I Thought I was Dying.

There were several times yesterday I thought I was dying. Then there were many times I thought this was how it would be at the end.

I told rob how much I loved him, and to let the kids know.

That’s how scary yesterday was.

And it happened so fast.

I went to the faculty meeting and had some pain. I taught in the morning, and handed out fourteen breakfasts, dealt with two cereal spills, checked everyone in, did several activities, and as the morning wore on, the pain got worse, then radiated to my shoulder.

I thought I was having a heart attack, as all of the chemo for the past three years can hurt your heart…literally and figuratively.

My TA took the kids to lunch and I went to my nurse. My blood pressure was a little high which signaled pain. We made the decision to have me go home.

I called rob and he said he would meet me home, then called my mom and asked her to be in charge of the kids. By this time I was gasping for air. I called my oncologist and we both decided I couldn’t make it to stony brook, and whatever tests would be run she could discuss over the phone. We discussed the radiation issue from cat scans and X-rays, but she said I had to deal with this immediately. She told me about concern for pulmonary embolism and exactly what to say when I got to the hospital.

Rob drove me there and we got right in. Here is where Jesus was with me.

Rob wouldn’t let me out of his sight as I gasped for air and cried and thought I was dying. His truck was parked right in front of the ER door. I kept worrying about it and suddenly my dad showed up and took his keys to move the car right as security showed up and my nurse wouldn’t let them in because he knew rob wouldn’t leave me to move the car.

Then my friend Mary Maki showed up and as I gasped for air in quick breaths and was crying in pain, she and rob stood over me and held my hands.

Then I was registered by a woman who worked in my building and I’ve known her for years. Friendly faces, even when you are at your worst, are comforting.

I remember crying and telling rob I’m not ready to die.

I’m not.

They took the chest x Ray in the room, then wheeled me for a sonogram. I saw the liver, and it still has tumors all over it.

My dad stayed nearby, holding my hand along with Mary and rob, or making sure rob was ok.

Rob was a rock.

Then the cat scan, and discussions of the possibilities and they all sucked. The doctor even said none of them were good. The pulmonary embolism could be fatal and also if not, take a long time to clear up. The gallbladder could mean surgery. The liver would mean the cancer got worse.

There was no door number four.

I prayed and prayed for the least worst outcome and didn’t even know what it would

be. We decided to put it out there so everyone could pray.

The nurses found a good vein on the second try and one of them is the aunt of a student in my school. Another angel.

My brother in law Jake showed up and hugged me for my sister as she is away for training. My dad said my brothers went to be with my mom so she wasn’t alone. We were both emotional and she knew how serious it was. The doctor came in and said it was not a pulmonary embolism, not the gallbladder.

Which means it’s the cancer.

Then my brother rob showed up and i cried again. It was my nephew Philipps birthday yesterday. I told rob that once again, things tend to happen around holidays and birthdays.

Rob was texting my doctor all day.

The concern is now that the 3.2 cm tumor could be pushing against the diaphragm. That could also be causing the pain to radiate to the shoulder and the shortness of breath.

My oncologist pushed and insurance gave the approval code for the PETMRI to be done tomorrow instead of Monday. So that’s going to be huge.

They decided to send me home on pain medication and discussed how palliative care may become something to look into. In my mind, palliative care is the step before hospice. That may not be the case… but my mind is my mind.

I came home and my parents brought my kids home. They are concerned as well. I saw Quinn off to Boy Scouts, and rested with my mom on the couch . I thanked God that the day ended up with me at home.

Then got another email from someone questioning if I felt Christianity has let me down along with other things.

So here’s something for all the stalkers out there.

Christianity has not let me down.

Jesus has not let me down.

Jesus was with me all day yesterday in my heart, his name on my lips over and over as they kept trying to find a vein, and as I was being told it could be fatal.

I’m not going to be saved by my actions.

I’m saved by my heart.

My relationship with Jesus is mine and mine alone. I only share part of my journey with Him. So to any of the stalkers who keep saying I’m straying and risking getting into heaven… don’t worry.

I’m going to heaven and Jesus will be there to hold me when I do… and hopefully it’s years and years away.

A friend messaged me that she had a similar experience, and after the next chemo the pain went away. So that’s my prayer.

Quinn came home from Boy Scouts and helped me off the couch with rob. Quinn kept hugging me and telling me how much he loves me and I’m the best mom ever.

I hate he and the girls saw me like this… and the thought of them seeing me worse scares the crap out of me.

That’s why I keep banging the gong how stage four needs more. One day your fine, and in hours suddenly you’re not. I’ve had friends go downhill and die so quickly. That can’t be my story. In October, don’t buy pink crap to support breast cancer. Support metavivor, where research for stage four is where their money goes. Or north fork breast health coalition which offers support for women going through treatments.

So please pray for me.

Also please pray for my friend eileen and her daughter Johanna. We seem to go through storms at the same time.

May the pain go away. May I go back to the live I’ve been thriving in. May the miracle happen and the cancer be taken away.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxo

Keri

Today I Wear Black

Yesterday I wore white.

Today I’ll wear black to honor the children who are now gone from our schools.

I still cannot believe how many people don’t see the bigger picture here.

I heard yesterday that a local district nearby, the schools rounded up all The unvaccinated students, about 100, put them in the cafeteria, and marked them absent.

These are citizens of our country.

Children.

Being discriminated against because of their parents beliefs.

Sounds similar to some other events in history where people were rounded up and gotten rid of.

I’m disgusted over the pharmaceutical industry’s power, and how it has seeped into the lives of thousands of children…. healthy children… and is destroying families. Parents who work full time now have to scramble and figure out how to homeschool and have a place for their child to stay.

It’s asinine to think that a high school senior, who has spent their whole life not being a threat, is being kicked out. But if they turn 18 this year, they can come back.

Some people are waking up and saying, “If they try to push Gardisil on my kids next, I’ll put up a fight.” That’s the thing.

No one will stand for others, only themselves.

But in the meantime, the machine gets stronger and by the time it gets to you, you get swallowed up, and no one is left to fight for you.

As for me, we still don’t have an authorization code for the scan. So it looks like I’m waiting until Monday for the scan. Results will come by Wednesday, I’ll hear plans on Thursday, and by Friday or so we will start a new protocol. That’s three weeks without chemo. And the clinical trial coordinator called and said that there isn’t enough tissue frozen from my original biopsy and I will need another biopsy should the pet scan warrant one.

I’m teeter tottering between total fear and trying to kick visions of my wake and my kids and rob crying out of my head, and replacing them with visions of me at weddings of my kids and seeing grandchildren. I’ve got pain in the lymph node, breast, spine and liver. So I know it’s on the move. One woman said it took three and a half years and nine different treatments to find something that worked. I’m praying hard that seven is the number for me.

My sister Jill has a friend who is putting me on a mass prayer chain for healing to a saint. Saturday at 9 am people all over the whole world will stop and pray for an intercession. It’s good timing before the petscan, and a miracle is welcome.

My mom was in the hospital yesterday having a procedure done to help her back. She was in my heart all day. As was Johanna who needed yet another emergency surgery. So many are going through trials now. Be grateful for all you have, and pray for those in need.

It was exhausting yesterday, and trying to teach this new math program is challenging with kindergarten. It’s a lot of discourse and discussion, and with two languages in the room and not much use of materials is hard. However, I’m a teacher of children, not programs, so I’m pulling all my resources out to supplement and make it work. Im also getting another new student today who doesn’t speak English. I’m at 24 children, which is too many in kindergarten, especially with the high poverty and needs and language issues we have. I’m counting my blessings though, as we can go up to 27.

Madison had a track meet and it was good to see her run. She is fighting off a cold and cough and is already getting run down. We all need to slow down a little, including me.

I had open house for Quinn last night, got a lot of hugs and love his teacher. Morgan had him and it was nice to have the deja vu feeling. I also hugged other parents and teachers. I love my colleagues.

Tonight I have his Boy Scout meeting I have to take him too, and he gets his merit badges from the summer. I think tomorrow night I can come home to rest after work.

I’m off to a faculty meeting, and am doing my best to enjoy this time off of chemo while not panicking. Who knows how hard the next one will be, and I dont know how limited I will become. I’m praying I continue to be carried by Jesus and live this life, showing how we can live through cancer treatments. It’s not a chronic condition, it’s terminal. Cokie Roberts from the news died yesterday from “complications from breast cancer”. That’s the line the media always says because “Died from stage four” would be too real and scary, and make people want to fund research instead of pink parties and runs and walks and the pockets of the CEOs.

It’s not complicated. It’s terminal.

Diabetes is chronic. There aren’t diabetics crying over the massive amounts of friends dying all around them. Stage four isn’t chronic. We have the corpses to prove it.

Some day I hope it will be. I hope they don’t run out of treatments for me. I’ve blown through seven in three years. They each get harder, with a toll on my body.

Today may research be funded.

May my mom and Johanna feel good.

May my liver and back stop hurting.

May the cancer be gone.

May the children who have been kicked out of school know that the teachers still love them and will miss them every single day their chair is empty.

May someone come to their senses and let these children back in.

As Jesus said. “Let the little children come to me”…. and he didn’t say, “As long as they had their shots.”

In Jesus’s name. Amen.

Xoxo

Keri

Greed, and A Sad Day for Many Children

Here’s how money has been used to hurt people today.

My insurance company STILL hasn’t given an approval code for the pet mri scan. Rob went ahead and the earliest I could book without one is Monday. Which means this is the second week I’m off treatment, and next week will be the third week as we scan, wait for results, and then try to come to a consensus on a plan. Do you know what three weeks of no answers when tumor markers trend up and you feel it in your bones and sides and breast as being active?

Money also is at the root of the heartache of thousands of families today. I’m going to wear white today. Today is the last day that thousands of children can go to school. Healthy children. Children whose parents have been stripped of their religious rights and parental freedom of choice. They are no danger to anyone. This is a whole facade to make pharmaceutical companies more money as they pressured politicians and played on everyone’s fear. Well guess what? Now that they have accomplished this, they are coming for ALL of our children. In January they are presenting a bill for the HPV vaccine, Gardisil. You see, once a vaccine becomes MANDATORY on the vaccine schedule, the manufacturer is off the hook for any vaccine injuries. If there are injuries, (and there have been injuries with this and no idea about what will happen long term), there is a special court where awards are paid out by TAXPAYER funds. YOUR money, not THEIRS. They can vaccinate your child without knowledge or consent. I know many nurses and doctors who have said ,”Don’t do it. I’m not giving it to my kids.” Soon you won’t have a choice if the politicians take it away. Just like these religious parents who have been suffering for months with this.

My kids, my choice.

Also….

The stage four world is furious. Apparently they’ve removed two stage four patients from the Susan G Komen NYC Board because they don’t present Hope. If this turns out to be true….Mother f*ckers.

Excuse my language.

I hope they choke on their pink tutus and boas.

Do you have any idea how hard it is as a stage four patient to have other cancer organizations raise money and not use it for the one thing every damn patient needs? Research? Then be shoved into the closets and the dark because you are too damn real and scary for the rest of the “survivors”, thirty percent of whom will end up in your dark closet you’ve been shoved into. (Some of us told stage for from the start bypassed the pink parties and parade and went straight to the dark.) Then those patients in pink gear go, “Wait! What happened? I thought I was cured? Where did all my money go?” It went to herding people into mammograms but not helping them when they come out.

Screw you, Susan.

Someone also asked me about the American Cancer society. Go ahead and look at their salaries. Try not to puke.

Money. Greed. Power.

They always go after the weak or innocent.

This week it’s me, children, stage four women.

Who will stand up for us?

Everyone is too busy saying, “That doesn’t affect me…” …until it does.

Rant over.

Last night was a late night as i went to the PTO meeting to support as needed. Tonight is Open House for Quinn. Tomorrow night is Quinn’s Boy Scout meeting. God is keeping me busy so I’m not thinking about the petscan. Donnie emailed me again about a biocept liquid biopsy, as he feels there are two different cancers inside, and we need more information to attack it.

The cancer may be having so much fun it doubles and made a twin. Good times, right?

Today I wear white not just for these families whose hearts are breaking as they tell their children that today is the last day they are going to school. Oh, but they can still go to supermarkets, the zoo, the movies, restaurants. It’s only from 9-3, Monday -Friday, September -June that they are dangerous.

Would you give your kid 48 vaccines in a year? There are reports of families have buckled under pressure and began complying to this crazy schedule. Some kids are having side effects. What will we all do in January when you are told your kids have to have the HPV? Will you buckle?

Or will you be forced to pull your child out of school because your convictions and beliefs are strong but now what the hell do you do? You work full time.

I’m praying for us all.

You better pray too.

It’s going to get worse if we don’t start to stand up for what’s right.

Is this how Jesus felt when he went into the temples and tossed tables?

Don’t worry about me.

I’m breathing and using all the techniques I’ve learned to calm down and stay in the moment.

Just pray.

Especially for the children.

I wish I was rich.

I would quit my job and open a place where we could say “Let the children come to me… and i don’t care about their shots.”

Sending love to the families sending their children to school for the last day.

Sending prayers that this bill is thrown out.

Praying for pet scan approval.

Praying for healing.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxo

Keri

Full Circle at the Farm

Yesterday was a whirlwind. The film crew got here at 7:30 am and we started filming quickly. We shot scenes of me taking my before breakfast pills, making a smoothie with the sea vegetables and mushrooms, making celery juice and carrot juice, taking the breakfast pills, filling the pill bags.

Then I had to get changed and restage the interview scene because there were six more questions they wanted to ask. The hot flashes have been getting more intense and we had to stop at one point so I could clean off my sweaty face. I never felt embarrassed about it though, because the crew was so kind.

Then it was off to school, and I had several first graders who I had last year come in. It was like a family reunion , for me, the kids, and the moms and dad. The scenes went smoothly, the kids did great, and it was nice to remember how far the kindergarten kids come in one year, after spending a week having kids learn how to use crayons and scissors.

After the school shots we went to Maggie’s farm. She and her husband Matt have a beautiful farm where I always feel peace. We shot some scenes in the farm shop, then in the tomato field. The filmaker said as he left that Maggie was magical.

She is.

It was a full circle moment for me to have the film crew sent by Mederi at the farm owned by the woman who sent me to Mederi.

After the farm we came back home, I switched clothes, and we shot a blogging scene. Then we grabbed our bikes and me and the kids rode our bikes. I definitely had an ET moment riding with the kids. I’m sure I’ll look graceful with my big helmet on huffing and puffing up my hill while sweating from a hot flash! Ha!

Then it was yoga time, and me and the girls set out our mats and did some sun salutations, tree poses, childs pose and savasana. It was beautiful practicing with the girls, and I’m glad they will have that memory with me as well.

Rob fired up the pizza oven for the first time in three years. It took longer to heat it up, but he hasn’t lost his touch. They filmed us chopping vegetables, making the pizzas, and then having dinner. Then they sat and we all ate together. It was comfortable, like sitting with old friends. They saw our whole lives together for two days, spent every moment with us, and have become like family.

They packed up all of their boxes and boxes of equipment, and rob will be delivering to the FEDEX store this morning. I asked how long the video would be, and my jaw dropped when he said 3-5 minutes. But I guess if you think about it, an hour and a half movie takes months to film. I don’t know how he will squeeze in everything, but I’m sure he will. Then we hugged and said our goodbyes.

What a weekend.

I’m still so glad I met Kym. She sent me a beautiful text and I know there is someone out there who knows what this is like, instead of hearsay.

I’m glad it was this weekend, as it kept me busy after the last appointment. Yesterday i had pain in my back and some liver pain. I said to rob that this pet scan may be the hardest. I already know it’s bad news, just how bad will it be?

Madison also was my shadow all weekend. She could not get enough of being around the crew and helping out. She also watched the high school YouTube video of A Chorus Line, and said she thinks her part is barking out dance moves. Perfect for the ROTC girl.

The video will be premiered at a benefit in November in Connecticut. I’m hoping it will be on the web so we can share. The goal is to help Mederi train many other people to know how to treat the whole patient. Each one, teach one. I shudder to think of Donnie and my herbalist retiring. What will I do? My oncologist as well. Who will have the knowledge and confidence and hope that my team has?

We need a new generation of hope givers, based on science.

May today the film crew fly safely back to their families. May the video show the best parts of our life. May Maddie’s first day of drives ed be safe. May my back and side feel better. May our kinder routine begin to run smoothly. May the pet scan be scheduled quickly. May I be healed completely.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxo

Keri

Filming and Not like the Kardashians…

What a day.

We woke up early to get ready for filming. The girls found clothes that didn’t have any emblems or logos on them, and Quinn wore his Sunday church suit.

He waited on the driveway and was so excited when they pulled up.

Jared and Joe.

Jared looks like Anderson Cooper and is such a cool, chill guy. Joe is just as much of a sweet soul, and I found out they had never worked together before, but you would never know it. They had a great rhythm and flow the whole day.

We piled into our filming caravan and went to Darla’s house for the Kaits Angels yard sale. It was overwhelming to see everyone volunteering on my behalf. Darla does everything with grace and class and love and a smile. I saw some friends there as well and got lots of hugs. Jared and Joe were filming all around us and yet were unobtrusive. I spoke with Lisa Finn of the patch, and she wants to do an article on pinktober and the stage four needs more sometimes soon.

We left and started to set up for the shoot. I realized just how not real the reality shows are. It takes forever to get lighting and cameras and lenses and microphones correct. Of course it was a humid day and my hair kept curling up. We laughed when I said I needed only five minutes, instead of twenty. I barely wore makeup, because I want the message to come through, not my appearance.

I was interviewed for an hour, and at times it was hard to choke out my words when discussing my family. The purpose of the film is to have the medical work open their eyes to this path of healing, and how it can support what they do with great results. It’s based on science, and Donnie Yance is a genius. What will happen when he retires? His Mederi method needs to be a legacy for generations to come.

My interview finished and we took a break for lunch. Then the best part of the day happened.

I met Kym.

Kym has been a client of Donnie’s for seven years. She has had multiple cancers since she was seventeen and is now in her fifties.

Listen, I ‘ve met people with cancer and there is a little bond, but if it was a lesser stage, they look at me with fear or pity, like a “God, I hope I never have to be her.”

Then I’ve met a few stage four people in person. I’ve met many online, and made many dear friends. I am still mourning three close friends from the past five months. Think about that. If you’ve had a close friend die, think of the mourning you’ve had… the grief. Now multiply by three. There aren’t many stage four people who live close by, and everyone is busy, including me. Touching someone’s hand and hugging someone who is in this arena is a gift.

I’ve met several people who use my herbalist, and it’s like a secret society. They know who they are, and when we see each other, it’s like a whisper and a feeling of sisterhood and brotherhood that we had the guts to go meet a guy on a street corner who is helping us live.

But Donnie? He is like the Wizard of Oz.

He lives far away, not in an emerald castle, but in Oregon. I’ve read about him and read his books… or at least tried to. He is a genius. A true savant in a way. I finally met rick Shapiro, who wrote a book called “Hope Never Dies”, and he interviewed Donnie. Finally I made a connection who met this man and knows he is real deal.

But Kym?

She showed me her pill case. We both take a huge amount of pills a day. We laughed over how the smoothie tastes. She gave me tips about taking the pills before I eat, and meal tips. We discussed finances and how expensive it can be. I heard again that sticking strictly to the protocol is key.

I needed to hear that.

I needed to see someone else who knows exactly what this life is like.

I needed to meet someone who has been told news several times and continued to move on.

I hope to be like Kym some day, hugging and holding someone else’s hand who is just starting and saying, “It will become a lifestyle. You’ll just do it.” She flew in from Maryland at JFK, rented a car, drove out to my house, then drove back the same day for a late flight home. That’s how dedicated she is to get the message out. She said she read my blog, and loved it. You have no idea what means to me. She said it is helping so many, and to hear that from someone in this life filled my soul. Kym understood when I said I follow Gods whispers , and even now as I type the words just flow. She said she got me something, and as she handed it to me I knew already what it was. A calendar with a picture of a butterfly. She said that after reading my blog, she had to get me the butterfly picture because I am still changing. I cried as I hugged her goodbye.

I love her.

She also spoke to Maddie about her son who just started film school in a school we never even heard of and sounds amazing. Another sign for Maddie.

Madison found out she got a part in the school play, “A Chorus Line”. She is Lori, the high school version of the male character Larry. She is still excited and can’t believe she got a part. The whole crew of us cheered.

Kym left, then we went to the beach where I grew up. It was surreal to sit on a rock where I made my dad take pictures of me when I was sixteen because I wanted to enter the teen magazine “Seventeen” cover girl contest. Here I am, thirty years later, being shot for a cancer movie.

We ended up needing a WiFi password, and down the beach we heard some voices. It was my mone boys, and the vicari clan, all having dinner. I ran up the deck with rob and they gave us the password. I also got some quick cries out and some amazing hugs. It was just the amount of love I needed to keep going.

They asked if I could walk barefoot, and I made a decision. Even with my feet a mess, I took off my shoes and walked over the hard rocks and shells. Over and over. The drone followed me and joe walked beside me. I kept praying to God that His plan was a good one, and thanked Jesus for his suffering on the cross so I can be healed.

Maddie took some pictures and there was an orb right over my head. Thank you, Jesus.

The crew had me say, “That’s a wrap”. Then they let Maddie film using their camera.

She was in heaven all day long. There are no doubts that this is what she wants. God sent us this film crew who was so kind and patient with her to show her what her future could be like. Joe said it’s fifty percent talent, fifty percent personality. He said she has it.

The crew said goodbye at 7:30, and we sent them to the Elbow room. We ate dinner and then went to bed.

Today they are coming at 7:30 to do another full day of shooting. We will film in the kitchen the juicing and smoothie, and also the pills. We are showing how intense it is and that you have to be dedicated, but it works. Yes, I have a pet scan and the news may take my breath away again, but right now I feel good. I’ll stay in the moment and trust in the process and plan.

Then we head to my classroom to shoot some film and I have some former kinders from last year coming. Then it’s to maggie’s farm to get produce. Quinn really wants to be filmed riding his bike, so we will do that, and rob is going to fire up the pizza oven for the first time in three years. We will wrap by five or six, then Jared and Joe will pack up the gear and head to JFK.

Today I pray for good weather, great shots, lots of hugs and laughter. I thank God for the people in my life and placed in my path. May my path help lead the way for others and may we all be healed.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxo

Keri

Another mountain to climb

Cue the 2:30 am nightmares.

I was not expecting yesterday at all.

Confident little old me was like, “Easy peasy, Lemon squeezy, flush my port, stick my stomach, tell me my labs are good, I’ve got an open house to do!”

Then?

God said, “Here’s a new mountain for you to climb, but first go down in the valley.”

I taught in the morning, then ran to the hospital. It’s like a family there, and after three years, I get lots of hugs from everyone. I saw Pushpa from my clinical trials days last year and we caught up and hugged. I was like, “Love you, but hope to never need to see you again for cancer!”

The port worked great, I was injected in the belly with xgeva, then we waited an hour and a half for the 2:30 appointment. We got called in at 3:15, then waited another hour to see the doctor.

When we saw the tumor marker number go up, my heart sank. My doctor walked in serious, and I’ve seen that face before.

That’s when I go out of body.

She said she wants me to stop the chemo, because I’ll probably be changing treatments again. I said “Fuck”. She said it would probably be IV chemo. I said “Fuuuuuuck” again.

The Lord does not give me good words in times like this.

She said we would order a pet mri ASAP, insurance has to approve it, and probably one day next week we will scan me and get results.

But then I saw her mind spinning. You can actually tell when she starts to go out of the box. Her eyes widen a bit and she starts to talk and nod her head a bit as she begins to discuss some new options. She has an immunotherapy type trial coming in about six months and she said I would still be here.

That was a phrase that was both scary and hopeful. Think about that for a second.

Months.

There is also a mutation of an antigen that they are researching, and I signed off on a clinical pre trial test to sample my liver biopsy piece for this antibody. Should I have it, then there is a phase one clinical trial they are enrolling. She said my breast didn’t feel bigger and I look great, plus my liver markers went down again. Which is all good.

Then i told her about biking ten miles, and that I went and protested against the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure event, and she went “Yes! Good for you!” She said she knew how they only donate twenty percent to research and had actually seen an article on the protest. I told her it was me in the picture and showed her, and she couldn’t believe it. She asked me to send her the pictures.

She also told she and her colleagues keep discussing who would play her in the movie. I explained its a documentary, but we still Laughed about actresses to play her.

That actress would have big shoes to fill.

Enter Pushpa, who I had just hugged three hours earlier. Again, I was out of my body, hearing that they don’t know what side effects would come with this new drug because it’s so new, should i have the necessary antigen. I would also need another new biopsy.

Dr Stopeck said she has some other ideas, and let’s wait for the PET.

So here I am… dangling at the edge of another cliff.

Then we raced out of there because the appointment That I thought would be done by three was over at 5 and I was an hour away from school and hadn’t even had lunch.

I sobbed as I called my dad and mom, Jill and brother Rob. I couldnt catch my breath. My husband Rob kept telling me it will be ok. I still have time.

We still have time.

We got to school so he could help me set up quickly and I sobbed with my kindergarten team. My assistant penny said she isn’t worried and knows there are bigger plans for me. I told my new assistant principal that i plan on teaching through whatever comes.

Then?

I wiped off my face, had a moment in the bathroom where I talked to myself in the mirror, slapped on a smile and did Open House. My custodian Rose popped in, held my hands, and prayed over me like a woman on fire.

I’ve been surrounded by some amazing people.

I had eleven families show up out of twenty three, and we started to form our relationships. I was honest and let them know what is happening and that they will always be updated. They are all praying for me as well.

The video of me speaking at the board of Ed meeting was shared by the leader of the families who are being kicked out, and it’s at over four thousand views. All of the comments on the shared video by Rita Palma have been of more people now praying for me.

Thank you, Jesus.

My prayer army has grown on the day I needed.

I’ll work today, then try to clean my house quick.

I’ve got the film crew coming tomorrow and we begin shooting at eight in the morning at the yard sale that Kaits Angels is hosting. We will shoot all day, then Sunday as well. I had thought about going to church, but after a recent email, I’ll see if they just film me with my new fancy bible reading about Job.

Silver lining is I dont start chemo today.

My doctor looked at my hands and wants to do a trial with Donnie Yance so badly on this cream. Maybe I was meant to only be on this medicine so my doctor could find out about the cream to help other women.

Donnie got back to me last night. His assistant Erin, who I loooooooove, has such a good way with factual emails and research and giving hope. She said it may be possible that the cancer places everywhere are heterogeneous and some may react to the xeloda in a good way and others may be ramping up with the estrogen. That maybe I will end up staying on xeloda and adding more estrogen blockers.

My miracle maggie also sent me an article on fermented wheat germ extract, and that’s a new pill dr snuffleofogous told me about and I ordered $300 worth recently.

I also emailed my friend Jennifer Williamson. Yes, she is a light worker and has been spot on with everything. I asked her again about her seven years I’ll be cured vision and she said yes. I told her that I think God sent me a sign with my new head custodian Eric. He sang a NKOTB song in the morning with the words, “the right stuff”. When I messaged Jen, our last conversation in June referenced her saying NKTOB and the words “you’ve got the right stuff”.

What are the chances I heard that song in the morning of a hard day?

So here I am.

Now 3:30 am.

Listening to my husband breathe next to me as I pray to Jesus to let me love him for more years.

I got home at 8:30 last night and spent time with each of my kids. Quinn hugged me and told me I looked beautiful, and he wanted to eat me up… and we laughed, because I say that to him when he wears his scout uniform.

Morgan was in bed and is afraid she is getting a cold.

Maddie was in bed as well after a track meet. She surprised us all and tried out for the school play, “A chorus line”. She sang the song “Nothing” and even danced. She amazes me every day. We laughed when she said at least she didn’t sing the song tits and ass.

I went to bed and cried some more with rob.

It was a day.

It’s been a night.

I havent eaten since yesterday at 7:45 , so I guess I kickstarted a 24 hour water fast.

My friend rick Shapiro who wrote a book about hope messaged me as well. He is my guardian angel.

So, please pray for me that this is simply another hurdle for me that I will be able to leap over. My heart is still beating and my

life still has purpose. I dont know what or why God has this plan for me, but it’s a good one according to the Bible.

Good thing I got a brand new one this week.

Thank you all for your love and prayers.

Keep them coming.

And may God keep me here, laughing and healthy and loving my family, for years and years to come.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Judged by Jesus

Today is going to be a long day.

I’ll go to school this morning, teach, make sub plans, then leave at lunch.

Then I head to the hospital for port access, labs, port flush, injection in my stomach, oncologist appointment.

Then I head back to school to set up for Open House and meet and greet all of my parents this year.

The stresses put on teachers this year is pretty intense. New programs, bigger class sizes, needier children, and trying to navigate teaching children that don’t speak English and help them feel comfortable while also pushing native English speakers so that you’re reaching everyone at their individual starting points.

So…

I bought myself on Amazon a big beautiful study Bible, with huge margins. I downloaded an app called the blue letter bible where it has multiple explanations to help you dig deep into each part.

It came yesterday.

So did an email telling me how people are upset with me and I am leading people astray by discussing Buddhism and Hinduism and implying I am not only upsetting brothers and sisters of Christ but Jesus as well. It also sent screen shots of another friend of mine who went to look at her energy field, a scientific new outlook with data… scientific data…. to back it up.

That’s a great email to get on September 11, the beginning of school, the night after I publicly stood up for the religious rights of families and the Bible at a school board meeting, and the night before a hospital visit as a stage four patient.

What’s a girl to do?

That’s where God placed people in my life to help me. I reached out to my friend from high school who is a minister. He assured me he knows I have the foundation of Jesus rooted firmly in my heart. He knows I am raising my children with faith. I can learn about other religions and faith and stay rooted where I am. As for leading others astray, I have had people tell me they have become believers again. One woman recently told me that my writings encouraged her to baptize her whole family this summer.

Then I messaged a woman who has been walking a faith walk publicly as well. She assured me that she sees God is using me, and leads me in love.

I’ve received emails before from Christians who happen to be very judgemental. “Judge not lest ye be judged. “- Matthew 1. I’ve been judged during this cancer journey…To the point of implying I wont get into heaven. So I’ve blocked those people. No one knows my heart or my relationship with Jesus but Jesus.

Period.

I know I’ve opened myself up on social media, my blog. It’s a hard thing, and you actually only see 25% of my true life. I felt the Lord lead me to share this faith walk, this medical journey, and all of the people and places He has lead into my life. I get horrible messages along with the nice ones. I mean, horrible. People have twisted my words and treated me poorly. With the good comes the bad. It’s a part of life I guess.

But you still only see part of it.

You don’t see the pictures of me sweating at night, crying, praying and talking to Jesus. You don’t see me driving me in my car, talking to Jesus. You don’t see me praying to Jesus at night for friends. You don’t see me getting injections in my body or having tubes sticking out of my chest and needles while I’m praying to Jesus. You don’t see me taking handfuls of pills all day long. You don’t see me rubbing cream all over my peeling feet and hands while praying to Jesus. You don’t see me trying to drink and eat with taste buds that make everything taste bad while praying to Jesus. You don’t see me wiping my watery constant eyes from chemo while praying to Jesus. You don’t see me crying while watching my children and praying to Jesus to see them grow up.

The only one who does is Jesus.

So everyone who is stalking my page and reporting to superiors… you can stop now.

I’m good.

I’m not sure what I am going to do.

Rob is Catholic. Maybe we start going to his church. But my kids like my church and want to be confirmed.

When I woke up yesterday, I thought my biggest issues today would be trying to teach, go to the hospital, then come back and do open house, all while dealing with chemo.

Well played, Jesus.

I guess its a good thing I got my new huge study Bible yesterday.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declared the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”- Jeremiah 29:11.

May His plans today include a fun morning, a smooth port access and injection, great labs, a great oncology visit with my doctor, and happy parents tonight.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

I’m wearing White tonight for the Children.

I have always considered myself an activist.

Standing up and sounding the alarm, and always…ALWAYS… speaking for the children.

Back when Madison was in third grade and the common core was released along with the ridiculous tests, I ranted and yelled about how it was all a money making scam. Make tests that the kids can’t pass except the brightest, make kids who have special needs take it, make kids who have only been in the country for one year and are still learning the language take it, and then tie it to teacher scores and funding. Then charter schools can crow their kids score higher but don’t tell you how many of their special ed and English language learners magically don’t take the test, and they kick out behavior kids, all while taking money from the public schools who have to educate all.

Look at us now, nine years later.

Was I right?

Then I railed against these stupid vaping and e cigarettes. Cigarette companies were losing money because people realized finally the correlation between cancer and smoking. Why the hell people still smoke is beyond me. So they targeted kids, with cool flavors and bright colors. Kids made videos with vaping tricks, kids can’t go to the bathroom because of kids vaping, kids vaping in class for Godsakes. I went to a PTO meeting about vaping and was the only…parent…there.

Now?

Two years later?

Kids are being hospitalized because of lung damage. They are using laced THC and having severe damage.

You all know by now my railing and ranting about breast cancer.

So what now?

I’m sounding another alarm.

Vaccinations.

Listen, I am a woman of faith AND science. They are both saving my life.

And they are both MY choice.

Next week, 26,000 or so families are being kicked out of ALL schools, not just public, because their religious freedom has been taken away.

That’s right.

Remember the pilgrims who risked their lives and sailed to America for religious freedom?

Remember the constitution?

Freedom of religion?

Some people do not vaccinate their kids because of their beliefs. I vaccinated my kids, but on my own schedule. The list of vaccines from when I was a kid has doubled. I spaced them out.

My choice.

My children.

Yes, some people claim religious beliefs but actually are not vaccinating their kids because of personal beliefs. Then people say, “Oh, they are faking it.” So what should we do? Have people PROVE their faith?

Wear stars?

Think about the history behind that.

If your child is vaccinated, then a child that isn’t shouldn’t be a problem. In fact, as an immuno compromised chemo patient, if you have recently been vaccinated, you are shedding a live virus and are more of a danger to me.

The government has stripped away rights of parents.

I dont believe in abortion. I believe that a life is a life from conception. But that’s my body. My choice. I’m not in support of forcing other women to carry children they don’t want. Their body, their children, their choice.

But apparently, once a child comes out of the woman, the child now belongs to the government. And if you don’t vaccinate your child, they can’t go to ANY school, public or private, or else the school will be fined.

This isn’t about health and safety, people.

It’s about money, cloaked in “public safety”.

So theses kids can’t go to school, but they will

still be in parks, libraries, theatres, supermarkets. It’s only between the hours of 8:50-3:30 they can’t be around other kids.

We allow children with HIV in our schools.

Kids come to our school with the flu, and I bet if you looked at data, more people died of the flu than these other vaccine illnesses, and how many of you had the flu vaccine and STILL got the flu?

Here’s the kicker.

These pharmaceutical companies have a deal with the government. They can release vaccines and not be held responsible for injuries that occur. There is also a law that payouts from injuries come from taxpayer money. Look up vaccine injuries.

The media is in on it. They create a huge public outcry. That lady who had the measles upstate? She was actually vaccinated.

We are being flooded with children coming here illegally. These children are all allowed in school and taxpayers are paying. Children that are born here and have parents that are also trying to keep their kids safe are being kicked out of school.

As a public school teacher, we are all like the Statue of Liberty. Give me your tired, your poorer, your hungry…. and we don’t say “but they better have their shots”.

It’s such a small population of families in the big picture. I know these kids. I looooooove these kids. These families have all been coming quietly to school for years. They have been quiet because people yell and scream at them how stupid they are.

Let me tell you, these parents are some of the most educated people I know, and do their research. And their kids? Have barely missed school and are some of the healthiest kids I know.

I feel sad for the other kids and teachers who will miss out on these amazing families and children.

What will happen next?

First they came for the children.

Will cancer patients be on the list?

I’ve been able to choose whether to have chemo, which drugs to take.

Will the government force me to take certain drugs? They already have a huge say in what drugs they will fund, and make a shit ton of money with pharmaceutical lobbyists.

It’s about money and our freedoms being stripped away.

I sounded the alarm on the tests.

I sounded the alarm on common core.

I sounded the alarm on vaping.

I am sounding the alarm on cancer and funding.

Now?

This is the biggest threat to us all.

I am sounding the alarm on the stripping of our rights.

I don’t care whether you think vaccines are good or bad.

It’s….not…about…vaccines.

It’s…about….freedom.

Freedom of parents to choose for their children what they think is best.

I’m wearing white tonight to support these families whose children are being kicked out of ALL schools in a few days in the state of New York. These families now have to struggle to figure out how to homeschool. This was snuck in at the last minute in June and the parents had no idea. They’ve spent all summer lobbying and writing and calling and traveling to Albany. They are armed with FACTS. No one in power is listening to the people, they are only listening to the pharmaceutical companies with money.

Many parents have jobs.

These children have friends.

Some kids are in high school and have played sports and are in the arts.

These children are citizens.

And they have been stripped of their rights.

First they came for the children….

May these families be heard, and be allowed to stay.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

#curekomen

I did not want to go.

I didn’t want to protest.

I didn’t want to meet new stage four women and find new friends when I’ve had three close stage four friends die so quickly and so close together.

But that is why I went.

The acting president of MetUp told me the details, it was being kept quiet, and one of the organizers had read my blog and really wanted me there.

Yesterday, God whispered…”Go. It’s time.”

My amazing husband and kids agreed to go with me, and we were up at 5:00 am. We still didn’t make it at the time we wanted, and due to another marathon we had to park on the other side of Central Park and run through the park…after having biked ten miles the night before.

We called the group and ended up deciding to meet at the race starting line.

Let me be honest.

For many stage four women, these races and walks are hard and heartbreaking. We are surrounded by the sexualization of this disease. Shirts with “Save the boobies” and “Save the tatas” aren’t cute. The celebratory mood is for the lesser stage women who think they have beaten it and don’t want to look at the scary stage four people. Thirty percent of them will end up like us. Every single breast cancer survivor should be clamoring for more research.

You may be me someday.

The research now may not end up saving my life, our lives, but we fight for the women and girls who will one day hear they have cancer in the future.

We chose to protest in black. It made us stand out in a sea of pink. We wore shirts and hospital gowns and had IV poles. The police quickly stood by us.

Across the road were all the cute and rah rah announcers . They kept staring at us like we crashed their party.

Well, we did.

Runners and walkers were confused, and some came and asked us why we were protesting a breast cancer “race for the cure” event. You see, Susan G Komen only donates 19% to research. 50% goes to “education and awareness”, a very vague term. The rest goes into administrative costs and their pockets. We are asking they flip the percents.

I think everyone knows by now and is aware.

Being aware won’t save your life.

Research will.

And for stage four denovo people like me?

A mammogram didn’t save my life.

It is simply a diagnostic tool to say “stage IV, terminal.”

Research, research, research is what will save my life.

I followed on Twitter a metastatic breast conference and several of the drugs I’ve tried have only recently been approved. It takes YEARS for research and drugs to come to fruition.

And it takes money.

Enough with the pink washing.

Enough with the “awareness”.

Enough with the sports teams wearing pink.

Spend every penny on research and save our lives.

I chanted along with the others and it was hard getting stares by people walking, and it was especially ironic because they were walking for me, or so they thought. But you can’t tell because I look “healthy”, despite having been on six different chemo regimens in three years and have pet scans that light up the liver, spine, hips and breast like a Christmas tree.

I met Beth Caldwell’s best friend Paige. Beth is the Rosa Parks of metastatic women. She passed away in 2017 and her name is revered .

I also met Susan Rahn who is the acting president of MetUp.

The hard thing is so many women die within two or three years, and by the time you are educated enough to get angry, and start to protest and speak up, things go bad and death comes knocking. Talk about a high turnover rate. How ridiculous that patients in active treatment have to beg for research?

When it was over, we all took a picture together.

I hope everyone is still alive next year.

Rob hugged me and I cried my quick two minute cry before I went back to where my

Kids were.

I’ve gotten good at that.

Cry, wipe eyes, deep breath, smile.

We then switched gears and I stopped being Norma Rae and became mom.

I’m good at switching my role too.

We went to the museum of natural history and spent time as a family. Then we went to Times Square and Rockefeller center, followed by a visit to Saint Patrick’s Cathedral.

I cry every time I go in there, and went to my own sacred, special prayer spot in the wall. I prayed for my friends and family, and thanked God for my life. I thanked Jesus for healing me and declared I was healed, Pet Scan be damned.

Then we went into the back prayer room, and as we prayed, I looked at rob and the kids, all with their heads bowed and praying so hard and intensely. Please God, let me continue to love and live with this precious family I’ve been blessed with.

We took a taxi back to the parking garage, and within a minute of it pulling away, I realized my phone was in the taxi. We panicked, tried calling my credit card company, the taxi company, but nothing. I used madisons phone to track my phone on the Life360 app, and called it. Within ten minutes a young man named Josh called Madison’s phone and said he had my phone and all the money in it.

We ended up meeting him and he refused any money reward we offered. He said to just say. nice things about New York. He texted Maddie’s phone after we left and said he wished he told us to donate the money to Susan Komen after noticing robs shirt.

I texted the real reason he had that shirt, and said I would donate to metavivor instead, and he agreed.

God bless Josh. We love him and his honest, kind heart.

Humanity won today.

We drove home, went food shopping, made dinner, and went to bed.

MetUp is beginning a large action campaign and social media blitz to push Susan G Komen to stop using the word cure when most of the money they raise doesn’t go to cure but to awareness. People were shocked when they heard the percentage at the walk. Research where your money really goes. MetUp is staring a campaign called #curekomen. The Aids activists became loud and look what happened. It became a chronic disease instead of terminal.

That’s what we want.

In our lifetime, preferably.

I’m exhausted, mentally, emotionally, and physically.

But as we went to Rockefeller center, I was in the same place I was standing when I heard Alycia Ronnenberg had passed. I touched the necklace that Leila ForsytheAlvarez had her mom Terry send to me after she passed. I thought of Lisa Sheridan Crane and her tips to survive chemo, and the pain of her passing this past month.

I’m tired of my friends dying.

I’m tired of the pink.

I’m tired of the parties and celebrations and rah rah rah when so many are dying every day.

116 deaths a day.

So, Susan G Komen…

Switch your focus.

Make a difference that matters.

Fund research.

Help us live, and I promise, when that happens, I’ll wear the brightest pink freaking tutu ever.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

My Summer Vacation by Keri…

Today is the last day of summer break for me.

It’s been a summer.

Morgan and Quinn went off to Camp Kesem and spent a week with other children whose lives have been affected by cancer. They came back braver, more confident, more anxious, more independent. God bless Camp Kesem. They are a great charity to support.

Madison spent two weeks at the NJROTC Leadership Academy. She spent the first week crying, being screamed at by a marine Corp drill sergeant, slept on the floor so she wouldn’t mess up her bed, did 100 push ups and sit ups a day, ran four miles a day, and studied her ass off as she also learned to sail. I offered to pick her up when she finally Could contact us, as well as have a “conversation” with the marine. She declined and stayed. The second week…she soared. At the final ceremonies, she was awarded top Cadet of her platoon, and was nominated to come back by three different instructors to be a leader next summer.

She also realized that although she excelled, ROTC in college is not for her, and scholarship dreams flew out the window.

We picked up her and went to Salem for two days for our family vacation. We were moved by the history of the Salem witch trials, and the walked and loved every inch of the town. We even got wands to make our own magic from an amazing wand woman.

Then we dropped off Morgan at St Johns University for a week of STEM. She learned about forensics, engineering, medicine and robotics. She made some friends and worked hard.

Quinn and Morgan then received a scholarship to Mattituck yacht club sailing camp, and made new friends. They learned how to sail a sunfish, set up and put away boats, work with other kids, and made new friends. The counselors from Ireland were amazing, and I just loved their enthusiasm, as well as their accents.

Quinn went to Boy Scout camp, where he thrived. He lived in a tent and was so well cared for by the men and women who volunteer their time. He received his first communion wafer in the woods, and will always remember that moment. We went up to see him and made some new friends. This was always robs thing, as I did the Girl Scouts with the girls for drop offs and events. I am so glad I went and now know first hand how beautiful the scouts can be for the boys. I’m so glad Quinn is in this troop. They are having a memorial walk for Andrew McMorris, the young Scout who was killed by a drunk driver last September. Quinn looks so much like him. Please think about him and don’t drink and drive. There is a walk for him this September where the troop will finish the walk he couldn’t. God bless troop 161.

Quinn came home and off we went to New Hampshire to see what mountain and lake life is like. I was surrounded by God’s beauty every moment, in the rain, in the sun, in the forest, in the lake. I spent two days with my sister’s family and was at peace.

Madison meanwhile, worked all summer as soon as she got home from NJROTC camp, and spent every day working on summer homework assignments. We need to take a good hard long look at AP classes. These kids are burnt out and school hasn’t even started yet. Throw in all the parents of recent graduates telling me some colleges don’t accept AP credits, and many of the kids don’t even end up getting top choice… and it makes me frustrated that she spent most of her free time at the computer instead of relaxing. She had friends over last night and they all also worked summer jobs and did homework. What are we doing to our kids?

As for me and rob…

Rob worked all the time. He also did his first Facebook post ever and made a fundraiser for his birthday for Metavivor. You see, all he wants for his birthday is more time with me. I’m already seeing Pinktober crap in all the stores for October Breast Health month. All that money raised goes to the pockets of the companies, and only 2% -5% goes to research for stage four….. the only stage that kills. Stage four needs so much more. We are all still terminal. Someday we hope medicines make it chronic, but for now… everyone is still dying. He raised over $3,160 in a week. I had a similar one a few months ago, and between us both we’ve raised over $7,000 for Metavivor. This October, if you’re going to support breast cancer, the North Fork Breast Health Coalition and Metavivor are the ones to support. I’ll be walking in September at Tanger and raising money for the NFBHC, so come walk with me

As for me… I lost two more of my dear friends with cancer. Leila and Lisa. Both came as a shock. Leila has messaged me a month earlier she was waiting for a drug to be approved by her insurance company and was struggling, but still had hope. I messaged her and texted her and didn’t hear back. That’s when I checked her Facebook page and saw she passed the day before. I cried and cried. After my Alycia passed, I still had Leila. Now? I dont have either of these women who becamemy sisters. But her mom has sent me a key necklace and shirt that Leila left for me, as well as buttons from her service. Her mom has her phone and still follows me on facebook. I send her love every day. I’m still on private settings, but people tell others my story to give them hope and faith.

In Four months time I lost them both, Leila and Alycia, my two kindred sisters. Then three weeks later Lisa died. She was the one who spent the entire night before I started IV chemo last summer giving me tips and tricks to get through it. She had stage three years earlier and was my “Kick it’s ass, Keri” friend. Our relationship was different than Leila and Alycia, because she was someone I’ve shared actual breathing space with in my life. We lived in the dorms together at cortland, and I was Hoping to see her in November. Then? A text came from my friend Candy that Lisa died. Turns out the cancer came back with a vengeance in June, and within a month, she entered the hospital, went into a coma, then passed.

It’s because of Lisa that I survived last summer.

So this summer?

I grieved deeply.

I also navigated the new capecitibine chemo. It’s been mine field after mine field… blisters on feet, skin peeling, eye issues, fatigue, nausea, bathroom issues. Yesterday my fingers started peeling so now I’ve hit all of the side effects and know how to handle each one so I can start school ready.

Talk about timing.

Yes, I’m teaching.

Full time.

Kindergarten.

If you were to see me, you would never know what’s going on inside of my body.

Because I’m claiming healing.

My life still has purpose.

I’m not sure what it is though.

I used to think it was to be a teacher. I fought for the kids, against the stupid tests the state uses that has skewed data. (It’s about poverty, people.) Then cancer hit, and maybe my purpose was to show how faith, love, herbs, juicing, reiki, reflexology, and energy that is all mixed with medicine can help you live with cancer. But then I became closer to God, and Jesus became my best friend. He is with me in the middle of the night, in the mountains, in the woods, on the beach… always listening to me.

Sometimes my prayers get in the way of his plans, and I have to learn to stop fighting the waves and just lay back and float.

Breathe underwater, then kick my feet off of the new bottom I touched and come back up to the surface.

So that’s been my summer break.

I’m still here.

I’m nervous and ready to have twenty two little people come into my class and life and heart.

I’ll be super busy, so don’t worry if I don’t post as much.

I’ll be here, living and thriving.

May it continue for years to come.

In Jesus’s name. Amen.

Xoxo

Keri