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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

New Developments

Kelsey received a call from MD Anderson yesterday afternoon with news they would like to remove the primary tumor in her right forearm this Tuesday, September 24. Dr. Lin, the orthopedic surgeon we met with on Monday, would perform the surgery. At this point, the surgery is not set in stone as there are some scheduling details that need to be to resolved. However, we should know for sure if the surgery date is confirmed by the end of this week.

The surgery would have as its goal the removal of the primary tumor and the preserving of function and feeling of her thumb and forefinger. When we chatted with Dr. Lin on Monday, he was pretty sure Kelsey's ulnar nerve was gone (which means she probably won't have feeling/function in her remaining three fingers) but he was modestly hopeful he could save her median nerve. Another great byproduct of the surgery is that Kelsey’s ongoing nerve pain would be greatly reduced (and hopefully eliminated in the long run). Our understanding is that Kelsey would probably be in the hospital for 2 days to recover after surgery.

The other news Kelsey received was that the treatment plan would not include pre- or post-surgery radiation but rather another chemotherapy treatment. Ultimately, Dr. Benjamin's concern is to stop and kill the cancer that has spread. Radiation would address Kelsey's arm but not the rest of her body. So, we believe the post-surgery recommendation is to start the new chemo regimen as soon as she recovers (which from our discussion with Dr. Benjamin, would include an oral medication as well as one she would get by IV). 

So, if all goes according to planned, we would have a pre-operative visit with Dr. Lin next Monday, September 23. Kelsey will get blood work at 11:45 that morning, then then meet with Dr. Lin at 3pm. We will keep you posted as we know more.

Thank you to everyone for your prayers – they sustain us and give us hope as large decisions loom and a major surgery approaches. Thank you for continuing to believe God can do big things - including Kelsey's complete healing.


- PRAISE!  A quick response from MDA to address the very real concerns we've had with Kelsey's growing primary tumor.
- PRAISE! God has graciously & continuously provided a wonderful place for our family to stay in Houston. (Thank you for you generosity - Kevin, Kari & Katie!)
- That Kelsey's surgery would happen Tuesday. She has noticed decreasing ability to use the two fingers that still work and it concerns her. The sooner we can take care of this tumor, the better.
- Safe travel as we head back down to MDA.
- Good rest, peace & courage for Kelsey in the days leading up to surgery.
- Our ability to ask the right questions and understand the answers in every step of this process.
- Skillful hands & wisdom for Dr. Lin as he performs the surgery. (Keep in mind, Kelsey's OKC orthopedic surgeon was reluctant she could fully remove Kelsey's tumor and restore functionality in April. Kelsey's tumor is now at least 30% larger than it was, further complicating the ability to remove fully and save function.)
- For God to miraculously shrink the tumor pre-surgery and provide clearly defined borders to make complete removal more possible.
- A God-guided surgery which would allow for full function and feeling in Kelsey’s right hand.
- Death of any microscopic cancer cells left in the primary tumor site as well as in any other areas of the body where they may have spread. We continue pleading with the Father to contain the cancer to Kelsey's forearm and C7 vertebrae. A word we heard very often during this last visit was the inevitability of "recurrence." Please pray this would not be Kelsey's reality.
- A quick, healthy recovery and immediate, ongoing reduction of pain.
- Understanding for Alexa as her mommy will not be around for a period of time after surgery.
- Opportunity to share our hope with others while at MDA. For God's goodness and faithfulness to be on our lips at all times.
- Wisdom to know what the next steps should be after surgery (be it chemo or alternative therapies) and peace in the decision we make.
- A continued, deepening trust in the Father. For hope in Him when little hope has been provided elsewhere.


  1. I am so glad they are going to remove the tumor. After the doctors removed the tumor from my spine they said I would never walk,but 41 years later I am still walking with damaged nerves and numbness, etc. So hopefully Kelsey will be able to use her hand even though the doctors say what they do. We will be praying for a successfull surgery. So thankful we have a God who loves and cares for us more than we can imagine. Love all of you. Bob and Shelly

  2. Dear Kelsey and Kennedys: So thankful you have heard from MD Anderson and things are moving ahead. Will keep you in our prayers that all will go well and God will bring you courage and peace and healing through this next step in the journey. Love, Sharl and Doug Taylor

  3. So glad to hear there is an immediate action plan! I am praying for all these requests and love you guys!