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Around February, Kelly started having a small dry cough. We initially thought it was related to his involvement at the American Legion where Kelly had been volunteering as the Finance Officer and now acts as the Post Chaplain. As it is a smoking post Kelly began to minimize his time spent in the environment. Over the next month we tried several over the counter remedies to clear up Kelly's lungs. All of which seemed to help a bit or at least we wanted to believe they were getting better. Keep in mind this was a very minimal occasional dry cough. We eventually realized that he was not improving the way he should have. Kelly then made an appointment with his Primary care doctor who began treating him for bronchitis with steroids, an inhaler and antibiotics. A follow-up visit appeared to show that Kelly's lungs were improving, but the doctor wanted to extend the treatment to be sure. The doctor also recommended that if we didn't feel Kelly was improving after the next several weeks of treatment that he was to get a CAT scan and make an appointment with a Pulmonologist.
Cat scan in hand, we saw the Pulmonologist who ordered a higher resolution CAT scan. He didn't offer up much of an opinion at the time and wanted to wait for blood work and the results of the additional scan. As life, time waiting for appointments, tests and scheduling we are now in May. Our follow-up appointment with the doctor led to a tentative diagnosis of pulmonary fibrosis.
Here comes the deep breath. The information the doctors have given us is that this is a progressively fatal disease. The only treatment is a lung transplant, and the current life expectancy is 2-5 years. Of course we know that this is very difficult news. It took Kelly and me many days to process this information. This was not in our plans at all. And if you know us you know we are both big time planners. Kelly literally said God knew this about him that is why this is the disease he got. I was not amused at his humor, but he always reminds me he is a funny guy. Kelly has been requested to have an open lung biopsy to confirm the diagnosis which is scheduled for today 6/6/2019.
You all know we are followers of Jesus Christ and we trust God completely with our lives. I am going to try and use caring bridge to keep you all up to date. We thank you for your love, support and prayers.
Kelly wrote this for our family and friends:
Specific prayer requests: - That God supernaturally heals by either taking this away, or by providing for a lung transplant - That I redeem my time well - That my testimony and witness is strong in Him - That my children's faith would be strengthened through this - That our eyes stay focused on Him as protector and provider - Spiritual protection for my wife (Lea) and children (Cody, Kyle, and Haley) - Decisions on work
The question I had to answer: How is God most glorified in this? It took me 12 days, but I have come to a point that I believe God will be most glorified by taking me through this fire, rather than removing or endings it (1 Peter 1:6-9). Therefore I am walking each day with the full expectation that God is going to deliver me through this. He may choose to take it away fully, but I believe it is most glorifying to Him to see His work in my life over time, Now I can watch what He will do each day with my total dependence on Him for my life, however long He chooses that to be.
Scripture that is sustaining me right now: - Phil 4:6-7...be anxious for nothing... the peace of God surpasses all understanding... - James 1:2-4 ...count it all joy... let patience have its perfect work... - Phil 1:19-21 ...Christ magnified in my body, by life or by death... - 2 Cor 12:8-10 ...His grace is sufficient... - Job 1:21-22 ...the Lord giveth, and He taketh away...not charging God with wrong... - Heb 12:1-2 ...run with endurance, looking unto Jesus... - 1 Pet 1:6-9 ...the genuineness of my faith, tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glorify Him...