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

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

PET scan

Today is Mom's PET scan. We'll get the results January 4th.

What is a PET scan?

Positron emission tomography (PET) is a highly sensitive technology that uses a radioactive substance to show the chemical and functional changes within the body.

Chemical and functional changes cannot be seen by other imaging methods, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT).
A PET scan measures body functions such as blood flow, oxygen use and sugar metabolism to help doctors evaluate how well your child's organs and tissues are functioning.
Images obtained from a PET scan help doctors diagnose a problem, choose the best treatment and/or see how well a treatment is working.
PET scans can be particularly useful when they are digitally combined with the images generated from MRI or CT.
The radiopharmaceutical used is designed to go to the part of the body that is being tested.

A common type of radiopharmaceutical, fluorine-18 FDG (fluorodeoxyglucose), acts almost exactly like sugar.
The body uses sugar for fuel, so the radioactive sugar goes to the parts of the body that are very active, such as the brain, the heart and the muscles.
The PET scanner can "read" any chemical changes within those areas.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Thank You to Our Readers

We wanted to say a HUGE THANK YOU to all of our readers. Your love and support is so wonderful and does not go unnoticed! Mom loves getting your comments and she hopes that sharing her life story will help others. We appreciate you!

Much Love,
The Franke Family

Being Strong

Mom liked this picture one of her friends posted. She thought it was fitting and I think so to. We love you so much Mom and we are so proud of you!


Results from Mom's CT scan and the next steps... by Mom

The CT scan showed a change in the kidney as described below:
Since the prior study, left-sided hydronephrosis has developed. There is mild dilatation of the proximal ureter but there is no obstructing mass. The cause of the hydronephrosis is not evident on this exam.
This is a swelling of the kidney, could be caused from a slight kink in the tube going from the kidney to the bladder causing some backup, possibly from surgery. Or if there is a small tumor pushing on this causing an obstruction.

The second thing is the small nodule next to my navel that we have been watching, could be scar tissue from surgery. Explained in the report as follows:
There is a small enhancing mass lesion of subcutaneous tissues of the anterior abdominal just to the left of the umbilicus. This finding is worrisome for a metastatic deposit. On today’s study this measures 1.4 cm.

Everything else was unchanged or normal, thank goodness for that!
Also my scope and colonoscopy I had on Monday looked good. Whew!

Follow up plan:
Submit to insurance co. for a PET scan, this will determine if there are any hot spots (possible cancer) with these changes.
Possible stint for the kidney.
Possible biopsy of the nodule.
Dr. Willadsen says keep my chin up!
One step at a time!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Genetic Cancer Results (CDH1)

The results came back November 30th and a family meeting was scheduled to review the details and discuss our plan of action. Mom is positive for "Hereditary Diffused Gastric Cancer" or also known as CDH1. Her offspring have a 50% chance of inheriting this alteration.

This means she got gastric cancer because it was in her genes and passed down. To use a biblical illustration, our bodies are imperfect because we're decedents of once perfect humans who became imperfect. Therefore naturally we all suffer from all sorts of genetic problems, diseases, illnesses and infirmities. So these results are oddly comforting to us because inheriting something that is out of your control is much easier to accept than to wonder what you did wrong.

There is also something interesting to note on the test results which I will quote and attempt to explain.

"Positive, predicted to be deleterious: a heterozygous deletion of C at nucleotide 315 resulting in a frameshift mutation at codon 105 of the CDH1 gene"

The word "deleterious" means "harmful often in a subtle or unexpected way." So Mom is positive for the CDH1 gene but she also has a mutation of this gene.

"To our knowledge, this alteration has not been previously reported in the literature, nor has it been previously detected in our laboratory. This sample is heterozygous for this alternation, having an apparently "normal" or wild type copy of the gene along with the altered copy."

Of course there is much to read and study on these results, the methodology, interpretation etc.
I've attached a link from Stanford Medicine about the subject which you will find informative also. Maybe you'll see Mom on one of their studies someday! Until then, we shall keep you posted as always. Thank you for all of your love, support and prayers!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Doctor Time

It's that time again to go visit the doctors for scans and checkups.

November 22nd - Surgeon Yes Thank God I'm alive 2 year check up
November 30th - Iron IV, find out results of the genetic testing
December 6th - Gastroenterology checkup with possible 1 year scope recommendation
December 7th - Scan
December 14th - Results from Scan and Iron IV with Oncologist

We'll keep you posted on any updates and results. Thank you for keeping Mom in your thoughts and prayers. These appointments are always unnerving, but we're positive and grateful for each day!

Love Always!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Safe Products

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Please contact Jenelle for more information.

Monday, November 7, 2011

What's Your Type?


What makes Me Me and You You?
This is the question that is at the heart of the genetic puzzle. It is also central to our exploration of blood types. The key is genetic heritage - the story line of your life. Even though you are living in the 21st century, you share a common bond with your ancestors. The genetic information that resulted in their particular characteristics has been passed on to you.

People who are B blood type have a different set of characteristics than people who are Type O or Type A - they are susceptible to different diseases, they should eat different foods and exercise in a completely different manner. Some believe that personality is influenced by blood type! Dr. D'Adamo, author of the best selling books Eat Right for Your Type and Live Right for Your Type, among others, gives us a blueprint for living in his books. Read on to learn more about the Type B individual.

What Makes Type B Unique
The primary challenges that can get in the way of optimum health for Type B include a tendency to produce higher than normal cortisol levels in situations to stress; sensitivity to the B specific lectins in select foods, resulting in inflammation and greater risk for developing Syndrome X; susceptibility to slow growing, lingering viruses - such as those for MS, CFS, and lupus; and a vulnerability to autoimmune diseases. "If I were to generalize," says Dr. D'Adamo, "I would say that a healthy Type B, living right for his or her own type, tends to have fewer risk factors for disease and tends to be more physically fit and mentally balanced than any of the other blood types." Type B's tended to have a greater ability to adapt to altitude and interestingly, are statistically the tallest of the blood types.

Type B Diet
For Type Bs the biggest factors in weight gain are corn, wheat, buckwheat, lentils, tomatoes, peanuts and sesame seeds. Each of these foods affect the efficiency of your metabolic process, resulting in fatigue, fluid retention, and hypoglycemia - a severe drop in blood sugar after eating a meal. When you eliminate these foods and begin eating a diet that is right for your type, you blood sugar levels should remain normal after meals. Another very common food that Type Bs should avoid is chicken. Chicken contains a Blood Type B agglutinating lectin in its muscle tissue. Although chicken is a lean meat, the issue is the power of an agglutinating lectin attacking your bloodstream and the potential for it to lead to strokes and immune disorders. Dr. D'Adamo suggests that you wean yourself away from chicken and replace them with highly beneficial foods such as goat, lamb, mutton, rabbit and venison. Other foods that encourage weight loss are green vegetables, eggs, beneficial meats, and low fat dairy. When the toxic foods are avoided and replaced with beneficial foods, Blood Type Bs are very successful in controlling their weight.

Handling Stress
When it comes to hormones, type B is closer to type A, producing somewhat higher levels of cortisol. When a Type B is out of balance, this manifests in overreaction to stress, difficulty in recovering from stress, disrupted sleep patterns, daytime brain fog, disruptive to GI friendly bacteria and suppresses immune function. This leads to increased risks for depression, insulin resistance, hypothyroidism and high stress can further exacerbate virtually all health challenges.

To maintain the mind/body balance that is unique to Type B's, Dr. D'Adamo recommends that you choose physical exercise that challenges your mind as well as your body. Type Bs need to balance meditative activities with more intense physical exercise. "You tend to do best with activities that are not too aerobically intense, have an element of mental challenge and involve other people." Says Dr. D'Adamo. Excellent forms of exercise for Type B's include tennis, martial arts, cycling, hiking and golf.

The Personality Connection
The connection between blood type and personality has long been studied. In an independent study, Dr. D'Adamo found that most Blood Type B's often described themselves in ways related to the following characteristics: subjective, easygoing, creative, original and flexible. In another study, Type B's scored significantly higher on "intuiting," indicating a preference or sixth sense information; and they scored high on the "intuiting/feeling" combination, indicating that they tend to be insightful, mystical, idealistic, creative, globally-oriented, people-oriented and good at imagining. They also reported that they learned best through listening, then reflecting on and interpreting what they had observed. Perhaps the nomadic life of the steppes contributed to long hours given over to talk as well as ample time for meditation and reflection.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Nothing New November

Nothing new to report yet. We're still waiting on the genetic testing results for the stomach cancer gene. Mom's been doing super wonderful and busy as ever. She has to have regular iron and vitamin B shots but seems to be holding strong!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Like My Mother Does

People always say
I have a laugh like my mother does
Guess that makes sense
She taught me how to smile when things get rough
I’ve got her spirit, she’s always got my back
When I look at her I think I want to be just like that

When I love I give it all I’ve got
Like my mother does
When I’m scared I bow my head and pray
Like my mother does

She’s a rock, she is grace
She’s an angel, she’s my heart and soul
She does it all

When I love, I give it all I’ve got
Like my mother does
When I’m scared I bow my head and pray
Like my mother does

When I’m weak and unpretty
I know I’m beautiful and strong
Because I see myself
Like my mother does

"Like My Mother Does" - Lauren Alaina

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Starfish

While walking along a beach, an elderly gentleman saw someone in the distance leaning down, picking something up and throwing it into the ocean.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, picking up starfish one by one and tossing each one gently back into the water.

He came closer still and called out, "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?"
The young man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean."

The old man smiled, and said, "I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?"
To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."

Upon hearing this, the elderly observer commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"

The young man listened politely. Then he bent down, picked up another starfish, threw it into the back into the ocean past the breaking waves and said, "It made a difference for that one."

{Photo by Jenelle Franke}

Monday, September 26, 2011

On The Radio

"On The Radio"

... A million ancient bees
Began to sting our knees
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...

"On The Radio"
by Regina Spektor

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Your Pedigree

Gastric cancer is the second most common cause of cancer mortality worldwide.
Could it be in the genes?

American Society of Clinical Oncology: Hereditary gastric cancer caused by germline CDH1 gene mutations

Study: Hereditary diffuse gastric cancer: diagnosis, genetic counseling, and prophylactic total gastrectomy

Friday, September 16, 2011

Genetic Testing

Mom was approved for the genetic testing for gastric cancer to see if it's something that could have been passed down through the genes.
Let the genetic testing begin. We shall keep you posted.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Perfect Day!

It's a perfect day! Mom's scan is good and she's a Grandma for the 2nd time! Oh I'm sorry, I mean she's a Nana! Myles Oliver Franke was born this morning at 6:50am 7lbs2oz, 20 3/4 inches. Congratlations to Josh & Katie!
He's a beautiful little baby boy, perfect and precious!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Fence

Tonight mom and I were having one of our usual spiritual and philosophical conversations when we can to a mutual conclusion about life...

(Me) "Everyone should live as if they did have cancer because they would realize how precious life is and what's truly important in life."

(Mom) "Yeah but when you get cancer you want to think about living forever because that's your hope to survive and get through it so you can fight another day."

Scan Results

Mom's been so busy that I just found out she had a CT scan done last week. Results come tomorrow. She's keeping the stress low and not thinking about it, obviously. :) But told me I could put it on the blog today. Please continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers in addition to the many other people fighting cancer and going through hard times. Our thoughts and prayers are also with you.

Love Always & Goodnight!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Yes, We Can!

This poster reminds me of our mom. I'm told there's something so very special about a mother that you can't truly understand it until you are one. Since the day you first become a mother your entire life is your children. You fear for all of things that could happen to them and you fear for the choices they could make and what will become of their lives. People tell me it's like your heart is ripped out of you every single day. It's sounds horribly painful and sad but it's actually such beautiful thing. Because of you, a mother, your children came into this world.
Although I don't have children of my own I have such a beautiful example of how a mother should be. I see her beautiful qualities of strength, love, patience, forgiveness, kindness and the list goes on and on really. I love you mom. Thank you so much for everything you do for us all every single day. You are the best! Love Jess :)

Friday, September 2, 2011


My husband bought me a poster similar to this and I love it! So I modified it to fit mom!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Blog'n No Stop'n

I've been blogging every month since November 2008 when mom was first diagnosed. As we approach the 3 year anniversary of mom's survival I want to assure you that I will continue to blog every month! We can't thank you for all of your love, support and prayers. Many people are fighting cancer and it's important that we find out what we need to help us through. Mom needs you and we can't thank you enough from the very bottom of our hearts!

We love you! Thank you!

Book Profits Donated

Wedding Artifacts by Cory Michael Skaaren

All profits from the sale of this book will be donated to The Kerry Franke Benefit Fund!

If you or someone you know would enjoy a designed vintage wedding coffee table book, please order one today!

Click here to order/view the book!

Chemo Vacation

It's a Chemo Vacation. I didn't put an exclamation mark at the end of that sentence but I feel like I should have! Should we be celebrating? Honestly every single day is a celebration and a gift! It should be for each one of us, but for those of you like my mom, you don't really know what you have until cancer enters your life. Who cares about the unknown, who cares how many times we've already been on a chemo vacation.... at least the cancer isn't here right now and at least mom doesn't have to be on chemo right now! So I say let's Part-Tay!

Monday, August 8, 2011

August Begins

It's August and it's also time for another doctor appointment, tomorrow.
Mom will be meeting with the doctors who have all "collaborated" and came up with a plan/suggestions for her next step. I'm sure it's a difficult day for her today as the anxiety starts to set it. So I picked one my favorite scriptures to share.

"while YOU throw all YOUR anxiety upon him, because he cares for YOU."
1 Peter 5:7

We'll keep you posted, thank you for all of your love and support and prayers for Momma.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Heart & Soul

Jen and Chris' Wedding was July 23rd. Our beautiful baby girl is all grown up now, married, graduated, working, planting gardens and following her mother's footsteps in home restoration. Chris is pretty good himself and will be such a great husband - they make a wonderful team!

Mom truly put her entire heart, soul and creativity into this wedding. She worked so hard physically and emotionally getting this together. With the help of many awesome and wonderful family and friends they brought her vision to life. It all came together so beautifully and words can not describe how important and special this day was for Jen & Mom, and our entire circle of family and friends.

Thank you so much Mom.
Thank you to all who helped.
Thank you to all who attended.
and to those we could not invite, we wished you could be there!

We love you all!

2nd Opinion Update

I was waiting until after Jen's wedding to write about Mom's 2nd opinion because there's only so much one can take at a time. So deep breaths and here we go. Mom had a good visit with a doctor in St. Louis who reviewed the past and current situation in great detail. The decision is to wait and not do additional chemo at this time. The scan's and labwork look great and we want to give Mom time to recover from the previous surgery, gain weight, improve health etc. The problem with chemo is when the bad cells are not active the chemo does nothing. The problem with waiting is that it could pop up in places that are not recoverable and this is a very scary place to be. Mom's such a trooper and such a fighter. I am truly so very proud of her every single day. She's very unique in surviving this gastric cancer so they are treating this situation very closely and carefully. I trust Mom's choices and fully support her no matter what. It will be hard but we will all be praying often to stay strong and focused.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Miss 2008

Mom's oncologist just named her "Miss 2008"

If you wonder why? It's because she was diagnosed with gastric cancer in 2008 and no one expected her to survive 2008!

I don't think we'll ever get tired of doctors telling us this because it feels good to fight and win. To keep up the fight is a whole nother story.

During her recent visit with the oncologist it has been recommended and suggested that mom start followup chemotherapy since the removal of her gastric cancer on the ovaries.

The most likely reason why it appeared on the ovaries after the last chemo treatments has much to do with the cancer cells becoming dormit. If any cancer cells are still hiding yet dormit during treatments, we can't destroy them. If mom chooses not do chemo yet she risks any dormit cells growing and spreading very quickly. Pick your poision! Plus she's afraid of losing anymore body parts that she'll be needing. So in her heart she knows this has to be done. We're going to wait until after Chris & Jen's wedding.

The good news is the CT Scan and path reports all look fantastic and there is no cancer that can be found right now. Her oncologist suggested that she get a 2nd opinion before making her decision which always seems to help. I suggest that someone uses those recently removed cancer cells and starts testing them on different types of chemo! No one will ever care about mom as much as we do but it doesn't mean they don't want to help. They just get to clock out at the end of the day and mom doesn't get to clock out from her cancer.

Well thank you for tuning in to our most recent blog update. We love you and appreciate you and need you!

Love Always,
Jess & Co.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Welcome Home (Take 2)

Mom is home from the hospital today! She's relaxing and going to take it easy (right Mom!) and drink LOTS of fluids (Sippy Sip!) and eat good-for-you food! Good job Mom - I'm very proud of you already!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Road to Life

Dr. Icaza (Surgeon from Gastrectomy), Dr. Shaffer (Surgeon from Hysterectomy) and Dr. Willadsen (Oncologist) all 3 came in to monitor, evaluate and visit with Mom today. They told her that today is just a mild bump in the road to recovery. Mom's oncologist appointment was supposed to be today so we'll have to reschedule once she's feeling better. I don't know about Mom, but I'm not ready to talk about chemo again. I want alternatives and I want something good for her - to help lessen the chemo blows. Sure chemo is great if it gets rid of the cancer but the process in not. She's doing a great job but still needs to go easy and make sure she's taking in the right amount of fluids and eating good clean food. If wishes could come true I would have a degree in nutrition (only so that people will finally listen to me) and I would keep Mom's house stocked with healthy organic foods. I told Mom to embrace her inner hippie and think Green, think Organic, but right now she's just thinking about Surviving. So here's to the Road to Life... Here we come!

ER visit

Mom went to ER last night (Thursday 2nd) due to severe abdominal pain/gas. She has a blockage but the doctors feel very certain that it's not an adhesion blockage. They took a 2nd x-ray which shows things are slowing starting to move on their own. I'll update this post tonight when I have more information but for now they are keeping her at the hospital.

Update: She's hanging in there, not in any pain, doctors day the blockage is partial, she's on a liquid diet, walking and sitting up in the chair.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

One Week Later

Wooo Hooo! Give it up for Momma!
She gets her 15 staples out today! Mom is healing very well and feeling good!
Keep up the good work Gov'na!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Mom's Home

Mom got back from the hospital last night! She's happy to be home and looks forward to recuperating there. We're so relived that her surgery was a success. Thank you for all of your prayers, love and support!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cancer Causing Foods

Top Foods and Ingredients to Avoid

Studies indicate that specific foods and ingredients are harmful to your health potentially contributing to cancer risk, cancer development, and cancer growth. Frequent and ongoing consumption of cancer causing foods and ingredients appears to impact quality of life and cancer survival. Educate yourself and avoid cancer causing foods and ingredients as much as possible. Pay attention to what you eat. Monitor your eating patterns to identify how frequently you eat cancer causing foods. Read your labels to learn about ingredients. You may not realize how frequently some harmful ingredients are used in foods. Give your kitchen and health a makeover. Be bold and eliminate cancer causing foods and ingredients.

Although dietary and nutritional changes can feel challenging, the improvements are well worth the effort. We predict that after some clearing out of the old, and building of the new, you will feel invigorated by a healthier diet. If you feel overwhelmed, know the severity of the challenge in eating healthier foods is consistent with the reward. Once you start feeling the benefits of new food habits, we predict that you will never look back.

Our information about top foods and ingredients to avoid contains power to support your health and healing. We hope you feel empowered by learning about the health effects from cancer causing foods and ingredients. Avoid overwhelm. Dietary changes are best transitioned in a spectrum. While some people can make dietary changes overnight, most people engage a gradual process of food and ingredient elimination over a period of time. Make changes step by step.

•Fats and Cancer
•Animal Protein and Cancer
•Sugar and Cancer
•Other Ingredients
•Genetically Modified Foods

You can fight cancer through what you subtract from your kitchen. You can also fight cancer through what you add to your mouth. Go shopping and buy items from Top Foods to Eat.
Please keep in mind that nutrition and cancer is one of the most important areas of focus in an integrative cancer care plan.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fight Free Radicals

Now let's celebrate and here is Dr. Jess telling you it's time to heal and be healthy Momma!
Checkout these Top 10 Foods that Fight Free Radicals! We should all be eating lots of these!

The Top Ten Foods that Fight Free Radicals

1) Blueberries - Especially the wild species, blueberries contain antioxidants which have been found to reduce the risks of some cancers. One study suggests certain compounds present in blueberries have a major effect in reducing the degradation of brain function, as in Alzheimer's disease and other conditions. Other studies have shown that blueberries may help diminish stroke damage, prevent urinary tract infections, and lower cholesterol and lipid levels in the blood, which help alleviate and even reverse signs and symptoms of heart disease. In addition, blueberries are high in manganese as well as vitamin K, and have a very low glycemic load, making it an ideal food for diabetics.

2) Kale - The health benefits of kale are attributed to sulfur-containing phytonutrients. According to research, these substances appear to be able to reduce the occurrence of numerous types of cancers. It is unclear how it works though, but researchers have concluded that such compounds in kale may trigger enzymes in the body that help to offset cancer promoting substances. Kale is also an excellent source of fiber, which is an important consideration for the millions of people who suffer from high cholesterol levels and in helping rid the colon of impurities. Additionally, kale is a good source of calcium, is extremely sparse on calories, has no saturated fat, and does not cause widespread allergic reactions like many dairy products do.

3) Strawberries - Ounce for ounce, strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, providing a better source of the vitamin than oranges. They provide a healthy dose of folate, potassium, riboflavin and iron. The seeds in strawberries act as a source of insoluble fiber, which can help prevent constipation. Strawberries are also a great source of pectin and other soluble fibers that have been proven to lower cholesterol. They contain bioflavinoids, including red anthocyanin and ellagic acid, which may help prevent some cancers.

4) Spinach - Researchers have identified at least 13 different flavonoid compounds in spinach that function as antioxidants and as anti-cancer agents. The anti-cancer properties of these flavonoids have been shown to slow down cell division in stomach cancer cells and reduce skin cancers. The spinach carotenoid is known to combat prostate cancer.

5) Brussels sprouts - They contain good amounts of vitamins A and C, folic acid and dietary fiber. Brussels sprouts are also believed to protect against colon cancer due to their sinigrin content.

6) Plums - They contain several antioxidants and are known for their laxative effect. This effect has been attributed to various compounds present in the fruits, such as dietary fiber, sorbitol, and isatin. Prunes and prune juice, which come from plums, are often used to help regulate the functioning of the digestive system.

7) Broccoli - It is usually boiled or steamed, but may also be eaten raw. Broccoli is high in vitamin C and soluble fiber, and contains the compound glucoraphanin, leading to an anti-cancer compound called sulforaphane.

8) Beets - The various table beets contain significant amounts of vitamin C in the roots, and the tops are an excellent source of vitamin A. They are also high in folate, as well as both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber and several antioxidants.

9) Oranges - They have long been known to be a rich source of healthy vitamin C, but now some California chemists have discovered that the fruits have some other nutritious chemicals, too. Oranges are rich in compound called citrus limonoids, which have been proven to help battle a number of varieties of cancer, including that of the skin, lung, breast, stomach, and colon.

10) Red grapes - Because of the low incidence of heart disease in France which is attributed to greater consumption of red wine, it is believed that something in the grape helps to lower cholesterol levels in the body and thus slows down the build up of deposits in the arteries. Compounds such as resveratrol (a polyphenol antioxidant) have been discovered in grapes and these have been positively linked to fighting cancer, heart disease, degenerative nerve disease and other ailments.


12:30 -- We met with Dr. Shaffer and he said the surgery went great - Kerry made it through with no problems. The ovarian tumors were spread of the gastric cancer, but were contained and there was no evidence of spread to any surrounding areas. He said she was even pretty free of adhesions -- good news too -- no more adhesion problems!! She will be in recovery for another couple of hours (but knowing Kerry, it will be more like 4 hours) :) We will keep you posted.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Surgery Tomorrow

Mom's surgery is tomorrow. We're trying to pretend that she's just going in for a hysterectomy but it's impossible to ignore the real reason why. It's one of those uneasy situations entering the unknown. No one really knows what to expect, until they open her up. Yes, we're scared, nervous and anxious, but this "Tough Chic" is living post Stage 4 gastric cancer without a stomach! She might be cute and tiny but she's more determined and focused than any of us can begin to imagine. All of your love and support has seriously been so amazing and uplifting. Thank you!
We'll keep you posted on tomorrow's surgery. I wanted to post this picture of Mom and think about the next cake we'll be baking...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


So... if you're wondering why the last 2 posts are very similar it's not a rare occurance that we often think alike. I had to leave it up because it's so funny and cute. Jen posted something on her Facebook page which I copied to put on the blog, not knowing that she already posted it on the blog! When I call Mom it's usually when she's thinking of me or talking about me. When the 4 of us girls are all together we'll say the same words, in the same manner, at the same time. It's so funny that it's freaky! Anyways, I hope you enjoy the humor as much as we do!

Peace, Love & Prayers Always,
Jess, Jen, Jacie, Joshy

Hold Please

Mom got a call this morning from the doctors office explaining that her surgeon had his own medical emergency. All of his surgeries are canceled for the next two days and pushed to next week. Mom's surgery is rescheduled at this time for next Wednesday morning. This is not news you want to wake up to, but we are making the best out of it. No worries :) Love Jen

Surgery Canceled

Mom got a call this morning from the doctors office explaining that her surgeon had his own medical emergency. All of his surgeries are canceled for the next two days and pushed to next week. Mom's surgery is rescheduled at this time for next Wednesday morning. This is not news you want to wake up to, but we are making the best out of it. We will keep her busy... dress shopping and wedding planning with Jen, house hunting with Josh and Katie, and Jacie always has things to do! No worries :)

Monday, May 9, 2011


I don't know, all I can say is that we're just holding our breath with our eyes wide open.
It's always the unknown going into surgery especially knowing that it's back. In some way, shape, form, whatever, however you want to put it, you're never ready for it. There's only 1 thing that comes to mind... Mom is ONE TOUGH CHIC!
She's the ENERGIZER BUNNY! She's also B-POSITIVE in so many ways than just her blood type.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Good Heart

Mom just got back from the "Heart Doctor" to make sure she's in excellent condition for her surgery next week.

All systems Go! Her heart is approved for take off!

Lv Jess & Jen

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Beauty in Creation

We can get so busy and occupied with the daily tasks that we don't take the time to reflect on the beautiful creation right in front of our eyes. Do you ever notice little characteristics the birds have? Do you gasp at a beautiful tree in bloom? The moon or an amazing sunrise? Growing up, these are things that were always on mom's thoughts and she would never let that moment go by without pointing out something beautiful to share with us. Take the time and enjoy every moment you can and reflect on the beautiful people in your life and this amazing earth we get to enjoy!

Peace & Love Always

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


It's taken us a few days to decompress this news. Apparently the previously removed and treated gastric cancer has made it's re-appearance on or inside of the ovaries. This is not ovarian cancer. Mom is scheduled for a surgical hysterectomy May 11th. Our little Jen's college graduation is May 6th so Mom wanted to enjoy and feel good for this very special day. The soonest surgery date was April 20th so putting it off until May 11th shouldn't make a huge difference. This is Mom's choice as she's becoming acquainted with trying to balance life's events with feeling good enough to do them.
Here we go again...

Friday, April 1, 2011

CT Scan Results (4mo Post-Chemo)

It's been a while since we've had much action on the blog since Mom's last CT Scan 4 months ago. It's been about 4 months since her last chemo treatment. Since then she's been recovering so wonderfully as you've read. Mom's been gaining back healthy weight, getting used to her eating/snacking routine and is able to do more with the family, friends and also in the community. Way to go Mom!!! {Snaps for Mommy!}

We're not going to let this most recent CT Scan get us down, but we'll go ahead and let you know what was found. It appears that 2 large masses have decided to become friends with Mom's ovaries. They weren't even suspect at her last scan but have now grown from dots into the size of plums. {I left my notes at work that Mom and I discussed so I'm going freestyle and hope I'm not saying to much} Nonetheless, it is nothing to dismiss as we are taking this very seriously and Mom has an appointment scheduled with an oncologist/ovarian cancer specialist on Monday April 4th. We'll keep you posted as always.

The good new is {#1} we found this early {#2} I honestly can't imagine how any "cancer" could have survived these past treatments only 4 months ago and especially after the surgery/removal {#3} this could easily be an ovarian cyst and {#4} when you've been through what Mom has {fighting off stomach cancer and trying to survive life without a stomach while going through chemo treatments etc.} .... there's nothing we can't face together and with God's help!

Please continue to keep Kerry, our Mother and best friend in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you for all of the love, support, joy and comfort you bring us.

Love Always,
Kerry's Kids

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Kerry's Thank You!




Kerry and Family

Sunday, February 27, 2011

When you smile

"It's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way you carry it."
- Lena Horne

Keep smiling Mommy! We love you!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Mom's Surprise Benefit

January 29th we had a surprise party and benefit for mom.
It was in celebration of a new beginning... Cancer-Free!

This benefit was to also help defray the mounding medical bills from her treatments.
It was a complete surprise to Mom and she had such a wonderful time.
I think she's still in shock! She didn't even realize it was even a benefit until Jacie started showing her all of the donation baskets.
Words can not describe how amazing this even was for her.

Thank you all so very much for all of your love and support!
The Franke Kids!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Donate Button fixed

We just found out the Donate Button on the Blog was broken.
I wanted to get this fixed before the Benefit but just now got around to it. So if anyone would like to make a secure donation to the Kerry Franke Benefit Fund please use this secure link that will go directly towards helping with Mom's crazy medical bills.
We appreciate all of your love and support!

We love you, Mom loves you!
Thank you!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Busy Happy Little Bee

Mom is gaining weight and feeling great! She's getting her life back and started getting back into her work routine and activities like the watercolor class and rotary club, keeping active with friends and family. When Jen came home from college last weekend all she wanted was a home-cooked meal and Mom was happy to whip up her famous potato soup. Jen said it's so nice having her back and what she meant by that was not having to worry and start the countdown to the next chemo treatment. We're so grateful everyday to have Mom with us. She keeps herself and all of us going with her positive outlook and smiles!
I'm still learning from her, every day!
Love Jess