Thursday, December 20, 2012

not every day is a good day

Liz texted me this picture the other day to let me know, unfortunately, that not every day is a good day.

Since Tuesday, due to a reaction to a drug he recieved on December 2nd, both of Jeremy's hands have been swollen and the pain has been so great that he hasn't been able to take care of himself. On the 0-10 pain scale, when his hands are just resting in his lap, he's at a 2-3. When he tries to move them, he's at a 6-8. Jeremy and his caretaker called the cancer floor at the hospital because the pain and swelling were out of control. The doctors were afraid Jeremy might have a blood clot in his arms, so they told him to go to the ER. They went in at 10:30 that night, and didn't leave until 4:30 the next morning. While he was there, they gave him four doses of Dilaudid, which is a powerful painkiller that has worked well in the past, but it didn't touch the pain this time. The doctors also did an ultrasound on his arms to rule out the blood clot possibility - which thankfully, came back clot-free! Before he left, they put his arms in slings to immobilize them for a bit.

The next morning, just hours after leaving the ER, Jeremy had his usual appointment at the Infusion Treatment Area. They administered steroids which alleviated some of the pain and swelling -- which meant he could hold his phone and call Liz! Since then the pain has been under control enough so that he can feed himself and hold a drink, but it will be another week before it completely goes away.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

the past 10 days

Before Friday's bone marrow transplant, Jeremy was getting ready.

Here he is under the radiation machine, which later earned him this:

He also has to take a LOT of pills (here's half his daily dose):

Including this giant one EIGHT times per day.

It's called cyclosporine and Jeremy says when you open the package it smells like skunk. It's used to suppress his immune system so it doesn't reject his sister's marrow.

Speaking of his sister, here she is! Melissa was bundled up and donating cells Thursday and Friday.

Today: Jeremy's mom Cheryl, Jeremy, his sister Melissa, and his dad Joe.

Thank you for all of your prayers and thoughts and support! Liz wrote today that this blog and Facebook page have "been an amazing outpouring of love and support coming from people (most of who we don't know) constantly sharing their love with us."

t-shirts and bracelets are available *updated*

Due to unexpected shipping costs (basically the bracelets were costing more to ship than we paid for them), we've updated the prices accordingly. 100% of the profits will go directly to the Kennish Family.


Hanes Brand, 100% cotton, four ADULT sizes

Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large
$20 (including shipping) for one Keep Calm and Fuck Cancer adult t-shirt and one I Wear Violet for Jeremy adult bracelet.



Gilden Brand, 100% cotton, four YOUTH sizes

Extra Small, Small, Medium, Large
$20 (including shipping) for one Keep Calm and Crush Cancer youth t-shirt and one I Wear Violet for Jeremy youth bracelet.



I WEAR VIOLET FOR JERMEY: Cure Hodgkin's Lymphoma
Two sizes:
Youth (would also fit a small adult)


Questions? Please contact Kim at YepTheBlog {at} gmail {dot} com

Thank you for your support!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Today's the Day!

Hi it's me, Liz, guest posting today :)

Just here with a quick little reminder for a little extra love today! Today is the day! Today is transplant day! It should be a very uneventful day, but knowing that everyone is wishing him well, I'm sure, brighten Jeremy's spirits. Hopefully Jeremy is still sleeping prepping for this afternoons festivities.

Before I go I just wanted to share a pic from Jeremy's first trip to the infusion center from last weekend, this is where he will be receiving his transplant today. He had so much fun playing with all the buttons on the fancy chairs, he was like a kid in a candy store....Who am I kidding, he's like a kid in a candy store everyday, he was just like himself!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

the first three days at stanford


Jeremy was fitted for his HEPA filter air mask.

He has to wear this out in public for the next six months.


Jeremy started radiation at 6:45 in the morning, receiving chemo at the same time.

The radiation machine. They break up his body into six sections: three on the front (neck, chest, pelvis) and three on the back.

In bed after two reactions to meds (remember that red bag?) and TWELVE hours of getting drugs.

Much better today! No medication reactions :) Jeremy watched a couple movies: the new Batman and Casablanca.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

last Friday

Last Friday Jeremy spent the day at Stanford to have his tunneled catheter installed.

A long drive in bad weather.

Signing in...

Super excited to be shaved.

Having fun with chest hair designs.


More waiting...

Even more waiting...

Finished and excited to eat after being asked to fast!

The tunneled catheter will be used to administer drugs and take blood, and eliminates the need to put in an IV every single day. It is surgically inserted into a vein in the neck or chest and passed under the skin. This is not Jeremy, but the end result looks something like this:


Sunday, December 2, 2012

December 2

One year ago today, Jeremy was admitted to UC Davis for a bone marrow transplant.

Today he will be admitted to Stanford for another.

The Kennish Family made a paper chain to represent the 100 days that Jeremy will be away from home.

I'd like to share something from Liz:
"I'm at a loss for words, and that is so foreign a thing to me. I'm not going to try to give words to feelings I don't really know, or want to know, how to explain. I'm just going to ask for help. Please think about my family and no matter what you believe send us prayers of love, courage, and strength that will surround us with your positivity and warmth. For that little bit coming from so many people truly is something that can be physically felt."

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

another way to help the kennish family...

...and cross some items off your holiday shopping list!

If you're local, come by Kristen's house this Thursday evening to shop for yourself or holiday gifts. There will be raffle tickets for a chance to win a $50 gift card.

If you're not local, or not available, you can shop online through December 5.

A portion of the sales will go toward the Kennish Family!

Check out the Stella & Dot sale HERE! Please spread the word!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

a day in the infusion room

Every three weeks Jeremy spends the day at the infusion center.

He spent six hours in and out of this chair on Tuesday.

The nurse missed on her first try for the IV (see ace bandage).

Three of the five bags they infused on Tuesday.

The RED bag. This is used if there is a bad reaction to any of the meds. The nurses had to use it on Jeremy twice before, but luckily not this time.

Typical Jeremy:


Sometimes he heckles by leaving foam smiley faces:

I met one of the nurses at his going away party - she said Jeremy is their favorite patient :)

Friday, November 16, 2012

updates and fundraiser info

Happy Friday!

Here are a few updates from this past week.

On Tuesday, Jeremy spent the day at Stanford to prepare for his bone marrow transplant on December 2.

He got set up on the radiation machine and left with another tattoo. (In order to target the same exact spot each time, the patients have small dots tattooed so everything lines up correctly during radiation.)

In the halls of the hospital there are people voluntarily playing music and giving massages.

Wednesday was Jeremy's "Going Away Party". Everyone proudly wore their Keep Calm and Fuck Cancer t-shirts (sales coming SOON).

Here's what it looks like when a bartender tries to get a bunch of unruly folks in line for a group picture:

For those on the Central Coast of California, this Sunday (November 18), family members are hosting a fundraiser.
Las Cazuelas Restaurant
131 W. Dana Street, "100"
Nipomo, CA 93455
+ Special menu combos 1-11 will be $10 each with 50% proceeds benefiting the Kennish Family
+ A $4 Cancer Warrior Margarita with 100% proceeds going to family
+ There will be a special raffle going on as well

If you are unable to attend, but would like to help the Kennish Family, please check out Ways To Help.

Thank you for all of your continued support. The Kennish Family has received a great outpouring of support via donations, kind messages, and comments here and on the Facebook page.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Welcome to...

This blog was created as a way to support The Kennish Family.

Jeremy, husband to Liz, and father of Sawyer and Oliver, has been battling cancer for two years. You can read his story HERE.

This blog was created to support the members of Kasa de Kennish. You can find ways to do that HERE.

If you don't know the Kennish family...well...I'm sorry. Some of their friends were asked to describe why Liz and Jeremy were so awesome. Here's what they came up with:

+ They throw a mean party and always make their guests feel welcome.

+ Liz and Jeremy and their boys are super fun to be around.

+ They always go out of their way to help their friends!

+ Liz, Jeremy and family are so generous and thoughtful, always loaning their toys and passing on items to new families. They are also incredibly welcoming and easy to be around. Felt like I'd known them forever as soon as I met them :)

+ I have never met anyone who so immediately felt like dear old friends or whom I wished were dear old friends. Immediate kinship is such a unique & special thing.

+ Jeremy and Liz are probably two of the biggest influences on my life! They would help me at any moment and never ask for a thing in return. Full of strength, they show me to fight and keep fighting no matter how difficult the battle. They remind me to always fill my world with love!

+ Liz may be young but you can feel her old soul. Together Liz and Jeremy have made a family that all of us feel a part of. Coming into their home for a party or just a Tuesday it's easy to feel at home.

+ Liz is so awesome - the day she met me she let me hold her new born son Oliver and gave me hope that I could have another. Jeremy is so awesome - he has the confidence and can do attitude to kick cancer's butt! The two of them together are something to be admired for their easiness, ability to have fun together and laugh, and their closeness like kindred spirits.

+ Liz and Jeremy have made me laugh since the minute I met them. I'm always talking about how they would literally give someone the shirts off their backs. Every time you go to their house you never leave empty-handed -- and it's not just the "things" that you leave with -- it's that feeling of fullness from watching two people love unconditionally. I have been blessed to know them. And their kids are cute too...duh.

+ Liz always talks about how grateful she is for her village, but the reason they have a village is because they are the kind of people who *create* a village. People want to be around them because they are so fun and also so generous, not just with material things (although that, too), but with time, energy, and spirit.

+ You always leave their home with food. When I am around Jeremy there is always a smile on my face.

+ At a time when most people would sink into self pity and wallow in despair, Jeremy and Liz pick themselves up, brush off the sadness and fear, and gracefully march out into the world. Everyday. They give, give, give, and give some more. And they do this as if there is no other option. But because we know there is another path, because we know how easy it is to be sad and scared, we admire them. They inspire us to be better, more hopeful, generous, and optimistic. And we are better. How could you not be when you see such grace, courage, and selflessness in the face of cancer?

Please check back for updates about Jeremy's progress. And if you have something to add to the conversation, please feel free to leave a comment.