Saturday, December 4, 2010

Kenny Tributes

Hi to all,

I just wanted to let any of you who were still waiting for t-shirts or memorial patches to know that the final orders are going out next week. If anyone else would like a t-shirt, memorial patch or GMS shop towel, I can order more, at any time. You can still reach me at 608-358-4418.

Thank you, to everyone, for your help and support as we stood by Kenny during his fight. And, thank you, for your kindness, as we shared our grief in having lost him. The first winter snow has hit in the city where I live, and it makes me think about what Ken would have been doing right now, if he hadn't gotten sick, and if he were still at home, enjoying a little down time during this off-season for the shop. It's funny how realities sink in, in waves, and how in mourning, the memories cycle round and back around, day after day. Just last weekend I was unpacking groceries on a Saturday night, and I thought to myself, I think I'll give Kenny a call after I get these put away. Like so many Saturday nights over so many years in the past. And then it hits. I'll never be able to chat with him on the phone, ever again. I just miss him. I know we all do.

Thank you, for everything.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Memorial T-Shirt, Patch and Shop Towel

Here is a picture of Kenny's memorial t-shirt, memorial patch and shop towel. (Ordering information is available on the previous post.)

The picture on this t-shirt is a custom design, which Inga, Debbie and I created, and which was realized through the talent of Miranda Osborn, graphic designer. The missing-man rider, (the bike with no one riding it), the train, (because Kenny loved trains), the corn, (because this is the Midwest!), and the F5's in the distance, flying in "missing man" formation, (for all the years that these jets flew over Ken's shop, going to and from the airbase that was just up the street at the Springfield airport), are all features with special meaning for us, and our memory of Kenny.

Special thanks to Jodell at Embroidery Professionals in Deerfield, WI, for doing all of the heat transfer work for these t-shirts, and having them ready in time for the ride! She will be filling future orders for us, as well, since so many people fell in love with the color version. There is no deadline for ordering, as orders will be placed weekly, for as long as people want the shirt.

The memorial patch is from "TropiCool Accents" in Texas, (made in the U.S.A!), and is fully embroidered, with a one-of-a-kind midnight blue custom-dyed thread for its background. Special thanks to Mike Williams at TropiCool, for creating such a beautiful design, and for his quality workmanship. Kenny would have approved!

The shop towel is the exact towel that Kenny always used at the shop, which so many of you commented on, (how Kenny was always dusting or polishing something as he talked with you), and, in fact, these very towels came from his in-shop supply. They were custom embroidered, by Jodell, at Embroidery Professionals in Deerfield, WI.

We only hope that these items are a fitting tribute to Ken, and that they will help you to hold on to your memories of him, with love and honor.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thank you, riders!!!

Thank you, to everyone who attended last Saturday's "Kenny Grman Memorial Tribute Ride". What an awesome group of people! We're sorry to have missed those of you who were unable to make the ride. Though the morning started out with a few sprinkles in Springfield, the weather was beautiful the further south we rode, down to Mt. Olive, where it was sunny and warm.

The big group photo that was taken at the Springfield airport, (prior to the ride leaving for Mt. Olive), will be embossed with the event info, and then it will be made available to all riders, as well as those folks who missed the event but who still want a copy of the picture. Also, we will have a CD of all pictures from the event, which includes pics from the Springfield airport, where we met up, pics taken during the ride down Interstate 55, pics at the cemetery, and pics from the banquet hall.

The memorial items are available for ordering. Please call or write Laura Grman, (Ken's sister), at either of the following: Cell phone: 608-358-4418 eMail:

T-Shirt $25 (Color or B&W)
Memorial Patch $15
Shop Towel $15

(Cash, Check, Money Order or Credit Card)

Special thanks to Stan Hall and Dave Winkle, for leading the ride. Thank you, also, to the Springfield Airport Authority, for allowing us to use their parking lot and conference room for meet-up and registration.

Kenny would have been really moved at the outpouring of love and kind words from all of his friends and customers. Kenny will always be remembered, and his family will always remember all of you, for the friendship that you have shown and all that you have done. Again, thank you, very very much.

Keep watching the blog, for more info on pictures!

Love to you all,
(Ken's sister)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Kenny Grman Memorial Tribute Ride & Fundraiser, Saturday, 9/18/2010

Kenny Grman Memorial Tribute Ride and Fundraiser
Saturday, September 18th, 2010
1200 N. Airport Road, Springfield, IL 62707
(We're meeting at Standard Aero's parking lot, formerly Garrett Aviation)

Registration: 11:30am–12:30pm
$20.00 Donation

Photo: 12:45pm
We will be taking a photo of the entire group, before we leave the Airport. This photo, embossed, along with a full CD of the 'best photos of the day', will be made available to all riders. Info will be available at Registration.

Ride: 1:00pm
We'll be leaving for Mt. Olive, IL, where Ken is buried, at 1:00pm, sharp. The registration staff will stay around until 1:30pm, for any late comers, but please try to make it before 12:30pm, so that you can be a part of the big group photo at 12:45pm.

Hurley’s Banquet Center & Main Street Saloon
113 W. Main, Mt. Olive, IL 62069 (217) 999-3411

The route we're taking from the Airport will be Interstate 55, Exit 44 Mt. Olive, Left on 138, which turns into Main Street.

When we first arrive in Mt. Olive, we will stop at the cemetery where Ken has been laid to rest, where we will pay our respects and say a few words. From there, we will continue on to Hurley's Banquet Center.

2:00pm - 5:00pm
Hurley's Banquet Center
Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Potato Salad, Cole Slaw, Baked Beans
Triple Chocolate Cake
Beverages & Beer

5:00pm - 8:00pm
Hurley's Tavern
Kenny Tribute:
Our Thank-You's to Everyone
Share Your Stories About Kenny - Pass the microphone, which will be hooked into the bar-wide sound system, so that everyone in the bar, no matter where they are sitting, will be able to hear.
Kenny's Favorite Music

We will have the following items available:
- "Grman's Motorcycle Service" T-shirts (Memorial Commemorative)
- Kenny Grman Memorial Shop Towel ( 12" x 12", custom embroidered, the kind he used)
- Memorial Patch ( )

If you wanna stay on....
Live Music / Band

We're making this a very special tribute event for Kenny, and we're hoping to see as many of Ken's friends and customers as possible! Please spread the word!!!

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call or email:
Laura 608-358-4418

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Kenny Grman Memorial Tribute Ride & Fundraiser

Dear friends of Kenny,

As many of you know, Ken Grman passed away on Wednesday, July 28th, after a long battle with esophageal cancer. After 30 years in Springfield, as the owner and operator Grman's Motorcycle Service, where he provided the highest quality workmanship and customer service to be found, we are now saying 'goodbye' to Kenny.

From the very day of his diagnosis, and the subsequent months while he was fighting, dozens and dozens of Kenny's friends and customers sent their kind wishes and support, asking if there was anything that they could do to help. There were countless offers to throw fundraisers and the such, but due to the potential financial complications, nothing could be done, at the time. Sadly, we have lost Ken, and the family is now working through the slow process of grieving, and figuring out how life will now change as a result of his departure.

We appreciate hearing every horn that honks as it drives past the shop, as we know that you are sending your condolences with that small gesture, which means so much to us. Finally, we are able to throw that big party for Ken that we weren't able to throw, earlier, and with the planning now finished, we are ready to extend our heartfelt invitation to you all:

Kenny Grman Memorial Tribute Ride and Fundraiser
Saturday, September 18th, 2010
1200 N. Airport Road, Springfield, IL 62707
(We're meeting at Standard Aero's parking lot, formerly Garrett Aviation)

Registration: 11:30am–12:30pm
$20.00 Donation

Photo: 12:45pm
We will be taking a photo of the entire group, before we leave the Airport. This photo, embossed, along with a full CD of the 'best photos of the day', will be made available to all riders. Info will be available at Registration.

Ride: 1:00pm
We'll be leaving for Mt. Olive, IL, where Ken is buried, at 1:00pm, sharp. The registration staff will stay around until 1:30pm, for any late comers, but please try to make it before 12:30pm, so that you can be a part of the big group photo at 12:45pm.

Hurley’s Banquet Center & Main Street Saloon
113 W. Main, Mt. Olive, IL 62069 (217) 999-3411

The route we're taking from the Airport will be Interstate 55, Exit 44 Mt. Olive, Left on 138, which turns into Main Street.

When we first arrive in Mt. Olive, we will stop at the cemetery where Ken has been laid to rest, where we will pay our respects and say a few words. From there, we will continue on to Hurley's Banquet Center.

2:00pm - 5:00pm
Hurley's Banquet Center
Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Potato Salad, Cole Slaw, Baked Beans
Triple Chocolate Cake
Beverages & Beer

5:00pm - 8:00pm
Hurley's Tavern
Kenny Tribute:
Our Thank-You's to Everyone
Share Your Stories About Kenny - Pass the microphone, which will be hooked into the bar-wide sound system, so that everyone in the bar, no matter where they are sitting, will be able to hear.
Kenny's Favorite Music

We will have the following items available:
- "Grman's Motorcycle Service" T-shirts
- Kenny Grman Memorial Shop Towel ( 14" x 14" custom embroidered)
- Memorial Patches

If you wanna stay on....
Live Music / Band

We're making this a very special tribute event for Kenny, and we're hoping to see as many of Ken's friends and customers as possible! Please spread the word!!!

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call or email:
Laura 608-358-4418

Love to you all!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

RSVP for Ken's Memorial Tribute Ride on Sept. 18th

Hi all,

We're finalizing the details for Ken's Memorial Tribute Ride, planned for Saturday, September 18th, (please see previous Post), and we need to get an idea of how many folks will be joining in.

Please email me at, or call me at 608-358-4418, to let me know that you're joining the ride.

We'll know by tomorrow just exactly where the riders will be meeting up on the 18th, though we know it will be somewhere here in Springfield at 12:00pm, noon. We'll also know the route we'll be taking down to Mt. Olive, where Ken is buried. The pig roast, picnic foods and beer will be served at Hurley's Banquet Center on Main Street, in Mt. Olive. Afterward, we'll continue on at Hurley's Tavern, next door.

Fliers will be posted and distributed around Springfield next week, so keep your eyes open for one, and spread the word!

We miss our Kenny terribly,
(Ken's sister)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Save the date!

It looks like Saturday, September 18th, will be the date of Kenny's memorial tribute ride, which will run from Springfield down to Mt. Olive, IL. The exact time and starting point is yet to be determined, but we wanted to give you the heads-up on the date, so that you can start making your own plans.

The intention is to meet up in Springfield, do a drive-by Ken's mom's house by the Springfield Airport, and then past Ken's shop, Grman's Motorcycle Service, on Browning Road, (right there by the airport), and then up to 5th Street, and then south, on out of town on Interstate 55. When we arrive in Mt. Olive, we will meet at Ken's grave site in Calgary Cemetery, maybe have someone say a few words, and then from there we will head into town, to Hurley's Banquet Center and Hurley's Tavern on Main Street, where we'll be roasting a pig, right there in the parking lot between the banquet center and the tavern. The rest of the details will be coming, soon. ...Also, we're planning on Saturday, September 25th, as the alternate date, in case the 18th is rained out.

Many thanks to everyone, for your calls and ideas for this tribute ride. Keep them coming. Ideas for advertising the event, ideas for things to do at the event, ideas for tribute and memorial items, anything you can think of. Again, I can be reached at 608-358-4418, or email me at And, of course, post a comment directly to this blog if you'd like, so that your ideas can be shared with everyone here.

Kenny would be truly touched, and I can just hear him saying "I can't believe you're going to this much trouble on my account!" I don't think Ken ever fully realized just how appreciated and loved he truly was... no matter how often we tried to tell him. Kenny was our one-of-kind Springfield son.

Thanks so much,
(Ken's sister)

Monday, August 2, 2010

To all of Ken's dear friends,

With Ken's visitation services and burial now behind us, we can turn our attention to planning the memorial tribute ride for Kenny. We're still deciding on the exact date and place, but we'll know, very soon. We do know that it will be on a weekend, sometime in the next few weeks. We'll post the specifics, in a few days. Please keep watching, and spread the word. We're going to do it up right, and show the world how bikers say "goodbye" to their loved ones! It will be a wonderful tribute.

The visitation service was overwhelming, and Ken's entire family was moved, beyond words, by the outpouring of love and respect that was shown by all of Ken's amazing friends. I only wish that we could have gotten a picture of the parking lot and street at Butler Funeral Home, as I'm told they were filled with bikes.

All the many stories that were shared with us, in the receiving line last night, really meant a lot. Thank you all, so very much.

From Inga and all of Ken's family,

(Ken's sister)
To all of Ken's beloved friends and family,

The following is the eulogy that was written for Ken, and read by Ken's nephew, Neil, at the burial service that was held, earlier today. We wanted to share this with all of you:

I’m Neil Kenneth, Kenny’s nephew, and our family wanted me to speak on their behalf, today, to share our memories of Kenny, as we pay tribute to him. Knowing Kenny, he wouldn’t have wanted us to make such a fuss, but like Kenny, we’re gonna do it anyway, because we do what we want!

Kenny had been fighting a terrible battle with Esophageal Cancer since his diagnosis last December. Because this deadly disease is such a silent killer, it is often not diagnosed until it is in its latest stages, as was the case with our Kenny.

But we are here today to talk about Ken’s life and who he was.

Kenny was the hardest working man that we ever met, - when he wanted to work. Until he wanted to sleep, and then he was the hardest sleeping man that we ever met! But, when he was awake, he was a determined visionary who turned his dream of “Grman’s Motorcycle Industrial Empire” into a reality, against all adversity.

For instance, Ken was met with great adversity when he first attempted to acquire the zoning he needed for his shop’s current location. The entire neighborhood pressed the zoning commission to vote against him. But Ken persevered. And, in the end, he won-over every single person who had previously voted against him, through his professionalism, his courtesy and his consideration for the neighborhood, and by showing them all that he was not the stereo-type that they had originally feared. In fact, the meticulous pride that Ken took in the care of his shop and property even compelled the Springfield Airport Commission to send him a “Thank You” letter, for keeping his property so nice, because it made such a good impression on the incoming flights. Determined, charming, proud and committed to his dreams.

And why did Ken decide he wanted to fix motorcycles? Because he kept crashing them! And they usually weren’t his! They were his brother Mike’s, and then his brother Mike’s again, then his various friends’, and then his brother Mike’s, yet again…. and so it began. From the early beginning, Ken and his buddies dragging their motorcycles up and down the basement steps at Walnut Street. And as Ken’s friend Mark used to tell him, “Ken put more miles on his bike carrying it up and down the stairs on Walnut Street than he ever put on it on the road.” But Ken was smart, and as was true with everything else throughout his life, if he was interested in it, he figured it out, and then he knew it as well or better than anyone else. Some would even say that Kenny was a genius. Not an academic, because his feelings for school began on the first day of kindergarten, (when he kicked and bit his teacher, and ran home and told his mom “I’m not going to THAT school!”), and those feelings pretty-much continued throughout his school years. But when it was on his terms, he could master anything. He was ninety-nine percent genius, and one-percent crazy, as is the case with all geniuses.

And, with genius comes passion. Of all of Ken’s many hobbies and interests, Ken loved railroads and trains, having built many model railroading boards. He loved guns and bullets, and even spent the last weeks of his life buying bullets for fun. He loved playing guitar. And, he loved his John Deere Tractor. In fact, in these last months as Ken was undergoing his treatments, one day when he was actually feeling pretty good, the first thing he wanted to do was cut his grass, which he did. And then, later said, “That was a bad idea!”

And with passion comes love. Kenny was devoted to his friends and family. In the journey of life and love, Ken’s journey began with Debbie when they were fifteen years old. And, after marriages and divorces, Ken and Deb still remained a part of each others’ lives until the day Kenny died. You may not always get it right, but what matters is that you tried. And from Ken and Deb’s journey, came Matthew, Ken’s only child, who is so much like Kenny that it astounds us! In fact, when Matthew was only a year old and barely walking, he would mimic Kenny, taking Ken’s keys and walking to the front door, holding up the keys to the lock and turning them back and forth with focused deliberation, just like his dad! We know that whatever Matthew decides he wants to do for his career, he will be as determined and successful as his father. Kenny loved Matthew with all of his heart.

In the last decade of his life, Kenny was blessed to have found his Inga, who truly loved him without reservation. She understood him better than anyone, and she provided the balance and stability that held them happily together. Kenny said that, because of Inga, his life was whole. And, he often said that he knew that Inga would be with him till the day he died. Tragically, as fate would have it, Ken got sick, and Inga selflessly cared for him, night and day, to the very end. Ken’s family is indebted to her, and will love her, always.

Throughout his life, Ken’s many friends knew him for his devilish sense of humor and his weird wit, his selflessness and his generosity, and his constant willingness to always lend a helping hand, whenever needed. His home-body ways, his love of old “Western” movies, his intensely analytical mind, and his unmatched pace at work, are some of the unique traits that made Kenny so special. In the Harley community, the respect that Kenny garnered was unmatched, with a reputation that reached across the nation, earned through his honesty and professionalism, and his dedication to quality workmanship and customer service. He was “the” premiere Harley motor man. He was, in a way, a living legend. Though he may now be gone, we can take comfort in knowing that there are countless Harley motors out there that will be running strong for years to come. In a way, a little piece of Kenny still rides with them.

We all have our favorite memories of Ken, who touched so many lives. We’ve all heard Kenny say “How long have you know me?” We can now say, not long enough. But we won’t forget his other favorite sayings, such as “Chance favors a prepared mind”, or “Smith and Wesson always beats four Aces”, or “It’s not that I don’t care, but it just doesn’t matter”, or, whenever he added oil to a fresh motor, “Ahhh, new oil, the elixir of life!”

Kenny always wanted people to remember the good times, and the good things, and to never to be unhappy on his account. We hope that we have honored those wishes, here today. Though we will all grieve for many days and even years to come, the memories of the good times and good things will bring us comfort and last forever. So now, every time you hear that lone Harley motor in the distance, think of Kenny.

Friday, July 30, 2010

As promised, here is the schedule for Ken's visitation service. We're still working on the planning of the memorial tribute, and we'll keep you informed via upcoming posts, very soon.

Visitation Service:

Family will receive friends from 4:00pm - 7:00pm, on Sunday, August 1st, 2010, at Kirlin-Egan & Butler Funderal Home at 900 South 6th Street, Springfield, IL.

Kenny will be laid to rest at Calvary Cemetery in Mt. Olive, IL.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Huntsman Cancer Foundation, 500 Huntsman Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

To Ken's dear friends,

We should know by tomorrow afternoon, (which would be Thursday, 7/29/2010), of the dates and times for Ken's visitation services and his memorial service. We are planning something very special. In the meantime, we are asking anyone and everyone who has a kind rememberance or funny story about Kenny to let us know, as we are hoping to have a tribute event, where everyone can get up and share their story with the rest of us. Feel free to leave a comment on this blog, if you have a story that you'd like to take the time to write and share with all of us, right away, and/or give me a call, and we can chat about Ken's tribute event. My cell phone number is 608-358-4418.

Ken put up such a great fight, but we suspect that the cancer had spread to his brain, as things were just starting to fail. He was tired, and he was ready to let go. We are grateful for the time we had with Ken, over the last seven months, to say our "I love you's", and our "I'm sorry's", and to help him put things in order as best they could be put, before he moved on to that great motorcycle shop in the sky. As Ken's brother Mike put it today, we know that all of the Harley's in heaven will be running a lot better, now!

More tomorrow,
To all of Ken's dear friends,

Our Kenny passed away this morning. The fight was just too much, and he was ready. He went peacefully, with Mike and I at his side, holding his hand.

The entire night before, Kenny was sleeping peacefully, as I kept the vigil through the night. And, there was a very curious occurrence: the fluorescent light in his room kept going on and off, all by itself. Around 11:00pm, I summoned the hospital maintenance man on-duty, and with the lights off, talking in whispers, (so that we wouldn't wake Kenny), I held the flashlight as the maintenance man removed the light switch cover and then disconnected the wires that fed the power to the light. That should have done it, right? Well, ten minutes later, the light started going on and off again. So, I summoned the maintenance man again, and he couldn't figure out what was going on! ... Once again, we were working in the dark, whispering, as I held the flashlight, and the maintenance man removed the light bulbs from the fixture. How weird is that???

Inga and Ken's sister Gina said that the same thing was happening earlier the day prior. And, the light only did this when Ken was asleep. Psychic spiritual energy??? We believe it was...

Inga and Ken's family are making arrangements and getting everything figured out, and we will let you all know what is happening, as soon as we can.

Love to you all,

Friday, July 23, 2010

Hello again, to all of Ken's cherished friends who are checking in on him, via this blog. It's amazing and heartwarming to know that you're out there, reading, and to see the hit-counts on the site!

In short, it's now time for Ken to take a breather! It's been a rough seven months. So, Ken's taking a break, and that means no chemo and no radiation. Instead, Ken will be taking time to relax, to heal, to gain back some weight, and to get to feeling a little better and little stronger, before he jumps back into the fight.

Ken's due for his third monthly treatment of Zometa, which is the osteo drug that rebuilds the bone, kills the cancer that is in the bone, and shuts out any new cancer cells from getting into the bone. Amazing, huh? With the cancer having spread to Ken's spine and pelvis, these treatments of Zometa are very important. I'm hoping that, after three consecutive months of treatment, we'll see an improvement in the bone mass, and a reduction in the amount of cancer, in the next scans.

The good news is that Ken hasn't thrown up for over a week. This is really wonderful! And, his blood counts are holding strong. The only bad news is that the chemo treatments, over the last few months, didn't kill the esophageal tumors the way that Ken's oncologist hoped that they would. So, when Ken is stronger, the plan is to try a different chemo-cocktail, and go after those esophageal tumors, again.

So, here's the current plan:
Get stronger
Gain weight
Back off on the pain meds (cuz he's gettin' a little loopy)
Have another Zometa treatment
And then, decide on the next steps, in a couple of weeks, or so.

Thank you, so much, to one and all, for your sincerely concerned inquiries and your kind support. It means a lot to Ken. He wishes that he felt better and stronger, so that he could take calls and visits. Though just not yet, we're hoping he will be able, soon. All of you, who watch this blog, will probably be the first to hear of it, when it happens!

Love and thanks,
Laura (Ken's sister)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Hi everybody!

Just a quick update here, from sister Laura, as Inga is swamped, working and taking care of Ken, and last week was a very busy week.

A week ago, today, Inga came home from work to find Ken throwing up blood. So, one ambulance ride back to the hospital, and four units of blood later, (as his blood test showed that his blood count was down to 1/2 of a normal level), Ken was admitted to the hospital, and stayed for an entire week.

First, a scope of Ken's stomach revealed a bleeding ulcer, 2 cm x 4 cm. (That's a pretty big ulcer.) He is now on liquid Nexium, which will assist in the healing and will prevent any future ulcers.

Second, Ken's J-tube had coiled itself up in/against his stomach, (the J-tube is the one that goes directly into the intestine, after the stomach, whereas a G-tube is the one that goes directly into the stomach), which is the reason his liquid feedings had become so uncomfortable. So, they replaced the J-tube.

Third, due to Ken's ongoing shoulder pain, they did an MRI of his spine, again, to check for any spinal compressions, (since the esophageal cancer had spread to the spine, this is a concern), but all was OK. They attribute the pain to the start of arthritis and lack of activity, in general, causing loss of muscle mass.

Fourth, they did an echo-cardiogram, to check for fluid around the heart, and there was none. (This was a concern, due to the fluid that had accumulated around one of Ken's lungs, about a month ago, which was drained, and has since remained clear.) So, that was good news, too.

Fifth, the radiation treatments on the spine, (the fourteen (14) treatments that had started on July 6th), continued during his stay in the hospital, and, as of today, July 12th, he has nine (9) more to go. The rest of this week, (till Friday), and then Monday through Friday of next week.

The really good news is that Ken's blood is holding its own, rebuilding itself, and the counts are not dropping. Since stopping the internal bleeding of the stomach ulcer, he's doing really well. He was eating solid foods again, and getting some good color back!

That's all I can tell you, for now. I'm heading back down for a visit this weekend, and I'll have more to share, after that visit. And, I bet we'll probably get a post from Inga very soon, too.

Thanks for checking in, and for keeping Ken in your prayers.


Monday, July 5, 2010

Hi everyone.

Since my last posting, Ken has had two chest x-rays which have shown no new fluid. They are checking that, once a week. Ken starts radiation tomorrow, on his spine, (where the cancer had also spread), which will hopefully ease his back pain.

We had a bit of a scare, about a week and a half ago, when Ken's blood levels got too low. He received a blood transfusion, which did make him feel better, but not enough to make him want to go out and mow the lawn!

I suspected that Ken's levels had dropped again this weekend, when he was feeling bad enough to go to the hospital via ambulance. However, it was only dehydration. He was ready to go home after only twenty minutes.

Ken has gained five pounds! Five more, and we'll start discussing when to start the additional chemo treatments that Ken's oncologist has recommended. Thank you all, for complying with his wishes for no visitors; visits even with close family take such a toll on him. He thinks of you all, and says not to worry, he'll see you again, soon. As hard as all of this has been on him, he still wants to keep fighting. His attitude isn't always the best, but his perseverance seldom wavers.

I hope you all had a good 4th. I'll get back to you as soon as I am able.

Love to all.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hello everyone! Long time no talk. ...So sorry about that, but my computer has been down and I really have not had time to sit down and post anything. I do see that Laura has stepped in to make sure you all remained informed. Don't know what I'd do without her.

Well, we've been doing okay around here. Lots of doctors and lots of tests. They found some fluid on his lung and after draining it and testing it, they found that it contained cancer cells. They will make an adjustment in his chemo cocktail to focus on this new development. However, we are going to wait until he is a little stronger and a little fatter before we put him through another round.

He has been experiencing some back pain due to the spots on his spine, so they are going to address this with some radiation on his lower back, starting maybe on Tuesday. In addition to the radiation, he will continue his once monthly Zometa infusion, which is an osteoperosis drug that he began a couple of months ago.

He scored a 100% on his hearing test, so the hearing loss I detected must be of the selective persuasion. I was afraid those nasty chemo drugs had damaged the only ear he has left. But fortunately, I was mistaken.

So far as the tumor in his esophagus is concerned, it is unchanged. It didn't really shrink, but then again, it didn't grow, either. You know me, looking for the bright side, always.

His spirits remain high. Our days are spent quietly conversing about the world that seems to be racing around us. Always on the move to our next appointment or test. It all seems so unreal sometimes. But whatever, we're just along for the ride, so we choose to always enjoy any little thing we can, like snow cones. Kens loves snow cones. He bugs me all winter long about when the snow cone stand is going to open. Well, thank goodness, it's now open! I stop three or four times a week to get him a cherry one, or maybe blue raspberry, and every time, without fail, his face just lights up. Loves those snow cones!

So our plan is to fatten him up again while he is doing his radiation and after he has put on a few pounds we'll start chemo again. In the meantime, we'll enjoy the fact that he doesn't throw up but once a week these days.

I'll try to post in a more timely fashion in the future. Thanks for bearing with me.

Love to all!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Hi everyone,

Here's the latest news on Ken:
His last set of scans, taken on May 28th, showed no real change since the last set, which were taken before the 3-weeks of chemo treatments, (1 week of chemo followed by 2 weeks off, x 3), and that's all the more specific the oncologist would get about it. However, some additional problems have emerged:

1. They found that Ken's spine had 'chipped' at L-3
We think this might have been caused by a fall that Ken took one day, when he lost his balance and kind of fell partly into the corner where the fridge meets the wall, and then to the floor. However, he went to the doctor the day after this happened, and the x-rays showed that nothing was broken. It could be a case of the fall causing a hairline fracture, which normal activity aggravated until it finally broke off. It's hard to say....

2. They found some fluid in one of Ken's lungs
They pulled this fluid out on Tuesday, and are having it tested. They want to make sure that there are no cancer cells in the fluid. If there are, it will change the 'recipe' for the next chemo treatment. They should have the results of this test by early next week, 6-15-2010, or so.
Ken may have accumulated fluid in his lung due to too much inactivity. Also, he had Pluracy back when he was 19 years old, and it could be that his lungs are just more susceptible to fluid accumulating, as a result.

Other than all of this, he has been eating well, and enjoying hanging out and watching movies, though he's still sleeping a lot. Just one other problem, in that the last couple of days his back has started hurting him... (it never did, before), so, he's going back to the doctor, tomorrow, (Friday the 11th), to have this checked. It could be that he just strained it, with all the recent travel and moving around for the last couple of doctor appointments, x-rays and other procedures, and such. But, since we know there is a fracture that has occurred at L-3, (part of the vertebrae actually chipped off), it's important to monitor this closely.

After the test results come back on the fluid they pulled from his lung on Tuesday, Ken will get his new treatment plan from the oncologist. It will likely stay on course as originally outlined, which entails another 3-weeks of chemo, (1 week of chemo, followed by 2 weeks off, x 3), but we're not sure when that's going to start.

Thanks to everyone, for your calls and cards. It really cheers Ken up. I hope that soon, by the end of the summer, Ken might be up for a little get-together of some kind, (maybe a little 'customer appreciation' party), so we'll keep you posted. Meanwhile, Ken says "hi" to everyone!

Love to you all,
(Ken's sister)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Hi everyone,

Just a quick update with the latest news:

Ken is bouncing back from this last round of chemo! (Thank heavens. It got pretty rough, again, with another blood pressure drop to 60/40, due to a potassium deficiency.) The last day of this last round of chemo was 10 days ago, so he's moving into really good territory, now. He had a great weekend, and actually enjoyed the heat wave, because the chemo has made him so sensitive to cold that the extreme heat felt really good to him! It was so nice for Ken to just sit with the door open, to smell the grass and the trees, and to feel the warmth. Good stuff!

Last I heard, May 28th is the date that the next set of scans will be performed. We will learn a couple of things:
1.) How much is left of the esophageal tumor
2.) How much is left of the metastases to his spine and pelvis

I called today, to check on him, and Inga was giving me a run down of all the solid foods he had just eaten. (Eating solid food is a real mark of progress for Ken.) He had eaten fish, shrimp, sloppy Joe's and ice cream. Ken then said "I hope I don't throw this up". To which I said "Well, if you do, just get a plate, because I'm sure the cat will eat it!" It made him laugh. Hearing him laugh is like music to everyone's ears.

So - I'm sure Inga will have more to tell you, as soon as she gets a chance. Meanwhile, I thought I'd put this little update out here, to keep you posted, and to say "thank you", for caring about Ken and staying interested.

We hope to see you all, later this summer!

(Ken's sister)

Ken's son, Matthew, is graduating from Lutheran High School next weekend, (ceremony on the 30th), so we're all really proud of him! Kenny's little boy has become a man. Where does the time go??? If you look at the pic in this blog's 'About Me', it's actually a picture of Ken and Matthew, on Matthew's 12th birthday, when Ken took him for his first motorcycle ride. (Matthew looks exactly like his mom, Debbie, in this photo!) Right after this photo, Matthew started to sprout up, and he didn't stop. He's now tall and thin, with very chiseled and handsome features is daddy!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hey all! Ken's in the middle of his 3rd chemo treatment and we may have finally found a cocktail of meds that work for him!! His vomiting has been much less frequent this time than in the previous treatments. Yeah!

They will be taking a scan on the 28th of this month, then on to the next round of three. If they go as well as this one has so far, we'll be in good shape. As agonizing as it is to watch my poor guy throw up, I was comforted by his comment that no matter how much he throws up, none of it is as bad as what the radiation did to him. So, at least we don't have to do that anymore.

He is still refusing vistors. I know you all want to see him but he is very cautious about not catching a cold or the flu or any of those other yucky things that could set him back in any way. You will be happy to know though that he has kept his sense of humor throughout this entire ordeal. Always giving me and the other nurses a hard time. His spirits are pretty good and he has really enjoyed having the time to just sit and think. Life doesn't allow much time for pondering, and I am glad for him, considering how much runs through his genius head on any normal day.

My days are filled to the brim with all that has to be done around here and I apologize for all the time between postings; I'll try to post again real soon. Until then-lots of love-Inga

Monday, May 10, 2010

Hi everyone!

Ken's sister, Laura, here, for a quick update. Today was Mother's Day, and I'm down in Springfield, visiting mom and Ken and all the other family. It was so great to see Ken again, (it had been a month, or so), and he really looks great. Bald, but great!

Ken is doing really well, and is now preparing himself, mentally, for his next week of chemo, which starts tomorrow. Ken is bracing for the effects of this chemo, knowing that it will turn his brain to mush for at least a couple of weeks, not to mention all of those lovely awful physical reactions, with which he has become so familiar. This upcoming week of chemo is an important check-point treatment, because, afterward, after the two week rest that will follow, they will run additional scans/tests on him, to determine how much more of the metastases has been eliminated, (some of the originating esophageal cancer had spread to Ken's spine and pelvis, so they're working on getting rid of that), and they may then be able to 're-stage' him, as a result. That would be excellent! To move him back from a Stage IV to a Stage III, or better, would be incredible! We are all praying for it. Ken has put up such a great fight, and I am so very proud of him.

So, watch for the treatment check-point update that will be coming at the end of May.

Thank you all, so very much, for your comments, cards, letters and calls. It has meant a lot to Ken.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hey everyone. I'm sorry I haven't posted for awhile. Things have been busy around here.
Now that Spring has sprung the chores have increased a little. It is so nice to be outside, though. It almost doesn't seem like work. All the hard stuff is being taken care of by Ken's uncle Chuck, whom we greatly appreciate. Keeping up with Ken's perfectionist nature is no easy task, but I think the place looks pretty nice, so far.

Ken is in his third week off, in his three week cycle after that last week of chemo, and is still feeling rotten, so he has decided to hold off for another week and see if he feels better before starting the third chemo treatment. Apparently, it doesn't hurt anything to do so. I am hoping he'll start to feel better soon.

Ken's sister Gina was down this past weekend with her family. It was really great to see everyone. The kids and I tried to play down by the creek, but it was too wet and we were not prepared. The kids had on flip-flops and we didn't have any tools with which to catch critters, so we are planning for their next trip with great anticipation.

I wish I had more to tell you on Ken, but what can I say? Vomit, sleep, repeat. Poor guy. But he is still trying to eat, to drink lots of water, and to avoid going to that awful place called the hospital.

Thanks so much for checking in. Everything is running pretty smoothly here; I hope the same is true on your end.

Love to you all,

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Hello Kenny fans!! Thanks for checking in. I finally found a minute to send you all an update.

This week was a chemo week, which is never good. Lots of throwing up and not a lot of rest for either of us. It hit him pretty hard this time, but with any luck, he'll be better in a few days. The last round was tough, but he was almost back to normal just prior to this week. I hope he'll have a couple good weeks starting very soon.

I wish I had more details for you but we're in for a long wait, yet. We have one more round of chemo, then they will take a scan. Then nine more weeks of one week of chemo and two weeks off. Then another scan. Until then, we wait. Thanks for waiting with me. -Inga

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hey everyone! Sorry it's been so long. Things move at such a pace around here.

Ken is doing so well! He has gained back half of the weight he had lost. He is holding steady at 165 lbs. He is eating like a horse. He is trying diligently to eat as much as possible before his chemo treatment on Monday. I am just so proud of him.

We are also pushing the alkaline water that Laura spoke about in the last post. In addition to The Selvaggio's, I would like to thank Jim Gall for quickly coming over to install the ionizer with no prior notice. In the middle of racing season with thousands of things to do and he dropped everything to come to our aid. Where would we be without such good friends? You guys are just the best!

I would also like to thank Ken's uncle Chuck for coming to cut my grass this week. Ken slept to the sound of lawnmower blades magically cutting his grass without him. And thanks to our dear sweet Matthew for stepping up and helping his Dad with all the heavy lifting he cannot currently handle. The maturity and compassion he has shown for Ken in these recent months makes me so proud. Ken, too.

Thanks for checking in. Next week may be nasty, (it's Ken's second week of chemo, after having had the last two weeks off, in this 18-week "1 week of chemo w/ 2 weeks off; x 6" treatment), but I'll try to post when I can. Love to all! Inga

Monday, April 5, 2010

Hi everybody,

This is Ken's sister, Laura, here to provide a quick update, after my recent visit to Springfield, this last weekend.

This first week of the six weeks of chemo therapy that is planned for Ken, over the next eighteen weeks, was pretty tough. As of this last weekend, it had been a week since the completion of the first week of chemo, (Ken is now in the two-weeks off portion), with another week scheduled to start a week from today. The dehydration is very dangerous, (per the incident last week of Ken's pressure dropping to 60/40), and I'm concerned that the twice-per-week visit from the infusion care nursing staff is not sufficient. We're working out a round-the-clock bedside attendance plan, especially for the chemo weeks.

Inga has been absolutely amazing. Any one of us should be so lucky to have someone like her at our side and in our corner, if we ever became this sick. She works tirelessly, night and day, caring for Ken, and keeping up with her own job, and providing the continual updates to the rest of the family and this blog. She is always upbeat, and she always knows the best balance between the pushing and coddling, when it comes to Ken. I don't think he could have made it this far, without her. She is a warrior and an angel, all in one.

And thank heavens for Debbie, for her ongoing help, and her expertise and connections when it comes to the paper work/financial aspect of this situation. Because of her, Ken's social security disability and other financial aid was in place, almost immediately. That was a tremendous load off Ken's mind, and not having to worry about that end of things has allowed Ken to fully focus on this battle and getting well. Knowing she is always so close is a great comfort for everyone, especially for Ken and Inga.

If you get a moment to send Kenny a note or a card, (or just post a comment to this blog), you might want to joke him about the lawn mowing event, last week! It really kicked his butt, doing that, and he was pretty sorry, the next day. When Mike (Ken's older brother), and I walked in on Saturday morning, and commented about it, all Kenny whispered up to us was "that was really stupid", and then he smiled a little bit. Ha! He's still got such a great sense of humor. He sleeps most of the time, but he's continuing with a little bit of solid foods every day, (though the liquid feedings through the J-tube are still going, every night), and making a great effort to consume the recommended amount of alkaline water, to achieve the detoxifying benefits of that therapy, too. Which brings me to another 'thank you':

Thank you, so so much, to Frank and Barb, for the Jupiter water ionizing and filtration system! God bless them!!! As a gift, they purchased this system for Kenny, optimistic and enthused about the potential health benefits of pH therapy in treating cancer. If you would like to help us in our plan to repay Frank and Barb, (even though they insist that they do not expect it), please write or call. Again, thank you, so so much, to Frank and Barb!

Thanks to everyone, from Ken, and from Inga, and all the family, for your cards, calls and kind wishes. It means so much, and it is truly appreciated.

Love you all,

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Hi everyone! I hope you are all enjoying this beautiful weather! Almost a little too hot for me today. Almost. Ken didn't think so-he decided after his blood transfusion this morning he was going to mow the grass!!!!! They said he would feel better afterward, but my goodness! I tried every way from Sunday to get him to let Matthew do it when he got home from school, but to no avail. There was no stopping him. Just goes to show you; you can't come between a man and his John Deere. Matthew did all the push mowing, so all Ken had to do was ride. But he did the whole yard start to finish, including airing up the tires on the mower and fixing a light on the street sign. I was surprised he did so well. He was quite tired afterward and is now sleeping like a baby :)

After his spell last week, where his blood pressure dropped to 60/40, they have been monitoring him closely. After a little hydration and the transfusion today, he should be feeling better in the coming days. I'll let you know.

His brother is making the trek down from Wisconsin this weekend as well as his sister Laura so hopefully he will feel well enough to visit with them. I don't know how long this “blood high” will last. We'll see.

Thanks for checking in,


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hey all. Thanks for checking in. It's been crazy around here.

We went to the clinic on Friday, (two days ago), to have Ken's chemo pump removed. No sooner did he get out of the truck, and he said "I'm gonna pass out." I said “Oh no you're not!”

I grabbed his belt, and motioned for the guy working the door to bring a wheelchair. We got him into an exam room where they took his blood pressure, which was 60/40. The doctor called for an ambulance, which appeared in seconds. They took Ken to the hospital where they ran tests, and determined that he was dehydrated. (Dehydration is common, during chemo treatment, due to all the throwing up, even though they had put him on an I.V. to keep him hydrated.) And, he had also taken one of his medications just before we left the house, and one of the side effects of this medication is that it can make the blood pressure drop.

So we're back on track, now, and Ken has the next two weeks to recover from this last week of chemo, before they hit him, again. He is trying very hard to eat and drink, as much as possible, and he has been a wonderful patient!

I hope I have better stories next time.

Until then...Inga

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Hi everyone, I hope you are all enjoying the rain. I find it a very suitable back drop for the Harry Potter marathon weekend they're showing on cable. When I give Ken his nightly meds, I call it "my potions final". Some I have to dilute, some with water, some with bacteriostatic sodium chloride.(Certainly don't want to mix those two up)

Tomorrow we go in for chemo (#1 of six). We start at the hospital with an infusion that should last a couple of hours, then on to Springfield Clinic to have a pump hooked up that we will take home where it will run until Friday. They are talking like he will have one week of chemo then two weeks off. And, they will do that for six rounds with scans every third round.

His weight is holding steady at 155 lbs. and I am a little concerned about what this week will bring. He has really been trying hard to eat more, but some days food just doesn't work. He hasn't been throwing up very much in the past week, but as we decrease his morphine patch, I think he is having a bit of withdrawal side effects. He has been drinking a lot more water, because he is still trying to pass that kidney stone.

All in all, things are going pretty well, however slowly. Good days and bad. But the bad are fewer in number than I expected at this stage. But, now it's on to the next stage-Chemo. Serious Chemo. Those tumors are about to get a Serious butt-kicking.

Thank you all for checking in. I'll write more, soon.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hey everybody! Just a small update. Chemo didn't happen on Monday. Apparently, there was a mix up in scheduling. So the new plan is for this coming Monday, 3/22/2010. We'll go to the hospital for an infusion, then on to the Clinic for a pump, which will run 24/7 for five days. Then, two weeks off, and on the third week, we repeat.

It has been pretty quiet around here. Lots of doctors appointments, nurses coming to the house, etc. etc. A little throwing up this week, too. But not too bad.

I hope you are all enjoying that sunshine. I hope to post again soon. Love to you all. Inga

Friday, March 12, 2010

Hey all! I have finally found the time to post, and I am happy to report a good session with the doctor!

Ken's CT showed that the tumors in his esophagus have shrunk, and he has responded well to the chemo and radiation. The spots on the liver are unchanged, but that indicates that they are likely to be simple cysts. The bone metastases seem unchanged, but chemo doesn't work well for treating cancer within the bone, because there is no blood flow to carry the chemo to the sight. The biggest worry for the bones is their susceptibility to breakage. So, they are starting him on an osteoporosis drug that does three things: (these drugs are unbelievable in how they treat in multiple ways):
First, it puts up a shield that blocks cancer cells from getting into the bone.
Second, it builds bone where the cancer may have broken it down.
Third, it produces an environment where the residing cancer cells find it unbearable to live. So they leave. Where they go when they move out, I don't know.

The lymph nodes in the pelvis are still inflamed, but they say that may be because of the 3.5mm KIDNEY STONE!! We both just rolled our eyes. That's nothing new. Okay, here we go again! Urologists, pea in a cup, etc. etc. etc. The blood work looks good, so it's another round of chemo, next week.

Ken is still kinda weak, but he is trying really hard to eat and to get up and move around. Spring will be good for us all, around here.

Thanks for checking in. We'll talk soon.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Today we had a CT scan to determine if all the chemo and radiation worked.

We should learn the results Monday.

Double up on the prayers.


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Hey everyone! Thanks for checking in. I hope all is well on your end of things. It has been crazy around here. For instance, it is 2:30 in the afternoon and I am just sitting down to breakfast.

There is not a lot going on, however, with Ken. He sleeps a lot. I am reminded of Forrest Gump talking about his Jenny and how she "slept and slept like she hadn't slept in a hunded ye-uhs". When he's not sleeping, he's watching movies, playing with the cat, and he's even been out to the shop a few times.

His mechanics, Walt and Roy, were allowed by him to visist Saturday, while I attended my dear friend's wedding. He was pretty worn out afterward and requested no more visitors. So his recovery is going rather slow, but that is to be expected. A friend said that for every one week in the hospital it takes three weeks to recover from it. So that puts Ken at 21 weeks, and were only 4 weeks into it. So we pray for patience.

Some good news, though! Ken has officially gained 10 lbs. since he has been home. 155!! So all that heavy cream and extra butter are doing their jobs. Problem is, is that when he doesn't eat something, I usually end up eating it. Not good for my girly figure.

Oh well! Whatever it takes. I love you all. And I will try to find time this week to address you all again.
Bye for now! Inga.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Hello all! I found a few minutes to post and let you all know that Ken is doing really great. I have been so busy because he has been requesting so much food. What sounds good to him doesn't always work so well, so many attempted meals are discarded after only a few bites and another meal is tried.

His blood levels have been a little low in the past few weeks but have come up in the most recent days. We have some scans next week so we should know soon whether or not the chemo and radiation worked and how well. So keep them prayers comin'!

There are some rumors floating around town that Ken has taken a turn for the worse, so please put a damper on those if you hear them. He is getting stronger every day. We have had a couple milestones as well. He has been playing with the cat for the first time since he has been home. It may not sound like a milestone to you, but I considered as such. Anything that he does that is considered normal activity for him, I celebrate, for it has been three months since he has had any normalcy.

He is still sleeping a lot, but that is nothing new for him. He has always enjoyed sleep. Just like me:)

We'll talk soon. Until then......Inga

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hey all. I am terribly sorry it has been so long since my last posting. Having Kenny home takes a lot of my time. All of my spare time has been devoted to sleeping and staring at the television trying to def-rag. We're still doing IV meds, but the frequency at which they are being administered is beginning to slow. He is getting better every day. Since his first drink of water on the 14th, he has been trying and succeeding at eating all kinds of things. Lettuce and dressing (Ken's PLAIN salad), milkshakes, even an ounce or so of fillet mignon that his brother brought him. He is really diggin' the Andes mints his mom brought over a few days ago. The best part is that it is all staying down. We have even let up a bit on his tube feedings.

Now that he is a little better, I actually got to go out with my girlfriends for a few hours Saturday night. It was nice to just get away and get a change of scenery. Not to mention conversation that was void of any medical lingo.

My next step is to get Ken up and around. He went out to the shop yesterday to do a few things, but was only able to stay out there for a half hour or so. He is still very weak.

Other than that, there is not much going on. We have more family coming in this weekend and Ken's sister, Laura, is here now. So there are lots of people around to help him get back on his feet.

Thanks so much for checking on him and I will try to post again soon. Love to you all. Inga

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Hello all! Things have been quiet around here for the past couple of days. Very little throwing up and a lot of sleeping. Good combo if you ask me.

We had a visit with Ken's oncologist on Tuesday. Nothing exciting. Checked his throat, asked how things were going at home, took blood, etc. Ken was hoping to learn something new, but that wasn't the purpose of this visit. The follow-up tests, to determine the benefits of the chemo and radiation, will come the first week of March. We're expecting a CT scan and bone scans.

The lady from the physical therapy department of the home health division came out to evaluate how well Ken was getting around. When he "popped" out of bed, she quickly realized her services were no longer needed! Mark that one off of the list.

I am hoping this week will see a lot of healing for Ken's esophagus. He seems to do better each day. He ate a few things today, and it has all stayed down. So, I hope to see a lot more of that in the coming days. Once we get a few pounds on him, he'll be able to chuck that feeding tube. That's one of our goals. Fatten him up!!! Well, fatter than he currently is. A fat Kenny Grman-yeah right.

Talk to you all soon. I love you all. Inga

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Hello all,

Home is proving to be a welcome change from the hospital. Ken has had a few spells of throwing up, but this is likely because he stopped one of his nausea meds, due to its adverse side effect, making him feel like he is crawling out of his skin. The challenge to replacing it is the need for medication that is available in liquid or IV form. Most of them only come in pill form. But we are working on it.

Rest comes easier for me, knowing I don't have to get up early and go to the hospital. We picked up a remote doorbell that Ken keeps with him, and it rings in the bedroom when he needs something. All he has to do is push a button. It has worked like a charm.

To those of you who have tried calling the house, and gotten no answer, I have turned off the phones. After seven weeks of nothing but interrupted sleep, (life at the hospital), we're trying to get back on a more normal schedule. I'll try to return all of your calls, very soon.

Thank you all, for thinking of us and for checking in. I'll write again, soon.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Well, home is so nice. A lot of work but so much better than being at the hospital. Everyone is concerned about how I am doing and I have come to equate this home health stuff to just another one of Kenny's projects. Any time he starts a new project he dives in full force and doesn't slow until it's finished. I am tired, but no more than any other time I have been by his side when he has decided to do something. If I wasn't going to the hospital three times a day, it would be the hardware store three or four or TWENTY times a day! Granted, it is not over yet, but I feel very fortunate so far.

Ken has been sleeping, mostly. We've only had one vomiting session, since he's been home, so that's good. He goes out once a day for radiation, but this ends, at the end of this week. It's too bad that it's so cold.

Ansel has not left the foot of Ken's bed. Every time I look over, Ansel is sleeping, and always touching Ken in some way. Ken kicked him a little last night while he was sleeping, and his leg actually landed on top of Ansel's head! Ansel griped a little, but didn't run off. I was surprised. He just moved his head and laid it back on Ken's ankle and went back to sleep. Such a good boy:)

Check in with you all soon. Love to all. Inga

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Hey all,

Sorry it has been a few days since my last posting, but so much has been happening, I've just been too busy. Ken came home yesterday (Monday) and we are settling in. Home health nurses, feeding tubes, and IVs. We're still trying to find our groove, but we're getting there. I am happy to report that Ken has not thrown up since we've been home, so YEAH!!

Ken is very ambitious about trying to eat. He had some Rice Krispies today, and it stayed down!! I couldn't believe it. He also tried some chicken noodle soup, but the flavor was off. He enjoyed a popsicle this evening. He just wants to quit the drugs and have a big steak and tell those tumors how it's gonna be. I told him he could quit any drugs that he wanted to quit, except the one that will keep the steak down. We wouldn't want to waste the steak he's been so looking forward to.

All this snow has been a nightmare. Today, on the way to radiation, I locked us out of the truck with the engine running! Poor Ken hates to be cold and I made him stand out in blowing snow with thirty mile an hour winds while I scrambled to get the spare key. I was so mad at myself. The hardest part about all this is trying not to beat myself up for being SO STUPID!!!!! But tomorrow is another day and it WON'T HAPPEN AGAIN.

Ansel was so great when we came home last night. Ken sat on the bed, and not a minute later Ansel jumped up on the bed and put his front paws on Ken's thigh, and laid down and just purred! Such a sweet boy!
(It was a much better meeting than the one when I brought him up to the hospital.) Last night is also the first night that Ansel didn't sleep with me; he spent most of the night at the foot of Ken's hospital bed. That cat came into our life at the perfect time. The whole family is just so in love with the little fur ball. He provides such comfort to us all.

Well, it's getting late, and I have meds yet to give, so we'll talk again in the next couple of days. Thanks, and love to you all. I hope all is well with everyone out there. Be comforted that all is well here.


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Good news all-chemo is over!!! Now all we have is radiation until Friday. A week from now this will all be but a memory. Ken will be home doing some real healing. Sleeping soundly for a change. And be coming out of this putrid hole of poison and vomit and back into the land of sunshine and lollypops.

We are preparing now for his return and he is really looking forward to his home that he loves so much. Mike brought him a STACK of Lone Ranger and John Wayne and others. Thanks Michael, really appreciate it. Really. It's all I could ever ask for.......Well, at least Ken will enjoy them. Thank goodness we have more than one TV.

Ken has been away from his home for a long time and I ask sincerely for your patience in his want for visitors.
He has a lot of healing yet to do and I don't know when he'll be up to socializing. Please remember,too what a social butterfly he is (not) even when he is healthy. All will come in due course; unfortunately it takes a lot of time.

I love you all. Thanks for checking in. -Inga

Friday, February 5, 2010

Hello everyone. I know you all wait for good news but tonight I don't have much. My poor Tinny was throwing up today and managed to give himself a hernia. He was in a lot of pain until it receded. They took him down for an ultrasound and confirmed it. The surgeon came it to talk to us and we all concluded that surgery at this point would be too hard on him. It takes about two weeks to heal from such a surgery and with all is vomiting, he would be in a lot of pain for quite awhile. They say it is serious but not emergent. So we'll just wait and see if it happens again.

Brother Mike is here, and sister Laura is heading down. They're still talking about a Monday discharge. We'll see.

There is plenty of room for celebration, however. Tonight they hung his last bag of chemo. It will run until tomorrow and then IT'S DONE!! Radiation until Friday and then IT'S DONE!! Then his poor throat will begin to heal and he can start thinking about eating again.

When I left tonight he was sleeping soundly. I hope he does for the rest of the night. My Kara is on, so he certainly has his greatest chance possible. That makes me sleep better. Love you all. We'll talk again soon.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Hey all!! Today's update begins with Ken's "new and improved" feeding tube. On his fifth and hopefully final trip down to radiology, he received a REAL G-J tube, feeding tube. And finally the story comes out why his last tube was such a monkey-rig. Apparently it was explained to Ken but in his fuzzy condition, he must have forgotten. The reason they didn't do before what they did today was because he wasn't healed enough, inside, from the original "installation". So now all the extensions and add-ons have vanished and he has a bright shiny simple tube that should work just fine. I certainly hope so because I really need that thing to work when he is sent home.

Day two of chemo.....throwing up a rainbow of things. Poor guy. I think his favorite nurse, "my Kara" is on tomorrow. I have asked the nurse manager to assign her to Ken, but I don't know if that's possible. It sure would be great, though. I know I sleep better when Kara is Ken's night nurse, because I know she helps Ken to sleep easier.

Well, I think he looks really cute bald, and he seems to be taking to losing his hair quite well. I am running out of time on getting the house ready for his arrival, so I am going to cut it short tonight and get to work in other areas. So goodnight to you all and I hope all is well out there. I love you all, Inga

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Hello everyone, sorry it has been a few days since my last posting. My computer was doing what computers do best-acting up. But we're back on track for tonight at least.

Well let's see... Since we last chatted, Ken has been moved, put on chemo, and finally gone bald. Looks like he beat his OLDER brother Mike who we thought had quite a head start. We found he has a rather nicely shaped head and his worries about his "big ears" were completely misguided. I did see a childhood photo of Ken recently and I can see where his big ear complex comes from, but I tried to put his mind at ease. Don't get me wrong, that kid had some ears, now, but I think he grew into them very well.

The chemo has begun, and will run until Saturday. His radiation countdown is now at eight more treatments.
His throwing up has slowed to about once a day, although he did puke a new color yesterday. Not that you
want to know that, but there is not a lot going on. They may send him home after the chemo is over, but who really knows for sure. If we have learned anything from this experience, it is that no one really knows anything for sure.

Thanks again for all the well wishes. They are still coming in every day and every day we appreciate them. Love to all. Good night. Inga

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Hello again...long time no talk to:) Thanks for checking in. I have become Ken's new drug czar. We have had great success with formula 'el Inga. We have gone all day without throwing up. We have plans written for the nurse coming on tonight and I will be calling every four hours just to make sure. Nothing is slipping by me this evening.

Other than that, we had family in from up North. Sunshine all day. Great food for dinner and from my brother in Chicago, a gourmet cupcake with a mystery filling inside. It all makes for a pretty good day. Tomorrow should go just as well, I hope. Chemo starts again on Monday. They are expecting this round to be more difficult for him to tolerate. But, with any luck, they will be wrong.....

We may be shaving his head this weekend, too. Thanks to everyone for providing such a wonderful collection of hats for him to choose from. He now owns more than I do. Which will, of course, have to be remedied shortly.

Good night everybody. I hope all is well with you. Inga
Hey all!! They've been busy the past two days with medications. All the throwing up indicates they have more work to do. So I've taken over the case. Miss Laura is going to help me keep these nurses in line and on the ball until the decision makers return on Monday.

Meanwhile, there is still talk about sending him home. We thought it was going to be last week, but the attempted change in medications which caused the flare-up in incidences of throwing up pushed it off, again. If we can get these meds right, I think he'll be better off. We'll continue to do that "wait and see" thing again.

There is really not a lot to report, but I know any update is better than no update. Thanks for everything. Inga

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Kenny looked great this morning. He had good color and he was smiling quite a bit. The vomiting has remained under control, so mark down another good day.

His hemoglobin levels were down a little, so he received two units of blood. Which probably contributed to his color. He is beginning to feel better and there is more talk of sending him home.

That is really all for now. We have more family coming in this weekend and are looking forward to visiting, especially since he is feeling a little better.

Received a box of hats from good friend Mark S., which was an awesome gift, and gave Kenny a really good laugh! God Bless You, Mark, for being so thoughtful, even as you are struggling with your own issues. Thank you, so much!!!

Thanks again for all the good wishes. I'll try to post again soon.

Love to all-

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hi everyone! I hope you all enjoyed those six hours of sunshine today. I sure did. Ken had a pretty good day. He said he actually felt like getting cleaned up and going for a drive. However, an hour later he was asleep. But to actually say that today means this is the best day we have had since before Christmas. Of course the sun was shining.

Not a lot going on other than radiation, blood draws and drug administration. After having a break from radiation last week, his voice was best this morning; he sounded like himself. It seemed a little rougher this evening.

Since the nurse lady knew we liked cats, she pops her head in and asks if we would like to meet Bozo, the 170 lb. great dane!!! Totally black and looking down on me as I sit in the chair. This dog is absolutely magnificent!! I remember one from my childhood because again, I was looking up at it, and you would think that would have scarred me for life, but the calm demeanor of this dog was palpable. I pet him briefly, while backing out of the way for the dog to get to Ken. This dog knew who the patient was and knew what his job was. He allowed himself to be petted and then laid on the floor, just as comfortable as could be. Even lying on the floor, this dog was impressingly huge. Apparently, he and his owner are permanent volunteers. The longer we stay, the more we learn about this hospital. You can even have a harpist come in and play for you! Crazy, huh?

Another good thing today was his favorite nurse from the 8th floor came to visit. You may remember her from the earlier posts-Ken refers to her as "my Kara". I thought it was so sweet for her to come to visit. I almost went back to the 8th and suggest that exact thing to her, but I didn't. That just shows you what a great nurse she is. I knew leaving him in her care, I could depend on her to make sure he would have a calm, restful night, and be puke free. And the best part, Ken knew it, too. Ken admires people who strive for excellence, and she is excellent. She was of great comfort to him in a very trying part of his life. God bless "my Kara".

Goodnight, everyone!

Monday, January 25, 2010

January 24th, 2010 (Sunday) Update from Inga

Hey all! Another day of no vomiting, which makes me want to turn cartwheels down the hallway. We spent the day visiting with a few family members and our little furry friend, named Ansel. He did okay in the truck, but once we let him out into the room, he got really whiney. Meowing non-stop until we all had enough and he had to go home. It did put a smile on Ken's face for a minute, and he got to pet him a little. So it was fun, but could have gone better. Maybe next time.

No news in the health department. Radiation starts up again tomorrow.

I can't thank you all enough for all you are doing to help out around here and thank you from Ken for all the wonderful gifts he has been receiving. I have privatized the room number so anything you want to get to him, please send to the house. (The house address is the same as the shop). If you send it to the hospital, he may not get it.

I know you all are anxious to hear some news about his progress, but we're still waiting ourselves. I promise, though, as soon as I know something, I will surely pass it along. God bless you all. Love, Inga

Saturday, January 23, 2010

January 23rd, 2010 (Saturday) The Kitty gets to visit tomorrow!

Hi guys! Today went pretty well. No vomiting. Yeah! This part is soooo the hardest. Having nothing to do but wait, it feels like we're not making any progress. But back to business on Monday. We'll try to enjoy ourselves with Mike and Neal's company for what is left of the weekend.
We also get to have a furry visitor tomorrow. We have obtained special permission to bring our rotten kitty cat up to visit!!! I am so excited . He is going to be blown away. We have been joking about sneaking him up, which is probably going to be his first question. I can't wait. I hope he doesn't turn into a crazy psyco kitty. I know all kitties are capable of such things. But he travels really well, so it should be good.
I'll let you all know how it went tomorrow night. Bye for now. Love, Inga

Friday, January 22, 2010

January 22nd, 2010 (Friday) Update from Inga

Well not such a good day. More throwing up and not so much rest. He is getting impatient waiting for radiation. And I am getting impatient with his impatience.
Still no sunshine, but plenty of clouds and fog. I hope the weekend will be better. I'm sorry I don't have much news, but tomorrow is another day. Until then. Inga

Thursday, January 21, 2010

January 21st, 2010 (Thursday) Update from Inga

Well, we made it almost 24 hours without throwing up. But it was only once or twice, and not a lot of volume.He had another successful feeding, his color was better, and he smiled more today. We did some paperwork and he got a shower.

No news is good news, as far as I'm concerned. And there is not a lot to report.

Ken's brother Mike is coming in this weekend, so we're looking forward to that. I hope the weather garners some sunshine. It's been foggy and cloudy for weeks! Ken's new room should let the morning sun in pretty well. That will make the Vitamin D Nazi (Laura) happy:)

A lot of people are asking me when we will know something. The answer is a hard one. The radiation will continue to work for two weeks after it has ended. He has had twelve treatments out of 28, and they have postponed anymore until Monday. Postponements will add time to our wait. So it's really anybody's guess.

I guess that is all for now. I hope to have no news for you all tomorrow:)

January 20th, 2010 (Wednesday) Update from Inga

Hi again all. I must begin by pointing out the mistake made in the last posting. Four out of eight laps around the hospital equals 1/2 mile. Not a quarter mile. Durrrr. Thank you Selvaggio's for pointing out my error. You win the big prize!!! I don't know what that is yet, but you guys win it.

Ken was having a bit of pain this morning from his surgery sight. We are checking into that. He has a sore throat that we have been following for a few days now. Doc says it could be from the radiation, so he has postponed any remaining treatments for this week. Ken of course doesn't like a day where he doesn't feel he has accomplished something. He wants to keep plowing ahead, God love him. He has had a little relief from the vomiting. This evening was puke-free. He slept a little while I was up there tonight. I never thought hearing him snore would make me smile. But smile I did.

He got a new room today. So much nicer than the one he was in. First off, it's a private room, so no chance of a neighbor. Wood laminate floors, bigger bathroom with his own shower, two sinks, one in the room, one in the bathroom. I was much more impressed with the staff, too. But all that moving made him kind of tired, so he took his nine o'clock drugs about a half hour early and is now hopefully sleeping soundly.

Thanks again to all of you for your well-wishes and offerings of service. I wish I had more for you to do.
But for now, prayer is all I ask of you. And yes, I know, I don't even have to ask. Love you all. Inga

Monday, January 18, 2010

January 18th, 2010 (Monday) Update from Inga

Well, we finally got a good day. Ken has had two successful feedings, (the j-tube feeding that runs all night), and a good night's sleep. So his spirits were much better today. Tomorrow should be even better.

Not only did he have a tube feeding, but he also had a chocolate milk, a little bit of mashed potatoes and gravy, and a touch of ice cream for dessert!! They are using a Dramamine patch, not for motion sickness, but for its side effect of dry mouth. This decreases the saliva build-up in his throat, which thus decreases the gag-reflux throwing-up that he has been suffering with for months. In fact, this has decreased dramatically over the past 36 hours. That little half inch patch, placed behind his ear, allows him to actually eat a little bit, and keep it down. We also broke our hospital ward lap record. We walked FOUR laps around the hospital. The nurses are now telling us 8 laps is a mile, not 9. So, we did a quarter mile- how's that for progress?

Ken's sister Gina was here this weekend with her family. The kids brought their doctor's bags, but were unable to assess the patient. Ken wasn't up to having little visitors, but was deeply moved by eight year-old Halle's hand-made card. She had the wonderful intuition of writing a card full of jokes, such as "Why is Rudolph's nose red?"-"Because Vixen punched him." Brilliant. Thank you, Halle, for being so sweet.

And, thanks again, to all of you for your kind words and prayers. I think they are working. Today was a good day! Good day. ahhh... good night. Inga

Saturday, January 16, 2010

January 16th, 2010 (Saturday) Update from Inga

Okay! I think we may finally be on track with this stupid feeding tube. He is supposed to start receiving food this evening, and it should run until tomorrow morning. I don't want to get my hopes up, but I think we're good.... I think.... I hope.... Good.... Okay. Honestly, they should have just given Kenny the tools and let him fix it himself. Not only would he have fixed it faster, but he would probably have re-fit and re-engineered the whole system until the original design was improved. But that's just the way he rolls....

Ken hasn't requested pain killers for two days, now. The actual surgery site of the feeding tube 'installation' is healing nicely. His head is clearer, and he was much more talkative today. Still grumpy, but more talkative. One thing he expressed strongly today was his wish for no visitors. He expressed his understanding that so many people are desperately wanting to help, but he reiterated that, for right now, he wants to be left alone. There is nothing anyone can do, at this point. It pains me to say it, but even close family are being turned away at times. So show him your love by honoring his wishes. That will make him happy. And, hang on to those good intentions, because somewhere, sometime soon, down the road, there will be opportunities for all to help.

I told him to 'eat good' tonight, and get some sleep, because tomorrow, he is taking me for a walk! Time for me to rest up, too. Goodnight everyone. God bless. -Inga

January 15th, 2010 (Friday) Update from Inga

Hey all. Not much to report on, other then they still haven't figured out his feeding tube yet. They tried to start his feeding tonight, but the machine said it wasn't flowing. So back to dealing with this issue-AGAIN.

We can expect a pretty quiet weekend, seeing as how doctors don't work on the weekend. Hopefully it will be uneventful and comfortable for Ken. Poor guy is still throwing up. Well, dry heaves, anyway.

Sorry I don't have much for you tonight, maybe tomorrow. Love Inga

Thursday, January 14, 2010

January 14th, 2010 (Thursday) Update from Inga

Hello all. A few things to report...Ken had his feeding tube altered again today. They replaced his thingymabob with a whatchmagig in hopes that it stop leaking. They were starting his feeding just as I was leaving, so we'll see tomorrow if it works.

He got a little mixed drink through his port tonight and he slept for 2 1/2 hours! All you bikers will like to know, he is still solving all your problems even as he fights cancer in the hospital. As he was sleeping he mumbles "check the point cover, it's just two screws.", "Tires, what size?" I was cracking up.

He didn't feel like making out bills, he didn't feel like taking a walk. We'll try again tomorrow. Bye for now.-Inga

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

January 13th, 2010 (Wednesday) Update from Inga

Hello to all. Some of you are just finding out and are visiting this site for the first time. Thanks for checking in. I know it is hard on each and every one of you. It is a lot to take in. But the comment I am hearing from most all of you is that you never new him to be sick. Ever. That is what we are counting on to get him through. He is a very healthy guy otherwise. Let's just hope he doesn't try to fix himself......

Awhile back, three or four years maybe, Ken was having a problem with his shoulder. He couldn't raise his arm above his head. It was too stiff. About the time he couldn't get his coat on by himself and I was nagging him to death to go to the doctor, he was underway with a project which included re-wiring a light switch. He warns me ahead of time" I'm going to do this hot". Great... I am in the other room when he yells for me. I race in and he is standing there with his arm out-stretched and a dumb look on his face. "Are you alright?" I asked. He says "I've never had that happen before. It shocked me but only in my shoulder. My shoulder doesn't hurt!" I grabbed his coat and made him put it on. No problem! He cured himself.

Then a year or so later his wrist was getting stiff. He had a hard time playing guitar, and it seemed to be getting worse. Until one day he was out shoveling the driveway (one of his favorite pastimes) and slipped, landing directly on his wrists and forearms. And of course HIS WRIST HURT NO MORE!! Who needs doctors when you can fix yourself?

He is going to need a lot of strength in order to fix himself this time. But we have all the faith in the world that that is exactly what he is going to do.

Not a lot of new info. They are still trying to get his feeding tube squared away. I'll know more tomorrow.

Ken's sister Gina is coming this weekend and we are looking forward to seeing her and her family. It will be nice to see the kids and take a break from the mundane cancer discussions and talk about things that are really important like Hannah Montana and Transformers.

Thanks for checking in. Until next time. Inga

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Hi folks,

Here's a good link about the esophagectomy surgery that might be in Ken's future. It's a very general overview, but you'll get the picture. Or, go to Google, click on the 'Videos' link, (little blue link at the top left side of the Google main page), and then type in 'Esophagectomy' in the search box. You'll find that there are many videos of esophagus surgeries available. Such a surgery is every bit as complex and risky as open heart surgery. Also, from what I've read, the recovery period is much more complicated and risky, as well. The esophagus sits on top of the spine and below the trachea, so getting to it, and avoiding injury to anything adjacent, is pretty tricky.

Esophageal cancer is such a killer because, by the time symptoms are significant enough to be noticed, and to warrant a doctor's visit, the disease has progressed quite far along, Stage III or Stage IV. As one of Ken's doctors explained it to me, if esophageal cancer is found early enough to be staged as either Stage I or Stage II, it was likely found by accident, while treating some other issue or condition.

Curiously, and without explanation, the incidence of esophageal cancer has been increasing. I honestly wonder, ....why? And, if it's such a killer, with symptoms so insignificant and/or unrecognizable, why aren't early screening protocols in place?

You have all been so kind and concerned. Ken is so lucky to have so many wonderful people in his life. It's really true. Bikers know how to love life. And, they value the lives of their friends. Your friendship, your cards and calls, and your prayers are all showing Ken, everyday, that he is loved.

There are 18 more days of radiation treatments ahead, and then a wait of about two weeks, for the full effects of the radiation to be manifested. After that, they'll check on the size of the tumor and the extent of the other metastases, (if any remains), and see if he's ready for surgery. They might do another round of chemo, too, and then do the surgery. Though this cancer will always be in his body, I would feel much better if the source of the cancer was removed, so I'm currently hoping for the surgery.

With love and gratitude,
(Ken's sister)

January 12th, 2010 (Tuesday) Update from Inga

Good evening, all. Today, I am the sick one. I saw Ken this morning, but ended up leaving work early because I am coming down with a cold. So, I did not see him for the rest of the day. No worries, I washed my hands and was wearing a mask when I saw him this morning. His mom was able to get up to see him, so he did have a visitor today, which seems to matter to all of us more than it does to him. We have talked on the phone a few times. He says he is fine. Although, his feeding tube was leaking a little, earlier today, but it's supposedly fixed, now. Not a harmful situation, just a nuisance.

Other than that, no news is good news, if you ask me. It's a welcome relief. So many days prior, in the first week that Ken was in the hospital, I almost didn't want to go up, for fear of more bad news.

Keep those cards coming, it makes the bills in the mail a little easier to take. Thanks so much for all the kind words. And, to all who want to see him, please understand how much safer it is for him to be left alone for now. He'll be talking our ears off again real soon. Love you all so much. -Inga

Monday, January 11, 2010

January 11th, 2010 (Monday night) Update from Inga

Hello all! Ken's stomach had not been moving the liquid food that was coming in via the G-tube that was 'installed' last Wednesday, (an external tube that goes directly into the stomach), so they placed a tube inside of that G-tube, and extended it past his stomach and into his intestine. He said he didn't even feel it, so that's good.

They are talking of sending him home. I'm not sure when yet, but they seem to be leaning that way. He had me pack up all his extra stuff just in case it is soon. He will return home but have to go every day to receive radiation. His chemo is finished for now, but he may have another in six weeks or so. He has really tolerated it well, so far. Hopefully that will continue.

We still have to keep the visitors to a minimum, even if he's at home. He is still in a very dangerous place in his treatment.

I think the days ahead are going to be a lot of wait and see. We'll keep you posted.

Love to all,

January 11th, 2010 (Monday) Update from Laura

Hi all,

Just a quick update, to let you all know that Ken spent most of the weekend dealing with the pain of the G-tube, (the external feeding tube directly into the stomach), and the beginnings of the nausea caused by the chemo. So, overall, it was not a very fun weekend for him, and he was 'out of it', for most of it. Ken's brother and his wife, their son (Ken's nephew) and his wife, came to visit for the weekend. His brother bought him a dozen or more Western movie DVDs, which are Ken's favorite. The hospital provides a TV with a DVD player, which is shared across the ward, so that's nice.

Today, Monday, they have given up on the G-tube into the stomach, as the food is not moving into the intestine as it should, (which is the normal digestive process, but sometimes narcotics can cause what is called 'gastroparesis', and the stomach won't contract as it should, and move the food on into the intestine), so they are taking Ken into surgery to insert a tube into the G-tube and run it further along into the intestine, directly. This is supposedly a less invasive surgery, so it shouldn't take as long as the first one. Ken has gained seven pounds since he went into the hospital, and they want to keep this going. Good nutrition is important for his immune system, his physical strength and his overall frame of mind.

That's all, for now. I'm sure Inga will have more for us, this evening.

Thank you, so much, for caring,

Laura (Ken's sister)