A Kindershow for the Ages!

I ran the gamut of seeing parent pride yesterday.

Our kindergarten concert was about friendship, but we also had a surprise. Our principal is retiring, so we dedicated the whole show to him, spoke about the things he taught us, invited him to their high school graduation in 2031, danced, wiggled, and sang songs that made everyone laugh and cry.

We’ve been practicing for months in secret, and then all seven classes got together for the past week. We weren’t sure how the kids would react to a cafetorium packed with parents and grandparents, and prayed for no criers. There was a moment before we began where we told the parents that now was the photo opportunity, and I had to take a picture of the parents. They were adorable, beaming with excitement and pride and love.

The show started, we let the cat out of the bag and told everyone that our five and six year olds actually kept a secret for months that we dedicated this show to Mr Kent. We are so incredibly blessed to have him and Mrs Williams as our principal team. You can’t find two better people whose love for children guide their every decision while supporting the staff doing the work. We decided to put them front and center to save their dignity, because we didn’t want anyone else to see them if they cried. Even the kindergarten team said we all wouldn’t be able to look at them, and took deep breaths throughout the songs.

After the first song ended, there was a moment of silence, then a huge burst of applause and cheers. The energy was palpable. The kids looked shocked for a second, then ate… it… up.

They sang and danced their little hearts out, and the audience laughed, cheered, ooooohed, aaaaahed, sighed, and cried. It was better than we could have ever imagined.

What a memory we all received yesterday.

After the show, we had our outgoing PTO president purchase ice pops for every kindergartner as a treat. Angela Ohlbaum is another huge loss for our school, a mother who has worked tirelessly to make memories for all children. She has been our President for years, and her child is graduating. She will be remembered by this class as the woman who gave them ice pops, and when we asked the kids their favorite part of the show, they all said ….the ice pops.

Of course.

Last night I saw the other end of the parent pride spectrum. The high school had their award ceremony and I was once again surrounded by proud parents, beaming with excitement and love. I saw former students all grown up, walking on stage to receive their awards. It seemed like only yesterday these high schoolers were my kindergartners. Madison received awards for Latin and AP History. She continues to astound us with her drive and ability to thrive, even while we are in the midst of cancer treatment.

All of my kids are so strong, and I am so blessed.

Today we are performing the show one last time for the school, and it’s Friday.

Thank goodness. We have had strong storms and this weather is affecting my bones. (I’m declaring it is not cancer. It’s the heavy storms every night.)

A young girl I met in Florida who was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer at age 18 posted a video yesterday. She met my herbalist in Florida and began taking his teas. I sent her a video when she was struggling to get it down. (Yes, it is that hard to gulp a pouch of brown liquid that tastes like mud and herbs and dead worms). Britney has been on the herbs since February, and only took eight days of xeloda chemo pills because they made her sick. Her scans yesterday showed her brain tumor is gone.


She was crying happy tears and saying how it’s a miracle and she loves these Chinese herbs. It made my day to see this young girl so relieved.

So yes, yesterday was a good day.

May today bring more singing, laughter and healing. In Jesus’s name, amen.



I want to Age like Seaglass…

Freaking scanxiety.

As hard as I am working on it, it still shows up.

It showed up this weekend big time.

Last night?

Threw up once, woke up about seven times, cried to rob.

And I still have two weeks to go.

I think it’s because I’ve been blowing through treatments. Every three months for the last year I’ve had to go lay in a coffin like tube for an hour or so, wait two days, then hear where the cancer has continued to spread and start a new line of treatment with fun side effects.

All while gulping Chinese herbs, ninety pills a day, walking a mile every morning even while in pain, meditating, doing yoga, waking at 5:00 so I breathe highly oxygenated air while the birds sing, take detox baths, dry brush, drink organic juices, work on my vagus nerve, research fascia, see a Frenchwoman and a shaman, spend thousands of dollars on supplements, research new therapies day and night, read self help books to release trauma, and pray to Jesus.

What else can I do???

All while in pain in the bones and joints and questioning if the pain is side effects or cancer spreading…. while putting on a brave face because who wants to be around scared Keri? She’s no fun. What a downer.

The truth is there has been more cancer in more and more parts of the body. I may be doing too good of a job pretending everything is ok. I’ve been told the cancer is too sad for some to handle, so people have “ghosted” me. Which then makes me pretend even harder that I’m ok. I pretend for my children, my family, my community. But I also pretend because cancer has done enough damage, so screw you cancer.

You can’t steal my sunshine all day.

Just parts of it.

Yesterday after cello yoga i told Paula I was exhausted and she said I’ve used that word a lot.

It’s true.

Ask any teacher at the end of the year how they are doing and that’s the word they use.

Throw in everything else I’m doing and exhausted is an understatement.

A friend of mine recently said that living through stage four cancer treatments is like doing an Ironman race over and over, no time to catch your breath while being handed poisoned gatorade and it keeps moving the finish line to unknown locations.

Everyone is yelling different things.

“Keep going!”

“It’s all a mind game. Just THINK of finishing!”

“My aunt ran that race a few years ago and died. But you can do it.”

“Stop running. Be still and ask Jesus to save you. And if he doesn’t, that’s ok. I hear Heaven is nice!”

So I continue to read the bible and stories about Jesus giving healing to others in an instant, like the snap of Thanos’s fingers but in a good way. and doing my best to not get angry at one in the morning that He hasn’t chosen me.

Snap to it, Jesus.

Snap, snap.

I’ll also continue to get up every morning and live as long as I can, and hopefully the next scan will tell me I can get at least a three month reprieve from the cancer that has been marching throughout the body, staking claim to organs and bones and tissue.

That would be nice.

It seems as if many people I love are going through trials. Eileen and her daughter Johanna who just had another brain surgery. Nancy, who is sitting vigil beside her son Michaels bedside, who is a former fabulous firstie. He was burned eight years ago and she has been by his hospital bed ever since. Nancy has shown us all how to live and love through the unimaginable. I was a teacher in their lives for one year, but they have been all of our teachers for the past eight years.

I’m getting up and ready to put a smile on my face and teach. It’s easy when you love your job. Today we put the finishing touches on our kinderconcert. Then tonight we are going to Madison’s NJROTC awards banquet. It’s a beautiful night and everyone is excited.

This post may have come off leaving you sad or worried for me. Not my intention. It’s become my daily reality, and I’m ok. It’s good to get it out every once in a while.

Don’t sent pity or sad thoughts, because I need to raise my energy vibration.

Send love.

And also pray for healing for me, and peace as I try to breathe through the next two weeks of scanxiety.

My friend shared this seaglass poem yesterday. It brought me peace. I hope it brings you all some as well.

May we all have peace and healing.

And may we all age like seaglass.

In Jesus’s name, amen.



Memorial Day

I love my big/little small town.

As usual, it’s the small group of people that keep things going. Kind of like the heart that keeps beating… and shows the love.

We sure do know how to do the small town USA parade. It kicked off with the veterans, a small group of men who still walk with pride, followed by some patriotically dressed women. The greatest generation is getting smaller, and we owe so much to them.

They were followed by the politicians. I personally know and love two of them, Jodi Giglio and Catherine Kent. Politicians are known for kissing babies, but I also always get great hugs from them, and am so glad we’ve got these two big hearted women looking out for all of us.

The Riverhead High School NJROTC unit followed, and they are so impressive. I wish more kids took part in this unit. The experiences Madison has had have been amazing. Trips to colleges, competitions, education… all under the leadership of two amazing men. The sky is the limit with this organization, and the kids are better for it.

The marching band came next, and everyone loves a good band. The teacher leading them yesterday is one of the most passionate and talented teachers we have. The kids looked and sounded great.

Then we had all of the fire trucks and ambulances, all volunteers. These men and women are ready at a moments notice to help those in need. God bless every one of them.

The parade stopped several times to honor those who gave their lives. Garfield Longhorne in particular was bittersweet, as his mother recently passed at the age of 92. He received the Medal of Honor after giving his life by throwing himself over a grenade to save his friends during the Vietnam war. A true hero.

A funny story at the end of the parade made me laugh and was typical for me. I was videotaping the ceremony for my mom who was watching at home. Beaming with pride, I did a big circle and noticed my sister and about seven or eight other police officers standing and watching me. I smiled and waved and thought “How nice! I love our cops…”.

After a moment, I shut off my video and walked over to them to give hugs, and even get a selfie. My sister and another dear friend were like, “Geez Keri, could you have BEEN any closer to the guy with the eight inch knife on his belt???” Apparently they were watching him closely when suddenly I walked right next to him for a good spot to tape, smiling and waving. As if their awareness wasn’t high enough, here I come with my USA scarf and patriotic outfit, standing right next to the sketchy looking guy who thought it would be a good idea to walk around a parade with a huge knife sheathed in a case on his belt.

I told my sister and other friend that I recently had a shaman drag a bigger knife over my body, and I face death everyday, so it takes more than that to scare me. Plus, they all had my back, and we have the greatest police department full of amazing men and women. I love our police.

I then drove Madison and some of her NJROTC friends to another ceremony. It was at a retirement community and was so very sweet.

This event was run by one man who reminded me so much of my Poppa. My pop loved marching in Memorial Day parades as a veteran of WWII, and I felt close to him while watching the veterans stand behind Madison as she led the color guard. Poppa would be so proud.

By the time I came home I was pretty exhausted. I didn’t sleep much last night, as scanxiety is starting to build.

I’m off today, because we had an unused snow day. I’m heading to he Giving Room for ten o’clock class, and Paula has a cellist coming to play as we breathe and stretch. She also is giving out free smoothies in honor of Memorial Day.

Then I’ll come home and catch up on all the things I couldn’t do yesterday.

I’ve got a busy week coming up, with our kindergarten play, Madison’s NJROTC awards night, her academic awards night, Quinn’s tennis, and Morgan’s NYYSMA.

The following week is a hospital week for me, then the next week after that is the scan.

So today, I’ll breathe and listen to a cello play while visualizing clean scans.

May it be so.

In Jesus’s name, amen.



Dark Times Don’t Last

Here’s the thing about dark moments.

They don’t last.

I woke up crying yesterday, in pain. Along came the usual, “Oh my God. Is this metastatic spread everywhere? Is this side effects? Is this what it will be like at the end?”, followed by an email to my oncologist asking if this is a side effect and then thanking her and her nurse for helping me to continue to live and please find good information for me at the huge oncology meeting coming up next week.


I got up, prayed, and the day changed.

We went to lay flags at Calverton National Cemetery with the Boy and Gils Scouts. It’s always humbling yet beautiful to see little boys and girls lay flags on thousands and thousands of graves, walking silently among the rows of heroes. We finished, and Morgan was brought back to us from a friend who had her with her troop. We went to a section that I thought my grandparents were buried in, but it didn’t feel right, and my dad texted we were one area off. We got back in the Jeep and drove and I spotted the tree and bench by their grave.

As we walked up, there was a long line of cadets from the Suffolk County Police Department club for boys and girls, and they were calling off the names of the buried one by one, methodically, loudly, and with honor.

We got there just as one of the young men was moving to my Poppa and Nan’s final resting place. I whispered to the young man that he was about to say my grandfathers name. When I heard his name, I couldnt stop crying. One reason is that I miss them both so much. We all still miss them, and having them as grandparents was one of the greatest gifts of my life. The second reason is the respect shown to those long gone who fought for our county and yet still respected and remembered was beautiful. The third reason is that God somehow got me to that grave at that moment to see that moment of respect.

God’s timing.

Sometimes it surprises us.

I got a message from a new friend on Facebook, a friend of Alycia’s. I’ve been missing her a lot lately, and she still gifts me with friendship through her “Alycia’s Army”. I still have her in my heart, and now have some of her

Friends as well.

Then I took all of us to Gabriel Loren salon and it was such a good time, full of laughs.

Morgan surprised us all by donating her hair to “Children with Hair Loss”. It was even more meaningful as she has alopecia, and has a huge bald spot in the back of the head, covered by the hair that falls down over it. She is my sweet and giving girl.

Then when I went to pay, Ashley paid for my color as a thank you gift for teaching her daughter, and a mystery person called the salon and covered my hair cut. I am always humbled by those who show kindness, so thank you, mystery gifter. I didnt cry either, as we cut parts of my hair shorter again to try and help my hair take a shape as it grows.

I told Raquel I was worried about the next possible treatment should I need it, and she reminded me to be here now.

And “now” my hair looks great.

I was texting my summer son Joe, as was Rob. He had a huge day yesterday, and pitched a great game. His NYIT Bears are going to the College World Series, and we couldn’t be prouder. His mom and I were texting during the game, and we we both held our breath and breathed at the same time. His brother Ryan also plays on the team, and we couldn’t be prouder of our Murphy boys. Winning means he won’t be out this week, but we are so happy for him and can’t wait to celebrate when he finally comes to his “summer family”.

We went to Target afterwards and got the kids some bathing suits. (They are having a great sale, so get thee to target! It’s calling your names…).

Then we picked up a cousin and the kids all laughed and played. We went to Tanger last night and saw the first fireworks of the summer. It was quite a display. I came home exhausted but happy, and grateful I ended the day in the bed by just going to sleep, and not crying.

I’m up now, and as much as I wanted to go to church, I’m not. Im going to be Giving Room instead for restorative yoga and breathing at 8. Then I’ll get

Juice. My diet and nutrition has been way off. I simply have to get back on track.

So today is a new day, and I get back on track.

That’s how it works.

We get to start over every day.

May today be a fresh start for us all.

In Jesus’s name, amen.



Thank you, Staples!

The birds are singing and there is a woodpecker knocking away.

I dont mind though. I’m breathing deep as I lay in bed, remembering the story of the man who got up at sunrise every morning to hear the birds sing, as that was when there was the most oxygen in the air. He went into remission from stage four cancer and continues to listen to the birds sing to this day.

Yesterday was a good day.

I was surprised at the end of the day with an award and a little box of scissors, copy paper, pens, and markers. The local Staples gave me the #1 teacher award and said they’ve had customers and staff talk about me. A few other teachers in the district were receiving it too, (but she was going today to some of the others, so I’m not spoiling the surprise.) All the teachers I work with deserve it, and I accepted it with pride, then texted my parents and rob.

Then rob and I went to “Rotary Uncorked”. We go every year, and it’s a great way to begin the summer season. There are representatives from all of the wineries and breweries, as well as the best restaurants. You go from table to table and taste and sample from everyone. I cant drink alcohol anymore, but the food was outstanding. I also have come to know and love some of the owners and chefs, and got hugs from Marc LaMaina from Lucharitos, Stephen Bogardus from the Halyard, and Jerry from Jerry and the Mermaid. I love where I live, and love the people who make it special.

I also got to see so many people I know. I dont get out much anymore because I’m so tired at night, but this was from 6-9 pm, and man, it was so lovely to hug people and talk to adults and hang out with Rob and laugh.

It felt like the “Old Keri”, but with water in my wine glass.

We got a text from Madison’s coach that she crushed it at Divisions, and came in tenth place overall. Not bad for a girl who only started racewalking this year. She and one of her best friends crossed the finish line with each other, and I love that they have each other.

I’m off to teach, and today is E day. I’ll be eating in the cafeteria with the kids and exercising with yoga, and we will read an excellent Eric Carle book. It’s exciting , even though I’m exhausted:

My friend Eileen has been texting me and I’ve kept it private, but she posted yesterday so I am asking everyone to pray for Johanna, her daughter. She is having yet another surgery on her brain, and continues to have doctors describe her as a miracle. I’m praying so hard for them all.

Today may we all pray for healing and excellent news for us all.

In Jesus’s name, amen.



My Squad is Bigger than Dorothy’s

Last night?

We celebrated.

I taught all day, then drove Quinn to tennis. While he was playing, he lost a tooth. I still make a big deal out of it, and he was excited.

We went to Art in Action afterwards, and man, do our art teachers bust their butts for this event. They make sure every child has a piece showcased, either an individual project or a group project. Then they have one day to display it all for the community. The growth in talent as you move through the hallways from primary to high school always amazes me. It’s like with the concerts, four years earlier kids squeaked out “Old MadDonald

Had a Farm”, and suddenly they are moving my soul as they play in high

School with the beauty.

The arts make the world better, and in turn, makes us better.

I got home at 7:15 and we decided to go out to eat pizza. Then we treated the kids to ice cream, and brought some to my parents as well.

We celebrated maddie taking her two AP exams. We celebrated Morgan’s concert. We celebrated Quinn passing his board of review in Boy Scouts and becoming an official tenderfoot, as well as art in action and his tooth.

We celebrated robs work on the North Fork Community Theatre, and laughed and laughed as we told my parents about the show, “The Drowsy Chaperone”. My kids repeated lines that had us all laughing. We want to go see it again, it was that good!

On the inside, I celebrated the emotional and spiritual work I did this week. I took a leap of faith and went to the therapist/shaman. There was a part of the “ceremony” where she took out a ceremonial knife and approached me. When I told that part of the story to my friends, they all were in shock that I didnt run out of the room.

But I wasn’t afraid.

I’ve been facing death every day since the diagnosis, and decided I would do whatever it takes to heal, even if it included a knife being dragged over certain parts of the body to cut cords of attachment to things that don’t serve me.

I’m reading a book by Joe Dispenza, “You are the Placebo”, all on the power of the mind. You can’t just THINK yourself better.

You have to FEEL yourself better.

Thinking and believing is definitely the first step. If you don’t believe you can get better and heal, then you won’t. But if you do, you start the process.

I said to maddie and her friends if they didn’t believe they would get a 5 on these tests, they wouldn’t. We worked and worked on mindset, and both times she got into the car after the tests she told me that she thinks she actually got a five.


But then the hard work comes in.

You have to act as if it has already happened.

That’s where I’ve been struggling, especially when I’ve felt pain in certain parts of the body. Lately it’s been my shoulder, breast and legs, as well as my lungs have felt tighter.

However, I’ve shifted since Wednesday.

The worry that was constant has lifted.

I drove around last night and felt like “Keri” again.

I walked around the high school and realized I had been out of the house at that point for eleven hours and still felt good.

Think about that.

I taught kindergarten all day, drove to tennis lessons, went to the art show, after having been out the previous two nights, and having spent the day in the city and traveling on Wednesday, all while on my fifth line of constant chemo treatment in two and a half years.

And I keep saying I’ve had cancer for two and a half years, but really, it was there before diagnosis. I had a mammogram at forty, and “nothing” was there, but obviously was there and too early to tell. At forty three it was stage four. So it’s been growing and there probably for six years, I’ve only known about it for two and a half.

That already makes me an outlier.

The odds are now in my favor.

I keep thinking how I’ve now added a shaman to my team.

It’s pretty amazing if you think about it.

It’s like a movie.

“A typical mom is diagnosed with cancer, and along the healing path she meets a mysterious Chinese potion maker, a former monk turned master of all knowledge about herbs and food, a French energetic healer who swooshes energy, a rockstar oncologist who believes in hope, a juice bar/yoga studio owner turned sister, a peaceful scorpion master of touch and massage, a reiki and yoga certification, a chaga mushroom purveyor, a shaman, and Jesus.”

I always loved Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, but my squad is bigger.

Today I’m taking my kids to a yoga class. I know I can teach them myself, but I dont want to teach. I want to experience and practice.

I’ll clean out my Jeep finally, and work on all of the things i didn’t do on Mother’s Day, which is really a day where everything just gets puts off.

My summer son Joe had an amazing game yesterday and we are getting closer to having him come home to us. We are all getting excited.

He is such a good boy, and we love his family.

Today I’ll keep working on raising my vibration and feel the healing, instead of worrying about the other possibilities.

May all of our energy rise, rise to the point of where the magic happens.

In Jesus’s name, amen.



The Shaman and The Universe that has my Back

Yesterday was another experience that pretty much blew me away.

There are people who have been given gifts, and then study and cultivate those gifts.

Some people use these gifts to help people, and some use them for their own good or benefit, so you have to be discerning and know the difference.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to share yesterday’s experience because I really don’t feel like getting the messages and energy sent to me about how I’m going down a slippery slope, or the judgemental thoughts.

But I’ve been honest, and through the honesty I’ve been able to help other people.

I’ve decided I’m going to share the lessons I learned yesterday, and the things that blew my mind I might share eventually. If I can help one more person, I will, even if a thousand others think I’m crazy.

Here goes.

I went to a shaman yesterday.

People hear the word shaman and think of an old, weathered Native American medicine man… which can be the case.

However, thats not at all who I went to.

I went to see Elizabeth Clements.

She is not only a shaman, but also a mediator, lawyer, and therapist. Being diagnosed with cancer is as much of a mental and emotional diagnosis as it is a physical one. Many people go to see therapists to try and deal with the heavy emotions that come with the diagnosis of this physical disease.

But some people, like me, think the diagnosis came because of many reasons, not just physical, and in order to heal, we have to find out everything that has helped it to grow.

It’s not enough to kill the cancer, but we have to change the environment that was such a good host to it.

So why a shaman?

Shaman are practitioners of traditional medicine methods that have been passed down by indigenous peoples for millennia. Shaman believe that all “problems” –whether physical or emotional–have a source in energy. The job of the shaman is to locate that energy lying at a problem’s source in any individual and shift it, causing the symptoms of the problem to shift as well.

Shaman watch and listen to an individual at ever-deepening layers until they identify the energy that needs attention; the shaman then works to remove heavy energy, add light, and shift the balance of a person’s system. This process can bring about healing at a foundational level.

People sometimes know what their problem is, or think they know.

But often the reasons for felt pain are unknown to the sufferers. Many who seek out a shaman shoulder a simple but overwhelming sense of just being “stuck,” with something unseen blocking movement forward. It is up to the shaman to find this energy source, setting into motion the shift necessary to alter problematic symptoms.

So what happened with me?

Paula drove me into the city and we ended up at Elizabeth’s office. I had three people give me testimonials about her and her gifts as we drove in to meet her.


We ended up in a building that looks like it houses the TriBeCa film festival, and it threw me off, as I expected something mystical, magical and mysterious. Elizabeth came out to meet me and looks just like any other woman you meet on the street. Paula then left, and in I went.

We started with me telling my life story growing up, and when I finished she said that now that I’ve told her what I thought my problems were, it was time to find out what they really are.

She said that everyone has trauma, and even generational trauma gets passed down. Suddenly, there I was crying and telling her about my dads mom, and how her mom died in childbirth or soon after, and she was raised by her grandmother. Then she got cancer and died when my dad was nine or ten, and my dad was then raised mostly by his grandmother. How I look at quinn and see my dad at that age, mourning his mother, and now my son has similar feelings of fear that my dad had at the same age.

We talked about my moms grandparents and how there was divorce at a time when it was taboo.

Then she asked about what scared me when I was growing up, and she said it could be big things or even little things, even a scooby doo episode. It doesn’t matter what the trigger was, it matters what the damage was.

Suddenly memories of being put in the dark closet by my kindergarten teacher whenever I couldnt do something came bubbling up. So did another time when I was dragged underwater at the ocean when I was little and felt like I was dying (which is why I’ve never liked going into water where I cant touch the bottom).

We discussed relationships that have been fractured, and hurt feelings.

She told me that that people who we sometimes perceive as the issue, are not the issue, but instead push the issue button over and over.

She said we had to find out what my button was and what made it.



Codependency is a behavioral condition in a relationship. Among the core characteristics of codependency is an excessive reliance on other people for approval and a sense of identity.

That’s me to a T.

Growing up as one of four kids, I always was striving for attention. Some kids act out and get attention any way they can, even through negative means. Me? I tried to be the best I could be all the time. I wanted my

Parents to be proud of me, my teachers, my friends. “Look at me! Love me! I’m a good person because of the things I do!”

When people don’t like me (“gasp! Pain! Whyyyyyy?” ), I keep trying. I try over and over to do the right thing, and end up getting hurt even deeper.

I dont know when to throw in the towel in relationships or situations. “Maybe if I try one more time…”. Add in how we are told over and over in church to forgive, but add in codependency and forgiveness becomes something else.

It’s not forgiving and moving on, but then trying again and again in the same stuck story.

I also get my light from others.

I may be able to say the right things as a Christian that “You are loved no matter what, it’s not what you do, but that you are already enough and

Perfect in the eyes of God”, but deep down? We keep being told in church we aren’t perfect and are sinners.

Talk about mixed messages for someone who has self love and love from other people issues.

The biggest thing Elizabeth told me was to make better decisions. As a people pleaser, I dont make decisions that make me feel good. I make decisions that I think will help others feel good, even if it makes me feel bad.

When we are asked to do something, think about it.

If we don’t do it, we feel guilty.

If we do it, we feel resentment. Resentment brings anger, and anger is a powerful emotion, and brings self hurt and damage to our cellular level. Then anger builds walls. Walls are different than boundaries. Walls are things that keep you private and alone. Boundaries are invisible lines, where you can still see others, but from at a safe distance, and you can still say across the invisible line, “I still send you love, but I’m going to send from here and stay over here.”

So what should we do?

Choose guilt.

Say no.

Then the feeling we have isn’t anger directed at a situation that we didn’t want to be in, or people we don’t want to be around, which then affects us physically. Instead, the feeling we have is guilt at ourselves, for whatever perceived feelings we think others have towards us because we said no.

And many times, the story we tell ourselves about we think others are feeling isn’t true, and if it is, then shouldn’t we not be near the situation or people anyway?

As we talked, Elizabeth watched me energetically. She said I have a lot of dark shadow, pain, and she was going to help drain it. She saw parts of my body, my “Light being,” and parts that changed as i spoke about issues. She also said I had very strong cords to other people, and that they had to be cut. The only cords she allowed to stay were those of my children, but she said she would lessen them.

For their sakes.

Because my children are too connected to me through the illness now, and are becoming codependents in that they are doing things to make me happy or make me feel better, instead of for themselves. They have to be the best so mom is proud, not “I’m going to do this because it makes me happy “.

All true.

Sounds exactly like me when I was little. (And in no way am I blaming my parents. Let me make that clear. This was all MY story I told myself over and over. They always have and continue to love me. I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world.)

Then it was time for the shaman portion. I’m not going to tell you all the details, for a few reasons.

And I dont have to tell you why.

(See? That’s progress for someone who had codependency.)

I will tell you that as she worked, I felt energy shifting. She cut cords and since she did, I’ve felt lighter. She reset my chakras, and said I was now balanced, and leading from the heart.

She removed the shadows, they will continue to drain for the next few days, and I may feel more tired or sick. (I’m detoxing in a bath now to speed up the process, and will be drinking a lot of water.).

She said that when I had to choose a stone from a collection that she had, I chose the one of death. I thought it looked nice with the imprint of what looked like a butterfly wing. She knew that because of the stone, dying of cancer is the story I am most afraid of. She said she couldn’t change the fact that I will die one day, as everyone dies. But she could remove the story of dying from cancer from me. She said she changed my DNA, my story. She downloaded a new one.

Well, “she” didn’t. She said she wasn’t the healer, but spirit was. And something happened while she softly whistled and blew air and used water and rattles and stones, and I know it wasn’t her working on me.

Trust me in that one.

I also saw a brown Bear when my eyes were closed. When I looked it up, bears signify healing, along with a whole bunch of other things.

She told me that when dark thoughts or feelings come, close the door. The situations or people that bring those emotions or push the buttons, they drag out my energy, and attention, and life force.

Close the door.

Then look to the window and see where the light is coming from.

She said I have a strong light body despite the strong shadows. That’s exactly what Odyle “Madame swoosh” said to me three weeks ago.

Keep working on the light.

Know that the universe has my back.

Which is exactly what Juli from Kneed and Seed said. She said I may ask for things, and don’t get them. That’s ok. The universe is giving me what I need.

Just trust that.

She also said my soul wasn’t in my body. That it was afraid of my body, so she made a safe place for it to come back home.

Exactly what Juli from kneed and Seed said as well.

I asked if I needed to come back again, and she said it would take awhile to recalibrate from what just happened. She said I’ll know if I need to come back. I can call her if anything pops up.

I left in a daze.

She had gotten to the root of so many issues in two hours, and it felt like twenty minutes. We ended the energy part at 11:11.

Of course.

She also told me some books I can read to help with no longer being a people pleaser and doing what others feel is the “right thing”, instead of doing the necessary thing for myself.

Then paula and I got back in the car and came home.

I got an email from Donnie’s assistant that he said that the tumor marker rising obviously isn’t good. That we need to wait for the MRIPET scan.


I just had a great healing session.

So let’s wait for the scan.

I made it back in time for Morgan’s

Concert. It was great, and she got an award. Madison stayed home from school yesterday, and has her AP exam today. She has a few obligations this weekend, but I’m cancelling some of mine to spend time with her and maybe help her decompress a bit.

There is so much pressure on these kids, and we are creating a whole generation of codependent people.

Look at all of the social media they use.

“Look at me! Like me!”

Quinn passed his Boy Scout board of review last night and was excited.

It was quite a day.

There are people reading this who may feel obligated to tell me I made God angry by going to a shaman.

Save it.

I’m alright with God.

Elizabeth is a gifted intuitive, and got right to the heart of the matter and healing in two hours. She is also a therapist. That’s why this experience was so healing.

She did something in two hours what would take others ten or twenty sessions.

Therapy is important and we need to remove the stigma.

I’m thankful I found someone who helped me so profoundly and so quickly.

Which is why I decided to share such personal and deep things.

I know there are people who can learn from these lessons.

If these lessons helped you, then they were meant for you to read today.

The universe has your back.

It has mine.

So does Jesus.

May we all feel that we are enough,

That we are loved, and that although you may not have what you want right now, you have exactly what you need at this moment.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Not Today

I’m sick and tired of people badmouthing Facebook.

Let me tell you about Facebook for a minute.

Because of Facebook….

I’ve been able to research new drugs, find ways to combat side effects, and not feel so alone at three am in the morning when I’m up crying and praying that the five year statistic won’t apply to me.

Because of Facebook…

I’ve been able to share my story, and have had people sent to me. They then go to my healers, and i get messages like I did yesterday, from a woman I’ve never met who went to see Madame swoosh yesterday, and thanked me so much for the peace it brought her. Peace to someone with stage four breast cancer is fleeting… and helps me get back to sleep at three am.

Because of Facebook….

My nurses and staff at the hospital can keep up with ME, Keri, and know me as a person, not just a patient. They know who I am as a mother, teacher, wife and friend, and message me when I’m up at three am.

Because of Facebook…

I get support from people I knew from high school, college, former families of students, friends, and strangers. Support that gets me through the night now as I know a scan is coming in a month.

Because of Facebook…

Memories pop up from when I was first diagnosed and I can see how far I’ve come. Memories also pop up from before I was diagnosed and I can remember what life was like before cancer, and before the Scanxiety entered my life… especially at three am.


I went to bed crying with rob trying to calm me down last night.


I was up at three am trying to breathe through Scanxiety of trying to find a vein for the radiation, being stuck in a tube with banging and clanging for an hour while praying to God and Jesus and all sorts of prayers that for once can it be a good scan and oh my god please take it away forever.

Facebook is a reflection of you.

If you have issues with Facebook, you’re not using it correctly.

(And those who bash Facebook who have never even had it and refuse to sign up? They probably already know what theirs would look like.)

I am up and getting ready for school. I got an email from Hermina that tried to make me feel better about the rising tumor markers, and an email from Erin saying she is meeting with Donnie today. Tumor markers for me haven’t been reliable, but seeing them rise to the highest they’ve ever been doesn’t help a girl get back to sleep at three am.

I rewatched the Game of Thrones episode last night. I feel like Arya. She has faced death over and over and over. But every time death comes, she has the same answer.

“Not today”.

That’s what I say to the God of death when he comes at three am.

“Not today”.

And I’ll keep saying it for the next month as I wait for the scan, and get the results, and continue treatments and pills and potions.

I’ll keep saying it for the next forty years.

What do I say to the god of death?

Not today.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

What a week…

I went to the hospital Thursday. It started out rough.

Rob found out his aunt passed away, and I spent ten minutes in the car with Quinn who was crying and saying he felt “weird”.

Hospital days are hard on him, and he gets anxious and can’t explain it.

But when he brings his stuffed animal into the car and hugs it all the way to school, I know.

We practice breathing, I hold his hand, we talk about the good things, and I remind him I’m doing ok, and even though it may be scary to think of mommy going in and getting shots, I’m doing ok, and we have a Chinese man and a man in Oregon and a French woman and a brilliant doctor and compassionate nurses and Jesus all helping us out.

Then I managed to get him into school, and I went to his teacher and cried and got hugs.

I texted my parents and rob, cleaned up my face, and got ready to start my day.

That was all by 8:00 am.

I taught all morning, wrote the script for a show with another teacher that our kinders are doing, ran to my parents to drop off Quinn’s stuffed animal so he had it when he was picked up, then went home.

My friend Paula came and dropped off some juices and we had lunch together. We looked at some of my new books and it kept my mind busy as I waited for rob.

Some were recommended by my friend Juli at “Knead and Seed”, and one was recommended by a teacher who prayed over me last week with another teacher and principal. That was amazing, and I’ve never been prayed over before like that.

Then it was time to go to the hospital.

Everything went well.

My port worked, I got the injection in the belly for the bones and the two in the lower back/buttocks for hormone suppression,(“Fassy is the Assy”).

My doctor sent in her fellow to meet me. She said Dr Stopeck and Hermina love me, and said she should meet me because I’m an interesting case.

She asked me about my research, knew about my Annie Apppleseed conference and wrote it down, took pictures of my “Vital Strategies in Cancer” book that I’m reading to share, and Donnie’s and Snuffleuffugus names. I told her about Jane Maclellands book “How to Starve cancer”, the “Radical Remission” book, and “Hope Never Dies” by Rick Shapiro. I told her all about Donnie Yance and the Mederi Center, and how Donnie and Dr Snuffleuffugus are helping my body stay strong. She also looked up my blog. She asked if she could examine me and I told her I always let people feel my breast if they want so they know what a tumor feels like, even a dead one. Maybe I’m also teaching future oncologists as well. Every medical school should have patient interaction practicals where they can sit and talk with patients about how we are supporting ourselves through treatment.

Dr Stopeck came in and said I look great. We laughed and joked about juices, and spoke about a big conference she is heading to soon.

We are also scheduling a MRI/PET scan for June 10. The tumor markers are rising, which is always hard to see.

However, I’ve been banging a gong and shouting for years against standardized testing that our students are more than a score.

I am more than a cancer marker number.

My right leg went a little dead, as the liquid as it is injected or needle could have touched a nerve, so I was dragging a leg a bit at Morgan’s junior honor society induction.

But I was AT the induction…

Because I ‘m counting UP.

Onward and upward, friends.

My next appointment for injections is June 6, field day. I’ll scream all morning for my kinders then head out for the last appointments of the day.

This past week was difficult where I work as well. We’ve had a lot of heartache and anger and disgust. My district was in the news for something we never ever EVER imagined would be in the realm of possibility.

In times of like these, people either pile on and make the fire burn bigger and hotter and spread…

Or people walk into the fire and say, “I’m here. I am with you. Here, have some water. We’re going to make it through.”

Those people are especially important when children and young adults are involved and are discussing what has happened.

Morgan was inducted into the National Junior Honor Society. It was a beautiful night and I saw so many former students.

I saw a lot of my district administration at Morgan’s ceremony. I went up and talked to them all after the celebration.

Listen, let me be very clear.

Everyone may not agree at all times.

But they love this town and the kids in it.

It’s been a week for them too, and now they have had a lot more work thrust upon them and a situation they never dreamed would ever be in the scope of reality, while also dealing with their own feelings of shock and anger and disgust.

Social media can be brutal, and everyone is taking a beating, and I am sending prayers of love, guidance, wisdom and strength to everyone.

I wouldn’t want to be them right now.

It’s been a week.

A total roller coaster of a week.

But it’s now in the past, and today is a new day.

I’m staying where my feet are.

Madison took her first AP exam in Physics, and she studied right up until ten pm Thursday night. “Four or more” is the rallying cry I made up for her and her friends. I had a bunch of them come and study last weekend at my house. They needed a quiet place to focus after all of the news they had heard. Maddie feels confident she may have gotten a four or five.

I’ve got a busy day, and lots of prayers in my heart.

Especially for Madisons ROTC unit that will be holding their heads up high at a competition, and showing other schools what our district REALLY is all about.

Prayers for a former student and his mother, who have been in my heart since he was in my class many years ago.

Prayers for my friend Alycia’s children and mother who will have their first Mother’s Day without her.

And prayers for everyone reading this. May you all know the love of Jesus and have it fill your heart.

In Jesus’s name, amen.



Are we Not Like the Birds?

I found this post from last year on my Facebook memories. It’s a good one…

“Shin Teriyama’s Chorus at Dawn”

I did not sleep much last night. Pain from the injections, disbelief that I’m a stage four cancer patient in a trial, wondering how this became my life, hot sweats, then Quinn climbing into bed around 11:30.

He had been doing well, but then the hospital happened yesterday.

Two steps forward, one step back.

He draped his arm over me most of the night, as if subconsciously holding me. Even when he rolled around, he ended up breathing in my face, arm over my chest. I was up anyway, so I practiced breathing my love over him.

Dawn came, although the night was long. And with it?

The birds.

Roosters, assorted birds, and the woodpecker. I remember my friend jen telling me that whenever I heard a woodpecker, that was from my Uncle Larry. I videotaped it so my mom and dad, (who stalk me on Facebook), could hear it.

Uncle Larry was singing away today.

There was a story I read when I was first diagnosed about a man from China, Shin Terayama. He was a successful businessman, and then?

Diagnosed with stage four kidney cancer with metastasis to organs. They sent him home to die.


He looked at the cancer as if it was his child. He sent it unconditional love. Whenever he was in pain, he thought of it at his child telling him of a pain, and so he did what any parent would do. He touched where the pain was and would say, “I love you, it’s okay. I love you.” He also noticed the birds singing. He did research and came up with the theory that birds sing in the morning because that’s when photosynthesis happens, and oxygen is at its purest. So he got up every morning and breathed deep, sending love to the cancer child, and listened to the chorus at dawn. He also played the cello and felt music healed him.

Some others say birds sing in the morning as a mating call and as a way to let others know they are still here, and their territory still has them in charge. “Yes, I made it through the night. Yes, I am strong. Yes, I want love.”

Are we not like the birds?

Cornelia Van Dalem wrote in an article that ….”In the book A Pilgrimage with the Animals, Dr Lascelles introduces us to the subtle nature of animals, and points to our failure to understand them as spiritual beings having a role and function in the labyrinth of life. “I want you to think of what you call the dawn chorus of the birds, that strange moment of nature just before the morning light seeps through. Suddenly, as you may have noticed if you have been lying awake, every bird in the neighbourhood breaks into song as though obeying some signal. For a time, while it is dark, the air is filled with orchestrated sound – the triumphant, challenging and positive sound of birds in song.”

“Now, why is this so? What prompts the birds into such a performance unequalled at any other time during the day?….This massed heralding in of the day awakens the earth in a magical way. Yes, actually awakens the earth as though God had arranged it, as indeed He has.”

“Animals are blessed with an instantaneous and un-thought-out wisdom. They are in direct contact with God and they act and live as though they are fully aware of it. Men are also in contact with God, but most of them act as though they have never heard of God because they are largely veiled off from their divine centre by their own thinking minds of which they are so proud.”


The plants in the ground also react to the birdsong, and know it is time to grow. Think of where there are no birds at all. Is there much life? Deserts? Think of the rainforest… how lush and vibrant. It’s the birds singing to the plants to grow. God’s own alarm clock for all of life.

Don’t we all come to life as well when the bird sings?

The first song I ever played for my kids was the Iz version of “Somewhere

over the Rainbow”. Right after they were born, I had Rob press play in the delivery room.

Want to know the second?

“Blackbird”, sung by Sarah Maclachlan.

“Blackbird singing in the dead of night

Take these broken wings and learn to fly

All your life

You were only waiting for this moment to arise”

As for Shin, he was diagnosed in 1988, and one year after being sent home to die…

He was cancer free.

And has been for thirty years. He dedicated his life to helping others.

I love happy endings.

So tomorrow, set your alarm, then go outside and listen to the birds. You won’t hear them sing during the day,

But at dawn…

You’ll hear a symphony waking the world to a new day.

In Jesus’s name, amen.