Help Kate and family fight cancer

Help Kate and family fight cancer

From Christine Keller

We are here to raise money for Kate's battle against stage III colorectal cancer.

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Update #5

6 days ago

Round 3.

After a 5 week delay due to the transverse colostomy surgery, back to chemo! Equally excited to get on with it but also not enjoying the side effects. They are worse this time, as Folfox is cumulative in your system.

Mouth and hand neuropathy, it feels like needles stabbing you. Along with pretty severe nausea, fatigue, and some really weird slurring/lisp of speech. Overall, I am in less pain than prior to the surgery, which is good.

We had a fun week with my dad and stepmom who came up to visit from TX. Doing things makes me extremely tired, but I was prescribed a stimulant which seems to be helping.

Eager to get through 5 more chemo rounds over the next few months and hope that it's working.

Thank you all for the continued support, meals, donations, love, and thoughts.

They mean so much. I love you.

Kate

More Info

We are here to raise money for Kate's battle against stage III colorectal cancer. Life decided to mix things up again, as it does. In a 6 week whirlwind, Kate was diagnosed with stage III colorectal cancer. Her intense and long treatment course starts 8/30/2021.  Her treatment course is as follows: 4 months of strong port chemo (FOLFOX) 8 rounds at St Francis in Shakopee, bi-weekly, followed by 6 weeks of milder pill chemo along with radiation, 5 x a week for 30 total sessions at Methodist in St Louis Park, followed by surgery once its determined how effective the treatments were. 

Due to her limiting insurance, much of this is not covered. She continues to work despite the pain and exhaustion she deals with on a daily basis and plans on doing so through her treatments. She will  have to drive to each of the treatments which will also eat up a lot of her time to work, rest, and spend time with her family.

If we can help ease some of the financial and emotional burdens that she is facing with this, Kate can put more energy into healing and enjoying time with her son Rowan and partner Rory Shanahan. Kate would never, ever ask for help, so we are stepping in to do it. Please help us rally with her and show her support. All donations will go towards household bills, medical bills and even daycare for her son. 

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Christine Keller posted a new update:
6 days ago

Update #9

Round 3.

After a 5 week delay due to the transverse colostomy surgery, back to chemo! Equally excited to get on with it but also not enjoying the side effects. They are worse this time, as Folfox is cumulative in your system.

Mouth and hand neuropathy, it feels like needles stabbing you. Along with pretty severe nausea, fatigue, and some really weird slurring/lisp of speech. Overall, I am in less pain than prior to the surgery, which is good.

We had a fun week with my dad and stepmom who came up to visit from TX. Doing things makes me extremely tired, but I was prescribed a stimulant which seems to be helping.

Eager to get through 5 more chemo rounds over the next few months and hope that it's working.

Thank you all for the continued support, meals, donations, love, and thoughts.

They mean so much. I love you.

Kate

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Christine Keller posted a new update:
18 days ago

Update #7

Hello friends,

I wanted to write a passage myself while I am on a break from chemo and feeling relatively well. The last update was incorrect in saying I had colostomy surgery. I had a transverse ileostomy, which is essentially where the surgeon cut a couple holes in my transverse colon, pulled it out through my stomach and stapled it in place. Some people name their stoma. I think it’s absurd. But, I can appreciate the need to give it some sort of identity outside what it actually is. A bag of human waste. I’m told it’s temporary while I go through chemo and down the road, potentially radiation and chemo together. I hope it is. I’m trying hard to recognize it’s a necessity of the process, but I’d be lying if I said having a bag of feces and my own intestines in a plastic bag on my stomach hasn’t been a little soul crushing. I’ve been feeling very vain about it. But then I think, what is vanity even worth when you are staring your own mortality in the face?

I think about my son in more intense ways lately. I stare at him as hard as I can. I try not to get lost in my own thoughts while I memorize every inch of his face, every eyelash, every curve of his ear, the smell of his hair, the movement of his eyebrows. I try to squash the thought that I might not get to see him grow and I die a little bit each time. Though, I’m always revived by his quizzical, completely innocent perfectness.

The cancer is staged IIIc. It means there is lymph node involvement, and it has spread at least locally. I know that it has breached the colon wall, invaded at least one ovary and most likely both, the uterus, and possibly the abdominal wall. The type of cancer is called adenocarcinoma. Apparently, it’s very large, and as my surgeon says, “mean and angry looking”. To me it sounds like a toxic agent used in war, and I guess that’s not totally unlike what it is. I was thinking recently about how often cancer patients are said to be in a “battle” against their cancer. It feels like a sham. How can you be participating in a battle when you have no control over what happens to you? You trust your doctors, you trust your treatment plan. You receive care. You hope for the best outcome possible. It seems more like a bet than a battle. I despise gambling. I would give pretty much anything for an ounce of control over this, but here we are. Trusting. Hoping.

Rory and I got married last month. It wasn’t spur of the moment; we had planned to do so before covid shut everything down in 2020. I’m taking great comfort in my beautiful family. I’ve had endless support from friends, family, the medical teams, and work. I feel incredibly grateful to know the people I know. Thank you all for being part of my life and for your amazing support. I love you all so damn much.

Chemo will restart on the 18th this month. I am feeling lucky that Halloween falls on my off week. If you know me, you know I love Halloween above all other holidays. I’m trying my best to avoid getting caught up in the existential dread of it all and enjoy what I know for a fact I have right now.

All my love,

Kate

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Christine Keller posted a new update:
about 1 month ago

Update #6

Had a little setback yesterday. Kate was experiencing horrible abdominal pain starting yesterday afternoon and the pain medicine wasn't having any effect on it, so as soon as I got home from work we went to the ER. A CT Scan showed that she had a large obstruction in her colon. They decided they needed to do surgery last night to relieve the obstruction. They performed a transverse colostomy around midnight, which went off without a hitch, and now Kate is feeling much better. This is going to delay chemo for a few weeks, but at least now she isn't dealing with the horrible pain that she had been putting up with for the last few months. Kate's doing well in recovery and if things keep going the way they have been, she will be home very soon!

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Christine Keller posted a new update:
about 1 month ago

Update #5

From Kate:

Hello eveyone,
Thank you so much for your generosity and support,
mail, messages and visits. Thank you to our friends for
setting this fundraiser up. The additional financial
support has been so helpful in relieving some of the
worry and burden we now have. We are extremely
thankful and grateful for you all.

Kate had her second infusion this morning and is now home with the chemo pump for the next two days. Side effects aren't too bad, mostly just tired. Her blood counts this morning were all good, which is good news - it means she's tolerating the treatment well. Her mom is here helping out for the next couple of weeks, as we were informed over the weekend that Rowan was exposed to Covid at daycare, and now he has to quarantine for two weeks. He's not showing any symptoms thankfully, but we're keeping an eye on him. He does, however have a nasty case of Hand Foot and Mouth Disease though, so that's fun. He's a trooper and isn't letting it get in the way of him causing mischief.

And lastly, we got anew puppy! His name is Boogie. He's a 4 month old German Shepherd mix that we picked up on Wednesday last week. He's a very good boy, and is learning quick. Still working on potty training, but we're getting there. That's all for now. Thanks again everyone!

The Shanahans

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Christine Keller posted a new update:
about 1 month ago

Update #3

A heart felt thank you to you all! Kate had her first of 8 chemo treatments today, to be given bi-weekly over the next 4 months. Her thoughs: "It sucks balls". She's a trooper though! We're home with a chemo pump that will stay on for the next 2 days, then will be removed on Wednesday, and all things considered, she's feeling relatively good!

-Rory

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