Leap Day

It’s been a while. I know.

A lot has gone on. Quick update for you…

I had another round of doxil. It went well. I even tried to channel my inner Jennifer Lopez from the Super Bowl, but her pole dance is very different from my pole dance.

Not even close… ha!

Then I had another MRI of the liver. It was, as my doctor called it, a “mixed bag”. Some tumors got smaller and one got bigger. So we decided to wait to check the tumor markers. On Monday I went for labs, and then got an email my doctor wanted to speak to me. That is never good.

I ran to the main office, my assistant principal gave me his office, and my principal came in to help me get through the call and take notes. Usually that’s robs job, as when I hear bad news I tend to go out of body and into shock and only hear the bad news. Not many principals sit in on hard oncology calls, but he did, and he takes great notes.

The markers all went up. In fact, so much so that my doctor was surprised. It could mean two things. One, the cancer is on the move and resisting yet another treatment. Or two, it’s tumor die off and it’s finally responding after several weeks of changing dosing and timing.

We are praying for die off. We decided to try one more round of chemo and recheck. Which means I’m still in the blur.

Still in the storm, but I still have Jesus on my boat.

My doctor encouraged me to come to the Annie Appleseed conference in Florida this weekend, which means last minute plans to fly out and get here.

At the airport

During a coronavirus panic…

We took every precaution on the airplane

Which brings me to today.

The extra day.
That’s what today is.
Every day is a gift, but today is actually a real extra day.
Leap year day.
Last Sunday I thought to myself I would make a special memory with my kids. Make a whole day of memories, so that next leap year day, if I wasn’t here, they would remember how special the extra day is.
Instead, here I am, one week later, in a hotel in Florida at a cancer conference once again trying to figure out how to move forward, and states away from my children. My sister is once again going to make it magical for Quinn while I’m gone. Thank God for sisters. Maddie and Morgan said they are going to do homework, and all three are being surrounded by love by my mom and dad.
I just want to cry right now, even though I’m so grateful to be here today. It’s hard to be away from them. Especially at a conference that is all about the thing could take me away from them forever.
So it’s time to pivot mentally and speak of my blessings. Gratitude is the attitude to pull myself out of the dark.
This conference is my blessing, and all the people here.
It truly is amazing. Everywhere you go, there are outliers.

Ann Fonfa is force of nature, and her husband is so kind. Ann runs a tight ship, and keeps everything on time. The food and snacks she has delicious, dare I say… “mint”…and she has an air purifier so we don’t breathe in “hotel air”, as well as special water.


This is our third conference and although some of the information we have heard before, it’s a refresher and a kick in the pants so to speak. Eat organic, more fruits and vegetables, eat the rainbow, remove stress and toxic people, increase spirituality, hydrate, exercise, breathe deep, meditate, yoga, trust your intuition, take charge of your medical care and health, increase positive emotions, supplements, accept support, and above all… love.


There is something unexpected that has happened at the third conference I never thought about. The people you meet.
Let me start with Rick Shapiro. Every one of you who follow me should get his book, “Hope Never Dies”. It’s an easy read and you can open up any chapter and feel hope. Somehow, God put him and Rob on an elevator last year. And this man managed to get rob to engage in conversation… and make such an impression, rob came to me excitedly to tell me about this guy and his book. We met him last year, I sent him a friend request, and this man has become my Jiminy Cricket. The whisper in my ears whenever I need it. He sends me messages to relax and take care of myself, to make sure to fast every chemo, even about college searches. It was great to see him again and we’ve had multiple informative conversation here.
Get👏🏻 his 👏🏻book👏🏻.


I’ve also been able to reconnect with other cancer thrivers. One woman I met my first year and have seen her each time. Nicole is a wonderful woman, former teacher, and her son has a story that i told her should be shared in every school.

I saw Terlisa Shepherd, a thriver who has been thriving for decades. She is a powerful voice for the metastatic community and one of my heros. Valencia also walked in with Terlisa and getting hugs from these two strong women started off my conference day in the perfect way.


Women can look different one year later because hair grows back. It gave me hope to see so many women looking so good. Nancy sent me a message to look behind me and she actually had a ponytail! There are two women here who flew from California and London. I follow them on Instagram.

Pink bows and me, and jen cronje, and they are both using my herbalist now. In fact, jen from London is going to fly here every two months to get his herbs. She also gave me a thriver necklace last night. I love these women.


There is also laughter. Two women we met last year keep us in stitches. Connie and Gladys, and you wouldn’t think there would be raucous laughter at a cancer conference, but there is. We hear about therapies, but it’s different to meet people who have actually done these things.


My herbalist is amazing. It started off a little rough, as he has been seeing so many people here he was confused at first and thought it was ovarian cancer. He didn’t like the plan my doctor was following at all, became annoyed and said “so stupid!”, which made me scared. He really pushed me to come off the plan and only used his herbs, until he asked if i had pain. I mentioned the pain in my breast and he got confused as to why, and when I said because of the tumors… suddenly he had clarity and remember it was breast cancer. Then he agreed with the plan and said it was smart. Phew.
He was not happy with my energy. He still said he wished they would give me a break because he is only keeping me from collapsing with his herbs, and wants to unleash his powerful herbs which would kill the cancer. After looking over all of the labs and the mri, he made a decision to use some of them anyway. He said he has to be more proactive and attack it and break it into pieces. He also said my insides are cold. He spoke of a tree in Southeast Asia, indonesia, where he is going to get special cinnamon bark and have it ground up into a powder that i will add to hot water and drink. It will bring “fire” into my body. Donnie Yance has also spoken of cinnamon. My herbalist said his cinnamon is special, because the kind we get from stores is from twigs. His is from this special tree and is bark. He still thinks we are ok, but right now I am not good. He said “you be ok, you liver not pretty, but you be ok”. He said his liver Mets patients are doing well.
He wouldn’t accept any money from us, just a donation to Annie’s foundation. Another presenter told us he is also being used by the king and queen of Sweden and they fly him there and back when needed. He is a humble man, and we are so thankful God placed him in our path.


We didn’t step outside at all once the conference began. Here i am, a New Yorker in Florida in February… and am in a hotel coneference room all day. By the time the conference ended, we were too tired to go out to eat, so we ate dinner here.
Perhaps tonight when the conference ends we can get the energy up to go to the water. I known everyone is saying to go, but remember, I’m on week two of chemo, had an emotional two weeks, flew last minute, two hotels, and am listening to cancer talk all day, with chemo coming again on Monday.
I’ll do my best.

Yesterday we met Dr Robins, and ate lunch with him. He is a fascinating man, and word with intravenous ozone therapy. Some people here have done it and say it’s amazing. He is also a Rotarian, and he and rob had great conversation. We may add it to my plan… waiting to see what happens.


Today is Jane McLellan who wrote “How to Starve Cancer”. I met her last year and we had lunch with her yesterday. She is brilliant. We will also hear from Dr Gregor who wrote the book, “How Not to Die”. I’ll keep posting and doing some live videos. I am also meeting for the first time another Facebook friend, so I’m exited for that hug.
Today is leap day year. Although it’s not going to be what I planned, I am making memories. And in four years, I’ll be here to look at my Facebook memories and be grateful I came here.
Today, may we all make memories, heal, laugh, and fill our hope cups.
In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxo

Keri

The Broom Moment

So, the thing is…
Apparently brooms can always do what we all had them doing last night.
Some people are going to make fun of everyone who did it and call them gullible.
Not me.
Why?
I was on the couch, exhausted, when I first read it. I got up, got a broom, and saw it actually stood up on its own when I thought it wouldn’t. I called Quinn and Morgan and Maddie and we all laughed and laughed.
I took a picture and put it up, which was followed by multiple friends putting up pictures and lots of laughter.
Laughter is always a a good thing.
There are reports now that it was always possible, people just never tried it before.
It was always possible…
Like when Dorothy found out she always had the power to go home the whole time.
That’s what I’ve been living on the past three years.
Someone told me that Jesus is always with me, and has the power to heal me, and I’ve been praying for that ever since.
Making a broom stand in a kitchen is nothing compared to what I’m asking for… but seeing everyone believe in something so little and then actually trying it because they saw pictures makes me remember the phrase,
“We walk by faith, not by sight.”
I get glimpses of complete healing when I hear stories of people still alive twenty years after their diagnosis. Those glimpses are few, so I need to rely on my faith more than my sight.
Those stories are the ultimate broom picture.
We were told to be like salt, to bring out the best flavor in ourselves and others. Use words to glorify Him and all He does. Some use their words to break down others or make fun of others, or always speak negatively. What kind of words and actions will you use today? Will you be the “salt of the earth”, or just use salty language?


Today, may we all walk by faith…
And maybe use the broom to brush away those who make fun of the little child in us who came out last night to play along.
In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxo

Keri

World Cancer Day

You would never know if you met me in the street today what I’ve been through the past three years.
It’s World cancer day.
You would never know what I’ve been going through if I didn’t share.
So here’s a rundown…
Diagnosed terminal from the start.
Told weeks or months.
Been throwing everything possible at it to make it go away…yet it keeps spreading.
Breast biopsy, lymph node biopsy, sacrum bone biopsy, liver biopsy, skin biopsy.
Appendix removed.
Port placed into chest for easy access for chemo.
Treatments that have failed to stop progression….Ibrance, Letrozole, fulvestrant, clinical trial, taxol, carboplatin, verzenio, everolimus, xeloda, tamoxifen, xgeva, adriomycin, Cytoxin, doxil.
Too many scans to count.
Lost my hair twice.
Gained forty pounds.
Menopause induced.
Hot flashes.
Side effects include headaches, exhaustion, skin peeling from hands and feet, bone pain.
Three long term hospital stays.
Hundreds of vials of blood.
Too many sleepless nights crying and worrying if I will see my children grow up.
Too many tears shed over friends I’ve made who I’ve loved and lost… megan, Alycia, Leila, Lisa, Brittney…
It’s the suckiest club no one wants to join, yet it’s filled with the kindest people.
It’s the spinning wheel you want to get off of, but can’t… because you’ll die.
It’s the club where everyone has opinions on what you should be doing, especially those who have never been in your club.
It’s the club where when you die, you’re a loser. “She lost her fight against cancer.”
Screw that.
Everyone in the club wins every damn day they get out of bed.
And when they die, they didn’t lose.
It’s the club where everyone is exhausted and puts on a brave face even when scared.
It’s the club where after a while, relationships change because people just can’t handle your diagnosis.
Which makes you feel even worse…
But you appreciate the ones who stay even more.
You would never know if you looked at me.
I’ve been sent so many people I’ve lost count.
Some people in the club are quiet about it.
That’s ok too.
You would never know if you looked at them, either.
It’s a weird place to be, sometimes you look
Healthy and feel ignored…. and sometimes
You look like a cancer patient and want to be swallowed up and have no one look at
You.
It’s the club where people feel obligated to tell you about other people they know with cancer….who died.
More and more people are coming into the club every day.
I hate this damn club…
And love everyone in it. Today we welcomed Shannon Doherty to our club. Maybe she will pull a Michael J Fox and fundraise like crazy for a cure. But if she doesn’t… that’s ok too. Everyone handles it differently. I cant wait for “World Cancer Cure Day.” In Jesus’s name, amen. Xoxo Keri