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Friday, January 24, 2014

MDA Schedule

Below is the promised schedule for my week at MD Anderson (with prayer requests to follow). But before we get to that much dreaded (I mean, anticipated) topic, I thought you might enjoy a few pics of our latest little character – “Jake the Never Land Pirate.”


Alexa loves to watch Disney Jr, and her new favorite show is “Jake and the Never Land Pirates.” Yes . . . there is a girl character named Izzy, but Alexa always wants to be Jake. I can only assume she chooses Jake because he is the main character, and being an only child, she is the main character around our place.

Alexa has been asking for a “Jake” costume for a couple of weeks, but I didn’t want to run out and get her something when her favorite Disney characters change on a whim (i.e. Doc McStuffins for Halloween). So, I did my best to improvise with the items we had around the house. The only thing I didn’t have was a good vest. I figured most pirates didn’t wear goose-down, and I didn’t have any scrap material to cut one out. In the event you haven’t watched the show, “Jake” is wearing a pouch around his neck to hold gold doubloons (they earn these after accomplishing tasks). Izzy also wears a pouch to hold her pixie dust, but Alexa said that would be too messy in the house, and she added, “We don’t have any pixie dust anyway.” Whew!! I was off the hook.


Arrrrrrrr ah matey!! Alexa gave me her best pirate face. Jake carries a wooden sword given to him by Peter Pan. I had to cut her sword out of thick cardboard, which was quite a feat with three functioning fingers and box-cutters. It wasn’t the brightest thing I’ve ever done but totally worth the smile on her face. Perhaps the equally ignorant thing was using a silver Sharpie marker that was so “fragrant,” I could hardly stand up straight afterward. Oh, the things we do for those we love the most.

Alright, as you can see, I could write blogs about my daughter all day. Talking about cancer does NOT thrill my soul, and I would much prefer to end the cancer talk now. Thus – that’s not my reality . . . yet.

We drive to Houston tomorrow for a busy week of scans & appointments. I normally don’t include the prep times for each scan, but I am adding them so you can pray for me during those moments of sitting & waiting. I am normally getting stuck with an IV (hopefully only once) and then waiting in isolation. I am sometimes surrounded by other cancer patients undergoing similar tests. These are all opportunities to hear the voice of the Father, experience His hope & peace and be a light to those with whom I interact. Here you go . . .

7:15am – Bloodwork
8:10am – CT Scan check-in
9:00am – CT Scan of chest (w/wo contrast)
11:15am – MRI prep
12pm – MRI of C-spine (w/wo contrast)
1pm – MRI of T-spine (w/wo contrast)
2pm – MRI of L-spine (w/wo contrast)

6:15am – MRI prep
7:00am – MRI of pelvis (w/wo contrast)
9:00am – Appt with Dr. Brown (radiation oncologist)
12:00pm – PET scan prep
1:30pm – PET scan injection
3:00pm – PET scan (head-to-toe)

9:30am – Xgeva shot (bone-strengthening shot)
12:15pm – MRI prep
1:00pm – MRI of lower extremity (w/wo contrast)

11:30am – Appt with Dr. Benjamin (Sarcoma oncologist)

- Of course, the obvious prayer is for all of my scans to come back clear. For God to miraculously remove this nasty cancer from my body – forever. We are asking boldly for full, complete healing. For all glory to go to Him and for a long life for me to do the same – glorify Him.

- For safe travel to Houston as well as the many trips to and from MDA. With early appts, we are praying we can avoid any rush hour traffic and/or incidents because of traffic congestion or construction. It’s definitely a practice in patience.

- Alexa has been fighting a low-grade fever and sore “gulps” (as she calls them) for two days. I haven’t been feeling well either. Pray for health protection and healing from the sickies for all of my family.

- As always, I need prayers to remain calm & still during each scan, especially when I am feeling pain. Would you ask God to graciously protect me from “hard table” soreness? I seem to walk away from these weeks even more sore than I already am.

- For God to orchestrate the most-skilled, compassionate team to prepare me for each scan, to perform each scan and interpret each one accurately.

- For encouraging appointments with both Dr. Brown & Dr. Benjamin. For the ability to process all of the information we receive and ask the right questions. For God to give each doc the wisdom they need to evaluate my scans and provide the next step for treatment. 

- For the cause of my ongoing pain in my chest/ribcage/lungs and pelvis/femur to be discovered, and for it NOT to be cancer but healing pain. Of course, prayers for pain relief are always welcome.

- For the Votrient (chemo pill) to reveal it has been effective in preventing the spread of cancer.

- I agreed to be in a clinical research study in November. We are praying the results from my bloodwork are finished so we can discuss the findings with Dr. Benjamin and understand better how to kill this cancer & its spread.

- For this week to be filled with hope, peace, strength, encouragement, endurance and joy. Um – yes – don’t forget physical healing!!

- For divine appointments and opportunities to share of our great God (more on this in my next post).

We will do our best to provide updates as we receive them. We love our mighty “warriors in prayer” and we thank you in advance for the many bold, believing petitions you will make on our behalf this week and always. We look forward to experiencing God’s faithfulness & power every day.


  1. Alexa is TOO cute! Love that her favorite character is a pirate! Thanks for posting your schedule and how to pray.

  2. Dear Kelsey and family: Have been praying constantly for you already in the last few days. Had my Bible Study group say special prayers for you on Friday when we met. Let's just see what our powerful God can do!!!!!!! Sharl and Doug Taylor

  3. Praying for you right now, Kelsey. I read every word of your post and can see where you are - asking for God to bless you with peace and healing, surrounding you with His love, grace and mercy.

  4. Homemade costumes are always better than store bought! Growing up we always had to make things and those are some of the best memories Alexa will have when she grows up. And she'll have pictures to prove it! We are praying for you here, always, but especially this week. I pray for healing and for opportunities for you to be salt and light for others while you travel to such dark places. I can't wait to hear great news in BSF next week! ~kelli