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

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

My Christmas Thank You

{Some how I don’t think Christmas cards are going to make it out in time so I wanted to put this note on the Blog}

It's Christmas time and with that we think of gift giving, but I want to tell you about a special gift I have received. Cancer ... As you know, in November of 2008 I was diagnosed with stage four gastric cancer, at best maybe 3 to 6 months to live. So, you might think, this is a gift…yes. Cancer a gift, a life change for not only me but my four children as well. Cancer has given us an entire different perspective on life.
Many people don’t take the chance to reflect over the years with such appreciation; to sincerely embrace each precious moment with dear family and friends; and to truly know the power of prayer, the impact of love and support.
The difference one person can make in someone’s life, the difference you all have made in my life. I can’t thank you enough for all the thoughts and prayers, the support during my benefit, the visits, gifts, cards and food. I am here today because of you, and honestly the grace of God.
I am truly blessed and hope to have many years in the future to enjoy family and friends, and give back in return for all I have been given.

From the bottom of my heart…
Merry Christmas and the Best to you in 2011!
Love you all,

“Celebrate the happiness that friends are always giving, make every day a holiday and celebrate just living” – Amanda Bradley

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Surgeon Says

Mom had a follow up visit with her surgeon Tuesday, Dr. Icaza
It was a wonderful and encouraging visit! Mom.... fill in the blanks please, you said it so much better than I could!

Mom Comments.....
Dr. Icoza was so happy to see me and Jaclyn, he said I truly looked fantastic. Told me I was a walking miracle, he sees cases of stomach cancer often and never has he seen one with success. He said he was impressed by my positive attitude and the incredible support of family and friends. For follow up he recommended to continue what I’m doing, keep positive, eat well, take vitamins and enjoy every day!

I am Blessed :) that visit brought tears to my eyes and still does every time I think of that day after surgery, the news he laid on us, the strength you kids had, it because of all of you that I was able to fight the fight…thank you!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

December Update

What?!! It's December already and almost 1/2 over!
We don't have anything to report, yay! No news is Good news!
Love Jess :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thoughts from Jess

Mom, I wanted to share this post from my personal blog. I keep thinking every day how thankful I am that you are here with us today. We fought it together and we'll never stop fighting and we'll never stop worrying. Remember that we'll always have our special connection and we'll never truly leave each other no matter what tries to get in our way!

October 22, 2010
Life has been very difficult since discovering that my Mom had cancer 2 years ago. It was such a shock because I never thought something like this would never happen to my Mom. I very quickly realized how precious life really is and what's truly important in life. There is a very special bond between a Mother and her Children. I'm happy to be able to say that I've always had that and I know my siblings do also. It's easy because our Mom is so amazing in every way. I am so thankful to have her in my life as a pillar of love, strength, courage, kindness, and the list goes on. I love you Mom!

Lyrics I Love

While we were on our knees
Praying that disease
Would leave the ones we love
And never come again

This is how it works
You're young until you're not
You love until you don't
You try until you can't
You laugh until you cry
You cry until you laugh
And everyone must breathe
Until their dying breath

No, this is how it works
You peer inside yourself
You take the things you like
And try to love the things you took
And then you take that love you made
And stick it into some
Someone else's heart
Pumping someone else's blood
And walking arm in arm
You hope it don't get harmed
But even if it does
You'll just do it all again

{Song shared from my friend Emily}
Regina Spektor
On The Radio

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

CT Scan Results

It's All Goooooood!

Mom placed first after finishing her 6 month chemo treatment. The next logical question was "What's next?" and "What do I do now?"
She was concerned about the results from the CT Scan on November 18th and we are happy to report the results are Good, Clear, Gone and Nothing! Her oncologist says that her cancer is in remission at this time and our hope is that it will last a very long time!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Love Never Fails

Jen's recent post was so perfect and said everything exactly how I feel also.
It's been a tough few years. We can cry, whine and complain or we can choose to allow this to motivate us and look at life through different eyes. We allowed a bad situation make us stronger and rise to the challenge. It's certainly not easy and it won't be the last of them. Until then we would all do well to continue practicing love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness and self-control because no one can take those away from you but yourself!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thoughts From Jenelle

Yesterday you said "I did it."

"I took my chances and beat the odds."

Tomorrow you can take a deep breath.

Taking comfort knowing it's over.

Now you can begin to heal.

Begin to gain your muscle and strength back.

Speak your many words of thanks.

From deep inside your heart.

Know that you are loved,

Appreciated and an inspiration.

It seems like forever ago that Jess created Mom's Blog and wrote the first post titled "The News" beginning with, "After a few months of different tests to figure out what's wrong with mom we finally heard the news, the news we didn't want to hear, things we were afraid to hear. The thoughts run through your mind as you quickly dismiss them, thinking to yourself, no, this can't happen to our mom. Cancer? Stomach cancer? She couldn't even say the words...."

I remember where I was when I heard the news, feeling panic when the surgeon gave her sentence to us straight after finding the worst, the way she looked in the hospital, the funny things she said on her pain medicine, reading her comforting scriptures from the Bible, falling asleep with her at night holding hands, and even doing a "shot" of mineral oil with her for... you know.

I will also never forget how I felt through this experience. I never felt alone with all of the support we had from family, friends, and strangers. And when no one was around I had God to talk to and comfort me. I will never forget the moment Jess, Jacie, Josh and I stood in the hospital and held each other for minutes straight when we weren't so sure we could do it. We gave each other strength to stay positive around Mom when inside we were just as scared as she was. Fortunately, we were usually good at making the best out of the worst and doing anything it took just to see even a slight grin on her face.

Through it all I gained more than what I missed out on. I regained relationships with family that had been missing for too long, confidence that things always find a way of working out, the feeling that we can do nearly anything if we say we can, being able to look on the bright side... no matter what, and learning what is really important in life. Mom now has a relationship with her sister and old friends. They make a point to get her out to have some fun on her good days. You could say they brought the "old" Kerry back. The one full of smiles and surprisingly good dance moves, hehe. I thank them for that no matter how embarrassed I ever looked.

I don't know what it is like to have cancer and I hope I never do. I just know what it is like to help someone get through it. I can't imagine how much courage it takes to keep yourself going each day. To wake up on a treatment day knowing that in hours you are not going to know what is going on, then know that you are going to feel like a train hit you for a week or more. I don't know how Mom prepared herself for any of her treatments or her surgery. Maybe she thought about her children and how she wanted to do it for us because she isn't ready to give up, or maybe she didn't prepare much at all and just did what she had to because she knew what she was supposed to do. However, I do know that I am so glad it is over. And if for some reason that stupid cancer comes back someday, I know I will be ready for it.

My heart goes out to those who have lost a loved one to cancer. I can't imagine... well I try not to imagine what that would be like after such a long and hard fight. My advice is to keep your faith and a positive attitude, because it may be what keeps you alive. To those who have not been touched by cancer, give thanks for your health, pray for strength and healing for those who are still fighting, and pray that my Mom's cancer never comes back.

As Shawn said on the blog after Mom's benefit, "She truly makes this world a better place to live." and I am sure that those who know her feel the same way.

Thanks and Love, Jenelle

Cleaning Out My Closet

It's out with the old and hopefully some in with the new! On Saturday I helped Mom do some much needed cleaning. She was not feeling well so she lied in her bed while I held up clothes, some from nearly 10 years ago, and waited to hear Goodwill, keep, or save for later. As you can see from the photo above, I heard a lot of Goodwill. Although her closet is thin, she is excited to get back to her ideal weight and go on a shopping spree! We just need to film her wearing some of her old clothes so she can be on What Not To Wear and go to New York and win a $5,000 gift card to do so ;-)

It was just one more way to start over with a clean slate and a fresh new look on life. Goodbye old clothes and cancer cells, hello fabulous!

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Celebration!!

This week we celebrated Kerry's last chemo treatment. She is so fortunate to have such wonderful support from family, friends and neighbors. On Kerry's last day, Wes and Donna, Kerry's ever so thoughtful neighbors, brought a cake to the infusion unit to celebrate the end of a very long journey! Thanks to everyone for all your love and support. Barb

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Looking Good!

After six months of counting the treatments, the week has finally come! As much as Mom didn't want hear that it was time for treatment week, she is so happy that it will be the last one! Aunt Barb said all of her blood work is normal today and her biopsies came back NEGATIVE from the scope! They set her up for a CT scan on the 18th of November for surveillance and we will get the results on the 23rd so watch for them!
Love, Franke Kids

Chemo Day 1 of 2

We're really counting down aren't we! We're so happy we could scream and I guess we're so scared we could scream too. Mom is a bit scared this morning because she said it always hits her differently. Mr. Chemo is both our friend and foe. These last 6 months of chemo have been building and building which makes each treatment harder to face. We know she'll finish strong and make it through and we're always surprised on how much she still does and is able to do. Whatever helps get her up and eating and enjoying life! We think of it has just 2 days but it's quite a different process for Mom. It still doesn't take away the pain and suffering she has to endure. All of the love and smiles, positive thoughts and prayers are helpful. Hang in there Mommy!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Scope Update

Aunt Barb and Jacie went with Mom today for her scope. She has had trouble swallowing sometimes and was concerned with the area the esophagus meets her intestine. I just spoke with Jacie and I am proud to report that everything looks perfect! The doctor said that there is some irritation from acid and gave her some suggestions on helping it.
Hang in there Momma were are on the home stretch! Thank you everyone for all of your support through this!
Love, Jenelle

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Goodbye October!

October is such a beautiful month but we're happy to see it go because we can't wait for November! We're counting down the days and it seems to be all that we can think about.
Mom's last chemo treatment will be November 9th and 10th! She has mixed feelings about it because she knows it will be very difficult but also very exciting all at the same time.
It's not easy and it's not fun but our Mom is #1! Go Momma Go! You can DO IT!


Friday, October 22, 2010

The Countdown #1


Mom just finished her 2nd to last series of chemo this week. She's feeling super poopy but she's on a roll and is already super excited and looking forward to November! November will be her final chemo days of this 6 month series and hopefully for a long time!
We're praying for strength, patience and support to get through this!

Lots of Love & Hugs!
The Franke Kids

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Countdown #2

Go Momma Go! You can do it!

3rd treatment is done, only 2 more to go!
We're so excited we can hardly think of anything else. This has been the longest 6 months ever, but it will end with a grand celebration. Mom will be done with her chemo after 2 more treatments!

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Countdown

It's time for a countdown! Mom has 3 more treatments left!
Go Mom Go! You can do it!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Stomach Cancer Gene

A gene for stomach cancer leads to 11 pre-emptive stomach removals

A genetic testing issue that I first read about yesterday from the early news has reached the U.S. media in full force--a report of the largest family to have preventive surgery to protect themselves from hereditary stomach cancer. The problem appears to have started with Golda Bradfield. She had a rare stomach cancer, and so did at least 6 of her 8 children. These six died of the disease in their 40s and 50s.

Two grandchildren have been diagnosed with stomach cancer and one has died. After learning that David Allen, who died of stomach cancer in 2003, had a specific genetic mutation, the other 17 grandchildren decided to have themselves genetically tested. Six had negative results; 11 were found to have Grandmother Golda's gene.

The cancer in this family is know as hereditary diffuse gastric cancer and is extremely rate. The CDH1 gene mutation was first discovered in 1998 in a large New Zealand family with a history of stomach cancer. About 100 families worldwide have been diagnosed with this cancer. I was unable to find a support group for people with this genetic disease.

Individually, Golda's grandchildren considered the risks-- people with the CDH1 mutation have a 70 percent risk of stomach cancer. All 11 chose to have their stomachs and surrounding lymph nodes removed. At least six were found to be already on their way to having stomach cancer: While the stomachs of all six patients operated on at Standford looked normal before surgery, early tumor growths were found in the tissue removed.

Their lives have changed. Without a stomach, patients typically lose significant weight and must eat smaller meals more often. Some foods they cannot tolerate. But, they are all alive, and know that stomach cancer will not kill them. The long-term effects of stomach removal surgery are still unclear. Researchers around the world are following families with hereditary stomach cancer to find out how the procedure affects quality of life. So far, though effects on the 10 who had surgery earlier were not bad enough to dissuade the last of the 11 to also have the surgery.

No mention was made in news releases about great-grandchildren.

No mention was made in news releases about great-grandchildren.

The full story is available through a number of sources. You can Google "Golda Bradfield" and find a source you consider reputable. Most news items are based on an Associated Press release. To my knowledge, no scientific paper has yet been published.

Marie Godfrey, PhD


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Feeling Better

Mom's doing much better after cutting the strength of her last chemo dose. Her recovery time was less and her spirits are high again. Keep up the good work Mom! Only 4 more to go!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Chemo Update

Mom just completed her 4th treatment today and will finish it up tomorrow. Now she only has 4 more to go! Treatments are currently spaced 3 weeks apart which hardly seems like enough lately as the recovery time takes a few weeks. Since it's been hitting Mom pretty hard they decided to cut her dose by 15% and have included more anti-nausea drugs in with the mix as well as appetite stimulant and help with heartburn.
Jen's leaving for her Senior year of college on Saturday. It will be a nice break for her but hard on Mom to have her gone. So if anyone wants to help out or come visit Mom please call her, she would love that!
Until next time...
Lv Jess

Friday, July 30, 2010

Vacation Time

Mom's doing great and getting ready to enjoy some beach time with the family. I won't be able to make it but I'm happy that Mom's able to go. She starts her 3rd chemo session when she gets back so this will be a good time to relax, eat and gain weight! Enjoy everyone, wishing I could be there with you all!
Love Jess

Monday, July 12, 2010

I flit, I float, I fleetly flee, I fly

Mom left Arizona last night and I miss her SO much!

She starts chemo again tomorrow. I wish I could be there to help and make sure she's doing everything but she's a big girl with lots of support and I'm not stressed, no I'm fine. Mom will be just fine. I just hate it, I love it and I hate it. Why does it have to hurt you in order to help you. Anyways, please keep her in your thoughts and prayers this next week is going to be hard but she'll do great, she always does!

Go get 'em Momma!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Chemo Updater

Momma's trucking along doing great overall though this whole chemo experience. She's constantly trying to motivate herself, take in her fluids, eat the right foods, gain weight and keeping those levels where they need to be. It's not easy when you have to fight your body to survive but she's doing a wonderful job! So that's my update as far as I know. Mom's coming down to AZ for the weekend to visit me and I'm so excited to see her! Lots to do, gotta go!
Love Jess

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Relay for Life 2010

Mom celebrated her 2nd year in the
American Cancer Society's Relay for Life
at the Sangamon County Fair today!

910 Participants
102 Teams
$69,874.64 Dollars Raised

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Life Shotz by 21Ten

You absolutely need to check this out!

Ask me for a 3 pack sample or order your own box $25 from my website!

Please visit www.21ten.com/skaaren

{click to enlarge images}

Saturday, June 5, 2010



It's been a while since we've written. I think we're all exhausted, especially Mom. She's hanging in there and doing so well. This is very hard on Mom of course and we have no idea what she's really going through but one thing is for certain. This woman is SO STRONG! I admire my mother and wish I could be more like her. Dealing with this everyday makes my complaints seem so ridiculous in comparison. However, no matter what's going on with us Mom's always there to help support us or just be an ear.

The chemo schedule is for 6 months, Tuesday and Wednesday every 21 days. It's pretty strong stuff so it hits her hard and she has a few days of feeling better, then more treatments. Anyone having gone through chemotherapy knows exactly what I'm talking about and you know how difficult it is to stay motivated. Considering everything Mom's been through in the past 2+ years I think she's handling this so well!

We'll keep in touch! Thanking you all for your love and support!
Love Jess

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Chemo Round 3

Mom starts her 3rd round of chemo on Tuesday.
You can do it Momma!

Thinking of you!
Lv Jessy

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Kathy (Langford) Valtille

It is with great sadness and shock that we report that Kathy passed away early this evening. She had a restful day (which was a blessing) and peacefully passed with Leanne at her side. She was blessed to have had such a loving family constantly at her side. Please keep them all in your prayers as they go through this hard time.

Kathy, you will be greatly missed by many. We love you!

Kerry and Barb

Prayers for Kathy

Our friend Kathy Valtille made it through her 7-day chemo treatment to fight her leukemia, but she is not doing well. She has pneumonia and is not getting better and her body does not have much ability to fight it off. Please keep her and her family in your thoughts and prayers. The power of prayer can be amazing!!

Kerry and Barb

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Friends For Hope

My roommates are incredible people to say the least! Paige Kuykendall has been my friend since high school and it's hard to believe that three years ago I didn't even know Jenna Heiden, Lindsey Wolff, or Brittany Harl. These girls have been by my side through so much. They always bring my spirits up when I'm down, even pitched in to give me gas money when I was taking frequent tips driving home, and now they've started Friends For Hope.

Friends For Hope is a fundraiser that my roommates put on for Mom and I with the help of Carmen Mathais and her Dad who donated shirts and koozies. Without me knowing they put all of this together and hosted the fundraiser event at our college home in Edwardsville when I was home visiting mom. They invited almost all of their Facebook friends, asked for at least $5 at the door, and gave them a complementary koozie. In total they raised $1,000 and those who couldn't make it, mailed in donations. They surprised me by showing me a video they made the evening of the fundraiser.

I'm so shocked that $1,000 was donated from a party of college students who are struggling just as much or maybe even worse than my family. Of course they could have gone to a different party that night, or spent their time other ways, but they chose to support me and my mom. Even some who attended had no idea who I was!
Words just can't describe how much we appreciate everything! Thanks to all of those who donated! Thank you all for you generous donations, kind words, love and support. I appreciate it more than you even know. You are all such amazing friends!


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Kathy (Langford) Valtille

We just found out that a good friend of our family and our "sister" growing up on Douglas Avenue has been diagnosed with cancer. She had a cold that would not go away and then ultimately found to have acute leukemia. We would appreciate it if you would please keep Kathy in your thoughts and prayers, as well.
Kerry and Barb

Monday, April 5, 2010

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Stuff

It's been a while since I've updated you all but Mom is doing great! This woman can heal! She was pretty down but only because she's so hard on herself and she was in pain, and frustrated with what to eat and not to eat. This was NOT an easy thing to go through. She's focused on eating healthy, gaining weight and preparing for more chemotherapy to come.

I have to say the poor lady has 3 daughters, 1 son, and many close friends and family on her case! Jaclyn has been so awesome trying to juggle her own life as a working single mother and stops in to visit mom during her lunch and after work with Trin. Jenelle is deep in her Jr. year of college and comes home every weekend to help keep things on track. Josh is there with mom every night, helping to fix meals, and there to wake her every morning with a smile! Aunt Barb works from home and is always there for mom sitting with her during the day during her medical transcribing. Mom's friends Debby, Sue, Terri, Leanne, Luan, etc. etc. have been extremely helpful and supportive.

Mom's able to work part time and her boss has been amazing and supportive as well. She's excited to get back to working and return to a normal life again. (Just don't overdo it mother!) I'm just so proud of her and thanking you all so much for everything you do for us!

Much Love Always,

Monday, March 29, 2010

Friday, March 26, 2010


Last year Mom's friends put together a wonderful benefit which helped so much in covering medical bills, medication and doctor appointments. It's so heartwarming to see everyone come together and work so hard to raise this money to help Mom! I'm not sure if there will be another benefit this year, so I've added a new "DONATE" button to the blog. It's linked to the benefit fund we setup for Mom at the National Bank. We also have that information at the bottom of the blog.

So many people visit this site and if you feel moved to make a donation to help Mom please know that we greatly appreciate this!

Much Love,
Franke Family

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Gracie Puppy

Dear Mommy,
I'm so sorry if I jump up on you and get excited around the house. I promise I'll try to be really really good. I think I need to be trained so I will be a better dog for you. I just love you so much and I'm so happy to play and be a part of the family. Things have been different and I'm confused and anxious about all of the changes. I can't wait to cuddle and go for walks with you again soon.
Please get better fast!
Love Gracie

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Celtic Band Videos

Here are the videos of the Celtic Band that came to play in Kerry's drive way on St. Patties Day!

{note: pause music player below before watching}

Friday, March 19, 2010

Leaving Illinois

It's been wonderful being here with Mom helping her to recover after everything she's been through. This visit was not for fun or vacation but to be support and assistance to my family. I'm so glad that I was able to come and it will be very hard to leave. I know that Mom is in the best of care and she will only continue to progress after I leave. The next time I see her she'll be back to her normal self and we'll be at the beach celebrating!

I am so thankful to Dr. Chamberlain and my office manger Sonia for allowing me to take time off. My entire office has been so loving and understanding during these times. I also wanted to thank my neighbor Michelle who works for United Airlines. She was so generous giving me her buddy pass to fly standby at an affordable rate during the dates I needed. Michelle has spent so much time in helping me find the very best flights and she's great about knowing how to get around the system. I feel like I have my own personal flight manager, plus she's an amazing neighbor on top of it all.

Unfortunately, the flights are extremely overbooked with too many standby passengers waiting in line for Phoenix during this spring break season. I'll have a few more days with Mom and have a long day of travel ahead on Monday.

Thank you everyone for being patient, understanding and loving during this time!

9 days

It's been 9 days since Mom came home from the hospital from her 2nd surgery. Life is very frustrating as she copes with the discomfort, weight loss and figuring out what foods to eat or what foods to avoid. She's supposed to be using Jevity through a feeding tube for extra nutrition and fluids during sleep but has a horrible time with it. There isn't much information out there for people without a stomach, preparing for more chemotherapy and trying to regain the weight lost. Of course we're keeping positive and Mom is very determined to recover as quickly as she can. In reality she really is doing great considering what she's been through.

If anyone knows of healthy alternatives to Jevity tube feeding or any helpful nutritional information related to Mom's situation please let us know. Until then we're researching and experimenting as we go along.

Information about Tube Feeding nutrition from Eco Nutirtion Revolution Blog

Tube Feeding
Tube feeding is not exactly what I had in mind when I decided to study nutrition, but here I am calculating tube feeding protocols for the critically ill. Don't get me wrong, I see the need for tube feeding and give much gratitude to the compassionate and dedicated dieticians who work in inpatient settings. I just recognize that this is not my passion because it seems so far removed from my philosophy of whole foods.

It's disheartening, and unfortunately not at all surprising, that hospitals--like other institutions--are feeding the crappiest food to the populations who need the most nourishing nutritional environments. The Nestle Corporation holds a monopoly on the enteral nutrition (tube feeding) formulas. These formulas contain such ingredients as corn syrup and hydrolyzed corn starch as carbohydrate sources; soy protein isolate as a protein source; and refined vegetable and seed oils for the necessary fat component. Undoubtedly these ingredients are products of our industrialized, subsidized and unsustainable food system and are most certainly coming from genetically modified plants. These are ingredients that I avoid when I am well; I can't imagine that this is the only option for calories when someone is so sick that they cannot eat.

A friend, who recently had her appendix removed, commented that hospitals are not a place for well people. She couldn't wait to get home so she could eat healthy again. Wouldn't it be nice if our hospitals were places dedicated to healing instead of the economic agenda of multinational corporations?

There are some strides being made within the local food movement as far as getting locally grown produce and organic meat into hospital cafeterias. These farm-to-hospital programs are starting to pop up across the country, with 227 hospitals signing the Healthy Food in Health Care Pledge. Eight hospitals in Seattle have signed the pledge and have already started by hosting farmers markets and including local and organic options on cafeteria menus.

I'm not sure what it would take to get local food into the tube food itself, but this shift in food economy to favor local producers who care for the land has to start somewhere. I think being able to order organic green beans from a hospital bed is a good start.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Celtic Band Plays for Mom

Thank you to Kim and her Celtic Band for coming to play in Mom's driveway today!
Mom and Kim have been best buds since high school and Mom always goes to watch them play. Since she couldn't make it out this time - they came to her!
Thank you so much, it was totally awesome music!

Progress Report

One day at a time, getting better each day, that's what we say, every day!
My poor Momma she feels like she's been hit by a truck and says this is worse than any chemo or radiation but she's so happy that cancer tummy is out of there. I don't even want to think about her going through more chemo right now. She needs to gain weight and get super healthy first. She will, she's so strong and really quick at healing. Maybe it has something to do with having 4 kids eh!? Hahah!
Well I'm so glad that I'm home to help in any way that I can and also give everyone else a little break hopefully. I wish I could stay longer but hope to come back very soon! Good night!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Guest Book Thank You

I wanted to thank you all so much for signing the Guest Book! I always read them to Mom and every time I get a little choked up. You're all such wonderful friends and family, and even strangers!
Thank you for your support.
Much Love, Jess


We're learning that it's much better to be safe than sorry. After a few symptom concerns, phone calls to nurses and doctors they decided to have Mom pop into ER Sunday morning so the surgeon could have a look and make sure everything was working properly. They took an xray later followed by a CT scan which traced the trail of liquids taken in and no blockage or adhesions were found! Of course it will take time for Mom's body to get used to this new network and also recover from everything she's been through.
We have to make sure she's drinking tiny sips every 5 minutes between meals and waiting 30min between eating & drinking while also consuming 5-6 small meals. Sound confusing?! It's been interesting learing how to prepare and start the feeding tube at night. We also try to encourage her often to get up and walk around the house and she's doing great. We appreciate the little accompliments each day! She truly has such a strong desire to recover and get back to her life again. I have no doubts that she will accomplish this as quickly as she can!
A+ Mommy!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Home Recovering

It's Mom's 4th day back home. She's still pretty wiped out and getting into her new eating, drinking and exercise routine. Not quite ready for visitors yet. Close friends and family are okay but let us know before stopping by. She's been through a lot and is honestly not quite back to her cheery self yet. However, I know that she will be soon! I keep telling her that we have to take it one day at a time and this is only temporary. She's getting better each day! I'm happy to be here with her.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Home Sweet Home

Mom's out of the hospital! Yeah!
I'm on my way Momma, see you Friday!
Love Jess

Monday, March 8, 2010

What a difference a day makes!

Kerry is back! The change from yesterday to today was amazing! She talked and smiled and even watched some TV. Slowly but surely they are removing the tubes and even talking discharge planning. She is back on a stage 4 diet and doing well with it. As long as she tolerates her drain tube being capped off and is maintaining her diet and fluids, she is just a step away from home! She is ready!! Keep those positive thoughts coming --- they are working! :)


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Information About

This is a very informative website that explains the following about Stomach Cancer:

How it spreads
What causes it
Diagnostic evaluation
Staging and treatment
Supportive Care
Important questions


Saturday, March 6, 2010

New Room

On Friday, Kerry moved from ICU!! The next move in her steps to recovery! She is now in the bariatric wing of the hospital where the nurses are familiar with her type of surgery and will be able to give her the best of care. She is a fighter and I admire her strength! Kerry is still pretty tired and needs rest, so be sure to check with family before coming up. She appreciates all the cards and prayers.


Friday, March 5, 2010


We are so grateful and appreciate everyone's concern and love for Mom. I setup this blog so that it would be easy for everyone to stay informed and receive updates. Sometimes it's difficult for us to return phone calls or get back everyone. Please continue to check in here on the blog in the mean time.
Thank you!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Post Surgery Day 4

Good news! Kerry is still in the ICU, but has been downgraded to IMC status - from intensive care to intermediate care. They have not made plans to move her yet and she would rather just stay there! She is receiving really good care there! They have started her tube feedings to help build her strength and everything is going good there, functioning well. They are weaning her off of the pain pump and giving her longer acting medicine through her tube. She still has the drainage tubes in, but they don't want to pull them too soon so everything that needs to gets drained out. They have given her vitamins and nutrients to help build up her body. She is still on antibiotics for the pneumonia and doing breathing treatments several times a day and the doctor says she is doing great. She is working with physical therapy to start moving around again, getting up to the chair, etc. Most of all, she is resting a lot, just what her body needs to heal. The family appreciates all the thoughts and prayers - keep them coming! Every day she is getting better!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Be Positive +

I know this can be a very emotional experience for everyone and any emotion that is stirred up comes from your love and concern for our mother.

However, I need to stress again that it is VERY IMPORTANT right now that we remain ONLY POSITIVE in our thoughts and words to Mom during this time. She is in a very fragile state and we would regret upsetting her with any unnecessary ideas, what if's or should have's. Please keep your opinions and comments positive and if anything negative happens to come into mind please keep them to yourself.

Right now our family needs to focus on Mom's healing and recovery so she can finish this fight!
Thank you everyone for all of your love, support and positive thoughts!