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Monday, September 16, 2013

Whom shall I fear?

“The Lord is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear?

The Lord is the stronghold of my life — of whom shall I be afraid?”
Psalm 27:1

It was not an encouraging day. Start off with the news that Kelsey’s tumor had grown and the chemo regimen that she has been on has not been effective in stopping growth, add in an MRI, have a bit of encouraging news on her C7 and then have that followed up by a disheartening visit with an orthopedic surgeon where we learned that at this point there is only a small chance of saving any functionality in Kelsey’s arm and that the chance of recurrence with that type of surgery could be high.

Our meeting with Dr. Benjamin started off with a discussion of how Kelsey can hope to manage pain, then transitioned into options for additional treatment. He is leaning toward trying an oral chemo which has quite a few side effects. He also wanted us to try to get in and speak with an orthopedic surgeon while we were there.

Then, it was off to the MRI – that went well for Kelsey, she thankfully was not in a lot of pain during the scan.

We then raced off to meet with Dr. Brown. It was a pretty quick visit, but certainly the most encouraging visit of the day. His look at the MRI showed that the cancer has not grown at all and perhaps had even shrunk a bit. He reminded us that it is a slow process, typically taking between 8-9 months to see bone regrowth. However, he said the area where the stereotactic radiation had been focused showed up pretty clearly on the MRI.

We managed to grab a quick bite to eat (at 3:30), pick up a new pain medication prescription for Kelsey and request her MRI scans before meeting with Dr. Lin (the orthopedic surgeon). He looked at her arm and the MRI scans, checked out her arm and her hand and then shared that we need to have “modest hopes” in the event of a surgery at this point in time. He said that in order to remove the cancer fully, it may completely get rid of functionality in her arm (in which case there would not be much benefit to keeping her arm), but that a more modest removal may allow her to maintain function of her thumb and forefinger. Either way, there is possibility of recurrence and either way it is likely there would be radiation before the surgery and potentially more chemo to come.

So, in terms of medicine, hope is slim. In terms of Who we have been praying to and trusting in since the beginning, our hope has not changed. We are saddened by this most recent blow, but continue to petition God’s throne for healing and for daily strength and courage for Kelsey. We are thankful for the light, salvation and stronghold that God provides in the midst of a dark time. Your continued prayers for our family are appreciated more than you can imagine.


- Wisdom to know the best option for ongoing treatment.
- Encouragement for Kelsey.
- Reduction of the pain in her arm. It is constant and I know that it wears on her. It makes it hard to sleep and is a constant reminder of the cancer in her body.
- Full and complete healing.


  1. Thanks for sharing the update and know that I am
    Still holding onto hope for Kelsey's arm! Prayed for you guys all day and praying for wisdom for you guys! Much love, Kari

  2. Praying for wisdom for you all, encouragement for Kelsey, and God's mighty healing upon Kelsey. The Lord is Kelsey's shepherd, she lacks nothing. He makes Kelsey lie down in green pastures, he leads Kelsey beside quiet waters, he refreshes her soul. He guides Kelsey along the right paths for his name's sake. Even though she walk through the darkest valley, she will fear no evil, for God is with her; his rod and his staff, they comfort Kelsey. (Psalm 23) Praying for you all!

    love in Jesus,
    Katy Strnad

  3. Amen and Amen. Praying for all of you, Chris, Kels, Marilyn, Eddie, Alexa. GOD IS BIGGER than this stupid tumor! We love you so much and wish to be with you there to hold you all. Janie & John Jones, Blanco

  4. We are in constant prayer for you guys! We have a powerful Healer who gives us peace and wisdom when we most need it! We send you our love, Travis and Edith Thompson

  5. Dearest Kelsey and Kennedys: Will continue prayers for you all. So encouraged by the news of the C7 scan. Will continue to pray specifically for the tumor in your arm to shrink Kelsey and for the cancer to be eradicated. Have had you on our minds and in our hearts so much these last few days. God will strengthen you - this we do know. We so appreciate the updates - and doing this -in some of your darkest times. We love you. Sharl and Doug Taylor

  6. We continue to uphold you all in our prayers. Praying for wisdom for the doctors to know the best course of treatment for Kelsey and for encouragement for you both. While walking thru our own dark valleys we know personally how good it is to know that God can bring victory thru even the situations that seem impossible to man. Praying for victory for you thru this difficult time for you. Paul and Susan Zeeb

  7. It was good seeing you and the family this past Sunday, though we need to find a better place soon to meet besides MD Anderson! Something like Disney Land... We love you and your family. We will continue to pray fervently for your full and complete healing. Talk to you soon. Love, Corey and Melinda

  8. I continue to keep Kelsey, her doctors, and her family in my daily thoughts and prayers. I pray for complete healing and courage to face the everyday struggles. I know God still performs miracles, because I am one, surviving my ovarian cancer for 37 years and counting. Love, Linda Oliver (your 1st grade teacher)

  9. Verses from the Bible and songs of faith flood through my mind as I try to find the words to express what's in my heart, but I'm just too inadequate! Man simply cannot understand God's overall plan for each and every one of us. We are simply told to trust and obey and lean on Him. He knows what he's doing. He tells us to pray without ceasing, and I know that is what you are all doing. So I will add my prayers with everyone else and will pray for wisdom in all decisions, comfort in the darkest of hours, complete healing, and peace that surpasses all understanding.
    Love, Sharon