Wednesday, April 27, 2005

A beautiful day!

Today was a wonderful day of chemo! My appointment with Dr. Haley was so encouraging. She re-measured the lumps she could feel...the lump in my lymph node under my arm was measured at 4 x 4 cm three weeks ago. Today, she had difficulty finding it, but felt a small remnant at only 1 cm!! The lump in my breast was measured 8 cm x 6 cm. Today, she re-measured at 5 x 4 cm!! The first round of chemo was very successful, and Dr. Haley was quite pleased. She is keeping me on the same dosages and types of chemo drugs, and still at 3 week intervals. Her thought is to hit them hard and fast. She also gave me an additional drug to take for nausea that I can take right away that will help with symptoms faster than before. Dr. Haley wants to continue altering my drug/nutrition regimen to make it so I have no noticeable side effects! I am continually amazed at the advances they can do now. By the way, you might have heard about the latest breast cancer breakthrough on the news today about a drug that they have found overwhelming success with, Herceptin. UT Southwestern (the hospital I am going to) led the research on this drug and it is one I am already using! I feel so blessed to be at this hospital and this doctor. Thank you all for thinking and praying for me today. I even had a fun time at chemo while Tessa, Julie and Hope kept me laughing all day! It was a beautiful day!

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Introducing our family Posted by Hello
Check out the crowd at the benefit dinner Posted by Hello

The Benefit Dinner

When Jesus died a painful death on the cross, they had to come up with a new word to describe his pain…excruciating. It comes from the word crucify. They had no other word that came close to what Christ went through. I feel like that tonight. “Thank you” is not adequate. It does not come close to the overflowing feeling of complete gratitude I have in my heart for each of you…for your prayers, your support, your love, and for a beautiful evening. The benefit at Young tonight seemed flawless. It was so touching to look out into the crowd of hundreds of friends and family and see so many coming together for one purpose. The work that so many of you put into this event is priceless to us. Your care and dedication has kept us afloat when we feel like we cannot stand up on our own. Today I am trusting in God’s plan for my life. Tomorrow I will say the same thing. I will tell myself that every day because God’s plan is bigger than my plan. Bigger than this cancer. I feel like I am looking through a pin hole at that plan, but He sees the aerial view. A good friend gave me a bracelet that says “Trust your journey.” God has given me this journey, and I feel more confident walking it, knowing that you are following me and leading the way and bathing us in your prayers. Thank you! You all amaze me each day!

Monday, April 25, 2005

Feeling Refreshed

This weekend to Austin was just about perfect and felt a lot longer than just one weekend. It seemed like time had stopped and we could just enjoy each other without worry and concerns. Even the last morning was wonderful with going to the gospel brunch at Stubb's. We didn't know what to expect having never been there before, but the food was wonderful and the music was perhaps even better.

Friday, April 22, 2005

This Weekend

An anonymous person dropped off a CD yesterday at our house. The CD was Jeremy Camp's Stay album which has the song "I Still Believe" on it which could have just easily been written about our lives. It was balm to my soul as I listened to it on the way to work this morning. Each day brings a new blessing. This weekend Jessa and I are taking a weekend down to Austin, just the two of us. It's been many years since we have been able to this so we are really looking forward to it. We have no planned agenda and I think this weekend is just what both us us need. It will be really nice just enjoying each other's company.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

A Humbling Day

Today was one of those days when I was in awe of how God has provided for us through amazingly generous people. Today was the last day for ticket sales for the benefit dinner and it sold out before lunch. I found out just how many people are involved with putting it on (a lot). Then at dinner tonight at church, I talked with Barbara who is putting another benefit dinner at our church for just our family. Right before I talked with Barbara, a student at Young came up and handed me two dollars and fifty cents: it was her allowance for the week and she wanted us to have it. I have spent most of my life depending on no one but myself. About ten years ago, I started depending on God. The Bible says that if I will humble myself before Him, He will lift me up. We (that is Jess and I) have been very humbled these last few weeks, and we are just now learning that it is often human hands He uses to do the lifting up. To all of you who are lifting us up in so many different ways: thank you.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Yikes: A New School

A few weeks ago, Jess and I realized that the Yikes (that’s what we call Jadyn and Bryn because they are the Younger Kaylor Kids, Jadyn and Katelyn are the Okes for Older Kaylor Kids) would need to go to preschool at least some of the time instead of staying home all the time with Jess. We’ve had a ton of help and a ton of offers for watching them, but we wanted them to have as much consistency as we could give them. We have found a delightful place in Walnut Ridge Baptist in Mansfield (they have bent over backwards to help us). The Yikes will go on Tuesdays and Thursdays and today was their first day. Jadyn and Bryn are very proud of their new backpacks and bed rolls (for naps). When Jess picked them up today, Bryn was asleep on the director’s shoulder. I think this is going to be a place that both the Yikes and we like.

Monday, April 18, 2005


There have been an incredible amount of people praying for us. It is been incredible to hear who is praying for us: whole families together at night, sunday school classes, entire churches, and individuals across the U.S. and in other countries. A dear friend of ours made up a prayer calendar for us for April. Here are the remaining dates on that calendar:
18th Pray that Bryn and Jadyn feel feel comfort    Luke 11:9-10
19 Pray for them all to feel God's quiet love & joy Zeph 3:17
20 Pray they would not lose heart Luke 18:1
21 Pray they would dwell in God's security Deut 33:12
22 Pray they would not be anxious Phil 4:6-7
23 Pray that God would sustain their family Ps. 119:116
24 Pray they would sense God's comfort II Cor. 1:3-4
 25 Pray they would find security in God's arms Deut 33:26-27
 26 Pray God would be their strength and refuge  Is. 25:4a
 27 Pray for joy Jn 15:11
 28 Pray Jake and Jess would draw near to God Heb. 4:16
 29 Pray for rest Ps. 37:7a
 30 Pray God would do exceedingly more than we ask      Eph. 3:20-21

Saturday, April 16, 2005

My Wife is Famous

Lamar Willians of the Star Telegram ran an article about the upcoming benefit dinner in this morning's paper. If you don't know already the Student Council and National Junior Honor Society at my school (Young Junior High) has put together a benefit dinner and silent auction benefiting our family and the Tuckers (Kathy also teaches at my school and her five-year old son has spinal cancer: they are a wonderful family) Tuesday night April 26th at Martin High School. Spring Creek barbeque is donating AND serving all the food (that place is awesome). You can also see what my new life-long friend Kyle Whitaker has to say at: All this leads me to believe that not only is my wife beautiful and charming, but she is now famous throughout the metroplex.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Free and Clear

Huge praise!! My MRI showed NO signs of cancer on my brain!!! I feel like dancing in the streets! My wonderful oncologist's nurse Terri told me the MRI looked perfect. She said if I was curious about my sniffles, I had a sinus infection. I guess they get a pretty good picture of everything! Thank you, Thank you for your prayers. Today is an awesome day!

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Plain M&Ms

Yesterday Jess noticed that she can no longer taste chocolate! She bought a bag of peanut M&Ms (which she loves) and tried to eat a few of them. She said it tasted like absolutely nothing-- just like eating a couple of rocks. I have decided that in addition to other things I have taken on-- I will take over chocolate eating responsiblities.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Praises abound!

Another wonderful day today...I have no side effects, symptom free!

Today I had my MRI of my brain. It was pretty standard...just a lot of loud pounding while stuck in a really small space. The good points were: I got to listen to a radio station (KLTY), there was a mirror in front of me positioned to a window behind me so I could feel like I was looking outside instead of at a white tube, and lastly, I got to go out to lunch afterward with one of my favorite people, my Uncle Shawn!

Dr. Haley, my oncologist will read the rusults and call me by Friday.

Also a huge praise is that the lumps/masses that I can feel are noticeably smaller than before chemo!! I can't wait to have the doctor measure when I go back on the 27th. This has been so encouraging to me to see results already. It makes the harder days worthwhile, and helps me to anticipate further treatment rather than dread it!


Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Jake with an always affectionate Jadyn Posted by Hello
Katelyn, our soccer star! Posted by Hello

Don King Issues

Today my Aunt Sandy practically forced me into the car to go look for a "cranial prosthesis"! Needless to say, this was not like a trip to the spa or hairdresser for me. All the way, I am having visions of past Halloween mishaps and talent show boys trying to look like girls with long flowing fake blonde hair! Sandy meanwhile is reading a scripture about God knowing all the the hairs on my head. I wondered if that counted with cranial prosthesis too?? So we walk in and are directed to a back room. Dona was out for the day, but a wonderful woman Nelly helped us. It was God's timing because four of her five sisters have delt with breast cancer in their past and she has a calling for helping women now. She sat me right down and started pulling out hair stuck in neat boxes. (By the way, one of the first thigs she told me was I needed to wear some more make-up and put on some little earrings...I thought I would try it if it would take the attention off my new hair). When she placed the first wig on my head, and looked in the mirror, I thought I was (and I am not making this up) Don King. Frosted blonde and brown hair was sticking up everwhere. After she styled it and picked at it, it actually looked okay. It was still a little puffy until Aunt Sandy came over and pushed her hands down on my head to flatten it. I should have been worried when I could not feel her hands since the hair was so big! After several more to try on, we found two that closely resembled my hair. Sandy also piled in at least a dozen sun hats, caps, and a turban (yes, there was at least one that resembled a turban the sales woman insisted I would love at night). All that to say that my hair has still not fallen out, so the next time you see me do not stare at my head. In fact, let's just make it a rule to never stare at my head! I am glad it is over! Thank you for all the prayers...and yes, I am quite certain that God even knows the hairs on my cranial prosthesis! "And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered." Matthew 10:30

... Jess

Brain scan tomorrow

Jessica has an MRI brain scan at UT-Southwestern tomorrow at 11 o'clock. We are very fortunate to have a great medical team there. Please pray for a clear brain scan.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Jess with Jadyn and Bryn at the Botanical Gardens Posted by Hello

The First Month

Over spring break we found out that Jess did not have a fluid fill cyst in her breast as we were hoping, but instead it was cancer. The doctor also knew that it had spread to the lymph nodes under her arm. The next step was getting a PET scan. Jess was a little surprised when they took her outside into the parking lot and into an 18 wheeler for the scan. It turns out the machine used is so expensive that several hospitals share it and they need the trailer so it can mobile. She said it was a little like Knight Rider when she stepped into the big rig and saw a complete lab. The results from the scan were disheartening: there were lots of little black dors on the slide showing where there was cancer. The biggest areas of concern other than the ones we already knew about were the tumors on her kidneys, liver, and spine. We were shocked that we had gone from a possible stage 2 in our minds to stage 4 in less than a week. The medical oncologist told us that Jess's cancer was very treatable but not cureable. We think that God has a different plan. We are praying that the cancer will be gone in a year. Jess had her first round of chemo last Tuesday almost a week ago. The day of chemo was really long-- we were there for about seven hours and most of that was spent getting the chemo (perhaps 6 and half hours). Jess spent most of the time writing thank you notes-- even two weeks into this we had a lot of people to thank! Jess was sleepy the day after chemo, her back hurt the next day from the shot that boosted her white blood count, and the next few days she felt really, really cruddy. By the weekend I was feeling that way too. It was almost overwhelming with me trying to do a lot of stuff that Jess normally does, plus my stuff, and then on top of that thinking about Jess's cancer. There has been a lot of stress as we totally change our lifestyle. However, Jess is starting to feel less exhausted and I am feeling less stressed. Our three girls are doing remarkably well. Katelyn who is ten has struggled to get her homework done (not a normal thing for our straight A student) and Jadyn (3) and Bryn (2 on the 26th) have been a little more irritable-- but that's about it.