Round Two Cycle One Day Eight C1D8

For a girl who got round two of chemo, it was a beautiful day.

We went to the deli so I could get an egg sandwich and a turkey sandwich. My gym teacher was there and I got a great hug. The women who work there saw me through my pregnancy with Quinn, so I’ve got a great track record with them. They also write and draw messages on my sandwich like moms do.

I ran across the street to my school again and hugged my secretary and my security guard. I’ve decided to do that every time I go. Hugs actually increase endorphins and heal you faster.

We got to the hospital and all the women loved the hair and the “Team Jesus” shirt. I was given the same chair I had before right in front of the nurse station. They ran my labs and my nurse was so excited about how great they were. She sat down and explained all the numbers. My white blood cell count was a 5.1. It was a 2.7 within a week or two of Ibrance. My creatinine level was a little low and she asked me what I was drinking. Apparently you can drink too much water, so she said to just cut back a little. I told her about the”KFS” strawberry, watermelon, lemon, ginger and Manuka honey smoothie the Giving Room made for me.

She said it actually made a lot of sense, with the melon for digestion and ginger for nauseau, and said it wouldn’t be a bad idea to drink one tomorrow morning to help keep nausea at bay. They started the anti nausea meds and then the chemo. Rob got right to work, placing the big white socks on my hands and feet with the frozen blueberrries and peas, while spoon feeding me ice chips to help prevent neuropathy and mouth sores. The nurses asked how long we were married and fell in love with him.

He is my HOTY.

Husband Of The Year.

They also asked why he was doing that and said it made sense. If women wear these new cold caps on their head with dry ice, and it saves their hair from falling out… why not try it on hands and feet and mouth?

We talked about my faith, and how you can go on a vacation to Israel and walk the path of Jesus. I had my cross, my selenite wand, and my tiger eye crystal all in my table. I keep Jesus first, but He also made the crystals and I take comfort from the spirit of love of which they were given. I had my blanket Joann made me and it kept me warm and happy. It’s a great gift to put pictures on a blanket of family, so you look down and feel the love.

My friends at the The Giving Room sent me videos and pictures that made me laugh out loud. We’ve been talking with the owner of Lucharitos next to my school about plastic straws. People are losing their minds when given paper straws or no straw at all. Talk about entitled problems to have. They made vegetable art for me, and I made up a old fashioned “Keri joke” to go with it. Rob looked at me like I lost my mind when I couldn’t stop laughing, but I think by now he gets me.

My dear summer sister grabbed Morgan and had her daughter play with mine. Morgan loves her summer friend and said she is just like her. I love that history is repeating on the beach I grew up on.

We finished and left at 3:15.

The kids came home and we decided since our summer son had off, we would go on our first family night out with him. We went to the First Friday in Mattituck on Love Lane and I’m so glad we did.

The funny thing was I told Joe it was a good thing he didn’t come to Alive on 25 the night before because there were so many people I knew there, and I’m not really known in Mattituck.

I think I was stopped more last night than on Thursday. I saw Darla and her friend from Kait’s Angels, and was hugged and had the most beautiful moment in the middle of the street. I saw my sorority sister Kariann and her husband will, who are now my brother and sister in Christ as well and pray for me every day.

Paula and Alli Katz showed up and surprised me and we laughed and laughed over the beet joke.

I saw kids from Riverhead who sang in Seussical. The song? It was about… an elephant. I kid you not. On the day I write about chemo being like an elephant and you eat it bite by bite… chomp chomp… I hear kids singing on a street about an elephant named Horton.

I also saw Johanna and Eileen. It’s like God put all these people on this street for extra hug and love fortification. I held Johanna’s hand and as I said goodbye, she held it a little longer. I feel like I’m in the presence of true grace when I am with her and her mom.

Robs parents met us, and my kids also played cornhole with their cousins. Joe enjoyed getting to meet my nephew, as he now has a face to the player on fortnite. We went to dinner at the Love Lane Kitchen, and the owner was my cousin-in-laws roommate in college. My waitress used to be my dad and brothers waitress at Parabell. They looooooved her, and they eat there every week. One time I found her and took a selfie with her and told them she loved me more. We recognized each other last night, even though we only met twice, and took a selfie to send my dad and brothers. I told then I found”their Emily” and said the funny thing is… she doesn’t remember them, but remembers me, and they should send me pictures of themselves to remind her.

We laughed and laughed, and instead of Blake Shelton and Carey Grant, I showed her the three amigos. Turns out she is going to school to be a nurse. I told her I already know she is going to be a great one.

I know things.

We left and showed Joe Magic Fountain. He couldn’t believe the line. We got everyone ice cream, even me.

The kids said now Joe knows what it’s like going out with their mom and she talks to everyone. Rob was excited when he saw a friend from Rotary as we left and was like, “See Joe! I know people!”

My nurse said as I finished chemo that I should go to Magic Fountain, and since I may lose my taste buds, I decided I’m going to live life. (We also got fancy cheese from the cheese shop. This weekend we will have grapes, apples, bread and cheese and I ‘ll have my water in a wine glass.)

Nurses are Angels on Earth, and Stony Brook has the best. I even showed one of them the superhero stance. My head nurse was great, and they already feel like family.

Quinn grabbed a pillow and went to sleep on Joe. They all watched Sherlock Holmes and I felt so blessed and lucky.

I texted Joe’s mom about Joe’s day, and how I met her daughter’s boyfriends mom. Apparently, she is the nurse educator at the hospital. She sat with me for a half hour and we talked about how much we love this family. God puts people on your lives for reasons. I know it was totally crazy to take in a college baseball player while undergoing treatment, and then even keeping him when finding out I have to have aggressive chemo.

But God whispers.

I listen and follow.

I checked my email before bed and my oncologist answered me. She highlighted some of the bloodwork she has actually already given me. She said insurance won’t cover some of those from a breast doctor, but my general practitioner may be able to order them for me. She said she is also very well versed in the specific biopsy and would like to discuss it with me Thursday. I replied how I was doing, told her how I am telling every social worker and patient advocate about the PETMRI sailboat painting, (everyone said I am the first one to bring it up and it makes sense.) I told her I feel she came back home and I met her for a reason, that we will make history. I also sent her pictures of my hands and feet in socks and one nurse said I looked like a bunny. I think I looked like a badass bunny.

I slept well, am up now and in a detox bath. I’m headed to the Giving Room around 10:30 with Joe to meet a friend from High School. We were never close back then, but now?

I love her, and I love all of my VSC classmates. How I wish everyone would put aside egos and ranking and color and realize early on in life that everyone around you has the ability to raise you up with love. Teens are the worst. No one teaches kindness to their kids, and the social media has warped what “friend” means. Friends are not people who “like” pictures or write how “hot” you are. Friends are people who show up, hold your hand, sit in silence with you when you need, meet you when your lonely, and send you pictures of vegetables with straws.

We should add a class to the curriculum… “How to be a true friend in the technological society”. Give them some beets and take away their straws.

Suck it up.

I felt peace yesterday again as I sat in the chair. The peace that left me when I spoke to Donnie has come back. This is the right path.

I know it.

He whispers.

I listen.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxo

Keri

Today is round two.

Two of sixteen.

It seems like this is the time when it is going to start to become real.

It also seems like every day I’m waiting for side effects to start, side effects that scare the crap out of me.

I saw pictures of women whose nails turned black and the nails lifted off the nail bed. I’ve been told to keep my nails short.

I’ve been doing mouth rinses with Biotine as well as baking soda and salt several times a day to try and stop any possible mouth sores.

I’ve looked for pictures of women who’ve shaved their head and their one year later pictures to gauge how it will be. I got in the mail a bunch of scarves and wore them my around my kids yesterday. I also got two care packages in the mail from dear friends. Silver linings make the gray clouds more bearable.

I’ve been practicing breathing and resting.

But I’m still scared.

My heart still sinks when I’m told to prepare for the days three and four.

I keep trying to replay my oncologist saying that since I did so well throughout all the other treatment, she expects me to do well, and other than hair loss, fatigue will be the biggest issue.

I keep saying “oligometastatic “ and thinking that this is the right thing.

I went to the downtown street fair and saw a lot of people and got a lot of hugs.

I had hoped to stay for fireworks, but Maddie has been struggling with this summer cold, and I have as well. I took her home, as my ears are so stuffed and noises bother me that the fireworks would have been hard anyway. I cant believe I got hit with this summer flu/cold right when chemo started. It’s like starting the marathon after finishing a 10K.

We head to the second chair session. I’m scheduled for 10:40. I saw a friend last night and she said just focus day by day. It reminded me of the joke, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”

Chomp chomp.

I haven’t heard back about the blood tests and biopsy. I’m hoping that means she is researching everything.

Say a prayer for me that there’s no allergic reaction and it doesn’t kill me as it goes in, that it goes right where it is needed and pushes all the cancer away while leaving most of my white blood cells intact, and that all of the horrid side effects decide I’ve been through enough and to just let me be.

May round two be easy on me and swoosh out the cancer.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxo

Keri

It’s never easy

It’s never easy.

I got up yesterday, took kids to the eye doctor, then went to robs office. Quinn has also started to have a nervous blinking tick, and now we will work on coping skills. The mom never just gets cancer, the whole family does..

We finished the paperwork for the camp and my heart broke a little when Quinn said in a letter that he knew he was going to the camp because his mom has cancer, and that he was happy to be around other kids who knew what he was going through.

I never wanted that for my kids, but then again, no one does.

We came home and I rested. Jill came over with the girls and I actually went outside and sat in the pool. I’ve developed a fear of doing anything since I started chemo. “Is this ok?” But I sat in the pool and breathed.

Quinn got picked up by friends to go play a little and I went to lay down.

Then?

The phone rang.

I saw the number was from Oregon.

Which is where I had just sent my scans and updated new protocol so Donnie Yance could get an update. We had planned on flying there for our consultation, but now with the treatment we are doing a Skype session. He is incredibly brilliant, and its a miracle he not only accepted my case, but moved my consult from October to July 24.

I thought his liaison was calling to simply say she got the fax.

I was wrong.

Instead she said he needed to speak to me and to please hold.

Then?

The voice I’ve heard in many videos got on the line.

He started to ask a lot of questions quickly. Did the tumor get rebiopsied? What was the alk phos level? He explained that the cancer is smart and could have already switched cellularly, and could have flipped from positive to negative. That the taxol is a very strong chemo, and if it has flipped, it may not be effective, and in fact, may make it stronger and harder to treat when it comes back, and that we need to address the root cause of the cancer, see what is driving it. He wants me to get a very specific and expensive biopsy done ASAP, as well as about twelve or so blood tests. He told me to ask my oncologist for these tests so we can see if this treatment plan will even work. That right now this is almost like a palliative care plan and without knowing the exact makeup of the tumors, it’s like going in blind and guessing this will work.

There I was, home alone, speaking to an obviously brilliant man, thinking “Holy shit. I’ve already started treatment, my hair is short and will fall out in a week, and this may not even be right?”

He said he has a trial going right now with Ohio state for stage four breast cancer, as well a just received a grant to do a study on thirty five patients of his who are stage four patients 15+ years out from diagnosis. He said he would be willing to discuss this all with my doctor. He told me to email her first and ask for these tests.

I said what do I do if she says no?

He said he will work with me wherever I am, will support my entire body and system through the hard treatments, but just wants the biggest picture with the most information possible to begin to treat this, and no matter what, he will support me. He said again how taxol is a serious chemo that will destroy my immune system, but did say the once a week will be more gentle. Silver lining I guess.

I asked him I am supposed to go sit in a chair on Friday for six hours now and get round two? He said that’s ok. Keep on this plan and hopefully by July 24 we will have more information.

We can adjust our sails if need be.

Meanwhile I’m like… what just happened?

He kept talking about all of this medical and cellular terminology and said he didn’t want to overwhelm me. I was overwhelmed, wished rob was with me, but was glad we had done so much research because this kindergarten teacher kept up with this man who has made his life work studying cancer, and breast cancer in specific. He knew his stuff. He wasn’t talking big language to impress, he was sincere.

He ended by saying that no matter what, we all just do the best we can, and that’s when the miracles happen.

He said he was already praying for me and holding me in love.

I thanked him and cried.

Then he was gone, his liasion came on the phone and dictated all of the tests I needed to ask my oncologist for asap. It’s not easy composing an email for a doctor asking for a bunch of tests without sounding like you are questioning everything. But there is no room for mistake, or ego, when trying to do everything possible to save your life.

I called rob and filled him in, then my parents. Then my Maggie, who sent me to dr Snuffleuffugus as well as Donnie. God has sent me these people for reasons and at times that only He knows the reason.

Quinn came home and swam with friends in the pool, and I sat with their mom who has been such a good friend in shock about the conversation I just had. This story of oligometastatic miracle I kept telling myself sort of imploded. My ears were ringing and I was trying to decide if it was from the summer flu/cold, chemo, or shock of the past two hours… or week.

Rob came home, and we sat outside by the fire when the kids went to bed. He looked at my PETMRI results and I’m glad I havent. They sound scary. The cancer has almost doubled in the breast. There is still a liver lesion but no FDG uptake. Something by my pelvis but no FDG uptake. He said he emailed my oncologist again to make sure that now that the final report is in that she still feels this is the right path.

She said yes.

NowI wait to see if she responds to my email last night and agrees to the biopsy and other blood tests. I’m not excited at all about a possible biopsy, as it was like a horror show and the lidocaine didn’t work, but Donnie said I could do a fine needle instead of a core needle, which is thinner. I’m also nervous to see if the cancer has mutated. What if we find out that this treatment which I’ve already started isn’t the right one?

Rob said that we will adjust and go to the one that will, and be grateful I didnt go through months of it. And if it is the right path, then we move forward with more confidence.

And once again, I am adrift in sea.

This is so hard and so scary.

As I sat by the pool with my friend, she said that when I get tired, others will fight for me. Just show up and be held.

Donnie Yance is a brilliant mind who is now fighting for me. My oncologist will hopefully think that it is wonderful I am adding a new mind to our think tank and continue to do the work to save my life hand in hand, and maybe together they come up with the miracle not only for me but for everyone.

Just show up and be held.

Just show up.

So today I am going to work on getting back to the miracle mindset I had yesterday morning before the phone call, while waiting to see if I get a response about my requests.

Once again I went to bed asking Rob, “How did this become my life, with my kids going to cancer camp and me talking to specialists about cancer and trying to increase my outcome survival?”

Twilight zone.

Please pray today that my doctor agrees to work hand in hand with Donnie. That whatever path I need to go on is found quickly. That none of this is being done in vain, and it all works so I can live to see many more fireworks and celebrate my own Independence Day from Cancer for years to come.

It’s never easy.

But man, it’s worth it.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxo

Keri

PS. I’m adding lyrics to a song one of my secret nurses sent me. I got it at the moment I sat by the pool and my friend was telling me about a speech where a sportscaster said when you get too tired to fight, just show up and let others fight for you.

Just show up and be held…counting crowns.

“So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away

You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held”

It’s a good day to finish the lifeshocks book by sophie sabbage.

Because I’m in the middle of a big one…

Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place

I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held

Just be held, just be held”

I’m not Fighting Anymore

I’ve decided I ‘m not fighting anymore.

I’m not a warrior.

Im not kicking Cancer’s ass.

I’m not going to war or getting through the battle.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to do every treatment they send me to, eat every healthy thing I can, and visualize myself here in thirty years.

But I’m not using those terms.

When I was first diagnosed I got a book called the Silver Lining of cancer. It was all about how to prep for chemo, surgery, hair loss, etc. I put it away because it was too painful to look at it after the stage four diagnosis, knowing that I was “too far advanced” to have these treatments.

Suddenly, a window has opened and a chance has been given and here I am, reading the books I put away.

My oncologist and nurse got right back to us and feel it could be the nasty summer flu that has hit simultaneously with the first chemo round, because, hey… why not?

I went to my mom and dads yesterday and had Deja vu from when I was pregnant. I had hyperemesis gravidarum and they helped me stay hydrated and do whatever needed to keep the babies alive.

Now? We are all bucking up to do whatever is needed to keep me alive. Scott and sandy got my kids, maddie had a great first day, jill got me the most amazing cold watermelon,lemon, ginger, Manuka honey smoothie from Paula and the Giving Room, my brother Rob and I texted about who was stronger, and my friends held my hand through texts and messages.

I came home and robs parents came to help him. His mom ran and got me chicken noodle soup and crackers and made me two bowls. They said they loved my hair. Rob is my rock, but even a rock needs a soft place to land, and his mom and dad are landing pad number two for us.

Summer son Joe came home and he asked right away how the kids have been handling it, especially Quinn. We filled him in and he is here for the journey.

So there I was, starting to perk up a little, and realized… I’m not fighting. There has been no battle.

Because I am surrounded by so much love.

So…much.

There is no room for love in any fight.

I’m not going to make light of this either. I’ll still laugh, but no jokes about new boobies, save the tatas etc. We don’t do that for testicular cancer, or bladder cancer. My breasts have been something I longed for when I learned about puberty. I waited longer than my friends. I’ve worn miracle bras and push up bras. Now? I’m doing chemo to shrink the large tumors I feel inside of the breast so they can shrink and we can remove them. Let’s not joke about amputations. As for the war, you don’t tell heart patients to go kick some ass before surgery, or diabetic patients to get ready for battle. For some reason when women get breast cancer, suddenly these women who have had this news thrust into their lives are expected to become warriors, when they really want to just live their lives. “Let’s drop you in the arena, remove your breasts and hair, and see you become a warrior! Release the Kraken!”

The hair thing has been hard as well. “Hey! You look great and now maybe you get to live!” or “It will grow back!” Listen, I’ve always loved my hair long. Now? It’s short, the scalp hurts which means it’s getting ready to fall out, and on top of that, my eyebrows and eyelashes will fall out too. This is not what I would choose as a look. I cut my hair short in eighth grade and regretted it instantly. Ask any of my hairdressers about the cut I’ve always asked for…”Just a trim, like, a teeny tiny bit.”

I’m doing what I can to make it easier on my children. Rob keeps telling me he doesn’t care. I truly think he doesn’t. He just loves me.

Just… me.

So I’m not in a battle.

I’m not a warrior.

I’m not kicking ass.

None of those terms feel like me.

I guess because I don’t feel like me.

I’m not who I was.

I’m transforming.

Regenerating.

Breaking down my whole body from the inside out, in hopes of building a stronger one. At the breathwork class we learned you get a whole new body every seven years. I’m starting from Ground Zero so to speak and speeding it up.

I’m walking along this path, a path that has had so many twists and turns, drops and mountains.

But along the way I’ve met many beautiful souls, had Jesus enter my heart, and God is holding me in the palm of His hand.

So no….

I’m not kicking ass.

I’m being supported and surrounded by love as I go through this transformation. I’m praying that everything that is happening is God’s plan and he is continuing to refine me.

Strip me bare, then heal me.

Today I’m feeling better, and going to get my eyes checked, as well as Quinn.

I once was blind, but now I see…

Amazing Grace.

Amen.

Xoxo

Keri

Hair cut

Apparently, day three does suck.

NO matter how hard you visualize it not sucking, it still sucks.

I went and got my haircut. Raquel opened just for me and had soft classical music on. I cried. My mom cried. She cut the ponytail off and I flashbacked to the little curl she kept in her wallet when I was little.

They both said I may have to go shorter again so it’s not so bad psychologically. I never wanted short hair, but then again, I never wanted cancer. Raquel made a hard and sad moment become quiet and sacred and full of love. She is a blessing in so many ways.

I felt like the daughter from Steel Magnolias, and Julia Roberts hit that hair cut scene pretty well. But I plan on a different ending to my story.

I took Quinn to the movies and met my sister Jill. She held my hand and rubbed my back as I cried behind Quinn during the Winnie the Pooh trailer.

I love my family.

I crashed as the movie ended, came home, and felt like I was dying. My throat was on fire, my teeth hurt, my whole body hurt. My big plan of forcing myself to eat salads and healthy went out the window and I had ice chips for dinner.

I told rob to make sure the kids know it’s not the cancer, but the treatment that was making me sick.

Morgan rubbed my feet and took care of me.

It was a long night.

I’m drinking water, just took Tylenol, and am going to do the first of several mouthwashes today.

It’s also Maddie’s first day of work.

This is not at all the summer I had planned. I’m sad, yet holding onto hope that next summer will be better and many many more after that.

I dont know what I need to feel better.

I know I need prayers.

So please pray.

Pray that the first one is the worst, or that this was just some summer flu I had hit me at the same time as chemo.

Pray the cancer shrinks quickly, they get it out, and I am truly that minuscule percentage of oligometastatic patients.

Pray I keep Jesus in my heart and God ahead of me as I walk this path.

No sad face emoji please. No

Pity.

Just prayers.

Xoxo

Keri

Day Three

Day three is supposed to suck. I’ve been warned by everyone.

“You’ll be in bed all day.”

“Nauseau will hit.”

“Just rest and get through it.”

So here I am, lying awake and up since four in the morning, envisioning today NOT sucking.

My throat hurts.

A small headache.

Debating whether to take the anti nauseau pill even though I’m not nauseous but the nurse suggested I stay ahead of it since I had hyperemesis with all three kids.

Feeling a little painful tingle on my scalp as I look at short haircuts since I’m going today to go shorter to prepare my kids.

Grateful to have seen family and friends yesterday.

Thankful for the wig experience.

Feeling determined, that this is the path I should be on.

The fear of death has been lifted, and a certainty has come to my heart that this is it. All of the knowledge I gained about natural and holistic healing paths combined with the research of my oncologist will help me transition out of being Keri with Cancer into a new Keri.

It may take time, but I’m feeling like I’ve got all the time I need.

Maybe I’m fooling myself and I wont be able to move today, but I can tell myself whatever story I want.

It’s my story.

I’m making it a great one.

Please put me on all the prayer lists out there.

God is so good.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxo

Keri

“So Keri, What did You the First Week of Summer Vacation?”

“So Keri, what did you do first week of summer vacation?”

Well, I waited for a PETMRI scan, was told the cancer was worse but there is now actually hope I can be “cured” and am some weird miraculous oligometastatic small minuscule percentile patient, but that means I have to now have IV chemo, get really sick, lose my hair, possibly amputate my breasts, then do more chemo…. and I need to start immediately because the window may close on this chance . Then I had to go home, prepare my kids and summer son who we somehow love like he has been ours forever, stay up all night researching tips to manage horrifying side effects, run around like a nut getting kids haircuts and forms filled out for cancer camp, go to Target and have a kind employee follow me around to make sure I found the plastic ice cooler and smaller bags of frozen peas and blueberries and largest socks for my hands and feet, drop off my kids, then get a phone call the hospital wants me early, gulp down more steroids and any allergic reaction meds because apparently it can kill you but they monitor you so closely the nurse sits in front of you the whole time with monitors so they can stop it as soon as you have trouble breathing or your heart races.

I have a beautiful soul of a friend from my SUNY Cortland days who held my hand the entire day. Lisa prepped me and was fierce. The peas and blueberries and socks and changing them every twenty minutes.

Then I took a moment, went to the beach, and prayed to Jesus to heal me, and thanked Him for my life and family and friends and love and this small window that He has opened.

Lisa also told me to forget the healthy eating and eat like I was preparing to go out and drink downtown. “Soak that shit up.” So I ran to the deli and ordered my first sandwich in a year and half, and got a hug from one of my secret nurse Society moms. Then lisa told me to get hard candy to suck on. I didnt see any but knew across the street at my school there was a bowl.

I called and Vanessa answered. She may be my assistant principal now, but she is my sister from God always. I knew I needed to get a hug from her before starting this journey. I ran across the street and into her arms. I hugged Phil, my principal, Mirta, my secretary, and Vanessa and cried. At work you work with people. I work with family. We took a picture together so I could look at it and remember all the love they filled me with on this day.

Then we drove to the hospital and i had the best turkey sandwich ever.

I drank and drank and drank water.

We got to the center and lugged in my cooler, carry on luggage, and water jugs.

So what’s it like to get chemo the first time?

Scary.

I sat in a waiting room looking vibrant and healthy and hair and tan and gulped an entire bottle of water, surrounded by very sick people.

When it was time to go in, I was in a unit with everyone hooked up to monitors and IVs with curtains separating us. Lisa told me to tell them to use a warm pack to find my vein and they did, first stick. Then they ran fluids.

Then they said since I had hyperemesis with all three pregnancies, I should expect the nausea to be worse.

Of course.

They ran two anti nausea meds.

Then it was time for the taxol.

They hooked up a blood pressure cuff to monitor me constantly so I made a game of breathing and trying to make it as low as possible. It worked.

Rob was amazing and kept changing the veggie and fruit sock packs every twenty minutes. He held the ice pop and gently put it in my mouth because i felt like i had the Elephant Man hands with the socks and couldn’t hold anything.He held my hand. He told me I was going to be ok. He told me he didn’t care about hair.

I’m so lucky.

My friends and family sent the most supporting and loving texts.

Lisa told me everyone naps and rests when they get chemo for the four hours. Not me.

She said I better get up and “pee out that shit” constantly. So I did.

In my travels I saw a woman with a cold cap. She was just diagnosed last week with colon cancer and was trying to save her hair. She said the radiation people told her to stop eating kale because it causes gas. I told her all about what I did and how it probably has helped me this whole time. She said she is going to look into reiki next. I told her I was a level two reiki master and would be more than happy to send her distant reiki from my chair. She said yes, so I did.

She actually fell asleep as I did it.

Then it was time for the carboplatin chemo. I never knew how long it took.

Hours…. and hours.

The patient advocate came and I told her immediately about the sailboat painting and how hard it is to be in a tube with your life turned upside down and have to look at an upside painting from a mask with a mirror strapping your head to a board to keep your head down.

She said no one ever brought that up before.

That’s because everyone is so busy in shock and treatment it’s just a little thing.

But the little things matter.

Everything matters, and yet nothing matters anymore other than saving your life.

Near the end of treatment the exhaustion and stress and insomnia caught up with me and I dozed off. My friend Joanne got me a blanket with pictures of my family and it covered me with love as i slept. I woke up with a feeling and looked at the foot of my bed. My friend Cathy sent me her friend Heather who is a nurse there. She always meets me now for hugs.

She said she felt my energy and prayed over me when I slept.

I felt it.

It ended, and my chemo nurse Jackie unhooked me. We were both so happy it was her. She had given me injections before, and is so kind. I even talked to her about meditation. She said she couldn’t meditate. I asked if she could take in one breath. She said yes. If you can take in one breath, then let it out… you can meditate.

We got to the hospital at 1:20 and left at 5:30. We were told it will be longer next time.

We ran to the car to check out the wig and head wrap place. I was told hair usually falls out around day 21, but many lose it before as well. I knew the wig place was closing, but wanted to see if it was too scary to bring my kids. The first time I was diagnosed and thought I was getting chemo I wore head wraps at home to prepare them. I threw them out when I was told stage four and also gave them away. The kids told me it scared them after that.

There is no going back now, so if I can make this somehow fun, and if I end up with silver surfer superhero hair, but it makes my kids less scared.., I’ll do it.

I’m doing it all for them.

And rob.

And me.

I came Home and took a detox bath as I had lisa and Annie Appleseed in my head .

“Get that shit out as fast as you can”.

I texted Vanessa and she helped me breathe through wigs and haircuts. I think I found a short one to try as a preparation for total hair loss.

Listen, everyone says it’s no big deal. But to me? I’ve had a love hate relationship with my natural curly hair forever. When I got my weave, “Blair”, I only got the joy of her for two months before I was told cancer. Then every time I put it on it became a way to feel beautiful before the eventual bald day came. Wigs are expensive and hot. There are synthetic and real hair wigs. I love my hair. Everyone who knows me knows how much I love my hair.

So this is going to be hard.

It already is.

They’ve told me my scalp may hurt as the hair falls out as the follicles will be sensitive.

I’m going to finally apply for the North Fork Breast coalition grant. They give you $1,000 for whatever you need. I’m going to need help with the emotional part of appearance. My insurance will give me $1500 towards reimbursement. Wigs can run from $200 to $2500. The cancer center is also sending me someone to do a chair sitting with a donated wig.

This is hard.

We will still meet with Donnie Yance, but now won’t fly to him. Instead we will skype. He is expensive, and we are using along the money from the benefit last year for him. Thank you to everyone who went last year. Because of you, I can add more experts to my team during a critical time.

I also gargled with salt water and baking soda.

I cant talk this morning as my throat is on fire. I’m hoping more detox and water and gargling will help.

I still have hot flashes, but no more coil with trigger ginormous needles. My oncologist said the chemo will take away the need for that.

I asked if that means it’s killing my ovaries. She said she didn’t want to say it but… yes.

So I’m praying it doesn’t kill any of my other organs, and only the cancer.

My friend Jodi dropped off three fun fake wigs to add to the growing collection.

I looked up shorter haircuts, as they said finding smaller chunks of hair seems to be less scary than finding longer chunks.

There is a wonderful stage four speaker named Nalie from Canada who has rocked the different stages. I may go for her look… or the Robert Plant Simply Irresistible woman from the video.

I may have a spur of the moment night at the beach with women who want to be with me and hold me in sacred space and prayer as I cut all of my hair off. I see the sun setting, women each taking turns cutting some hair and praying as the hair is removed so is the cancer, and then letting the wisps go to the wind and the water and the sun as it sets the sky on fire. Then we will dance under the moon and thank God for this beautiful miraculous life and the window he seems to have opened.

We will see, I may wake up one day to half of my hair in my pillow and just cut it. But it’s a lovely thought, and if my courage rises and the weather helps and my friends are free…I’ll throw it out in Facebook and whoever comes, comes with a candle and a prayer and a towel and love.

Wish me luck today with the kids, Quinn especially. He had a birthday party to go to but chose to stay with me. In a way it’s good Summer is here, but I miss having his teacher and counselor and friends around him all the time to occupy his mind. We will look into camps and activities this week.

Then we have my nieces third birthday, then a graduation party. It’s good to be busy, as they have warned me tomorrow is the toughest day.

Thank you all for getting me through yesterday.

And every day that comes…

Xoxo

Keri