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

Martin Luther King, Jr.

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