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Saturday, April 26, 2014

The progress so far

Buckle up, another guest post from Chris. Kelsey was sad she could not post an update, but was in quite a bit of pain this evening, so she is in bed asleep. Thank you Jesus that she is able to at least get some sleep in the midst of her pain! And so, once again, you are stuck with me.

Progress is being made, which is certainly an enormous “yes” answer to our prayers. We continue to be so grateful for the constant intercessions! Here is what has happened since the last update. Kelsey went to Tulsa on Friday for another round of infusions. In the afternoon as she was picking some more treatments up from the office, the doctor came up to her and tapped her on the shoulder and asked if he could talk to her in an exam room. Of course, Kelsey was concerned there was something wrong, but he went on to explain how when he had awakened earlier in the morning, his first thought was that Kelsey should begin the full regimen of treatment as soon as possible. Kelsey then explained things have been moving slowly at MDA, we had heard back from Dr. Benjamin, but he didn’t agree with the course of treatment (stereotactic radiation to the tumor in her back and removal of the tumor in her calf), so would not agree to help in reaching out to the doctors there, but instead encouraged us to come down for more scans and a meeting with a doctor in the clinical trials area. This course of action didn’t sound too exciting, especially after the less than glowing reviews he had given us last time of the odds of success of any of the clinical treatments for Kelsey’s type of sarcoma.

Her doctor listened and shook his head (not disrespectfully, but more like, “that sounds like what I would expect”). He then reiterated his previous sentiment: the sooner that Kelsey could get the tumor out of her calf, the better (as larger masses of cancer do no respond as quickly to these treatments and can be hard on your body to clear out once they start to die). He then prayed with her before she headed back to Norman.

Kelsey had heard back from Dr. Lin’s office and had told them what we had heard from Dr. Benjamin. The nurse then said she would contact Dr. Benjamin’s office and we haven’t heard anything more from them. So, after the appointment in Tulsa, as she was driving back to Norman, Kelsey called Dr. Smith (the orthopedic oncologist her in Oklahoma City who did her first biopsy) and she will be doing the surgery on Kelsey’s leg this coming week.

Here is the schedule (so far), for the week:

-- Tuesday: 6:30 MRI, followed by a pre-surgery consultation with Dr. Smith and perhaps a bone-strengthening shot.
-- Wednesday: 6:00 check-in, surgery at 8:30.

She may head up to Tulsa on Monday to get another infusion, but won’t know for sure until Monday morning. We will learn more about projected recovery time after Tuesday when Kelsey meets with Dr. Smith.

It has been a bit of a whirlwind, but as the dust settles, we still have not heard back from Dr. Brown. Kelsey would be the most comfortable with him doing treatment, but it is a pretty lengthy process (there is a week needed between the simulation appointment – where the body restraint is set up and the simulations are done – to when the actual treatment can be). Typically, the simulation comes after a meeting with Dr. Brown, so definitely, longer than a week for the entire process. There is also time to wait for insurance approval (which could add even more time). If we do not hear something soon, Kelsey may choose to pursue treatment here in Oklahoma City.

Prayer requests:

-- Pain. Continues to plague Kelsey. Pray with the amount of lying down which will come with the MRI on Tuesday and surgery on Wednesday, her back pain will not be unbearable.

-- A clean removal of the tumor in her right calf. Pray no traces are left behind and the anatomy of her leg does not suffer a huge adverse impact. Pray for wisdom for Dr. Smith as she looks at the MRI and then as she does the surgery. Pray for a speedy recovery.

-- No more spread of cancer.

-- Healing. God’s power is so much greater than man’s wisdom and so far beyond our understanding. He can heal and we ask that He does!

-- A response from Dr. Brown. Hearing from Dr. Brown will help to clarify our next steps. If he cannot get her in until her appointment at the end of May, we’ll likely pursue treatment her in OKC. If he can get her in quickly, we’d probably be heading back down to Houston.

-- Wisdom. There are decisions still remaining about treatment. Pray God clearly directs us to the best treatment option. Pray we will trust Him in His direction.


  1. Continuing to lift you all up> Praying especially for wisdom and clarity moving forward and a quick answer from Dr. Brown's office!

  2. Praying. So sorry you are all having to deal with this. God loves you and so do we.
    Johnny &
    Leda McNabb

  3. Hi Chris and Kelsey,
    We saw you both in the hall at church this morning but didn't get an opportunity to say "hello." Like so many others we think of you often and pray.
    This morning in our study with the Chinese we looked at the lives of the kings of Judah and Israel. One of the good kings, Jehoshaphat, faced overwhelming odds against a larger, better equipped enemy.
    We liken his situation(2 Chronicles 20) to yours...his enemy was an army of soldiers, yours is cancer. Knowing he was helpless and overwhelmed Jehoshaphat cried out to God, "O our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you." As we pray for you we sometimes ask, "Lord, what else can we do, what else can Chris and Kelsey do, to fight this cancer. We don't know what to do, but we just keep looking to you."
    God's response to Jehoshaphat was, "Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's." For us God may be saying you don't have to fear or be down because of what this cancer might do to you. Show up for the battle(treatment, surgery, nutritional eating, etc.) as prepared and equipped as you can be, but let me do the fighting, not you. I'll lead; you follow. Jehoshaphat worshipped God and believed God's promise to be with him in the battle. Step one of his battle plan was thanking and praising God. It seems that this is where the battle was won, even before the physical battle began.
    Thank you for helping us keep our focus on God as you so faithfully and bravely update us on how to pray. We admire you both and are challenged by your example of persevering. We pray with you for an amazing victory over this cancer, for a supernatural healing. Your honesty, vulnerability, your faith, your strength in weakness..............they really fuel our faith and endurance.

    Love in Christ,

    Bill and Pam