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Thursday, October 31, 2013

More cancer

I didn’t anticipate writing this blog, especially not before our upcoming trip to MDA (Nov. 2-6 – I’ve listed my schedule below). And, I’ll apologize upfront. I usually allow time to let my emotions (and humanity) settle down before I write something . . . not today. Most of this will be raw. But, I want to get this hellish cancer business out of the way so I can post about my daughter tomorrow. Isn’t that what 34-year-old moms are supposed to be blogging about . . . their daughters, their families, their pregnancies, their exciting and often hectic lives? Not for me, my posts revolve around this stupid disease and its ugly realities. I mean, seriously, why did I ever have hope this might get better? With the answered prayer of removal of the tumor from my arm and the thought I could use my right hand again, I was so naïve about this cancer . . . so naïve.

We found out late yesterday evening that my cancer has spread to my hip/pelvis. The only reason we found out is because I had asked my OKC oncologist at an appointment last Thursday to provide a script so I could start some PT for my hip/lower back. If you’ve read my blog at all, you know it has been bothering me off and on (mostly on) for several months. He refused until I had an x-ray. It came back clean but he wanted an MRI as well. I knew when I hadn’t heard anything yesterday afternoon, it was probably more bad news. And . . . (shockingly) it was. I feel like my life is unraveling one scan at time. Anyway, the oncologist and my original orthopedic oncologist believe it is cancer. The ironic thing is I have even more pain in my lower back (and have since my diagnosis over six months ago). So, outside of a miracle, I dread the news I will be handed when we go to MDA this weekend/next week for follow-up scans of my entire body. I was dreading the upcoming MDA visit before this news. You can only imagine how much more so now. I would rather repeat seventh grade, relive my jaw surgery and give birth all at once.

I honestly feel like I have a target on my back. If the Enemy came to steal, kill and destroy, he’s doing a bang-up job. Chris and I have been trying to sort this all out (and yes, we know there is no sorting out that can be done). He is doing much better than I, but our trust and confidence in God has been shaken. I am angry – at moments, very angry. I am cynical about everything (can you tell). I am disappointed, discouraged. And most of all, I am deeply, deeply saddened. You grieve a lot with cancer – especially one that offers little (let’s be honest) NO hope . . . when it comes to targeted, effective treatments. I think about and have dealt with loss everyday since April 12. I never escape it. Loss . . . every day now for over half of a year. By the way, I hate 2013.

I can hardly look at my daughter without crying, and most of the time, I do. I just can’t help it. Tears well up . . .like they are now . . . and I wish I could be her healthy Mommy. I wish she didn’t have to see me cry all of the time. I wish I could promise her I will always be here. I wish for another life. I wish to wake-up from this nightmare. I wish to see God move. But, He isn’t – at least I don’t sense it. I feel as if He doesn’t even care. He just continues allowing more pain, more suffering. And, I wonder . . . why me . . . why our family . . . why now? All of these thoughts flood my mind, and this is after a brilliant sermon by my pastor on spiritual warfare. I know the Truth . . . I just feel absolutely, totally defeated (and hope-less) right now. I checked the closet for my spiritual armor, and I’m pretty sure the Enemy took it. I wouldn’t have the strength to put it on anyway. Weak excuse, but I ‘m using it until I can accept that this is my life (I don’t get to live anyone else’s). Here’s the struggle . . .


Here we were yesterday, I was having a grand time taking photos of Alexa Hope (mind you) and the beautiful maple in our yard before BSF. I see her smile. I see her carefree spirit and a part of me just dies to know she has to be exposed to such harsh realities at such a tender age. Children are supposed to run and play not go with their Mommy to cancer appointments, not learn about tumors, not pray for Mommy’s healing at every prayer, every day and wonder why God isn’t answering. Why would God allow my beautiful daughter to have to endure this at the age of three? Why does her Mommy have to be bald, go to endless appointments and be loaded with pain meds to simply function? Why do I even have to entertain the thought I might not be around to hold her hand, kiss her boo-boos, read her stories, sing with her in the car, rock her to sleep? It breaks my heart. Yes – my heart has been aching since April 12. And, let’s not add into the equation my rock of a husband. He carries the bulk of the load for our family, and he does it all without complaining. I’m serious. He’s been a knight and I’m just a bald, disintegrating mess. He deserves so much more.

-- I would continue to ask for miraculous healing. We kind of knew all along we’d need a miracle – especially if this cancer spread. (The docs have always called it nasty.) I know God can do miracles. My faith is very weak now, but I know He can still do it
-- I pray we might hear good news at MDA. I am almost certain that’s an impossibility in the Sarcoma Dept, but it would be wonderful to hear good news on our visit . . . particularly from Dr. Benjamin, who is never at a loss for negative certainties and always vague on hope. I don’t really like the man. His bedside manner is horrible. But who would like the doc who never dispenses good news? I have no desire to go to MDA this week. None. Zilch. Nada.
-- For my scans to be clear (forearm, chest and full body). God could do this. . . at the very least, no more surprises.
-- Wisdom for future treatment. We have been praying, I mean really seeking the Lord, for what to do next. We both felt fairly certain of the next step until this ball dropped. We are clueless and confused now. We really need direction at this visit. Also, pray for God’s clear leading and wisdom on the doctors’ parts.
-- That I would be released to start hand therapy.
-- Pain relief for my lower back and hip. Yep – I’m back on narcotics. Ironically, I have also been dealing with a cold, a gnarly cough, laryngitis and sinus issues. I pray it doesn’t develop into a full-blown sinus infection and I also pray it isn’t the “c” word. It really hurts my back to cough. Unfortunately, I cough often.
-- For our hearts to trust Him in this mess because we definitely don’t understand what He’s doing. We feel like we’ve been kicked in the gut.

Here’s my agenda for MDA if you’d like to pray during specific times. There will probably be some more scans added in once Dr. Benjamin knows of the cancer in my hip/pelvis.

Sunday, November 3
6:45am – Bloodwork
8:30am – MRI of right forearm

Monday, November 4
8:00am – Chest CT scan
10:30am – Appt with Dr. Lee in Integrative Medicine
1:00pm – Injection for PET scan
2:30pm – PET scan
3:30pm – Appt with Dr. Benjamin (Sarcoma Oncologist)
4:14pm – Appt with Dr. Lin (Orthopedic Surgeon)

Wednesday, November 6
7:30am – Appt with Dr. Sharaf (Plastic Surgeon)

** Although, I have not sensed His Presence or comfort over the last 24 hours (and yes, I know He’s with me regardless), I am so thankful for your precious prayers and reminders you love us and are hurting with us. It reminds me we aren’t alone when it can often feel that way.


  1. We drew the Kennedy's this morning for our thumb depressor prayer stick. When we started asking people to join our France team in October of 2011, we began to try to think of how we could remain involved in the lives of our supporters before and after (God-willing, someday) we get/got to France. We just went to Hobby Lobby and got some wooden sticks that look like tongue depressors. We wrote the names of the people who supported us both prayerfully and financially. As God would have it, we decided to do devotion this morning with the prayer sticks--something we usually reserve for night devotions--when Alan is home. I had recently seen Kelsey and Alexa at the health food store--my second home and was SO happy to see them.
    Then, this morning, we draw their prayer stick. Most of the prayer requests are semi-old, though, we've prayed Alan and I as we've read the blog. I thought, it's time to update the prayer stick. And then, I find this news. I burst into tears. I have three friends-two that I am closer to than the other-who have some form of cancer. All three are women. Two are young with young children. Two whose cancer has come back or spread. One lady is older and is the mom of our neighbor. How do we minister to those with cancer? It seems more dreaded than death itself and yet, I know, for two of my sisters, death is not a scary thought because they KNOW their LORD, yet, they are not ready to part. Their lives are not spent. They have young children. They have awesome husbands. They both have beautiful eyes! One young lady has two beautiful daughters. The other, you, Kelsey, has a super beautiful daughter. Anyway, I think I am rambling. I cannot empathise with either of you in THAT way. Chronic health problems and depression is not the same as cancer. My hands are empty.

    Dear LORD of heaven and earth,

    I hate to see my sisters hurt so much. I cannot fathom the pain they endure.
    We are all getting older. We are all "dying". Our bodies are aging. We aren't getting younger. Our hope is in YOU, LORD. We look to YOU.
    My words of of little worth but the word of the LORD lives forever.
    Psalm 46
    Phil.3.20-21 and 4.1

    Praying for you and your family Kels.
    Praying for my other sis, Sinem and her family.

  2. Kelsey,

    My heart sank as I read the title of the post... And then I wept as I read. Mourning with you. Angry with you (alongside you...not at you - I just don't know how to do italics in a comment ;). Praying for you. I'll especially be lifting up your time at MDA the next few days as I know it's become, like, your least favorite place in the universe :(

  3. Oh my sweet friend Kelsey, I am crying with you today, but am fighting for you tomorrow. You see, we have saying in our family when someone can't feel the presence of God..."Borrow my Belief." Kelsey, I need you to borrow my belief today. I believe God is a God who wants to heal you. I believe God is holding your hand right at this very minute. I believe God is protecting the heart of Alexis during this entire process. I believe you can trust God with this MDA trip. I believe you can trust that God will lead and encourage your husband so that He can lead and encourage you. I believe that God has not left you, but is carrying you. I believe that God will work all things to the good even this bad news. I believe that no weapon formed against you will prosper, no weapon of dissappointment, no weapon of discouragment, no weapon of grief, no weapon of cancer. I believe God is your rock, your salvation, and your fortress and you will NOT be shaken. I believe God will never leave you nor forsake you. I believe that you are strong enough to put on the full armour of God because you have friends, family, followers of Jesus who will put it on for you. The reason we don't have armor that covers our back is because that is what the body of Christ is for...we have your back. I believe that when things are bad, God is still God. Kelsey, borrow my belief today! Love you and your heart!!!

  4. Although we have never met you Kelsey we have come to care about you because we care about Chris and his family. In our family we have always said that when there is great need for prayer that we are praying our lips off and believe me we are doing that, Paul and I and our girls Jennifer and Julie. I think of the poem that says that during times like these that Jesus is carrying you as we surely know that He is. We are praying for strength for you and Chris as you go to MDA and for wisdom for the doctors involved but most of all for your complete healing. We know without a doubt that we serve a God who can do this and we are trusting Him to do just that.

  5. Kelsey, I don't think we've met you, but we know Chris from the BSU in college. I've been following your blog and praying for you. While our struggles are worlds apart, our sentiments and feelings are much the same. 2013 will be a year I will never want to look back on. After struggling on and off (mostly off) with mental illness for 10 years, my brother was shot and killed this summer by a SWAT team in the middle of one of his episodes. Many many other "kicked while you are down" moments have come on top of this, and I too am left shaken, bitter, broken, and defeated. My head knows that God has a plan and a purpose, but my heart isn't feeling it. We remain faithful and trusting in Him, but mostly out of obedience. Praying for a miracle in your life, Kelsey.

  6. Kelsey, Hi! We don't know each other, but I found your blog post on Facebook through a mutual friend. However, I almost feel like I do know you after reading you go to BSF. Goodness. I imagine you found Matthew 6 spot on for your suffering as we have found it for ours. God is just crazy like that. Please know that a fellow BSF sister is weeping for you and praying for a miracle for you and your beautiful family!
    P.S. from the looks of it we have daughters about the same age - and if I'm guessing right based on their teeth, they're both thumb-suckers too :)

  7. Your post is one of the most honest things I've read in a long time. If I could say one thing it would be to not waste one second feeling guilty about your questions and shaken faith. If God is who we think, he is big enough to be questioned. Your questions do not display weakness, but the strength of someone who believes something and longs to understand.

  8. Love you precious friend. I am also fighting for you all. The enemy will NOT prevail! We know the ending of the story. The bad guy gets it in the end and all this wretched suffering will be no more! I love love love you all.
    Debbie Ekpenyong

  9. Dearest Kelsey and Kennedy Family: Doug and I and our prayer and care group at our church continue to hold you up. Please do not give up Kelsey. God is there - I know it and feel it. I too was diagnosed with breast cancer this summer so I know a little of what you are feeling and going through - only a little. During those times that I was down and felt alone and isolated - all I could cling to was the knowledge that God was/is indeed in charge. Please cling to that. We will be praying especially diligently for you during your time and MDA and will also pray for mercy and complete healing for you. We love you. Sharl and Doug Taylor

  10. Hey Kelsey- I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciated your honesty and rawness. You are also a really gifted writer. I'm praying that God gives you that umph to hold on to faith when everything is feeling hopeless. On an unrelated note- you and Chris have a super cute kid- well done!

  11. Kelsey,
    I have been praying for you since I heard the news months ago. I often text Shannon for an update. You are on my mind all the time and I am so saddened to read this. I know you are beyond frustrated and feel defeated. You have every right to feel those things. I am praying now that those thoughts will now turn into encouragement and HEALING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are all with you on this journey. We are praying over every single cell in your body that you will be healed. All my love, Lindsi Niebur

  12. Kelsey PLEASE look up Dr. Albert Sanchez Poly- MVA You can actually get it in Edmond at full circle health clinic and I believe they can administer it to you via IV. There are many testimonials about it actually "curing" cancer. If anything it should help your immune system and give you energy throughout your treatment.


  14. Oh Kelsey, I just have no words for the heartbreak I'm feeling with you. I'm just so sorry. I'm going to just keep praying and believing God will heal you because He can, so that many will see His greatness. I'm going to pray for God to touch you, be real to you, to give you His strength, to comfort you deep in your soul. you are a real warrior, a warrior princess, you might not feel that way but I promise everyone around you sees it. God bless you and keep, the Lord make His face shine upon you and give you rest. love you, Melinda

  15. Kelsey and family, our hearts are breaking for all of you!! Just know how much we love you and are continually lifting you up in prayer!! I just read a saying that I want to share with you. "When I am at my lowest: God is my Hope. When I am at my weakest: God is my Strength. When I am at my saddest: God is my Comforter. " I pray you will continue to let God be your hope, strength, and comforter. Our love and prayers to all of you. Bob and Shelly

  16. Hi,
    I am on thr other side if nuero-fibro sarcoma...I'm the wife of a suffering husband. MPNST found in his right elbow ALSO in April of this year. I hate it. I cry a lot...he is still the strong one. His doc at MdA is Satcher...wonderful bedside manner. Can you switch? I know it seems late in the game, but the doc's attitude is so important to this process! I am praying for you and your little family. I often have the same feelings...I get angry about little things so often...and then I get angry for people telling me to keep my head up or keep my faith! It is nearly impossible to have a Davidic heart against this Goliath. I swore not to lose my joy then the other day I realized I broke that promise to myself.
    I'm at a different angle in this journey, but it sucks. I am praying for you! My heart is aching, mom to mom, for you! I KNOW that God can heal, I KNOW miracles can happen, I PRAY they are in His plan for you! Dont beat yourself up...He is made perfect in our weakness. You're human, be weak. Let your husband carry you...let God guide you. Keep being honest and open bc frankly, you're an ispiration to your your many.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you this week. Our next "round" is in December!
    Blessings to you sweet sister

  17. In Wichita, KS there is a wonderful place called the Riordan Clinic with passionate doctors that would be able to help you on this journey to heal. They focus on cutting-edge research in the areas of cancer, intravenous vitamin C therapy, vitamin and nutrition deficiencies, subtle energies and psychoacoustics in the emerging field of stem cell research. Prayers of healing energy and love to you and your family.

  18. I read this article a couple of weeks ago. The Dr. that posted it recommended that one add 1 Tablespoon of turmeric to the mix. Prayers for you and your family as you face this horrific disease.

  19. Kels, I am so sorry you are having to go through this, but I have known you for most of my life & I know you are a very strong person. You also come from a very strong family. It's so hard when you're faith is shaken, but know that you have a ton of prayers and people on your side. We love you & think about you daily!

  20. Immensely overwhelmed with empathy for you and your family. My prayer is that God will show himself to you in your darkest moments. Prayers from Seattle. -Jess

  21. Covering you in prayer today! God is a still in the business of miracles! He can move mountains.... just faith the size of a mustard seed- that's all he ask. You are an amazing mom, wife, daughter and friend. God has a plan and a purpose for your life. When the crippled man could not go to Jesus on his own his friends carried him there.... and God moved... all because of a few close friends who had faith and took that man to Jesus. I know I don't personally know you, but God does. I join so many others who what you to see God work.... others that know He can.... that believe he will.... that have faith the size of a mustard seed. Together we can carry you to Jesus and lay you at his feet. I pray that God moves mountains for you... and you walk away from this with a testimony that only He can give. May God hold you on his hand and surround you with His love, peace and comfort. Covering you and your family in prayer - God's not finished with you yet! - Believing for you as I take you to Jesus and lay you at his feet.
    Bendi Vow a

  22. Kelsey, I have never met you, but your mother has been an inspiration to me for years. Nothing I can say will make things better. I walked this same path with my precious husband eight years ago, with every glimmer of hope given - more devastating news squashed it out. But, he had lived a long life and was not dealing with this at an early age with small children.I understand the anger and the questioning of God's love at a time like this. We went through that as well.
    I will pray for a miracle (I do believe in them) and I will pray for the peace that God can provide for you and your precious husband.

  23. hi. thank you for posting this in the midst of pain, disappointment and fear. you really spoke a beautiful truth to my wife and me through it. please suck the marrow out of life. please keep living authentically in front of friends and strangers. please know that your words matter and your life matters. live fiercely and without regrets because it matters, it counts. you are loved.

  24. A friend posted this link to your blog and I soon realized we have OBU in common. I will be praying for you and your family. Thank you for the honesty of your words. You are not forsaken, dear Kelsey. He who watches over you will neither slumber nor sleep.