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Monday, December 30, 2013

Bone scan update

"I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord." Psalm 27:13-14

Hi friends. Just wanted to update you on the latest. I also want to thank Jen K. for reminding me of this beautiful verse earlier this weekend. Another friend shared this passage with me this summer and highlighted the beautiful promise of seeing His goodness "in the land of the living." I'm clinging to that, and goodness I needed this passage this weekend (more on that later - back to the update).

I received a call from Dr. Keefer's nurse this afternoon, and the initial reviews of my bone scan revealed nothing remarkable concerning metastatic disease. It noted some osteo-arthritic activity but all looks well. Dr. Keefer is out until Thursday so he hasn't seen it, but we'll take that news for now :) I'll call Friday to see what he thinks. I'm so thankful for your faithful prayers as I truly believe when my army of prayer warriors is interceding in boldness on my behalf, God has done some incredible things. At the very least I experience a peace that rarely happens on a day-to-day basis, but almost always, something incredible happens with His fingerprints all over it.

I can say I experienced that peace in this situation. On Saturday and Sunday, the Lord washed over me with His peace. I am very thankful for that as Christmas Day and the two days following were dark. I was melancholy most of Christmas Day. I cried at my appointment and let Dr. Keefer know, with tears rolling down my cheeks, that I didn't want to be there that day. I was angry and sad at my bone scan (poor techs taking my images. I was cooperative, just not my joking self). I realize all of this is grief, frustration, and oftentimes, bitterness that this is my lot. I feel like I am always working through these emotions, especially when I am hurting or I look around and don't see anyone my age walking through this. I have told the Lord I am weary of this character-building but I know He doesn't need a consultant in this matter because, goodness knows, I'd be doing a lot of things differently (like never allowing cancer in my body). No doubt . . . I know as well as He does that I have a long way to go before I resemble Him.

Anyway, I was grateful when I felt the Lord's presence, hope and peace in a more tangible way on Saturday. I needed to "feel" He cared even though I knew it in my head. I'm grateful His grace was sufficient in my weakness. Even the pain I experienced was minimal in comparison to what it has been over the past two weeks. I was able to do some activities I wouldn't have dreamed of attempting even a week ago, and I even sat through a movie without any Celebrex! Regardless of pain or no pain, the Lord gave me a sense of His presence and peace, and I had a feeling very similar to the feeling I had going into surgery the day Dr. Lin removed the tumor from my arm. I wasn't fearful, and I didn't have the usual "what's next in this hellish journey" worry. I felt hope and confidence in Him. And I repeat, I felt His peace. I realize this peace doesn't guarantee a cancer-free report, but I definitely did not have this peace awaiting the MRI results of my left hip/pelvis in early November.

And so, I praise Him for the provision of an initial good report, and I thank you for your prayers that press me into Him - allowing me to see Him more clearly and believe He is my God of the impossible. And, of course, thank you for asking and believing boldly for my healing. I will keep you updated on Dr. Keefer's thoughts post-New Years, but for now, I am so grateful for a more promising beginning to 2014. We will have more reasons to celebrate tomorrow, that's for sure.

- Pray for wisdom as Dr. Keefer evaluates my bone scan. I would love to hear my body is clean but I don't want him to miss anything and provide me false hope. Lord, please heal these areas of concern.

- Regardless of the initial great news, the pain in my right hip/pelvis and right shoulder blade/chest are still there and still a concern. I truly want to believe this is healing pain. Dr. Keefer thinks some of the skin pain could be neuropathy from the radiation, and when he re-evaluated my right hip x-ray, he said my right femur/joint looked beautiful. I'll take that. I told him, "If this pain isn't cancer, I know the pain will feel better immediately." It is crazy how our mental psyche plays into all of this. Regardless, it would be good to know why I'm having pain (w/o cancer in the equation). It could definitely be radiation-related. And, I'm always open to God just removing it. :)

- HUGE praise is that my bloodwork looked good and my nurse was very pleased with my liver enzymes (which were a concern last time). So, I was released to take the full dose of Votrient (my chemo pill). I was ecstatic and thankful to hear my liver is taking this medication well! I now take four pills every morning, and thus far, the only side effects have been nausea, decreased appetite, headaches and a rumbly tummy. My hair continues to lighten so it will be an adventure to see how things change. Above all, the prayer is for this chemo pill to destroy any chance of cancer spreading with minimal short-term or long-term side effects.

- I return to MDA the week of January 26. I will have MRIs of my full spine, hip/pelvis and right leg. I will also have a CT scan of my chest. I will meet with my radiation oncologist, Dr. Brown, and my sarcoma doc, Dr. Benjamin. Continued prayers for all of these areas to be in the process of healing and cancer-free forever.

- It's still a waiting game - something I am getting used to but will never like. Please pray for my heart to continue to trust Him for big things. That I might experience the same peace, hope and confidence in Him that I did that last couple of days. A dear sister, Kari, reminded me of this command in Romans.

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Romans 12:12

This is where I am folks. I pray you will join me as we enter 2014 to rejoice in the hope Christ brings, to be patient as we continue down the road to healing, and persevere boldly in prayer. Love to you all!


  1. Dearest Kelsey: All I can say is that every time I read your updates you bring tears to my eyes. You assuredly have the strength and peace of our Lord in you. So glad you had a blessed time in Florida. God bless the people that made this possible for you and for your family. We will continue to keep you uplifted in prayer. Thanks so much for your awesome Christmas card. We love you. Sharl and Doug Taylor

  2. You have been on my heart, and therefore, in my prayers both morning and night all week, starting a last Friday or Saturday. I am moved to tears at this latest good news and will be continueing to think of you as the week progresses. We love you Kelsey. We are so thankful for our Father who holds you, and the ones who love you the most and are walking through this with you, in His sweet embrace.

  3. Praise the Lord for this good report!

  4. glad to hear this initial review was positive! continued prayers for you and your family!