Buttons and Patches

Yesterday was a good/hard day. First the hard….

Side effects suck.

Yes, I am lucky that I am still alive.

Yes, I am lucky that I am still able to function.

But side effects still suck, especially when there is no end in sight.

Now my fingertips are acting up. I believe it’s neuropathy in its beginning stages. I drank a ton of water yesterday and took a two hour detox bath last night. Rob came to check on me and I said how hard it is because I’m praying for this drug to work, and to work for a long time, while knowing that the longer I’m on it, the worse the side effects may become.

And if it doesn’t work, then it’s on to IV chemo and there isn’t much left for me after that.

But if you look at me, I look fine.

Like your average middle aged mom carrying an extra forty pounds or so with a short haircut. The medicine has put me into menopause and the weight is an added bonus. But thank you, body. You may be bigger than I like or feel comfortable in, but I’m still here for hugs and snuggles, so I’ll take it. The hair is growing and is coming back more full. What a difference a year makes. I’m hopeful that by next summer it will touch my shoulders and I’ll still be here and still have hair. I’m still working, able to get around. No one would know.

I have today and tomorrow on this cycle to keep taking chemo, then I’m off for a week. I’ll be detoxing hard to try and get it all out of me.

I’m getting a lot done in my classroom, and am starting to feel better about that. I’m grateful for everyone who donated to my Donors Choose project. The Bill and Melinda Gates project did a fifty percent match for every donation yesterday. I had planned on buying all of the things myself…about $650 worth of centers. But then I remembered donors choose and set up the grant. I got an email the next day and read about the Gates and knew they would help out a lot. Rob came through at the end and donated the last bit needed once we figured out how much the Gates would donate. The kids will love the STEM activities and I’ve got so many great centers coming.

I am now wishing the Gates would find metavivor and fund them fully.

Quinn called last night and said he had great news for us. We thought he got a hammock, but instead he surprised us. He said he is going to church every day up there, and gets to pray. When the week is over, he gets a patch. He and his buddies are going together. Maybe that’s what churches need. A patch program. You learned about Noah? You get an ark patch. Moses? Two tablets. Adam and Eve? An apple patch. Joseph? A technicolor coat. Jesus? The cross. Kids love earning prizes. Maybe that would be a way to get families to go back to church.

It made me feel better to know that while he is away, he feels close to us when he is praying.

Having a bad day? Pray.

Having a good day? Pray.

Missing your family? Pray.

Today Madison has work and Morgan has camp. It’s another overcast morning, so I’ll do another day in my classroom. I spent about an hour with Morgan ripping up paper cards for my new phonics program. Now I have to decide whether or not it’s worth it to laminate them. I’ll pull out my September copies and start planning out my Open House Packet, and change the math and phonics pages. It’s early this year, so whatever I can do now… will help me later.

I heard from the liaison for the Mederi Movie. They’ve chosen September 14 and 15 to fly here to film me. They will want some footage of me with kids, so I might put out an SOS to some former families to meet me on that Sunday do a shot of me reading a book or something somewhere local . I’ll keep you posted.

I had an amazing session in the morning with Danielle at the Peaceful Scorpion. My feet felt like the walking on glass feeling and by the time she was done I was better. I got a package in the mail from Leila’s mom, Terry. Leila planned out her whole “Final Fiesta” and left instructions on her phone in her final days. What a gift she left everyone with passages and songs she loved, and with a special touch of buttons with kindness and inspirational sayings. Her mom saved me one of each button, and mailed them along with the Mass card and program. Leila’s mom and Alycia’s mom showed such grace and strength in the final days and after. Now I know where my friends got it from. Mothers are not supposed to bury their children. I’ll never understand that part of life. Even Mother Mary had bury her son, Jesus. She knows their pain.

Another dear friend of mine is also showing such strength and grace through a hard time as she is loving her mother through hospice care. All those who know her are holding her constantly in our hearts. She has faith, as does her mother. Peace and love is being sent to them every second of every moment.

Everyone has a story right now.

Health, family strife, marriage, children.

Some people feel alone and angry and resentful. Why me?

But others share their stories and hearts and struggles so others know they aren’t alone, and others are with them, even from far away, even if we never met.

That’s what Alycia and Leila, and now Leila’s mom have done.

We may not be able to take the pain, but we can share the space. Sit and breathe and acknowledge the hard times and let others know they are not alone.

That patch would be a heart in my church patch program.

Stay in the moment today and breathe, and forget about any past hurts or future worries.

Stay still and pray.

Today may we all heal and feel each other. Pray for our friends and family, and pray for strangers. Pray for those who have said goodbye to their children, and those saying goodbye to their mother. Pray for your blessings, and if you can’t think of any, look outside. There are clouds and blue sky and birds. Some days, that’s enough.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxo

Keri

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