Hurry up and wait…

I would like to think that I’m a fairly patient person, but if I’m honest with myself, I have to admit that I have always had a difficult time waiting…for most anything.  With a sister who is 3 years my senior, I know there have been many times where I envied her and all of the adventures she was experiencing ahead of me.  From my vantage point, her life was so exciting compared to mine and I couldn’t wait until I reached that magical stage, whatever it was…learning to drive, my first boyfriend, my first kiss, first day of college, walking across the stage to receive my coveted diploma, marriage, children…the happily ever after.  Knowing that I had such a hard time with this, my sister, my parents and sometimes even my younger brother have encouraged me to enjoy each moment as it comes and most days, the older I have become, I truly do feel content with the way my life has turned out, but dang, how the past 14 days have tested me in ways I never imagined possible!

Although it has only been two weeks today since I was diagnosed with oral cancer, it feels like a lifetime has passed.  It’s amazing how time stands still when you receive traumatic news and even more amazing to realize that while my life and the lives of those in my immediate family have been turned upside down, the world around us continues and life goes on.  But while life goes on for those not directly impacted, we have no other option but to live as each day comes and to deal with each new piece of this complicated puzzle.  I feel as if most of my time has been filled with rushing to one doctors appointment after another or one more medical test just to hurry up and wait.  We wait for the results, we wait to hear the plan, we wait for the next test from that plan and then we wait again to hear how that worked out.  But today, I am over waiting!

On Friday, the doctor in Southern California completed a pre-op examination where he put me under to do a more thorough assessment of the tumor.  He put cameras down my throat and found no further cancer in that area, which is a major blessing!  He did; however, find that the tumor is much larger than first expected, approximately 4 cm long and 4 cm wide.  With the new information, my doctor is recommending an aggressive treatment that will include reconstructive surgery and up to 2 weeks in the hospital with a trach and a feeding tube.  After working through the initial shock of that new scenario, this weekend I packed my bags and drove home to Northern California to meet with a 2nd Head and Neck Surgeon today.  This doctor has a completely different idea of how to handle the tumor but then mentioned that the tumor may be heading towards my jawline.  If that is the case, even more reconstructive surgery is in my future, leading to a more extensive recovery process.  The 2nd doctor acknowledged that he is not qualified to deal with all of the issues that may arise once they go in for the surgery so he is recommending a 3rd possible physician in the Bay area.  So now we wait…AGAIN!  We wait to hear back from doctor #1 to discuss the consultation with doctor #2 and then follow up with doctor #3 for yet another opinion.

And all the while, I have to convince myself to be brave, to endure a few more days until the next meeting, to take time to stop and enjoy each minute, to revel in the friendships around me and be thankful for what is here, what is happening now and to keep my thoughts on the present rather than the concerns of tomorrow.  And this time, neither my big sis, nor my brother, nor my parents can go before me.  They cannot promise me that it will all be okay and they cannot tell me what the future holds.  But what they have done has been so incredible, they have rested with me in each moment…they have been there every step of the way and they have loved me through the questions, the doubt, the fear, the pain and today, the realization that we must yet again, hurry up and wait.


12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. lorilynnnavarro
    Feb 17, 2010 @ 07:26:43

    If it makes you feel any better, I suck at waiting, too! We are a family of “planners”! But if there is anything I have learned in the last 2 years of my life, is that sometimes, the “plan” just doesn’t go as we had “planned”. I am anxiously waiting for a plan on this one, as well, Kelli-girl. Praying and waiting with you, hoping for God’s best in all of this. I love you sister.


  2. Trackback: Surgeon #2: Kelli’s update in her own words…… « Life.. on and off the road!
  3. Shawn Davis
    Feb 17, 2010 @ 09:36:29

    Kelli, Kell….. so much you have been through and yet you remain standing never giving up. You remind me of my brother in some ways……always finding a way to laugh, dispite of the big C. Never giving up, never going down, always going toe to toe in each round(hmm..that was cheezy..anyways) with the Lord right next to him, never leaving his side as with you. I pray for our heavenly Father to embrace you in such a way that his loving presents overwhelms your soul, spirit and body….may his peace be over you.


  4. whittakerwoman
    Feb 17, 2010 @ 12:56:41

    K- I am thankful that you are sharing your heart. I admire your courage and I wish I could just fix things. Praying Gods peace and hand on your life my friend. love ya H


  5. Danielle
    Feb 17, 2010 @ 16:13:42

    I love your style girl!! I’m not sure I know very many people who are as honest and loving as you. You have spent so much of your life giving to others and taking care of them. Now it’s your turn to be taken care of. Know that you are loved and that prayers are flooding God’s ears down here in so. cal.


  6. toni martin-stolp
    Feb 17, 2010 @ 17:33:05

    kelli – i love you lady. and i wanted to say – i… don’t know what to say. i read chad’s request for prayer for you, and i was shocked, but then, at peace when i read your notes here. i’ve always respected you and looked up to you. and it’s been years since i’ve had the opportunity to visit with you, but i love you all the same. Jesus is the only answer i can think of. and it sounds like your heart is right there. the answer for your need of patience. the answer for treatment. the answer the doctors are looking for before they find it. it’s all coming together in a perfect plan specifically molded for who He’s made you to be. and this isn’t the first time you’ve face unbelievable pain and setback.
    but God! – He’s been there all the way, hasn’t He?
    i’m sorry for your pain and frustration, friend.
    but i’m already seeing just a glimpse of His plan thru this.
    you’re an incredible encouragement, kelli.
    continue to be used by your Jesus for His glory.
    i love you!


  7. Callie Souther
    Feb 17, 2010 @ 17:42:10

    May i just tell you I am Praying for you and I have a friend who has went thru this very recently her name is Melissa Hogan you can look her up on the internet she had over half of her tounge taken out a few weeks before christmas and had the tube and trach and is doing well her doctors are at MD in huston she is amazing just as you are i came over from Renee’s blog like many others



  8. LoveJoy
    Feb 19, 2010 @ 05:39:32

    How are You Sugar? Enjoyed reading and feel like you are sitting next to me with our Yogurt’ as I hear you share your heart! You are missed mucho grande around the Bellflower Office. Imagine cats meowing in the walls, the smell of mold from a distance… oh yea, and the “waiting” for our computers to decide if they are going to cooperate or not! I love that we had the same Valentine’s Day my kindred spirit! xo -kimberly


  9. Casey Angulo
    Feb 22, 2010 @ 04:49:17

    I am glad you are getting so many doctor’s opinions. It seems that you are going to be in good hands.


  10. David and Vicki Bishop
    Feb 23, 2010 @ 16:04:17

    When I faced my immortality with that hated work Cancer a dear friend called me up one day and read Ps. 91 to me on the phone.
    Now I am passing on this prayer to you…I am praying Ps 91 for you.
    We do have an awesome God.
    With love and tears…


  11. Shari
    Mar 03, 2010 @ 04:40:09

    Hi Kelli:

    I am praying for you and have been. I hopped on over from Renee’s blog. I know it is so hard waiting. I had to do the same thing. I beat cancer and I know you can, too.

    There is another young lady I have prayed for for a few months. This is her website and maybe you can gain encouragement from her.

    I hope I can be of encouragement to you.




  12. pam
    Mar 03, 2010 @ 12:24:51



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