kidney cancer patients & their loved ones sharing personal journeys & information obtained along the way via this blog and our chat room to support one another and help bring awareness to this lessor known cancer.

Paying it Forward by providing support to those who will unfortunately follow our paths while also honoring those who are no longer with us.

KCWs Chain of Love: Reaching forward with one hand to those who paved the path before us, reaching behind us with the other hand to those who will unfortunately follow our journey.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Yours Truly Jewelry: Donate at minimum price for fundraising for The Reese Medical Fund

The "Yours Truly" Jewelry Collection is made by me, Leigh Reese.  I will make pieces as they are ordered and have named each piece after an individual or a couple who have impacted my husband and I while on this roller coaster ride we call kidney cancer.  As I make the pieces, I think of and pray for the individual for whom I am making the piece as well as the individual(s) I've named them after.  Also, I will make bracelets upon your request (as best as I can) to your specifications. The jewelry is being made for two reasons.  One, to raise kidney cancer awareness; two, as a fundraiser for our medical bills Therefore, the jewelry is for a minimum donation price.  Any money raised will go to our medical bills.  We thank you in advance for helping us raise kidney cancer awareness AND for helping in our medical bills.  Blessings!

If you scroll down further in the blog you will a post entitled Kidney Cancer Awareness Jewelry.  If you click on the "Kidney Cancer Warriors Store" you will find more kidney cancer awareness jewelry that I sell.  I do not personally make that jewelry but you can order them from me as well.

1. "Pam" necklace and bracelet Set
$25 minimum donation
Currently Not Available

2) "Carolyn" bracelet
$15 minimum donation
Currently Not Available
3) "Anne" bracelet
$15 minimum donation
Currently Not Available
4) "Sandy" bracelet
$15 minimum donation
5) "Christie" bracelet
 $15 minimum donation
Currenlty Not Available

  6) "Missy" bracelet
$15 minimum donation
Currenlty Not Available but can make with similar beads
if you order this one, I will send you picture before you purchase

7) "Teri Tony" necklace
$20 minimum donation
Not available

8. "Piret Kenny" bracelet
$15 minimum donation
Similar Available - if you order this one, I'll send you photo before you purchase

9. "Leigh Allen" bracelet
$15 minimum donation

More jewelry to be added at a later date!
Also, if you have something in mind, I can try to make bracelets (to the best of my ability) with your specifications.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My Mom's Cancer and My Journey by Hope VanBoxel Nesper

There are times in life where you can place back in time and remember every exact detail of what happened, your emotions, what song was on the radio, the time, the place, and every single thought you had at that moment. From December 30th 2009 until August 8th, 2010, I had many of these moments.

It was New Year's Eve Day and I was on my way home from dropping my kids off by my mother in laws house, cause we had plans to go out that night. I knew my mom was at the spinal clinic with my aunt to figure out what was going on with her back and why it was so sore, so I was anxiously awaiting that call. Half way home, I got the call. My mom was calm as she told me that she had kidney cancer and that it had spread outside of the kidney. WHAT!! what is kidney cancer? Never heard of it until this moment. Being the need to know freak that I am, I looked up kidney cancer as soon as I got home. Talk about having your heart ripped out, I was devasted. My mom's cancer was terminal. My mom was going to die!!

My life changed that day, my faith changed that day, my relationship with my mom changed that day. I was no longer just her daughter, I was now her strength, the person that she wanted to talk to, the only one she trusted to get her in and out of the house for appointments. The only thought I had was, how can I be strong for my mom when all I want to do is call my mom and shed my tears to her, not for her.

One particular time I will never forget, where my strength was tested was at an appointment, almost near the end of my mom's journey. She was just sobbing, she wasn't ready to die, she is afraid of the pain, she wants to see my daughter Lily get married. Do you know how hard it was at that point to carry on? I prayed that night that God would give me more strength, I was feeling weak. The next day, I was ready to face the battle, He was there to help me through this.

The night before my mom would be admitted to the hospital for the final time, my dad called and asked me to come. My mom wanted me there, the pain was really bad. I hopped in the car and spent the night talking to my mom about everything. I asked her when she passed if she would find a way to give me some sign that she was ok and that she was in Heaven. She promised she would, after she giggled a little bit. That night I watched her sleep and listened to her cry, even in her sleep. My heart broke again, was the most helpless feeling in the world. I wanted to take her pain but I know if it was possible she wouldn't have let me.

The next day she said something wasn't right, she wanted to go to the hospital. I think she knew she wasn't coming home. I watched her look around the house, as I pulled out of the driveway, I saw a tear go down her face. That day we were told my mom would be signing with Hospice. We all knew this, but my mom was heavily sedated so she didn't know yet. I went home for a bit to catch a little sleep and we had decided to let the doctors tell her.

About a week later, I left the hospital to again sleep and just leave for a while. I was called back almost as soon as I sat down. Mom's breathing had changed. Brad and I flew out the door, he dropped me off and I sprinted to her room. She had what is called the death rattle, never heard it before, I broke. I completely broke at that point. Some how after I settled, which was minutes, I walked to her, my dad and brother were holding her hands so I went to her head. We prayed the Our Father and then I told her it was time to go. I told her to walk to grandma, walk to the light, walk to the beautiful music, we would be ok, I will take care of dad and Jake (my brother). Her breathing was really quiet while I was talking and I could feel it slow, just before her last breath I whispered I love you and she was gone.

The next week was hectic with funeral preparations and then the funeral. I didn't have time to think, in a way I felt relief that she was gone. She had no more pain, no more suffering. It's hard to watch a loved one going through something like that. If relief sounds harsh, I apologize, but that's how I felt.

3 months down the road, it hit me! My mom was gone, she was really gone. I remember laying in bed and crying so hard that I couldn't breathe, my heart was broken, I would never be the same. I wanted my mom, I wanted to call her and ask her how do I get through this, but she wasn't there. 6 months later the pain was raw still but the crying was less and less. The 1 year mark was horrible! I was at the hospital again in my thoughts losing her all over again. Today it is coming on 19 months, I don't have the pain anymore. I miss her and will always miss her, but today I can talk about my memories with her and even smile or laugh thinking about her.

If you have a parent with cancer, my advice to you is to love them as much as you can. Be open, leave nothing unsaid! Have no regrets, I have none, and I think it has made my healing process easier. Be with them when it is there time if at all possible. It was a very special moment and I was so afraid I would miss it. Tell them you love them 100 times a day if you must, but make sure they know, cause you never know if you will get another chance. Live in the moment, try not to think about the future, it will kill you inside. Pray for miracles, pray for peace, pray for strength, pray for helps!!

One more thing before I close this may have forgotten about "the promise" she made to me. Well, a couple of months ago we were in Green Bay and I decided to stop and "see" my mom at the cemetary. Prior to this, I hadn't been there since her burial. Anyway, my family and I pulled into the parking lot and all the lights in my van turned on. I felt immediate peace, peace like no other. I know in my heart that my mom kept her promise to me, she is ok and she is in Heaven. Somehow, some way, God let her tell me!! Since that day, I am ok, I mean really ok.

Hope Nesper

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Sense of Humor Goes A Long Way .... Especially When One Is Diagnsoed With Cancer

I was sent an email by the cousin of Bert Scholl asking me to share the following link.  I hope you will also share the link.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Kidney Cancer Awareness Jewelry

Please take a look at the orange kidney cancer awareness jewelry I have for sale. I hope you'll browse through the new page.

Kidney Cancer Warriors Store

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November 2011

I've recently posted the latest featured kidney cancer warrior's story ~ Sarah Yule Anderson. I hope you'll read her story and find encouragement and valuable information to help you and your loved one as you ride the kidney cancer roller coaster.

Thank you Sarah for sharing your story.

To read Sarah's story, please go to the following link:  KidneyCancerWarriors 

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

June 2009: Featured Warriors

It is with great honor I post the following two stories.  Both of these individuals have made a huge impact on my life personally.  I believe that the journies shared by both of these individuals will make an impact on the lives of many.

Mickeral is active with KCA Forums and posts frequently.  He's always been a huge inspiration to both Allen and I.  I've "nagged" at him for a very long time asking him to share his journey!

Aimee is a young kidney cancer warrior who has dealt with and overcome a great deal in her short life.  Her faith and her positive attitude inspite of her cancer is truly a story that should be shared!

Thank you Mickeral and Aimee for your willingness to share your personal journey with me, KCW and all of those who read.

To read their journeys, please go to the following link:  KidneyCancerWarriors

Aimee Dowell

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Featured Warrior of the Month for May 2011: Sue Guenther

Sue has agreed to share her post in her caringbridge site from today May 1, 2011.  This entry is differenet in the stories shared previously. Her focus is not based on when she was diagnosed or the different procedures she's been through or the different treatments she's been on.  When I first requested that she share her story, her hesitation was that these details are not her main focus.  Her main focus is obvious .... after you read her entry.  She would much prefer talk about what God has done in and thru her life in her kidney cancer journey.  Thank you Sue for sharing and thank you for allowing us all to be a part of what God has done in your life using your kidney cancer!  God is always bigger than our problems ~ that's a lesson I keep learning over and over.  I do hope you'll read Sue's story.