Journal

Journal entry by Krissy de Waard

Hello Cherished Friends, Family, and Prayer Warriors of our dear Kimmy,

Kim's sister, Krissy, here. I have come on here to update you all on behalf of my brave, bold beautiful big sister. In all honesty, I can hardly see the screen as I type this; tears stream down my cheeks wetting my lap and blurring my vision. I wish I didn't have to type any of this out as the last two days have truly been a living nightmare. But we need your prayers more than ever and so I will try to update you as best I can. 

Yesterday morning, Kimmy went in for a scheduled PET scan. Kimmy felt at peace going into it and us family members felt that way too. We were all feeling so thankful to have Kimmy's surgery behind her, and her final radiation treatment completed last week Tuesday. The PET scan was the only thing standing in the way before Kim and Mike made their next trip to Mexico. Were all eager to check it off the list and send Kim and Mike down south for follow up appointments, a few therapies, review of course of treatment, and some bonus vitamin D and sea. I was confident it would reveal the cancer was shrinking or at the very worse staying the same. Kimmy has been so diligent with her diet and therapies, and sacrificing so much in this war on cancer!

It wasn't long into the PET scan that Kimmy knew something was wrong. The medical personnel began questioning Kimmy about her breathing, wondering if she has been experiencing any shortness of breath. They discovered Kimmy had fluid on both lungs. And then the real blow came, they spotted multiple cancer lesions on her brain. They admitted Kimmy into the hospital because they wanted drain a lung that day and wanted to get the ball rolling for steroid treatments to reduce brain swelling and halt the cancer growth while a plan was discussed. Kimmy did have her left lung drained yesterday afternoon and a little more than a liter was drained off successfully. Then she went her hospital room where she was visited by both her radiologist and oncologist. Both of whom were kind, loving men who gave Kim, Mike, and my parents time to ask questions. When the doctors left we felt a glimmer of hope because Kimmy is asymptomatic and they both felt that we didn't need to rush into anything, but that an MRI would show them more. The oncologist suggested getting Kimmy started on hormone therapy, and that we could consider brain radiation but hopefully need only to do focal radiation.The plan was for Kimmy to get squeezed into the schedule to have an MRI yet that night and at 10 pm last night Kimmy did have one.

The results of the MRI were relayed to Kimmy, Mike, and my mom in the morning and it was even more devastating than yesterday's news. The metastatic cancer is in more spots in the brain than everyone thought from yesterday's PET scan and Kimmy even has a compressed vertebral fracture (I hope I have that right). Suddenly instead of having time to think about brain radiation, doctors recommended that Kimmy have full brain radiation and wanted to get the ball rolling today. This afternoon Kimmy had a radiation simulation, where they map out a precise radiation plan, and tomorow Kimmy will go in at 3:00 for her first brain radiation treatment.

We honestly cannot believe this is happening, so many thoughts reel through our heads. More tears have been cried than I ever thought possible. But I praise the Lord for the privilege of having a front row seat of watching my sister testify to God's goodness! Only moments after receiving the scariest and saddest news of her life, Kimmy said, "Even so, God is Good!" I have witnessed Mike and Kimmy cling together, living out "in sickness and in health" in a way they never imagined on their wedding day. They are a beautiful couple and I am so thankful for their example! 

Friends, we believe in a mighty God! Satan is trying to win the day, cancer is trying to destroy Kimmy, but we are continuing to believe in a miracle!! Please join us in storming the gates of heaven on behalf of Kimmy!!!! Nothing is impossible for God!!!! We are praying that God will glorify himself in the complete healing of Kimmy's body!!! 

Specific Prayer Requests:

1) Effective Treatments with Minimal Side Affects
2) That the Fluid will stay off Kimmy's lungs
3) That her vertebral fracture will stay stable 
4) Peace of Christ to fill our hearts and minds
 
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Journal entry by Kim Eling

Hi Guys,

It's been a pretty uneventful month except for the fact that we celebrated two pretty adorable ONE year olds at the beginning of January! I keep getting photo notifications on my phone that say "one year ago today" and they're all pictures of with the boys in the NICU. It's so crazy to think about- last year we were driving daily to Helen DeVos Children's Hospital and now, this January, we're driving right across the street from HDVCH to Lemmen Holton Cancer Pavilion multiple times per week. It makes me really emotional and frankly, I just hate being back there. Such a stark contrast from this time last year. I've really been struggling with my attitude/emotions these past few weeks and I think anticipating conventional treatment is partially to blame. Being back at Lemmen Holton is hard. Being surrounded by visibly very sick people is hard. Hearing about palliative treatment is hard.  
Radiation starts today. I only have ten treatments, which I'm thankful for. I met with my ortho oncologist (Dr. Steensma) last week. He said that my x-ray looks good (all of the "new parts" are still in place) but there hasn't been any new bone growth in my femur. The hope is that radiation will help with that. I had to temporarily stop with physical therapy because it was causing too much pain and I haven't been able to recover between sessions. I felt like I was rounding a corner with pain but then I started outpatient PT and I definitely have taken a few steps back. Dr. Steensma said that it's pretty common for patients to hit a plateau at this point after surgery and that a lot of patients feel like they round a corner 6-8 weeks after they finish radiation. I don't really love hearing that it'll probably be a good 2-3 months before I start having less pain/am able to bear more weight on my leg, but such is life. 
Later this week I will meet with a medical oncologist to hear about medical treatment options- I promised the radiology onc. I'd at least hear a medical oncologist out. I also get the results of my comprehensive blood test that was sent to Greece via the Natural Health Improvement Center for analysis, back this week. I am VERY interested in what those results indicate! This test should provide numbers in terms of circulating tumor cells (CTCs). It also should indicate supplements and treatments would be most effective for me individually. I'm hoping this appointment offers some positivity and encouragement!

I have quite the list of prayer requests....ready??
- that radiation is effective and helps with bone growth and pain reduction
- that the cough I have had since the week before Thanksgiving goes away- the coughing just wracks my whole body, is exhausting, and makes my pain worse 
- that I can sleep more than 2-4 hours/night (sleep is so critical for healing and I just can't sleep! I'm not anxious, I just wake up wide awake and have a really hard time getting/staying comfortable)
- that my attitude improves. I've been pretty sad these past couple of weeks. I think it's a combination of pain, the continuous cough, and sleeplessness that is making me have a rough time of it. I feel like I can usually stay pretty plucky, but I've been having a hard time lately which is hard for me to admit
- that Mike, his mom, and my mom all stay healthy as they continue to provide care and support 
- that the blood testing completed gives us a plan and some direction for my continued treatment/care

As always, thank you for your love and prayers!

Kim

Journal entry by Kim Eling

Hi All,

Wow- didn't mean to take such an extended break there! I hope everyone enjoyed some family time, or down time, or self-care time, or whatever you needed over Christmas Break. Christmas is such a beautiful time of year but I know that it can be so very hard for many people out there. Hoping that you could still enjoy the season regardless of your circumstances. Turns out Christmas  is a busy time to try to recover! We made it to all of our parties last week and it was so good to spend time with family and friends who we haven't gotten to see in a while.

Things are going pretty well over here. I am all moved back in at home (my parents ever-so-kindly let me convalesce at their house for a about a week after surgery so that I could get my feet back under me a bit before going home which ended up being a good decision!). I am slowly but surely recovering from surgery. I feel like it's going to be pretty slow-go over here for the next several months but that's sure a lot better than no-go! Being able to do things I hadn't been able to do since the end of September has sure been a game-changer.... Putting my babies to bed! Showers! My bed! Tubby time! I'm not going to lie, figuring logistics out at home haven't been easy (finally getting in the swing of things with all  of my therapies (as outlined by the Hope for Cancer clinic), PT, the Natural Health Improvement Center (IV, bloodwork, appointments), etc.  but my mom has been on "Kimmy rehab/therapies duty" (seriously, the next time you see her, hug her, the woman is a saint) and Mike continues to just blow me away with how he cares for our boys so beautifully and continues to work full time and keep up with school (seriously, the next time you see him, offer him a beer, the man is a saint). I'm able to help a little more (feed the boys meals, keep them entertained with my beautiful, shiny walker/climbing contraption, feed them bottles :) but it is really taking a while to build up stamina and just being on my feet for a couple of hours can really wipe me out.

It's been hard on my mama's heart reacclimating home. Everyone got used to keeping things running on the homefront without me for the past several months and it breaks my heart when my babies crawl to others for comfort instead of me. I know I've missed a lot of time with them the past few months and time sure doesn't stand still. And I know that as I'm here at home and able to provide more and more care for them and spend more time with them, we'll re-establish that bond, but for now, that has been absolute the hardest thing for me. I feel like just another person to them these days and it's brutal. Prayers for my heart would be appreciated, that's for sure!

My post-op appointment last Friday went well. As Mike mentioned, surgery went seamlessly and Dr. Steensma's PA was happy with how my incisions were healing and how I was bearing weight/ambulating. I've just been off of my right leg for so long that I have almost no muscle mass and that is just going to take a while to build back up, especially with my activities being so limited! I'll get there, but prayers for patience for me would be wonderful!

I was also referred for a consult with radiology so that we can get radiation started in the next couple of weeks. Initially I was very hesitant to do radiation but after talking with doctors about the benefits for helping with regrowth of the bone in my femur, I think we are leaning toward doing it at this point. This doesn't mean I'll be having all of my areas targeted. At this point, we'll start with my hip/femur and can always do palliative radiation down the road if spots become too painful to handle. I would like to avoid additional radiation as much as possible, so specific prayers for that would also be wonderful. Also just prayers for overall effectiveness would be great. I'm not fond of conventional treatment (especially without adjuvant therapies- probably because I already did the whole "cut, burn, poison" method and look where I've ended up as a 32 year old, less than 6 years later) for a number of reasons but really feel it is indicated in this situation. My doctors at H4C also gave this as their recommendation so that does give me a sense of peace knowing that my doctors here and in Mexico are all on the same page about progressing from here. 

So the coming weeks will likely continue to be busy but hopefully quite productive and beneficial. I'll try to be a bit better about updating as we go.

Thanks to all who take the time to read my updates and pray over our situation. We cannot even remotely express how much we are blessed by this.

Love, 

Kim

Journal entry by Mike Eling

Hello all,

I just wanted to quick update everyone on Kim’s surgery. Dr. Steensma did a great job and all went very well! She was a champ (as always) and is settled into her room for the next night or two. She is in a decent amount of pain, but that is expected to subside a little bit in the next few days. Thank you for all the thoughts, prayers and support. We are excited for Kim to start her recovery and be able to walk on her own in the coming months!

Mike 

Journal entry by Kim Eling

It Is So by Elevation Worship

There is a promise
That points beyond my failure
There is a still voice
To silence all my fears
Even the worst of my mistakes
Are miracles in the making
Are miracles in the making
By Your stripes, I am healed
With one touch, I am made whole
You have spoken
And I know that it is so
In the storm, You are peace
And Your love won't let me go
You have spoken
And I know that it is so
In every season
Your purpose is unchanging
In every moment
You're working for my good
Jesus the Rock that never fails
Your kingdom will not be shaken
Your kingdom will not be shaken
By Your stripes, I am healed
With one touch, I am made whole
You have spoken
And I know that it is so
In the storm, You are peace
And Your love won't let me go
You have spoken
And I know that it is so

I've been reading a chapter of Luke everyday leading up to Christmas (I feel like it's a bit of a fad to do that this year?) Anyway, I thought it was a good way to prepare my heart for Christmas and am glad I'm doing it trendy or not and I find it to be no coincidence that this song came across my ears for the first time this afternoon (have I been living under a rock??!). Both in this song and in the book of Luke, the themes of Jesus' miracles are recurring. Luke lists miracle after miracle, among them MANY miracles of healing- the centurion who knew Jesus just had to say a word, the woman who was bleeding who knew if she just touched His cloak,  the leper who had no doubt Jesus could heal him- it was just a matter of Jesus being willing, etc. and there is one thing they all have in common: flat out faith. The people who were healed knew that Jesus was totally, completely, 100% capable of healing them despite being sick for years or on the verge of death. I just feel so much hope in reading about these miraculous healings and think it's pretty amazing that we have a Jehovah Rapha who is capable of such beautiful healing and restoration! 

Journal entry by Kim Eling

Will you all please helping by lifting up big prayers for my friend, Jodie, from the clinic? She was one of the first faces to greet me and she and her husband are some of the kindest, most generous people you'll ever meet. She was diagnosed with metastatic BC to her hip in January and found out this summer that the cancer had spread like wildfire despite having surgery, chemo, and radiation this past spring. She is the exact same age as my mom and has young kids and grandkids. We spent several weeks at the clinic together and she just radiates strength and positivity. Jodie ended up having to leave H4C a day early to have her lung drained. She has just been going downhill since then. The doctors are now giving her a matter of weeks.  Maybe it's not His will to take her home just yet- doctors don't get to number our days here on earth. But if it is time for the Lord to take her home, please pray for her heart and mind- that she may experience God's peace in dying. Pray that her pain can be managed while still giving her moments of time with her family. That her family will find comfort in Him during this incredibly difficult time.

You are all such amazing prayer warriors and I just so want my friend to feel indescribable comfort and peace in these coming days and weeks.

I really have no words other than, "cancer sucks" and "thank you, Jesus, for the promise of heaven". 

Thank you for praying with me. 

Kim

Journal entry by Kim Eling

Hello,

It's been a busy couple of days! I'll try to bring you up to speed in a somewhat concise manner (definitely not my forte). Monday we had an appointment with the surgeon about my torn labrum. He was very kind but told me, "pretend you don't even know about the tear" and said we might have to look at surgery down the road but definitely not right now. He recommended seeing an orthopedic oncologist due to the shape my femur is in. He recommended a guy his sister had gone to med school with named Dr. Steensma. I had been planning on seeing a Dr. Peters for my ortho. onc so really didn't think anything of the recommendation. When I called to set up my appointment with Dr. Peters, I saw that Dr. Steensma was actually in the same practice. The nurse gave me the first available appointment to see Dr. Peters on Wednesday. I was researching Drs. Peters and Steensma and was chatting with my mom about it because I was very torn about who I should see. Lisa (the wonderful woman who is helping us take care of the boys every day), said, "Dr. Steensma? Like Matt Steensma?" And I was like, "yes, why?". It turns out she knows him and his family very well and she said they are wonderful people. I immediately emailed my nurse navigator saying something along the lines of believing God opens and closes doors for us and I felt like the Dr. Steensma door was wide open and wondered if she could change my appointment to the one next week with Dr. Steensma (he didn't have any availability until later). I got a call ten minutes later from her saying, "I did you one better. Can you come in for an appointment at 8:00 tomorrow morning? Dr. Steensma made room in his schedule for you." Wow. 
We met with him today and he was so incredibly kind. I can't say I had been looking forward to the appointment and was afraid of being railroaded, having someone be condescending or forceful with us, and a variety of other things. Dr. Steensma was real, honest, not fear mongering, encouraging, and kind. He showed us my x-rays (my fracture had actually healed!!) which indicated about 80-90% of the top half of my femur has eroded (head neck and body of the bone). He said the bone that's there is a "whisp" and that people don't feel bone pain until about 90% of the bone is gone because that's when it usually starts to bend (that's how strong our bones are- they can hold pretty fast until they are pretty much completely  dwindled down to almost nothing!). He fielded every one of our questions and asked if he could pray. He prayed most beautiful prayer over us and for my healing- I bawled. We left the office with such peace about our decision. Surgery is planned for next Wednesday. Dr. Steensma will insert a rod down my femur to stabilize the bone and in order to do so, also has to bore out my femur which will thereby remove most of the cancerous lesions in that bone.

God's hand has been SO evident throughout this entire process. Every little step along that way, He is showing up and making himself known- it seriously blows my mind. It's been so constant and HIS peace and provision are so tangible!

Next, we have to talk about the fundraiser that my cousin Jill put together at Crazy Horse. Oh. My. Goodness. The turnout was amazing and again, people were just so incredibly loving and generous! Family and friends, strangers, and restaurant workers/owners- thank you, thank you, thank you. I am so sad I wasn't able to make it last night- I had been so looking forward to it and and wanted to see many of you, however, my pain has been quite increased the past few days and I just couldn't do it. I'm so sorry to have missed many of you. Jill- you are AMAZING. I can't believe what a huge blessing you have been to Crazy Horse over the past many years, and what a blessing Crazy Horse has been to soooo very many in the community. Thank you too, for selling your beautiful shirts and tumblers last night- they are awesome (check out her shop on Etsy (etsy.com/shop/kikiandcrew- her work is amazing). Wow- what a blessing last night was for our family! Thank you to all who came out and generously gave. I know I say it frequently but being on the receiving end of so much love and generosity is so overwhelming and humbling. We are so thankful for each and every one of you! Seriously- again I am just rendered speechless and so wish I could have attended. 

I have continued to do my therapies from the clinic here at home (many the same and many different since I can't do most of the IV therapies here that I did there. It's taken a little bit to get the order/timing of things figured out- x has to be taken first thing in the morning, y has to be taken after a meal, z needs to be taken with smoothies, etc. It's been a little hard to get into a routine with different appointments everyday but we're getting there! 

If you could send up a few extra prayers for my sweet hubby that would be so appreciated. He has so much on his plate and is handling everything like a pro but I know he's stressed out and his concern about the fragility of my femur is really taking its toll. Mike's a fixer and a planner and I know it's hard for him to watch me struggle with pain, or be stubborn about asking for help, etc. Prayers that he is covered in peace and calm would be so wonderful! He's so strong, but he is weary. 

Okay, that about sums it up for now. Prayers for best case scenario for surgery would be appreciated. Specifically, pray that there is enough bone to attach the hardware to and that everything is as straightforward during surgery as possible. I just so desperately want to make a full recovery (minimal pain, maximum range of motion and mobility) so that I will be able to keep up with my boys in the days and years ahead! Dr. Steensma also mentioned that when breast cancer goes to the bone, it can be a bit like whack-a-mole. You get one spot under control and then another one pops up. I truly believe that by doing wholistic, whole body immune boosting therapies and Dr. Tony's protocols that this will not be the case. Please pray for this with us!

Love and thanks to you all!

Mike and Kim

Journal entry by Kim Eling

Hi All,

My mom and I arrived safely home late Wednesday night! Despite a rocky start to the morning, everything went really well and we arrived home a little ahead of schedule! Super thankful for how smooth sailing our travels were! I'd never wanted to be able to run up a flight of stairs so badly! Ahhhh I just wanted to pull the boys out of their cribs and hold them in my arms!

We've just been soaking up family time for the past two days and it's been delightful :). I can't believe all of the boys' new teeth and tricks- Rhett is cruising and Willem is babbling like crazy. They play together soooo adorably I can't even handle it! They follow each other everywhere and it's the cutest thing I've ever seen. They're totally starting to tag-team us and it's both scary and hilarious!

Acclimating back home has been going pretty well so far. It's hard leaving my safe little bubble at H4C where I was doing intensive therapies all day every day! (Don't worry, treatment doesn't stop- I just have to wait for some of my therapies to catch up with me as they are being shipped from California- it has made for a very strange-feeling lull in treatment though!). I don't like to sugar coat things....figuring out how to do things at home is proving to be interesting as we are slowly adapting our house with two flights of stairs (and no shower or bedroom on the first level) to accomodate my needs. Our family friend, Greg (you're awesome!), is GC-ing for us so we can have a handicap accessible shower installed in the downstairs basement. He and my dad tore out the existing shower and put up a new wall to accommodate the larger shower while we were still in Mexico- you guys are amazing- thank you, thank you! We have Carelinc coming on Monday to show us their stair-lift options so that I will be able to access said basement. Yes- those commercials with the 80 year old women sitting on a contraption while gliding effortlessly down the stairs?! That'll soon be me- I'm half dying of laughter/half crying about it.  It's ridiculous how much I'm looking forward to being able to shower in my own home again! My amazing grandparents got us a sleeper sofa for the living room so that Mike and I can sleep in the same bed again (cue the tears- it's been months since I last got to sleep next to my hubby!). *Note to self- get a ranch if we ever move! Not going to lie- at first I fought Mike and my mom tooth and nail about adapting our house in any way. I've  been coming to the realization I'm being stubborn and was having a hard time coming to grips with my mobility limitations. Everyone knows how hard it is to admit they have a problem- especially one that requires costly intervention. I'm having a hard time with the fact that we need to do these things and am praying so very hard that these things are needed on more of a short-term than long-term basis. I could seriously go on and on about the reasons why I don't want to have to do any of the things we need to do but it really comes down to the fact that it will make life easier for the people who are taking care of me and the boys and it will allow to be able to do my therapies with a little more independence in my home. It's just hard to face the music sometimes..... 

Mike will be going back to work next week if all goes according to plan. We found a wonderful woman to come help us take care of the boys about 4 times per week. We truly feel that she has been divinely placed in our lives at this very difficult time where I can't take care of my babies. Please pray that this transition goes well!

Another prayer request is for peace and calm as we have a bunch of doctor appointments on the horizon in the coming weeks. Now that we're home, we'll be meeting with medical and radiology oncologists and an orthopedic oncologist as well as another surgeon to discuss my torn labrum. I'm pretty set against palliative radiation and chemo but plan on going to hear what the doctors have to say about my case and we will go from there. I don't want to be closed minded but also have very strong opinions about my situation. These appointments can be scary and very gloomy. Please continue to pray for protection for our hearts and minds as we anticipate these difficult appointments. I meet with the hip surgeon (to see if there is anything he can do for my torn labrum) on Monday. I have a feeling he is going to tell me that my injury was caused by the deterioration of my bone and that surgery and rehab won't be possible (not really sure if I could even do PT after surgery due to my fractured femur and fragility of my hip structure). If he somehow CAN do the surgery, please pray that he could do the it laparoscopically and without having to cut through any of my lesions. In my mind it's a verrrrrry a long shot that he'll be able to do anything about my tear right now, but it's at least worth investigating because if I could get some pain relief and increased ability to bear weight, that would be amazing! 

Please pray for strength and patience for Mike. It has to be beyond hard having such a needy spouse and two extremely dependent 10 month olds asking/crying for things all the time. He also has a man-cold at the moment which never helps things! He's seriously such a trooper but I know we exhaust him. 

Oh dear- just thought of one more prayer request. Can you pray that I can find a good naturopath in the area? I have a few people that I've researched and know about but I'm crazy weird about rapport, need for things to be somewhat close to home, and I don't really have the time or ability to go phyicheck people/places out over the next several weeks. 

I'll give an update on our appointment with the surgeon on Monday as soon as I can!

Once again, your continued prayers and love are helping to carry us through- thank you.

Love,

Kim

PS- That picture at the bottom? I NEVER would have posted it before all this (I literally just woken up, my eyes were squinty, had no make-up on, was gross from traveling the night before, I'm wearing Mike's shirt because we didn't feel like finding my PJs the night before, and on and on....). If you know me at all, you know I'm sooooo ridiculously self-conscious (working on making this a "past-tense" thing) but I DON'T CARE! I'm home with my boys and that's all that matters!

Journal entry by Kim Eling

Well, I'm not gonna lie. The last three days have been rough for me. 

Since I've been diagnosed, I think I've cried like twice for ten minutes. Well the floodgates opened a few days ago and I was a weepy mess for a good two and a half days there. You know how when you were little and something "terrible" happened at school and somehow you could keep it together all day but the minute you got home and your mom asked you how your day went and then you just fall apart? Well I kind of feel like that's what happened. 

I think I've just been needing to process all that has transpired in the past month. I was only diagnosed a month ago and soooo much has happened in a whirlwind since then. We went from being on cloud nine after the birth of our beautiful boys. Watching them develop and grow has been the most amazing thing we've ever experienced. It takes a while to get in the swing of things when you have twins. I felt like we were starting to get there. Nap times were starting to be more consistent and line up (having at least one baby awake all day makes it rather "fun" to try to figure out when/how to do things). Garrett was sleeping through the night and Willem was down to one wake-up per night (which I secretly (or not so secretly) didn't care about b/c I just loved nursing that happy little dude and couldn't get enough of the extra snuggles!). The boys were starting to babble and engage with each other- ugh it seriously is the best and just gives us so much joy to see them in action together! I was loving being back to work and felt pretty great about work/life balance. And then, it just feels like the rug got pulled out from under us. We went from being mountain high to valley low in an instant. I realize that this isn't unique and it's how things like this happen but man, life can change fast!

I know I have been mourning a number of things right now; not being able to take care of my little family is just brutal for me (our moms have been AMAZING, but not being able to do thing when you want to and how you want to can try ones' patience), having to wean Willem much before I (or he, I believe) wanted to (Rhett gave up nursing months ago), the whole caregiver/patient dynamic in marriage is hard (been there, done that, never wanted to do it again), loss of independence (no driving, not getting around more than a few feet here and there independently, needing lots of help, etc.), having to go on long-term disability for work (I had just come back from my maternity leave this fall and I feel horrible leaving my students, parents of students, and co-workers in a lurch- it seriously makes me sick). Having cancer as a young mom can be lonely. No matter how amazing my family and friends are, (and the vast majority of them are beyond amazing- seriously- our people are such incredible blessings to us), most people don't know what it feels like to be a young mama with stage 4 cancer and sometimes I feel like the lone ranger even when I'm being surrounded with love and care. Honestly, it's all a lot to handle psychologically. 

We've now had to postpone the boys' dedication twice which makes me really sad. As we anticipate this holiday season, I have just been feeling stressed and sad as we are dealing with so many things we just weren't anticipating. I've been dreaming of the boys' firsts since we found out we were pregnant with our miracle babies. And now that we're upon their first Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthday, etc. and things are just so up in the air right now, I just need to take a chill pill. Things don't always go to plan. These are first world problems and the boys won't even remember their firsts- these are really things that we do for adults (myself). The boys won't remember Christmas pajamas or what I made for Christmas breakfast, or what was in their stocking, or how cute their first birthday decorations were. These are trivial things in life. I just needed to cry about not being able to celebrate the way I've been anticipating and wanting to and now I'm ready to put on my big girl pants and move on. We will have many beautiful holiday celebrations in the future that will be all the more sweet because of the ones missed/celebrated differently this year. 

I truly don't say any of this to complain, only to explain where my heart and head are at right now. I do feel in my heart of hearts this is temporary and I am already looking back on this past month and seeing example after example of God's provision in big and small ways.

My sister, Krissy, prayed the most beautiful prayer over me yesterday on the phone and I could literally feel the darkness lift from my room as she prayed. I'm feeling a lot better as of yesterday afternoon and today. I hit a wall and while I do think a lot of it was needing to process and grieve a number of things (both trivial and not), I also feel like I have a target on my back. Like the devil wants me to doubt God's goodness to me. If you would, please pray for a hedge of protection around my heart and mind. I know that He is near the brokenhearted, when I go through deep waters He is with me, and HE WILL BE MY PEACE. I have been singing "See a Victory" by Elevation worship in my head on repeat. This is HIS battle. I don't even have to pick up a sword! He IS going to take what the enemy meant for evil and turn it for good. For HIS good. I have not a doubt in my mind. 

Thanks for reading and for the continued prayers for healing!

Kim

Journal entry by Kelly Stepanek

Kimmy & Mikey-  
Today’s devotional from Steams in the Desert is so fitting.  May you sense God’s closeness to you today and His power of healing.  ❤️

Streams in the Desert:

Do you believe that I am able to do this? (Matthew 9:28)

God deals with impossibilities. It is never too late for Him to do so, as long as that which is impossible is brought to Him in complete faith by the person whose life and circumstances would be impacted if God is to be glorified. If we have experienced rebellion, unbelief, sin, and ruin in our life, it is never too late for God to deal triumphantly with these tragic things, if they are brought to Him in complete surrender and trust.

It has often been said, and truthfully so, that Christianity is the only religion that can deal with a person's past. God "will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten" (Joel 2:25), and He is trustworthy to do it unreservedly. He does so not because of what we are but because of who He is. God forgives and heals and restores, for He is "the God of all grace" (1 Peter 5:10). May we praise Him and trust Him. 
We have a God who delights in impossibilities and who asks, "Is anything too hard for me?" (Jer 32:27) 
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**Kim and Mike- Might I add a thought to this devotion that has been bothering me for a while as I watch so many Christian’s struggle with what it means to have “faith” in God for healing...  I think Matthew 9:28 is take out of context sometimes which is frustrating to me because it puts unnecessary pressure on a person who is already suffering.  Some people falsely proclaim that God’s ability to heal requires a person to maintain a certain “measure” of faith without wavering.  Fortunately, our God does not operate that way!! Believing that God CAN heal is just that...  knowing that He can do ALL things. It doesn’t mean that we won’t have days of doubt that He will, or days of grief over loss of life “normalcy.”  Even Job questioned Gods motives and in the end God restored him with abundance.   

We are standing alongside you in faith that God CAN heal and are also walking alongside you through the ups and downs of joy and grief in this journey.  You guys are beloved by God and He understands the ups and downs like no one else can, and He says to both of you, “Well done good and faithful servants.” 

Love you guys so much!  
-Kelly 

Journal entry by Mike Eling

Hello (“Hola”) family and friends!

We are safe and sound at the Hope 4 Cancer clinic in Mexico! God gave us such peace with a beautiful sunset at takeoff and everything went smooth crossing the border. It has been a whirlwind of a 24 hours of leaving family and travel, but we are settling in and Kim has been receiving numerous treatments already her first day. She continues to amaze me with her toughness to endure whatever is thrown at her, and a strong belief that it’s all in Gods hands. A quote from todays devotional “let the peace that he gives, let it meet you where you live. Let his grace become your resting place, and with the burden that you bear, come into his presence and there you will find all that you need”.

Please continue to pray that Kim’s Femur and hip remain stable and that the tumors in her body start to shrink. Every day of killing cancer cells is a good day and it felt good to say this is day one of a lifelong journey of overcoming this disease. We feel like we have been / are being supported in every way possible from all of you and we couldn’t be more blessed. Please know your prayers are felt constantly. 

We love you all!

Mike & Kim

Kim’s Story

Site created on October 27, 2019

To all family, friends, fellow believers, and anyone who loves life and hates cancer, 

Following a recent injury to her leg, an MRI revealed that Kim Eling had a torn muscle in her hip. On Monday, October 21, five and a half years after beating breast cancer, this same MRI revealed that cancer has returned to her body in an aggressive manner.  

Mike, Kim, and their family have been preparing for this possibility by researching  and planning their course of action. On Tuesday, October 29, Mike and Kim will leave their beautiful twin 9-month old boys in the care of family, to fly to Mexico for aggressive and cutting edge treatment for 4 weeks. At the conclusion, Kimmy will continue her treatments in the U.S. and return to Mexico every 3 months for continued treatment. 

We ask you to boldly pray for stability for Kim's leg; that her femur is not damaged further through their travels to Mexico. As Mike and Kim grieve the absence of family and community,  pray for peace and the presence of God to be felt in the trying days ahead. Pray for wisdom for the doctors and strength for Kim's body. And pray trusting that our Father, who is the Great Physician, will rid Kimmy's body of this cancer once and for all. 

We thank God for a family and community that loves and supports Kimmy and Mike the way we have witnessed this past week!

To Jesus be all praise, honor, and glory - now and forever!

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