Monday, April 11, 2005

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.


Anonymous said...

Hi Jessica:
I am a colleague of your mother-in-law and I wanted to let you know that I am keeping you and your family in my prayers. You are a young woman with a beautiful family and I know that God has much in store for you. Prayer is a powerful thing,therefore, the more prayers sent to God on your behalf the bigger the blessing. Hold on to God's unchanging hand, trust that he will see you and your family through this illness,and depth of his love will be shown to you.

Prayerfully yours,
Shirley Hymon-Parker
University of Maryland Eastern Shore

Lindsey Claiborne said...

hey Mr. Kaylor,
I don't know if you remember me but i was one of your students last year. (in your 7th period class) i just wanted to let ya'll know that i am praying very hard for you and i hope for the complete best. I'll be at the dinner on the 26th and i hope to see you there. Remember God is always with you!

Lindsey Claiborne

Amy C said...

Jessica ,
I know that we have never offically met, but I wanted to tell you that I have been praying for you and your family often. I know that God is doing and will continue to do amazing things in your life. I am praying for healing and peace to just cover over you. I am glad that we are a part of an extended family that has a Father who created all and has power over all. Keep looking up at the mountain tops even in the low valleys!

Amazing Peace,
Amy Clydesdale

DougAllison said...

Jake & Jessica,
We (and the rest of Journey Community Group at Pantego Bible Church) have been praying for y'all since we first heard about this last week. Please let us know if we can do anything for you.

Doug and Brenda Allison
2008 Botts Dr.
Arlington, TX 76012

Anonymous said...

Hi Jake and Jessica
We have been praying a lot - if fact I have a post-it with your initials on it on my desk.
We hope you have many moments of ordinary normal life to give you a break from fighting this disease.
Meg and Phil who knew Jake years ago in Philadelphia

Anonymous said...

Hi Jessica, Jake and family,

I used to work with your dad - Jessica - and I wanted to let you know that you and your entire family is not only in my prayers, but also in that of my prayer groups.

Continue in your wonderful faithful walk and know that many "anonymous" people are praying for you. Your upbeat manner in approaching this battle is truly inspirational.

Megan Brown
Portland, OR

Judy O'Dannel said...

Dear Jess and Jake,
I am a friend of one of your friends (Elizabeth Martinez). I am thrilled that the treatments are working so well already. How wonderful to have such good news so early in your treatment. That only means that the prayers are working as well as the medicine. So, since I know nothing about medicine, I will just have to continue to pray for your speedy recovery and the well being of your beautiful family.
Judy O'Dannel

Laura Welter-Sweet said...

Hi Jess!

I already typed a short note to you, but I guess I just want to make certain you get it. I am "Aunt Laura"...Matt's Aunt Laura. One of Elizabeth's best friends and a cancer survivior. It has been 10 years for me at this point. And my husband for 3 years. Your attitude about life has so much to do with your recovery and your body responding to the treatments. Even though we have never met, I feel I know you. Elizabeth loves you and Katie soo much and always has such wonderful things to say about you. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. And what a lovely family you have. Keep your faith my dear...and don't ever give up!
Love to you all, "Aunt Laura"