Positively Pink

Raising money for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation!

Can I just tell you how amazingly talented my girlfriends are?  Unique, artistic, business savvy, creative, completely passionate busy people they are-and moms to top it all off!  Meg, Rosemary and Reagan are a few that have spearheaded a Positively Pink campaign in Hartsville (in honor of yours truly) to raise money solely for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation! And if you don’t know about the Susan G. Komen Foundation

(From Komen.com:  Susan G. Komen Foundation is the global leader of the breast cancer movement, having invested more than $1.9 billion since inception in 1982. As the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists, we’re working together to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Thanks to events like the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® and the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure®, and generous contributions from our partners, sponsors and fellow supporters, we have become the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world.)

If you have been living under a rock and don’t know that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month, you really should get out more.  In August, Meg, owner of Juice Haute Kids Couture, creative fashionista extraordinaire and mom of three adorable girls, declared her first marathon would be in honor of me,  as I was newly diagnosed with breast cancer.  If you know Meg, you know she goes big or goes home.  From that one gesture, which has snowballed, she has made it her mission to raise awareness and raise funds for the Susan G. Komen Foundation with quite a lofty and very pinkalicous goal.  As soon as she gathered her team of girls, they quickly got to work creating the Positively Pink campaign which will hit the streets of Hartsville soon. (I can’t wait to buy a t-shirt!)

Each and every penny raised will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Notice the half pink heart? Didn’t I tell you I have amazing friends?

My Chemo Treatments Journey in photos…

September 12-Treatment One

I donated my long ponytail to Pantene’s Beautiful lengths for women with cancer.

Just before my second treatment, and because I could stand it no longer-hair falling out all over the place that is, Mel and the girls shaved my head.

It was on our terms.

October 3-Treamtent Two

This photo was taken on day 2 after my second treatment.  I had a rough go this time.  I had a reaction to the Taxotere, one of my chemo drugs.  My face was read and swollen from all of the meds they gave me after my reaction.  (Prednisone, Benadryl, etc.)  It was a doozy.  Not my best look, I know.  I felt just about as bad as I looked.

Nothing a new scarf…

or a wig…

or hat (and friends) won’t fix!

October 24-Treatment Three

Halfway there! Chemo cocktails with friends!

December 28, 2011  After my 6th treatment

Ringing the Victory Bell at SCOA signaling the end of my chemotherapy.

Hair Growth as of January 11, 2012

Can you see? This photo reminds me of Blair Witch Project.  Remember that movie?

My blonde fuzz-hawk on the way to my Lumpectomy on Jan. 18, 2012.

It’s really taking off lately.  Still fuzz, but I’ll take it!  If only my eyebrows would grow!  January 22, 2012.

February 6, 2012-  MC and I decided to take a photo of my hair today during nap time.  She loves to rub it while she’s trying to fall asleep.  Not bad for 5 weeks after chemo.  Mel is ready for me to ditch the wig.  Me, not so much.  A few more weeks maybe.  We’ll see…  (Maybe when I ditch the wig, MC will ditch the paci.)

March 1, 2012- Kacy and William’s “Keels Reveal” Party, which was so much fun and brought the amazing news that I will soon have a nephew!!  I finally look like I’ve decided to have short hair (almost), not that it was taken from me.  Often now, I’m complimented on my “hair cut” or my “ability to pull of such a great short do.”  I’m just thrilled that it’s growing!  Yay!  I never wear my wig anymore.  It’s fantastic!

March 17, 2012-Back to a wig temporarily.  Mel and I went to an ALS Fundraiser Auction and Dinner honoring his Uncle Bill Haarlow, which was held in Chicago.  I just knew it would be a cold weekend, so I ordered a brand new blondish wig to keep me warm and toasty.  (It was a formal event and I knew a hat wouldn’t do.)  Just my luck, it was the warmest St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago in 150 years.  Still, I wore the wig the entire weekend for fun.  I posted this photo because you can see my radiation marks on my chest.

Radiation Treatments begin March 20!

THA Mother’s Day Program-AND my very last radiation-Number 33!

Lickety Split 5K June 9, 2012 with Lee, one of my oldest and dearest friends.  I finished in 31:37.  We did it to celebrate the end of Cancer for me!  It was quite an overwhelming run for me.  As I took each step and crossed each mile marker, I couldn’t help but thank God for every moment He carried me through:  every heart ache, every step, every treatment, every mile until the end.

October 21, 2012

Lee and I finished our very first half-marathon in Myrtle Beach!

October, 2012-10 months after my last chemo treatment.  My hair continues to grow slowly (to me) and it’s not as curly as I thought it was going to be.

November 2012-Team Pinkalicious in the Color Run 5K

January 2013- Straight? Curly? Straight? Curly?

I wear my hair “somewhat”  curly everyday, but it’s getting tougher and tougher to get it to curl.  I’d call it wavy at this point.  The last time I had my hair trimmed, my girl used a blow dryer.  My hair was as straight as it was before chemo.  Who knew?!  I always told Mel I just knew my hair would be back to it’s old boring self.  He thought I was crazy.   The cheesy self-photo above was a photo that I sent to Mel to show him the difference.

January 2014

My hair is straight, shoulder-length and still growing.  This photo was taken at Winter Cotillion and was the last time I had to worry about my port showing. (I wore a one-shoulder dress to cover my port area.)

I had my chemo port removed on January 14, 2014!  Yay!  Other than three little scars, I’m free of all traces of cancer!

20 Comments

Sissy - aka Sherrill  on October 4th, 2011

Think of this as your first marathon – just getting started and think of how wonderful crossing the finish line will be – what a great party we will have!

Terri Woodham  on October 4th, 2011

Just keep saying “this too shall pass” and you’ll be yourself again, hopefully in a few days. Sleep as much as you can and it will pass, maybe not as quickly as you would like, but keep going forward-like you said 2 down…next time half way there. We’re here… just ask.
I love you, Mom

Kathie  on October 4th, 2011

Oh Kerri, Your mom is right, sleep as much as possible! Your girls are so loved and all of your family will gladly take care of them until you feel better. I know you hate to miss a moment with them, but you will feel better in a few days and then you can take over. Please know that you are in our constant prayers.

cici  on October 4th, 2011

I’m sorry things didn’t go as smoothly as hoped.
The guilt comes from being such a nice person always wanting to help others. These next few weeks are YOURS to relax. A little after School helper would be great for you, so you can nap, get a facial,read, take a short walk or just sit with your girls. Guilt is not allowed, resting is, it helps the body fight and defend itself
better.
My Mom took Prednisone for a while and the side effects were mild and temporary, the internet can drive you nuts sometimes with all the worst case scenarios.
I am going to light a candle at church for you and make sure it keeps burning brightly until all your treatments are done, I hope you feel my Prayers for your strength.
Guilt be gone we will have no more of you! ;)

Rebecca butcher  on October 4th, 2011

Praying on your behalf daily…sometimes hourly. He will carry you through…it is a promise!

Love and peace to you, beautiful friend!

Ashleigh M  on October 4th, 2011

I wore my pink ribbon North Face jacket for you today! Praying for you!

Cathy  on October 4th, 2011

Sorry to hear you had a rough day at SCOA…. I have no clue how hard it is, but you have an army of people on your side! Prayers are coming from all around and God is in the world in answering them- maybe not the way we want, but he is holding your hand!
I know my Daddy had days when he wondered “is this really worth it?”….. but he just kept trying to have a positive attitude and know that he had A LOT to live for- just as you do!!!!!
It breaks my heart to see people leaving SCOA in a cab- think how hard this would be if you were all alone…… you have an amazing support system!
I hope tomorrow brings a day on the porch… siting in the sun and letting your body kick some cancer booty! BIG PRAYERS!
Take each day as it comes…. you can’t control tomorrow :)

Katieall  on October 4th, 2011

You were on my mind lots on Sunday–we went to the Seahawks game and in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness, PINK was everywhere and the half-time show included many breast cancer survivors, which sent me to tears, thinking of YOU. Praying for you friend…

dawn  on October 4th, 2011

You are one amazing woman. I truly stand in awe of your strength, your faith, and your courage. I think of you so often, and pray that you will always feel the hand of God in your life as well as all the love that surrounds you! Hugs from the Ellen family!

Renee  on October 5th, 2011

Ohhhh Kerry… you are OUR strength.. You are an amazing young lady. I have watched you grow up and become a wonderful wife, mother, daughter, and friend to soooo many. My sister, Neecie is going thru cervical cancer treatment as I write this message…. but she gets to “ring the bell” today and I thank the good Lord for that. I speak to her often about you and your journey. Catherine and I are walking in your and Neecie’s honor next Sat. in the Susan Komen walk on Daniel Island. We did this last year and vowed to make it every year. We love you and all of your family tons. We pray for you each and every day…. The Crues Bell Family

anna williams  on October 9th, 2011

Good morning beautiful Kerri and the rest of the beautiful Pennington’s.Your writings every day give all of US such strength from your strength. Your precious children are just so wonderful and are learning such important lessons in life through you as you go through this journey in your life. As I read each message from you, I can see your pretty face and smile. You have always had a huge hug and warm smile for me every time I see you. So I am sending you a huge hug right back and so many prayers that I can not count.

Love to you,
Anna

Copeland Lewis  on October 16th, 2011

I MISS YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH MRS. PENNINGTON

KATE  on November 15th, 2011

you are wonderful – i love you, Kerri!

Linda  on November 28th, 2011

Kerri, I am so proud of you and your family. You are truly remarkable. You are in God’s loving hands and in so many people’s prayers. You are terrific.

Blessings to you and all of your family,

I love you –Linda

Cara King  on December 8th, 2011

Kerri, you’re the most beautiful bald woman I have ever seen. I think of you and pray for you often.

K Cassidy  on January 7th, 2012

Love. Love. LOVE! Your blog.
My chemo ended in December also. (16th). I had taxotere and cytoxin. I’m 49 this time around, but I also had breast cancer when I was 26 and had chemo back then too. As you know, anything and everything is possible if we have God in our lives.
I’m due to start an aromatase inhibitor for five years and am waiting on my hair to reappear!
Enjoy everyday!

annette  on January 16th, 2012

You are my inspiration…..I have never commented on a blog, but feel compelled to let you know how you have touched me. Treatment #2 is on Friday for me and my hair loss is right around the corner shortly thereafter. As hard as it seems to accept, you have given me the hope that I can do this. Please continue to share your story and pictures.

Betty Ann Branyon  on February 6th, 2012

Kerri,
I have been following your blog ever since I found MC’s Pinkalicious birthday party. I am a school teacher and was trying to find a Pinkalicious doll for my classroom. When I googled it, I was brought to a picture of a little blonde with her doll in a swimming pool. After reading her story, I was hooked. I would like to go ahead and throw in GO GAMECOCKS! My dad is an alumnus and has instilled in us a love for the garnet and black. I have also followed your journey throughout your chemo treatments and I want you to know you inspire me! You are a strong and beautiful woman. I don’t have any children of my own yet, but I love to see what fun things you have done with the girls. Even with your health issues you are never too ill for them. May God bless you and your family! You all remain in my prayers as you continue on your journey.

Cathy  on May 21st, 2012

I just want you to know how much you remind me of my Daddy! You took this tough situation, fought it and came out on the other side a stronger person. I really do admire you and your strength! There are some things cancer can’t take away— your spirit and your love of life and the people around you!

You are an amazing person and Daddy said he will miss your smile, but he understands it is no fun to enter those doors….

Now- time for some real cocktails and real sun!!! Enjoy your summer!!!

wanda  on June 1st, 2012

Hey lady I’m a stranger and you don’t know me but I must say to you what an inspiration you are! You’re family has such tremendous strength and I don’t even have to know you to know that you are a great person. Keep shinning your light on others and all the goodness will return to you three times more. Have a great summer and best wishes for good health.

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