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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Recovery & chemo #2

Mommy & Alexa at Heads Above Salon at the OU Cancer Center today. I had a wig appt with a precious gal named Cathy while Dad & A enjoyed the fun at OU Children's Hospital (It really is amazing). Afterwards, they joined me. Alexa didn't notice the wall of wigs but went straight to hats & jewelry. She picked out our assembles. Maybe she should pick out my wig too.

Alright - I'll apologize up front. You deserved an update sooner but I just wasn't up for it. Truth is . . . chemo must've read my previous blog & picked up its own boxing gloves before my treatment. Chemo was much rougher than I expected. After all, this was my easy treatment. I didn't even feel a semblance of Kels until Monday. There were lots of tears, nausea, flu-like symptoms, low grade fever, fatigue, headaches & pain throughout my body (I'll stop there). I would cry in bed at night and ask Chris, "What if this doesn't work? Is this worth it? Did God pick the right person for this because I don't think I can do it. I hate all of this." I don't handle chronic pain or fatigue very well. My outlook darkens. I get very sad and discouraged. I am just not used to feeling awful all of the time. I was an active 34 yr old and some poison (that I'm willingly taking) took me to my knees. It was hard. I was too fatigued and hurting to blog and I didn't have a thing to say. . . not a thing. I felt like a horrible wife & mommy - not the first time on this unexpected journey. I mainly sat or laid down depending on what was more tolerable.
By the way, they didn't use my port for a few reasons. Hopefully, it will work today. This is my first chemo drip via my wrist. It burned like crazy. Alexa was disappointed my bandage wasn't green.

Needless to say, I am nervous about chemo #2 of this first cycle (The plan is I will have 6 cycles or 18 weeks of chemo). It starts today at 8am. This week includes 3 days of steroid intake, a longer drip with two drugs (and prob more steroids through the drip) and a crazy shot to stimulate my bone marrow the day after chemo (which I've been warned is nasty). Sounds exciting, huh?!

A challenge I read this week in a devotional about cancer said, "Read a Psalm each morning, and find you'll meet people disappointed by life yet still finding hope in God." A great challenge, indeed. In the sermon series on Job I am listening to Tchividjian says, "When our flesh is torn, the world sees what's inside of us." I am sad it is discouragement & disappointment more than hope in God this week but I will always be real about where I am. He knows where I am too and is graciously loving me along the way. I do trust Him in that.

It is crazy late so I'll leave you with some PRs and ty again for constantly checking in with me even when I'm bad about updating. Maybe Chris should take over :)


-- For my port to be accessible and as painless as possible. I still dislike it. It hurts and creeps me out. Feels like a foreign invader in me. I know it will be good in the long run. Finding my vein for chemo #1 was challenging.

-- For courage. Fear is common as I face chemo and its nasty side effects. Ultimately, we pray all of this is working & killing cancer.

-- Pain management. Unfortunately, the tumor in my arm continues to grow. The pain is chronic & continues to limit the functionality of my entire right arm. It makes me cry in more ways than one. Die tumor die!!

-- For my eyes & confidence to be fixed on Christ & His powerful work within me, not on myself or the constant reminders of my cancer/chemo. I failed at this many times this week.


  1. Kelsey, you have absolutely nothing to apologize for!! We are constantly praying for you. I want to share one of my favorite verses with you. Isaiah 41:9b-10 "... You are My servant, I have chosen you and have not cast you away: Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." I pray this will bring you some comfort as you face each day. I know how hard this is for you. My treatment was different than yours, but I definitely understand the side effects because I suffered them too. It isn't fun, but it will be worth it when that cancer is gone!! We love you. Shelly and Bob

  2. Kelsey, I am praying God would surround you with his peace tonight and this morning. God is for you Kelsey and neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate Kelsey from the love of God in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:38-39. I love you and am praying for you, Chris, and Alexa.
    Katy Strnad

  3. Amen to the previous comments. Praying for you and your family. Chemo is terrible but can be God's ordained means of healing you for His Glory. Would encourage you to give in to any meds the Dr. recommends that will help with pain. I don't think there are any awards for any misery that you can avoid in this fight. Pain wears us down in a way that is shocking when it first begins in our life whatever the age. Fighting it with wisdom is not ( in my opinion) a bad thing. Heart breaking this morning for all of you. His Grace is sufficient for this day. Vanna

  4. Micah 7:7 Therefore I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; My God will hear me.

  5. Lifting you up, sweet friend. Love you.

  6. You look fabulous in hats (and always have)! Love this pic of you and Lil' A!
    Trusting & Believing in the Ultimate Healer on the good and the bad days! Thanks for keepin' it real with us!
    We Love You!
    Brookelyn & The Boys

  7. God give Kelsey strength in the midst of sickness and fatigue. Give her the peace of knowing that in this you are with her and that like any father are grieved by the pain of watching his daughter go through pain. That in the midst of suffering you are still are good and gracious father who feels are pain. That you are in complete control of her cancer, nothing is outside of your control. I pray that in the midst of suffering and explanations are absent, our why's aren't answered, that she would know you are good and in control.

  8. Kelsey, This is Dana Little Jackson – a close friend of the Jennisons (Uncle Jim and Aunt Kay). I have known Christopher since he was probably about Alexa 's age. You and your family have been in my prayers since I heard about the challenges you all are facing. My Mom, Prudence, was first diagnosed with a very serious cancer when I was just a year or two older than your daughter. She had treatments at MDA, and went on to live a full, happy life-- meeting all 9 of her grandchildren. Incidentally, the anti-nausea medication, Phenergan, was the only thing that touched her nausea. It was much more effective than Zofran. Makes you sleepy-- but sleep is good! Sending love and prayers from all of the Little sisters (Janna, Molly and me) and the rest of us.

  9. I am praying for you! Your post and struggle with discouragement made me think of 2 Corinthians 12:9 . . . even Paul was discouraged sometimes and pleaded with God to take away his suffering. But the Lord reminded Paul that God's strength is put on display in our weakness . . . just keep crying out to Him and tell the world you can't do this without Him! You are continuing to glorify Him, my friend.

    Lots of love,

  10. Kelsey,
    I am a friend of Holly's from EFBC and have been praying for you since this ordeal. My younger sister was diagnosed with stage 4, incurable rectal cancer January, 2012 so I know exactly what you and your family are going through. After reading today's blog, I wanted to encourage you to continue being "real" as you share what you're feeling physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We've found, as my sister has shared her heart through her caringbridge site and on facebook that others appreciate the honesty and that she doesn't sugar coat anything. People need to know the reality that you're living and they can only know that as you share honestly. Don't be afraid to admit being discouraged or disheartened. Don't be afraid to admit questioning what God is doing. Just as with my sister, those who know you, and those of us who are getting to know you through your blog, know and understand that you love God with all of your heart and that your heart's desire is to bring honor and glory to Him. And you will. I've seen it already as you and your husband have shared through your blog. God IS being glorified and I know He will continue to be so as you walk through this very difficult journey. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people are upholding you in prayer all over the world and we will continue to do so until God brings healing. My family has found such comfort in the prayers of others and I hope you will feel that same comfort and support.

    A book my sister was given soon after her diagnosis that was such an encouragement to her is "Off Script" by Cary Schmidt (not sure if that's how Cary is spelled). I read it, also, and it really helped me in this journey with my sweet sister, whom I adore.

    In Christ,
    Jennie Morgan

  11. Kelsey,
    We love you and carry this fight in our hearts and prayers daily, multiple times daily...Please don't ever feel bad about not updating least not on account of us. We just want you to do whatever you need to do to get through this, ;) the prayers will be constant no matter what...and He knows what is needed until more specifics are given. We love you.

  12. Dearest Kelsey: We continue to uplift you each hour of each day. I cannot express much more wisdom than has already been written here for you. We love you and know that God is with you every step of the way. Honesty is from the heart and never ever apologize for an ounce of it. Praying constantly for you and all of your family. Sharl and Doug Taylor

  13. You are such a brave special person. I never got to really know you, but have known and loved Eddie and Marilyn for ever. Johnny and I are always praying for you and your precious family. Love getting to read the stories and keep up with your journey.
    Leda & Johnny McNabb.