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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A challenge and an update

After receiving a text from a friend on Sunday, I realized I never updated my prayer warriors on the findings from Dr. Keefer concerning my bone scan. I started this update two days ago and am just finishing it – my apologies. Sometimes my thoughts and my schedule coincide creating “dangling” posts. Thank you for your continued prayers even when you don’t have the latest news. Here are a few ramblings, a healing update and prayer requests.

It is the beginning of a new year. One for which I’m very thankful as I’d much prefer 2013 in my past. I rarely make new year’s resolutions, but I do find it valuable to evaluate my spiritual walk – is it growing or is it stagnate? I thought I might pass along a few things I am hoping to incorporate in 2014 as well as a spiritual evaluation I do every year. Perhaps it will challenge you as well. The newest prayer I’d like to incorporate into my daily walk this year is one I read in a recent article by John Brooks, the President of FOCUS International.

- “Would you please do in and through me, Father, those things that can only be explained by pointing to You?”

My faith in the Father was deeply, and I mean deeply, challenged in 2013. I realize I am currently in a situation from which only the Lord can deliver me. My bold and believing new prayer is that we will see the mighty working of God’s healing hand on my life in such a way that there will be no other explanation but – God – and all the glory can be given to Him. I also pray as I continue on this journey, we will see His faithfulness in big ways so we can testify of His goodness to those around us –  especially doctors, medical staff, patients/caregivers, those who choose not to believe, and of course, our daughter.

I was also challenged this Fall by a statement I heard on a Christian radio station posing the question,

“What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you thanked God for today?”

I think that’s a very humbling question because there have been many days in 2013 I wasn’t very thankful, and yet, I had so very much for which to give thanks (like my right hand!) As I mentioned in my “Choosing Gratitude” post as well as a post I wrote on August 29, 2012, giving thanks should be a fruit of our hearts, even if it is a daily choice . . . even if it costs us something. So not only do I pray God will do the impossible in my life this year, but I also pray I will have a heart of gratitude for all He has already done. I am learning gratitude really helps combat bitterness and discouragement when it creeps in. Unfortunately, I battle both often.

Finally, I’m sharing a list of questions I took from a lecture given by my BSF teaching leader. I’ve had these questions taped on my bathroom mirror since 2010. Some days they go unnoticed but they are always there for me to see and be challenged. It has been interesting to recount the Lord’s faithfulness each year as well as how I am still trusting Him for certain things. Of course, the answers to these questions can change as my circumstances change. I pray this evaluation challenges your walk in 2014, so that at the end of the year, you and I can both say – I have grown in my understanding of who Jesus is, therefore my love for Him has grown and my life (my words, my actions, my thoughts) reflects Him more and more. If you can’t read 6 pt font, the questions are listed below the image . . .


1. What’s one thing I will do to increase my enjoyment of God?
2. What’s the most humanly impossible thing I will ask God for this year?
3. What’s the single most important thing I can do to improve the quality of my family life?
4. In which spiritual disciplines will I make progress this year and what will I do about it?
5. What is the single biggest time waster in my life and what will I do about it?
6. What is the most helpful new way I could strengthen my church?
7. For whose salvation will I pray for most earnestly this year?
8. What’s the most important way, by God’s grace, I will make this year different from the last?
9. What’s one thing I could do to improve my prayer life this year?
10. What single thing will I plan to do this year that will make a difference ten years from now?

--Do I love Jesus more? Do I know more about Him? Do I look more like Him?

I received a call Friday from Dr. Keefer’s nurse confirming he didn’t see anything suspicious on my bone scan. However, if my pain continued, he was fine with ordering an MRI. I was, of course, relieved and thankful he didn’t see anything startling and I don’t plan on asking for an MRI as I’ll have several on my body at MDA the last week in January.

As of New Year’s Eve and forward, the pain in my right hip/pelvis/femur has decreased – although it seemed to rear its ugly head Sunday. I suppose it simply wants to remind me its there. The skin sensitivity and should blade pain in my upper right chest is still there, but I simply try to ignore it. I am praying and believing all of this discomfort is healing pain due to the radiation and nothing else. God has given me no reason to feel otherwise, and the only worries I have come from the Enemy. I have felt a confirmation about that. It’s a constant mental exercise to say, “No Satan. I am not letting this pain consume me right now. I am taking this to God and trusting Him with it.” Then, I do my best to go about my daily business  - which normally means doing something with Alexa Hope (and that generally leads to cuddling and giggles).

I continue my hand therapy three times a week and have another follow-up concerning my chemo pill (bloodwork/blood pressure/liver check) with Dr. Keefer this Thursday at 8:45am. As much as I don’t like these constant appointments (which often feel like a time suck to me and yucky reminders of what this disease has done to my body), I am thankful for medicine, my docs, my hand therapist, insurance and friends willing to watch Alexa so she doesn’t have to suffer in these waiting rooms with me.

- For the areas of concern to be radiation-related healing and nothing else. For the stereotactic radiation to continue killing any cancer cells in my body, for good.

- For the chemo pill to be effective in preventing the spread of any cancer from here on out. For my blood work, liver enzymes and blood pressure on Thursday to be strong so I can continue on the full dosage

- The biggest side effects of the chemo pill currently are gnarly headaches, nausea, decreased appetite, upset stomach and fatigue. I am unsure what my hair is up to these days as far as loss of pigment. One thing is for sure, it seems curly. Besides the hair (which I would prefer straight), I would ask for minimal side effects. The headaches can really knock me out, and I continue losing weight.

- My sweet hand therapist will be reassessing my range-of-motion and strength this Thursday. Please pray she sees enough progress to continue with therapy. That means she sees more potential for my hand to grow stronger and become more functional. That would be – in one word – AWESOME!!

- For a continual mindset that is believing for big things this year and for the perseverance to pray continually to the One who can do the impossible.

- For my heart as I prepare for a return trip to MDA, Jan 27-30, which includes several follow-up scans and appointments. I am praying for good news.


  1. Dear Kelsey: Thanks for this most thoughtful pot. I reviewed your questions - which are very good - and will be using in 2014. Glad your scan results were positive. Will continue our prayers for postive test results and complete healing. Blessings to you and your family. Sharl Taylor

  2. Thanks for the update Kels! Continuing to pray and believe in healing. 2014 is going to be a great year!

  3. Kelsey,

    Emily & I continue to pray for you and Chris & Alexa every day. I have a silly suggestion about the weight loss: Have you tried ice cream therapy? :-) I know the weather is hovering around 32 deg. Fahrenheit in Norman, OK, this week, but I still had ice cream for dessert last night when I took Emily on a cheap date. It's colder here in PA than in OK.

    My devotions this week have been in Psalm 23, one verse a day, using a book of sermons by Lon Solomon. The book is a Christmas present from my brother-in-law Richard Parke. (Richard is the uncle whom John Richard Chase is named after; Lon is Richard's senior pastor.) Psalm 23 reminds me of you, so that's how I've been praying for you this week.

    Kelly Joy says that you liked my handwritten note months ago. I'll make the next one handwritten too.

    Love in the Lord Jesus,