Saturday, March 14, 2009

I Got a Hug From Robin Roberts!! Godincidences Galore!!

Hello Prayer Warriors!

Your prayers worked! I made it to the Women's Expo and if I had to sum it up in one word I would say INCREDIBLE!

It wasn't easy getting to the expo. Thanks to some very special friends and family members I made it. My wonderful husband Randy drove all over town Friday trying to find Robin's book which was a noble (and not so easy) quest. Along with me I took some GOD IS SO MUCH BIGGER THAN CANCER shirts that traded hands four times Friday afternoon before ultimately geting to me. (Thank you to the couriers Melony, Melissa, Felicia & Shannon).

When my sister Shannon and I set out it was cold and rainy. Several parking lots (which charged fees) were full but a free one right across the convention center was empty. We grabbed our spot (quite proud of ourselves) and ran through the rain inside.

No sooner did Shannon and I get out of the rain into the convention center than we ran into Angela. She is the breast cancer survivor I met a couple weeks ago. I had given her one of our shirts just after she finished an MRI to see if her cancer had reoccurred. She said that the cancer has come back and she is having a bilateral mastectomy on Tuesday. We shared some hugs and told her we'd be praying for her. Her smile and positive attitude were as strong as ever.

Inside we looked around the expo. We bought ourselves some flashing breast cancer pins for a $5 donation to the cause. (We brought one home for you Mitzi. It is so flashy I promise we will never loose sight of each other over sister's weekend).

At 12:30 pm Robin Roberts took the stage. We got there early but by that time all the seats were taken. We stood way in the back but fortunately they had two large screens on either side of the stage so we could see her. Robin's speech was inspirational and very down to earth as well. She talked about how her parents brought her up with to follow the three D's: Determination, Dedication and "D" Lord. She talked about her coworker Joel Siegel (the movie reviewer's) battle with colon cancer and how, before his death, he urged others to get checked because it would have saved his life had his cancer been caught earlier. She mentioned that she found her breast cancer lump right after his funeral and talked about her whole journey through treatment. Originally she was not going to go public with her condition but her mother said she should take her MESS and make it her MESSAGE. I thought that was a powerful statement. She also said you should always put yourself in a positive position of influence to reach others and to get that message out. Everything she said was very encouraging to me because it fit right into my beliefs about God being so much bigger than cancer and being able to take something so awful and turn it into something positive.

Following the speech Shannon and I hustled over to the book signing line. There I met a 20 year cancer survivor named Charlotte and her friend Pat as well as a girl whose sister-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer. I gave them and others in line some of my extra shirts. As we waited we got lots of questions about the shirts and a woman from the Knoxville News Sentinel came and interviewed me. An article discusses it in today (Sunday's) local section. Here is the link.

We stood in line for over 45 minutes and it soon became apparent that we weren't going to make it to see Robin. We passed close to her at one point and I asked one of the women helping her to put my shirt and note for her into her personal box just to make sure she got it. 2:15 came and the book signing ended. You could hear the mumbles of disappointment from everyone around us as it looked like she was leaving. We were only about 10-15 people away from her. But you know what? As she left, she headed down towards the line. She kept shaking hands and signing books. I grabbed mine back out of my bag and she came right up to me. She graciously signed my book. I told her that the first thing my kids said about my diagnosis and loosing my hair was "You're just like Robin." She smiled and gave me a big hug. I wish I'd had a chance to get my picture with her and tell her about the shirts, but I bet she'll make the connection when she reads the note inside her own gift shirt. We were so close to missing Robin that Charlotte right behind me got her signature but her friend with her did not. Whew! That was a close one!

Remember the chemo nurse who hates ghost stories and told me that running into the same people during my treatments was not a coincidence? I ran into her and got a big hug from her too.

As we were leaving I had the pleasant surprise of running into Deborah, a wonderful survior from my church who has been a huge encouragement to me. I asked her if she'd like the last shirt I had but it wasn't her size. No sooner did we leave than we ran into two other women who wanted to know about the shirts. One of them was named Missy. She is my age exactly and dealing with advanced breast cancer in her spine and liver. She'd had a reoccurance. Pregnancy and breast feeding had masked her cancer for several months. She is an incredible lady. She had just finished her third chemo treatment with the TAC medicine just like me. We traded each other's web site information and said we'd be praying for one another. I know she's in a tougher fight and I was humbled and inspired by her spirit. I gave her my last shirt. It was just her size.

So this was my day. What do you think? Incredible right!! Thank you all so much for your prayers and all your support. My "mess" continues to grow into a fantastic "MESSAGE"! I know our GOD IS SO MUCH BIGGER THAN CANCER message got out at the Women's Expo yesterday!! Lots of love,



  1. Kerry,

    What a fantastic day! I am so glad you could go and be encouraged. I am thankful you have positive role models to encourage you in your journey.
    I should have known you and Shannon would end up in the paper! (Didn't I tell you this would happen?) Seriously, the article was great. It was exciting to see your names in the paper.
    I can't wait to see my "flashy pin"! I am glad you won't loose me.
    Several people at my church let me take their pictures to put on your blog. I had so much fun! (I told John that he had to make us all look good!) I can't wait to see you on Friday.
    Keep getting your message out!
    Remember how much I love you,


  2. I've been thinking of you and hoping you had a great day Saturday. So glad you were feeling well enough to go, and that you were able to have such wonderful experiences there. I just read the article in the paper! That is so cool! Good for you Kerry!

  3. Kerry,
    You are just a blessing. Your message is so important! I had a rough day and you have inspired me to go to bed tonight fulfilled with God's peace. Thank you!
    I am so thankful that you were able to make it. I can only imagine how encouraging it must have been for you. God is so good.
    Your friend,

  4. Wow! Sounds like you had an exciting day; I'm so happy you felt well enough to go and it certainly was worth it! How inspiring you are for others and it's so great that you're getting your MESSage've touched soo many lives w/it! Thank you for sharing your life on this blog and keeping us informed. It is truly a blessing to us all!
    Praying for, and love to, you,

  5. Hi Kerry,

    I'm so happy that you were able to accomplish everything that you set out to do at the Expo despite the time constraints on Robin. I am also especially glad that you felt well enough to go AND I am very glad that you are now halfway through chemotherapy. You are THAT much closer to the finish line.

    On a personal note, thank you so much for thinking of me, praying for me and putting me in touch with Erica. You are a wonderful person and I see you as a "pipe" for sure!


  6. Good morning Kerry,

    I am so glad you were able to get to the Expo. What a nice day you had. I am so happy you were able to do the Lord's work there and so many people will now be touched by you not only the people who were there, but also everyone who reads the newspaper article! God is very pleased with you! I pray that this week will bring you much happiness, peace, and days of feeling well. By the way, you look adorable as a blonde!!!!! Love it!

    Your Friend,

  7. Sweet Kerry,
    Wow, wow wow!!!! What an Inspiration you were this past week-end. I know that God's hand was working in that Expo.

    I can not imagine the sickness, the pain, the heartache and the questions that must go on in your life and others that are dealing with their cancer, but I do know girl that as you are walking this valley, God is doing mighty work through you and not only to the lifes of those that are dealing with cancer, but in the lifes of those who are reading your blog.
    Keep up your courage and your faith because it is contagious and God is being glorified!

    I love your new look, you are beautiful. I pray that now as you look forward to the upcoming weekend with your sisters that your strength will continue and you will be able to go and have fun.

    Much love,

  8. hey kerry!
    i'm so glad that you were able to go to the expo and do everything you set out to do there... who knows, maybe your shirt will end up on good morning america... that would be amazing! i remember how much you always used to watch that show...
    by the way, i love the blonde hair!! =)
    praying for you girl!

  9. Dear Kerry,

    I'm so glad we went to the expo!!! I know we could both tell that God was with us throughout the entire day. It is a wonderful feeling to know you are exactly where God wants you to be. The people we met, especially the ladies we were able to give t-shirts to were God sent. Being able to get Robin's signature after she was headed out was amazing. It was so thrilling to see your face just after she gave you that hug. That was the highlight for me :-) I am so proud of your strong and giving spirit Kerry and loved being able to be with you!!
    You will need to rest up just a little for this weekend :-) After painting K-town pink on Saturday you need to have your stamina up. Roanoke would look great painted pink also :-) Rest up and know that you are loved and prayed for by many friends and family. I can't wait till this weekend!!

    Your big sis,

  10. Kerry,
    I am glad you will have a sisters weekend I know how much that means to you three amigos. Just remember that the Lord will be smiling on you three as you relax, shop, and just look great together. I hope you will gain strength from each other and make memories for each other.

  11. Kerry,

    I'm so glad you and Shannon had a great time at the Expo. I know how happy you are that you met Robin. I will be praying for you this week-end! I know you will have a wonderful time with Mitzi and Shannon!!! I'm so thankful to have such a wonderful friend! I thank God for you and for our friendship!! Have a GREAT trip on Friday!

    Brooke :)

  12. Kerry,
    Just talked with Meredith and she is so excited to be spending the weekend with you and Shannon.

    I pray that God will continue to give you the strength you need so you can "Paint the town Pink"

    I told Meredith Roanoke will never be the same after this weekend.

    Have fun!


  13. Kerry, Im so glad your weekend was so wonderful. I know that you're really looking forward to this weekend too. I'll be praying especially for your strength. You're so blessed to have such wonderful sisters. So this weekend take advantage of them pampering you!!!! I hope you're feeling better from the side effects and to think you're now over half way there. Keep smiling that beautiful smile.

    Love and Hugs,

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