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Thursday, May 2, 2013

The next step

Our meeting with Dr. Smith today was weighty, however it did provide more direction for the future. She said the bone scan did corroborate with the PET scan, there is a disturbing spot on the front side of Kelsey's C7 vertebrae. Looking at the scan, there was a small area on her vertebrae which according to Dr. Smith looks like what a sarcoma would do when it gets into a bone - looking a bit like a rat gnawed on it. She said this isn't the typical path this type of tumor takes (with nothing showing in the lymph system or lungs). However, she reminded us this is a nasty and very rare tumor. She suggested our first step be a biopsy of the vertebrae. That determination will guide the rest of Kelsey's treatment and determine the stage of her cancer. We learned the reason a core needle biopsy is not an option is the nerves and arteries that are right around that area - there wouldn't be a way to get the needle in without some serious risks. So, the surgery will be done by a neurosurgeon whom Dr. Smith really respects, Dr. Wieneke. If the results come back as more cancer, Kelsey would do two rounds of high dosage chemotherapy in order to eradicate any microscopic areas of cancer not revealed on the PET scan. All of this would take place before surgery to address the primary tumor in her right forearm. If not, then the surgery would be first and chemo could be an option after the surgery.

In the midst of weighty news, we were encouraged by some answered prayers. The chest scan Kelsey had today was clear, according to Dr. Smith. Once we left the appointment, Kelsey noticed she had a missed call with news she was able to get an appointment with Dr. Robert Benjamin, the head of the Sarcoma Center at MD Anderson, next Thursday, May 9. We have been told the initial steps will not be different, but it will be good to potentially have someone who has seen more cases of this specific type of cancer. That is a huge answer to prayer, as Dr. Smith reiterated several times in our conversation today to expect to wait at least 21 days to get in. With the connection Dr. Keefer had with Dr. Benjamin (and many prayers), our wait is only seven more days. We are so grateful for all of the prayers offered up on our behalf. We are especially thankful when God allows us to see His faithfulness through answered prayers. Please keep them coming!

Specific ways to pray:
-- Pray Kelsey would be able to get in for the biopsy very soon, if possible, before her appointment at MD Anderson. It sounds like the neurosurgeon, Dr. Wieneke, has a pretty full schedule. But that hasn't stopped us from getting appointments before with God's help.
-- Continue to pray this suspicious area on her vertebrae is not cancer. Dr. Smith didn't seem to have a whole lot of other ideas of what it could be, but again, continue praying for miracles.
-- Continue to pray God would hinder growth of the primary tumor in her arm and the cancer would not spread.
-- Pray for reduction of the pain in biopsy areas as well as her neck and lower back.
-- In this time of waiting and healing, pray Kelsey would be able to build up her strength and endurance as well as gain more weight to be able to fight this cancer and beat it.
-- We appreciate continued prayers for wisdom and direction.

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."  John 16:33


  1. Praying, praying, praying. You are never very far from our minds.

  2. I agree with Kelly. You are always on our hearts and in our prayers. Karen Wendel

  3. Praying for healing Kelsey!

  4. Kelsey, Just read all your blogs to catch up on what is going on in your life right now! You have some heavy things to deal with and I know you have strong family support. I will be praying for complete healing in your body. Keep giving the glory to God; He will bless you for it! Hang in there, (as I know you will) and keep your head up and remember that there are a lot of people out there who love you and care for you.

  5. Detta and Mike DunnaganMay 3, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    Kelsy, we continue to lift you and your sweet family in prayer daily. We know who goes before you to prepare all things. Our God is the great physician. We pray also for those who have been assigned your care; we are confident He will work through each one. I know God will bless you richly as you walk this journey with Him.

  6. praying Love you and your family Bonnie Scott

  7. We are loving you all the way from Idaho. Our God is powerful and you know that. We are praying for his best plan for you and that He will get glory from healing in your body. (You) can do all things through Christ who strengthens (you)." Connie Brandel

  8. Continuing to pray for you, Kelsey. As I told Holly, if you guys need a place to stay when you come down to Houston, you are more than welcome to our home.

    Michelle Hofferber-Fuqua

  9. Praying for you this morning. I'm praying for your peace and that aches subside. I'm also praying that you have moments of reprieve where your mind is occupied with things other than the tough stuff.