"And now...one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise...Then the God of peace will be with you." -Phillipians 4:8-9

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Reflecting on the year

I must say that I am really looking forward to starting over a brand new year which means that 2009 will be left behind and another year will start fresh, with expectations and hopes for brighter and lighter circumstances in comparison. Overall looking back we have so much to be thankful for, and I know that the Lord has been with us the entire way paving out peace and answering our prayers in so many ways.

2009: We dealt with Kasey's cancer prognosis and 2 major surgeries and recoveries, and with God's grace he dodged chemotherapy and radiation. Every month he has 3 appointments to attend which will continue for the next 3 years which is a sobering reminder of how cancer is evil and could always be present. In the midst of Kasey's recoveries we suffered 2 miscarriages but discovered that we could trust in a promise of more children in our future. I realized this year that no matter what we go through, we are never truly alone, and when we ask for Him to show Himself, the Lord will make His presence known in ways we could never imagine. We learned that we have loving support of many friends and our families, and there is so much to be said about that. And even with some really hard experiences we had so many great laughs and new memories with our close friends and family. There is always something to laugh about, and Kasey can always find it for you! I love that even when we were hurting the most we were still able to laugh.

I have learned that I adore my husband even more than I did on the day of our wedding, and his strength and passion for our family is something that makes me so proud to be with him. We have loved watching little Kenzie grow and learn with her sparkly eyes and growing curls, and are reminded every day what a blessing babies are! The love we have for our children is such a testament to the love that our Father has for us, and I am blown away by that love every single day. With the year drawing to a close we look forward to another baby come late May, and are so thankful beyond words. After so many losses our hearts can look forward to another precious little one, and we can't wait to see Kenzie as a big sister. She has been the best little thing that has come into our lives, and she has brought so much joy with her sweet personality. I will always cherish how she radiates happiness that is infectious, and that is such a gift of the Spirit.

One of my favorite bands has been Barlow Girl for the last several years, and it seems like so much of their music speaks to my heart and helps me connect to God no matter what stage or circumstance I am going through in life. This year I have held on to a very special song which just sums it all up for my heart has felt this year, and I am just going to continue looking for that "Beautiful ending" that has been promised!!

Beautiful Ending

Oh Tragedy has taken so many
Love lost cause they all forgot who you are
And it scares me to think that I would choose my life over You
Oh my selfish heart
divides me from You, it tears us apart,

So Tell me
What is our ending?
Will it be beautiful? So beautiful?
Will my life find me by your side?
Your love is beautiful, so beautiful.

Oh, how do I let myself let go
Of hands that painted the stars and holds tears that fall?
And the pride of my heart makes me forget
It's not me but you
Who makes the heart beat, I'm lost without You
And You're dying for me

So tell me

What is our ending? Will it be beautiful? So beautiful?
Will my life find me by your side?
Your love is beautiful, so beautiful
At the end of it all...I want to be in Your arms
At the end of it all, I want to be in Your arms.
-Barlow Girl
Thank you so much to all of you who supported and loved on our family this year. We could not have made it without every single one of you, and thanks be to God who has brought us to a bright new time with celebration during this time of the year for all of the right reasons.

Merry Christmas and blessings for a very happy year 2010!

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Well it has been so long that I have posted anything I don't really know where to begin! Here are some tidbits from the last 2 months:

Since we wrote last Kasey decided to go under observation and not go through chemo..his next Dr. appointment is this wednesday to monitor him again...in June I ran in the Helvetia half marathon which was such a fun experience that I want to run it every year now as my tradition...we went fishing with papa Dave and Kenzie loved being on his boat...Kenzie also went to the zoo for the first time, and her favorite part was watching the polar bears...we spent a great weekend with Becky and her family at my mom's fishing several weeks ago...we spent a very fun day with our good friends on the 4th of July for a pool party and potluck...we said goodbye to sweet Grandpa Ray as he left to go to Heaven, and his service was this friday and was absolutely amazing in that no one has a doubt where he is now...Kasey has been combining and swathing with harvest in full swing...we have been eating our weight in blueberries from a "secret" row on the farm (thanks Juan for showing us the spot :))...I am loving my biochem online courses to complete my minor in chem with just one more class to go...

We feel so blessed to enjoy every single blessing that comes with each day, and we are enjoying life together.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Chemo Update For Kasey

Yesterday we met with Kasey's oncologist in Salem, and his tumor levels are normal at this time which is awesome! Dr. Pierce does not recommend that Kasey go through chemo, and would like to keep him under observation with blood work for tumor markers and CT scans periodically. He said that he shouldn't go through chemo if he doesn't need to, and that if the cancer does recur he will have the same exact odds of survival if he goes through the chemo now or later which is 96% which is pretty darn good for cancer.
I totally agreed with Dr. Pierce about Kasey not going through chemo, but Kasey still has some doubts over what the best decision is. Because of this Dr. Pierce is having us see Lance Armstrong's oncologist, Dr. Nichols at OHSU for a 2nd opinion to put another opinion on the table. Either way, we are going to wait for several months to make the decision if he does go through chemo. We are trying to get back to baseline with our emotions and stresses, and Kasey would like to go through harvest and summer without worrying about being sick. I am so incredibly thankful that the markers are normal, and I pray that God will heal Kasey completely and just take the cancer away. He has been so good to us throughout this whole time, and I am so thankful for the fact that Kasey feels well and is cancer-free right now. Thank you Lord, for that.
Every day is still up and down for me since the miscarriage; it was the last thing that just put me over emotionally and I have felt so overwhelmed by even the smallest things this last week. I go in tomorrow for bloodwork to see if my Hcg levels are down, which we are praying will go back to normal soon. The worst part is that I still feel pregnant even though I am not, and I know a lot of that has to do with the hormones. I just want so badly to get past this time but it seems like nothing ever hurries when you want it to. We had fertility testing done yesterday as well up at OHSU, so we will find out shortly if Kasey is fertile after all of the surgeries and treatments that he has gone through so far. We feel really positive about our chances of having another baby, and although this last pregnancy wasn't meant to be and I am totally grieving that loss, I have faith that we will be pregnant again soon.
Looking forward to going camping this weekend with our small group at the beach, and having some time to think about other things. I could really use a day out on the water somewhere too, but camping away will be a good start :).

I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do anything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11-13

Thursday, May 14, 2009


We know that things happen for a reason, and as I am writing now I feel so broken and hurt. I miscarried today, and as I think about it my heart just burns for the loss of the baby that we had our hearts so set on, the baby that was our piece of good news throughout the ups and downs throughout the last month and a half.
I had the first ultrasound yesterday, and was able to see little one and the heart beat, but started feeling ill and spotting later last night. This morning I just knew; we have gone through this before, and my heart just knew. I don't know why this has happened, and the most painful part is having to tell everyone that we were so happy to tell the news to...that there isn't any good news this time. My appointment is later today and Kasey is going in with me, so I am thankful for that and yet so sad to be hurting more than we thought was possible.

Porcelain Heart: Barlow Girl

Broken Heart one more time
Pick yourself up, why even cry
Broken pieces, in your hands
Wonder how you'll make it whole

You know, You pray
This can't be the way
You cry, you say
Something's gotta change
And mend this broken heart of mine

Someone said "A broken heart
would sting at first
then make you stronger"
You wonder why this pain remains
Were hearts made whole just to break?

You know, You say
This can't be the way
You cry, You say
Something's gotta change
And mend this porcelain heart of mine

Creator only you take brokenness
And create it into beauty once again.

That is all that we can hope for, that the Lord will continue to with us and make us feel whole again. i don't know how long it is going to be, but I do not feel like talking to anyone at this time, I am just needing some time to be with Kasey and the Lord to talk and pray and heal. Love you and thank you so much for your prayers and support.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Chemo for Kasey

Hello again. Today we met with another oncologist to discuss the next option for Kasey's treatment. Dr. Pierce told us that because the node that came back cancerous was not enlarged his statistics are probably better than they would be than if he had a very large lymph node that tested positive. If he doesn't go through chemo than he has a 20% chance of having a recurrence, and he can choose to forgo chemo at this time or go through 2 rounds. If he waits and needs to go through treatment later than he will need to go through 3 rounds, whenever that may be...Kasey chose to go through 2 rounds now. In about 3-4 weeks he start his treatment which will consist of 6 weeks total. The first week will be monday through friday, then a monday, then a monday, followed by another monday through friday, monday, monday.
His treatment will include anti-nausea meds which will be extremely helpful, and Kasey was told that since he is so young and healthy the treatment will wipe him out but probably won't be as bad as he imagines. The treatments will be in salem, so it is close and we are trying to see it all as a good thing in that Kasey will be cured from this treatment...cancer and chemo are correlated with so much pain and sickness, but Kasey's odds are so incredibly good and we know after this that it will all be behind us which is going to be such a good feeling. We are praying that Kasey will do incredibly during his treatments, and he is hoping on his "off " week that he will be able to go in to work which he is really hoping for.
There is another apppointment tomorrow for Kasey's post-surgery exam, and he has been doing really well and feeling very positive despite all that he has been through. We are looking towards having the rest behind us, and feel so thankful for the many prayers and support that we have received.
More news as it comes. :)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Oncology Appointment

Kasey's next appointment which will go over chemo options is set for this upcoming tuesday at 4:30 so by wednesday I will be sure to post what was discussed there.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Kasey's pathology results

Sometimes things just don't go the way we would like them to go, and Kasey's path results did just that...his surgeon called today to tell Kasey that one of his lymph nodes (out of the 40 or so that were removed) was cancerous. We had really been hoping for clean results, which would mean no chemo for Kasey but now it is very likely. Dr. Lowe recommended another oncologist for Kasey and said that we should expect to hear from this doctor's office within the next week to go in for another appointment, this time to discuss chemo options. Even though just one node tested positively for cancer, Dr. Lowe said that there is a 50% chance of recurrence if we don't go through chemo. Kasey asked Dr. Lowe what he would do if it was him in this situation, and he said that he would go through the chemo before anything could spread.

This last week we have been focusing on Kasey's recovery, and counting our blessings with the new pregnancy, Kasey doing so well post-op, getting ready for Brother Blake's wedding this saturday...we have felt really good this week and I know that Kase is just dying to get back to work and be productive and feel normal again. Yesterday we drove out to where the farm is planting new blueberries. We all (Emmett included) piled into the CRV and rode out to take in the beauty of rows and rows of baby blueberry plants, and I could just see it in Kasey that he wanted so badly to be out there planting them with the rest of the crew. Also the upcoming summer harvest is always such a crucial productive time, and I pray that he will be able to take part since so much of his heart wants to and harvest is one time that everyone knows takes everybody's effort. There really is a reason it is a family farm :). Farming is such an amazing and blessed lifestyle, and harvest is one of the best times when you get to reap your hard earned work over the past year, and what an accomplishment and satisfaction there is that comes when the harvest is in. I pray Kasey will get to take part in it this year, I know it would mean a lot to him.

It is always so hard when we don't know exactly what to expect next. Kasey told me today that,

"I can handle surgery, it is an easy thing for me. But I am scared of chemo because I know its definitely not going to be easy. "

It really broke my heart to hear his fears, and I am praying that the Lord will just carry Kasey through chemo just as he has through all of the surgeries that he has gone through already in the last month, and keep his body strong and his mind looking to Him throughout it all.

I will be sure to put any new news up again within the next week as it comes, and we will be praying and keeping hope that our way will be surrounded with our God who is all that we can really depend on in this world.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

It's a God thing :)

My whole life I have always felt the presence of God, and yet there are still times where I am just taken aback by how incredibly good He is to me, and how much He loves us. In all things we are asked to depend on him, and to allow him to "take the reins" so to say with the control in our lives. Of course in reality we really don't have any control over our lives, but we like to feel like we do; and we like to think that in some way or the other we can plan for our futures and make things happen for ourselves. Giving up my sense of control has always been a hard thing for me. I don't like change, I never have ever since I was a little girl, and if there was anything that I loved in my life I clung to it and wished for it to never ever change. Now looking back I can see how there have been so many whispers in my ear from God where he would just ask for me to give Him the control of my life, and to trust him. He makes everything perfect in His timing, and His plans are always better than our own, but how hard it is to trust him with our own plans and lives! Over the last month I made a conscious effort to give our situation with Kasey over to the Lord every single day. We know it is all happening for a reason, and we know it is all for God's great purpose which can be comforting but also very hard to grasp. Amidst everything we were told that men with testicular cancer usually are borderline infertile, and that if we were to have more children the time between the removal of the tumor and his lymph node removal surgery (2 weeks) was our window of opportunity, and that we should look into sperm banking and fertility treatments for the future. After a lot of discussion and prayer Kasey and I both felt that if the Lord wanted us to have more children, than He would certainly bless us, and that going through any fertility treatment just wasn't an option for us. We both felt that we needed to trust and just wait, and if it was the Lord's will than we would be content either way.
All of this being said, it is very early but we wanted to share that we just found out that I am pregnant, and we cannot be more thrilled. We feel so incredibly blessed and thankful, I cannot even tell you just how amazing this is for us. We had both consigned in our hearts that we might not be able to have more children, and that precious little Kenzie was always going to the baby for us, and now to think that she is going to be a "big sis" is so awesome!

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of him. 1 John 5:21

Thank you so much for your support and prayers throughout this journey with us, and throughout it all that has passed and what is yet to come, we are so happy to be reminded that if we just ask, he is good to answer.

Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant... Genesis 21:1-3

The Lord has been gracious to us, and we are so thankful!!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Home from the hospital

On wednesday we went up to Good Sam in Portland where Kasey went through a procedure to remove some of his peritoneal lymph nodes in order to prevent any recurrence for cancer. We were told that if his cancer was to be anywhere it would be in his lymph nodes that wouldn't necessarily show on his CT scan so the nodes in question were removed. We were at the hospital at 2 and he was taken into surgery at 5:45. I waited in the waiting room with our moms, and his dad and LeAnn, and around 9 his surgeon Dr. Lowe came out to tell us that the procedure went well. He felt confident that Kasey's lymph nodes looked normal and that there was minimal nerve damage from the operation. This was all great news! We will hear back from the pathology results next week and we are praying for cancer-free results. If all is clean than Kasey will only need CT scans throughout the next 4 years as a cautionary measure.

We were told that he would probably be in the hospital for 4-7 days, and amazingly after 2 1/2 days we were given the go ahead to take him home which is such a praise. He has 5 ports on his abdomen that are healing very well, and is on pain meds for the next week but has been walking and recovering so quickly that it is such a a testimony to the amazing power of prayer.

God's presence has been so real to us. Feeling Him everyday has been the biggest blessing I have experienced in my life to this point. In the days up to Kasey's surgery we both felt such peace and reassurance. He has been so real that I can smell Him at times; such a sweet fragrance that comes and goes that I had thought were some blooms from around our house, but when I smelled it at the hospital I knew that I was smelling the Lord's presence, and what an amazing gift that was for me to experience.

We are so happy to have had the best in medical care for Kasey, and to have 2 surgeries put behind us and are looking forward to tackle whatever is coming next in his recovery. The next 2 weeks are going to be crucial for him to rest and heal, and we are expecting he will be able to return to work within the next 2-3 weeks, and feel fully recovered by 4 weeks. He can't wait until he can pick up Kenzie again, and she has been thrilling us with her ablities in walking all over the house and outside; clapping and smiling as she goes. :)

So here we are, thankful for our amazing family and friends, thankful to be here at this point in the journey, and looking forward to feeling somewhat normal again; although it is so important for us to never forget or overlook how this has drastically changed our perspective on life as only a sudden life altering surprise can... never forget how every day is a gift, that friends and family are so important every day, that the little things that seem so big are really just little things that don't matter at all, that every day is a gift to spend with your husband, that any day can be your last, and most importantly...that God cares for us and truly is with us every moment just waiting for us to call to Him...and when we do he runs and picks us up like little children and surrounds us with His presence. All we ever have to do is ask, and I never want to forget that, ever.
Love to you. :)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Today is the next necessary step

Thank you for your prayers, more updates to come later.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Here's to a new day

Praises, praises that today is a new day, and everywhere we look there are blessings to be found.

There are so many friends and family that we love that are going through hurts and hardships right now in their lives. We lift them up in prayer with faith that the Lord will be their comfort, and that His peace and love will be felt in all situations.

We pray for our friends abroad, the Smiths and Durans who have been so faithful with the work that has been laid for them in Peru. Thank you for all that you are doing, we love you guys and pray for you daily, and we think the world of you!

My heart was comforted today by 1 Peter. After yesterday we felt so wiped out emotionally, and after being faced with what is ahead with Kasey's treatments it is so easy for us to feel overwhelmed. We will continue to praise, to love, to rejoice and look ahead with positivity because of our faith, and the knowledge that we are loved and that this is all part of a bigger plan.

"So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and in his good time he will honor you. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you. " -1 Peter 5:6-7

So here's to a new day with the knowledge that, " If you are suffering according to God's will, keep on doing what is right and trust yourself to the God who made you, for he will never fail you. " 1 Peter 4:19

Monday, April 13, 2009

Cancer sucks: part deux of the cancer journey

Today we met with Kasey's cancer specialist, and after about an hour and a half of discussing options with him we have scheduled a retroperitoneal lymph node dissection operation for next wednesday, the 22nd at Good Sam in Portland.
With Kasey's type of cancer there are 6 risk factors that indicate the risk for recurrence of another tumor. The pathology that came back from his tumor that was removed 2 weeks ago indicated that Kasey's tumor had 3 out of 6 risk factors which is not good. This means that Kasey is at "High Risk" for recurrence, and if gone untreated there is a 70% chance in the next 2 years that we would find another tumor. The tumor that was removed 2 weeks ago was 7.5cm in size. Obviously we chose to treat now...
Like I said previously chemo was one option for treatment. It would run about 12 weeks and would start ASAP, but the chances for recurrence within the next 4 years years is still a possibility and chemo is not an easy thing to go through for 3 months. The other option presented was the laparoscopic RPLND surgery, and if cancer is found in his lymph nodes after removal, than 6 weeks of chemo would follow; but if they are clean we will bypass chemo altogether. We are praying that the nodes will be clean, and that the cancer hasn't spread any farther.
We are expecting Kasey to stay in the hospital for 3-7 days, and his recovery period will be about 2 weeks after he comes home. Full recovery will be 4-6 weeks. The operation itself will last about 4 hours.
All of this is so surreal to us, and it is hard to talk about it because it just seems to consume everything in our lives right now when we explain everything over and over. It is cancerous in speech too I am finding, and we are trying so hard to be positive and have a good outlook on everything and how much it is affecting us. We feel so happy to have many of our questions answered today, and we feel very confident in our decision to go with the surgery at this point. We want to get through the next step, and will be praying and looking forward to the end result with Kasey being cancer-free.
It is such a profound thing to happen, but obviously it is happening for a reason.

That being said, we are trying to live life as normal as possible until wednesday...praying for a clean pathology...successful surgery...speedy recovery...a positive outcome...patience...praising God that we have an amazing surgeon and that everything has been scheduled so quickly.
At this time there will be no more news until after wednesday, and I am hoping to get on here to post some new pics of Kenzie's Easter and some other fun things before then. It will be refreshing to put up some fun news, but no guarantees I will get it done this week...we'll see:).

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Kasey's Appointment

Yesterday we met with Kasey's Urologist for his post-surgery appointment and were met with some more news... some that we already knew but to hear it again seemed to make it much more of a reality. To sum it up, Kasey's blood work and pathology results came back and the Dr. told us that his tumor counts are lower this week which is very good. The tumor that was removed is a nonseminomous germ cell cancerous tumor, which means that it is a very aggressive tumor type, and it is highly recommended that Kasey follow up with treatment to prevent the spread of any cancer that may still be in his body that could result in another aggressive tumor. His CT scan came back clean, but if the cancer has spread or will spread, the lymph nodes are a major concern for this type of cancer. We will meet with his oncologist in Portland on monday to discuss in depth the options that were presented to us yesterday which were:
1. Treatment through chemotherapy (we don't know when treatment would start or how long it would go at this point, those are questions for monday)
2. Laparoscopic removal of Kasey's lymph nodes which could be followed up with chemo if needed. This would be our first option since it would help us to put off chemo for some time, and maybe even bypass chemo if all goes well. This surgery will not be an option if chemo is done first, but chemo could be done after the surgery if needed. Of course the surgery has its downsides as well which we will learn more about on monday.
The oncologist we are meeting is a specialist not only in oncology but also in laporoscopic surgery of the lymph nodes...We don't know if he will recommend the surgery to Kasey or if he will want to put him through chemo but at this point we are hit with the reality of the whole situation once again.
The time between now and any type of cancer treatment is so precious to us, and we have been trying to get back to our life in as much normalcy as possible, especially when we know that the next step of any treatment is going to radically change things for some time. We are praying that the Lord will continue to guide us and help us make the hard choices between treatments and to help us lean on Him as our world is rocked...what a blessing we have in a God who cares so much for us! He has been so present, and every day is a newfound blessing that we are so thankful for.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Our Blog Debut!

Ok, so we finally caved and jumped on the band wagon.

In all reality, this is going to be the easiest way to keep everyone updated on Kasey's status through this journey God has started us on. Please know that we will do our best ot keep this updated, but with the future so unclear there may be times when the "blog" becomes lower on the priority list.

Just know that we love you all so much and are so thankful for you.

God is good.