Kris Meets Mercy Me

December 19, 2017

My name is Kris and I am 54 years old. I am a mom, a grandma, a wife, daughter, sister and friend. I have stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. That’s the bad kind – the terminal kind. I listed all of the things I am because that give a little picture of all of the people in my life that this diagnosis affects. I was first diagnosed with breast cancer 11 years ago. I had a mastectomy and did chemotherapy for 6 months. We thought that cancer was way far back in our rear view mirror last fall when I started having severe pain in my left shoulder to the point I couldn’t lift my arm at all. Eventually, we found out that my shoulder blade was shattered and another bone in the front of my shoulder was broken in half as well. But I had not injured myself. 2 doctors and 2 specialists later, we found out that my cancer came back and was in my bones. That is what caused the fractures. A year later and my left shoulder is healing, stable but still fractured. I deal with a lot of pain on a daily basis. I get monthly IV infusions from the oncologist and take oral medications to slow the cancer from moving to other bones and organs and pain meds to help with the ongoing discomfort. I have a wonderful family and support system of friends and a ton of faith. Yet I also spent 18 years as a registered nurse and know that this is not curable. I am living my life to the fullest for as long as I can. I heard about Do It For The Love through a cancer website and thought maybe I’d give it a shot and apply. Through my first fight against cancer and now, prayer and music have been the most healing things I do for myself that really lift my spirits. During the ten years between my diagnoses, we also lost our youngest son Cooper to an undiagnosed heart problem. He was 13. Music and the same supports that help me now have sustained me through that unimaginable loss. One band in particular called Mercy Me feels like they speak right to my heart and I listen to them daily. Our whole family loves them. As did our young Cooper. I was thrilled to be picked to go to a concert compliments of DIFTL! And it took me about 2 seconds to pick who I wanted to see….Mercy Me! The thought of a possible meet and greet with them and the opportunity to thank them for the way their music has touched and is still touching my life was beyond exciting. I knew there were no guarantees but prayed we’d get the opportunity and we did!! We had the most incredible evening. We got to meet them and got to experience the best show!! From the seats in the front row center!! The concert was about 6 hours from our home so DIFTL put us up in the most beautiful hotel (one we could have never afforded) and we just felt spoiled the entire time we were there. One of the Mercy Me crew members took me out to their merchandise table and told me to pick anything there that I wanted!  I got an awesome hoodie! I cannot tell you all how much we needed this positive, uplifting break from cancer, treatments, bills, worries etc… if there is ever a way I’m in a position to help others have this beautiful experience I guarantee I will. I had so much communication with the DIFTL staff ahead of time so they would make sure we knew where to go, where to get our tickets, who to connect with and all of that. They were truly excited for us. That was one of the really cool things about the experience- the special people involved the whole way through!! I would encourage anyone who has the means to do so that support this organization as what they are doing is truly bringing joy to people and families that really need it!! Thank you DIFTL!!