Lemons and more lemons


Andrea asked me to blog for her while she slumbers. Perhaps she asked me because this is a tough one to write. As you all may know she had a partial MRI the other day and extensive CT scans done yesterday. So we went to her doctor appointment today with a lot of questions. She knew that her Doctor (Angie as we now comfortably call her) who we hove both grown to love and trust a lot, wanted to suggest adriamyacin (most likely misspelled). Andrea also wanted to ask what her time line might look like if she were to stop conventional treatment and go on hospice while maybe going on a raw diet and doing other more holistic things to try to stay alive longer. I knew that things were not good when Angie looked about to cry when she sat down to talk with us. She divulged a road map of new cancer including lungs, more in the liver, some in the kidney area, in the bowels, and more lesions in the spine. She explained how cancer cells replicate exponentially, as cells split a little cancer will grow slowly and a lot of cancer rapidly. She said she thought that although not 100 % effective that the previous chemo treatments probably slowed down the new growth in comparison to the wild fire that happened off chemo. Then we pressed further and asked the heavy, the Grand Daddy of all cliché’s, “So Doc give it to me straight… How long do I got?” We were totally unprepared for what came next. Weeks. Its ok if you are crying now. I am. I was then too, we both were. We went on to discus three or four potential scenarios, kidney failure, lungs filling up with fluid, etc. We talked about how they can keep comfortable while her body fails her. Weeks. We had discussed hospice thinking we would have maybe 6 or 9 months to wrap things up, but weeks is not an option, weeks fly right by while you blink. So back on chemo seems the only choice. If this super aggressive chemo can give her months instead of weeks, then so be it. It feels a little like a hail Mary pass. But we’ve all seen that one work once in a blue moon. I’m clinging to hope still, but hope is about sharing another summer together. It’s hard to realistically ask for much more. They did however find us the one and only hospice organization that will work with her while she’s on chemo. They start tomorrow. For those of you that don’t know,in the cancer world that is having your cake and eating it too and we are very grateful.

We came home to Ruthie (such a comforting friend to both of us). I woke clay from his nap and loved on him in a way that I some times forget to and always wonder why when I do. His smile and laughter lifts my spirit like little else. Andrea is always so wonderful with him. From here on out I need to start loving him for two. Naomi (whom I frequently refer to as the pied piper of children) took him for the day and then till tomorrow. Tamara arrived with soothing tea and kind words. We all hung out in the air conditioned bedroom and did what we could to help Andrea with her nausea. Her mom called and Andrea asked me to relay the news. That was maybe one of the hardest conversations I have ever had. I only hope that Donna (mom) was even comforted in the slightest by my words or by the fact that I love her daughter so much. I returned to the room wiping away tears and telling my wife that that was the hardest conversation I have ever had. She said that she thought it would be harder to tell people she was dead. I told her that I wasn’t going to say anything and when people asked how’s your wife that I would say fine, but she left me and ran of with some guy named Jesus. Funny or irreverent you make the call, but the girls all laughed. We laughed a lot this afternoon actually, thats just what good friends do when the chips are down. Later, we sat down with the kids and told them what we had found out. We all agreed to set our summer plans aside for as much relaxed quality time together as possible. Andrea told them that although the chemo (red death) would take its toll that when she is awake she want to spend a lot of quality one on one time with each of them. We cleared off my dresser and moved the tv into the nice air conditioned room knowing that this will be the place where it all happens for a while. Bailey and I went out and returned with Andrea’s favorite chemo food from chik fila for all. and of coarse we all had ice cold lemonade.
love to one and all

38 Responses to “Lemons and more lemons”

  1. Sheena says:

    We love you all so very much. That’s all I can say.

  2. ByJane says:

    Laughter IS what good friends do, and it’s absolutely necessary now. You are making memories here with your family, memories of being a family (“remember when…”), memories of Andrea (hey, didn’t mom…). Through chronicling the day by day and ups and downs, you are teaching all of us not to fear death. My wish for all of you is that you can continue to do this together, as you have thus far.

  3. Renee Khan says:

    I am very very sorry to hear this.

    Love Renee

  4. Deb says:

    I’ve been checking all day for an update, thinking and praying all day long. This was not what I wanted to read. But thank you, Kelly, for updating all of us….even those of us that don’t personally know you but care and love you just the same.
    God, Kelly and Andrea and kids…. I’m so sorry. I don’t know what else to say. If I have in the past, or now, fumble or say the wrong thing I apologize. I just want you to know I care.
    God must love you a lot and want you to be by his side very much.
    Deb in AZ

  5. Ruthie says:

    Kelly and Andrea,
    I am sure that you both and your family will continue to make lemonade with those lemons. I haven’t been able to catch up with you for a few days, and I have to honestly say that the news was a shock to me and I am so sorry to hear the latest. I will pray for you to have peace as you walk through these days, peace and pain relief.

    Ruthie in California

  6. imstell says:

    I have no words. Love the babies and love the woman.

  7. jenni bender says:

    i really want you to know how much love i have in my heart for all of you.
    that goes for every single one of you.

  8. Cindy Del Vecchio says:

    Beautifully written, Kelly. And I loved the part about running away with Jesus!!

  9. Andrea says:

    He didn’t mention the part where he says…”yeah, I think he might be a Mexican.”

  10. Lin says:

    I’ll hold you all close in my heart, prayers and thoughts.

    I’m ceratin I speak for all of us… “If I had a single flower for every time I think about you, I could walk forever in my garden.”

    Love, Lin

  11. Lin says:

    I’ll hold you close in my heart, prayers and thoughts.

    I’m ceratin I speak for all of us…

    “If I had a single flower for every time I think about you, I could walk forever in my garden.”

    Love, Lin

  12. Juanita says:

    I, too, kept checking in all day to see what had happened when you met with Angie. My heart breaks, for all of you, but is joyous in the knowledge that you are enjoying the time you have together so much. My prayers, my love, all my good vibes are being sent to you on the wings of my own angel up there…

    NS, Canada

  13. Sarah S. says:

    You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers! Hold those babies tight and give them lots of hugs.

  14. Alice C says:

    You are all in my thoughts.

  15. Donna Arnold says:

    Hello Andrea, Kelly, and family:
    What a beautiful post…..Kelly is a Picasso with words…you can “feel” his emotions, sense his love and committment to you, Andrea.
    You do just what you are doing……add humor, hang out in the AC’ed BR and just be one with the other!!!!
    This journey has anchored your whole family for the sail…..catch some sunsets, share some rays of smiles, and ride each wave…..
    I love you each, like I have known you always….looking forward to hearing more of your journey when you are up to it…BIG hugs, Andrea….I love you….Donna in SC

  16. Nat says:

    Kelly your love for Andrea shines through.

    You’re all in my thoughts and prayers.

  17. Jodi says:

    I have been reading your blog. I just want to say that your family and friends sound amazing. I am so sorry that you got the outcome that you did. Hugs, and prayers to you.

    What a reminder that we need to remember to hug and kiss those around us. One never know what road they will find themselves on.

    Peace to all of you.

  18. Pamela says:

    I have been away for some days setting up the nursing department of a Christian Camp, i know i am only a “blog friend”, but i feel i am also an intercessor for you, as i have told you before. remember when the doctors try to tell you how long…they may have a good idea, but only God writes our story. i was feeling broken hearted as i read kelly’s honest words, then when i read him thinking of saying how you left him and ran away with some guy named Jesus, i laughed.
    praying as always….love you all

  19. Gin says:

    You & your family are in my prayers. May you find comfort and love through this time. I pray for you all to have an inner peace that soothes the soul.

  20. Aja Beech says:

    Andrea and Kelly
    Please- whatever I can do let me know.

  21. Thank you, Kelly. Thinking of you all today.

  22. Donna says:

    I don’t you guys personally. I have been reading your blog for only a few days. I am so sorry to hear this news. One things for sure though Andrea, by the sound of the last post, Jesus is the only man who could love you more than your husband. I love the family pictures. I am also amazed that I have had you one my mind since I first read your blog. I wish I could do something to help you.

    Donna is Columbus, Ohio

  23. Cindy says:

    As I have a lot lately I continue to pray for your beautiful, loving family.


  24. toni g says:

    Kelly you are a MENSCH !!!!!

  25. Linda Conley Soffer says:

    Just keep lettin it all flow.

  26. Patti says:

    Dear Andrea and Family,
    I have been keeping up with you several months…one of the best blogs I have ever read. I have laughed and cried and nodded and smiled…you write so well and I think we would be friends if we just met somehow…the way friends first meet. I have never written a comment until now and all I want to say is DAMN!

  27. Janelle says:

    i live far away in africa. i read your blog every day. i think of you every day. i tell my friends about you. one of them asked me today “so have you left a message?” and i said nope. … and i don;t know why i haven’t!? oh oh oh oh you are so inspirational, real, funny, brave, honest. ONE IN A BLOODY MILLION….just want you to know that somewhere out in the Dark Continent of Africa there are lots of people thinking about you dear Andrea…about you and Kelly and all your BEAUTIFUL children. you are a great great teacher. i send you love love love LIGHT and LAUGHTER. and a warm large african embrace….XXXXXXXXXXX janelle

  28. Linda, Palm Harbor, FL says:

    Andrea and family, I am overcome by the news and can barely write to you all as tears stream down my face. The computer is blurry. I honestly didn’t want to log on today as I was so afraid of what I was going to read. Why oh why does this happen? The good Lord only knows, but Andrea sweetheart, you have been such a blessing to me. You have made me realize that life is indeed so short and we must take each day as if it is our last. But like many others have said, the doctors don’t know everything. We all live this life – short or long and put our hope in the Lord for only a good life. You have been such a trooper through all of this. You and your family are so, so special in allowing us to experience this with you and the Good Lord willing, he will give you many more days to be with your family and all your friends who love you so much. May the days ahead be filled with grace and love and comfort from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Stay strong baby, you are loved so very much. I wish I could have met you. Linda X0X0XXXXX

  29. Bill & Karen says:

    Hi Kelly and Andrea,

    We’re both crying as we read and absorb this latest news, but are so proud and inspired by you at the same time. Just know that we love you all, and think of you all the time.

    We’ll be talking soon, and plan on seeing you all soon too.

    Love You!!!

  30. lizz says:

    i can’t comprehend “weeks”… it doesn’t register in my brain, or my heart.

    here… i know, i know, i’m not a dr. or a genius, i just love you, and have hope… maybe angie could check it out? give you her take on it?



  31. Lisa White says:

    What a sad, but beautiful entry. This is what I have loved about your blog from the very beginning….honesty, love, reality and faith! This is what your family is built on and known for! Kelly, your description of Andrea running off with Jesus, is perfect!! Even though I only know Andrea through this blog, I can imagine that day in my mind, and smile with that vision!! All of you in your family are loved by so many, but most of all…..YOU ARE LOVED BY GOD!! His fingerprints are all over your story, and you are so graciously sharing it with all of us with such strength and certainty in the eternal life!!! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! My family will continue to pray for all of you, and I am anxious for the day when we ALL will meet in heaven!! Loving you and sending prayers from Crawfordsville, IN.

  32. Karen says:

    Sending you prayers.

  33. Elesha says:

    Dear Andrea kelly and family,
    Please done live your life by those times the doc gave you. Thats just a guess and god knows we could all be hit by a bus tomorow so just keep living in the moment like you are. If you have your sights on something you would like to be there for aim in you mind to be there, there is nothing stronger not even cancer when it comes to your mind thats the one thing the docs cant touch its yours and you just keep telling it you want to be here for some time more. You know I heard lance armstrong say on t.v that you may get told some really bad news about your future, but your here today and your going to be here tommorow and that for now is all you need to think about. YOUR HERE NOW your still you life still goes on with you in it.

    All My love to you and your family and the months ahead that will be filled with so much love and Im sure laughter


  34. Malia Kalai says:

    You are ALL in my thoughts and prayers

  35. Judy says:

    Just prayers from a fellow IBC woman. May God bring you all peace and strength in the coming months.

  36. marykate says:

    Luv and thoughts for all of you. Your message was beautiful Kelly, as are all the messages from everyone. Andrea, Alec, Jesse, Asa, Tucker, Bailey, Clay – you are all so luved, by each other, by me, by people far away. We are all gonna be sad and ur mom cant help the fact that we are gonna be sad, but we are because the world is losing a beautiful soul and a bright spirit. She wont let any of us go though, we’ll find her presence in stories and words and songs and pictures when we least expect it. We all luv her for so many different reasons. She luvs us just for who we are. She amazes me.

  37. PopPop & MeMa says:

    Dear Grandchildren,

    Although we have been estranged for so long, not a day has gone by that we have not thought about your Mom, Dad, Kelly, and each of you, Alec, Jesse, Asa, Tucker, Bailey, & Clay.

    We love you all and know that our hearts are broken. I am sorry we could not be there with you in person, as our daughter was going through this terrible year. We kept up to date by reading the blog, Aunt Stacy, and your Dad.

    Me Ma and I have many other pictures for all of you and I remember when each of the pictures up to your mom being a teenager were taken.

    You have a very large family of a Great Grandmother, Uncles, Aunts, Cousins, and people that knew Mom or you as children
    that wait to meet you when you are ready.
    Contact us at 856-797-1211 and pray that Mommy, our daughter Andrea will now rest in peace.

    Love you,
    MeMa & PopPop