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Monday, September 23, 2013

A little luck or…a BIG God?

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”  Surely He will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. . . “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.  He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.  With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.”  Psalm 91:1-3, 14-16

In not too many hours, we’ll be making our way back to MDA so I can get prepped for surgery. The surgery is scheduled for 7:15 tomorrow morning, which means we need to be there by 5:15.

After speaking with my orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Lin, he repeatedly stated it would require a “little luck” for him to accomplish his goals for my surgery – successful removal of the tumor and full functionality of my thumb and index finger. He said it is complicated to predict the outcome based on an MRI reading and much will be determined when he opens me up tomorrow. We can’t relay too many specifics of the surgery because there are so many variables involved – tumor size, location, what it’s wrapped around, if it can be fully removed, etc. … We do know to be praying for a longer surgery, because that means Dr. Lin sees potential for success and is doing whatever he can to achieve it.

Another big concern is saving my radial artery, since he believes the function of my ulnar artery may have been compromised by the cancer. Both of these arteries supply blood to my hand. If both cannot be salvaged, amputation is inevitable. There are other variables that could lead to amputation. However, if that ends up being the case (which we are praying isn’t), Dr. Lin would not amputate at this surgery but would sew me back up and allow us to make those decisions post-surgery.

So – my dear prayer warriors – we are not counting on a “little luck” to guide Dr. Lin’s hands but rather a mighty and powerful God. He is, after all, the One who knit me together in my mother’s womb. He knows and created every artery, nerve, tendon ad muscle in my arm and He knows where “the beast” has been taking residence for five years. He also knows how to remove it – completely and without recurrence.

We feel very blessed by the surgeon God has provided. I have complete confidence in the decisions he will make. He was a US News Top Orthopedic Surgeon in 2012 (US News and World Report). He has degrees from both Stanford and Harvard. But most importantly, he has so many praying for him tomorrow and God will be his guide.

Before we list specific prayer requests, just wanted to share a few pics that bring a smile to my face . . .

Chris won’t be too excited about this one (check out his bedhead) but it’s of my two favorite people and two greatest reasons to keep fighting. Chris celebrated his big 3-4 on Saturday and I had to have one image capturing the day – even if it was first thing in the morning.

It’s a shame you couldn’t witness this event firsthand but all of my family (minus Lil’ A) indulged, rather, were forced to drink the green drink I partake of every day. My mom said it was an act of solidarity. It was a breeze for my mom & Chris who love things that taste like nature, but for my sis & Dad, the green leaf lettuce, beet leaves, red cabbage, Swiss chard, green bell peppers & apple was just too much. It was hilarious – such a shame I didn’t video it.

Dad found this remarkable butterfly in the backyard today. It means a great deal to me because several of you have given me cards or gifts speaking of “new life” or the promise “He makes all things new.” This butterfly was a perfectly appointed reminder that God does make all things new. And, my prayer is after the removal and death of my tumor, I will begin a new life, with an arm free of cancer, fingers that work again, and a body ready for total healing.

- Peaceful rest for Kelsey and the doctors/staff involved with surgery tomorrow.
- For God to guide Dr. Lin’s hands and decisions throughout the procedure.
- For the Lord to save Kelsey’s arm.
- For as full a resection (removal) of the tumor as possible and the ability to salvage as much anatomy as possible.
- Protection of Kelsey’s radial and ulnar artery.
- For restored functionality of Kelsey’s hand (specifically her index finger & thumb, but you could also add in the other three fingers. We’re praying big, right!?)
- That Kelsey’s arm would not require a skin graft.
- For pain management after the surgery.
- For a complete, speedy recovery – free of infection or other complications – so Kelsey could start her next round of chemotherapy as soon as possible.
- For God to be glorified throughout this process. We would love to boast of His power and might as a result of the surgery’s success instead of a “little luck.”

Fernando Ortega - Jesus - King of Angels


  1. Praying for you tomorrow friend! That butterfly is huge btw!!! Praying Ephesians 3:20!!!

  2. Kelsey - You are in my thoughts and prayers. Our God IS a big God.

    Dana Benton

  3. Praying for you, Kelsey, and the doctor!

    Katy Strnad

  4. Dear Kelsey, I woke at 5:21 with the invitation to pray for you. In my head was playing the song ".... Most Holy God...You alone are worthy of our praise..GREAT are YOU GOD!"
    I am praying that your spirit is calm as you and Chris await the skill of our Creator to be poured out on your surgeon. Specifically - that you will see the goodness of our Great God today.
    I love this verse in Isaiah - as I am sure you do too. Today, I especially love that our Creator knew before time began that Kelsey Kennedy would be having surgery on her right hand, praise be to God! While your right is being worked on, our Creator is holding you up by His mighty right hand. Not only that, but He is the one holding your right hand. I believe He inspired these very words so very long ago while thinking of you and this fight.
    Isaiah 41:10-13 So don’t worry Kelsey, because I am with you. Don’t be afraid, because I am your God. I will make you strong and will help you; Kelsey, I will support you with my right hand that saves you. “All those people who are angry with (insert cancer/ tumor here) you will be ashamed and disgraced. Those who are against you (CANCER) will disappear and be lost. You will look for your enemies (CANCER), but you will not find them. Those who fought against you, Kelsey, (CANCER) will vanish completely. I am the Lord your God, who holds your right hand, and I tell you, sweet Kelsey, ‘Don’t be afraid. I will help you.’
    I am in prayer today for you. ((I intend for "Eye if the Tiger" to be playing in the background as you read this ��))
    �� Emily

  5. So many prayers for you and your family today and always ~ Blessings ~ Love ~ & (((HUGS))) from McAlester Oklahoma

  6. I have been praying all morning for you Kelsey and your family. God is Good!! Love you all!!

  7. Praying for you - I hope you're still in surgery (I guess it would be noon by now in Houston...) b/c long time = good, sah? :) Love you guys. Lifting you!

  8. Praying for you Kelsey and also for your doctors and your family. I love the picture with your mom, dad, and sister in it. You have such a special, supportive family. Love you all.
    Linda Oliver