Becoming Evangelical… it’s Not a Bad Thing.

Late start for me today.

Not to be too graphic, but when the bottom layer of skin comes off your foot, and there is a rash that’s itchy on your thighs and arms, you tend to want to stay in bed a little longer.

Happy vacation, right?

But I’m here.

People say that a lot.

“At least you’re still alive”.

And don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful to be alive.

But man.

It sure would be nice to be alive and not worry about death or side effects all the time.

A friend in a group posted that she would panic about the statistic of 116 dying every day, but then read the statistic that 3,287 die every day from car crashes.

As weird as that sounds, that makes me feel better. The thoughts that stage four patients have come to them are unbelievable at times.

We went through the basement toys yesterday and whittled them down even more. Morgan said she wants to keep her American girl dolls for her children and I prayed quickly inside that I would live to meet them.

I then rested on the couch the rest of the afternoon and watched a law and order SUV marathon. I hate that show, but yesterday I was hooked in by people with situations that felt worse than mine.

It was a hard day.

I am trying to keep off Facebook more, as seeing everyone in warm places or skiing makes me even more sad.

We might try to do something today with the kids, as it would be worse for me mentally to stay home again another day and watch SUV.

I’m working on trying to get Morgan confirmed. Please pray this all somehow works out. I’m still so angry at those men who sent the letter. Even if I sat with them as they demanded i do and held communion as ransom until I did…

I wouldn’t give up yoga or reiki or learning about other people and their beliefs. Would they have still denied me communion? And have my own daughter walk by me and see me denied communion?

They may have sent the letter to me, but they hurt my whole family.

Not very Christian.

Especially while we are going through all of this.

I shared a post yesterday that was amazing.

It spoke about how on Christmas night we celebrate the birth of a child. A child whose name I say probably a hundred or so times a day in my head, and even more so in the dark of night when I am caught in a storm of panic that death is coming.


Thousands of years after his births we still say His name.

People used to use the word “evangelical” to show their love and passion for Jesus. It’s been hijacked recently. People say they are

Doing things in His name, when truly, He would be ashamed of their actions.

Jesus stood among others as they were ready to throw stones and asked, “Who among you is without sin?”

Church isn’t for the perfect.

It’s for the sinners.

Go ahead and throw those stones, but watch out for the ricochet.

I’m tired of people who love Jesus and tell

Others about Him being looked at as crazies…although I know firsthand some deserve that term.

I want to become evangelical this year but in a different way.

A new way… or an old way.

I want to love and live like Mary. Have full faith in Gods plan, even if it seems like what is happening is impossible. Pregnant AND a virgin? Impossible.

But because she trusted and had faith, she brought forth Jesus.

I want to live and love like Jesus.

Move away from those who don’t have the best interests of others in their heart and then walk the path of grace.

Ghandi said, “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”


But isn’t that true most days other than Christmas?

So this year, I’ll try and spend more time being kind and walking in grace and mercy and faith.

And yes, perhaps even flip some tables like Jesus did.

Watch me.

Come with me.

In Jesus’s name, amen.



Christmas 2019

It was a lovely Christmas Day. I missed my brother and his family, as they moved to North Carolina recently. His son surprised us by stopping by for Christmas dinner at my sister Jill’s house, so we had a part of his heart with us.

My sister and her husband hosted a wonderful Christmas dinner, and their girls put on the cutest little Christmas play. We ended the night with some coquito that was given to me and a fun game of charades. Laughter and little ones always makes the holiday more fun.

My throat and mouth are starting to hurt, so I’ll be swishing away most of the vacation I fear. My hands and feet are also in some pain, so I’ll be sleeping with mittens and socks and lotion.

Although we aren’t going anywhere, we’ve got plans for the next week. We hope to get Maddie a nice dress for the Navy ball, as she was asked to go last week. We will also start to look at cars, as she finishes up drivers ed in a month or so. Robs parents have said they will get each grandchild their first car, so it’s Maddie’s turn. Most kids would have already picked it out, but Maddie likes being driven around by me and rob, so this will be interesting.

I want to organize the house bit by bit.

After having the house cleaned from top to bottom, let me tell all of you…

That is a gift everyone should give themselves once a year. I thought it was a waste of money when I could just clean it myself, I was embarassed, I thought it was too high class for me…

But seeing how clean my house is now, and they even organized my towel drawers and bathroom closets…

it’s a good way to start the new year.

Thank you, my Hamptons residence!

I hope to throw out everything in the house and de clutter during the next week so I start 2020 with a house that is clean and gives me peace.

Having the Christmas season end is sad and also a blessing. For some of us, it’s a more painful time of praying and worrying if we will be here next year. We are more aware of our mortality, and every special moment becomes more breathtaking in a hard way. Now we can go back to everyday normal moments, not days filled with occasions where we pray it isn’t our last time…

I only broke down once yesterday with rob, as I cried and want to be here to badly for more Christmases to come.

One of my heroes, Sophie sabbage, wrote she hoped we would all Rest In Peace, but while we were alive as well. It’s not just for the dead. It’s for the living.

So while I’m organizing, I’ll be sure to take time to rest… in peace.

May we all find time to Rest In Peace after this busy and quick holiday season.

In Jesus’s name, amen.



Cleaners and Cookies and the Christmas Spirit

It was a beautiful day yesterday in different ways.

I finally got the Christmas spirit.

Let me explain…

I was so incredibly uncomfortable having strangers come clean my house. Since I’ve had chemo for three years, it’s hasn’t been truly cleaned. It’s the energy theory.

You see, I only have so much energy to spend each day. If I know I’m going to be super busy, I’ll borrow energy from tomorrow, but that means I’ll be short energy the next day and have to choose what not to do.

Cleaning always loses out.

I finally said yes because I was chosen by the company to be the one winner this year. A mom of one of Quinn’s friends told them my story, and she set this up. The women walked in yesterday at 8:30 and went right to work. I was so flustered I left my phone in my bedroom and that’s where they started.

I had no idea what they would do… perhaps vacuum, mop and wipe down the bathrooms.

Upstairs we have my bedroom, my bathroom, Madison’s room and an open office area that rob hasn’t worked in for three years.

They worked upstairs for about six hours, organizing, dusting, scrubbing, even did laundry. I sat downstairs partially in awe at how they were cleaning and partially mortified it was obviously in need of such cleaning. I was so mortified I didn’t even go upstairs while they worked to get my phone.

So I sat on the couch and breathed and read an entire book. It was lovely. Then I baked cookies and fudge for my swap. Joanna, the head cleaner, came downstairs to ask if they could come back the next day to finish.

They worked until almost 4 pm and I dont think they even took a break. Rob tried to give them money and they refused. When Joanna said goodbye, I couldn’t help but cry. She hugged me and said she hoped I feel better.

It’s a hard thing to accept help. I always feel like people are willing because they feel like “This poor woman with stage four cancer is going to be dead soon…” Sympathy drowns you in the ocean of pity. That’s why we say no so much. Because accepting help makes it all real.

But this time?

I am so glad I said yes.

The funny thing is that the reason I said yes was because I was hosting my cookie swap for the first time in years and was excited my house would be clean. Wouldn’t you know the part they didn’t get to clean was where the party would be?

It actually worked out, because now today that part will be cleaned after the cookie crumbs hit the floor.

The cookie swap was lovely. I had gotten nervous was all day long because I kept getting texts from women saying they were sick or their kids were sick, so I was nervous no one would come.

I ended up with over twenty four or so women, and it was lovely. Someone said they couldn’t believe I did it, and asked if I was nervous.

I wasnt.

Because my tribe is full of women who just love me.

No judging.

Just love.

I may not go out with my girlfriends anymore, but I know they all still love me, even bald, thirty pounds heavier, exhausted, and a with partially clean house.

Everyone said they still had so much to do, but they were glad they came. It’s important to take time to stop and laugh and even eat a cookie or two.

My sister had to work, so we made sure to make a tray for the police station, as we always did in years past. While many are with family, there are also many working during the holidays. We are grateful for them.

Today I’ll finish wrapping, clean up from yesterday and have Joanna and her crew finish the house. My Hamptons Residence Services is the name of the company. I have nothing to compare them with, but to me, they were angels. If you need a cleaning service, I highly recommend these women.

When Joanna left, I was so overwhelmed with so many emotions… embarrassment at how long it would take to clean them my house, sadness at how exhausted I am all the time and how cancer changed the trajectory of my life so much that I have to choose whether to use energy cleaning or teaching, and extreme gratitude for this company and these women. I cried.

The ugly cry.

Joanna hugged me tight and whispered she hoped I felt better soon, and would be back tomorrow.

That’s when it happened.

The Christmas spirit flooded my heart.

Not because I did something, but because SHE did something.

She and her crew reminded me of how Jesus said to care for one another. They cleaned my house and didn’t want anything for it. They scrubbed and laundered and dusted, all for a

Woman they didn’t know… and are coming back on Christmas Eve to finish.

Everyone idolizes sports stars and movie stars. Me?

My heroes are people who clean and scrub the bathtub for a woman with cancer the day before Christmas Eve.

Kindness from strangers finally brought me the Christmas spirit, and it carried me through

to the cookie swap, where I was surrounded by women who love me.

I’m going to play polish Christmas carols and make the cleaners each a tray of cookies, which I hope they take.

We are going to church at 4, then having Christmas dinner with robs family.

I’ll finish wrapping today and tonight I’ll thank God for sending us a savior in the form of a little baby….

And thank this cleaning company for my clean house.

Today is the most magical day of the year.

The children wait for Santa, past hurts are set aside, hugs and love are given freely, and people remember the story of how love came down at Christmas to save us all.

Take some time today to sit with a warm mug

Of something delicious, and just breathe and feel the magic. Look at the twinkling lights and remember the loved ones who are no longer here, but still in our hearts.


Merry Christmas Eve everyone.

In Jesus’s name, amen.



May the Force be with you…

Today is “get it done” day.

Christmas shopping, wrapping and cleaning, with some baking thrown in for good measure.

I spent most of my day yesterday sitting on a hard bleacher cheering on the Riverhead NJROTC unit. These kids always make me so proud.

If you’ve never been to a meet, you should go. It’s incredibly impressive. You watch boys and girls working together with precision to complete routines, with one cadet calling out orders. Once those are finished, they end with the exciting competitions.

One is the Push Up challenge. They play a recording of a drill sergeant saying “down.. up.. down.. up” in a steady cadence. Each platoon has four boys and four girls competing in the middle of the gym with judges who are actual soldiers walking around and watching. Riverhead blew them all away. Maddie and another girl were the last two going, and Maddie ended up with 52 pushups… and not from the knees like most girls do. Straight up pushups.

Then it was time for the knockout competition. Everyone gets onto the floor and a soldier barks out commands, while other soldiers look to see if you follow correctly. It is like Simon says. Maddie wasn’t going to do it but I told her to get on that floor and win.

She reluctantly joined and we watched and real soldiers picked off cadet by cadet, and calling out commands faster and trickier.

Guess what?

Out of a couple hundred kids, she was last cadet standing. Her face was priceless, and she hugged me in front of other kids when I saw her. That’s a big deal for her and for any teen to hug their mom in public.

I’ll take it.

I also ran to the giving room quickly to get some good juices to build up my body after chemo. I was introduced to a doctor who is helping to bring a new center to the north fork where breast cancer patients can learn about acupuncture, meditation, and nutrition. The doctor wants me to be a consultant. We exchanged information and I’m excited to help in any way I can.

We decided to go see Star Wars last night and it was amazing. I’m not going to spoil it, but every one of us loved it.

Today we are going to get it all done.


I still don’t have that Christmas spirit, but it will come. I was so focused on getting everything done at school this year and the cancer, I let my own Christmas take a backseat.

I’m hoping it hits me soon.

It usually would hit me when I went to Christmas Eve service at church. We are going to a new church this Christmas Eve and I’m sure it will come to me then.

It’s all about a baby, plain and simple.

When love came down to save us all.

May we all be filled with that love today and every day, and our words and actions reflect that.

We’ve become a mob mentality society and have no problem getting whipped into a frenzy and writing mean things while getting others to join in.

Wouldn’t it be great if we all could find a way to get others to join in with a love mentality, and instead of judgement, send peace and love and light.

Try that today.

Don’t judge other people’s shoes or even try to walk in them. Just step aside and say,

“Peace be with you”.

“And also with you”.

Then live your own life.

What a world that would be.

Here’s to peace, love and light.

In Jesus’s name, amen.



(May peace AND the

Force be with you…)

Three Years Stage Four

Happy anniversary to me.

Three years ago today I sat across from a doctor who told me the cancer had spread and I was stage four… terminal, and had little time left.

These three years have been the hardest yet most full of love of my life.

I’ve learned to appreciate the little things along with the big things.

I’ve been able to continue to watch my children grow.

I’ve grown closer to Jesus even though I’ve left my church.

I’ve learned how boundaries are a sign of self love.

I’ve learned to not be as judgemental as I was. Today’s society has become a toxic wasteland at times. Two sides that never compromise, and if people make mistakes others are gleeful and never forget.

I was struck by words of kindness I saw yesterday from two gentlemen. Words of acceptance and kindness. That’s what I want to be like.

A safe harbor in a storm.

After all, Jesus is the only one who should judge us and our actions.

Every bone in my body hurts today. Im not sure if it is the doxil chemo or the xgeva shot. Rob is already up and off to Maddie’s rotc meet in Mattituck. I’ll be there later today, as I just can’t get moving that fast today.

Yesterday was a whirlwind. I got to school early to finish shellacking a parent gift from the kids, we had an hour and fifteen minute assembly ending with Santa, we made our own wrapping paper envelope and decorated it, we had a cookie and milk party, finished up our stuffed sock snowmen, and packed up all of the crafts and gifts they made.

The staff worked so hard and also lost all dignity to make the kids happy. The things we do for our students.

I pretty much crawled out of school in exhaustion.

I was surprised by a former student and her mom. I havent seen her mom in about twenty years, and she thanked me for all I did with her daughter. She remembered when she wouldn’t wear her new glasses, so I made a point to wear mine the next day. My student wrote a beautiful note for me and I’ll treasure it forever. She now works in my district and I’m so proud of her… (and feel really old).

Today is Maddie’s meet, and we might go see Star Wars tonight. Maddie is tired too, as she stayed after yesterday to fill up baskets for families in need. We’ve got some great kids in Riverhead.

Tomorrow I’ll do some shopping and bake cookies.

I’m hosting a cookie swap Monday night with some friends. I used to have huge swaps before the cancer came, and stopped. It’s time to bring it back.

Im not letting cancer steal anything from me anymore.

Today, let’s all try to give others a fresh start. Be grateful you are alive and are able to do so.

Be kinder with your words, and gentler with your actions.

Recognize your own blessings instead of pointing out others shortcomings.

Be so full of self love and happiness it can’t help but spill out onto others.

Take time to breathe and stretch and eat something healthy.

Give more hugs and tell other you love them.

Make it a beautiful day.

I’ll be thanking God for all of this extra time I’ve been given.

In Jesus’s name, amen.



Little Breathing Room for Christmas

I slept almost six straight hours.

I havent done that in years.

I think God knows I need the sleep to get through today.

The kindergarten Christmas season is intense. It doesn’t matter how low key you try to keep it, they see Christmas everywhere and it trickles in. I always seem to go overboard with crafts and gifts for the kids and gifts for the kids to give to their families. Many of them don’t have much, so if I can send home keepsakes that will last for years, I’ll do it.

Today we have an assembly and my dad’s friend is coming to surprise the kids as the big fat guy in the red suit. My dad is pretty amazing, and has set this up for the past few years. We thought we had a tough day yesterday in the morning, but by the end of the day, my dad had some needed good news.

I had good news too.

I’m going to be honest.

I would have sworn based on the bone pain and liver pain that the markers would have jumped up, the treatment wasn’t working, and it would be time to start planning trials while making sure everything in my life was in order. As much as I tried to be positive, the death cloud was following me.

Hence no Christmas spirit in my soul, as every Christmas moment had me quietly crying inside that it would be my last. It’s also apparently cancer week in school, as Maddie and Quinn both came home saying cancer was the topic. Maddie said she was wants to get tested, and wants a mastectomy. Quinn said he knows he has cancer cells because of “generics”. So that’s been some fun discussions this week as well. I felt it was God saying, “Ok, Keri, have the hard discussions now because you won’t be here when they need to have them.”

Which is why I think I was in shock yesterday when my oncologist showed me the tumor markers.

They dropped again.

You see, every single ache and pain brings thoughts of cancer growing. Having the markers drop was a Christmas miracle based on how my body feels.

I’m putting on a good show, but if you could see me try to get up off of the rug in kindergarten, it’s a five step process.

I’m not the only one grateful for the two week vacation this year, as my doctor calls the children “virusites” and is so glad I’m going to be away from them. I explained my worry about the children who have to catch up on vaccines and shedding live viruses. She had no idea about what was going on, and when I was told her she said it was plausible.

As always, we discussed research. The bottom line is that we need more.

I love that I can ask her to add tests and she agrees that it makes sense.

My port was a little worrisome, and I found myself jumping, coughing, doing the YMCA, bending forward and even going upside down to get blood return. Good times.

We agreed to stop the Benadryl so I wouldn’t have the reaction I had last time. I also asked for more fluids to be pumped as I know I am dehydrated, which makes the process an hour longer. I also did my own form of cryotherapy with freezing my mouth, hands and feet as the chemo was pushed in. I was miserable and cold, but hoping it helps with side effects.

We finally got out of the hospital close to six o’clock and did a little Christmas shopping, as we are way behind. I’m ready to knock it all out this weekend.

By 8:30 I was back in town and at the supermarket to get the milk and chocolate mix for hot cocoa today in kindergarten, after being in a chemo chair for hours.

I know I’m not the only teacher exhausted.

Parents, you all truly have no idea how hard your kids teachers are working this time of year. You think the holidays are exhausting? Try doing it with twenty four kids.

Shout out to my colleagues who are holding down the fort.

I’ve got all of my kids teacher gifts done and their little goody bags to hand out to friends. I’ve got my own little goody bags as well and have it all ready.

Tonight I’ll come home and start wrapping the gifts I’ve gotten my children. This weekend Maddie has a huge ROTC meet, and Sunday I want to do clean and bake. I’ll take the kids Christmas shopping for each other and start to breathe.

You know that saying that worry takes away today’s peace? It’s true and so hard to follow.

I wish i could go back and redo this holiday season knowing that this morning I would be waking up knowing the chemo is working.

I’ll make it up next year.

I’ll be here.

In Jesus’s name, amen.



December is a Busy Month

I haven’t been doing blog posts in the morning.

I’m exhausted, and conferences in December were hard. I hope they change it back to November, as I’m now trying to fit in all of the “no shows” before school, which is exhausting when I’m out late at my own kids concerts.

It’s also a shorter holiday season, as thanksgiving was so late. Having active kids means there are activities all week long and on the weekends. Add in chemo exhaustion. Which means I’m living vicariously through your pictures of light shows and trips to the city.

This weekend Morgan is stage manager for Frozen, the middle school play. Friday night and two shows on Saturday. Her birthday is Sunday.

Tomorrow is Madison’s NJROTC inspection. We are hoping the snow doesn’t affect the day.

I still have to schedule my own parent conference with Quinn’s teacher, but my mornings this week are full of make up conferences.


I haven’t been posting many long statuses.

But for those who were worried and messaged me.

I’m still here.

My herbalists is sending me herbs to help with anemia. He also is targeting the liver and bone Mets.

Donnie switched up my protocol so that will help hopefully as well.

The cold hurts my bones, and my mouth hurts, but I’m here. My oncologist is off to the San Antonio breast cancer symposium. The largest gathering of oncologists discussing the latest breakthroughs and research. I’ll be following on Twitter. SABC19 is the hashtag.

I’m up to prepare for the day.

May it be quick and productive.

And as always… healing.

In Jesus’s name, amen.