I felt the need, after getting to know this special man. He is an inspiration to me, he is extremely brave...I want to get the word out to those of you that know and "Love The Coach", the man... I hope we can make a difference.
Thank you to Jules Fredrick President of the MHS Girls Basketball boosters for helping too!
In September 2016 Kerry was diagnosed with stage 4 Kidney Cancer. Leading up to the diagnosis he had been more tired than normal but wasn’t showing any signs of illness until he caddied for Kamri, our daughter, at a golf tournament. Out of nowhere, his side started to hurt, like stabbing-take-your-breath-away type hurt. His dad and sister were in town for a quick visit and were worried. Before they left, they made him promise to go to the doctor. He didn’t have a doctor; he’s the kind of guy who never gets sick and has no need for a medical professional. He found a family practitioner and made an appointment with a man he’d never met. Two days later the pain was gone and he was on the verge of canceling the appointment but didn’t because of the promise he’d made. After a quick doctor visit, a blood draw, and an unexpected ultrasound, the results were in. His right kidney was removed 7 days later. That was by far the most scary and exhausting week of our lives.
Kidney cancer doesn’t have a cure and treatment consists solely of clinical trials. There are 1800 trials throughout the US and only 31 FDA approved medications. The medications are basically broken down into two categorical families. Our cancer has only responded positively to one family of drugs, which significantly shortens the list of drugs that yield meaningful results. Kerry has been a part of countless trials, received more than his fair share of radiation treatments, and had so many surgeries we’ve lost count.
Cancer changes everything, for better or worse. It brought a lot of tears, fear, and general unease but it also brought a few unexpected effects. Kerry wasn’t struck down by cancer. Instead, he changed his perspective. He was given the opportunity to focus on more important things in life. His faith is steadfast, his hope has no boundaries, and his gratitude is immeasurable. Feeling healthy is a blessing. Mundane aspect of life have a new feel. Hanging out with family, teaching, coaching, the ability to swing a golf club, and being able to beat your spouse in mile run are exciting. The opportunity to life an ordinary life is an amazing gift.
The highs and lows of coping with cancer has greatly affected our family. While we're certainly fighting, we're still grieving the diagnosis internally in our own ways. We have 2 daughters, 14 & 16. We’ve been together for 19 years, married for 16. The balancing game of life (cancer, side effects, marriage, parenting, work, kid's sports & social life, and leisure activities) is exhausting. In our wildest nightmares, we never imagined we’d truly be fulfilling our vows, for better, for worse, in sickness and health, (you know the rest) at the ages of 38 & 46. Life is crazy; thank goodness for hope and faith.