God’s Signs while Chaperoning

God sent me signs yesterday.

It was a beautiful day for a field trip. I’m so glad I went, as Quinn kept giving me cuddles and nudges and telling me he loves me all day.

We walked through time as we visited all of the old houses and shops at Old Bethpage Village. At one house, an older gentleman had a violin that was made in the 1800’s. He played us a song and talked about how it was made. We were pressed for time but he asked if we had time for one more song. He said the song was “Amazing Grace”.

He told the children that the song is about God’s grace, and His grace is for everyone. The composer of the song was a slave trader, and came to the realization that slavery was wrong. He gave up his business and went back to England. He became a priest, and spent the rest of his life trying to atone and abolish slavery. Right before he died, England signed into law abolishing slavery, without a shot ever being fired.

Then this gentleman played the song, the children started to hum, and the teacher and moms started to sing along.

“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound.

That saved a wretch like me.

I once was lost but now I’m found,

Was blind but now I see.”

It was solemn and beautiful.

As we walked out quietly, another teacher came running up to me saying, “Keri!!! Keri!!! Come here!!!”

At first I was worried something happened, but she brought me to the dirt road and said, “You want your sign from God it’s going to be ok? LOOK UP!”

And there, after singing about God’s grace…

two rainbows circled the sun.

Halos.

The sun, a symbol of the light of the world.

Two halo rainbows circling the sun, rainbows a sign of God’s promise to us.

It took my breath away.

We went into another house, and on the wall were intricate carvings of Jesus in the garden, and Jesus as a baby.

On the wall where the man played violin there was a spot where the candle was missing, but there was the smoke shadow, which looked exactly like the angel that appears on my bathroom wall.

He was with me all day.

When I came home I went to Danielle at the Peaceful Scorpion, and she has handed some fascia work. Fascia is the connective tissue that runs all through your body like a butterfly net, and it holds all trauma. The issues in our tissues build up and cause disease. She has a gift at helping me fall asleep multiple times, and I needed the healing session.

I came home and rested the rest of the day.

Today is a big day.

I’m teaching in the morning, then going to the hospital to find out my options.

Thank you God that I still have options.

Then I’m off to a retirement party for my principal. My head will be spinning I’m sure, but I love this man who has supported me and took me in when I felt broken as a teacher. I will always be grateful for him, and the environment he has fostered.

Today may I have discernment and clarity. May the treatments put before me lead me down a path of healing.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxo

Keri

Progression and a Night of Strings

I had just picked up my kindergarten and was walking back to class through the hallway when I got the email.

My sons teacher was walking with me and read the email alongside me. I held it together, quick dropped of my class to another kinder room and walked to my assistant principals office, closed the door, and cried and cried. I called rob and cried some more. Then I called my mom and cried. One of our secretaries held my hand through the phone calls and reminded me to breathe. Then I went and cried with my principal. He hugged me, I took a deep breath, then went back to work.

I got my class, we finished a math lesson, then I dropped them off at music. I went back to my room and sent my email to my team informing them of results. It’s a little scary that I don’t know how much progression there is, but I know its bones, lymph and liver. Truth be told, I’m not surprised, as I seem to be intuitive. My liver had been hurting, my scapula and clavicle and hip joint, and breast. I’ll see tomorrow where it all is. She didn’t say brain, lungs, ovaries… so that’s hopeful.

Some more friends came into my room and hugged me, and my assistant principal called me and reminded me of my faith. I went into the reading room and my three reading teachers prayed over me.

Then I went to get my kids and they were ending the class with a dance party to Taylor Swift’s song, “Shake it Off”, so I did. I danced and sang… and shook it off.

We read for reading workshop, had snack, then I taught them how to balance six dice on a popsicle stick that they held in their mouths for “minute to win it Olympics”, and then taught them “Tenzi”, a dice game. We ended our day with playtime and a dance party.

I came home and told Joe that we would be telling the kids at dinner and keeping it light. My sister came over to check on me, and then rob came home and we discussed how to tell the kids. We all sat down to dinner and somewhere in the middle I said that my doctor called and told me the results were in. The medicine isn’t working so I have to try a new one. I’ll go to the hospital again this week and decide. My doctor will draw all of the possibilities on a big piece of paper, then we will choose.

They all said ok, then quinn talked about the puberty video, we all laughed, and they kept talking about their day. I looked at Joe and whispered, “And that’s that…”.

My kids are three amazing, courageous, hopeful, brave and loving kids and I am so blessed.

We all went to the night of Strings, and Paula met us there too. She is usually gobsmacked at how busy I am, and last night she saw the fruits of our labor. It’s quite a night, where you see the students in our district when they first start with their string instrument, all the way to high school. The progression is amazing. I told Quinn that my dream was coming true and all three kids would be playing together. He said not quite, because his little ragtag group of violins were only playing twinkle twinkle at the beginning. When the concert ended, he was bubbling over because his teacher got them all up in the finale onto the stage, even though they never practiced the song, and they “played the D string on the beat.”

He said, “See mom? Your dream came true”.

Amen.

Today I’m going to chaperone Quinn on his field trip. We are going to old Bethpage, and I’ll make memories with him.

Life is for living.

Tomorrow I’ll go to the hospital in the afternoon. Then I’ll bring all of the options to my team. Dr Stopecks email last night was hopeful, and she said we just haven’t found the right treatment yet, and sometimes it takes a few tries. Snuffleuffugus will tell me to go to Mexico and stop chemo because they are poisoning my body, Donnie will tell me he will add more pills, Swish will keep swooshing, and everyone will keep praying.

Some people get focused on the “Why, God?” Im switching it to “How, God?”

How can my story be used for His glory?

I’ve been able to keep going because I’ve researched and found stories of people who have been much worse than me and have continued to live.

I’m going further into the fire for refinement. My story will be that much greater when remission comes, or when I prove that you can live with cancer all over for years.

Madame swoosh has said she saw so much more cancer inside of me when I saw her a month ago.

She was right.

But she also said I’m not dying.

I’ll hold onto that too.

I’m not dying.

I’m living.

Every day.

And I’ll keep living until my story ends.

May my story continue for forty more years.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxo

Keri

“Not Today”

Man, do I love people sometimes.

I was uplifted all day long in prayer, texts, messages, and Facebook.

I always wear either a special shirt or socks when I go to the hospital. Yesterday’s shirt was a nod to Arya Stark from Game of Thrones. She was asked several times, “What do we say to the God of Death?”, to which she replied…

“Not today”.

As I explained what the shirt meant, people smiled and said, “Not today”.

I went to the hospital, and they let rob come in with me for the insertion of the IV. I was quite a sight with hot packs all over my arms as I walked into the room. It took some time to find a vein, and it blew when they flushed it.

I put my big girl pants on and told them to just go ahead and do the inside wrist.

For this of you lucky enough to never have had an IV put into your wrist, let me tell you.

It hurts like hell.

I held onto rob and he even helped the tech because blood was spurting out and onto the floor.

Once we cleaned up, I went to the room for the injection. My friend Heather who is a nurse found me, and you know when you see someone who loves you right after something hard, you start to cry?

Yup.

She hugged me, I started to breathe, then everyone left the room as the machine injected radiation into my wrist. I felt it as it traveled up my arm and into my body, and I prayed that it would just float around without any cancer cells gobbling it up.

Then it was into the isolation room for one hour.

I listened to a Brene Brown sermon that I wish everyone could listen to. She spoke of how she loves God, but she and church have had a difficult relationship. She spoke of the three things she loves about church…

The singing.

The passing of the peace. Wishing peace and receiving peace from strangers, people who may be so different from you in terms of politics and attitude and the way they live, but one day a week we all end up sending peace to each other.

The rail. Coming up to the rail and getting on your knees and breaking bread with others, believing that you are saved.

She also spoke about how we’ve become so isolated as a society. People defriend others in social media who they disagree with politically or on social issues. Not me. I have all sorts of people on my feed, and I see everyone’s points of view. Other people only see one side, and it’s becoming harder for others to meet in the middle.

She spoke of how people become so mean and spew hatred about others. People became upset when President Obama and his family were ridiculed. Those same people are now some of the worst offenders towards President Trump. She said you can’t say it’s wrong for one and not for the other.

And that’s what’s wrong with society today.

It was a great sermon.

I also read a new Oprah book and it helped me stay calm.

Then I went into the room with the machine and was strapped down, chest plates laid over my body, me head strapped down with the big face mask, and into the tube I went. I requested the Nat King Cole Christmas station, and since they were looking at my brain as well, they couldn’t give me headphones, but they piped it into the room. I breathed, looked at the upside down beach picture for a moment, then closed my eyes and meditated and listened to songs about Jesus’s birth and family and love and Christmas trees.

I even fell asleep and scared them when I didnt answer right away when they asked how I was doing.

After about an hour or so we finished, and rob and I went to eat then went to Barnes and Nobles. I got four books that spoke to me, one was the book the shaman told me to get.

Later that day, the shaman commented on my blog that had the picture of the book in it. The universe winked at me to let me know the book was the right choice.

The Untethered Soul.

I rested the rest of the day with my kids and joe staying three to five feet away from me. We joked about me being radioactive and had a quiet night.

My daughter’s track coach who is one of the most dedicated and amazing coaches I’ve ever met posted a fundraiser for four student athletes to go to a national meet they qualified for. Our town is big with football, lacrosse and cheerleading. Track?

Not so much.

I had one of my God whispers that these girls had to go to this meet, and they needed $2,500 to get there. I shared his fundraiser and rob and I donated. Then?

People in this town filled my heart with love.

In just a few hours, they now have $3,000 to help them get to the meet in North Carolina.

Some people hate facebook.

Not me.

Last night it helped a former student see how much this town supports and loves her and her teammates.

Man, I love people.

Today I’ll do my best to not check my email to see if my oncologist manages to get a wet read of my scans even though she is in NYC.

Then I’ll go to a Night of Strings at the High School, where all three of my kids will be playing. It’s a beautiful night.

May today bring peace, laughter, love, and great scan results along with beautiful music.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxo

Keri

Scan Day

It’s here.

Scan day.

Yesterday I managed to breathe and stay calm.

Rob and I went food shopping, which seems like a normal thing to do, but it’s a sign of faith and hope. I could get some pretty devastating news in a day or two, but I’m still going to be here so let’s get meals for the week. As we walked out I told him that I have to remember that no matter what news I get, I’m ok now.

I also got a portable speaker from Target so I can bring my students outside and do relaxing yoga in the garden. It’s an expense I didn’t plan on, but it will be worth it to spend three weeks breathing and stretching and trying to teach the kids how to do this on their own at home.

Then Quinn, Morgan and I went to one of my student’s birthday parties. I always joke to parents that you don’t need to hire a magician or clown, just invite me. It was at my Miracle Maggie’s Farm, and it’s a thin place, or a place where I feel like I’m “in the veil”, separated so slightly from heaven. It truly is heaven on earth. I saw former parents and students and current, and I breathed and hugged them all.

We came home and my summer son Joe came home. Hearing Quinn call out from the lawn, “He’s here! He’s here!” was the sweetest thing. We eased right back into our routine, he ate, we gave him snacks and water, caught up quickly on his exciting year, and off he went. He ended up going in as a relief pitcher at the game and we were excited watching the live feed at home.

A neighbor needed some help, and Rob spent about an hour or so helping her out. I sat on my stoop and watched him and thanked God for this kind man. Another neighbor came and sat with me and it was nice talking about life and kids and faith.

I read a book called “Before We Were Yours”, and I forgot how much I used to love to read for pleasure. Juli from Kneed and Seed told me I needed to do more of that. It was a nice escape for a while.

I’m up now hydrating and praying. Getting my oncologist’s email last night confirming that it could be cancer cell die off that made the tumor markers rise so significantly helped me breathe. She still wants to see if my ovaries are functioning and what’s going on with them. As a person who has been shown that multiple primary cancers are on the way and death is close, it’s even more of a struggle to visualize a different ending to my story.

But I’m doing it.

Part of me doesn’t want to get my hopes up because it will be that much farther of a crash should the scan not go my way.

But the other part of me knows how my cells listen to my thoughts, so I’m manifesting great results.

I spoke for about an hour last night with someone who was just diagnosed again with cancer. She is now armed with more information to become her own patient advocate. I questioned some things her team has planned for her, and she said she had a weird feeling about it too. That’s the thing about when you are first diagnosed. You are in a tornado and just want to land and get out and can’t breathe or hear. You also feel weird questioning the experts. But here’s the thing.

YOU are the expert because it’s YOUR body. Who are WE to question plans?

The patients.

And any doctor with their weight welcomes questions.

I’m hoping all of the water I’m drinking now, along with the hot packs I’ve got for my arms, will help with the insertion of the radiation tube. I’ve got a special shirt for today as well. I’ll ask for Nat King Coles Christmas pandora station to play while I’m in the tube, looking at the mirror strapped to my head which makes the beach scene on the wall upside down while the machine bangs and buzzed and whirs and makes all sorts of noises.

I miss Alycia, as we would talk through scans, and would always say, “Great scans, making plans!” I think of her children every day as I look at mine. This disease is so unfair, and I pray that in my lifetime we can perhaps find a way to fund research that will make ALL cancers manageable without side effects.

Today will start the results countdown.

I’ll pray for healing, great scans, peace while I wait for the news, and easy vein access.

May it all be in my favor.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxo

Keri

Ps yesterday was my day in town. June 9th is a day the town named after me two years ago on the night of my benefit. It was a good day to hold onto hope.

Field Day and Emails and a Sober Speakeasy

This is such a mental disease as well.

I dropped off my kids at lunch, went back to my room and had a banana. I finished more pills then had hot flashes. Took some excedrin migraine because a headache was starting and continued to drink water.

Then?

I ran to the bathroom in the room and got sick.

That’s when the panic attack happened and I started shaking and wondering if it was the liver crapping out on me. The phone rang and it was my assistant principal. She could tell right away I was having a tough time and came right down.

God always sends me the right people when I need them. She helped me breathe, I cried it out, said I want to live a long life, then I dried my face, took a deep breath, and we walked to the playground to get my kids.

All in about fifteen minutes.

I’ve gotten good at my game face.

We did all sorts of fun L day activities, then I dropped them off at gym and left for the hospital.

Some days I’m strong, and some days I’m not.

I sat in the waiting area where I go for labs and injections, and rob held my hand. I said to him I wished I could fly far far away. I wanted to be a bird that I saw outside the window. Just fly, and not worry about injections or port or petscans.

That’s when God sent me more people in the form of two of my favorite nurses. You become family with these people and it’s comforting, even as you get long needles stuck into your skin and have to do things to get the blood to come out of the port.

I got the hot packs and stuck them into my pants to ease the injection pain, then headed downstairs to my oncologist.

Everything was running late, but I dont mind, because I know that when I need extra time with her I get it. When she walked in she said it had been a hard day and I better be good. That’s when I had to tell her about throwing up and the liver pain. Unfortunately the labs weren’t back, so we couldn’t check my liver panels, but she did a physical exam and didn’t feel my liver edge. My breast also felt a little softer which was a bright spot.

It all comes down to the petscan.

I’ll get results by Wednesday next week, and if everything is stable or decreasing, we will order ASAP more of the same chemo.

If there is progression, I will then have an emergency appointment and go Thursday to discuss the next step. She is still thinking xeloda, and side effects are pretty nightmarish, with hand and foot issues and skin peeling off and women can’t even use Touch ID on their phones because they lose their fingerprints.

I had higher hopes of information coming from the ASCO conference, but nope. Even the monalisa breakthrough trial doesn’t seem to be one for me. She mentioned she is hoping I can hold until she goes to another conference where more information will be released on another trial she is looking at for me.

I didnt get the huge zoladex shot, and she asked me if I’ve gotten a period or any bleeding. I’m hoping the ovaries have finally shut down and I won’t need that shot anymore. Three is more than enough for me.

She finished our appointment and told me to stay as positive as I’ve been because it’s important. I also have to eat better and exercise more.

Rob and I left and came home to Digger Odell’s to eat. They have a great salad that is one of my favorites.

Once again God put people in my path, a man I used to work with and was robs good friend in high schoool, and another man I used to work with and now teaches music to my nieces. More healing hugs.

I came home and the kids stayed close by. My parents always get them on hospital days and my kids feel safe with them. I fell asleep off and on as they finished homework and played.

Then we all went to bed.

I actually slept a solid five hours last night, and haven’t done that in days.

I needed all of my energy for field day.

Field day.

A day when I throw on a smile and cheer on my kids as we do all sorts of activities. It’s like a kitten rodeo, getting them to focus while tons of parents scream and cheer and they run around a field.

It’s exhausting on a good day, so I’m glad it was a on Friday.

I’m looking into a peloton bike, and have some money still from the fundraiser. We’ve been very careful with it, saving it for emergencies, and now seems like a bit of an emergency.

Exercise is the missing piece, and it’s hard when joints hurt and exhaustion is constant. My brother rob said it’s changed his whole outlook on exercise. It’s worth a shot. This summer I hope to do walking with friends, yoga, and possibly this bike.

My brother said you can watch the video and feel like your riding the streets of Paris, or along the beaches of California.

That was my sign from God.

I had just wished to be like a bird, and fly far, far away. This could be the next closest thing to it.

I survived field day yesterday.

One would think after field day I would have been able to sleep.

But getting the oncologist labwork back with the results sent me for a loop.

Yes, I’m thankful my liver functions are still good, as are my white blood cell counts.

But the huge jump in the tumor markers is not good.

From 14.6 to 40.7.

The CA125 is actually a marker for ovarian cancer, and seeing her write that she has to take a close look now at my ovaries is what keeps a girl up all night.

The words of the genetic doctor who told me that due to some crazy rare mutation I have, multiple primary cancers were on their way repeated over and over all night long.

There was one little line of hope where my doctor wrote that it could be consistent with a great response or progression was the little light. I’m confused as to how sure a huge jump could mean a great response, but that’s what I’m holding onto until i get the results. My other tumor marker stayed in the same range, so it’s confusing.

Which is par for the course for me.

Field day was great and exhausting as usual. I was able to see Quinn’s class do the tug of war, and seeing him and his friends all jump up and hug each other when they won made my day. Kindergarten went straight through the whole morning, and we finished around 12:45.

When we went to take a picture for all of the parents, our gym coach dumped a huge bucket of water over my head.

The old me would have been embarrassed, but yesterday?

I laughed, told the parents I was just glad I had hair this year to worry about if it looked good, and smiled for the pictures. I love coach, and we have bonded a lot this year. He can dump a bucket of water over my head anytime.

A girl on fire always appreciates baptism with water.

I managed to see a little more of Quinn’s afternoon activities and saw a lot of parents who have become friends. I gave out a lot of cooling hugs with my wet shirt. Our school is so special, and we truly are a family, staff, students, families.

I came home exhausted planned to lay on the couch and rest, as I was exhausted from the hospital the day before and field day all day.

But then rob told me about my labwork, and he had to go to tennis with quinn.

I decided I wasnt going to sit home on the couch and let my mind take over, so I threw on a wig and a hat and went out to the Giving Rooms first “Sober Nignt”. Some may think that ansober night is for people in recovery from addiction. It could be.

But it could also be for people who can’t drink anymore due to medical

Issues or medications they are on,

or people who are trying to become healthier and have cut out alcohol,

or people who don’t drink for religious reasons, and people who want some awesome fruit juices served in fancy glasses.

It was their first night, and I was the first guest. It brought me back to my bartending days at Claudio’s seeing them muddle fruit and mint and using a shaker. Paula had me sample all of the offerings, and man… they were delicious.

Presentation changes everything, and I felt like I was in a speakeasy. We took our drinks outside to her stoop and laughed with other people who stopped by. She also has operation, cards against humanity, and plans on bringing out Twister one time.

Last night helped me hang onto the ledge.

Paula is trying to figure out which days would be best to have more, and we were thinking “Mocktail Mondays”, or Wednesday’s… or Friday but more of a happy hour. I know I’ll keep going to them. Socializing is important, and sometimes cancer takes that away because you don’t drink, or your too tired, or you feel sick.

This was perfect.

Sitting on a stoop, sipping a summer beverage and laughing while watching the world rush by was just what I needed.

I also saw video of a young man I’ve been praying for finally get to ring the bell after a year of chemo. His whole school came out and he rang the bell. I cried watching it, and will continue to pray for him as he now moves on to radiation. He has so much support, and that’s so important and beautiful.

I’m in a detox bath, trying to help my aches and pains.

Then I’ll get up and take my chemo and pills and potions, and go for a walk. The it’s laundry, house cleaning, and getting ready for our Joe to come

home. The kids are excited and it’s going to be a great summer. My friends amy and emily also took on Tomcats, and I’m looking forward to summer nights watching our Joe and getting to see friends.

My friend Donna invited me over this afternoon and I’m excited for that too. I may seem super busy, but I’ve made my world so small. I usually am just with rob, the kids, Paula and my parents if I’m not at work.

It’s a big beautiful world full of beautiful people.

Today may my aches lessen, my mind be still, my body be healed, and soul be at peace.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxo

Keri

“Cheers to great results coming my way”

Maybe it was better to be busy all weekend so my mind wasn’t focused on the scan or the hospital visit this week.

My dad organized a car show for East End Hospice and it was huge. Yesterday was “Survivors Day” in cancerland, and it was quite amazing to see dad, a survivor of three different lung cancers, prostate cancer, bladder cancer, and skin cancer running around, driving a cart, surrounded by grandkids, in his seventies.

Then I went to the Giving Room and got some juices for today and tomorrow. I actually worked a little and helped Paula get two juice cleanses ready. It felt good to give back, even a little.

I went to Good Food to treat Quinn and my nephew to empanadas, dropped off my nephew, then went to Costco. Then I picked up Morgan from a birthday party, unpacked my groceries, and took more pills. Rob and Maddie came home from a day of paintball and had a blast.

I did an extra blog post for Survivors Day. I know I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t have support from so many people. So i went through my pictures and posted some to honor the help I’ve received.

“Survivors Day” is a weird term for those of us in stage four island in Cancerland. It sounds celebratory, when there really is nothing to celebrate about when placed in stage four island. There is also Survivors guilt when you’ve lost so many other people so quickly from this stage four island. Why am I still here and they aren’t? There is also jealousy at those who are on the mainland, having been given lesser stages, and have been told the word “cured”. Don’t even get me started about the longing to wish to go back to “normal state” and be like so many others who didn’t ever have to think about Cancerland and live normal lives every day.

Stage four people aren’t labeled survivors because more often than not, the cancer will kill them. If I had a nickel for every time people said, “You really don’t know. You could get hit by a bus tomorrow” as a way of trying to make me feel better, I’d be rich. The thing is, that bus? Other people don’t ever think about the bus. Stage four people have the bus silently stalking them wherever they go, and it has their picture on the side of it, never out of sight. Going to the store? There’s the bus. Trying to sleep? There’s the bus. Hugging your kids? There’s the bus. Listening to the birds? There’s the bus. Some days the bus is down the block, some days the bus is creeping alongside to you, and some days you feel like Sandra Bullock in the movie Speed as it careens down the highway.

So we don’t use the word “Survivors “ in Cancerland on stage four island.

We use the word “Thrivers”.

Thriving DESPITE the diagnosis.

Doing our best to ignore the double decker bus and live our best lives.

Today I’ll teach all day, try and get into the garden and pull weeds with the kinders, then Madison has another concert tonight.

Our Tomcat Joe is pitching at three in the World Series for the NYIT Bears, and we are all sending him prayers and energy. Go Bears!

Today, may the bus be down the block, engine turned off, and lots of trees blocking my view of it.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxo

Keri

Survivors Day

Apparently, today is “Survivors Day” in Cancerland.

For me, every day is Survivor Day.

I’m not just surviving… I’m thriving.

It hasn’t been easy, but it’s been made easier by so many people.

So this post is dedicated to everyone who has held my hand, dried my tears, helped me breathe, made me laugh, and remembered to hold onto hope and faith.

It’s also dedicated to everyone I’ve lost. There are so many people I’ve met the past two and a half years who no longer are here to share in this day.

I think of them every day.

Especially Alycia.

So today, take a look at the path I’ve walked, and the people who have helped me put my “best foot forward”, as my principal always says.

May I have many more “Survivor Days” in my future.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxox

Keri

Flags, NYSMA, Tomcats and Bears, oh My!

I had planned a relaxing day yesterday, especially after having only gotten about three hours of sleep from scanxiety.

I started with a detox bath, when rob walked in and showed me his stomach. Where I had removed a teeny tiny tick a few days ago? A huge round red rash.

So I insisted he go to the doctor immediately, and that meant I had to drive to calverton for Quinn’s flag removal… and be ready in twenty minutes.

I got to the cemetery, we removed the flags and bundled them up, then I went to where my nan and pop are laid to rest. Wouldn’t you know, the police officer who ran the ceremony of cadets calling out my Poppas name was there. I was much more composed than last week so I went up to thank him. He remembered me and said he told the cadets about the how I was crying and thanked him. I told him there was more to the story, and explained how it was truly God’s timing that we arrived at that moment to hear poppas name called, that little miracles like that happen all the time since the diagnosis, and told him about my blog. He said he was about to cry, and asked for the name of the blog so he could tell the cadets. Maybe I was meant to take quinn again yesterday so I could see this officer, and someone he tells the story too needed to hear it.

I treated quinn to a bagel on the way home and saw a bunch of people I know in the store. It’s such a big little small town where I live, and although I knew I looked exhausted, it was still nice to see everyone.

Then I ran home, took some more pills, and got Morgan. We picked up my niece rachel so she could see what nyssma is like, and off we went to Mount Sinai high school. Once again we saw a ton of people we know, and it was so nice to see all of the kids and parents dedicated to music education.

We finished, went back to my parents to pick up my other two nieces and their dog, and then dropped them all off at my sisters house. My three nieces are hysterical. We call them our “sprites”, and their personalities are quite fun. We laughed and giggled all the way home.

Then I took more pills, had one hour to try and do the cleaning I wanted to do all day, then rob came home from work . We all hopped into his car and off we went to calverton for the Tomcats home opener. We weren’t sure if we would come home with a player or two, but Patti said people are stepping up and was so thankful. She may still need a home or two later, but she has some breathing room.

The Tomcats honored Detective Brian “Smiles” Simonsen, and it was humbling to hear his best friend talk about Brian’s personality and dedication. My Sister spoke as well, as did another officer. My friend karen, who was like a sister to him, was there with her girls. The number of people who loved him and are still trying to find their way through this new world without him is many. But they keep moving and breathing, and Brian would be so proud of them all.

Councilwoman Catherine Kent is was there as well. We taught together at Roanoke, and it’s always good to see her. She spent the morning cleaning up the LIRR train station and planting plants and flowers. Take a drive by and see what she and the others did. Little things like this matter. Then she was at the game, welcoming these players from all over the country to our town. It must be hard to be a council person, as you run for the position to make a difference in the town, but have to also spend hours and hours at events. Be mindful of that when commenting on articles. They all deserve our thanks.

The Tomcats won the game, but it felt weird not having our Joe there. We went to dinner at IHOP, and watched Joe’s team on robs phone as they opened up at the World Series. Joes mom and I were texting, and we sharing pictures. Joe pitches on Monday, and it’s a big game, as they lost last night and it’s double elimination.

You would think that after no sleep and a busy day would be enough to crash at night.

Nope.

Two am.

The mind is proving to be powerful, as it is strong enough to wake me up to have me try to quiet it down. So the rest of the night was spent trying to not think about having to go to the hospital this Thursday after field day for injections and appointment, or next Monday for the scan.

I’m watching twitter closely as my doctor is at ASCO, a huge conference where they release new research and findings. Some big news hit yesterday about a drug that increases outcome survival by about 46 months.

Again, although promising…

We want years… not months.

My oncologist told me she would be networking and discussing my rare case and genetic mutation with others, seeing if there are any new promising clinical trials for me for the next steps.

Mutants like me are hard to treat.

Hence my mind keeping me up at two am.

Today rob and Madison are going to calverton for the big game, a once a year paintball war. Morgan has a birthday party all day, so I’ll be dropping her off and picking her up.

My dad is having a huge car show at the Jamesport brewery to benefit east end hospice all day. I’ll be bringing quinn and meeting my sprites, then hopefully running to the Giving Room for fresh juices, then food shopping, then resting.

Please put me on church prayer lists for the hospital this Thursday, as well as for healing.

May today be a day where I find some rest.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxo

Keri