Saturday, July 30, 2005

Plenty of Prayer (needed)

You need to read the comment on the post just before this one. By the way Jess and I always read the comments on the current posts (unless you tell us about it as one friend did, we don't go back to check the comments on old posts) and we both find them encouraging.

Jess and I had a wonderful retreat this weekend. Jess told me something really sweet on the way home. She said that she liked spending time with the kids, but that she really loved spending time with me.

Just a few days ago I talked about we handled Bryn's broken arm with practically no worry. Well I must confess that I am having difficulty leaving next week in God's hands (please pray for me). First of all I am starting work again on Monday for some staff training. It's not the training that has me stressed out; it is the idea of starting another season not at home during work hours and added stress as I again begin to teach junior high.

Then, after my second day of training I fly out for my sister Heather's wedding. I'm pretty excited about going, especially because she is picking me up from the airport and I haven't been able to see much of her as she has been finishing college and doing crazy things like doing scientific work on islands. The flip side is that we have been waiting on a date from the hospital for a check-up for Jadyn's hip, and we just recently got it... the morning after I leave. Please pray that her hip has fully formed and does not require surgery, pins, or any further treatment.

Then, Jess has chemo on Thursday. Please pray that I am able to turn the care of Jess and our kids over to our Sunday school class and Jess's family. Also please pray (are you getting tired of those two words in this blog?) that our kids will adjust well to whoever is watching them and also to temporarily not having both of their parents, that Jess will be able to relax (in fact if you just want to spend all of your time praying for that one that would be fine), and that the chemo/prayer would kick the cancer's butt.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Retreat and Shopping

Along with several women from our Sunday school class, Jess has been planning a marriage retreat for months now. I knew it was coming at the end of summer, so I while I am excited about coming I am a little distressed that summer is almost over. The retreat starts tonight and we come home tomorrow night. The theme is "Survivor." I know that they are basing it off the reality tv show, but I can't think of a more appropriate theme for Jessica.

We took Bryn for a checkup on her arm this morning. Jess asked the doctor if Bryn was predisposed to breaking bones since this is the second Brynny has broken an arm, but the doc said her bones look great. Apparently, Bryn has already gotten the two most common broken bones in a child of her age-- I don't know what the third is but I am hoping we don't find out.

Katelyn came home from camp today. She didn't waste any time in playing with her sisters. It was very sweet because Katelyn used to play store all the time with Jess when she was about four (notice I said Jess-- I play a lot of things with the girls but store is not going to be one of them). Jess would be the shopkeeper (complete with foreign accent and dressed up too) and Katelyn would be the shopper. Well today, Katelyn was the shopkeeper and Bryn and Jadyn were the shoppers. It was neat seeing the Yikes as delighted with their purchases as Katelyn was six years ago, but it was even neater seeing Katelyn pass "store" on to her sisters.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Kaylor Kids

Sunday, Jadyn and Katelyn showed off their soccer skills. Conservatively I think that Jadyn scored about twelve goals which has just as much to do with being able to control the ball as it does with the members of the other team leaving the field to tell their parents they are hungry or have to go to the bathroom, or they don't want to play anymore. Sometimes the players do stay on the field, but chase after each other instead of the ball. Katelyn had to fight a lot harder for her four goals. When she scored her first of two shots left-footed-- she faced the stands and told me she had kicked it in with her left foot. Of course since it's indoor-- I had no idea what she was saying because of the thick plexiglass seperating us. I finally got the idea when she started wildly gesturing to her left foot.

Yesterday, Katelyn left for camp. The difference between this year and last year (when she left for the first time) is that she was very excited instead of nervous. Before she had even left she already planned sleeping arrangements with her friends. Also yesterday, Bryn said something very sad. She has been calling her favorite movie Barbie and the CrackCracker, but yesterday she called it Barbie and the Nutcracker. Before long she will not call flipflops, "flop-flops." Jess and I are a little sad because it means our littlest one is growing up.
I told you she was beautiful-- Jake Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 22, 2005

Bryn's Second Cast

I had a really nice birthday yesterday, and I'm really glad my mom was here for it. There is only two months of the year that I get to be the same age as my wife, so I'm looking forward to being twenty-nine with her until her birthday on September 18th.

Bryn had two things wrong with her arm: nursemaid's elbow and a fracture just above the elbow. Yesterday, the doctor put her elbow back in place (ouch) and this morning (after we got the results from the x-ray back) I took her to get the fiberglass cast. Bryn has done really well through this and I'm really glad she didn't change her mind about the cast color after she got it on (it's purple). She did just tell me though that she is ready to take it off.

Jess and my mom at our at the salon getting pampered. They both got facials and haircuts too. I haven't seen my mom yet but Jess said it's a really cute bob. Jess's hair was similair to a new born baby's very short, soft, and thin: she got it buzzed. Even without seeing her, she is undoubtedly as beautiful as ever.

I'm looking forward to tonight. Originally my good friend Kelly Walker and his son-in-law Justin were going to come over and put in a ceiling fan for us. That has blossomed into a big get-together. Before we found out that Jess had cancer, she watched Justin's little girl Rylie. The Yikes grew really close to her, and they are really excited that she is coming over tonight along with her sister, her mom, and Kelly's wife and son. It is going to be a full house tonight, and I love having people over at our house.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

An Exciting Birthday

Today has brought a different kind of excitement than I thought. We have always believed in giving our kids a little extra push whenever we thought they needed, and this morning Jadyn decided to follow our example. The only problem is Jadyn's pushing was literal as she pushed Bryn off the couch. Bryn who has already broken that wrist once before has almost asuredly broken her wrist again (I'll know pretty soon after she sees the doctor and gets x-rays this afternoon). I think God has already worked a change in me because I'm not worried about her (or the fact that we have already used our one covered x-ray under our insurance already this year), but I'm just really sad for her. I held our little two year-old daughter for two hours until she fell asleep. Normally nothing fazes our youngest one, but this time it was obvious that she was in a lot of pain. Various members of our family brought her her pacy (normally reserved for naps and sleeping at night), her blanky, pillow bear, and her favorite movie Barbie and the Nutcracker which she calls Barbie and the CrackCracker. It is the first time I have seen the movie all the way through and I was watching it I got to thinking why my girls like the movie so much. I think even at a young age it is evident that God has put in them a desire to be swept off their feet in adventure and to be truly beautiful. I think that is the cry of every female and I think it mirrors what Jesus did for the church (by that I mean people not church the building). Didn't he sweep us up in the greatest romantic adventure for our time? Isn't evident in his love for us he has made beauty from ugliness? When I mentioned that to Jess she said that a book she is reading with a young woman she is discipling talks about that very thing (the book is Captivating by John and Stasi Eldridge).

Despite all the excitement this morning it really has been a nice birthday so far. My mom made homemade cinnamon rolls (I love baked sweets) and I opened a present from Jess this morning that was a really sharp shirt. Tonight we are going to Cheddar's where I plan on having a big steak and a chocolate milkshake.

By the way Kathryn (notice the correct spelling) I appreciate the nice comment you left yesterday. I also thought it was hilarious that you mentioned that although I misspelled your name, you know how to spell "Jake." By the way you spell our oldest daughter"K-a-t-e-l-y-n" and Kathryn (notice again the correct spelling) there is really no need to comment this time.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Jessica is Home!

When Jess told me she was coming home soon yesterday in a-I'm-still-feeling-sick-as-a-dog voice I didn't believe her. What a surprise then when our family was outside and my mother-in-love pulled up with Aunt Sandy and out from the back seat pops Jess. Jadyn of course ran right to Jess and gave her a big hug. Bryn (who is constantly cracking me up) runs right past Jess, and instead screams "Grandma" and gives Jess's mom a hug. Then of course she turned right around screamed "Mommy" and gave Jess a big hug.

Before she came home, Jess kept saying over and over again that she doesn't know why we are making such a big deal this time about her being sick this time. To hear her tell it; she was barely sick. (Jess if you are reading this do not read the next line, but skip to the next paragraph) As for the rest of us, we think she got sicker faster and more intensely.

However, she is doing so much better for her first day home than she has ever done before. In fact she went and played volleyball tonight. And as I am typing this after midnight, she is still chatting away with my mom and our lovable (albeit a bit hyperactive) friend Katherine (OK Katherine now you can stop bugging me to write about you in the blog, and there is no need to respond to the hyperactive part in the comment section). Seeing as I am outnumbered gender-wise once again and strangely I seem more tired than Jessica I am going to bed while Jess continues to be the Engergized Bunny. Good night.

Monday, July 18, 2005

The Good, The Bad, and The Beautiful (that would be Jessica)

I think a good summary of our life these last months has been enjoy the good times and be content when they are bad. This week has been a little bit of both. I think this round of chemo has been hard on Jess-- I think mentally she is ready for it to be over. She is spending the week with her Aunt Sandy. She has said that she would like to be home because my mom is here, but I hope she will stay as long as she needs the rest. Besides the reason my mom is here when she is not here is to help out. I am excited though that she only has one more round (one last tripple dose) on August 4th. After the way Jess has endured chemo I think that the following surgery and radiation are going to be a breeze in comparison. I met a cancer survivor the other day that was just starting to have her hair grow back. As I was looking at her thick, curly hair I couldn't help but think how wonderful it will be for Jess to have her hair back.

It has also been a tremendous help to have my mom in town. She has fixed pretty much everything that was broken in the house and helped Frank Blaha (who I love dearly) and I replace the leaky porch roof. We got to test out the reliability of it right away as it started downpouring as we scrambled to finish the job. My mom has also formed a tight bond with our kids (especially with the Yikes) and it has been really nice having a live-in grandma to help take care of them. Right now while I am home with a napping Bryn, Grandma is off teaching Jadyn to swim and Katelyn some strokes.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Good news for the doctor!

Hi all, sorry for the delay in getting this great news out; yesterday was pretty busy. My meeting with Dr. Haley went very well! We laid out a plan for the next months…a plan! I have never received such a long plan! Up to this point, it has been: we’ll attack this cancer as hard and as long as we have to. When I would ask in the past how many more treatments, or what is next, I would get: we’ll see how the scans look, or you have a special case with a lot of spreading, we don’t know the number you’ll need.

Well, no more wondering. At least not yet, anyway! I had a full round of my three week dose of chemo yesterday. In three weeks, August 4th, I will go in for my FINAL round of a 3 week dose! At that appointment, I will also be scheduled for an appointment with my surgeon, Dr. Euhus, and get an MR of my breast and underarm where the tumors still are.

I remember Dr. Euhus saying in an initial consultation that we might never be at the point where we will be doing surgery, and here we are!

My genetics results came in and I am negative for the mutative gene that predisposes you to breast cancer! I did not know quite what this meant for me. I knew it meant a lot for my daughters, sisters, and cousins, but I found out yesterday that not having this mutation helps me in terms of lessening my chance of a primary occurrence and ovarian cancer.

I was hoping to be put on weekly chemo yesterday, so that was my only mental setback. I was ready for fewer side effects, and I thought that was the path I wanted. Dr. Haley said she will probably send me for radiation after surgery and then some sort of weekly chemo for a short time after taking scans to see how we’re doing.

It is all very good news indeed! Please pray for this round of chemo, because I am already a little sick to my stomach, which is a little early for that yet. My stomach was a little irritated even before chemo, so maybe that contributes to that. Jake’s mom came into town yesterday, and will be staying for a week. It was great to see her, and the kids have already bonded with her...playing games, reading books, dressing up, they have done it all! She will be a big help to us this week while I recoup and she and Jake have some great fix-it projects around the house already planned.

Sorry for the long blog this time…lots of good news to report.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


I am writing you today because I am very mad at this thing called cancer. In just the last week (actually 4 days) I have learned of three dear people just diagnosed with cancer. The father in law of my friend Lisa was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. My friend Sheri was told she has thyroid cancer, and most recently, my friend and counselor at Katelyn’s school, Sharon Whitt, is having surgery tomorrow for cancer that has shown up in her abdomen lining and ovaries. Please pray hard for these people. I have felt great victory in my treatment so far. I know that these three friends will find victory as well. I will keep you updated.

Tomorrow is my appointment with Dr. Haley. I have many questions to ask concerning my future treatment. But I am sure I will forget some, so if you want to respond with a question I should ask, feel free! I also received a call that my results of the genetic test are in, so I will find out that info Thursday as well.

Thank for you praying for me, and thank you for praying for my friends. We can tackle this horrid cancer by banding together, helping to meet each other’s needs, and joining in prayer, prayer, prayer. You are all awesome and a big blessing to us.

Monday, July 11, 2005

I just got back from my having a Gully Washer 7.11 oz Slurpee. I have no idea why they called it Gully Washer, but it was good and now I feel even better knowing that 7-11 is again doing their free aniversary Slurpees today. Jess and I are excited about this Thursday because Dr. Haley is going to talk about treatment options now that we are down to two tumors. Jess is also going to get her 5th round of chemo on the 14th. Personally, I think we should give the tumors names. Not nice ones, but mean ones like Damien or Cruella-- however Jess is opposed to the idea so they will be forever namelss the rest of their (hopefully short) lives. Before this idea when they were lots of tumors, I had the idea (and this one I am completely joking about this obne) that each person praying for us could pick a different tumor. Then when the tumor went away we would put a tatoo (or possibly with a permanent marker) the name of the person that prayed for the tumor. Although we didn't do this (of course) both of us really do appreciate you praying for us-- it makes all the difference.

Thursday, July 7, 2005

Judy's Birthday

Jessica her grandmother and aunt all conspired against my mother-in-love (Judy Burcie) yesterday. They told her they were going shopping in Hillsborough, but kept on driving in their kidnapping scheme all the way to San Antonio. Their plans included facials, sampling of Judy's favorite chocolates, and they had room service bring her cheese and crackers (which she really likes) upon her arrival to the hotel (this is something Jess picked up from her other set of parents when they spoiled us with chocolate stawberries and sparkling cider when we checked in our hotel earlier this year). Their celebrating mom's birthday there today and coming back tomorrow.

On the home front Jadyn scored a hat trick in soccer yesterday. Well, almost. She scored a goal, had another one batted away by an overzealous parent (they let parents on the field to help-- but his isn't what they had in mind), and finally Jadyn kicked one into her own goal. I am very proud of her, and Katelyn too who stole the ball last night at her basketball game and then made a basket.

I didn't mention this yesterday, but I really appreciate all of you who like Jay Graham have taken upon yourself to pray for us. Thank you. To me, the most important part of this web site is letting you know what to pray for be that by the prayer calendar or from our updates. If you think about it today you can also pray for Jeremy Butler (one of the college students we taught in our Sunday night bible study this Spring) who had a cornia transplant today.

Also, on something completely random, for those of you who really like Slurpees (like I do) July 11th (7-11-05) is coming up next week and 7-11 has been giving away free slurpees on 7-11 the last few years.

Wednesday, July 6, 2005

July Prayer Calendar

Monday we went to a small, family-friendly festival and fireworks showin Azle. The drive was about an hour but it was very much worth it. It was fun for me to see how much Jadyn and Bryn took delight in everything we did (bounce houses, puppet shows, etc.). Yesterday Jess was able to show off her much improved volleyball serve. It won't be long before she gets some aces. Jadyn has her second soccer game tonight and she is very excited (so am I).

Here is the prayer calendar for this month:

1st Pray for blood count to increase Luke 17:19

2nd Pray that there will be anxiousness Psalm 94:19

3rd Pray for peace within in their household Psalm 119:165

4th Pray that they seek the Lord to sustain them Isaiah 46:4

5th Pray for continued miraculous effective chemo treatments John 2:23

6th Pray for strength Isaiah 40:29-31

7th Pray for Jake and Jess’s relationship to strengthen Philippians 1:27

8th Pray that doubts and fears will be dispelled Isaiah 41:3

9th Pray that they will continue to fix their eyes on Jesus Hebrews 12:2

10th Pray for healing Malachi 4:2

11th Pray for wisdom of the doctors and any treatment plans Proverbs 2:10-11

12th Pray for rest Psalm 91:1

13th Pray that their rough places will be made smooth Isaiah 42:16

14th Pray that the Kaylor’s faith will continue to grow Acts 3:16

15th Pray that the girls will live together in unity Psalm 133:1

16th Pray that Jake, Jess and the girls will receive hope in each day through God’s word Romans 15:4

17th Pray that they will feel God’s love Romans 2:5

18th Pray that their stress will quickly be removed and replaced with joy Psalm 30:11

19th Pray for healing Isaiah 57:18b-19

20th Pray that the days after chemo will be better and Jess will be strengthened Psalm 22:19

21st Pray that Jake will be able to cast all of his cares on the Lord Psalm 55:22

22nd Pray for perseverance James 1:2-3

23rd Pray for rest for the entire family Matthew 11:28

24th Pray the Kaylors will rely on God Psalm 71:6

25th Pray that they will receive all the help they need Isaiah 58:11

26th Pray that they will have a renewed spirit each day 2 Cor 4:16

27th Pray that the armor of God will be placed on them daily Ephesians 6:10-18

28th Pray that the girls will obey Jake and Jess Ephesians 6:1-3

29th Pray for healing Matthew 11:5

30th Pray that their faith will be strengthened Romans 4:20-21

31st Pray for rest Psalm 62:5

Saturday, July 2, 2005

Shut Eye

The prayer calendar for July is coming-- it should be posted by Monday afternoon. After the awesome news earlier this week Jess has had a pretty uneventful week (and for those of you who are new to our story-- that is a very good thing). Jessa's dad from Portland this week and that has been an awesome thing for a number of reasons. Jadyn and Bryn have grown increasingly attached to them (I think he may have read to Bryn for about thirty minutes in one sitting). Katelyn loves doing fun stuff with him. He has helped me on a number of house projects. And he spoils Jess like crazy.

Although I did get Jess a box fan to help keep her cool and therefore sleep better and burned another sleep CD with just the good tracts on it, the credit goes to medicine she is now taking to help her go to sleep. I for one am sleeping great! I think our bed feels very comfortable now, and I am now using the pillow Jess didn't like complete with allergen barrier. I have also been getting some "shut-eye" in a negative way: I got a tear duct infection in my eye on Wednesday and the swelling is just now going down. For a little while I could have passed Jess off as the next great woman boxer, but my eye is almost looking normal now.

Jessa's fifth round of chemo is on the fourteenth.