Thursday, April 24, 2008

Kelsey Update

Many of you have been praying Kelsey Harris for the past few weeks and the family greatly appreciates all of you! If you missed the first post, you can click here to catch up.

I recently received an update on Kelsey and before I shared it on the blog, I wanted to get permission from her family. Here's the email I received from Teresa Harris regarding her daughter, Kelsey:

This has been an important week for us. Kelsey finished her radiation on Tuesday. She had a total of thirty treatments. We had thought it would be 33. There are two protocols for her type of tumor, and one has 33 radiation treatments and one has 30. We thought we were the 33 protocol, but we are the 30. Though she is finished with radiation, it will still work in her brain for a couple of months, so she will still see benefits from it. The side effects have been worse this week. She has been tired and has had some nausea and throwing up, but she is making it okay. She has a very small appetite, and if she eats a little too much it has bad consequences. The radiation technicians gave her some balloons and a t-shirt that says "Operation Radiation-Mission Accomplished" on the day she was finished. Simon and Kelsey told the child life specialist for that department that they thought "Radiation Cessation Celebration" would also be a good name!! We are blessed that her side effects have not been worse. One little fellow who has been getting radiation at the same time as Kelsey is now an in-patient because of dehydration and another little one has an awful radiation burn on the front of his face. Both of those little ones also lost a lot of hair, but Kelsey didn't. That meant a lot to her.

Today she had a two-hour MRI. We were able to see the nurse practitioner after to get some results. We give glory to the Lord. The tumor has not grown or spread, but even seems smaller. There is no sign of swelling or bleeding. We are so grateful. Each MRI is so important and it is difficult anticipating the results. She will have these MRIs every two months. The next one will be the one where they will truly gage the effectiveness of the radiation. We continue the chemo daily. She had an echocardiogram this week to make sure the chemo has not been bad to her heart and we are pleased that it was normal. It is so important for her to continue with this chemo. Her blood pressure has been higher. Hopefully it will level out. If it gets too high, they will put her on blood pressure medicine and if that works they won't stop the chemo.

Today we saw three families who are just beginning their journey here at St Jude. We recognize and so empathize with the overwhelmed looks on their faces and the tears on their cheeks. Being in a place where every child is sick and facing a life threatening illness really puts things into perspective. You can't say why my child, when you see one barely walking who has a scar in the same area as your child. You can't say, my child is sick-I have to see the doctor right now, when you see a rail thin child with pale green color and an oxygen tank. You can't say, I wish my child could walk like she used to when a young man with a prosthetic leg is taking physical therapy across from her. It is comforting to know God is watching all these children.

God bless them all,
Simon and Teresa

As you can see, the LORD is blessing them and their attitude is contagious! This family still has a long road ahead. Please continue to left them up in prayer!

Take care,
Ryan

3 comments:

blondie said...

We have been praying, and continue to do so for this special family. What a wonderful testimony they have had throughout this entire process! Her closing remarks were a wake up call to all of us, and especially me the next time I whine about anything.........I'm going to try to keep those words in the front of my mind and have the same attitude as they have. Thank you to the Harris family and to you, Ryan, for sharing this story. It has truly been a blessing to me.

Anonymous said...

Ryan,
Thanks for the update. She was on my mind. I know of a family here in Montgomery whose daughter had the same tumor. It is a tough cancer to have.

Thanks,
Beth

PS If doing the weather doesn't work out you can always work at Express Oil.

Anonymous said...

Does Kelsey have a carepage? i would love to read it if she does. if she doesn't, and if you don't know what it is, here is a little bit about it. the site is www.carepages.com. i started reading it when my aunt had cancer. instead of calling everyone or emailing everyone, she would do an update in her carepage. then every member of her carepage would receive an email stating that it has been updated, and you can read the update whenever. she passed away a year ago. but i'm still a member. there are others that i follow. if kelsey doesn't have a carepage, and her family is interested in having one, let them know about it please. and if she does have one, please let us know what the name of it is. thanks for giving us an update. i'm so happy to hear that the tumor isn't getting bigger or changing in a bad way, but actually seems smaller! that is very good news!