Post the First

I have cancer.

I found out about a week ago. It feels unreal, and I do not understand what it means yet. So here are the facts that I can grasp:

  • I have Essential Thrombocythemia, a type of blood cancer.
  • Basically, my bone marrow makes too many platelets. I have three to four times the amount of platelets a normal person has.
  • Normally people my age do not have this type of cancer.
  • Essential Thrombocythemia is treatable. I will start chemotherapy soon.
  • Essential Thrombocythemia is incurable.

It is hard to learn that you have incurable cancer a few months after your 21st birthday, even if it may be decades before it gets very serious. I will likely be taking chemo for the rest of my life. I’m blessed: the type of chemo I need can be taken as pills.  There are other factors that I have not fully processed.

I hope this blog will help me as I try to make sense of this life change. It’s a bit of a relief to talk about it, because keeping it a secret makes things feel even less real. I find myself saying “I have cancer” to myself several times a day. I get overwhelmed at inconvenient times: in the middle of a shift at work or a dear friend’s birthday celebration. I have no idea how things will change over the next months.

I wish that none of this had happened. I wish the Ring…oh wait.

I wish I didn’t have cancer. I wish I could predict what will happen in the next few weeks. Maybe I’ll get sick from the chemo, maybe there’s been a crazy mistake and the doctors are wrong, maybe this won’t be as easy as I hope or as difficult as I fear. But I can’t control much of anything right now.

I do know this, in the midst of all the fear and confusion and uncertainty: God is faithful. I’ve dealt with illness for a large part of my life. Through it all God has given me grace, strength, and courage, and He has surrounded me with people who love and support me. Honestly, I am humbled and blessed by the number of friends and family members who have offered to donate bone marrow to me in the past two weeks. Also, I have the most gracious and supportive employers in the world. As hard as this is, I can’t imagine doing it alone. Whatever happens in the upcoming months, I’ll be using this blog to keep people updated. Please be praying for my family and me when you think of us.

Please bear with me.


6 comments on “Post the First

  1. zrosborn says:

    Dearest Kelley,
    I’ve been praying for you and I will continue praying for you. This verse came to mind as I read your blog: “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” -Galatians 6:2 You are so right; God is faithful. That doesn’t suddenly make everything alright, but His faithfulness will carry you through these tough times. I love you dearly my crazy, snarky, friend and I am sending Colombian prayers heavenward on your behalf. Love you! -Rachel

  2. Lori Zera says:

    Kelley, thank you for being so honest and vulnerable. I pray that you grow in your understanding of the goodness of God and that your suffering will not be wasted. He has an amazing way of redeeming the seemingly crappy things in life!

  3. Aunt Fame says:

    Dearest Kelley, your faith and courage is inspiring to me, to us all. You are loved and we lift you up for healing and comfort. (And, I love that you’re keeping your sense of humor intact through this trial. …the Ring… lol)

  4. Caleb says:

    Hey Kelley,
    I’m so sorry to hear of your affliction, but so blessed to hear of God’s faithfulness in all of this. You are in my thoughts and prayers, friend.

  5. Nina Babcock says:

    Our dearest grand-daughter. So hard this was to hear. Daily you are in our prayers. Everyday new advances are made that something which was incurable is now curable. Until that happens, may our Father embrace you in His arms of love…take away your fears and sustain you through the hard times. Look up towards the heavens and see the guardian angels keeping vigil. Look around and see arms outstretched and hear the prayerful voices. Our prayer is you never feel alone as you reflect on your family and friends that care so much for you and the journey that is ahead for you. It is very difficult to be so far from you at this time but for sure, know our hearts wish we could take this from you. Reserving many hugs until we see you again. Grandma Connie

  6. michele says:

    Kelley I am so sorry to hear of the news. I do wanna say me and my family will be praying for you and your family. Nothing is impossible for God. Keep your head up 🙂 I am here if you ever need a friend.

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