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.



2 thoughts on “Little Breathing Room for Christmas

  1. Keri, so great to read your writing again, and even better to know that your tumor markers are down. I’ve always thought kindergarten teachers were miracle workers. How you teach them, especially during the holiday and flu and cold season, while also going through chemo, is superhuman. Sending you and your family love and prayers always, and wishes for a wonderful Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. May today bring you happiness as you send your students off for a Merry Christmas🎄
    May your busyness this weekend bring you comfort in being present. ✨
    And may Christmas bring you immeasurable joy as you celebrate Jesus with your loved ones. ❤️
    Merry Christmas Keri! 🎄You are an amazing human! ✨🙏✨

    Liked by 1 person

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