Friday, November 4, 2011

Where did my light go?

Hi All,

Katie has had a very hard time as of late and has suffered quite a bit.  Her pain and nausea were at times uncontrollable and for a bit all I could do was hold her as she cried, it broke my heart to see her in such pain and have no way of controlling it.  The day we moved to the Hospice House Katie was switched from morphine to dilaudid for pain control.  She had reached the point where the morphine was developing toxicity and some ugly side effects were starting to show up.  Things like a little blond girl in pigtails standing at the foot of our bed, twitching, and auditory hallucinations hearing the voices of friends both old and new who were not there.

The original conversion from her dose of 90mg/hr of morphine to dilaudid was for her to get 10mg/hr with another 5mg as needed for pain control.  Fast forward to last night and the dilaudid had been increased to 150mg/hr and again we had reached the point of toxicity.  This time when she pushed the button for the demand dose of 75mg she would start shaking and vomiting with no relief from the pain.  The staff were concerned that they would not be able to arrest the pain and would have to transport her to the ICU where they could anesthetize her under strict observation, much like going into surgery.

Fortunately they were able to control her pain but unfortunately she is now unconscious.  At this point I do not know if I will be able to talk with my wife again and the prospect of that scares and saddens me like no other.  Katie has been my constant companion for something like the last 21 years.  I'm not sure what life is like without her.

Katie and I met while I was going to Jr. College in Centraila, WA.  I had graduated from high school two years before Katie and by the time we met she had already surpassed my academic progress at CC.  When we started dating I didn't have a goal or purpose for going to school, I guess it was just what I thought was expected.  Katie gave me a purpose; I had to finish so I could follow her to the university.  Even with a goal in mind my prior lack of focus caused me to be at Centralia for two quarters past Katie's graduation.

Being the focused, smart, fantastic person Katie is she decided that going to University of Washington in Seattle was her goal, and off to UW she went.  I spent the next two quarters at CC trying to finish as quickly as possible while driving to UW every Friday night to get Katie so we could spend the weekend together in Chehalis.  I would take her back late Sunday and go home to wait another week to see the love of my life.

As my graduation grew closer we talked about where we wanted to be. I was in favor of Evergreen in Olympia (state hippie college), Katie wanted UW, and we could both deal with Western.  So off to Bellingham and Western Washington University it was.  There again, Katie the good student finished before me.... What can I say she has always been smarter than I.

Shortly after school was over I started working for the City of Bellingham and we moved from our college apartment to our house of the last 16 years.

Not that you all wanted to read the story of how we got to Bellingham I don't know if Katie had ever gone into it.  When I went to post today I noticed that she had started a post and never finished, as I read the post I thought it really spoke to how she felt just prior to coming in.  I know Katie had big plans for writing her final post and a few others but in the end she felt as though she had lost the ability to type or form a coherent thought.  I also consistently told her she was a freak for wanting to write about her demise...but for her I think it was a way to prepare for the inevitable and Katie has always been one to prepare.

*************************************
The following is Katie's unfinished post
*************************************

Dear friends,

This continues to be a rough go for me of late.  I am feeling better but not consistently and that is rough on me both physically and mentally.  I haven't quite stopped vomiting, meaning I haven't been free for an entire day yet.  I escaped this morning by being what I consider very mentally strong.  Breathing is good for you.  I sat on the edge of my edge, my feet side by side tightly pressed together and my hands pressed down into the mattress right next to my sides.  I rocked back and forth quickly and steadily just breathing through the nausea, almost rocking myself like you would do for a baby.  It finally passed and I was glad that I managed to get through those moments.

This pain I feel is different that the discomfort of nausea or of any other type of symptom.  I can blame chemo for a lot of my discomfort, but I can only blame this pain on the cancer.  That scares me... it's a deeper feeling of mortality a sense of finality that is not the same type of emotion.  I understand it myself, but it is difficult to explain.

I feel like in a way I've lost my purpose.  I have the same roles to fulfill and the same duties as before the diagnosis, but I now feel like my role is to be sick.  That is my job now, to manage how to be a sick person and for some reason it isn't fun and it doesn't feel very productive.

All of this seems so

**************************************

I'll post more later,

Kevin

180 comments:

Mary said...

Oh Kevin! If I could only wave a magic wand. Please know that you, Katie, and your boys are in my daily thoughts and prayers. I pray for your strength and admire your grace.

Marni said...

Thinking of you all and sending prayers and love.

Jimmi said...

Your love story is a beautiful one and you are so blessed to have it and thank you for sharing a bit of it with us!
You're all in my thoughts and prayers every day.

There She Goes Clear Stamps said...

Kevin you are such an amazing husband and I know how much Katie must appreciate having her best friend by her side during all of this! You are all in lots of minds and hearts all over the world as well as here in Chehalis <3

susanc said...

Words fail me other than to say that I am praying for you and your family, and that you are never far from my thoughts. xxx

Carla said...

Continued thoughts & prayers . . .

Jenn said...

I loved reading your story of how you started your lives together. Thank you for sharing. Sending prayers and love to you and your family.

Meredith MacRitchie said...

Kevin, this brought tears to my eyes. I hope you manage to find some sense of comfort letting these feelings out and sharing.

I am not one to pray, but this is the time when I sincerely hope there is some greater power out there that will take this pain and suffering from Katie and take you all to a better place. My husband, my mother in law and I are all thinking of you and Katie.

I am so sorry that your family is having to endure this nightmare, and I think of you and your boys constantly. Thank you so much for keeping us updated... we all want your family to be happy again.

Take care,
Meredith

Joan V said...

Kevin, my heart hurt for you and your family. I don't know Katie, personally, but through this crafting blog. I can tell you, though, she has touched my life. She has taught me to cherish life every day, and don't sweat the little things. Your love story is beautiful. And I know you will always love her. Keeping you all in my prayers.

Cassie said...

Thank you for sharing the beginning of your beautiful love story, Kevin. You are both blessed to have each other, and I know you both deserve another 21+ years together.

Always, always thinking of your family.

Anonymous said...

Kevin, my heart is just aching for Katie, you, and for the boys. I loved reading your and Katie's history. It is a beautiful story. It's a testament to you both that after 21 years you are still so deeply in love and devoted to eachother. I don't know what else to say, except that I am so incredibly sorry, and you all continue to be held close in our hearts and prayers.
Erin Cristofaro

Jodi Collins aka Kharmagirl said...

Kevin, my heart hurts for you and Katie, and of course, your boys. I will continue to keep you all in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

Kevin,
How sad and wonderful at the same time. wonderful to have such a love for your wife and so sad at the same time that you have come to this fork in the road and not knowing if you will be able to talk to Katie again. Pain....such a horrible thing when it can not be controlled.....with such advancements in medicine one is lead to believe that it can be a pain free situation but I guess some diseases are not as easily controlled and I am so sorry that it has been so hard on you both. Hard to understand ......I will continue to keep you both and your children in my thoughts and hope you will have an opportunity to speak to Katie once again. You are truly and inspiration...thanks for sharing your story of how you met.
Blessings

karen brandt said...

You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers constantly as you travel this lonely, yet well worn path. I hope you can draw some comfort and strength from those that surround you.

Lorraine said...

Kevin, I wish there was some way to take away the pain & sadness. Your love story, both you & Katie's strength, and your unconditional support of Katie throughout have inspired so many around the world. I will continue to pray for Katie, you & your boys. God be with you all.

smhoffmann said...

Kevin thank you so much for sharing part of your and Katie's life with us. It really was so beautiful. Continued thoughts and prayers to you all.

ThePurplePlace said...

Kevin - My heart breaks for you more and more each day and I'm so very sad and sorry for all the pain that you are doing though during this journey. Katie is so very lucky to have you and I know you feel the same for you. It seems so unfair that either of you should be a part of this awful journey.

I've been following Katie's blog for along time now and have never met anyone quite like her. Her strength to write her story, is very powerful and will be something that in time, I'm sure will be a keepsake for you and the boys. She loves you all so much and I'm still praying for you all.

I wish I could make this all be better for you all! I will continue to keep you in my thoughts and send lots of extra prayers. Mostly I pray for comfort for Katie, so that she does not have to experience such awful pain. She is still fighting and that's so hard.

Thank you once gain for sharing this with us. We all have grown to care so much for you and your family. May God Bless you all and help keep Katie comfortable.

Emily Painter-Davis said...

My heart is broken for you. Thank you for sharing this. Even if she had shared some of it - it's so nice to hear from you.

I will send you a private message. I have to go compose myself.

Hugs,
emily

Nancy ~ Inkcicles said...

I still don't have the words to say. Thank you Kevin for the update.

N.

Hazel (Didos) said...

Kevin, You are all in our thoughts and prayers, thanks for keeping us in touch with all thats going on for your family, Take Care Much Love Hazel and Family xoxox

Pam~ said...

My heart is hurting for what you and your family are going through! I'm so glad you shared the beautiful story of you and Katie meeting and building a life together! Through her cards and blog I know what a smart, wonderful and caring person Katie is! You and your family continue to be in my thoughts and prayers! Take care of yourself too.

KarenK said...

I, like so many others, have been checking for an update, but anxious that the news would not be good. I'm so very very sorry that this has been so horrendous. Although, you may not be able to physically talk to Katie, she will always be so aware of your presence, so comforted by your spirit. Thank you for taking time to let everyone know what is going on. We're still praying for you all everyday.

Joan B said...

You and Katie, so very young, have already accomplished more than most people who are decades older. You found real love, produced wonderful children and have your priorities straight.

Your light is there, inside of you and your sons. It will be everywhere and yet not the same at all. I am so very sorry, particularly that this is such a hard ending.

Our thoughts are with you. Thank you for sharing with us.

Anonymous said...

God Bless and I know I will meet her in person soon myself. Bless you and your family. JM

Claire said...

I have followed Katie's blog for years, she inspired me along my journey into cardmaking and I learned what a smart and lovely girls she is. Ever helpful and full of ideas.I thank both of you for taking us on the long and painful journey and I hope that we were able to bring some comfort along that road. My heart is so sad for you all, I will keep you all in my thoughts.
With love Claire xxx

Anonymous said...

I have followed Katie's blog for several years now. Kevin your love for Katie will last your life time. Your children will know of her love for them through you. When Katie passes please know you have done all that you could do for her.
God will be with you for all time,

Paula in Southern California said...

Oh, Kevin, I am so so sorry to hear this news. I nursed both of my parents through cancer, and I vividly remember how painful it was for them, and for me as the caretaker. Even though you are focused on Katie, please remember to take care of yourself too.

Like so many around the world, my family is holding you and the boys in our hearts, and praying for Katie.

Jenny said...

Oh Kevin, I am so very sorry. I hope you get to speak to her again and see the love she holds for you in your heart. Always think about those happy thoughts to get you through. You and the family and Katie are in my thoughts and prayers and I am thinking of you all all the time. My heart is heavy but I hope she finds peace soon. Thank you for being her rock!!

Mary I said...

Kevin, my heart breaks for you, Katie, and your whole family as you take this journey. You have all been through so much that I can only pray that peace and comfort will find you all. I hope that makes sense--I'm having a hard time finding the right words.

Lori Craig said...

Continued prayers for peace and comfort....

Edith said...

There are not enough words to try to give you comfort, to try to give you strength and demonstrate my great admiration for you and your family. Katie is a woman of great courage and great wisdom. She has given us a lot since she started to write and share her journey with cancer. I'm sure everyone on the other side of the screen, would like, would love to do more... But we can only read and send hugs and prayers and pray for a miracle, that Katie do not suffer so much and that you, Kevin, can recover after so much suffering.
Many warm hugs from Chile, S.A.

Ashley Nguyen Newell said...

I'm continuing to pray for Katie and your family. If I could bear some of this pain for Katie, I would. It breaks my heart me to know that she's in this much pain and there's so little that any of us can do for her.

PS Katie, right now you're being an inspiration to all of us and that's a huge job! You've brought so many people together and helped us to see beyond ourselves. You've taught us how to be strong and so loving and caring of others even in the most dire situations. You, my sweet friend, have taught me SO much more in the past few months than I could have learned at any school. If that's not being productive, I don't know what is.

Tiff said...

Kevin & Katie, you both are in my deepest warmest thoughts. Thank you to sharing these most intimate and sacred moments.

KathyE said...

Thank you for sharing your love story with us. Although we have never met, after following her blog for so long I feel like we are good friends. It breaks my heart to know she is in such pain. I will continue to pray for Katie. God bless you all.

thestampingbug said...

Kevin, I pray for your family more and more each day. Katie has left so many beautiful gifts and I'm so grateful to have been able to feel her loving spirit through such eloquent words. I can feel her heart and soul through every word.

I hope you find comfort in sharing and writing on her behalf. You have truly been blessed. Continued prayers to you my friends.

Gina said...

Thank you so much for sharing with us Kevin. I have only known (cyberwise) Katie since she became ill, so I knew nothing of your life together. I can know see why you have been such a rock for her. I'm one of the weirdos who was encouraging her to write a final message :),but only to spare you, or at least give you a starting point. I only wish she had the strength to finish it herself.
Bless you both XXX

Jess-The Whimsical Butterfly said...

I don't have words, I just don't. I only have a ton of prayers. God shines on your family even though we don't understand why you're going through this. He is with you, and we are all lifting you up. Love to your entire family!

Linda said...

Kevin, thank you for sharing your story,it does not take much time reading what Katie has written to know that she is an amazing person.
I am so sorry that you all are going through this, and have been praying constantly for you and Katie and your family. I hope you find comfort in knowing that you have had more love in your short time together then a lot of people have in very much longer lifetime.
I will keep on praying, Kevin, as you find more strength then you ever knew you had! I am so glad Katie has the love of her life best friend with her now. with love and prayers, Linda

Melissa said...

It makes me so sad to read that Katie is in pain...I pray that God will ease that for her and for you. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. May God be with you, Katie and your boys.

Tifany said...

Thank you for sharing...your whole family is in my prayers.

-Tifany

Julie said...

My thoughts continue to be with your your entire family...

Vera W. Yates (Ling) said...

Kevin, I am keeping Katie, you and your boys in my prayers. I couldn't imagine what you all going through. Please know we all thinking of you & praying for you all.

Gramma Jacki said...

I loved hearing the story of how you and Katie began. Thank you. I echo all the sincere sentiments here on Katie's blog. I never had the heartbreaking task of sitting with a loved one in pain from cancer. Honestly, I always just assumed one quietly and peacefully slipped away. I am so very sorry to hear that Katie has endured such relentless pain and suffering, and that you are left feeling helpless and hopeless. If she is pain free while unconscious, then let her be at peace. My heart continues to break for you all and you continue to be in my thoughts. <3

Chris Olsen, Glowbug said...

As I read your post and Katie's, tears are running down my cheeks. You are all suffering so and my heart breaks for you. I am praying for you all during this difficult time. May God carry you through in His perfect peace.
~Chris

Carolyn King said...

I had the awesome opportunity to meet Katie at a CHA a few years ago. She is certainly a light to everyone she meets. Thank you for sharing your story....I am praying hard for you during this most difficult time of your life. I am praying for your children and praying that Katie finds comfort from all those who are holding her in prayer.
Life is so unfair. Thank you for so unselfishly sharing your story and your life with us...teaching us all how precious and short life is.

Michelle said...

Thank you for sharing the wonderful story of how you and Katie met. Your intense love for her has been evident through out this whole journey.

My first husband died at 28 years old over 16 years ago and I feel your pain very acutely.

Please know that even though Katie is unconscious she can feel you, sense you and I am sure still hear you.

My thoughts are with you and your family everyday.

Hugs
Michelle

Shannan Teubner said...

Oh, Kevin. Thank you for sharing this with us, for sharing Katie with us. I hope it helps to have a huge group of listening ears. I feel so helpless. I lost my best friend and love of my life of 18 years in Feb. 2010, we met at age 12 and had almost been married 8 years. I wish I could tell you what to do without her. I can tell you that it does get better. I struggle for the words to tell you what it feels like, that it will be ok. At times all you can do is take a bite, chew, and swallow. Baby steps. I am praying constantly for you and your boys.

Jen Gallacher said...

Your family is in my prayers today!

Jak Heath said...

my dear Katie and Kevin, I cannot find the words to say. love you both. x

Sue Ann said...

If I had a magic wand I would give it to you in a heartbeat. I wish I had words but I do not I can only say that I keep hoping and praying for you, the boys, Katie, her family ....... keep talking to her ....... you are the love of her life too and she just might surprise you and open her eyes to tell you how much she loves you and how you rock as a husband and father. Sigh ....... such a heavy heart I have for you.

THE HOOSIER STAMPER said...

Dear Kevin, I wish so much there was something I could do to make Katie well again. I know only the good Lord can do that. I know he knows what's best although sometimes it is so hard to understand! Just know that we are praying for all of you! Tears in my eyes and a heavy heart. I did not know Katie, but it seems as though I've know her all my life, if that makes sense. Katie is blessed to have you in her life. You are a strong fellow for sure, and Katie is so loved, and that my friend is the greatest gift! Hugs to you and your family and if I could but touch the hem of his garment somehow in prayer. Know that you have done everything possible that you can and Katie knows that! Love & Prayers! Don & Leah Ann Gast

Whimcees said...

Dear Kevin,

I knew this time would come when I would read this post from you but the reality of it is too much to comprehend. Checking every day for news of Katie's progress - reading of her ups and downs - her bravery in meeting everything head on - her always positive way of thinking. I have followed her in her blog from way before her fight began and she has become a part of my heart.

There are no words to express my deep sadness for you and for Katie and for your children. It is a blessing that Katie has had you with her every step of this fight. Your love for her and hers for you and the children has been what has helped her be so motivated to fight so long. To think of her in such pain and suffering is heartbreaking.

I pray and pray for her and for you and for the children. I have grown to love Katie as a friend and I wish I could find words to help but I don't know how.

Thank you for taking the time to bring us these updates during this time of great sadness and stress. It was good to read her words and so Katie to think to give this precious gift. I wish that we could all be there to hold Katie's hand and tell her how loved she is.

Take care,

Barbara Diane

Mina said...

my heart goes out to you and your wonderful boys...a special hug and kiss for your Katie
Mina xxx

Korin said...

I have no words....except to say I am praying.

Sankari W. said...

My heart is with you.... I have been keeping your family in my prayers - and have been praying for a miracle.... All I can do is pray - sending you all of our love...

Allison said...

You are amazing. And I am sure Katie loves that you are documenting this for her as a means of keeping her so firmly entwined with the community out there who will continue to pull for the entire Renz family.

nomorelittlemonkeys said...

My thoughts and prayers are going out to you and your entire family! I can't even imagine what you all are going through.

Debbie said...

Words escape me. Keeping you in prayer for the strength for what lies ahead. I am blessed to have called Katie my friend. She is a light that will live on in all of us. - Debbie Bearse

Tammy V said...

My heart goes out to you and your family. I so wish I could take your pain away! You are always in our thoughts and prayers! Kevin, you are an amazing husband! Continue to talk to Katie, she can hear you. Take Care!

Robyn said...

Just don't know what to say...I just don't understand. I just hope that knowing the love and concern we all feel for your family helps a little to comfort you.Hugs Robyn

judy said...

Kevin, my heart goes out to you, Katie and your family. Keeping you
in my thoughts and prayers!

JenMarie said...

Though I've never met Katie in person, I 'met' her as we served on the Limelight Papercrafts team together. I feel like I know her and your family in person. She and all of you have been in my prayers. Love to you all.

LouLou said...

Tears in my eyes and just unable to find words ... Take care Kevin and thank you for the update! Sending blessings across the Ocean.

Bobbi-Lynn said...

Thank you for sharing that with us, your love story is wonderful and so touching. I am crying for you all right now, I wish my prayers could be answered. Your family has touched me and I only wish I could share with Katie how much we all feel like we know her. Hold onto the love you have, as it will help you through.

LaurieJ said...

Oh Kevin, my heart breaks for you all. Thank you so much for reaching out to us and keeping us updated. And know that we are all reaching back to you with our prayers. Keep talking to Katie, because I truly believe that she can hear you.
Laurie

Kelly Schelske said...

To echo the thoughts of so many others, I do not even know what to say. You, Katie, and the children are in my thoughts and prayers.

Betty Boo! said...

This is so heart breaking and my heart breaks for you Kevin. I couldn't imagine my life without those I love either, however I can't bare to imagine the magnitude of your pain and that of your boys. I have no words other than I am so very sorry for your pain, and I will always keep you all in my prayers and thoughts.

Betty Roberts

Dana said...

A true love story Kevin...thank you for putting it out there to share with all of us. Peace.

Donna said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful story of how you and katie started your life together, I have been following Katie's blog for about a year now and I have got to know a small part of an amazing, inspiring, brave and beautiful lady, it breaks my heart to hear she has gone through so much pain, now you have shared your story with us it has given me a picture of happier times and the love between you both. I hope you have a lot of family and friends around you Kevin, as you are there for katie and the boys. My love to you all, thank you again Kevin for keeping us updated, know we are praying for you all. hugs Donna x

Kelli Hull said...

I am so horribly sorry... I am from Chehalis and my sons GF goes to CC and is driven like Katie... Your light will ALWAYS be with you... This love you two have is never "blowing out".....
Please know that I pray for you and your children, friends, loved ones and of course KATIE!!!

kj

Sarah said...

Kevin, my heart is broking for you and your boys. Even tho Katie is unable to speak right now, she can hear what you are saying. Tell her everything you want her to know. Let the boys talk to her also. I think of you guys so often and still praying. Please know that you are in so many prayers. Please take care of yourself and keep us up-dated.

Jessie/knightrone said...

My heart is breaking for you and your family, Kevin...and Katie. Your story is beautiful, and I am so happy you shared it. You all are in my thoughts everyday.

Carol W said...

Kevin,
What a brave and wonderful husband you are. My heart is hurting for you Katie and your boys....It is hard to comprehend all that each and everyone of you are dealing with and doing it with such strength and grace. I am so appreciative of your updates and your love story. What a precious memory and a beautiful tribute to you and your beautiful Katie...I am praying for all of you...and hoping that you do indeed get a chance to talk to Katie again...

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what to say:-( your family are in my thoughts and hope you get to hear katies voice again. Sending love and comfort from scotland.
Elaine

Jeanne said...

I wish you all peace and love. God bless you.

Kathy Mc said...

What a beautiful love story, Kevin! I just can't even imagine all you've endured and remain strong (or at least it seems so). To read about how sick Katie is just breaks my heart and brings tears to my eyes. Sure wish there was more I could do besides pray for all of you. Certainly understand how saddened you are by her current condition. Hoping all the love and support makes it a little easier to cope. Take care!

Anonymous said...

Still praying for peace and comfort for all of you...sending hugs and love to you all

Carisa said...

Kevin,
I type over and over and then delete it all b/c there are really no words. I just continue to pray for you and Katie & your boys. I don't know exactly what to pray for so I just lift you all up to the light of the Lord and hope that somehow a miracle will surface. What form that miracle will take I don't know but I continue to believe it will happen.

katie, You have a beautiful spirit, thank you for sharing so much of yourself thru your blog. I can only imagine what it would have been like to know you in person. I bet everyone that has known you has been touched by a beautiful light. May God Bless you with His light now.

Janet said...

keeping Katie, you and the boys in my thoughts and prayers.

Julie Masse said...

The only thing I can say that means anything in light of all you are experiencing is that our family continues to pray for you all. May God bring peace and comfort in abundance!

Novice Naturalist said...

Comfort and blessings to you all--gratitude for your sharing with us these inspiring intimate glimpses into your life and your courage.

Novice Naturalist said...

Comfort and blessings to you all--gratitude for your sharing with us these inspiring intimate glimpses into your life and your courage.

Glenda J said...

Sending you peace, strength and love...

Novell said...

I wish I would know what to say to you, but I don't. I can't imagine where you are right now. I'm grateful the blog posting seems to be somewhat cathartic for you both and that it binds us all together through this heartbreaking experience. Wishing a peaceful passing for Katie when it's time, and for peace in your heart when it happens.

koopdedoo said...

Kevin, thank you for sharing the story of your early years with Katie. A true love story. Remember to tell the boys over & over again. Godspeed.

Lauren said...

Dear Kevin, I have no words. Right now words seem so trivial. Just know that I continue to pray for miracles, comfort and peace for Katie, you and the boys. Thank you for the update and a bit of your love story with Katie. It's beautiful. God bless you and your family.

Jacki Randolph said...

Keeping Katie, you and the boys in my prayers and heart!

donna calamari said...

Kevin, thank you for sharing your beautiful story. Your love will live on and through your 3 boys, Katie will live on. Katie has touched us with her honesty and bravery and eloquence. A single remarkable woman has brought an entire community together. Let us know what we can do for you.

Trish said...

I sobbed when reading your post today Kevin. Thank you for sharing such a personal story. I am praying for peace and comfort for you all. x

Curt in Carmel said...

I had a heartfelt cry over this Kevin. I haven't done that in a while. But the minute I saw the title of your entry, the tears welled up as if I knew what was to come. And even though it wasn't "final" news, it was enough to break my heart. You both have given a gift to so many of us by sharing this ordeal of your lives. You've both shown how love's spirit endures, how fighting for life is courageous, how honesty is noble, how hope sustains, and how sharing with others can touch the very soul of a stranger. I know that you have both touched mine, and I can't imagine ever forgetting what you have shared with us. All of the comments you both receive stands as a testament to both of you. You are remarkable people who have taken a remarkable journey and thought enough about all of us to take us with you. And that is where we obviously are now. . .we are with you in spirit, and in thought, and in hope. I trust you know that, and I pray that Katie feels it. Love to you all, Curt

jengd said...

Thank you for the update. Thinking of you all and wishing everyone peace.

Holly aka Toy said...

Please please please continue to talk to her. I assure you that she hears you. When my mom was at this point with her cancer, we felt the same as you and the hospice nurses encouraged us. My husband sat down next to her and began singing her favorite hymn and she started humming along with him! My heart is just breaking as I read your posts. Katie's beautiful soul is all over this world through her posts and yours. It will be a legacy to you, your children and all of us who have fallen in love with her courage and faith.

Chris Simon said...

Thank you for the update. As others have said, my heart is breaking for you. You and your family are in my thoughts every moment.

Marsha said...

Kevin, thank you for sharing yourself, your thoughts with us. As you can see, there are so many of us who are hurting for you and the boys, praying for you and the boys. I was only with Katie a few times but I could see why you love her so. Such a sweet little lady. You have been very fortunate to have such a lovely wife and friend. Thank you again for your lovely post.

Carla S. said...

Thank you for the update, Kevin, and thanks for sharing a bit of your life with Katie with us. There are no words to say except that I think of you all and pray for you constantly. Your love, faith and devotion are a blessing to Katie and an inspiration to us all.

sqruirrellyshirley said...

While waiting for an update......I looked back at the wonderful things Katie had created. I sat down at my stamp bench and cried.....the tears dripped all over the ink, paper, ribbons and stamps......tears for you, tears for your boys, tears for Katie, and tears of guilt for taking any moment for granted. I'm so sorry.

Shirley Rossetti

Liz S. said...

Prayers from MN

Anonymous said...

Kevin, I continue to pray for Katie's salvation, for a miracle cure for her, and for you and your sons to feel God's comfort and love during this horrible time.

In His love,
Sue C

Sarah Short said...

My prayers are with your beautiful wife and you always!! I am so sorry she has to experience this and that you have to watch, not know what to do for her. I pray God hears your cries and His Angels gather near and ease her pain... <3

Crraftymama said...

Still praying for you and your family. I can't even imagine what you are going through.

Davi said...

Oh Kevin Im glad that dear Katies pain is being controlled but so so sorry that you are not able to talk together but you know she can still hear you even though she is unconscious so hold her and tell her all that you want her to know. I know that words aren't much comfort right now but just know that around the world people are praying for you all.I pray that your heart will be comforted.

Linda said...

Oh Kevin, I have no words that can help you right now. You all have my prayers. That is the best I have to give. Hugs, Linda

Kelly S. said...

Your courage is so inspiring, Kevin. This post must have been so difficult to write. I am so touched that you would share it with us. I continue to pray for comfort and peace for you all.

Shemaine Smith said...

It hurts my heart to read her words. I want so desperately for her to wake up and be better, I keep praying for this and for strength for you Kevin.

Grace said...

Oh Kevin as I read your post and Katie's tears filled my eyes and spilled down my cheeks for the pain you all are in right now! I pray peace and comfort for all of you. I wish I had words that would help... but all I can do is pray and send love!

Cath said...

Thank you for bestowing these gifts upon us during such a difficult time, Kevin. For letting us in, for allowing us to share in your grief, for being Katie's champion. I wish there were more to say, more to do, but the only words that come to my mind are thank you.

Carrie said...

May we all feel blessed that Katie has shared her story with us, and opened our eyes to how precious life is. Through her blog she has taught us where there is love, there is life.

Nancy G said...

Kevin, the first thing I did today when I returned home was to log in and check in on "our" Katie as that is what she has become to all of us in the blog world....an angel amongst us, teaching us about strength, love and dignity. While we're not there physically to help you, spiritually we are here and praying for all of you as you traverse this long and winding road. The light of your life will forever shine in those precious boys you two created. You were brought together for a reason and how fortunate you were to have found that special love that some people look forever for. We so appreciate your updates and hope that you find comfort in our posts to you, knowing that we care. Thank you for sharing your story of how you met and how she motivated you and continues to guide you.

Lovely Linda said...

What a beautiful love story - Kevin, you and your beautiful Katie, along with your boys have captured the hearts of so many - our hearts are heavy for you and your prayers are continual! Where has your light gone - not too far Kevin - she is there with every breath you take and in your darling children! As you continue to talk to her, she will hear you - if not with her ears, she will with her heart - it beats so loudly for you and your boys! You will continue to be in our prayers - please tell Katie she is a hero, so very brave and loved by so many!! God bless you!! {{{hugs}}}

Lisa S. said...

It just breaks my heart .. Peace be with you
xoxo

Lee (LuvLee on SCS) said...

My heart just aches for you all.....what a truly special love you share and so many blessings and experiences. I wish I had some words that could comfort....but all I can do is send hugs and prayers to you all!!!

Caroline Hackney said...

We continue to pray, to check the blog for any updates, and through tears offer our love and support. Kevin, you truly are doing a fantastic job in this situation. Katie is so incredibly blessed to have you by her side.

Shelby Goolsby said...

Your story is beautiful and Katie is truly blessed to have you as her husband. My heart hurts for you and the boys and for Katie's pain. I will continue to pray for all of you.

Shirley said...

Kevin, thank you for sharing your love story with us. Kate,you and the boys are in my thoughts and prayers. I pray that you will hear Katie's voice again. I believe that she does hear you so you keep on talking. I pray for no pain,peace and comfort. I pray for strength for you.

Sue from Oregon said...

It is with a heavy heart and tears that I read this post Kevin...and Joy of your wonderful story of youth and young love. My love to you all.

Martha said...

I know there are no words that will make the pain go away, but know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers. May the love and support of family and friends surround you at this time and the days to come.

PBrown9624 said...

So sorry for all the pain your family is going through. I don't know Katie personally but have been following her blog for a while and have come to know what a strong woman she is. Thank you for keeping us updated during this difficult time. You are in my thoughts & prayers. Big hugs!! Pam

Desiree said...

You and your family continue to be in my thoughts. Thank you for sharing your sweet love story with us and just generally keeping us updated.

faithnme said...

Ohh.. My heart is so heavy right now.. I have shared Katie's and your family. with my own so as I am writing this I am sharing this with them also.. Our Prayer goes to you and your boys..What an amazing story 21 Blessed years and so many more to come with those two angles that you have by your side.

To Katie: praying on you comfort and peace.

Blessings
Sharette

Anonymous said...

With a heavy heart, keeping you all in my prayers. Praying for Katie's comfort and for your family's strength at this time. Thanks for taking the time to keep us informed.

Jennifer said...

Oh Kevin, my heart breaks for you as I read your words. The story you share with Katie is beautiful. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with you, Katie and your boys. All my love. Hugs.
Jennifer

Sharon-The OKI StampQueen said...

Kevin-please know that while my thoughts and prayers are with Katie, they are with you and your little ones as well. I've lost a spouse (my soulmate) to this insidious disease and can empathize with the things you are feeling and the pain you're experiencing along this path. Anything more I could add would sound trite--a band-aid so to speak-so I will stop here. Know that you and yours are in my thoughts and prayers. Blessings, Sharon

Susan@Cardmaking-Companion said...

Not a freak for wanting to write - but a very brave lady - just as you are brave for continuing to post.

GlitteryKatie said...

Kevin I'm so, so sorry you are having to go through this. I met my hubby at Uni and we've been together 21 years too. I just can't express how sad it makes me feel that Katie's journey is coming to an end. I've only known here these last few months and she has amazed and delighted me with positivity and joy for life.
I hope that she has a peaceful and pain free time and that you guys have some time to breathe.
Katie and is always in my thoughts, not as ill Katie but as the joyous, creative, fun loving blogger I came to know. kt xx

hello gorgeous said...

hey gorgeous, precious memories to treasure forever....it's so VERY hard to lose communication with a loved one. Sending all my thoughts and hugs to all of you. Stay strong sweetie

hugs

hello gorgeous xxx

Tara said...

I am so, so sorry Kevin - I don't know what else to say.... I hope and pray the you can speak to Katie once more or that she might at least open her eyes so that you can share a smile.... God Bless your family.
Tara x

Jocelyn aka JoBear2 said...

My heart is breaking for you. Remembering you all in my prayers.

{{hugs}}
Jocelyn

Ann Rosie said...

Losing someone, anyone to this horrible disease is not something that anyone should have to endure. My thoughts are with you and your family at this time and in the coming time ahead.
Ann

Maria said...

Kevin, beautiful words, thinking of you and your family and remembering you all in my prayers

cbuswell said...

You are both so amazing, your strength as you go through this experience is inspiring. All I want for Katie is some relief from the pain. I am hoping for a sense of peace for her. I cannot imagine the pain you are going through Kevin, this will make you stronger eventually. Your light and Katie's light will always shine brightly through your beautiful children. That's where you'll find your light. Your love for Katie is right there in your boys.

designsfromwithinbycharlotte said...

Kevin, you all continue to be in my thoughts and prayers as you travel this difficult road. It's such a heartbreaking story, and many of us feel helpless because we can't actually take all your pain away. You all have touched our hearts with your updated posts and have shown us the reality of just how precious life really is. Katie's strength through her journey has made her a hero in my eyes! Talk to Katie as I know she's with you even though you feel like you don't know where your light has gone. I remember something Katie said early on in this process about learning to live with her "new normal life", things will be different as they are at this time but she will live on in you and the boys and will never be forgotten. You have all brought this community together in a common bond...for the love of Katie. Stay strong and know you are all in our prayers and thoughts.
Hugs,
Charlotte

~amy~ said...

I've been thinking of you guys...thanks for this post..since I'm a washingtonian I like to think that i have that special connection with you all..but as the tears roll this morning I just wanted to let you know that I wish you strength...I wish Katie strength...and the kids strength. I cannot imagine what you must be going through...but please know that so many of us in the paper crafting community are thinking of you all...

Anonymous said...

My God, what a brave gift you have given to us all...thank you for this.

anna1 said...

We are all praying you you my heart breaks as I read your posts sending love and prayers Anna

Debzi333 said...

Thank you Kevin, for keeping all of us updated. I check daily for word of Katie. Thank you for sharing you and Katie's beautiful love story with us. I will continue to pray for you and your family. I'm so sorry that the pain management has been so difficult.

love to all of you

Deborah

Kim H. said...

Thank you for keeping us all updated. I too check daily to for updates...my heart and prayers are sent to her and your family every day. Thank you for the wonderful story you shared. It was just beautiful.

Barb said...

Thank you for sharing your story with us, Kevin. I am keeping all of you in my prayers.

Lisa said...

Thank you for sharing how you all met. Your love for one another is so evident and so amazing. I will definitely keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers during this time.

charlene said...

Kevin my heart and prayers go out to Katie you and the boys...thanks for taking time to share with us how you met.
Hugs

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your story...your light is still shining, it may be a little dimmer, but yet shines on in your boys. God bless your road ahead. Stay strong and know that there are many prayers going out to you and your family. Peace be with you Katie....

Anonymous said...

I feel so deeply saddened for you all but that is nothing compared to the sadness you must feel. I did not know Katie but through her posts I feel that I did. God bless you all.

Jill N Ireland

Pryn said...

Thank you for sharing your love story with us. This love is where you are drawing your strength from and it is a great one. I am praying and sending love to you, Katie and the boys. May God watch over you all.

Annette said...

May God give you all strength and love. You and your family are in my prayers, lift your heart to the Lord he hears your prayers..

Sew Sweet said...

Thank you for all the updates Kevin, I still cant quite get the words together. It brings me to tiers reading your posts and i just wish i could do something. I pray for Kate, you and your beautiful boys, your always in my thoughts. Stay strong
all my love Emma x

Laura Isham said...

Your love inspires me. I am thinking of you and your family often.

Gramma jacki said...

My sadness has mixed with anger this morning. It is just so unfair that Katie and her family are in such pain - all I can see in my head is that beautiful smile of hers!! I just don't understand why this is happening to such a lovely family. :(. Peace and strength to you.

IamDerby said...

Words just seem so inadequate. My heart goes out to you Kevin. I met my husband in college too, I can't imagine being with out him or him being in so much pain he had to be continually sedated. You obviously have a lot of strength and love in you for you to continue on. You are doing a great job. I think of Katie and your family everyday.

marilyn said...

Sending love and prayers your way. So wish there was a magic wand to take this suffering away for both of you. Thank you for sharing how you and Katie met.

Tameko said...

Kevin, Thanks for sharing your heart, and for the updates. My prayer is that God would continue to give the Renz family what is needed as you all continue this journey. God Bless, Tameko

Shell said...

Kevin ... your precious story touches my heart. My prayers continue to go out for all of you.

Diane S said...

Hugs to all of you. I only "know" Katie through her blog but I wish I knew her as a friend.

Corinna said...

Blessings to you Kevin for being Katie's strength. And prayers for Katie's escape from the pain soon. We are all praying for you and your family, and for our dear, dear friend Katie.

Katie Skiff said...

Kevin, thank you for sharing so much with us. Thank you for keeping us posted. I will continue to pray for your family, parys for peace and comfort.

Suzi said...

Thank you, Kevin. I pray daily for you and your family and anxiously check for updates. The news isn't good, but it tells me how to pray. I appreciate sharing in your story. It is good to know Katie, though a rough beginning, has had many years of love in her life. What a gift you have given each other! Hug the boys for all of us. With my prayers, Suzi

Carol Anne's Boutique said...

Kevin,
My heart, as so many others around the world are breaking for you and your family, I am deeply sorry and I am praying for peace, comfort and strength for all of you now and in the days ahead. Continued prayers are being sent for your beautiful Katie that she will not have to suffer such excruciating pain any longer. Hold her, tell her everything in your heart, she can still hear you and feel your loving & comforting presence.
We are holding you all in our thoughts and prayers and sending so much love.
Carol Anne

Jeanette said...

praying for you and katie...she's always on my mind.....

Steph H said...

Kevin, I pray They find consistent pain relief for Katie. My thoughts and prayers continue for Katie, you and your sons. Thank you for the update.

Wendy C said...

Thank you both for sharing your hearts. I've followed the blog (lurking) for quite some time.... you both are a real blessing. Now I'm reading, and hurting for you and your family, and praying...

Barb's Boys Inspired said...

Such a heartfelt story - thank you for sharing. Katie is lucky to have you by her side while going through this awful trial. My heart goes out to you both.

Anonymous said...

Kevin, I have been where you are. I lost a spouse too young to cancer. You are torn between praying for a miracle and praying for the suffering to end, knowing that outcome will cause you the worst pain ever. Trust that your love for Katie will last. You'll see her charm, her spunk, her humor, her brilliance in your sons. She will always be with you.

Pat

Marg said...

My heart goes out to you all, I've never been so moved by a blog as I have been by Katie's and feel now that my payers must be for peace for you and your family. I loved hearing about your romance and trust that in the coming days the memories of the happy times you shared with Katie will go some way to sustaining you. x

ALTHEA said...

Hello Kevin,
thank you for sharing your beautiful romance. It is true that too few of us find our soul mate, which it seems you obviously have with each other. If my tears and the tears of so many others could we would definitely wash away Katie's pain and yours and the boys. She has been such an inspiration to so many. My continued prays, strength and courage are being sent to you this day and the previous ones since learning of this sadness. My heart breaks for you all. But I know you and God's angels are continually watching over Katie. May God bless you Kevin, Katie and family.

Maria said...

My continued prayers for you and your family. May god give you the strength to get through this.
Thank you so much for sharing your love story with all of us.

suzrwin said...

I'm so sorry for Katie's pain, and for yours, Kevin. May God hold you both as you struggle through this journey.

jazzy pantz cards said...

I pray that you may feel Heavenly Father's love and embrace. There are no words to express how beautiful your words for Katie are. My heart breaks for you and your sweet family. Love from California.

Shirley said...

How wonderful it is that you and Katie found each other. You may think you are not as smart, but it is just that you are smart in a different way, and you and Katie compliment one another. My prayers and strength are with both of you and your sons too.

It is so wonderful she has you to go with her on her journey. Many would not be as brave. Hugs and courage to you all.

Marybeth said...

I am so sorry that you have to go through this! How wonderful you found each other when you,did. In my thoughts and prayers!

katrynka said...

Thank you for telling us your story, and thank you for updating here. Like everyone else, I am praying for you and for Katie and for your children. I cannot imagine what you are all going through. I pray that you will all find some peace in the days ahead.

Marlene said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful love story with us. I continue to keep all of you in my thoughts and prayers. Wish there was more I could say....

Marilyn said...

Thank you so much for sharing your incredible love story with us. You two are so blessed to have met all those years ago. What incredible love and grace you share. We continue to pray for all of you throughout each day. God Bless.

Pursuit of Stampiness - Calgary, Canada said...

Dear Kevin. I pray that God's peace will be you and your dear family during this time. Your wife is so brave and sweet. And I am sad that you all have to go through this. It must be so so hard to deal with this every day.
Stay close to Him! I wish i could do more than just sending you this little note and asking God for ... healing...

Hugs, Pauline

cardmaking bird said...

I read the end of you post with tears streaming down my face. I've gone through the cancer 'journey' but I was one of the lucky ones to come out the other side - almost. I just wish Katie could have been another one of the lucky ones. My heart goes out to you and your family and my thoughts are with you. Sending love and hugs, Marie xx

Steph Lee (Arty Carty) said...

I'm sorry I have no words for you that will take the pain away. Thank you for sharing your story. You and your family are in my prayers.

Grandma Nancy said...

I loved hearing the story of how you got to Bellingham. For whatever reason, biographies and autobiographies have always been some of my favorite reads. So thanks for sharing the biography of Kevin and Katie. I truly enjoyed it and see why Katie loves you so much. We all know how easy it is to love Katie!
Nancy

Anonymous said...

What a rare and special love you and Katie share! It is obvious in every beautiful, heartbreaking word of this post.

I hold Katie, you and the boys in my prayers.

Katie's smile shines as brightly as always; we all carry some of the light she's shined and will do our best to reflect it back to you in times like this.

Winnie said...

You have a very special love and it will be with you always. I am thinking that I should tell you a bit of my story in hopes it helps you. I lost my husband to esphogeal cancer in 2006. We were together for 18 years. It was my 40th birthday year when he passed. I mention this as it is very similar to your situation. It took awhile to get the pain under control and we did hospice at home as it was really the only situation for us with our insurance and it wanted it that way. Eventually he had the hallucinations (giraffes in the bathroom for instance) and it was so upsetting to me and nobody warned me it would happen.. Finally the meds were so strong he sleep peaceful. I wasn't able to really talk with him, but I know he heard what I was saying. I could feel it. I wanted to let you know that it is heartbreaking and I would suggest that you utilize hospice services later on..they are great at helping when you need them. It is 2011 and things are well for me and my love is always with me. Just take it one day at a time.

Chantell said...

Thinking of you all and sending prayers and love.

Chantell - South Africa

Ann C. said...

Kevin,you will always have your beautiful memories of Katie, and your precious love story. I am so very sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers,

Sande said...

My heart bleeds for you and your family. Far too young taken far too soon.

I am so sorry for your loss but can't help but think how very blessed you were to have her in your life, though it was short.

I nursed my father through this horrid disease, he was age 56 and I 27. Six operations, radiation, chemo....I don't need to tell you that story. The day he died I thought the only way I would get through like was to die with him. The pain was beyond unbearable...but life goes on. And the only way I got through it was to remind myself daily...that he was in a better place, free of the pain and if a choice was given to have him there or here with me, I'd rather have free of pain and suffering that no doctor or medicine could give him.

Stay strong and remember to take some time for yourself each day...you need that to be physically, emotionally and mentally well for the children and yourself.

I will light a candle, carved with her name, in her honour on Monday and it will burn for the entire day.

Sande

nedclark said...

Your light...Katie's light...is still there, Kevin. It has just departed a body which was no longer worthy to contain it.

Katie's light will now be part of the sunlight that warms the world every day, and with Spring, will reawaken new life after the slumber of Winter. May that warmth comfort you and your sons every day to come.

And Katie's light will also be in the light of every star which twinkles at night, to help lull you and your sons to gentle sleep with her quiet but tangible presence. May the twinkle of these jewels of the night remind you of the twinkle in your Katie’s eyes every evening to come.

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