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Monday, August 12, 2013

One day at a time . . .

I realize an update from me has been a long time coming. I apologize for keeping you in suspense. There is much to say, but I have yet to put all of my thoughts into words. For now, they are just marinating inside. And so, this little (or not so little) update will do.


My cuz, Robin, surprised me at my last chemo treatment. It was a wonderful surprise! A friendly face on the oncology floor is always welcome. And then, if that weren’t enough, my sis dropped in as well. I felt like a bald-headed rockstar with all of the attention!!


I am currently recovering from my 3rd round of chemotherapy. A few weeks ago, I would’ve proudly staked this as my halfway point in the treatment. However, since our recent visit to MD Anderson, chemotherapy will be a part of my indefinite future – be it six, nine, twelve rounds (or longer). As long as it is working and I can handle the toxicity (as of today, I was doubting I could), “chemo’s the life for me.” As much dread as that brings me in the temporary, I am still hopeful because the chemo seems to be working and that has been our prayer all along - be it fun or not-so-much-fun – we want this cancer G-O-N-E. God will give me grace to walk through it.

I wouldn’t say I’m a planner but I do enjoy a game plan, some sort of expectation of what is to come. With this new direction in my treatment course, I can truly say I have to take life and all of its plans a day at a time. I realize this is exactly how the Lord intends it for all of us (cancer or not) in Matthew 6 and James 4. But I can also say, quite candidly, it is infinitely difficult. There is that very human part of me wanting to know when this will end especially when it seems unpleasant. (Of course, I desperately want to see the tumor in my arm shrinking away too and that hasn’t happened . . . yet.) So, easy or not, we’re staying the course.

Even after three rounds, there is unpredictability in how things will go and how I will feel. For example, round two went surprisingly well. Maybe I got a little too confident with how that went. Then, we realized last night (when I was feeling very similar to the way I felt the first go ‘round) that I had had one partial treatment in round 2 and that was probably accounting for why I was feeling so well with those treatments. Now, at the end of round 3 with two full treatments, we shouldn’t be surprised I felt like death warmed over most of the weekend and today.

It is just a crazy, crazy sensation. One moment feeling as good as one can on chemo, and the next - your skin aches to the touch, your muscles are incredibly sore, your tastebuds ravaged by poison, your energy absolutely vanished, your heart racing, your lungs fighting for a deep breath and your temperature spiking and dropping like an amusement park ride. It’s just crazy to feel like your body is warring against itself to survive and you are an innocent stand-by praying there is a turning point to feel normal again.

On the low days, that’s how it is for me. It truly is moment-by-moment dependence and hope in God that this “season”of treatment really is working and worth it. My prayer now is that I’m coming out of the "low point” and beginning to see daylight again. Regardless, I am thankful for narcotics, for Miralax, for Downton Abbey, for laughter, for God’s Word and for the prayers of so many helping me through this season. I am also super thankful for my family who is continually by my side helping me with practical, daily needs. I really do wonder if I will ever be independent again. The thought terrifies me as I feel so incapable and weak these days.

Well, that’s about it from me – nothing too deep or exciting. Just a lil’ update. As of about 7ish this evening, I started feeling a bit more like myself and for that I’m thankful (and always encouraged). But, I don’t want to get overly confident. I will just be thankful for this moment of feeling as good as can be expected and we’ll see what tomorrow brings. As has become my new habit, I pray each day brings new healing to my body and new death to the cancer. I pray for the grace to embrace and live each day as the Lord commands – one moment at a time all in faith and an abiding trust in Him. And with this new habit, I am also afforded the privilege of expressing my gratitude to simply “live” – something I took for granted before a rare cancer forever altered my perspective.

--Continued endurance for my body to tolerate the chemo.
--For God to allow the chemo to work effectively & powerfully to eradicate all of the cancer in my body – from the tumor in my right forearm to my C7 vertebrae to any stray cells.
--For a positive attitude as I learn to live life on chemo with its ups & downs.
--For the pain in my arm to decrease. I simply tell myself when it is throbbing, “It’s just making a fuss because it’s dying.”
--For my family as we also transition to this new life and what that looks like.
--For total, complete, God-sized healing of my body (and the corresponding trust He can & will do it).
--For all of my upcoming appts at MDA to be confirmed. We are currently trying to reschedule a few to work around my chemo schedule.


  1. Thank you, Kelsey, for updating us. I talked to your mom Friday before she went to be with you, but there's nothing so wonderful than to share your life from your heart--the pain and the pleasure, the way that God is carrying you through each moment, We pray for you each morning and everytime God brings you to mind. That is often! Love you, Janie

  2. Praying for you friend! Praying some verses I read during my time with The Lord this morning. Prayers about healing our wounds and seeing His faithfulness during trials. Praying for every cancer cell to be eradicated!

  3. Dear Kelsey: Thanks for the update (s) - even when you don't probably feel like writing anything. You are in our thoughts and prayers each day. Am praying that you can tolerate the chemo and its effects and that it is truly killing off the cancer cells. Please just rest in HIS arms - as we all should. Love you, Sharl and Doug Taylor

  4. Checking up on you again. It's been a while. I cry every time I read your posts...
    And it is true, as always, we are never given tomorrow. And although my "troubles" are not yours, God calls us to total dependence on Him each day, doesn't He? As I was reading your posts, I started thinking about (and you probably already noticed and have thought about this) God's right hand and references to it. His righteous right hand....'the Lord Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father',

    Your right hand, O LORD, glorious in power, your right hand, O LORD, shatters the enemy.
    Exodus 15.6

    I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
    Ps. 16.8

    You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great. Ps. 18.35

    for not by their own sword did they win the land, nor did their own arm save them, but your right hand and your arm, and the light of your face, for you delighted in them. Ps. 44.5

    Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. Ps. 73.23

    Glad songs of salvation are in the tents of the righteous: "The right hand of the LORD does valiantly, Ps. 118.15

    The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand. Ps. 121.5

    And Jesus said, "I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven." Mark 14.62

    Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died--more than that, who was raised--who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Rom. 8.34

    So, I'm not going to do some heavy exegesis on these passages. I wish I could; but I can't. There are a ton of other 'right hand' verses that just didn't seem to fit. Maybe it's a cultural thing why the right hand is used (Jewish-Middle-Eastern) but whatever the reason, God' right hand is so righteous, so valiant, reserved for the Lord of LORDS Himself. He protects us with His right hand, He shades us, He goes to war for us. Just know that we are praying for you guys, for you Kelsey. I think you still look radiant (though you may not feel like it) without hair. I know you are holding dearly to the Saviour. I can see it in your face, in your eyes, and in your smile-even though you don't feel like it. love you-Aub