Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Merry Christmas!

OK, so I'm little late. We have dial-up, what can I say. More about that at the end of this post.

Let me add to my last post that not only did we have an ice storm on the day of our wedding, but one of my groomsman came down with a sudden case of diarhea-- right before the guys were supposed to enter the sanctuary. Thankfully we had a good pianist who covered for us while he ran to the bathroom.

My Christmas present is that my mom came down from Maryland for Christmas and my brother is coming tomorrow. Jadyn and Bryn were the perfect age for Christmas this year-- they were just as excited about putting presents under the tree from packages as they were about opening them Christmas day. Jess did a wonderful job assisting Santa via Ebay as she found a stuffed kitten for Bryn. The thing is Bryn had made a stuffed kitten at Build-a-Bear but it went away during one of the girls' Give-Away/Throw-Away days. Well, Bryn asked Santa to bring the kitten back, and we were in a quandry as #1 it was the only thing she asked for and #2 Build-a-Bear no longer makes this particular stuffed animal. Jess did a marvelous job of finding one and having it shipped just in time for Christmas. We almost a scare though when Bryn looked sadly at the kitten and said unlike her last kitten "It doesn't meow." However, after I frantically squezed, punched, prodded, and trampled the kitten that it does indeed meow--just for some reason-- the noise maker is in the kitten's thigh. I have a new favorite Bryn line-- courtesy of Christmas day. She was very excited about getting a Dora scooter from Santa-- she hadn't asked Santa for it. With a big smile on her face she turned to me and said, "Daddy... I didn't even order it!"

Jess has a treatment this week on Thursday-- no Christmas break for her. I think the new laptop she bought last week with her birthday money (back in September) and the DSL we are getting (for cheaper than our current phone bill) will cheer her up. Oh yeah, and there is the fact that hundreds (if not thousands of people) pray for her-- that's a pretty good Christams present. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Joyful Days

Today is Jess and my 8 year anniversary. Tonight we are going to dine in high style at Three Forks restaraunt. Even the gift card we got to there is classy-- it's a huge gold-colored coin. I think of our wedding as one that almost didn't happen. First of all our minister, Barbara, found out she had breast cancer and started undergoing chemo therapy. It seemed to me that she wouldn't have the strength to perform our wedding, but she did complete with wig and a smile on her face. Then, Jess rear-ended someone on the way to the wedding, crumpling the front end of her now barely driveable car. Amazingly, when the other car found out she was going to her wedding they started appologizing to her. There's further proof I have a charming wife. As for me, my alternator went out in my car and my best friend and I were stranded on I-35 in Dallas. We wouldn't have made it except Aunt Sandy spotted us and gave us a lift. I guess you could say that we have been dealing with adversity from the beginning.

The thing about adversity though is that God raises people to support you. Last year at our faculty Christmas party, Pat Cooper announced that the YJH staff had raised money for a new mattress (Jessa wasn't sleeping well because of back pain). However, when went to go buy one, Matress Giant decided to give a great matress to us so that we could use the money raised for other things. I'm getting tears in my eyes just thinking about all those caring people. Would you believe the YJH faculty did it again this year? The staff and teachers are very good at keeping secrets-- I had no idea they would do it again last year. The hard thing for me is that I will never be able to outgive those loving people there.

Jess is having her next scan for January 18th. We were trying to get in before the end of the year, so that it wouldn't cost having already met the maximum amount on our insurance. However, when they scheduled it for next year Jess quickly pointed out that each infusion which she gets every two weeks are $5,000.

The neatest thing happened to the Curtis family. A teacher at Wood submitted Aunt Jaque's name to KLTY's (a local radio station) Christmas Wish. If you don't know we lost a fabulous uncle, but Jaque lost a husband when James passed away recently. Well, Jacque's roof has been leaking and her fence is in need of repair. KLTY matched her wish with a local, generous family. The donor lost both parents when she was a child. Now she is donating a new roof and a new fence to the Curtis family. What a blessing.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Busy Bees

I don't know if it's the same thing in your family or not but for us as Christmas approaches we are in "hurry up and rest" mode. I think every activity/school/organization our kids are in has scheduled an end of the year program. I didn't realize how long it had been since we had last posted until both my principal and a fellow teacher told me they were tired of seeing the fall picture and could pretty much recite the last post. Oops, I guess I need to post more. Jess had an appointment today but as she and I have been moving in opposite directions today I only know two things about it. First she forgot her Emla (sp?) Cream. This is the stuff she puts on her skin before they inject the mega-needle for her infusions. For Jess, it is the difference between Wild Natives of Australia running at her and thrusting a spear into her flesh and getting a normal shot. She prefers for it to feel like a normal shot, so she was really, really sad that she didn't have it. Second, her appointment took long enough that she had to endure Dallas bumper-to-bumper traffic. Today could have been a really stressful today except that some precious people did things like pick up our kids, drop them off, fix our car's headlights, and bring us a meal (plus bannana bread). What an awesome church family we have. I think that our Yikes (younger Kaylor kids-- I decided today that when they get to be teenagers I'm going to start calling them Yaks) are getting more hilarious with each today. Today, they started talking about their grandparents and how much they like them. Only their grandparents have temporarily lost their names; today they were referred to as the grandma with a dog (Grandma Cindy), the grandma with Jadyn's color of eyes (Grandma Satterlee), etc. However, my favorite one was the grandpa with hair that looks ALMOST blond... hmmmm... would that be white? I'm not going to say which one that was. Also, I think the girls have noticed the way Jess and I handle things when they get stressed out because somethings wrong-- we usually let them know will try to fix it by saying, "I'll handle it." Well today, the Yikes we're supposed to have cleaned up and the living room looked like it might have been, but then I looked behind the couch. Without missing a beat, Bryn looked right at me and said, "I'll handle it." Then she asked, "What does that mean?"

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Fall Days

Well, we have had quite a hard, busy, long, enduring couple of weeks. We have had a visitation and funeral that we all sat through tearfully and yet still in disbelief. I can still speak for most of our family in saying that it all does not seem possible, much like living in a very bad dream. Reality hit a little over Thanksgiving. We tried to do something vastly different, going out to eat and then to a family movie, but Uncle James was still greatly missing.

We have had several great family days, however. The weather here is beautiful and in the mid 70's. I took pictures of the girls outside and they turned out so precious. This one is one of my favorites. Tonight we will all goes to Six Flags Holiday in the Park, and we have another family meal planned tomorrow after church. We have all enjoyed being together.

Next week, I will go to have a normal treatment of my two drugs, one that will stop blood flow to the tumors in my bone cutting off their supply to grow. The other to strengthen by bones in general. I have not noticed any super human strength in the gym though! It must not help with muscle strength. I see the doctor again in December, where she will order more tests and scans to see how we are doing with this course of treatment. I am feeling well; I just finished my round of chemo pills, which will give me a welcome ten day reprieve of remembering to take them!

I hope you all had nice family time this Thanksgiving. I, for one, have been holding all my family a little closer. I know you have too.

Take care,
 Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 12, 2006

James Lowell Curtis

I am sorry I have not updated sooner. The blog site was down and our family has been quite busy.

My Uncle James passed away from this earthly world and went home to be with his Jesus late Thursday night.

It was, in these last days, what we were expecting. However, expected is not any way to describe the last few weeks. We expected to plan Thanksgiving with James bringing the chocolate cream pies he always makes himself. We expected to have the rubber snake for our annual white elephant gift exchange from Uncle James. We expected to play cards on New Years Eve with his family and take pictures of most of us all falling asleep way too early. No, we did not expect this at all.

But we know that our All-Knowing God did expect this. He knew it all along. He knew the days of James life before one of them came to be. And, we are grateful for the memories and the days that we were able to spend with him. He will be greatly missed here. James’ sweet son Zander said it best when he said he bet his daddy was up playing cards with his Grandma Gamel. I bet he is.

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Moved to hospice care

My aunt Jacque moved uncle James to a lovely hospice facility in Ft. Worth last night. The transport went smoothly and he is very comfortable in his new room. The nurse there last night was wonderful and I know he will be well cared for during these last days.

James will get a bath today, a whirlpool one at that, and I can imagine how good that will feel after being only in a hospital bed for 12 days.

There is a nice area for the family, including a full kitchen to cook meals, a dinning room to eat at, and even a children's area.

Jacque took Zander and Kaylee up to the hospital yesterday to see their daddy for the first time during this hospital stay. I think it went better than they thought it would. Lots of tears, but a good visit.

It is a little final knowing this is the last place James will be. I am confident, however, that it is the right place for him now. James has touched so many lives, even while in the hospital. Every nurse that cares for him is affected by his story. So many nurses and doctors have said that they will go home to their family and hold them tighter, and treasure their time with them more. And, here is another place for him to do just that.

My aunt Diane told a story yesterday of what her husband Mike said. They were in with James and holding his hand, talking to him. Diane turned to Mike and and said, he just is not there is he? Mike said, no, he is not, can't you see...he is holding up Jacque right now.

That is such a clear picture of my aunt Jacque. She is definitely being held up by her heavenly father, and her loving husband. She is so strong. Now I can picture where that strength is coming from. Thank you uncle Mike.

Thank you for holding our family up as well.

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Update on James

We've got to stop meeting like this. Me, crying on the computer. You, reading about a difficult time with our family.

My precious uncle James was taken off life support Saturday. We thought and prayed he would go quickly, but he is still holding on. He is stable and breathing heavily, but he is still with us. They have him on heavy morphine, so he is out. He does not open his eyes like he was before. He just snores :) Jacque said now we all believe her that he does. His brain is so damaged that he will never be James again. And soon, his brain will not remind him to breathe and he will drift off to be with Jesus.

I have come to the place in my heart today to be content with our circumstances. There is nothing more that I want from him than to go to heaven and be free from tubes, hospitals, and get his new healthy body. But I know that in a few days, or weeks, or however long it takes...I will miss not being able to see him every day. I used to want to talk with him and tell him we are here, and praying for him and willing him to fight. Now, I am happy to just sit and be in the same room as him.

However much we will miss him, please pray with our family that his time would come quickly.

I am feeling fine. Tired, physically and emotionally worn out, but fine nonetheless. Jadyn had her birthday party scheduled for Saturday, and we went ahead and had it. It was a fun time. It is good to be five and happy, and Jadyn is both. I am thankful for our close family.

Thanks to all of you for your prayers and support,

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Emotional is not a big enough word

It has been quite an emotional week, and we are just on Wednesday. It feels like it has been (at least) a month.

Every time I let my mind sit too still for a while I start crying. This must count as still, because I am crying right now. It has been hard. Our family is so close, and we are such a part of each other's lives. Our grief is definitely shared among many. But, unfortunately, that does not make it any easier.

I knew my aunt Jacque was strong, but I have never seen such a brave woman. She is amazing. When she looks at my uncle James, she is looking straight into him. I don't know how you can have both sorrow and joy, but when she looks at James, she has both so clearly. She says often that she is so grateful for her time right now, able to look right into his eyes. Able to touch his warm hands, and talk all she wants to him. I am grateful too.

I went to the doctor Monday. It was an all-day affair. It shouldn't have been, it was just a routine visit. They were just backed up. I feel fine, and Dr. Hayley was pleased with my progress. I will see her again in December, when I will have my next round of scans.

Thank you for your prayers, your calls, your offers to help...it is greatly appreciated.


I love this picture of Zander (Curtis). He is looking out onto a sea of 3 Day walkers at the closing ceremonies looking for his aunt Judy. It is hard to see, but he is holding a sign. It says, "I LOVE YOU ANT JUDY". He does love his family so much. He is such a brave little boy. I think he gets that from his Dad.
Jess  Posted by Picasa

3 Day

I am so proud of my mom and sister, Jennifer for walking for a cure. It will happen. It will be exciting if it happens in my lifetime!
Jess Posted by Picasa

3 Day

3 Day walkers finished 60 miles on Sunday!
Jess Posted by Picasa

Happy birthday

Jadyn turned 5 Sunday!
Jess Posted by Picasa

Go cowboys

Katelyn and Corbin on the star at the Dallas Cowboy Stadium for a field trip Friday.
Jess Posted by Picasa

Katelyn's (belated) birthday

Katelyn had her 12th birthday party on Friday night. It was an indoor swim party and she had a great time, albiet a month and a half late! (She is in the middle on the top row.) Posted by Picasa

Halloween Fun...with updates

The cousins had so much fun trick-or-treating together. They took turns (fought!) to push the door bell, sqeezed each other for a better candy position at the door, and ran from house to house, but when the door opened, they were all in one accord: "Trick or treat...thank you" they would yell to each neighbor. I love that our family is so close. They are growing up together...my biggest wish for them.

Please continue to lift up our family in prayer. James's EEG yesterday was not what he were wanting or expecting. He has damage to both front and rear lobes of the breain. His is on life support now and we are praying hard for him to wake up and be our miracle. But, really he already is. For he has lived each moment well, he is the hero of his wife and kids, he is a fighter, and he is a HUGE part of our family. Thank you for praying.

My grandpa was admitted into the hospital last night for low blood pressure. We just need our family to come home.

Jess Posted by Picasa

Halloween Fun!

Halloween Cousins: Zander, Bryn, Jadyn, Kaylee, and Austin...or Power Ranger, Sheep, Little Bo Peep, Minnie Mouse, and Karate Kid!
 Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 29, 2006

This is an urgent prayer request. These are the precious children of my Aunt Jacque and Uncle James. Their names are Zander and Kaylee. I need you to pray for their daddy. He has been in ICU since Friday due to a severe allergic reaction to a dye used in a routine test. Because of that reaction, he was in cardiac arrest and is now unconscious. He is making progress each day! Tomorrow, he will have an EEG (brain function test) as he might have been without oxygen for up to 15 minutes. We know that James will be waking up and coming home. Please pray this with us. Jeremiah 33:3 "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know." and Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." Thank you for praying for my family. You are awesome prayer warriors. I believe in miracles. I see them happen every day. I also witnessed miracles watching the Breast Cancer 3 Day closing ceremonies. I will post pictures and their story tomorrow. But, right now, please pray for James... Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Go Young!

I just got back from watching my school win the city football championship. Go Young Eagles!

This weekend is the Three Day. I know there are many people walking for Jessica including our family's team. I think it has been incredible experience for them: training and raising money together. Young's football coach, Keith Sherril, has a motto for his team, "Do it right and do it together." That's just what they've done. My mother-in-love told me that she has loved getting ready for this weekend and the only bad thing is it has to end.

Jess has been having good days and bad days-- mostly good ones. She has kept up her exercise regiment (five days a week at five o'clock) for nearly 12 weeks now. Some nights her stomach bothers her a lot and she gets really tired.

Bryn is dressing up as a sheep for Halloween and Jadyn is going to be Little Bo Peep. They look absolutely adorable. I'll post a picture soon of the two of them in all their cuteness.

Monday, October 16, 2006

You Shedn't Do It Alone

I have been working on putting together a shed in our backyard for quite awhile now (I got it for my birthday back in July). Several people have come over and we have put it together a little at a time. So far the foundation and walls are up and now I am slowly putting together the roof. It's not something that can be put together quickly because everything has to line up just right. I think God will do that with our lives if we let him-- if we slow down and do what we're supposed to everything lines up. Jessa's health hasn't gotten any easier (it is always going up and down)-- right now she is dealing with acid reflux-- which has been wiping her out some nights, yet I can see how her life is "lining up" just perfectly.

As has been my habit of late I bring you another funny Yike moment. Jess was in the van with the Yikes when Bryn asked for "Standy." Now, the kids adore Jessa's Aunt Sandy so Jess naturally assumed she was talking about her. Nope. Bryn began to get hysterical when Jess repeatedly didn't understand what in the world she was talking about. Finally the "Standy" mystery was solved. She wanted to hear a song from a VBS CD, "Standy on the promises of God." I don't think I'll hear the line "Standing on the promises of God my savior..." the same way again.

Sunday, October 8, 2006

Bryn asleep during "breakfast for dinner" Posted by Picasa
A sore throat has made the rounds at our house. Jessa's voice sounds the worst of all of us though. If anyone owes you money I will get Jess to call them because she sounds a bit like an Italian mobster.

Katelyn had a soccer game in Weatherford which is about an hour from here. Since I took four other members of her team they got to bond on the way up and back. The soccer fields in Weatherford were the worst I've ever seen. They had a look that despite the lack of cows said, "Cow pasture." Every time one of our girls fell down they came up with a lot of stickers. Even the ball had stickers. On throw-ins it was a little like throwing in a porcupine. On one particular bad spill one of her girls fell flat on her butt in a patchful of briars. There were so many she had to come out of the game. One of the brave moms on our team pulled them out one by without the aid of tweezers. I might be the coach but as far as I'm concerned that mom had more dedication than I will ever have to the team.

Jess decided not to make the trip and stay home with the Yikes. She was a bit worn out and decided to have breakfast for dinner. Bryn was even more worn out though:)

Sunday, October 1, 2006

Facing the Giants

While Katelyn went over to a friend's house Jess and I took Jadyn and Bryn to see the movie Facing the Giants. It wasn't really a kids movie but defintely a movie you can take your whole family to see. This sounds really weird but although the acting wasn't great it's the best movie I've seen this year. The main character is a coach of a high school team that plays the Giants for the championship, but the movie is just as much about him facing his own "giants." We as a family have definetly had giant challenges, but like the main character discovers how we face them is more important than the outcomes of those challenges. If you want to see it done right, look at my wife!

Jess left out an important detail in her posting of the group that came in saw us-- they came over in the pouring rain!

This last week Bryn tried to tell Jess something but Jess didn't hear what she said. When Jess asked her to repeat what she said, Bryn said, "If you're not going to listen the first time than I'm not going to tell you the second time." I wonder where she could have heard that before...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Thanks again! Posted by Picasa
A group of wonderful 3-Day walkers (one of whom works with my dad, Mike at Southwest Airlines) came by Saturday. In their fundraising efforts, they did a basket give-away. The man who won the Mary Kay gift basket offered to give it to me!! So, these precious women (and one very nice young man) walked over as part of their training for the October walk, and delivered this basket. I have started enjoying it already. Thank you! Check out their website at:http://www.the3day.org/dallas06/boobies Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 18, 2006

Good News

Jess got a wonderful b-day present today. It was personally delivered by Dr. Haley today. We were hoping that the full body scan would show that the tumors had not gotten worse, but the news was better than that. Some of the spots are getting better-- they show signs of healing! Yes! Sometimes everyone will chip in a few dollars to get someone a bigger, nicer present. In this case you and lots of others chipped in your prayers for a big, perfect present!

I'm still feeling the lingering effects of a migraine I had this weekend so I am going to bed, but let me leave you with a funny story. Jadyn was sitting with me watching Bryn try to write jer alphabet letters. They have mostly been looking like scribble scrabble, but she did really well on her P's. Jadyn gushed to her little sister, "Bryn you're a great 'P'er." You might have to say this one out loud to get it.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Results from the MRI

The MRI on Jessa's back showed that she had been treated with radiation and that she has a bulging disk (whatever that is) and a Schmorl's node (I had an even less of a clue what this was so I looked it up but I still don't know-- I wasn't able to translate the medical jargon). However, the scan revealed no pinched nerve so we're still not sure what is causing the painfullness in Jessa's skin.

I'm not keeping the results from the bone scan from you-- we haven't gotten them back yet-- Jess or I will post when we get them.

I don't have a funny story to share with you about Bryn, but I do about Jadyn. Tonight she announced at bedtime that she was the "middlest"-- Bryn and Katelyn have no hope of ever claiming that distinction.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Happy Birthday Katelyn

We have a string of birthdays in September: my dad turned 49 on the 9th (yes, he's a young'n), Katelyn turned 12 today, Jessa's brother Garett turns 23 tomorrow, and Jess turns 31 one week from today. I think Katelyn must be the most popular girl on the planet because there was a constant stream of phone calls today for her wishing her a happy birthday.

Speaking of popularity, you faithful readers make our family feel like the most loved family in the whole world. It's pretty neat to think that there will be 50,000 hits soon from the year and a half we've had this blog. That translates into a ton of prayers as I know many of you pray specifically for our family based on what you read here.

Jess has been feeling a band of pain from her stomach all the way around to her back. In her words it feels like a bad sun burn, but her skin looks perfectly normal. Dr. Haley is out of the country vactioning in Italy (yes oncologists need a break too), so Jess went to see her regular physician. She hasn't seen Dr. Kobet since 2002 because before the cancer she was one of the healthiest people I know. He thinks it may be a pinched nerve; Jess is having an MRI Wednesday night to get it checked out. Incidentally, that will be the day after her big scan tomorrow. Tomorrow she is getting a bone scan that will tell us the status of her tumors.

Although Bryn hasn't done anything hysterical this week I do have one small story that happened tonight when the girls were supposed to be in bed. I heard voices coming from the Yikes' (younger Kaylor Kids for you new to the blog) room. Jadyn was yelling, "Bryn's out of bed! Bryn's out of bed!" Bryn flung open the door to her room and ran into the living room yelling, "She's lying! She's lying!"

Sunday, September 3, 2006

Almost Labor Day

My sister Sarah gave birth on the 31st to Vannessa Chloe Maxted. I think it would have been funny if Sarah had given birth to Vanessa a week later on labor day, but I'm pretty sure Sarah wouldn't have found being preganant a week longer as funny.

Jessa's hair has come in very curly-- as it is getting longer it the curls are starting to turn into perfect ringlets. Jess met with her student teachers last week. She found out that one of the schools is further than she thought about an hour from her house, but the school is about twenty-five minutes from where Jess gets her cancer treatments so she will head to that school after her treatments. Jess is scheduled for a scan this month. I appreciate you praying for us as a family. God knows what we will need better than we do and loves providing for us, so keep it up!

Last night Bryn's foot touched Jadyn's face while they were laying down next to each other. Jadyn turned to her in disgust and said, "Your foot's gross!" Bryn turned to me and said "Look at my foot, it growed!"

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Another baby Kaylor is on the way

Actually it's a baby Maxted, but since it is my sister giving birth: baby Vanessa Chloe will be a flesh and blood Kaylor. I think Sarah finally realized I was getting way ahead in the daughter race (3-0) and realized she better jump on the band wagon before my kids were old enough to be her kids' aunts. She is going to be induced next week. You can read about her (and see her pictures dubbed by her as "the incredible expanding Sarah") at http://vanessa-chloe.blogspot.com/

Just a small clarification on Jess she has cancer in her clavicle, but the pain and discomfort she is experiencing in her shoulder is from hurting muscles.

I started playing indoor soccer last month when I turned 30, and got my first injury this last week that wasn't fitness related (that is wasn't related to my sorry self being out of shape). It isn't serious, but I tweaked my knee enough to make it uncomfortable to do any sort of physical activity. This weekend, injured knee and all, I completed an 18 hour soccer coaching clinic ("E" level) in the 90-100 degree weather. I think I got a pretty good taste of what Jess has been experiencing: I could still do what I needed to do, but I experienced a bit of discomfort doing it. The course itself was wonderful: we had a great group of coaches and I think I learned a lot that will help me coach the U-14 girls team I am coaching. I really appreciate the group of guys and gals who came over to our house while I was getting my certification this weekend and helped out a ton with house inside and out.

All three of our kids are loving school. Katelyn adores her teachers and does her homework without having to beg, bribe, or threaten her. Since Jadyn doesn't get to go to school until after lunch, Jess says Jadyn will ask her if they can eat lunch in the morning. Bryn has been learning a little bit of Spanish at Fielder Road and would suffer insanely from jealousy if she didn't get to go to school like Jadyn does. I myself am really liking school as well. I have a great group of kids this year who are both fun and funny.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A fairly calm week


We have had a good week of school activities, meetings, soccer, and yes, doctor's appointments. Everyone has had their first day of school. Katelyn is enjoying all the privileges of being the oldest at her elementary school. She seems to really like her school, and loves her teachers and friends. Jadyn is the youngest at her school, in Pre-K. Jadyn asks every day when we can eat lunch as she knows that each day after lunch, she gets to go to school. Bryn comes home very tired from her school Tuesdays and Thursdays. I ask her what she learns at school and she says...nothing. Then I hear her the very next moment reciting, "uno, dos, tres...uno, dos, tres..." Her teacher used to teach the Spanish program for the school, so I know she is learning this there! It is a great 3 year old program and I am grateful she is able to attend. She has made several friends and comes home wanting to know if she can go to their birthday party or if they can go to hers.

As we were teaching Bryn her teacher’s names, I was repeating them over and over..."Mrs. Neelson and Mrs. Woodson..." When I prompted Bryn to say the names on her own, I said, "Okay, Bryn, it's Mrs..." She yelled "Sippi!" Being a little slow, I repeated, "No, Mrs..." She again said, "Sippi!" I guess I had no idea our three year old knew the state
Mississippi, but she does! She has now gotten her teacher's correct names down.

My doctor's appointment today was just an infusion of my two drugs. I did fine and still have no side effects from this treatment. I see the doctor again in mid-September and go for more scans the first part of September as well. It seems like I just had scans done, but Dr. Haley said it has been 3 months. I take her at her word, all the while wondering where our summer went that I think 3 months ago was 3 weeks!

I still have minor shoulder pain, but am dealing with it through rest and medicine. The continued reminder that it is not cancerous is so beneficial mentally. I know the pain will subside and have started light weight training to strengthen the muscles around my shoulder. Just call me Dr. Kaylor, but I thought it might help.

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Jadyn on her first day of Pre-K; Bryn is along to send her off. They both did fine, but missed being with each other. Posted by Picasa

Katelyn and her new teacher, Mrs. Gunn on the first day of school (all her 6th grade teachers dressed up like they were at the Oscars, and the students were the stars!) Posted by Picasa

Katelyn enjoying her Grandpa Bob and Grandma Cindy in Oregon. Posted by Picasa

Relaxing in Portland,OR on vacation this summer Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 13, 2006

School Starts Tomorrow

Jess and I have agreed for one of us to post at least once a week now that school is starting back up again. Katelyn and I are a little excited about school starting. I would be more excited except that it usually takes me about a week to get back into the swing of things. For those of you who are not teachers it is kind of like having a week to prepare for waking up one morning and finding out that your darling child has been cloned and you now have 120+ kids which take turns (30 or more at a time) rotating through your house.

Jadyn on the other hand is very excited and very ready to start school. She will be going to afternoon Pre-K at Corey. I think the two things she is most excited is her backpack and the outfit she has picked out to wear the first day of school. Her eyes have been shining with excitement followed by extensive giggling whenever the subject of school is brought up.

The other big news in our lives is that Jess got a job with Texas A&M. The job is perfect for her. She is going to be observing four student teachers throughout the metroplex (each one is in a different school district) who all go to A&M. The two great things about this job is Jess will be able to use her degree and classroom experience and get to work with college students (which she loves doing).

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

A happy doctor, and a happy patient

Hi there!
I just went to see Dr. Hayley yesterday. I did not even know I had an appointment, but when I went in for an infusion treatment of Avastin, they said I did. I must have scheduled it a month ago and it just happen to fall on a time I was already scheduled to be there! How convenient. It was great to talk to her because she really helped me resolve some things with my shoulder. She looked over my scans again and did a hard (ouch!) physical exam of my shoulder and does not think it is cancer related at all! Yea!! She had some ideas for the swelling related to activity or my port. Both of which are not going to be treated. She did say massage might help (hint for Jake, Sheltons or Daired's:) Unfortunately, I think she just meant me massaging and icing it myself. I might have to get clarification! I do have a tumor spot on my clavicle causing some swelling, but she said the scans showed that to be so slight, she is not concerned about that either. She gave me some pain meds and I will have new scans in September. I am going to tell myself to get over it! Everyone has some aches and pains associated with....living, not just cancer.

So, my attitude is better, I am feeling good, and we are all going to be okay. (I am adding this line in there, because some people cannot tell how things really are and assume the worst. You can't tell how someone is saying something via a typed message. I am thinking about adding a pod cast, so you can see my smile!)

We are school shopping and trying to get used to a school schedule. I say trying because I am writing this at
7:30 Texas time and I am in a quiet dark house as all the girls are sound asleep. It is that tug of convictions...one, I love a quiet house; two, I know that starting Monday, we will have to be out the door by this hour. My mom took Katelyn out clothes shopping Sunday and I picked Jadyn up some school clothes yesterday, and little Bryn just put her dramatic hand over her eyes, buried her head in the pillow and cried, "What do I get to try on?" Not to worry, a guilty mom will be looking for a cute play outfit today while we are out!

Saturday, August 5, 2006

Ahoy Matey

The tumor at the base of Jessa's collar bone has really started to bug her. It hasn't had much effect on limiting her activities-- it would have to be pretty severe to stop her, but it has had a noticeable effect. She and I have switched sides on the bed because it hurt to roll on her side and snuggle. Please pray that the pain abates.

Katelyn is starting 6th grade the week after next for her last year at Wood. We were also able to financially qualify for Jadyn to got to Pre-K at Corey Elementary (Wood doesn't have Pre-K). Jadyn going to Pre-K is absolutely wonderful because she loves learning. Just about every day we do "homework." We work on letter sounds and do math. Right now we're working on simple addition and the letter "x." I think she is going to do absolutely fabulous in Pre-K. Since Jadyn will be doing Pre-K in the afternoons, Jess is really looking forward to spending some extra time with Bryn. With three girls it's not often she gets one-on-one time with any of them.

Jadyn and Bryn got in a theological discussion a few weeks ago. I don't remember if I've already posted it or not. Jadyn thought that God was able to be everywhere at once (sound doctrine), but she also thought he had two eyes with which he could see everything. Bryn on the other hand thought he could only be in heaven and had only one eye. She covered one eye to demonstrate and said he was a captain. In other words a PIRATE captain. Jess and I of course that this hilariously funny from the funniest person I know, but today Jess found a passage in the bible that talks about God being a captain. I'll have to get her to tell you which one because I don't remember which one. I'm pretty sure however that it doesn't talk about him being a pirate.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Friday, July 28, 2006


We had a wonderful trip family get-away to Portland where we experienced three things foregin to us in Texas this time of year: snow covered mountains, low humidity, and pleasant temperatures. Jessa's dad and stepmom were wonderful hosts and made us feel like family (which is good because we are). Katelyn's favorite thing was a horseback ride, Jadyn's favorite thing was bike riding (she rode on an "alley cat" bike extension that attached to mine), and Bryn's favorite was eating ice cream.
I turned thirty last Friday which is pretty exciting-- I have a whole another decade of things to experience. One of those things was starting soccer Tuesday-- from which my legs are still sore from.
Jess started a brand new medicine on Monday-- one that has just been approved for her type of cancer. This one fights the blood vessels that the cancer cells have created to feed themselves. Pray strong for her as Jess is a strong fighter who needs you to fight alongside her.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The girls together.

All smiles in AZ! Posted by Picasa

Happy Slurpee Day!

It's hard to have a bad day when you can enjoy a 7.11 oz free Slurpee from 7-11 all day long on today 7-11! Jess just spent the last 5 days with her aunts, mom, and grandmother in Scottsdale, Arizona. What an awesome time it is when treatment means facials and spas and not radiation and chemo. The trip I think was really good for Jess. UT-Southwest has goofed a little bit lately: they gave her a wrong scan (she didn't need a bone density scan) and gave her two weeks of radiation on her spine instead of two days on her rib. She also has two unwelcome tumors: one a little bit further up on her spine and one on her left rib. Dr. Haley was not very happy about the goof-ups she has always been adamant that Jess get the best treatment available. Jessica's medicines are going to be switched around a bit: there is a new medicine that has passed the clinical stages and it about to be released in the next few weeks.

We leave tonight for Portland, Oregon for ten days to see family. We are really looking forward to rest and renewal: both Jess and I have been exhausted. I appreciate so much your prayers: there has been a renewed movement of people praying for us the last two weeks. The really cool thing is that it hasn't been orchestrated by us, but rather God has been impressing on several people that now is the time to pray. Nothing is impossible with God, so ask BIG.

Saturday, July 1, 2006

All done!

I received a certificate as I left the radiation office yesterday. It was for completing my radiation therapy treatments!!

I already feel better. I do not know if it is psychological or not, but my stomach feels better too. Jake asked me if it felt good to be done. I said it did, but I do have to make the trek to Dallas two more times next week. One for a muga test on my heart to make sure it is back to post-chemo/radiation condition. And one to meet with Dr. Hayley to hopefully go over all the tests I have been having and follow up with her on my continued treatment. Then, I cannot possibly go to any more appointments as I will be out of town until late July!! Yea :) I will love the break, and the kids are so excited.

During my last week of radiation, my mom would come get the kids and take them for dinner. It was a big help so I could rest after treatment. The girls, however, think it now happens every night. Last night Jake made dinner and Bryn said, "I want to go with grandma. I'll wait."

A cousin of a friend has been on my heart lately, her name is Jennifer. Her cancer is pretty serious; please pray for her, her doctor's and her family.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Radiation Week 2

This past week, I have been going into Dallas each day for radiation treatment. It has been okay. I have realized, however, that when people say radiation is easy, they are comparing it to chemo. It is easy when you think of it that way. But, I guess I was expecting no side effects, so when I came home Monday tired and with a little upset stomach, I was surprised. It is that whole expectations thing; it's all a mind game! I have gotten used to the side effects enough to expect them with a healthy dose of realism. I take it easy in the afternoons (my treatment is always at 2:45) and that seems to help. I have one more week, and I should be done.

My shoulder/neck area has been a little bothersome lately, some days much worse than others. I had a sonogram last week to make sure the vessels around my port were open, and they were. (My shoulder is hurting on my port side.) I have a scheduled bone scan on Wednesday so the doctors are having me wait until then to see what the scan looks like. Please pray for relief.

Speaking of relief...thank you for all your prayers concerning my feet issues. The chemo pills I take have a hand/foot disease symptom that made my feet feel bruised and numb. But, this week, I have had very little discomfort. Hardly any, actually! That is a big praise and answered prayer as I know many of you were praying specifically for this.

We had a great weekend with Jake's mother and sister coming down for a visit. It was wonderful to see them, and the girls had so much fun with new faces to entertain and play with. I don't think Sarah (Jake's sister) told them no once during the trip. This says a lot when after a full day of activities, children's museum visits, shopping, etc...Jadyn still wants to go play outside in 95+ degree hot Texas heat. (Did I mention that Sarah is 6 months pregnant!?) Still, she answered the girls every whim of cards, dress up, books, playing.... Grandma Satterlee made us yummy homemade tortillas for tacos and pizza from scratch too. Yummy! They left early this morning.

As we were on our way to church, Bryn said loudly, "Wait!" I quickly turned to see what was wrong and she said, "We forgot to see Sarah's baby come out!" I guess we will have to wait 3 more months for that.

Sorry for not writing in so long. Hope you have a great week. We will keep you posted.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

All marked up

Just a quick note today...

I went to the radiation oncologist yesterday to have my scan and get marked up. I thought that it would be a small blue freckle tattoo, and it was. But, you cannot see the tattoo as it is covered by big sharpie marker marks. I have about 10 marks on my body to line me up for the x-ray and treatment next week. And just so the marker would not wear off, they stuck tape on each mark!

The facility was great and all the technitions and doctors were so supportive as they explained each step to me. I feel very fortunate to be in good hands.

Well off to VBS...

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Guy Week

Katelyn went to Ferdie's Soccer Magic Camp in McKinney last week. It really helped on her foot skills. In fact when she came home she taught them to me. I plan on teaching them to Jadyn's new soccer team in the fall (she is moving to on all girls team with Arlington Soccer Association in the fall). Also, Katelyn and I will both teach them to her team in the fall. Katelyn will be a great teacher if she decides to do that as a career-- she has a knack for explaining things. I started summer school last week and so far it is been pretty easy. I think it is all about expectation: I expected my first year of teaching summer school at the junior high level to be really hard; if I had expected them to be the best-behaved, most industrious kids I might be pulling my hair out right now.

Jess didn't want to make the hour and half trip each way to McKinney, so she and the kids spent the week in a hotel. I think Jess might have fallen in love with McKinney, it has excellent parks, good shopping, and victorian style housing. My mom came into town for a short stay on the way back from a conference to spend the middle of the week with them. I made a few trips out there during the week, but for most of the week I had the benefit of an all guy house. Most nights went something like this what movie should I watch... hmm... action movie. At least for a little while our tv was void of Barbie, My Little Pony, and Care Bears. I really enjoyed some time to myself, but I was glad when they came home Friday.

Jess will have a scan this week. It won't determine the size of her tumors, but rather it will be a scan to help them determine how and where to radiate. We are little nervous about doing something unknown-- even with assurances from people who have been through it before.

A friend of ours (Jeremy) brought a keg over tonight and we're going to let the kids have some. Of course it's just Virgil's Cream Soda. I didn't even know they put soda in kegs, but I can't wait to try some.

I'm sorry for the long wait for the blog this week. Keep praying for us.

Saturday, June 3, 2006

X-Ray vision

Hi all!

Well, chemo just was not enough. I thought that, after all, if I am going to go through with this whole cancer saga, I might as well feel what radiation is like! I wouldn’t want to miss out on anything. Okay, well that is not really how it went…

I went to the radiology oncologist yesterday. Her name is Ann Spankler, and she has one of the best bed side manners of any doctor I have seen. She sat and talked with me for the longest time, answering all my questions with ease. She did not use one “doctor-ese” term, just explained the procedure, benefits, and side effects very clearly.

She has recommended that I have two rounds of radiation on my lower back and spine. Her goal would be killing the cancer cells that have accumulated and ease my back pain. It is a very small area to radiate (about the size of my fist) and so my side effects would be minimal. She mentioned nausea and tiredness, but said she would not be surprised if I had little to no side effects. When they scan and map out the area on my back they want to work on, they will tattoo a small blue dot that is the size of a freckle on me to pinpoint the area to radiate. My friend reminded my that my skimpy bikini would be out for the summer. I am so dissapointed, maybe next year! ha, ha...

It is a preventative procedure, so I have a lot of say into when and if I do it. I think after talking to Dr. Spankler and my family, it makes sense to start. It will try to begin my treatment the last two weeks in June. It will be Monday-Friday each week. She said from the time I make it into the office, the procedure should only take 15 minutes. She doesn’t know, however, that it will take 2 hours and 15 minutes because of my commute into her office! At first, I was dragging my feet at the prospect of driving all that way for 15 minutes, but after meeting with this doctor, I can’t imagine going elsewhere. And, it is only for 2 weeks. God is clearly in control. I like the new Carrie Underwood song, “Jesus, take the wheel.” I’ll be saying that literally as I make the commute. I know the people that drive into Dallas every day are rolling their eyes. Sorry, I’m spoiled with most of my life being so close by.

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers; it was a very clarifying and good appointment. I will keep you updated on the progress.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

School's Out for Summer

It feels great to be out of school for the summer. Other than Thursday I'm off the whole week and then I start teaching 8th grade English in summer school only for the month of June. I'm glad I'm off this week especially because Jess has a radiation consultation on Friday, so she can start radiation. The tumor that is going to be treated is on her back but not on her spine. It's actually the one on her rib and although you might normally think of your ribs as just being in the front of your body the tumor is on the backside of her rib. As far as I know the radiation isn't going to completely eliminate the tumor, but it should make her back start to feel a lot better.

It is already been a nuts week already for us. My car died on the way back from a YMCA waterpark in Fort Worth. I sent Katelyn into the convenience store to get some drinks for her and Jadyn (Bryn had already crashed) and didn't think about my wallet I had given her until much later. Jess came and picked me up and dropped me off at the house. When I realized my wallet was gone I made several trips back to the car: to the search my car, to talk to the convenience store clerk, even to scour a dumpster (Katelyn thought I might have thrown it away when I threw away the drink bottles). By my third trip up to my car I was furious with Katelyn. I got home Jess was still out and Katelyn with her. I was scouring the cabinets for something to eat when both Jadyn and Bryn had an accident in the kitchen. Very frustrated, I cleaned it up and made dinner (cream of mushroom soup and spaghetti noodls). As I was eating dinner God told me "Even if Katelyn finds your wallet, you won't forgive her." Realizing He was right I told him right back that I would forgive if her even if she didn't. Immediately the phone began to ring. It was Katelyn; she had found my wallet... under her foot.

Bryn has been her normal funny self. Bryn was wearing her Mini-Mouse costume (playing dress up is the yikes favorite activity) and playing with toys. Unfortunately she made a big mess. I asked her who made the big mess. She looked down at the mess and said, "Micky did it." Then when Jess took the girls out to eat at Chick-Fil-A, Jadyn and Bryn made some friends. Jadyn told Jess the name of her new friend. Then Jess asked Bryn what the name of her friend was. Bryn said, "I named my boy Jack."

Thank you for waiting for this post. Either Jess or I will post another one on Friday and talk about radiation and her next scan.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Latest news

Hi there!

I went to the doctor on Wednesday for a routine follow-up and treatment. My treatment will stay the same and Dr. Hayley saw no new "bumps" (as a friend's children call them!). I told her my back had been hurting and since I had the same symptom on my last visit, she sent me for an x-ray after my appointment.

It showed that there was accumulation of cancer cells on my last rib. It is not a new spot, just an active one. So, she suggested I have a few rounds of radiation on my back. It would alleviate pain and diminish the cells. I will let you know when that new adventure begins. I am not too nervous. I have heard of some side effects of radiation, but those have all been from women that have had 30+ rounds. I get the impression it will just be a couple (2-3).

We have had a busy weekend. I got to go see a movie with some friends Friday. Saturday after church, my mom watched the girls so Jake and I could have a much needed date night. We went to see the local high school musical, The Boyfriend, (which was phenomenal) and out to dinner.

The girls are all happy and well, keeping us laughing all day long. School is out Thursday for Jake and Katelyn so we are all anticipating a good, long break.

Monday, May 15, 2006

3 Day Walkers and Jessica Front row: Cousin Mandy, Jessica, Aunt Dianne; Back row: Mother Judy, Aunt Sandy, Sister Jennifer (not pictured: E.J.) Posted by Picasa

Ponies, Trampolines, and 60 miles

I was playing a My Little Pony matching game tonight with Jadyn and Bryn when I realized what an unfair adavantage they had over me. The object of the game is to match the two My Little Ponies that look alike together. Since they are all practically various shades of pinks and purples the only chance I had of matching them together was took look at the very small tushy tattoo they each have. Needless to say Jadyn and Bryn did a much better job of distinguishing "Sweetberry" (what in the world does that tatto look like) from Wisiteria (again no idea what that tatto is suppose to be) than I did. It's times like these when I realize Jadyn knows not only all of the Little Pony names, but also every stuff animal's name (including the last several names it has gone through) that I wonder why it is so dificult to memorize the times tables.

Jessa's dear friend Allyson's husband knew someone at work that was trying to get rid of a trampoline complete with safety fence (or whatever they call the WWF-like ring that is supposed to make it safer). I called up a friend at the last minute to help me and we lugged it over to our place (amazingly only about a block away) (thank you Claudio!). The only thing I wonder is with Bryn's medical track record is if the medical insurance knew would they still be willing to insure her?

Finally, I am posting the link to the 3-Day walkers who are walking in honor of Jess. It is:
Obviously you will need to cut and paste it, but you can also go to Aunt Jacque's link www.the3day.org/dallas06/jacquecurtis. I still cannot grasp what it is like to go 60 miles in 4 days.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Jess and her brother Garett at his graduation from Texas A&M University! Posted by Picasa

Happy Mother's Day

I wish all the mothers in my life a happy mother's day! Last mother's day, I was in the hospital with a blood clot and infection. I feel so blessed and fortunate to be with my family at home today! Last year, the women in my family came up to the hospital to celebrate with me. This year, we are having a beautiful brunch, with much of the local family planning to come. I will try to get a picture to post. We went out to dinner with some friends last night and the mom said, "Happy Mother's Day" as we left. Bryn took my hand and asked, "What is Happy Mother's Day?" I told her Happy Mother's Day is when you say you love me very much. Bryn said, "I love you very much!" I love you all, too!

Over the last few weeks I have had the opportunity to attend three college graduations. They have been so special. My friends from the college group at our church, Jessica and Chanel, and my brother, Garett all were beaming with their latest accomplishments. I am so very proud of them all. I will be excited to watch the wonderful opportunities for them in the coming months.

I am feeling fine lately. I have a routine appointment with Dr. Haley Wednesday. I think it is time to schedule scans for later in the month. I will ask her about them. I then get a treatment afterwards.

The end of the school year has brings awards ceremonies, field days, class parties, fun summer plans...I am very grateful to be such a part of them all this year.

Much love,

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Prayer Still Needed

Most of the time now when people ask about how Jess is still doing I mention the positive that Jess has an amazing attitude of charging through and getting the most out of life, and I also mention the negative that Jessica's feet still hurt. Actually yesterday Jess woke up in the morning pain-free in her feet; unfortunately, she started back on her medicine last night. One of the neatest transformations Jess has gone through in the last year is that her attitude now is that her life is more about the people in than it is about herself. This means accepting help from others so that they can rejoice and struggle right alongside her, but it also means giving of herself. The neatest example of this is the ministry she has started and grown Backpack For Kids. This is a program run by individuals (most of whom go to our church, LABC) for kids who recieve free lunches at school, but are going hungry on weekends. Those kids get a backpack of food to take home for the weekend. It's funded by the same individuals who get the backpacks ready, but recently one of the school's PTA made a big donation.

The biggest thing Jess needs now is prayer. She still needs prayer that the tumors do not increase in size and number. She needs prayer that she will go into remission. She needs prayer to "keep on keeping on." If you can think of it she needs prayer for it. The reason I mention it is she needs just as much prayer now as she did a year ago. Personally, I need to be reminded of that because sometimes it seems like the need isn't as great after surviving the first year with cancer.

Thursday, May 4, 2006

Hurry up and Rest

The last two weeks have definitely been on "hurry-up" mode. While activites are ending for the school year (Katelyn's choir, Jadyn and Katelyn's soccer, etc.) other activities are having to be planned for the summer. We are planning on sending Katelyn to one week each of church and soccer camp, Jadyn and Bryn might do swim lessons, Jess is coordinating a group of teachers doing crafts at VBS, and we are planning a trip to Portland. What this means is that the two groups (the one that is ending and the other that is starting) are converging right now and practically suffocating all the down time we have. I appologize to you, dear reader, because the number of posts these last two weeks have dwindled. That may not change until summer so I hope you'll bear with us until then.

Since Judy, Jessica's mom, has been preparing for the three day (speaking of which you were at Austin's birthday and took a digital picture of aunts, cousins, etc. walking in the three day in honor of Jess, if you'll email it to me, I'll post it on the blog) and so Jess has been faithfully waking up early in the morning and walking with Judy. Even though Judy only lives less than a mile away Jess and her haven't got to spend a lot of time together: Judy spends a lot of quality time with the grandkids (Katelyn in particular loves her "grandma fix") This walking together has brought them back closer together again I think. We bought her previous pair of tennis shoes pre-foot-aches (there's a made-up word I never thought I'd use) so we have been looking for a shoe that would help. Jess went to a store for runners called "The Runner" and picked out a nearly perfect pair for her feet. They are a very cute pair of New Ballance with purple "N's." Jess had to special order them so I just picked them up today. Needless to say Jess is very excited-- she gets to try them out tomorrow morning.

Well I'm going to hurry up and get ready for bed.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Doctor's appointments, a stuffed bear, and a real doll all wrapped into one interesting blog update!

I wanted to update you on this past week; it has been a good one! Monday I met with my surgeon, Dr. Euhus. He thought he felt a lump during his routine exam. He thought it was a cyst and sent me for a sonogram. It all came back clear! I tell you this not to worry you, but to tell you what confidence I have in my cautious doctor! I went ahead and asked him if I would ever be on the new drug I heard him talking about on television. He said that it was a drug for people who are at a high risk for getting breast cancer, not for people who already have it. Therefore, I will never have this particular drug.

I had a normal treatment of Herceptin and Xeloda Thursday. The girls went to work with Jake for Take Your Daughter (and Son) to Work Day. They had a great time with their daddy.

Bryn keeps us all laughing all day long. We had one of Jake’s old friends from college and his children visit us over the weekend. We took them to Bass Pro Shop (a huge outdoor store in town). Jadyn and Bryn had never seen so many animals that were stuffed before, so needless to say, their eyes were huge over every bear, deer, and duck that we passed. Two animals were in a pose that showed a bear about to bite a deer. Bryn started yelling “We do not bite! If you bite, you get vinegar!” (We give the girls about a 1/8th of a teaspoon of vinegar if they bite. It goes without saying that they do not bite very much!)

Bryn had her 3rd birthday Wednesday. The time has just flown by. She had a fun day filled with presents, cake and family. Her party is this Sunday. It is a dress up party. My Aunt Diane is coming and is bringing a friend’s daughter to the party. When I told Bryn that her Aunt Diane is bringing a little girl for her to play with, Bryn got a huge smile on her face. She exclaimed, “What do you want to name her?” Not able to withhold my laughter, I said she already had a name, and was not hers to keep. I explained that she was coming to play with her and then go home with her mommy. I guess Bryn thought her Aunt was buying her a real girl! Good luck family trying to top that present!

Jadyn and Katelyn are enjoying their soccer seasons. Katelyn is involved in three choirs and has three end-of-the year concerts within the next three days. We will be kept quite entertained and busy this weekend!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Happy Easter!

We had a lovely Easter weekend with family and friends. Friday, Jake and Katelyn were off school, so the five of us went to an egg hunt and picnic at a park. The kids hunted for eggs, pet animals, and ate a ton of food and candy. Saturday, we attended another fun hunt and party at a friend's house. It was a beautiful day. However, we have had to stay in the shade lately (the weather in Texas had toppled over 100 in the past few days!) On Easter Sunday, we all attended church and listened to my aunt Sandy and mom (Judy) sing in the choir. Then, we headed over to my grandparent's house. We ate and hunted eggs once again. It has been a wonderful, busy weekend. It is so fun to watch little kids when they find an egg (even one that is right in front of them on the lawn--no "hunting" required!)

I am feeling good. My feet are still an issue, but it is fairly minor. I have two appointments next week. One is a three-month follow up with my surgeon and then my normal infusions for the month. I was watching the news about a new drug (a replacement for tamoxifin) that has come out when I saw my very own doctor explaining the drug and results to a study! I love to see my doctor's on the cutting edge of medical findings. I feel so confident in the doctor's I have at UT Southwestern. It makes the drive bearable...although I might be singing a different tune as our gas is so close to $3.00 a gallon that I cringe when filling up!

I am learing in my BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) class about Joseph and his incredible perserverance through such difficult problems. In Genesis 50:20, it says that what man intended for harm, God intended for good, to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. I look back at the year to see such big trials, but God intended them for good. Another thing that impresses my about Joseph is he sees God's blessings in the midst of his hardships. So often, we have to look back at a difficult life event to see God's hand in it, well after the problem is over. I am thankful that during the trials of this year, it has been easy to see his blessings every day.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

The Kaylor family enjoying an Easter hunt and party.  Posted by Picasa

Monday, April 10, 2006

Nice Picture

There are two things I have learned from my wife's recent postings. First if I make a silly face she will post it and second is that after she posts the picture of me making a silly face I will have numerous people coming up to me and saying two simple words: "Nice picture."

Yesterday was my nephew's (Austin) birthday party. Hope, his mom, told my girls to bring their apetites as there was going to be pizza and cake. We didn't think much of it when Jadyn started rummaging through drawers, but then she asked Jess, "Mommy, what's an apple tight? I need to bring one." After explaining what an apetite was she still didn't understand what it was or how she was supposed to bring it, so we finally told her to bring her hungry stomach.

Thursday, April 6, 2006

We were trying to take a serious picture, but Jake, as usual, would not cooperate. He is my fourth child. Posted by Picasa

Doctor Haley...

I had an appointment with Dr. Haley this morning. It was a great appointment. She went over my PET scan results and reinterated that it was a good scan. She said that I might always have "evidence" of cancer in the bone, even though it is healing. She said that cancer in the bone that remains stagnant is what they work towards. That seemed good to me.

Currently I go to get an infusion of a drug called Xeloda which is specifically for the bone disease every 4 weeks and a treatment of Herceptin which is an antibody every 3 weeks. It was getting a little hard to arrange childcare so often as well as make the trek to Dallas. So I asked Dr. Haley if we could combine the treatments, and she agreed. Now, I will only have to go once every 3 weeks. This might not sound like much, but this really halves my appoinments each month, so it means a lot to me. She also gave me an antibiotic for an infection in my big toe (no, I am not joking). Now I can say that Dr. Haley treats me all the way to the tip of my toes.

I have had a great night this evening. Jeremy, Kathryn and Jessica from our old college group came over to visit. It was good to visit and spend time with friends. It is one of my favorite things to do.

I am planning Bryn's birthday party at the end of April and we were going over who to invite. It is basically all family and a few friends, but for some reason Bryn thought she had to choose between Jake or I coming. I did not know what she was thinking about for so long, when she finally said, "I think I'll pick daddy to come to my party." I said that both her daddy and I would be able to come. She said, "Well, okay." I guess it is sweet to have a daddy's girl, but I will be attending the party!

Tuesday, April 4, 2006


Jess is planning another post on Thursday after her visit with Dr. Haley, but I thought you might like to know now how Jadyn's outpatient surgery went. Jadyn is so sweet because this morning before she left for the hospital she told me with a huge smile that she was going to get to eat breakfast after her surgery. Like Jessica she amazes me because she didn't see the bad thing (not getting to eat breakfast in the morning); she only saw the postitive. Once they put Jadyn under they cut two small slits and took out the plastic pins (I was wondering why she hadn't been setting off any metal detectors). The doctor put in stitches on the inside of the cuts-- the kind of stitches that disolve over time and then put a big bandage over the top. The hardest thing on Jadyn (and for that matter Jess) is that the anesthesia made Jadyn's stomach sick and she threw up on the way home. Jadyn would have had her 2nd soccer practice of the season today, but obviously she stayed home. However, she was walking again this afternoon and running by the time it was time to go to bed.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Here I am!

Hi there! I know it has been a while since my last post. I have not had much news lately, but like my aunt said, no news is good news.

I have been feeling okay. My stomach issues are pretty stagnant. Sometimes I feel a little sick to my stomach and I take an acid reducer. My nurse suggested it due to the meds and it does seem to help. My feet continue to be just a minor issue. I am in the midst of my oral chemo treatment, so my feet tend to be sore. It is as if I have been on my feet all day, and it is only 9:00 AM! I have heard of some people on this medicine can barely walk, so my discomfort is definitely minor.

I go see Dr. Haley Thursday. I will ask her more specifics on my last body scan. So, it will be good to just hear the news from her in person. I do not recommend ever reading a radiologist's first impressions before hearing it from your own physician. All the medical jargon looked much worse than reality. She will be able to show me pictures of the scan, which will be helpful. I suspect I will continue on the same plan.

Jadyn has her pins from her hip surgery taken out Tuesday morning. It is just a day surgery, but I am still a little concerned for her comfort and nervousness. She keeps saying to me, "It won't hurt, right mama?" She still loves her scar and will show it to most anyone who asks!

I am so excited for my aunts, sister, mother and cousin that are walking in the Breast Cancer 3Day this October! I am very proud of them all! However, I am a little jealous because I want to be walking with them. If my feet are feeling better, I will try. At the least, I will be able to cheer them on at the pit stops. Maybe I can be the one waving from the massage chair as they pass mile 20! I love you all so much. I will post on here their website so you can donate to their group and watch their progress. And/or maybe one of you can leave the site in a comment to this blog. There are some other dear friends of mine walking also, so when I find out their info I will post that as well. It is such an awesome organization. I don't want any of our daughters to have to live through cancer, and the Susan G. Komen organization funnels millions of dollars into the research that will find a cure. I think it will be within our lifetime too.

Beyond that, he big news in my life is potty training Bryn and not cancer, so that is a good thing. It has been just over a year since my diagnoses, and though I wish I never had to think of cancer again, it is still something I will probably always have to deal with. That said, I am so grateful for the place I am in now....Annie hair and all! It is the peace that passes all understanding where I still stand.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Soccer Season

Note: I originally posted this on 3/28, but it didn't show up on the web page.

Bryn, our youngest is finally acting like herself. She woke up Saturday afternoon from her nap with a 103 fever. It left just as suddenly Sunday morning, but she has been acting like a different girl that the one we know. Bryn is nearly always joyful and is the comedian in our family. She loves to make me and our family laugh. The last two days she has been very "eeyorish" and a little mean. I think of all of us Jess has been the most sympathetic she knows what is like to be feeling not yourself.

Having gotten the all-clear from Jadyn's doctor a few weeks ago, Jadyn is going to get to go to the first soccer practice 0f the season today. Even though Jadyn is moving around wonderfully I am still a little nervous for her. Jadyn on the other hand is very excited. We tried on her size 11 soccer cleats last night only to find out that her foot had outgrown them. I was in disbelief because 1. she had just worn them last season and 2. she still wears a size 11 shoe for her other shoes. With soccer practice coming today Jadyn and I went out shopping for them. Jadyn thought the twelves and thirteens were also too tight so we got a 13.5 soccer cleat. Jadyn was already excited about soccer coming and with the new cleats she is bouncing off walls.

Jess says her stomach is doing OK. Which means, I think, that it is a little bit upset but not a lot (the Tagament helps).

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Yesterday, Jadyn and Jess both had doctors appointment and Jess and I had a speaking engagement. Jadyn's appointment went great-- Jess said it went really quick. Jadyn got an x-ray that looked great according to the doctor: she is healing fabulously. The doctor said that from the x-ray that you could barely tell that she had surgery (of course I think the huge pins would give it away). She got cleared to play soccer just in time for soccer season. Jess had a relatively quick infusion one that the Yikes even went on. She said the girls did great. The best thing is that the doctor was able to give her some help as far as the stomach problems she has been experiencing. She said that she was experiencing acid reflex, yet another side effect of the medicines Jess is taking. The good news is that after Jess took a Tagament last night, immediately she began to feel better.

Jess and I spoke to about 80 or so high schoolers last night at our church. It was pretty neat because I had a lot of them in EFC or in one of my classes. We spoke on what to do in a crisis. Kind of like we do on here we tried to give them the open book version of what we have gone through the past year. I know many of the high schoolers are indeed going through a crisis of their own right now: divorce of their parents, struggling to get along with friends, etc. I hope that God was able to speak through us to them. It certainly felt good after we were done. I think the coolest thing Jess said is something she keeps saying lately: the biggest trial brings the biggest testimony.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Weekly Prayer Calendar

Thank you Terre for putting this together!

Monday - Pray for continued effective treatment for Jess - Psm 41:3

Tuesday - Pray for no anxiousness but instead peace - Phil 4:6-7

Wednesday - Pray for unity between Jake and Jess - Col 3:13-14

Thursday - Pray that Jake and Jess will be strong and courageous - Joshua 1:9

Friday - Pray that God will be their refuge - Psalm 34:8

Saturday - Pray that the entire family will be still in the Lord - Psm 46:10

Sunday - Pray that Kaylors will continue to put their hope in God - Psm 42:5

Sunday, March 19, 2006

A Nice Break

We had a wonderful break. Bryn and Jadyn didn't seem to mind waiting in lines for rides and once they were on the rides they laughed almost non-stop with glee. Jadyn said her favorite things in San Antonio were 6 Flags and getting a snow-cone. Katelyn seemed to have an OK time but she was too scared to ride the big rides and we had to constantly tell her she was too tall to ride most of the little kid rides. Thankfully her cousin Corbin was also in San Antonio and she rode a few bigger rides with him when he came the second day. We got the girls matching t-shirts with green Shamrocks for St. Patrick's Day. My biggest dissapointment was that they don't dye the river green on Saint Patrick's day until after it gets dark and we left before we got to see it. Thankfully the river is pretty much green anyway, so we got to see the algae-induced version. Jessa's feet hurt from all the walking but it wasn't unbearable. We were able to take advantage of the trolly system when we parked downtown on Friday and that helped a lot too.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

A Nice Break

Normally a nice break in the Kaylor house means Bryn has been too adventerous again and is about to get another cast. However this week not only is it Spring Break, but it is also Jessa's week off for chemo treatment. Tomorrow mornig we are leaving, kids and all, for San Antonio. We got the hotel stay cheap on Priceline and our Six Flag (the amusement park in Arlington) passes are also good for Fiesta Texas (the amusement park there), so the only expensive thing will be the gas it takes to get down there.

After I took Jess out last Friday night, she told me what happened on that date a year ago. The doctor had just told her that he thought the lump she had found in her breast was cyst, but that she should get a mamogram just in case. Jess got that mamogram on March 10th. Needless to say she was glad that she had better memories of March 10th this year.

Jadyn is doing great-- she starts soccer next month :)

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Why it's a Good Idea to Trick Your Wife

The biggest news at our house the last part of this week has not come from Jessica or even Jadyn, but little Bryn. Out of the blue on Wednesday she used the potty. Now she's using it every day. It's amazing because she went from never using it to always using it. Our whole family is thrilled. Well almost thrilled. She hasn't quite figured out when she needs to go, so she tries to go all the time. This is not a problem at home, but when Jess took her and Jadyn out of the house yesterday, Jess felt like she spent all of the time in the restroom with Bryn.

Yesterday I tricked my beautiful wife. About two weeks ago, the group of teachers I eat lunch with decided to give Jess and I two gift cards one for a movie and one for dinner. It took awhile to pull it off, but yesterday morning everything was finally in place. That morning I told Jess that I was going to take Jadyn and Bryn to the playground when I took Katelyn to soccer practice. I also told her that I would be bringing home dinner. Jess remarked as she was reading the movie listings in that paper that she would really like to see a particular movie, Failure to Launch, sometime. I acted like I had no interest in it. In reality I was going to drop off Jadyn and Bryn at a friend's house, had already arranged for Katelyn to get picked up from soccer practice and was going to take her to that very movie.

A few glitches happened when I got home however. Jadyn fell and scraped her knee. They were minor scratches, but Jess said "She can stay home with me." Fortunately I talked her out of it. Then good friends of ours called and invited us to dinner with them at 6:30. Katelyn's soccer practice ends at 6:30, so Jess thought we could get there about 6:45 and still have plenty of time to enjoy dinner at Central Market (something we rarely do, but enjoy). I told her no because I didn't think the timing would work. She looked very, very dissapointed but dejectedly said OK. The plan flimsily still intact, I loaded up the kids, dropped off Katelyn at soccer practice, dropped off Jadyn and Bryn, and stopped by the restaraunt to put our name down on the watiting list. I called Jess on the way and asked her if she would be ready to leave if she had to go right then. She said yes, but I didn't answer any of her questions why. I pulled up to the house and a very confused Jessica Lynn comes out. The first thing she does is look in the back of the van and ask, "Where are the kids?" When I told her what was going on she was very delighted. We ended up having a great time at dinner and although it had too much cussing in it we laughed the whole way through the movie.

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Good News

This week an amazing amount of people have been praying whole-heartedly for us. Every day Jess and I ran into people that have emotionally supported us and encouraged us. It has been a hard week for both of us, so this has been much appreciated and needed. We are blessed to have you all online, rejoicing with us in good news and praying for change when we have bad.

I have news today of bad news changing to good. Finally, Jess was able to speak with Dr. Barbara Haley (her oncologist) over the phone. It is her opinion that the scan that showed what may have been a significant increase in tumor growth actually shows signs of healing. In other words the tumors are getting better not worse.

Thursday, March 2, 2006

Scan Results

For the first time, Jadyn walked almost normally yesterday. Before yesterday, she was walking like she still had a cast on.

The scan Jess had last week measures the amount of sugar the tumors consume. The more sugar it consumes the bigger the tumor. There are three tumors (I didn't realize she also has one on her rib cage in addition to the one on her lower spine and collar-bone). All three tumors have more than doubled their amount of sugar consumption. There is however a chance that the tumors "flared" as a result of the treatment, but if that's not the case they have grown considerably. Neither Jess or I know how a tumor "flares" but she is planning on asking Dr. Haley soon. We hoping and praying for a clean scan: Jess and I both are very shaken by the news.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

A proud girl for doing her pt exercises
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Jadyn making a "bridge" so Jess can roll a car under
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Jadyn is squeezing a ball with her leg. She makes this pt exercise look like no sweat. Posted by Picasa