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Thursday, June 20, 2013

The boxing gloves are on . . .

“This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.’”  2 Chronicles 20:15


I know – a pathetic self-portrait – but I knew I couldn’t do a serious face if someone was behind the camera. Pretty intimidating, huh? Honestly though, this cancer should be shaking in its boots. You see, cancer, I hated, um no, I despised you since that fateful day on April 12. If I could’ve ripped you out myself, you would be history. How dare you have the audacity to lurk inside my body unannounced for five years. Who do you think you are spreading to my C7 vertebrae? I hate you because you have been sneaky and you are bent on destruction. Because of your nastiness, I have . . .

-- met with 8 doctors
-- gone to 16 appointments
-- undergone 6 MRIs, 4 CT Scans, 1 PET Scan, 1 Bone Scan
-- given numerous vials of blood
-- had 3 biopsies
-- had one round of radiation
-- had a port installed in me

And now, I will undergo 6 cycles of chemotherapy to destroy you and the microscopic traces you have left in my body. I realize this is only the beginning of blood work, scans, another surgery and possibly more radiation & chemo (along with their ugly side effects). And perhaps, many more gross days.

Yes, you may be smiling now. You may relish watching me cry as my head is shaved or when I feel weak & discouraged. You may think you have won. However, the bad news for you is that you chose the wrong person to mess with. Maybe you didn’t do a personality test before you chose me. Let’s just say you were a bit naïve. You see, I am incredibly strong-willed. I am stubborn to a fault. When I don’t like something, it’s really not a good thing for the object I dislike. I am competitive and don’t like losing. I just want you to know, my boxing gloves are on, and even though I can’t even fit my clawed-up right hand in this red padded glove, I want you to know there is power in my punch. You are still laughing, huh? Well, you better listen up . . .

-- I have A LOT to live for – I have an incredible husband, a precious daughter, a fabulous family & a growing circle of friends I love to pieces. These relationships have only grown stronger because of you.
-- I have the will to live – be it through laughter, nutrition, exercise or rest. I will do whatever I can to make sure my body is no longer a hospitable environment for your poison.
-- I have a brilliant medical team who has experience and technology to send you reeling. (By the way, how are your friends doing in my C7 vertebrae after some targeted burn treatment?) Fair warning - your “shock & awe” is next.

Oh, so you aren’t feeling threatened yet? Keep listening . . .

-- I have an vast ARMY of prayer warriors interceding on my behalf. And let me tell you, they are dedicated. They are praying for my total healing and God’s glory. This army is so extensive, I haven’t even met most of them. But we have one thing that draws us together in unity – we pray & believe BIG because we all serve a BIG God.

Bottom line, cancer, the God I serve, the God you had to ask permission to be allowed in my body, the God who spoke all of creation into existence by His spoken Word, the God who loved His creation enough to provide a rescue plan – He is my God. Yep, the God of . . .

-- Noah
-- Abraham
-- Jacob
-- Joseph
-- Moses
-- David
-- Daniel
-- Esther
-- Peter
-- John
-- Paul

He is my God too. He doesn’t work according to the ways of man. His ways are higher. He loves to do the impossible. Healing is in His hands. He is jealous for His glory and He desires to do immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine. He is always good and faithful. He is sovereign. And, He is in control . . . not you!! (If you don’t believe me, I will send you scripture references for all of the above because I know you despise Truth. You flee from its presence.)

Ultimately, I can self-will you to go away but I am powerless to do so. I realize my tough talk and ammo (boxing gloves & all) is pretty pathetic. But with God on my side, this battle is no longer mine. This battle is His.

I am reading Daniel right now, and I am encouraged by what the scriptures say about him . . .

“So Daniel was taken up out of the den and no injury whatever was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.”  Daniel 6:23

Daniel was delivered from the mouths of ravenous lions, without even a scratch . . . why? . . . because Daniel trusted in His God. There wasn’t anything special about Daniel. He wasn’t super brave or extra-strong because of self-belief. His strength (and ultimate deliverance) came from His deep, abiding trust in His Father. That is where I take my stand. I face my first round of chemo tomorrow. It feels like my ravenous den of lions, but I am trusting in my God for deliverance from this terrible disease. I know, if He chooses, He will heal me completely and He WILL receive all of the glory. So, cancer, if you haven’t felt the storm a-brewing, it’s time to put on your big boy pants. We are ready to fight and we’ll be doing most of it on our knees, because my General is God and He is a God of hope and healing!!

”Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character, and character, hope.” Romans 5:3-4

-- I go in tomorrow (rather today) at 8:30 am for my first round of chemo. It should take 2 1/2-3 hours (start-to-finish). I would include the side effects but didn’t want to write four pages and this is only the side effects for my first drug.

-- We are praying, ultimately, that the chemo will be effective (eradicate all cancer & evaporate tumor on my right forearm).

-- We are praying for limited or no side effects.

-- For courage, strength and a deep trust in my God and what He’s doing. I am nervous about this next step. I am anxious about what I’ll see, hear & experience. I want to be light, so I pray my personal fears would be overshadowed by Him within me. For encouragement and His goodness to be evident throughout the day,

-- My port is doing much better today, I was greatly encouraged by the healing progress but it is still very tender at the site. Please pray the insertion needle would not be horribly painful, as I’ve been told to expect it to be on the first try especially so close to the port being installed.

-- Of course, we continue praying the radiation is working mightily in my C7 vertebrae.

Okay gang, I hope you are ready to fight with me. I need you all like never before. Let’s go God and show that cancer You’re boss!


  1. Kelsey, your incredible attitude amazes me. You've got some kind of spunk girl! God be with you today. I've got my coffee and I'm getting ready to start crying out to God on your behalf. it is awesome we can come to Him and He inclines His ear to hear us. BTW, it was my total pleasure to meet your precious parents yesterday. Praying for them too. (As well as Chris and that sweet baby girl). Melinda

  2. Praying on my knees for you this morning! Specifically for your healing, your pain, and no side effects. "When I am afraid, O LORD Almighty, I will trust in you." Psalm 56:3 -Kellee

  3. Praying, praying, praying for you this morning and for no side effects!!!

  4. Isaiah 41:10

    So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

  5. Praying for your body and family. Praise God for giving you strong faith. you led me to worship through this post. keep fighting!

  6. Johnny and Leda McNabb are praying for you and your family!!!!!

  7. Praying for you Kelsey, as well as all the family: Keep the Faith, I know you are a fighter and can beat this Cancer!! Love to all of you! Sherri Fuller Hooker, Oklahoma

  8. GO GIRL!!!!!!! With God in charge - only the cancer can lose. Love the pic. Am praying, as are many others, for the chemo and radiation to wipe out the big C with no side effects. Am also praying for your continued strength and courage and for your beloved family. Love you, Sharl and Doug Taylor

  9. Kelsey - We are praying daily for you. The Chris Tomlin song "Whom Shall I Fear" comes to my mind.

    You hear me when I call
    You are my morning song
    Though darkness fills the night
    It cannot hide the light
    Whom shall I fear?

    You crush the enemy
    Underneath my feet
    You are my sword and shield
    Though trouble linger still
    Whom shall I fear?

    I know who goes before me
    I know who stands behind
    The God of angel armies is always by my side
    The One who reigns forever
    He is a friend of mine
    The God of angel armies is always by my side

    My strength is in Your name
    For You alone can save
    You will deliver me
    Yours is the victory
    Whom shall I fear?
    Whom shall I fear?

    And nothing formed against me shall stand
    You hold the whole world in Your hands
    I'm holding on to Your promises
    You are faithful
    You are faithful

    Remember you have the God of angel armies on your side as you are there today.

    Paul & Susan Zeeb

  10. Kelsey,
    We are praying for you. As I read your blog, I marvel at your courage. I believe that through your unplanned journey, you are helping us all come closer to God.
    God bless,
    Judy Voth

  11. Kelsey,
    We are following your progress and I just wanted to add that our prayers are with you and your family. You asked about others port experiences - I did not experience the pain you did, but I did get a blood clot and had to have it moved to my "bad" side. Cancer makes you go through a journey that you would not have chosen, but not everything is bad. The people I met and the support I got were amazing. I am a different person because of it - and I think that is a good thing. I cannot imagine making this journey without a loving Father holding me and my family in his hands. He holds you too, so just cling to that as I know you are. Eileen Honeman

  12. Kelsey! I am humbled and marvel at you for your humor and determination to fight hard this horrible foe. Your blogs are just plain inspiring. I am praying for you every day, as you come to mind, and also specifically each morning for this cancer to be crushed and gone, for your continued strong faith. Keep going, Kelsey! We are with you! God never fails! Love you much, Sherry Cherland (Karen's friend)