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Monday, October 21, 2013

Catchin’ up

Alexa is all smiles with Daddy at the State Fair of Texas. She is definitely a thrill-seeker and loved all of the rides.

I have been gently reminded by a few folks that I haven’t updated the blog in awhile. Okay – so it has been almost two weeks. Trust me, I have so many unwritten posts in my head - it’s ridiculous. My lame excuse - we’ve been s-l-o-w-l-y settling back into our daily routines (one week with Chris’ mom’s help and last week on our own). It seems to take much longer than anticipated to just “do life” again, and I am pathetically slower with my healing (but still-out-of-commission) hand. Regardless, we know we can never get too settled as we prepare for another trip to MDA on November 3-4 and perhaps more trips elsewhere as we seek out, study and pray about alternative therapies. Flexibility is our family’s new motto.

As I have said so often, I never intentioned for this blog to be about a cancer. Albeit that is a big part of my family’s life now, yet I still desire to capture a slice of our “try-to-make-it-somewhat-normal” life. There is, after all, life outside of fighting cancer and MDA. So, I wanted to catch everyone up on the more exciting comings and goings with family and friends over the last couple of months (fair warning: there are lots of pics). I will apologize in advance for lower quality photos. I have to use my iPhone instead of the DSLR until my index finger works again. I will bookend the post with cancer battle updates and prayer requests . . .


My right hand/arm continues to improve (check out my beautiful incision just four weeks shy of my surgery). Although they are incredibly weak and stiff, I can use my thumb and middle finger to help with tasks like tying my shoes, dressing, etc . . . That has been a huge asset in living independently. I will hopefully be released to start hand therapy after my MDA visits and then we’ll see what I can do. Also, my pain level has greatly decreased. (Ironically, the only reason I take a narcotic is for the crazy pain in my hip/left leg.) The biggest issue with my hand is adjusting to the numbness and occasional phantom nerve pain.


Six weeks after my last chemo treatment, my hair is making a comeback. It is hard to believe I might be able to keep my hair if we opt for an alternative therapy over chemo. I can’t wait to start going out without a head covering. Although with winter around the corner, hats, scarves and wigs may be a part of my future indefinitely. I feel so much better without chemo – gaining endurance and enjoying the real taste of food among many other perks most of us take for granted. I even joined the YMCA last week so I can start working out again! Woohoo!!



We decided to let Alexa try gymnastics this year. She is such a bundle of bouncing energy, it just seemed to make since. She wasn’t so sure about going the first day (check out her grumpypants look), but she was all smiles once she gave it a try. She loves her teacher, Miss Carol, and she loves her “gynnastics.”




Alexa also enjoyed her first day of BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) in September. This is her third year joining Mommy. This year, we are studying the book of Matthew. When you see her, ask her to sing her weekly Bible verse – it’s so cute. Alexa wanted to give her teachers flowers on the first day.



After seeing Wicked on Broadway in March, Chris and I enjoyed seeing it again at the OKC Civic Center in September. It was wonderful to dress-up and escape into the world of Oz for a night, even if it weren’t NYC.


We also enjoyed sporting our crimson and cream pride (rather, all cream pride since we have tickets in the “white” section of the stadium) with Holly & Mark at the OU vs. West Virginia game. Unfortunately, we’ve missed some home games due to my surgery/recovery, but we hope to make it to this week’s game – OU vs. Texas Tech. BOOMER SOONER!!


And, we had to take Alexa to the State Fair of Texas to eat a corny dog and meet the new and improved, “Big Tex.” It was a gorgeous evening and we had a blast together.




Up in the Texas Star, the highest ferris wheel in North America (sorry for the red-eye). Don’t let the smile fool ya, Mom was a nervous wreck most of the time.


I never would have chosen cancer, but it’s been a great excuse to reconnect with people I love. Here are just a few examples over the last two months.

During a recent visit to MDA, my lifelong friend & her husband, Karmyn & Ryan, stopped by to visit my family. They happened to be in Houston for an adoption conference. We stayed up ‘til 1am laughing, crying & praying. It was just like old times. I am so grateful for Karmyn’s faithfulness to pray for & constantly encourage me.

During my recovery back in Dallas, I was able to meet Chad’s beautiful wife and son, Lynda & lil’ Boston. I met Chad at OBU. We had some seriously fun times together before settling into our domesticated lives. Please lift-up Lynda’s father who is also fighting his own cancer battle. We’re in this together, Lynda!!

My precious cousin, Rob, also stopped by to encourage my heart. He has been such a “light” for me on this journey. He is a firm believer in my healing and my ability to fight this nasty cancer until it never comes back. Love you, Rob! I am wearing my Superman tee right now and can’t wait to work-out to my “fighting” CD.


I became an adopted “Girls of ‘69” during my stay in Dallas (trust me, I have the t-shirt to prove it). Every year, my mom and her high school classmates get together for a girls’ weekend, and I was invited to join the elite group this year at the Gaylord Texan. I was absolutely honored! These gals are some of my strongest prayer warriors (and cheerleaders – seriously – I think all of them were cheerleaders). The high point was when they gathered around me and prayed for me, my family, my healing & God’s glory. It was beautiful and so encouraging.


While at my last visit to MDA, we met up with a longtime friend who literally lived about six houses from me. Ironically, Michael discovered a sarcoma on his hip in September and had it removed in Oklahoma (seriously, what is it with this stupid cancer). He was at MDA to visit my orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Lin, to make sure the removed sarcoma had a clean margin. It sounds like Dr. Lin wants to remove a bit more to make sure the margin is safe. Please lift-up Michael, his precious wife, Keri, and their three children. We are praying for total healing and no recurrence.


I had to stop by to see my lifelong bestie, Denise, who was visiting from CO to see her family and show off her 4th lil’ tike, Deacon. He was three weeks old when I had the privilege of holding him.


How cute is this lil’ man? Loving the crown his older brother, Laken, made for him.


Gotta love this “selfie” of Ama and Alexa. I was so grateful for Karen’s help when she visited from CA. She did it all from juicing to being Alexa’s constant playmate. Ty Karen!! I am so blessed to have the best parents-in-love in the world!!


I also had the opportunity to catch-up with two of my cousins, brothers, Austin & Ryan. We had a great time reconnecting at our cousin’s wedding (below).


A huge congratulations to my cousin, Jerrod, and his beautiful bride, Hillary!! We are so blessed to have Hillary in our family! Jerrod – God gave you a precious gift in Hillary. We’re so happy for you and can’t wait to get to know her better. Thank you so much for your faithful prayers for us on this journey. They mean so much to me.


Whew!! That’s it for the update. You can wake-up now (wink wink). Here are the most recent prayer requests on this journey.

- God’s clear leading and wisdom in the next treatment plan. We are asking for His peace and clear confirmation for the next steps. At this time, we’re praying over chemo, a holistic two-year treatment plan called Gerson Therapy or an alternative medical approach at the Burzynski Clinic in Houston.
- Wisdom for whoever ends up treating me.
- For pain management in my hip and left leg. We are wondering if I should pursue physical therapy and we’re praying it isn’t cancer. It can really worry me.
- Containment and death of cancer in C7 vertebrae. No recurrence. No more cancer.
- Restoration of my right arm/hand and discipline in my future physical therapy.
- My follow-up scans/appts at MDA (Nov. 3-4). I am still working on logistics for the appt with my plastic surgeon. We are praying for totally clean scans of my body, my spine and my arm.
- For balance for Chris as he takes care of me while working full-time and being an awesome Daddy.
- For hope and God-sized faith in what only the Lord can do. The Enemy has been busy trying to make me doubt in this waiting time.

”Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6


  1. So glad to get your latest blog! I look forward to hearing what the Lord is doing in your life. How wonderful to be surrounded by so many wonderful friends who are obviously lifting your spirits. Kels, you are an amazing Christian woman with a maturity that is hard to fathom in one so young. Thank you for your honesty. You are surrounded by prayer warriors who are constantly lifting you right up to the throne of God. I pray the Lord does, indeed, make the path known to you about which treatment options to pursue. Proverbs 3:5,6 (that you just quoted) are my favorite verses in the Bible. We all have to find that path that God preordained for us to walk in. As you encounter those stumbling blocks along the way, just use them to build your relationship with Christ. I pray for the tranquility that only God can give to you, Chris, Alexa, Holly, and your folks. Blessing, Sharon

  2. Thanks for the update! Love all the pictures! Praying for continued rest and peace as you wait as well as relief in your leg. Love you!

  3. Kelsey,
    Continued prayers for you and your friends Melinda and Michael. I have said it before and I will say it again and again, you are amazing and inspiring. I think your whole family is amazing. God bless all of you.
    Judy Voth

  4. Dear Kelsey and family: So glad to see the update, pics, etc. Will continue prayers for a clear path of further treatment for you; for continued courage and peace for you and for your family; and complete healing for you. Blessings. Sharl and Doug Taylor

  5. I am a friend of a friend of yours. I am praying for you and I went to a class about essential oils the other night and they talked about the anti tumor properties that many oils have - especially frankincense. They suggested using Young Living Essential Oils because they are pharmaceutical grade. There are some research studies. I just thought it might be something to check out.

  6. A blessing to see those beautiful smiles! Praying continually!