This picture is of me, my brother-in-law, Ken Richter and my sister Julie Anderson. It was taken the last weekend in July, at my Aunt Loveta's house where we gathered for a nice Sunday dinner with my Dad's side of the family.
Ken had finished up his chemo/radiation and was getting stronger as he prepared for his surgery. We are all wearing our "Cancer Assassin" bracelets. Ken had these made up to give to all the folks who have been supporting him through prayers and kind deeds.
In April, Ken was diagnosed with esophagus cancer along with a large ulcer close to his heart. Ken was in excellent shape when he found out about his cancer, and this helped him a lot during his pre-surgery treatment. He got really sick and couldn't eat much, so he lost a lot of weight during that time.
Almost two weeks ago, Ken had his surgery.
There were NO SIGNS of cancer left in his body! Yay! They removed the tumor, the ulcer, some other stuff (including the bottom portion of his esophagus and top part of his stomach) and his is currently recovering in the hospital. Ken and Julie are looking forward to being back at home soon.
Ken and Julie have been very open on social media about Ken's journey through this ordeal. This was Ken's FB post of this morning; this is just the kind of guy that he is:
"Cancer is a big reminder to wake up and live with intention.
With your help, I beat cancer. This post is my attempt to thank you.
I have so many thanks to you that I don’t know where to start.
I have a best friend who’s selflessly dedicated every day to me since April 10th,
I have hundreds of private messages from senders offering daily support,
I have thousands of likes and comments to make me laugh to tears and cry to laughter,
I have prayer support from all over the globe taking many forms.
There are surgeons, radiologists and oncologists who skipped enough college parties, and set their personal expectations so high, they’ve impacted entire organizations,
There are strangers who’ve reached out, old school teachers and classmates who’ve come forward,
There’s a man I’d never met who chanted “ken richter will survive” at least a 100 times every day from when he heard the news in April until they removed the last of the cancer in August.
There are tweeters, viners and members from the pheed online communities who’ve sent all kinds of great support and have shown me grace.
There are cancer survivors and fighters who bonded with me, stood next to me, and fought their fights with me.
Let me share these short excerpts from my original post about cancer on 4/11:
“What I need from you all is your support. I need you to have faith that I can take this on and that I will be OK.”
“I will do my best to not get taken down by cancer.
I have you, a great family and Julie Anderson at my side. That's a great start. Love to you all -“
“You all” came through in spades for me. Thank you.
I will go home soon to face several more weeks of recovery and healing. The impacts of my surgery and transformation will be with me always.
You will be with me always.
I’ll never forget how we rallied around this cause, and held each other through it. I’ll never forget any of your kind and giving spirits. I will live a good life, as the highest thanks I can return. I still have you, a great family and Julie Anderson at my side.
That’s a great start.
Love to you all-"
This message made me cry. This couple is incredible, Ken and Julie; they really are. I am so impressed with my beautiful baby sister, with all of her love, empathy and strength as she has gone through the hardest thing in her life.
Ken won! He started out strong, he fought hard, never lost his faith or the conviction that he would win, and used his body, his mind and his spirit to battle the dreaded disease of cancer. He educated himself and took charge of his healing. He reached out to others for help and support. He followed the doctors orders. He was open about his fight and his fears, which encouraged others with their own struggles.
I wanted to share this with you guys so that you would be reminded that sometimes it all really does work the way that we want it to. Thank you, Lord, for answering our prayers big time on this one.
For more info on the bracelets, here is Ken's website, Kwrkey.com I think that these bracelets are going to be a hit for those battling with cancer, and for those who are supporting their loved ones. When I look down and see mine, I automatically say a quick prayer for Ken, Julie, and for their whole family.
So, that is the news for today. Great BIG news! Wow.
~ Kathy M.
I have entered this post into a blog hop fundraiser for my friend Melissa Bradley. I didn't realize this when I put my name on the list a couple of weeks ago, but entries will be selected to go into an anthology and the proceeds from book sales will help Melissa defray the costs of her treatment and everyday expenses (since she has lost her job on top of everything else). Please click on the link in the next sentence to read what others have written. Thank you to Michael at Writing Art and Design for putting all of this together.
Also, thank you so much for your comments to Ken. His cancer is gone, but he is having some adjustments and can still really use your prayers and positive thoughts. He needs to gain weight and keeps losing it instead.
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