"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase"

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Some better news

The pathology report came back showing single cancer cells which means they have not started multiplying. And of all biopsies taken only one came back with the cancer cells. This is not as bad as we thought which is somewhat better news.
Reporting live, this is Jessica with your latest update

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Round 2: Return of The Cancer

The last biopsy results have shown cancer cells present. Putting things in perspective we are grateful to have come so far in 1 year. We thought this could possibly come back but of course you're never prepared for the news. Mom will find out more on Monday after talking with her Doctors and is getting a PET Scan done. We shall keep you posted but until then we'll be praying for strength and courage for the days to come. Much love, Kerry's Kids

Monday, November 30, 2009


Mom celebrated Thanksgiving at home with the family. She's just glowing with happiness in this picture, I love it! She's glowing with gratefulness and love for all of our family and friends and amazing doctors, neighbors, strangers, people that our story has touched. It seems like everyone knows someone with cancer now, or sadly even more. This year we all have so much to be thankful for and will continue to be thankful, hopeful and cautious. Our hearts go out to all who are fighting cancer, we love you, you're not alone!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

1 year ago

It was 1 year ago, we heard the news of Mom's cancer. I called from Arizona to interupt her thanksgiving dinner frantically explaing all foods not to eat. I couldn't sleep, I couldn't wait to get home to see my Mom! She's come such a long way from just a year ago now in remission!

I'm so grateful everyday for you Mom!
I love you so much, thanking God that you're still here with us!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Biopsy Results: Remission

We got the biopsy results from Mom's laparoscopic surgery on Friday.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Facebook Update

Join Mom's Facebook Page {The Fight Against Cancer}

We're over 500 fans!
Thank you for supporting our family and the cause during this difficult time.


We're so glad to have our Aunt to be there by Mom's side. Thank you Aunt Barby, we love you!

(Mom would also want me to mention all of her wonderful friends and other family members too! We love you all so much!)


I know I speak for all of my siblings when I describe one of Mom's best motherly qualities as "comforting." I'm talking about the kind of comfort you feel when the whole world seems like it's going to collapse on top of you, but once you're in Mom's arms or just hear her voice it changes everything! When I was growing up and heard stories in sunday school about Jesus and how he loved the children - the only way I could imagine him, or make him real to me was thinking about my own Mom; loving, kind, compassionate, forgiving, understanding and comforting. Now I'm all grown up and I have my husband to hold and comfort me when I'm upset, but it doesn't change how important and comforting a Mom truly is and will always be! Now we have to show Mom the came comfort and love that she always gave us and it's not hard to do! Looking at my siblings I see qualities of Mom in all of them!
Loving you and missing you much,

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


We're missing photos in previous blog postings.... hopefully Blogger will fix this soon!
Jess is on the case....

Laparoscopic Surgery Update

Mom's laparoscopic surgery went well today, I've included a little bit of the email we got from Aunt Barbar! (Thank you for being there with her!)

Hi Everybody!
Kerry went in to surgery at about 9:30 and was out in a little under 2 hours. I just talked to the doctor and he said she did great. He showed me the pictures they took and said that all in all, things looked pretty good. There were a few plaque areas that he took biopsies from, just to confirm what they are. He could see where the cancer had been and said it looked to have been well controlled. Unfortunately, they will not have the biopsy results while we are here - they take a little time. Hopefully by three days we will know - better than a week to 10 days! :)
Keep the good thoughts and prayers coming, I know she will be anxious until she gets the results.

What is laparoscopic surgery

Laparoscopic surgery also referred to as minimally invasive surgery describes the performance of surgical procedures with the assistance of a video camera and several thin instruments. During the surgical procedure, small incisions of up to half an inch are made and plastic tubes called ports are placed through these incisions. The camera and the instruments are then introduced through the ports which allow access to the inside of the patient.

The camera transmits an image of the organs inside the abdomen onto a television monitor. The surgeon is not able to see directly into the patient without the traditional large incision. The video camera becomes a surgeon’s eyes in laparoscopy surgery, since the surgeon uses the image from the video camera positioned inside the patient’s body to perform the procedure.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mom's Network

Mom's Network!

This is how Mom feels, her amazing support system, thanks to all of you!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Finally here it is… the update on my visit to the Cancer Treatment Center of America. It has been a week now since returning home, and still everything is spinning in my head.

The center is amazing; I was surrounded by a multidisciplinary team of cancer specialists, consisting of primary doctor, nurse navigator, oncologist, oncology surgeon, naturopathic doctor, nutritionist, and mind & body team. The days were packed with exams, tests and classes. In between all of that were wonderful meals, all organic, with a wide choice of new and unusual entrées, served in a beautiful dining room, that in no way could be called a cafeteria. They even gave us recipes for our favorite dishes. One of the most impressive aspects of the center is the genuine since of care and concern for the patients. The positive attitude reflects in all the staff from the drivers to the doctors, and it all rubs off on the patients as well. Everyone smiles, it is such a compassionate and empowering environment. (Barb called it the Disneyland of cancer treatment centers!)We met several patients from all over the US, each with a heartwarming story of their life with cancer.

All the test results were good (thank you Lord!); the doctors said I responded well to my treatments. The oncologist commented that I went through a very aggressive treatment and handled it well. All my counts were good. The only unanswered question was concerning the diaphragm and lymph node, these areas tested positive for cancer in December from the biopsies even though nothing showed up on scans, and nothing is showing up now. So in order to know if the treatments took care of these areas they will have to do exploratory laparoscopic surgery to look again. This is scheduled for a couple of weeks.

I have started on a nutrition plan including several supplements; some are fish oil, vitamin D3 and magnesium citrate, to build my immune system back up. So if I do have a few of the nasty cancer cells trying to grow I will be able to fight them off. I also plan to start Yoga classes to help with relaxation and meditation to relieve stress.

I feel at peace knowing I have been in such great care over these past nine months. My deep gratitude to my oncologist, Diana Willadsen, whom from the very first time I met her had a strong positive attitude to fight this, when everyone else just shook their heads in despair. Also, the awesome support of family and friends, your thoughts and prayers have held me up during this most difficult time in my life. My dear friend Debbie who sat with me day and night in the hospital when I was first diagnosed and always there when I needed anything from slushy drinks to stopping by at 7am to give me a Lovenox injection. All of the special cards, calls, visits, and food from so many genuine friends and relatives, I would list you all but would be afraid of leaving someone out. The successful benefit that involved such a deep commitment from so many special friends, which has enabled me to afford all the extra expenses beyond insurance. My boss, Paul and co-workers who have been so gracious during my times off. My sister, Barb who has been by my side, during chemo treatments and trip to Zion. My children, who have been amazing, they are such strong, motivated, and compassionate adults, of which I am so very proud! And, the strength I have been given from my own personal relationship with God, I know he hears my prayers and every day I see his miracles working in my life!

I do really love you all!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Being a Mom is such a huge deal. I'm not a Mom, well only to a couple furry beagles, but when I look at my Mom, and see the way she looks back at us, her children, her babies, I know that it's the most important thing she's ever done. I know Mom's fighting for us, we are her, she is us. Nothing will ever change our connection or the love between us. We know this already but I want you to know that I think of this every single day, things I hear, things I see.
I love you Mommy!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Test Results

I feel so blessed, another answer to our prayers, the results from the scope were great, no sign of cancer cells in my stomach! thank you all for being such an important part of this, I could not have made it to this point with out you. love you all !!!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009

Facebook Love: Italiano

Attilio Lafata wrote on our Facebook Page!

tumore ,cancro sono terribili parole ,fanno giusto rabbrividire, parte le cure ,per noi cristiani non ci resta che pregare,questo o qell`altro santo ma in ogni cosa ,bisogna credere ed avere fiducia in Dio,con la preghiera e facendo qualche fioretto ...
ogni volta sento che qualcuno e` affetto da tumore e misi stringe il cuore ,non gurdo l`eta` ma bensi` la persona e per riflessoi famigliari che gli stanno vicini,e un martirio assistere impotenti a questo strazio ,si prega ,ci si mette nelle mani di...

cancer, cancer are terrible words, they just shudder, the care for us Christians we can only pray this or any other saint qell `but in everything, one must believe and trust in God through prayer and making some foil ...
every time I hear that someone is suffering from cancer and began shaking the heart, not Gurd `s age but rather is the person and family riflessoi that are neighbors, and a martyrdom helplessly this agony, please, you puts in the hands of ...

Scope Appointment

Mom's having her scope appointment today. They'll be able to take a little camera ride down the esophagus and peek around the inside of the stomach. We're thinking of you Mom and hoping for continued good news! Love you!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Wine: Not so healthy after all?

Drinking just a small glass of wine a day can more than double the risk of cancer, a study claims.
It says that consuming just one 125ml glass of wine increases the chance of developing mouth and throat cancer by 168 per cent.
Other cancers are also more likely to strike regular drinkers, the study by France's National Cancer Institute (INCA) reports.

Dominique Maraninchi, INCA's president, said: 'Small daily doses of alcohol are the most harmful. There is no amount, however small, which is good for you.'
The findings go against previous research, which has found that the antioxidants in red wine can actually reduce the risk of cancer.
The INCA study warned: 'The consumption of alcohol is associated with an increase in the risk of cancers - mouth, larynx, oesophagus, colon-rectum, and breast cancer.
'The cause is above all the transformation of ethanol in alcohol to acetaldehyde, which damages DNA in healthy cells.'
This is particularly likely to happen if alcohol is introduced into the body daily - even in small measures, it added.
Official figures show that alcohol is responsible for around 6 per cent - or 9,000 cases - of all cancer deaths in the UK each year, including 5,000 cases of mouth and oesophagus cancer and 2,000 cases of breast cancer.
Dr Jodie Moffat, of charity Cancer Research UK, said: 'We know that drinking just small amounts of alcohol, in the form of beer, wine or spirits, increases the risk of several different types of cancer.
'So the more you cut down on alcohol, the more you can reduce your cancer risk.'
Judy O'Sullivan, of the British Heart Foundation, added: 'Between one and two units of alcohol a day may offer some protection against coronary heart disease.
'But there are much healthier ways to look after your heart.
'There is very little evidence that red wine has any specific benefits over other alcoholic drinks.'

Read more:

Friday, September 11, 2009


Hello Friends,

Just want to invite you to comment on a post if you'd like!

(See Example)
- click on "Comments" and type away

Feel free to express yourself! We certainly do around here!
Much Love!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Vacation Pictures

I've included a slideshow of the pictures I have but in total I think we all have around 600 photos and some pretty funny video (family viewing only for that!) Enjoy the photos, we all had such a great time!
Love Jess

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Bad News Bears

We just got some bad news bears and we're not talking about the 1976 film directed by Michael Ritchie.
Mom's health insurance has decided they will no longer cover her prevention drug (Avastin). Mom's oncologist has been fighting with the insurance company and lost but we're looking to appeal. We're so disappointed because this was the ONE thing Mom could continue to keep things on the down low between chemo treatments. This is just one more reason why this 2nd opinion will be good thing.

Hang in there Mom!
We love you!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

CT Scan Results

We're still celebrating great news! Wednesday Mom got the results of her stomach scan after finishing the chemo treatments. Results came back looking good! The scan did show a fragment particle in the bone which appears to be nothing but steps may be taken to have it looked at further to be sure.

Mom was scheduled for her 2nd scope in November however her oncologist has suggested sooner just to be safe. This will happen sometime in September. They did discuss options of removing the stomach but feel it would only provide a disservice to Mom should she need it in the future. It sure came in handy these past few months! :)

Because we know the cancer had spread to the upper part of the diaphragm, lower esophagus and lymph node we aren't taking any changes and her doctor has suggested the idea of a 2nd opinion. We're hoping for the same results but if anything is different it would have proven to be a wise choice.

We're in a good place right now, a crossroads so to speak, a new stage. Along with this comes more questions, fears and anxiety. Our focus is to get Mom back to optimal health and keep the caner away, or to find it hiding elsewhere so we can kick it's butt again!

The clinic is putting Mom's case on the board for doctors to review and discuss. They'll also continue to push her prevention drug as maintenance to be covered by insurance (Avastin) www.avastin.com

No further chemo treatment has been recommended at this time. We'll keep you posted on the 2nd opinion details to come soon!

With continued thanks, love and deepest appreciation,
& Josh

Mom's Song

Mom asked if we could put this song that she likes on the blog. We hope you enjoy it also!

Fight Like a Girl
by Bombshel


"Hold your head high.
Don't ever let 'em define
The light in your eyes.
Love yourself, give them Hell.
You can take on this world.
You just stand and be strong
And then fight
Like a girl."

"Oh, with style and grace
Kick ass and take names"

"Ten years of climbin' that ladder
Oh, but money and power don't matter
When the doctor said "the cancer spread"
She holds on tight to her husband and babies
And says "this is just another test for me.
And I know just how to handle this"

"I'll hold my head high
I'll never let this define
The light in my eyes
Love myself, give it Hell
I'll take on this world
If I stand and be strong
No, I'll never give up
I will conquer with love
And I'll fight like
Like a girl"

Friday, August 14, 2009

Cancer Treatment Centers

I was at work last week meeting with a father about his daughters braces. I had heard that her mother has terminal cancer and asked how she was doing. The father told me she's being treated at CTCA, Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Once we got started talking about it, he couldn't stop he was so excited. He told me that she's been maintaining and doing well since she started going here. She has 5 doctors that all work together, Oncologist, Naturopath, Nutritionalist etc., they pay for you to travel to their facility, you get instant results from scans and meet with the doctor same day, they make their own supplements for you and it sounds AMAZING. I wish Mom could go here. We should look into it! The thing about Mom right now is that she looks wonderful and yes her cancer is in remission but she's also under chemotherapy and too often people forget that she is not 100%, somedays not even 60% and she needs all of the help she can get, always! If there is anyway you can help please don't be afraid to speak up because any form of support, encouragement, assistance is extremely appreciated and will never go unnoticed! We love you!


At Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), integrative cancer treatment isn’t a buzzword or a recent trend. It’s what we’ve provided to our patients since 1988.
Unlike other hospitals and treatment facilities, at CTCA you will find a comprehensive and integrative approach to fighting cancer—all under one roof. Our integrative cancer treatment expands the boundaries of conventional care by bringing together traditional tools for fighting cancer, such as surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy, with complementary therapies, including nutritional support, naturopathic medicine, mind-body medicine, oncology rehabilitation, pain management, and spiritual support.
We are committed to treating all of you—not just your disease—using leading-edge medical technology and innovative medical therapies. With our unique approach, we aim to fight your cancer on all fronts, and with every available resource.
But it takes more than technology, knowledge and skill to fight cancer. It requires the undeniable power of the human spirit. At CTCA, compassionate doctors, nurses, clinicians, therapists, and staff members play an essential part of your care team. Each team member is devoted to you and your fight. They abide by a higher standard—the Mother Standard®of care. More than a gold standard, the Mother Standard® reflects the way members of your care team would want their own mothers, fathers, brothers, or sisters to be treated if they had cancer.

Ed Clark Photography

Jenelle worked for Ed Clark Photography over the summer. When he found out about Mom's cancer he wanted to do something special for her so we had a family photo shoot. Thank you Ed!


Family in Florida

I don't even know how or where to begin we all had such an amazing time. A week later I'm still glowing and happy from our time together. We stayed in a 4-story beach house with 18 people, tons of great food, relaxation, dancing, laughing, swimming and the list goes on. Our 3 car caravan road trip back to IL was even a blast. I was sad to leave and hope to come visit everyone again soon. Love you much! Jess

More photos coming soon...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

1 Treatment

Mom's getting tired of this chemo business but is holding strong. I can't imagine how she must be feeling right now. Don't worry Mom just 1 more left and it's after our trip to Florida. This will be a great break for you! Hang in there and no stress, no drama, no worry, listen to some Bob Marley or Enya and remember B-Positive... it's in your blood! :)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Beach Countdown

It's less than 30 days to our 2nd annual beach trip! This year our group has grown and we're so excited to get our beach on!
Last year Mom, Jess, Jaclyn and Jenelle spent a week at a beach house in St. Simons Island, GA but this year we're going to Destin, FL with Todd and Barbie's family to join! It's a much needed vacation and we'll be sure to share some pictures when we get back!
T-10, 9....

Monday, June 29, 2009

2 Treatments

Treatment's going well. Mom's used to the side effects of her chemo treatment and with only 2 more treatments to go we're counting the days. It's a time to celebrate but also a time of fear for her. The good news is that her treatment worked, the worry is wondering if her cancer is on a "chemo vacation" or is it really gone? I told Mom not to worry about that. We have to enjoy every moment, worry, stress and fear won't help anyone or the cancer stay away. Taking one day at a time, keeping up the fight, no matter what you're fighting for!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Hang on Little Tomato

When things get tough or you're feeling tired of the fight remember not to give up remember "Your sunny someday will come one day soon to you!"

The sun has left and forgotten me
It's dark, I cannot see
Why does this rain pour down
I'm gonna drown
In a sea
Of deep confusion

Somebody told me, I don't know who
Whenever you are sad and blue
And you're feelin' all alone and left behind
Just take a look inside and you will find

You gotta hold on, hold on through the night
Hang on, things will be all right
Even when it's dark
And not a bit of sparkling
Sing-song sunshine from above
Spreading rays of sunny love

Just hang on, hang on to the vine
Stay on, soon you'll be divine
If you start to cry, look up to the sky
Something's coming up ahead
To turn your tears to dew instead

And so I hold on to his advice
When change is hard and not so nice
You listen to your heart the whole night through
Your sunny someday will come one day soon to you

Friday, June 5, 2009

Immune Support

Cell Forte Max3
Triple strength support to boost natural killer-cell and immune system activity!

Triple-strength Cell Forte MAX3 features an exclusive combination essential for regulating healthy cell development and delivering life-changing results. Cell Forté dramatically increases natural killer-cell activity and boosts the cells' defenses. Maitake has been shown in clinical research to nutritionally support the growth of healthy cells. POA cat's claw is patented and clinically studied to benefit both the natural and acquired immune systems, plus enhance critical B- and T-cell effectiveness. Together, the ingredients in Cell Forté Max deliver exceptional support for the most critical cells in your immune system

Dr. Russell Baylock

{Mom please check out this book! Love Jess}

Dr. Blaylock is a board certified neurosurgeon, author and lecturer. He attended the LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans and completed his general surgical internship and neurosurgical residency at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina. During his residency he ran the neurology program for one year and did a fellowship in neurosurgery after his residency. For the past 25 years he has practiced neurosurgery in addition to having a nutritional practice. He recently retired from both practices to devote full time to nutritional studies and research. www.russellblaylockmd.com

Natural Strategies for Cancer Patients

His third and most recent book covers a topic that he has spent over three decades researching. This book is designed for patients who wish to become intimately involved in their own care and fully understand what has happened to them. In addition, it provides the reader with practical advice on dealing with many of the complications and side effects associated with conventional cancer care. The material is taken from the latest research being conducted by some of the most prestigious workers in the field of oncology.

In the early chapters, he discusses how normal cells become cancerous and the many ways nutritional intervention can interfere with cancer cell growth and spread, and most importantly, it shatters one of the myths firmly held by most oncologists-that antioxidants interfere with conventional cancer treatments.

Through carefully references studies, he clearly demonstrates that when properly designed and compounded, nutrition dramatically enhances the effectiveness of traditional treatments, and importantly, prevents them from harming surrounding normal cells and organs-a major complication of all traditional treatments. He also shows that even when used alone, these nutritional treatments can work as well as traditional treatments without the terrifying side effects. Practical, detailed steps are outlined on how to design your nutritional treatments, with explanations as to how they work. As with all his books, the material is carefully referenced with scientific articles cited in the book.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Full Results

Mom is getting treatments today and tomorrow. We saw the doctor today and was finally given the full results if the CT scan. The scan was done from the neck all the way to the pelvis this time. All appeared normal in the neck and chest. The lining of the stomach is slowly thinning and shows improvement. YES! The biopsies that were taken from the lining of the stomach showed no signs of cancer!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Nina Visits

Mom's cousin Nina from Colorado came to visit last week that we hadn't seen in 10 years! We had a good visit and I know mom enjoyed seeing her again. We shared memories and laughs with old pictures she brought us. We even had a puzzle marathon night, along with graduation parties and doctor appointments. Whew! Thank you Nina soooo much for coming to visit. We miss you already and love you very much!

Good News and Good News

Yes, it has been raining and cloudy lately, but the sun is shinin' in our house!

Mom had a CT scan last Thursday and has been waiting anxiously for the results. And boy were our prayers answered! We will get the full results on Monday, but the nurse called today and said that everything looked good!

Also, yesterday mom had her scope. We will get the full results in a week or so, but the doctor said that it looked better yet! Just what we wanted to hear. Things are sure moving in the right direction, which makes getting treatments a whole lot easier for mom.

I was talking to mom earlier today about how if you really think about it you can make yourself sick (headache, soar throat, etc.) she replied by saying yeah and if you really think about it you can make yourself better! I know that if it wasn't for her supporting friends and family encouraging her to stay strong, she would not have the mindset that she does now. We thank you ALL again for your love, support, and prayers. There is nothing better.

Love, Jenelle

Saturday, May 2, 2009

In Memory of Betty

Much love, thoughts and prayers are with the White Family during this difficult time.

“The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his peoples. And God himself will be with them. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore.”—Revelation 21:1-4

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Thank you Mom

It's Sunday afternoon and I'm taking a break after conquering the weed wacker, one of our newest frugal purchases for the yard. I actually had to talk myself into giving it another try. I kept thinking of how hard my Mom always worked and all of the things she accomplished throughout my life on our homes growing up. I knew I could handle a tiny little weed wacker and I did. But most importantly I proudly said to myself, I am my mother's daughter! I loved my childhood and growing up with Jaclyn in the small house on Adelia. Mom was always there for us, she truly is the best Mom a child could ask for. Whenever I'm complimented on how sweet or pretty I am (or can be) I always think of her. I love that I look so much like my Mom and I see her in my sisters too. I'm so grateful for such a wonderful family and love them all so much. I thank my parents for being so supportive in letting me move down to Arizona when I was 18 years old. Although I am away, we're always close in our hearts and thoughts.

Love you! Jess

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

In Treatment

It's almost been 6 months since we found out about Mom's cancer. She's such a fighter and I admire her strength so much. I appreciate everyone's wonderful support and on going encouragement. The current chemotherapy treatment is going well and Mom's spirits are high. Keeping busy with work and going to treatments it seems like routine now. Hopefully she'll be able to sneak away to Arizona soon for some healing warm sunshine before it gets too hot. If that doesn't work we're hoping to enjoy a family vacation in Florida this summer. I keep thinking of last summer in St. Simons and how much fun we had. Here's to a lovely spring!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Gracie Puppy

Gracie joined our family in January. Jenelle's boyfriend Chris had several adorable puppies that needed homes. We couldn't resist!

Mom named her Gracie! She's been spending time over at Todd & Marg's as well as a few other family members I'm sure! Thank goodness for everyone's help with Gracie! She truly is the family dog!

Friday, April 3, 2009


Great news! Mom's insurance paid for most of her wig! She tried the free one from the American Cancer Society but didn't feel very comfortable in it, I assume she must have felt like a manikin for a moment. Thank goodness for affordable upgrades! Treatment is going well this week. Mom's been able to work and still has a nice appetite! We're looking forward to a big family vacation to the beach this summer if all goes as planned! Keeping you posted...

Love Jess

Monday, March 30, 2009

Ready or Not!

Here we come!

Mom had her first treatment today. It was a long one, but she stuck it out! It's going to be a long six months so we must keep our oh so wonderful support up for her. That means she still want to see your bright and beautiful faces! And keep those prayers going... God is listening!

Thank you all for everything!

posted by Jen

Friday, March 13, 2009

Plan of Attack

Plan of Attack: Project Bye Bye Cancer

We've celebrated Monday's good news of the negative biopsy but fear and reality quickly set in. Don't get me wrong this IS extremely good news, the treatment is working and the cancer does appear to be regressing. However, this type of stomach cancer is a very aggressive mean cancer with high probabilities of returning. The scope and biopsy was done internal so we don't know for sure for sure, if we've got it all under control. So to prevent any surprises and to really stomp this monster Mom's decided to complete another series of chemotherapy treatment.

Project Bye Bye Cancer will begin March 30th and will continue as planned for a 2 day infusion every 3 weeks, for 6 months. This type of chemo is extremely powerful with nasty and/or strange side effects. Mom will most likely loose her hair this time but it's well worth the cause.

She'll be re-scoped in 3 months! Please continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers! You're all super wonderful and I know Mom could not have made it through without all you do!

We love you!

Thank you Gail

Since Cory & I moved into our new home (almost 1 year ago) we've been adjusting to a smaller yard and less storage (which are all good things.) We haven't been able to park our cars in the garage because it's still full of furniture and boxes. Knowing how badly Mom could use these items I couldn't bear taking them to Goodwill. We've talked about shipping back Mom's antique rod iron bed frame for years and I always pictured my wooden hammock in Mom's yard. Our dark wood bookshelf would be perfect for Mom's living room and Jen needed a daybed for college. Just when I was ready to load everything for a ride to Goodwill an amazing coincidence occurred. I found out last night that Mom's friends (Shawn) has a friend (Gail) who is moving from AZ to IL today. So before work early this morning I packed a few things in my car and my friend Selina came over during lunch in her car to get the rest. We drove to Gilbert and loaded the furniture for Mom. We can't thank Gail enough, and Selina for helping too! It's these kind gestures from amazing people that make life all the better!

Wishing Gale safe travels to Illinois this weekend!
Thank you so much!

A Continued Blessing

Today we heard MORE good news! Our prayers were answered for Aunt Barbar too! Her tests results from her biopsy came back negative!!!!!!! Thank you for all of your support and prayers : )

Posted by Jen

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The New Addition!

Congratulations to our cousin (and Mom's niece) Heather & her husband Ryan on the birth of their beautiful, healthy baby boy!

James Andrew Hicks
Born February 27th at 1:33pm
7 lbs, 19.5 in

Posted by Jen

The Best Birthday Present

Trinity turned 8 years old yesterday! And holy cow was she excited when we told her the good news about her Nana's test results! Her birthday present from Nana was to get her ears pierced. She was a little scared at first, but was a "new Trin with new ears" when it was all over!

Posted by Jen

Monday, March 9, 2009


I got a phone call from Mom, Jen, Jacie & Aunt Barbar today with some amazing results....


Mom's cancer is going into remission! The CT scan shows previously shown cancerous areas are now shrinking and I don't even know all of the terms and results I can't even think right now I'm so excited!

You know Mom, our little fighter, wants to go through 1 more round of chemo just to really make sure she's getting it for real!

Amazing! :)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Thinking of Aunt Barb

Our Aunt Barb "Barbar" and Mom's sister has been experiencing some symptoms and found abnormalities during her most recent mammogram. I asked Mom and Barbar if it was ok that we post something about Aunt Barb here because most of you also know her. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers as well. We will keep you posted.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Results: Pending II

CT Scan and Scope are done. We'll get the results soon or by March 9th.

Mom said "Keep those awesome prayers coming, and thank you for your positive thoughts and support!"

Hooray to Jen!

Congratulations to Jen for getting accepted to SIUE School of Business today!

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

We're so proud of you Jenelle! :) Keep up the good work!

Love you!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Cancer-Free Diet


Cancer-Free Diet: Ward Off Cancer

Want to give yourself a leg up on being cancer-free? Eat more antioxidants! Antioxidants are vitamins found in foods like citrus fruits, leafy green vegetables, tomatoes, nuts and more. Even fish, red meat and eggs have important antioxidants! How can you easily get more of these important nutrients, while also juggling your kids, carpools and soccer practice?

According to the National Cancer Center, lab tests have shown that antioxidants can slow or even ward off cancer. Tests in humans have been more mixed, but scientists are still researching how eating more antioxidants might help you ward off cancer. Types of antioxidants include beta carotene, lycopene, and Vitamins A, C and E.

There are many ways that you can fit more antioxidants into your day, without adding lots of prep time or taking time away from your job or family.

Pomegranate is one of the best sources of antioxidants. The nutritional powerhouse can be mixed with ginger ale for a tasty spritzer or served straight up. All you need is eight ounces! Be sure to choose a 100 percent juice version like POM Wonderful so that you get the maximum benefits.

Green tea is another good source of antioxidants. Tea contains a type of antioxidant like catechins, and green tea has the greatest amount since it's left closer to tea's natural form. Choose a tea with flavors to your liking and sweeten with an antioxidant-rich dark honey such as buckwheat honey.

Check out: Celestial Seasonings has several new flavors of green tea out that do double duty, helping you to ward off cancer and helping experts search for a cure.

Got a hankering for chips and dip? The crunchiness with a nice dip can be a great afternoon snack and if you choose wisely you can get antioxidants in the process. Head for an antioxidant-rich dip like a homemade guacamole or a hearty tomato salsa.

Check out: Deep River Snacks are donating a portion of their proceeds from their 40% Reduced Fat, Lightly Salted Kettle Chips

Some vegetables release more nutrients into the body when they've undergone a bit of cooking. Roast up some garlic, cook some onion or steam some carrots. Vegetables like those are enhanced by light cooking. For instance, you get more of carrots' antioxidants like beta carotene and Vitamin A when you cook them. Steaming is a quick way to soften up vegetables like carrots, releasing all the good stuff.

Check out: Cooking Light's website has some great recipes for carrots.

Flavoring your food with fresh herbs like oregano, dill and rosemary is an easy way to up the antioxidants in your dinner. Believe it or not, some herbs rival vegetables. Just chop them up and toss them into sauce, mix them into pasta or combine with salad greens.

Check out: The food blog Kalyn's Kitchen has a great roundup of herb recipes from around the world.

Yes, you read right. Eat your chocolate. Dark chocolate, in particular, is rich in antioxidants. In fact, according to WebMD, dark chocolate is a potent antioxidant, but don't even think of ordering milk or white, which are not antioxidant-rich.

Check out: Munson's Chocolates is donating a portion of the proceeds from certain chocolates to the American Cancer Society through Oct. 31, 2008.

Stupid Cancer

Surviving cancer with a sense of humor: One mom's story


As hard as the fight must be to beat breast cancer, one mother has chosen to “be a survivor, not a victim,” for herself and her family -- all while keeping the sense of humor she is well known for. Read the story of Stephani J., a courageous mother, sister and wife who discovered that life does not stop once you are diagnosed with breast cancer.

> Putting it in perspective
> History repeating itself
> Family Focus
> Laughter is the best medicine
> Post-Surgery TLC
> Work support
> Family future

Monday, February 23, 2009

Benefit Pictures

The benefit was a wonderful success!


Thank you to all friends, family, co-workers, strangers, and friends of friends to helped, donated and came to show your support. We truly appreciate you all so much!

If you need to contact Ron or Shawn regarding additional information:

Ron (217) 624-2943
Shawn (217) 415-6021
Email: ronncoorme@hotmail.com

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Results: Pending

We're anxiously waiting to find out the results on March 9th.
In the mean time we're trying to distract her with other things to keep the anxiety to a minimum. Any ideas?!

Friday, February 13, 2009


Congratulations Mom!!! You made it through your 6 weeks of chemotherapy treatment and just 2 more days of radiology left!

Today is a great day and Mom was so excited to be able to complete her final week of chemo after being in the hosital for previous low blood counts.

In a few weeks she'll be getting another CT scan and scope to determine if treatment has shrunk this mo-fo! :) Hahah!

Love you Momma!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Back Home

Mom got back from the hospital Thursday night. She's doing well and anxious to find out if she'll be ready to start her final round of chemo. While in the hospital she was well enough to receive her radiation. She feels better being home and is looking forward to Josh's special eggs he makes her in the morning! If anyone's able to come over and help clean Mom's house I know it really needs it. I wasn't able to get it done while I was home over the weekend but wanted to. For extra money Jaclyn & Jen clean at mom's work which means they never have time to keep mom's place clean. A big thank you also to our cousin's Courtney & Chelsea who helped Jaclyn clean mom's work while Jen & I stayed up until 5am working on her paper for school. I later caught a plane for Phoenix and still haven't caught up on any sleep yet. It's been a long week for all of us. Especially all of our wonderful friends and family who helped at the benefit. We're still in awe over the whole thing. We truly are soooo lucky to have such an amazing support system! We love you all so much! Thank you again and again!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Hospital Update: Monday

Mom's doing much better! Her white blood count is on the rise, she's taking in the antibiotics, fever is under control and she's working on getting rehydrated. We'll keep you up to date! You're welcome to come by to visit - just let her know when so she can get her room cleaned up from the party we had up there ;) Hahha! Love you Mommma!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Letter from Shawn

Give Kerry my love, tell her that I am very moved how many people truly care for her. We might have brought this all together but it was the love for Kerry that motivated people to help, come to the benefit and give so much. :) She truly makes this world a better place to live.

Letter from Coleen Orme

Hi everyone,

Well I cant believe I am sending an email instead of going to bed but I cant help myself while the feeling is here. I want you all to know that it has been my very greatest pleasure getting to know all of you and work with you in this wonderful project for someone that we all love. Anyone can see how great of a person Kerry must be to have such wonderful childern and family and the great friends that she keeps. I have been truely blessed have met and worked with all of you. I want to thank each and everyone of you for letting me have the wonderful experience. Kerry is truely blessed to have you all!

Thank you all,
Coleen Orme

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Hospital Update

I took mom to the emergency room this morning due to a fever and headache. She was advised by her Dr. to notify them immediately if such symptoms occurred due to a recent blood clot in her arm found last Sunday.

They took a blood draw to check her counts and culture samples to look for signs of infection. Blood results came back pretty low and they found some bacteria present. We don't have the culture samples back yet.

She's currently at Memorial Medical Center Room E258 but is NOT able to receive fresh flowers, fruit or veggies and is required to be on a Neutropenic Diet until instructed otherwise. We expect for her to be in the hospital for 7 days to receive the IV antibiotic, fluids and get her blood counts into the normal range. Any visitors are welcome but must not have any cold symptoms and need to use the antibacterial hand sanitizer upon entering the room.

Prior to this little bump in the road, Mom has been doing so wonderful! She's gained a few pounds, has been eating great and no longer has the stomach pain or heart palpitations. Today's recent blow is not a surprise and unfortunately is just the nature of the situation. As her body is trying to heal the chemo and radiation are doing the opposite. She looks fantastic and is just as beautiful as ever. This is just a lesson for us in realizing the sensitivity of the her current condition and how she needs to really take it easy so her body can heal.

We'll keep you posted!
Love you all!

What is a neutropenic diet?
A neutropenic (nu-tro-PEE-nik) diet is for people with weakened immune systems. This diet helps protect them from bacteria and other harmful organisms found in some food and drinks. If your immune system is not working well, your body may have a hard time protecting itself from these bacteria. Cooking foods (like beef, chicken, fish, and eggs) completely makes sure that all bacteria are destroyed.

Thank you, Thank you!

As we approach the big day today (Kerry Franke Cancer Benefit) we can't stop thinking about everyone's wonderful generosity and support! Mom is so thankful for the surprise gifts at the door, visits, phone calls, and for everyone's help and hard work in organizing the benefit, the donations, auction baskets and community support. We are extremely grateful and excited for this event! We love you all so much!

Thank you!

Kerry and The Franke Children!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Auction Online

M.T. Vann (the amazing auctioneer) has been hard at work putting all of the auction items (live and silent) online. This way anyone who cannot attend the benefit can still bid on an item in the auction. You will be able to do this up until the day of the benefit.

M.T. explains, "It is 'Ebay' or proxy style. Where they leave their maximum bid, and beside bidding against other internet bidders, we will take it 'live' and bid them against in house bidders. We only bid them up competitively as if they were there. For example, if someone leaves a 1000.00 bid on an item, but our highest "live" bid is 500.00, then they would get it for the next bid increment: 525.00."

The following is a link that will take you directly to the site where all of the outstanding items are posted for you to bid on or even just check them out!

Double click here to view Auction items or place your bid if you can't make it to the Auction!!!

Thank you all for your help!
Love Always, The Franke Children

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Diet and Nutrition

Cancer Prevention Diet and Nutrition

Specific foods that have the most powerful preventative effect
Certain foods have come to the forefront in the past few decades of cancer research as heavyweights in the battle against cancer. The National Institute for Cancer Research presents an all-star line up of foods known for their effective cancer-fighting properties:

Beans (or legumes), which include lentils and peas, are rich in fiber and contain several chemicals that boost immunity to cancer. Saponins have shown the ability to inhibit the growth of cancer cells in different tissues; protease inhibitors slow down cancer cells from multiplying and suppress proteases, potent cell destroyers; and phytic acid slows the growth of tumors. A study of 3,237 men of different ethnic backgrounds showed that the risk for prostate cancer was 38 percent lower in those who ate the most amount of beans, as compared to those who ate the least amount.

Berries are good sources of vitamin C and fiber, as well as a wonderful substance called ellagic acid, which has been found in laboratory studies to prevent cancers of the skin, bladder, lung, esophagus and breast. Strawberries and raspberries are particularly high in ellagic acid, and blueberries are loaded with a class of anti-oxidants as powerful as any seen. So splurge on berries in your morning cereal.

Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, kale, Swiss chard, and bok choy. Substances in these vegetables have shown the ability to stop the growth of cancer cells in laboratory studies, particularly by regulating a complex system of enzymes that provide a good line of cancer defense. High consumption of cruciferous vegetables has been associated with a decreased risk for lung, stomach and colorectal cancers.

Dark Green Leafy Vegetables like spinach, romaine lettuce, leaf lettuces, kale, mustard greens, collard greens, and Swiss chard all contain high amounts of fiber, folate and a wide range of anti-oxidants which attack and remove hazardous free radicals from the body. Researchers have found that carotenoids in dark green leafy vegetables are effective in inhibiting the formation of breast and skin cancer tumors, and preventing lung and stomach cancer. High folate levels in men who ate diets rich in green leafy vegetables have been correlated with a reduced risk of lung cancer, particularly among men who smoke. Results from the Iowa Women’s Health Study showed a 44%lower risk rate for breast cancer in women who ate the most green leafy vegetables, as compared to those who ate the least.

Flaxseed is the best known dietary source for a substance called lignans, which appear to replicate the action of estrogen in the body. Flax oil does not contain lignans, though they are often added by the manufacturers. In some short-term human studies, flaxseed consumption modified estrogen metabolism such that there appeared to be a possible protective effect against breast cancer. It has also been shown to inhibit the formation of colon, breast, skin and lung tumors in more than one laboratory study. Flaxseed is also high in omega-3 fats essential fatty acids.

Garlic is a natural antibiotic and immune system enhancer, a free radical attacker, and it increases the enzymes that break down carcinogens in the body. Ample research has shown garlic to be one of the best foods to eat for cancer prevention, linking its consumption with slowing or stopping the growth of tumors in prostate, bladder, and stomach tissue, and preventing cancers of the skin and lung. The evidence is particularly compelling for garlic as a preventative agent against prostate and stomach cancers. The Iowa Women’s Health Study found that women who regularly ate garlic had a lower risk for colon cancer. Eat as much of this mighty food as you can stand!

Grapes, especially red and purple varieties, contain high levels of resveratrol, which belongs to a classification of plant chemicals called polyphenols. Resveratrol has been shown to slow the growth of cancer cells and inhibit the formation of tumors in lymph, liver, stomach and breast cells.

Green Tea is the best source of catechins in the human diet, containing about three times as many catechins as there are in black tea. The catechins found in tea selectively inhibit specific enzyme activities that lead to cancer and may also repair cellular damage caused by free radicals. Green tea has been shown to inhibit or block cancer development in colon, liver, breast, and prostate cells. Studies done in Asia show that frequent use of green tea lowers the risk for bladder, colon, stomach, pancreatic, and esophageal cancers. It has also been shown to aid in preventing recurrence of stage 1 breast cancer.

Soy foods, which include tofu, soymilk, soybeans, soynuts, miso (soy paste), tempeh, and soy burgers, are particularly relevant in their effects on hormone-related cancer. Soy contains phytoestrogens, a plant-derived, weaker form of estrogen that some scientists believe replaces the body’s stronger form of estrogen at estrogen receptor sites in the breast, thereby reducing the probability of developing cancer. Several human and laboratory studies have suggested that soy consumption early in life may help protect against breast cancer later in life. However, according to breastcancer.org, many doctors worry that phytoestrogens in soy may increase the risk of women who have already had breast cancer. In another human study, men who said they drank soymilk more than once per day for 20 years were found to have 70% lower prostate cancer risk than men who never drank soymilk.

Tomatoes contain the phytochemical lycopene, which is also found to a lesser extent in watermelon, papaya, and pink grapefruit. More than 35 studies have confirmed a lower risk of cancer as a result of high lycopene and tomato intake, especially cancers of the prostate, stomach, and lung. Lycopene compounds tend to concentrate in tissues of the prostate, so its protective agency there has received the most attention. Tomatoes have the highest anti-cancer potential when taken in a processed form such as tomato sauce, tomato paste, and tomato juice, because of easier absorption. The PDR website reported a study that found that people with the lowest levels of lycopene are three times more likely to get lung cancer than those with the highest levels. African Americans in the same study were found to have eight times the risk of developing cancer when lycopene levels were lowest.

Turmeric is the spice most often used in curry powder. It has an active ingredient called curcumin that has shown resistance to colon, breast,liver, oral, skin, and stomach tumors in laboratory testing on animals. (probably poor Beagles - you bastards!)

Yogurt consumed in high quantities has been linked in some population studies to reduced risks of cancer, particularly of the breast and colon.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Radiology: Week 2

Mom started her 2nd week of radiation this week, this time without chemo. She's doing well. Over the weekend she had some painful swelling in her hands & feet with a few mouth sores and fatigue. We've expected these symptoms but remain relieved she's able to keep eat well and maintain her weight.

We know many are willing and able to help but don't know when or how. If you are able to help with meals, visits, groceries or appointments please email or call Jaclyn at (217) 741-3819, jaclynfranke@hotmail.com to coordinate the best available day & time. We appreciate you and welcome your help!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Radiology: Week 1

Today Mom finished her first week of radiation and her 2nd round of chemo with flying colors! Aside from some expected side effects, we're glad they are keeping nausea at bay and her weight steady. I'm sure she's looking forward to a nice weekend without appointments! I'm trying to get a flight home for the benefit and will look forward to seeing everyone soon. Lv Jess

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Radiology: Day 2

Mom completed Day 2 of her radiation today along with the 2nd round of chemo. She's doing great!!!
We can't thank you enough for all of your support and encouragement! Love you all!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Message from Kerry

I just wanted to thank you all for the cards, the thoughts and prayers, the visits, the food, the list goes on and on! You are so wonderful! The girls have done such a good job in keeping the blog updated to keep everyone informed about how I am doing, as some days it is just nice for me to not have to talk about it, but feel free to call anytime and if I don't feel up to it, I would love to get a message. So far, so good, I made it through the first round of chemo pretty darn good. This week I started my radiation therapy as well as another round of chemo, so things might be a little rougher for a while. I have received so many beautiful cards and notes. I have them saved in a keepsake box. I pull one out each day and think about the person who sent it and how special that person is in my life and say a special prayer of thanks for having such wonderful family and friends to support me through this hard time. Everyone is working so hard in getting plans together for the benefit. It is so amazing how there are so many good people out there that are willing to put such an effort towards making all this happen. I am truly blessed. I hope to see you all at the benefit, the only part that I get to know about is that it is going to be a lot of fun - bands, music, good food, family and friend and lots of love!!

Much love,

Donation Info

It has been brought to our attention that there are some that will not be able to attend the benefit but still want to donate. This can be done by sending a check to the National Bank of Petersburg with a note saying "please place in Kerry Franke's benefit account".

National Bank of Petersburg Address: 321 North Sixth Street P.O. Box 470 Petersburg, IL 62675
If you have any questions for the bank you can call them at 217-632-3241

Thank you all so much. We are very grateful to have friends, family, and even generous strangers like you!

Love Always, The Franke children

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Miss You

missing you so much mom, i can't sleep. i know words are not necessary when you look at this picture. it means so much for us. a reminder of our beach trip and next one to come, how every rainbow i see reminds me of you, hope and strength, god's beauty that is still on this earth, and a piece of paradise just for you.

so smile because it looks good on you, and be strong because you do it so well, and i will continue to follow in those beautiful footsteps of yours and send you some arizona sunshine to smile back at you!

see you soon mom, love you!

Support System

{ from www.Chemotherapy.com }

Caregivers' Support is Critical

A diagnosis of cancer can be overwhelming, stressful and frightening. Many people with cancer turn to spouses, family members and friends for support. The role of the caregiver can range from providing emotional support to researching treatment options to helping your loved one stay on their treatment plan.

A survey of 150 cancer patients, conducted in May 2002, showed that virtually all (99 percent) patients said their support network of people was extremely or very important in helping them get through chemotherapy. The same amount agreed strongly or somewhat strongly that having people who care about them made them more motivated to get through chemotherapy and 95 percent said their support network was instrumental in helping them get through the serious side effects of chemotherapy.1

If you are reading this, it is likely that someone you care deeply about has been diagnosed with cancer. You might be trying to determine your appropriate role. This information is intended to provide insight into some of the feelings, needs, questions and worries you might have as you move forward in your role as a caregiver in your loved one’s fight against cancer.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Quote for Mom

"Life began with waking up and loving my mother's face"
George Eliot

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Oncologist Appointment

Today I finally got to meet mom's oncologist along with Jacie, Aunt Barb, and mom. She was glad to hear that mom did very well through her first round of chemo. She was very confident in the recipe of chemo and radiation that is planned for mom and explained to us why she picked the more aggressive approach. Mom will begin chemo and radiation on Monday. Chemo will run until Friday, but radiation continues for 6 weeks. During that time, mom will need as much encouragement and positive attitudes she can get :-)

Also today, Rachel (Todd's Daughter) and I went to Canham Graphics to print some of our photography for the benefit. Everything looks perfect and we are so excited. Thank you so much Bill!

Lots of Love,

Goodbye Jess

Jess woke me at 5:30 this morning with a huge smile on her face and said goodbye. That's about all I remember ;-) Having Jess home to help was amazing and it would not have been the same without her. That was the most time we had all spend together since she moved to Arizona when she was 18. I love when we're all together talking, laughing, and sharing old memories. It is weird not having her here with us today but we look forward to her next visit. Thank you for everything Jess! WE LOVE YOU!

Back to AZ

I'm sitting on a plane waiting to leave Chicago for Dallas then Phoenix. I'm excited to see Cory, our beagles, friends and co-workers. I know I'll be back soon. I know Mom has lots of help and support but it doesn't change the fact that my life is miles away and I feel helpless. I might be far away but I'm right there with you all, working behind the scene until see you again soon.....

Miss you all, thank you for everything!
We're so lucky to have such amazing family and friends!

Lots of love & hugs,