Friends in High Places

Hello everyone. We are now into the second round of chemotherapy treatment, and also in the second round of our crash course in pancreatic cancer mechanisms and research. We’ve been hearing from friends and colleagues around the country who have experience and perspectives on the medical and biotechnology side of this equation, and we are encouraged by the strong commitment of our oncology team to follow up on an expanding set of options and questions that we bring to the table. We also want to acknowledge the importance of our emotional and spiritual support network. We soak it all in because positive action affects positive change, and change happens at the interrelated levels of body, mind, and soul.

Our friends in biotech and medical research are optimistic about the potential of immunotherapy for cancer treatment, and now we are too! There are active clinical trials applying these principles to treatment of pancreatic cancer. We’ve been referred to experts at Duke and Penn who agree with FCCC that the initial FOLFIRINOX treatment Sherri is currently receiving is the best known, and an important first step in her overall regimen. As of last Wed, she is lined up for a possible next step: a clinical trial that may be coming on line in January (a “CAR T cell” immunotherapy treatment) being conducted by UPenn and Johns Hopkins. Sherri will also have a genetic assessment for BRCA 1/2 starting next Thu at Fox Chase because this gene mutation has been implicated in pancreatic and breast cancers. If it is present, this knowledge could open up other treatment options. Genetic testing is an important factor in understanding the mechanisms at work in each individual. We are also learning more about direct genetic profiling of the cancer cells so we’ll see what that will require as well.

We continue to find that diet and exercise are important factors in maintaining one’s mojo when one is slamming biweekly chemo cocktails. (We hope you will all take our word for this – do the diet and exercise part but trust us, there are better cocktails out there!)  On both counts, we continue to be utterly in awe of the community response that is keeping us nourished and getting us out of the house to walk in the park. Don’t you people have anything better to do than to think up ways to help us all day long? Apparently not. We’d also like to shout out to our professional colleagues at Bryn Athyn College, Digital Wave, and Antech Systems, all of whom are covering for us hugely as we navigate the appointment calendar to figure all this out. Wow.

On a more ethereal note, you may have noticed that we find the simple act of projecting forward to a positive outcome for this situation to be really important to our immediate well-being as well as the long term view. Sherri’s fan club keeps saying “you can do this!” and it really resonates; it does make a difference. We are also part of a spiritual network that feeds the soul, and heals from the inside. We feel your prayers, and believe that we are part of a system that delivers benefits both to those who are prayed for and for those who pray. Sherri has always been and continues to be very much in tune with this, and we know that it is inexhaustible.

With all this in mind, here is a recent picture from one of our walks around the tri-castle area here in the Bryn Athyn historic district where we live. We want you to know that while this episode in our lives may be partially a science experiment and partially a leap of faith, she’s Still Sherri.

IMG_20130907_112856_570Sherri sporting the latest in jugular-tap fashion,
out walking with her trickle charger.


19 thoughts on “Friends in High Places

  1. Beautiful picture, beautiful woman, beautiful message, beautiful team. We are with you!!!
    Kaye and Jay

  2. Beautiful is the word that came to my mind, too – and i would add beautiful spirit to the list above!
    much love from Camp Crofty

  3. Hi, Sherri and Dave

    I loved seeing Sherri’s beautiful smiling face. And it is so good to know how many resources you have found and are tapping into. I am rooting for you both. You are always in my thoughts and prayers. Much love. Nancy

  4. Still Sherri! Sweet and beautiful as ever, and KICKING THIS CANCER IN THE PANCREAS!!! Very hopeful news about that immunotherapy. Rooting for you, from the very tips of my toes all the way up…. xox

  5. Sherri you look beautiful. Continuing to pray for you and love you and admire you and miss you! Buoyed by Dave’s amazing updates and so impressed with you guys. Xxxxx continuing to send reiki too.

  6. This makes me think of the picture I have in my mind and only imagination…of Sherri playing basketball! She’s a serious competitor…when the going gets tough… Continued love and support and thank you for these remarkable updates. Love Melinda

  7. Thanks for the update re the HUGE progress you have identified in treatment programs, health therapies and genetic science. We are amazed at your energy and plan of attack as you whip this cancer. Add in the power of all your friends’ prayers and this disease is history!

  8. We love you! I love your upbeat spirits, your quest for health combined with scientific inquiry, and your sense of humour–Jim’s in the other room still laughing about the phrase “tricastle area.” :-). And I love how you all are the kind of people that other people love to love, and help. You are being blessed–and may there be much more.
    Love from Jim and Karen

  9. Dear Sherry Lynn Rumer Cooper–
    I hug and hold you in my arms!

    If we knew we were on the right road, having to leave it would mean endless despair. But we are on a road that only leads to a second one and then to a third one and so forth. And the real highway will not be sighted for a long, long time, perhaps never. So we drift in doubt. But also in an unbelievable, beautiful diversity. Thus the accomplishment of hopes remains an always unexpected miracle. But in compensation, the miracle remains forever possible. –Franz Kafka

  10. Dear Sherri,

    I am always late reading facebook and just saw this. You already know what you have to do, be strong.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. We are all your extended family, and we love you.

    Mei Ling

  11. This is such an encouraging post; the science, the possible treatments, the prayer,the humor (better cocktails out there!!) and Sherri looking like Sherri, gorgeous smile, huge heart and all. Nothing but love is what I’ve got, nothing but love.


  12. Sending extra doses of love and strength as you start it all over again tomorrow – with one of those cocktails we are NOT recommended to try. xoxo ~ sharon

  13. Blessings on you for providing this medium where we can weep a little and smile a lot over Sherri’s progress and Dave’s accounts of it; where we can let you know how much we care and how hard we are praying for a good outcome without fearing that we are intruding on sacred ground. Much love to you and the girls.


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