and took a picture with my kids.

Rob apologized for making me live in a construction zone for the last thirteen years, but if I can live for another forty five years, even in a construction zone, I’ll take it.

Decisions.

Choose to laugh over crying.

Some days it’s harder.

But it’s possible.

We have a two hour delay today.

It’s like God knew I needed two hours to get it together with my achey bones when it snows.

During today’s delay, make some good decisions. Don’t turn on the news. Spend more time hugging your kids. Talk to them about the super blue blood moon tomorrow that hasn’t been seen since 1982. I’ll be at a beach tomorrow night watching it rise.

I’ll be cold, but I’ll be there.

Today, may we all make decisions that water the seeds inside of us we want to have grow, not the fear seeds that hold us hostage.

Remember, all we need is faith the size of a mustard seed.

Good things are coming.

As long as you wash your hands, eat your fruit and veggies, and keep your kids home if they are sick.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxo

Keri

“Wounded Healer”

This one is a throwback. Fits the feel of the day.

“Wounded Healer”

It’s no secret the past three days have been hard.

Well, the last week.

Actually the past three months.

From thinking rob had thyroid cancer…

to Morgans alopecia…

to being told I had weeks or months or a year or two left…

to not one but TWO Disney vacations cancelled and seeing other people smiling on vacations while our world has been crashing down, thinking, “How can other people have such great times and smile while we are crying?”…

To chemo, huge needles, spinal biopsy, breast biopsy…

Sleepless nights…

Dark places.

My wounds have been big.

But…

Instead of curling up on a ball of fear, anger, resentment, jealousy…

I have opened myself up to courage, forgiveness, gratefulness and healing.

Believe me, it’s not easy and not perfect. Last night I had a moment of anger and jealousy and disbelief and hurt. But then I had to let it go, because those feelings feed my cancer. I got rid of the source, took a detox bath, and talked about my reiki class with rob.

Something the reiki master said struck my heart.

Some reiki practitioners are “Wounded healers”.

The wounded-healer is a powerful one in the culture. She said there are so many beautiful people who, in spite of life changing health challenges, show us the true meaning of fearlessness, empowerment, truth and beauty. Many have learned to value energy medicine, like Reiki, as part of their path to awareness, healing and enlightenment. I realized I am my own “Wounded Healer”.

I have wounds. But through my wounds I am finding beauty in others, gratitude for others, forgiveness, more love from strangers than from people I have known for years, more mindfulness, more patience, more God.

My mom and dad and siblings and spouses have been there for us for it all. From listening to me sob, to taking reiki class with me, to cooking new foods for me, to hugging me, to texting rob and talking with my kids, and just being here. God gave me a family that has my back, and helps me stand when I feel like I can’t. Days like yesterday.

Jesus is a wounded healer. He took our sins and had such pain on the cross.

He is my wounded healer.

I’m going to church today to love Him and thank him.

Yes, I may be wounded… now.

But…

I am a dragon.

I am a Phoenix rising.

I am the daughter of a king.

I am cured.

I am cured.

I am cured.

❤️❤️❤️

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxo

Keri

When God Exceeds your Expectations

We got up early to drive Maddie to the track meet. When she got out, I told her she was going to get a personal record. I had her say the words.

And guess what?

She did.

Your words have so much power.

Today’s bible study focused on the human tongue.

It’s so small, hidden inside our mouths, yet very mighty.

We can cut and wound and damage people when we use it like a knife.

We can lift people up and encourage them when we use it with kindness.

Big ships, when they need to turn, are steered by a rudder. When the rudder turns, the entire ship does too.

Your tongue is your rudder.

How you speak to yourself is how your body then follows.

We went to go food shopping on the way home from the meet, and wouldn’t you know… half of my town was there. Every aisle there was someone I knew.

I ran into a friend I used to work with. When I first saw her down the aisle, I was struck by how “light” she looked.

She has lost weight, and just seemed to have a brighter glow. But then as we talked, she was saying how upset she has been from a situation. She had been bullied at work, and as those who speak up usually have happen, she was transferred.

She couldn’t get over it. She quit her job.

I told her God has greater plans for her. She wasn’t meant to be in that job. She was meant for greater things. To stop giving her power and thoughts to the bully that was horrible to her, and to focus her eyes and words on the great things in her life. Her blessings over her burdens.

People, there was a whole church service in aisle seven in Stop N Shop.

Other people I knew walked by me and I gave quick hugs and went back to urging my friend to see the light surrounding her.

Then we hugged and I went off to find my family.

We came home and Joel Osteen was on the television.

I know, you either love him or hate him.

Me?

I’ve got no room for hate in my heart.

Plus, he manages to intertwine gospel into relatable stories.

He spoke about how God exceeds expectations.

How a crippled man asked Jesus for some coins, and instead of coins, he healed him.

How Hannah asked for one son, and after being barren for years, not only gave her a son, but three sons and two daughters.

How Jehoshaphat had to go into battle with an army that far outweighed his own, and asked God to help them.

The Holy Spirit entered and said to not be afraid, have courage, and the Lord would be with them.

The army sang loud songs, and they were so loud, the other armies became confused and slaughtered each other. When Jehoshaphat’s army arrived, there were no men left, and on top of that, there was so much in terms of riches and spoils for the victor, it took three days to collect everything.

God far exceeded the expectations.

Want some coins? How about you walk…

Want a son? How about I give you five children…

Want to win? How about we do it without lifting a sword, plus you get all the gold…

Last May when I went for the MRI PET scan, my goal was for the sacrum spot in the bone to be gone. My dad warned me to not get my hopes up, that we would be happy with stable or shrinkage.

God exceeded my expectations, and I was told complete remission.

I’ve been given this diagnosis, and I want to stay in complete remission for a long, long time.

God doesn’t just do one great thing for us.

He does many.

He’s got great plans for me.

And for you.

We’ve got to have faith.

We’ve got to have hope.

We’ve got to use our tongues as our rudders and steer our ships towards greatness.

We’ve got to use our tongues and bring other ships with us.

Today, may whatever plans you have become reality…but even bigger and better. May you use your tongues wisely. Speak your truth with kindness and compassion and love. Lift others up with your words and with grace.

And above all, get ready.

God is going to exceed your expectations.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxo

Keri

“10,000 Maniacs”

Another throwback.

To when I first met snuffy. The amazing thing is, I met him in January 11th, and the song has a mine about May and miracles.

I was told complete remission in May.

“10,000 Maniacs”

Yesterday while sitting in our meeting, I realized what we were doing was crazy. Or at least, other people would look at as crazy. Me?

When you’ve been sent home to die, nothing seems crazy.

There was music in the background. It was a public place. I remembered thinking how loud it was, and I had to strain to hear what the person was saying. I also knew how crazy the three of us looked, huddled together.

Then… I suddenly heard a song.

From the opening guitar medley, I knew it.

I said, “Thank you God. This is another sign. These are the days to remember”.

So, yesterday in my moment of feeling crazy, I suddenly had clarity.

And I knew that at that moment, there were 10,003 maniacs in that place.

❤️

(I am adding the lyrics to the song. You’ll see why God had me hear it at that moment.)

These are the days.

These are days you’ll remember.

Never before and never since, I promise, will the whole world be warm as this.

And as you feel it, you’ll know it’s true that you are blessed and lucky.

It’s true that you are touched by something that will grow and bloom in you.

These are days you’ll remember.

When May is rushing over you with desire to be part of the miracles you see in

Every hour.

You’ll know it’s true that you are blessed and lucky.

It’s true that you are touched by something that will grow and bloom in you.

These are days.

These are the days you might fill with laughter until you break.

These days you might feel a shaft of light make its way across your face.

And when you do you’ll know how it was meant to be.

See the signs and know their meaning.

It’s true, you’ll know how it was meant to be.

Hear the signs and know they’re speaking to you, to you.

❤️

In Jesus’s name, amen

xoxo

Keri