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Kate’s Story

Thank you for following our daughter Kate's journey. We ask for your prayers during this incredibly difficult time.

Monday June 29th, 2009 was supposed to be a day filled with summer fun. The kids and I were going to the water park to celebrate summer. However, I noticed that a slight tremor in her right hand that had developed over the past few days had notably worsened. We decided to take her to her Pediatrician, just for safe measure. A CT of Kate's head was ordered. We proceeded to Phoenix Childrens Hospital for a stat CT of her head. That evening I, Kate's mom, was taken into a room alone and told Kate had a large tumor on the left temporal lobe of her brain. The world seemed to stopped for us that day, but our long journey had just began. Kate was directly admitted to the PICU. One minute thoughts of the water park the next our child is critically ill in the intensive care unit awaiting emergent brain surgery within a matter of days.  We would have never chosen to be a part of this journey with childhood cancer, but it was chosen for us, and our sweet Kate. She is now in the Phoneix Children's Hospital undergoing treatment for this disease.

Kate underwent a craniotomy with tumor resection on July 3rd, 2009. They unfortunately were only able to remove 50% of the tumor due to it's location in the left temporal lobe of her brain and the fact that the tumor had wrapped itself around the left middle cerebral artery to her brain. Kate experienced right sided paralysis immediately following surgery along with the loss of her speech. She has since regained much of this, however her right sided weakness still continues. 

After a few days of intense waiting the pathology report was in, Kate was diagnosed with a very malignant, aggressive brain tumor called a supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor or sPNET. Our hearts felt broken. Long term prognosis and outcomes weren't encouraging so Kate has been put on a study that is showing a little more promising outcomes, hopefully a better chance at survival and less long term side effects. She is currently undergoing the Head Start 3 Study out of Los Angeles but doing it at Phoenix Children's Hospital. The study involves the initial brain surgery, 5 round of very intense chemotherapy with possibility of a subsequent brain surgery and then another round of chemo with a stem cell transplant. We are hoping to avoid radiation after transplant. Kate is also in physical therapy and occupational therapy and has been released from speech therapy.

We believe strongly in the power of prayer and the ability of Jesus to heal our precious daughter. We are asking others to join us on this journey and fervently pray for our Kate. The road is long and unbelievably hard. We have 3 children, all who are intensely affected. Olivia is now 7, Kate is 5 and Will is 4. Please keep all of us in your prayers as we try to walk this journey of childhood cancer. Thank you. 

As of September 29th Kate was readmitted to begin her 3rd round of chemo. She will be hospitalized for the entire round.

January of 2010 Kate finished her 5th round of chemotherapy. Her subsequent MRI showed there was still residual cancer remaining. She was then admitted on February 8th for her "consolidation" phase of chemotherapy with an autologous stem cell transplant. This equated to 1 years worth of chemotherapy in 6 days.

Due to the residual cancer prior to transplant Kate then needed to undergo brain radiation. We temporarily moved to Houton, Texas for 2 months so Kate could undergo 31 treatments of proton beam radiation to the tumor bed.

Kate finished radiation on May 24th, 2010 which finished her treatment for the Head Start 3 Study. June 29th, exactly one year from her diagnosis, Kate had her first MRI post treatment which was inconclusive. She followed it with a PET scan one month later which showed no definitive signs of cancer! 13 months of prayers. And one scan showing no cancer!

Kate had another scan early September 2010 which again left us guessing. There was a new spot that appeared on the MRI. We are currently waiting for another MRI to see if this is merely treatment changes, vascular changes etc, or the return of cancer.

On February 1st, 2011 a routine MRI discovered that the brain cancer had indeed returned and metastasized. Options for treatment were few. And the prognosis was awful at best. Few ever survive its return. And yet.... we continue to pray for healing. 

Please continue to pray as we journey alongside our daughter.

Latest Journal Update

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We sat yesterday over cherries, eating and chatting about heaven. Kate is inquisitive, I love that. She shares what she thinks and then asks what I can add. And then she says, "mom, do you know what my first question might be when I meet Jesus?". I had no idea... "I will ask Him to help me understand how Jesus and God are the same, but different. I just don't totally get it. But I'll ask."  We sat and ate and I was thoroughly surprised by her question. I would have assumed it would have been something pertaining to her suffering. Something related to her life here. And yet, she wasn't in the equation. It was simply about who He was. 

Moments later, she was holding up a new gift for a picture using her hand that had been affected by surgery, and it slipped and glass was everywhere, along with her tears. I knew the tears were more than the loss of the gift, rather the loss of use of her hand. I cleaned up the broken pieces and silently wished I could so thoroughly clean up the pieces that had been broken by disease. 

So maybe thats how the days are, torn with tension. The quiet moments of grace and the sharp moments of disappointment that feel like they cut with every turn. They live in tension together daily. The celebrated and the mourned. The heartache and hope. Hope filled prayers for healing and broken laments for that which she continues to face. And somehow one doesn't cancel the other. 

Kate has her next MRI on Monday. We will not hear the results until Tuesday because of the timing of her scan. They just don't seem to get easier. We will have more decisions to make following this scan in relation to other treatments. But of course her MRI will dictate the course for much of that. 

I stumbled across this the other day and have read it every day since. Reminding myself of its truth.. Hebrews 11:1 now faith is being.... certain of what we do not see. "Our faith must rest on God's identity, not His activity. When you don't know what God is doing, you can find stability in who He is." (Beth Moore, Whispers of Hope)

So Monday we will plead to see His activity in Kate's body, and hope you will too, but our faith will not be based solely on the outcome. Rather our faith will rest in who God is, not only what He does . And we trust He loves, He hears, and He knows. 

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Comentarios

320 Comentarios

Loretta Grabrick
By Loretta Grabrick
Your wods about faith came at just the right time. A dear friend will find out if she has cancer this week after her biopsy. I must remember to trust in who God is. I will keep dear Kate and your family in my prayers.
carole byrom
By carole byrom
Matthew 5:16 - "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father, who is in Heaven."

Kate and Holly, you are both examples of this very verse from God's Word! God is using you both (and I'm sure the rest of your family also) in the lives of so many many people who can so easily SEE your light shining for The Father in Heaven, as Kate continues to go through this unbelievable earthly physical battle. Yet, through it all, you continue to "SHINE YOUR LIGHT THROUGH YOUR LIFE AND LOVE OF THE LORD JESUS AND GOD...even though it is so hard to fathom how Jesus and God can be different, yet the same!" I always try to explain it that Jesus and God are the same Person, yet have different jobs...in a feeble way, kind of like Kate, whose job it is to be a daughter to your mom and dad; a sister to your siblings; a granddaughter to your grandparents; a patient to the doctors and other medical personnel; a caregiver to your puppy; a friend to your friends; and so on. Your mother and father have probably also told you about that concept. Of course, it is just a tiny way to explain humanly about our Almighty God, but I am awed by your thought, Kate, to want Jesus to explain that question to you in His Own Words! Until then, we can all just accept that His Word is ALWAYS TRUE, and however He does it, we can ALWAYS BELIEVE IT and BE THANKFUL. Kate, God is using YOU in so many people's lives, and I am just ONE OF THEM.

This verse is so encouraging to me, and YOU are an example of how your faith is following it also, Kate. Deuteronomy 31:8 - "And The Lord, He it is Who goes ahead of you; He will be with you, He will not fail you, neither forsake you: fear not, neither be discouraged." God bless you, Kate, and be assured of my prayers as you have your MRI on Monday! Sending my love to you and your family also. Hug that cute doggie for me also. :-) And, I love cherries also!
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Desmond Dodkins
By Des Dodkins Durban
My daughter on reading Kate's latest journal e-mailed me 'Kate makes me realise how much I have to be grateful for - and Holly inspires me to be a better Mom'
God bless your family, We love you Kate.
Lord in your mercy hear our prayers.
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Allison Stephens
By Allison Stephens
Words cannot do justice the amazing I'm in of you and your daughter. Blessings to all of you. Prayers in the midst of physical and emotional oak. And heartache.
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Vicki Reiner
By Vicki in Brazil
Prayers from here for you to heaven. The hope we share bounces back like lots of tiny colorful sparkling reflections of love from Jesus.
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Dotty Pyle
By Dotty Pyle, Kentucky
I pray many times every day for total healing for Kate and strength and grace for all of her family. I trust in our Lord and know he hears our cries. May His love and grace give you comfort. I am thankful for the results of this last MRI. Praying for total healing always.
Anita Hodge
By Anita
Continuing to pray for God's healing and grace.
Tiffany Lockette
By Tiffany Lockette
My heart and prayers continue to be with your sweet family. My heart longs to hug each of your necks. I wish with all my heart that Kate will just be done with this nasty, awful disease once and for all.
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DJ Herc
By Dale and John
Holly and Kate
Please forgive my not writing sooner,but please know I have not stopped praying for Sweet Beautiful Kate
Jesus hears our prayers.....
We love you Always
George Twaddell
By
Dear Holly, Aaron, Kate, Will & Olivia,

Peace be with you. Such beautiful photos of your precious Kate. I do so look forward to hearing how she is doing, even if it is sometimes troublesome to relay to us adequately. I can't begin to imagine the push and pull that takes in your heart on a daily basis. There can be no more heart-wrenching situation than to watch a loved one suffering. It can really test our intestinal fortitude. The very depths of our faith. But with all things pertaining to God, it must have a good purpose. For nothing transpires in this world that isn't for the greater good. That I believe is the greatest paradox of our faith and the one that presents the biggest stumbling block to those on the outside looking in. How, in the face of all the suffering we see, from within and without, could there possibly be a loving God that would allow this to happen? Well, the lives of the saints tell us that 'suffering' is to align our lives with the passion of our Lord. The horrible series of events that ultimately led to our Lord's crucifixion and death. That if we look at our own suffering in light of His suffering, we'll come to that place where our will gets supplanted with His will and He comes and helps us carry the cross we've been given to bear. Thus we truly share in His suffering as a means of bearing our own. Let us pray:

Dear Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus, Holy Spirit. We thank you this day for the many days you've helped us bear our cross. We know that you'll never give us more than we can bear and we're grateful that you give us the strength to persevere. We thank you also for the gift of Kate. Her indomitable spirit that refuses to give up. Lord please watch over her as she comes for her next MRI. May there be no sign of disease and no further deterioration. Rebuild what has been damaged and restore to wholeness. But in asking that Lord, let us be mindful if it be your will. Help us to be accepting of the outcome. We pray for Kate's family as well. For their continued strength and firmness of faith. We just hold them up to you Lord and ask your favor be upon them. Guide the doctors handling Kate's treatment. Help them make sound decisions and good recommendations after thoughtful research and prayerful consideration. Most of all, we thank you for your son Jesus who suffered for our benefit. Let us place our trust in Him, knowing He has overcome the world. Rest in us now and we rest in you and renew a right spirit within us as we approach this upcoming Pentecost Sunday. Lord we ask and pray for all these things: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen!!!