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.

Rest.

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.

Xoxo

Keri

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?

Yup.

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.

Then?

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”.

See?

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.

Xoxo

Keri

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.

Xoxo

Keri

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.

Xoxo

Keri