Journal

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
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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) 
______________
**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 Kim Eling

Hello Friends and Family,

Wow- I just realized that I can I'm coming home next week! Sounds do-able, right?!
I just finished the last of one of my treatments. The nurses haven't been able to draw blood from my catheter/port for some reason- so I thought we were going to have to forget about the last of the 6 treatments but yesterday they were successful in being able to draw enough blood after numerous attempts and it's kind of nice to check a therapy off the list (it's also a couple hours less per week to be attached to an IV pole- always a plus in my book)! 

My mom arrived here safely on Saturday afternoon (Kelly you're an absolute gem, Dad- you're a trooper, we really hope you get to have Mom back some day in the near future!) and Mike had an afternoon to show her the ropes here at the clinic that evening before he left early on Sunday morning! Mom, of course, has picked up right where Mike left off! She's been loving learning about all of the therapies here and reading up on Dr. Tony's book.

I got to have a video chat with all 3 of my boys yesterday morning. Crazy to see the boys' new tricks and developments over the past few weeks! Makes me smile and cry at the same time that's for sure. 
It's not fun being dependent on others to take care of you and man, it has been humbling and frustrating but I could not have better caregivers and for that I am extremely, extremely grateful! They both put up with my ridiculous requests ("Can you help me get my foot through my yoga pants?" and "Can you look to see what I dropped under the bed?", "Can you run up to get my nasal cannula that I forgot upstairs?"). Mike and my mom are seriously both saints for my endless requests- yikes! 
I will be continuing therapies until my mom and I fly home on the 27th- the day before Thanksgiving! Is that divine timing or what??

Mike and I (and both of our families) have continued to be absolutely blown away by everyone's love and support. From fundraisers (thank you, Mr. Burger, Josh, and Jimmy, and all of you amazing people who waited outside on a cold night to get into the restaurant (Josh said it was the second busiest night they'd ever had at Mr. Burger- you guys are unreal!)), to beautiful ornaments made by my cousin (thank you, Lindy @ohrosiemyposie, and to every person who has purchased these beautiful ornaments! Her work is amazing- go check out her etsy shop or instagram!), to my sweet students at school making bracelets and selling them (I didn't have a chance to ask for parents' permission to release names and faces but man, these girls have the biggest, sweetest hearts!), to a coworker asking to not receive Christmas presents and instead have the money go toward my treatments, to a student at Kalamazoo Christian (where my brother-in-law teaches) who gave his tithing money for my treatments. Take a look at the photos I attached and try not to cry.

Here are some other things that I don't have pictures for, but want to be able to thank people for! I truly wish I could write individual "thank yous" to every single person who has helped us but I know that's just not possible right now.

- All of the unbelievable generosity on GoFundMe- we just don't even know how to thank you for your loving on us in this way. I really have no words, only tears. Once again, "thank you" just doesn't seem to be enough
- You guys helped us find a wonderful, amazing home for Penny. Endless thanks, too, to the people who volunteered to foster her or take her on a long term or short term basis. I will miss her snuggles and naughty antics so much but I know without a doubt she is in a great place and will come to love her new doxie brother and sisters!
- My coworkers and some of my students made 40 ice cube trays (yes- 40!) of baby food for our boys (and you better believe Willem and Garrett have been happily chowing those down over the past couple of weeks. Tears.
- My boss set aside time for my co-workers to write me (and Mike) beautiful letters of encouragement and sent me off to Mexico with like 100 notes and letters to read when we got here- UNREAL. My work family is amazing- thank you, Bauerwood! Yup, cried about that, too.
- My amazing SLPs have covered my caseload, evaluations, and many other odds and ends at work for me- "thank you" doesn't even BEGIN to cover it, as they all have their own busy workloads and have been working tirelessly to cover my students and their own while they get a long term sub in place for me- again, "thank you" doesn't cut it. 
- My sister-in-law making baby food for the boys- yes- more food- I tell ya, these kids are bottomless pits!
- Family and friends making meals for and visiting with our parents and loving on the boys while Mike and I were in Mexico
- An amazing friend of the family is letting me use her mom's wheelchair- oh my goodness I'd be dead in the water without it!
- Daughters who have come to visit and make food for the Grandmas (Tami and Patti) so they didn't lose their sanity while taking care of Garrett and Willem day-in, day-out
- Texts of love and encouragement from my sweet friends and family- they seriously bless my heart so much!
Thank you too, to all of the people who have done thing anonymously. We are so touched by your humble hearts!

I wanted to let you know that my amazing cousin, Jill, has set up a fundraiser for us at Crazy Horse in Holland on December 3. This Holland restaurant has a history of fundraising and helping out in their community and they are a wonderful business to support. I don't tell you this because we expect anything from anyone, but I know that people would rather know about these types of things before they happen rather than after. I should be home by then and really and truly would love nothing more than a chance to get some hugs from friends and family that day! Again- absolutely no pressure- just more of an FYI!

I am having a little bit of re-testing done before we head home (nothing big- just bloodwork, an ultrasound, and an X-ray to see check on my fracture and bones). Can you please pray for these things to either indicate no new tumor growth and no worsening/additional fractures or better yet, that my fracture is healing? 

We truly cannot believe how we have been so wrapped in support and love. It is so evident that people are in this with us for the long haul (and a long haul it will likely be) and to know that we are not alone in this season blesses us beyond words. 

I'll leave you with a few verses I'm clinging to right now along with a few quotes that just seem really appropriate for the situation! 

1 John 4:4- "The Lord is greater than the giants you face".
Psalm 62:12 says, "My soul finds rest in God alone. My salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress. I will never be shaken."
"So be truly glad. There is wonderful JOY ahead. Even though you have to endure many trials for a little while". 1 Peter 16
"God is faithful and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength". 1 Corinthians 10:13

"Where there is no struggle there is no strength". 
"The deepest level of worship is praising God in spite of the pain, Thanking God during the trials, trusting him when we're tempted to lose hope and loving Him when He seems so distant and far away. At my lowest, God is my hope. At my darkest, God is my light. At my weakest, God is my strength. At my saddest, God is my comforter".
"I AM the daughter of a King who is not moved by the world. for my God is with me and goes before me. I do not fear because I AM HIS".

Seriously, one would think I try to make these posts as long as possible. I promise it's not intentional! 

Lots of Love,

Kim

Journal entry by Kim Eling

Hi All,

So yesterday was the halfway point for me being here at the clinic. (Did I tell you that they added a week of treatment/time here in Tijuana? The days all run together for me!) Not much new is happening at the moment. I continue to do my therapies pretty much all day, every day. My pain has not gotten worse so we're thankful for that! I wouldn't say it's getting better yet either but I don't expect my tumors to shrink and for my bone to repair itself in a matter of a couple of weeks. It's just kind of hard to assess- the treatment that they give me to encourage bone growth is making me achy (lower back, femur, cervical spine) which is a common side effect. We also don't know how much of my pain is coming from the torn labrum. So at this point, even though I still can't bear any weight, I'm just glad that the pain is manageable. I wouldn't be honest if I didn't say that I'm not a little disappointed that I'm not noticing improvements (not to say it's not improving extremely slowly on a day to day basis and the changes are just too small for me to notice). I am just so anxious to be back on my feet and want nothing more than to be able to resume my motherly and wifely duties that I used to not think twice about (and even resented on some days- laundry, grocery shopping, mopping the floors). I don't think I've ever been so excited to change poopy diapers, clean toilets, and vacuum in my life! Never again will I take the ability to do these menial tasks for granted, I can tell you that much! I long to be able to pick my boys up, carry them around, and play with them on the floor. I am well aware that "typical" fractures can take months to heal, so I can only imagine how long it's going to take for bones that has been ravaged by metastasis to heal. Overall, I have to say I feel really good and we both continue to be in a really great mindspace. We have no doubt where that peace and positivity is coming from and can't thank all of you, our prayer warriors, enough! 
We talked with our parents last night and it sounds like there was such a great turn out at Mr. Burger last night. We still just can't believe everyone's generosity and kindness. Seriously- it's been amazing and so very humbling. We don't even know how to go about thanking everyone for all of the love and support! Seriously, where do we even start?!? We are just blown away (I cry pretty much every day because I am so just so overwhelmed with the love we and our families are being shown on a daily basis). 
My mom is coming out on Saturday and Mike heads home on Sunday. I'm excited for my mom to come but am sad to see Mike leave (not gonna lie, I'm pretty jealous that he gets to go home to our boys). It's time for the Willem and Garrett to have at least one of their parents back, though. Words can't express how thankful we are to our parents for holding down the fort and loving on our boys while we are here (and for all of you who have visited them, played with our boys, brought meals, and wrote words of love and encouragement for them). 

Some specific prayer requests we have:
- Pray for Mike to be able to complete his paper (he's currently in the Graduate School of Banking through the University of Wisconsin). He really enjoys the program but it's a lot of work (and time is a bit scarce to work on projects when you're out of country and/or taking care of two babes and their mama!)
- Pray for my heart- I just miss my babies
- Pray for patience for me as I am absolutely chomping at the bit to be up and around again

I'll leave you with a couple of pics of the boys from right before we left because we think they're pretty cute and I miss them like crazy and we just think about them all day, every day.
Oh and a pic from the day Dr. Tony came to visit just because that was such a wonderful, encouraging visit and we're so very thankful for his expertise and involvement in my case!

Lots of Love!

Mike and Kim

Journal entry by Kim Eling

Hi All,

So, we have a pretty big request for help. We have an adorable five year old doxie who up until now has been great with the boys. As they are getting more active and quicker though, we've started having some concerns. Over the weekend, she nipped Garrett in the face twice. It breaks my heart to say this but I don't think we have any choice but to find a new home for her. We really feel that she would do best as a companion dog to someone with no children (obviously). She is an angel dog when she just gets to snuggle all day on someone's lap. She really thinks she's a human princess. Honestly, she was my little therapy dog through my first round with cancer- she just loves to snuggle, cuddle, and be on someone's lap. She also loves playing in our fenced in backyard when the weather is nice. She looooves going for walkies and exploring new places. We think she'd do great with someone who is either retired or doesn't work full time. She's not a big fan of other dogs (she's fine with our lab, but she grew up with her). She can be very skittish with new people and dogs, but once she warms up, she does just fine. Please let me or my mom know if you or someone you know would like more info! 

Thanks so much,

Mike and Kim

Journal entry by Kim Eling

Hi There!

Just popping in to say hello and to let you know that everything is going well! I'm staying super busy with therapies and Mike is staying super busy taking me to and from said therapies and being an errand boy (getting our meals, my juices, oxygen lines, tea, blotting my face with a cold wash cloth while I'm in full body hyperthermia, filling up my ozone syringe and coffee enema bucket, the list goes on and on...) he's seriously such a champ and never complains!
Friday I was kind of weepy because the boys turned 10 months old- I hate missing their milestones! But that's why I'm here- so I don't have to miss them growing up and all of their other milestones. I keep telling myself it's one month that they won't even remember.
Yesterday I woke up to wonderful news that one of the Hope4Cancer patients (who was given just months to live last October) was declared CANCER FREE! She has been so supportive and just the sweetest about our journey and I am so incredibly thrilled for her. I can't  even tell you how encouraging this news is to me (and the rest of us here at the clinic)! 
So many of you know that music just speaks to my soul and have been sending me songs and starting playlists. I can't tell you how much I love that and how much peace it gives me to listen to music- I have lots of time to listen during therapies! Here are some lines from my faves lately:
"It is Well" (Bethel Music) - "The mountain that's in front of me will be thrown into the midst of the sea" 
"Still" (Hillary Scott)- "I rest my heart on all your promises cause I have seen and know your faithfulness" and "You've answered my prayer before I even speak, All you need for me to be is still" 
"He Will Hold Me Fast" (Keith and Kristyn Getty)- "When I fear my faith will fail, Christ will hold me fast; When the tempter will prevail, He will hold me fast. I could never keep my hold through life's fearful path, For my Savior loves me so, He will hold me fast.  
"Times (Tenth Avenue North)- "The times of confusion, in chaos and pain, I'm there in your sorrow, under the weight of your shame, I'm there through your heartache, I'm there in the storm, My love I will keep you, by my power alone. I don't care where you fall, where you have been, I'll never forsake you, my love never ends."

We're just super thankful that we're here and continue to feel optimistic about treatment. I think I'll be having bloodwork done sometime next week so any prayers for that would be so appreciated.

Thanks for reading and for all of the kind messages- we can't tell you how much we love reading all of your words of love and support- they are such a mood booster for us!

Lots of Love,

Mike and Kim


 

Journal entry by Kim Eling

Hi Everyone,

We had such a great day on Tuesday! We had heard that Dr. Tony (Dr. Antonio Jimenez, MD/ND - look him up- he's brilliant!) was going to visit the clinic and he ended up coming on Tuesday. He comes to the Tijuana clinic less than 1-2 times per month so it's really special when patients get to meet him. I was really bummed out because he was presenting in the dining room which is up a couple of flights of stairs. Mike was sweet and face-timed me while Dr. Tony spoke, but I could only hear portions of his presentation. Mike was so thoughtful and mentioned to Dr. Tony that I couldn't make it upstairs but that I would LOVE to meet him (but that we know that he is a very busy man and if he didn't have the time, we would understand). Unbeknownst to me, a couple of patients had also advocated for me on this as well- so kind! After a couple of hours had passed and not wanting to leave my room for fear of missing Dr. Tony on the off chance of his coming, I had kind of given up on him stopping by. I decided to start doing one of my therapies (that requires either being pants-less or hiking my shorts over my bum so I can target my tumor areas :/) and wouldn't you know it?! The minute I had my rear end on full display, in walks Dr. Tony! He didn't bat an eye, bless his heart, and gave me the kindest, most heartfelt greeting! I was so thrilled that he had come and figured he would just say hello and move on. But no.... he asked about how we were doing, commented on our beautiful boys, and mentioned that he had first heard of me because of being on the news?! (I have NO idea how that happened- thought it was just on one of our local stations- but I guess it's a pretty small world these days and somehow he had seen the news clip the day before). He had also done a full review of my file with the other doctors here in Tijuana and was so extremely encouraging. He completely validated our decision to not to move forward with the hip replacement/rod placement in my femur and hip biopsy (recommended by the ortho oncologist in the US) which was wonderful to hear because that was almost what got us sent back to the states when we got here and we had VERY strong feelings on that NOT being the direction we needed to go in. He asked about our faith and was so positive out my healing. Dr. Tony also recommended adding a couple of additional therapies (ECGC IVs (which is a green tea extract), Curcumin IV, Maragen in IV form (which I typically take orally but getting it directly into my bloodstream can increase effectiveness) and an extract of artemesinin (in addition to iron to optimize effectiveness). Given the distance from Michigan to Mexico, he also recommended staying an extra week here to do as intense of treatments as possible as opposed to having to come back for a couple weeks again in a couple of months. We had wondered about this possibility and as much as it breaks my mama's heart to miss another week with my boys, I know it's for the best. They are in their Grandma's very capable hands right now and I know she's loving them on like crazy. She's great about keeping us in the loop and we have been able to video chat with the boys and man is it precious! They smile their little heads off and try to grab our faces through the phone, we even had a rousing game of peek-a-boo which led to being able to hear their glorious giggles. These things make it a little easier to be away.  Anyway, Dr. Tony ended up spending about 15-20 minutes with us and just radiated kindness and positivity. Mike and I were on a cloud nine for the rest of the day- Dr. Tony just has that effect on people. My mom sent me a screenshot of a conversation that she had with Dr. Tony's wife, Marcy where she mentioned that they prayed specifically for me that evening- I was just blown away. How cool is that?!! How wonderful are they?!

I have no doubt in my mind that this is exactly where I need to be but today I was just a little edgy and, I don't know, ....flat. Maybe I'm just coming off of my "high" from our visit with Dr. Tony. I've really itching to get out and about- but it's just too dangerous for my fracture right now and it's not worth risking the healing that has been occuring. I think it's just been getting to me that I'm very limited in what I can do for myself. I feel bad having to ask Mike for every little thing and have been having to do so for so long. I just keep telling myself it's temporary, it's temporary, it's temporary and am thankful for the mobility I DO have and that we have a little patio off of our our where we can get fresh air. I miss my babies like crazy (and feel like they are all too quickly becoming toddlers while I'm away). It's just the pits. But again, it's temporary. And I'm away for this small amount of time (in the grand scheme of things) so that I get to have the rest of my life with them. No matter how I rationalize it, it just stinks right now, though

We have the most amazing group of prayer warriors and many of you have asked for specific things to prayer about, so here goes!
- Prayers of thanks that my lymphedema is doing great despite all of the heat treatments I've been doing (heat is typically a huge trigger for my lymphedema so this is a huge "thank you, Jesus!")
- Prayers of thanks for the opportunity to extend our stay at the clinic for more treatments
- Prayers of thanks that Dr. Tony is directly involved in my case and is consulting with my doctor on treatment

- Prayers for continued health and strength for Mike. He has been soooo amazing but any way you cut it, the situation is stressful and I am as needy as a toddler right now which can be easy to deal with day in, day out- he is seriously a rock star
- Prayers for continued health and strength for my mom- she has been taking care of the boys at our house and they are busy little doodlebugs- pray specifically for her joints (knees, feet, hips) to continue to feel good as she is up and down the stairs at our house about 100 times per day! She truly deserves a medal! 
- Prayers for our hearts as we both miss our boys tremendously
- Prayers for a decrease in pain in my hip and femur 
- And of course, continued prayers for optimal effects from the therapies (that the tumors in my vertebrae, rib, hip, leg, pelvis, armpit, and lung SHRINK, SHRink, shrink or better yet, disappear!)

I'll leave you with Psalm 61:1-2- My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken. 

Thanks for reading- I don't know how these end up being so long! 

Lots of Love,
Kim (and Mike)

Also, I wanted to mention that there is a movie called "Hope for Breast Cancer" that follows the journey of a young mom as she pursues mainstream and alternative treatments. There are a lot of parallels in our stories. The movie is free for the next two days, I believe. Here is the link if anyone is interested!
https://naturallivingfamily.com/hope-for-breast-cancer/watch/?utm_source=infusionsoft&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=h4bc-nov6&inf_contact_key=d8eca8c8591bbd56b938fa733ba0f317ca03494014e15f13387d5174cdcb4731

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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