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Keaton’s Story

This is Keaton’s sister, Katie. Thank you for all of the wonderful comments you have shared with us on this page. They have helped our family during this difficult time. If anyone would like to make contributions to assist with funeral expenses, please do so by making a payment through Paypal.
Keaton is an adventurous 14 year-old. He loves seafood, especially sushi, which is not what a 14 year-old normally craves. He also is fascinated by reptiles. His collection of reptiles includes an iguana, snakes, lizards, turtles, frogs and a tarantula. We call it Keaton's Zoo.

From a very early age, he was fascinated with animals, specifically reptiles. The minute you talk to him you'll see how vast his knowledge of reptiles truly is. He'll spout out a random fact about a sand boa and he'll talk about the mating rituals of snakes and frogs. We call him our mini-herpetologist.

In March of 2007, Keaton went into the doctor complaining of a pain in his hip. X-rays and scans confirmed that he had osteosarcoma: bone cancer in his upper right femur.

This is his story of triumph over adversity.

Latest Journal Update

But still...It was a good dream.

You were with me again, last night, my son. In the dream you were a little blonde haired boy somewhere around 6 or 7 yrs. old. The setting
was at a school and there was some sort of special event day that I was there as a parent to observe and help with. And as usual, your
brother was there with you, his little blonde head shining beside yours. 
So many years, I spent searching for those two golden heads in the crowd when the two of you had taken off to explore on your own, either together or separately. My eyes searching the beach, or the playground, or the mall, counting off...there's two little golden
boys...keeping track...keeping you safe. Back in the days when I thought I could keep you safe. When I knew that all would be alright as
long as I had you in my sight. Because I knew, I would never allow anything to happen to, anyone to harm, my baby boys. I would fight tooth
and nail, fight to the death, to protect them. And I had faith in my own strength, in the power of my creator to aid me. My treasures were
secure as long as I was there.

Anyway, my dream was an especially well ordered dream for one of mine, which can sometimes go off on crazy tangents with no semblance of
rhyme or reason.
I remember talking with one of the teachers, who was new to me, and telling her that Kaleb was only five years old, but had wanted to come
and be with you for the day...I think you must have been in first grade in the dream. 
And at first, in this night's vision, all seemed normal. I was watching you play with all the kids...laughing and running...and then
gradually, the specter of cancer sneaked into my subconscious. One of the other mothers went to your desk and gasped audibly and I heard her as she turned and asked another adult..."Didn't he die?" And I hurried over with the explanation that it had been another child in the school that she was thinking of, and as I was telling her, I was trying to reconcile my own memories, because I was wondering the same question,
but all I knew were looked memory was faulty...and I rearranged the past, which I just could not recall, and decided that somehow you were just miraculously well. 
I was having such a good time, watching you play, listening to your voice, but slowly, the worries took over my inner mind, and I would look at your perfect body, and wonder...what lay beneath...was the monster inside...gnawing away at your bones...silent and malignant...stealing
you away from me?
And I called you over and asked how you were feeling, and you said fine, but your eyes slid away from my gaze, as if you were also trying to avoid thinking about the unmentionable. The sunny day became darker in my dream world. Now, watching you play, instead of joy at your
presence, I was riddled with doubt. I was planning a visit to Dr. Pete and going over questions for him in my head. Yet, at the same time, I was thinking, what if I bring the cancer monster back to life just by thinking about it? What if, by tests and prodding, we wake it, and
realities change? Would it be better to just ignore and pretend it was never there?
The tendency towards denial of reality has always been a strong force in my family.

I started talking to one of the teachers and telling her all my fears, and she was being empathetic, but as we conversed, the sky kept
getting darker, the wind picked up, and suddenly the school scene changed into a neighborhood, and a tornado was bearing down, swirling and black, and I was in a house, but I saw only one blonde head, and I ran outside, looking for the other, not sure if I was searching for you or your brother. I saw Kaleb with a few other children, and I called them to me, and shepherded them into a house next door to the one where I had originally been, and I had grabbed Kaleb, and was laying over him, shielding him with my body. 
This house had a large window, and I could see trees flying through the air, and hear them thumping against the outside of the house. I was
terrified that you were not with me, also, and I kept telling myself that you were ok and with others who would keep care of you.
The winds were non-stop, howling so loud in the darkness, and I could hear the screams of the children, and the beating of my own heart in my ears. I had my eyes closed, holding on to a doorway facing with one hand, and Kaleb with another. Suddenly, I could see light gleaming
through my lashes, and I opened my eyes, and saw blue skies. I ran outside to see, and there was nothing standing in the space where the
house I had been in had occupied. The storm had completely destroyed it. I started turning around and around, looking for the people who had been there...searching for you. My heart skipped as I saw a group of people in the distance, and I was headed their way, when suddenly, the
winds picked up, and I glanced behind me to see an evil black swirl of clouds forming again, and aiming right for us. I yelled for everyone to get back in the house, threw Kaleb down, and grabbed the floor on either side of him, while trees crashed through the window, and landed
all around and on top of us.
My heart was pounding so hard that it woke me at that moment.
I never got back with you in the dream, my Keaton. The storms destroyed my dream world.

Just like my real world.

And just now, reading this tale back over, the strangest sense of deja-vue overwhelmed me. I knew each word before I wrote it...remembered
each scene from some past moment that had already been implanted in my memory.

I think I dreamed this dream before.
Or maybe I lived it.

25 people hearted this



Avis Fortner
By Avis
Thinking of you wishing it were all a nightmare you could wake up from! We could all wake up from! Love you!!!
1 person hearted this
Joan Gillespie
By Joan Gillespie
Bless your sweet precious heart.

Angel Gunner's Meippy
Cindy Smith
By Cindy Smith
Hugs and prayers. I think Keaton was just letting you know he was doing fine until you meet again.
sandra kleftis
By Sandy
OH Karen...hugs.
Much love to you.
Janet Panoch
By Janet Panoch
love and hugs
Lauren Dole
By Lauren Dole
I have had many dreams of Gage where he is healed, joyful and playing, but I still feel the fear of the cancer. I like to think it is a visitation dream to show me how he is, cancer free, happy and playing like a "normal" kid. Maybe Keaton was telling you the same thing. The storm and terror could be your own subconscious creation that took over the dream. Try and hold on to the message that Keaton was trying to send - he is fine. I remember asking Gage how he was in my dreams and he would brush me off and say he was fine. They are fine, safe, healed and home and we will see them again one day. That is what try to hang on to.
Vickie Reilly
By Vickie Reilly
God bless you, Karen! This dream is a vivid replay of the horror. I'm so sorry you had to relive the fright and destruction but so glad you had at first a few moments of joy and calm with your precious boy.

MiMi Olsson
By With Hope, MiMi
I think of you and your boys often, With Hope, MiMi