This time last year I was planning my own funeral.  Seriously.  Things were looking so bad with my cancer at that point (mets in my brain, lungs, and hip bone after spreading from the lymph nodes in my neck), and what we had hoped would be a wonder drug, ipilimumab, just seemed to make my cancer grow faster and reach farther.  I was in a good place spiritually and I honestly felt a peace about death.  I truly believed that it was my time to go and acceptance came very naturally and with that came some of the “housekeeping” that comes along with this: I bought a burial plot, was storing up letters and gifts for my kids, I was planning a crazy, over-the-top Christmas for us under the assumption it would be the last one I spend with my family, and I was planning some of the logistics of my funeral. I’m not saying this was easy, I mourned of course for things I would miss with my family, but I never stopped trusting in God’s bigger plan for this.  Even if His plan included what I considered dying young.  

And here I am a year later.  Having lived about 9 months past my prognosis and having just had a perfect PET scan that shows I’m having a complete response to the chemo that I received about 20 treatments of, Keytruda.  Complete response.  

This was on my check out sheet from my visit to Penn today:  

I’m not delusional enough to think that I’m special or deserving of this. I am well aware of people who have been recently diagnosed, or restaged for the worse, or who have lost their battle with this horrible cancer.  I know that my result isn’t what always happens.  It’s a helpless feeling, truly.  I knew that my healing may come in the form of death, and this still may be the case (I will still get scans every 3 months and my prognosis is just a big old question mark at this point) as I am still stage 4 and this cancer is a wild card.  But for the first time in a long time, I don’t feel…cancery.  

As I drove home from Philly today, a song came on the radio and the weight of all of this really settled in for the first time.  Overwhelmed by Big Daddy Weave.  Click the blue link to give it a listen.  I’ve heard this song 1,000 times but today I really got it and I truly was overwhelmed with gratitude.  To God, to my doctors, to my friends and family, to all of you who are so kind and encouraging.  

Ok sorry, it sounds like I’m accepting an award here or something, but I’m genuinely, for the first time in 2 very long years, able to think ahead a little.  To plan a little.  I feel like there’s a chance of making it.  Of doing the things I had completely cut out any chance of.  I had shut the door on being here to experience so much:  homeschooling, seeing the kids do sports or activities, experiencing my children’s baptisms and weddings, seeing any more anniversaries with my husband, and so much more.  

It’s exciting and scary and overwhelming.  It’s living.  I’m just really really happy right now…  

Just a few months before my diagnosis…  
This time last year at the amazing flash mob my friends and community and church did for us ❤️

 And now… 

Can’t wait for next year!!


39 thoughts on “Overwhelmed

  1. PRAISE JESUS!!! TO GOD BE ALL THE GLORY!!! And thanks to you Kim for continuing to serve God in your amazing testimonials and giving all of us out here in our own cancer battles hope! xoxo!!!!

  2. There are almost no words that I can say other than Praise the Lord for he does answer prayers. When my 1st husband Mike was sick I used to pray for healing on earth, but he was not to be healed on earth – he was to be healed in heaven. I have been asked many times why I stay so connected with the Melanoma community and it is because I pray every day for those still fighting and I am grateful everyday for miracles like yours. May you continue to be healthy and that you enjoy the small moments with your family for those are the moments that mean the most! Thank you for sharing your journey so we can continue to pray for you and your family.

  3. I never personally meet you but ever since I heard about your story I have been following your blog post through mutual friends. As you talk about last year at this time, I remember feeling so sad when I heard about the progression of your cancer. As a nurse I knew how serious it was and your chances where next to nil, so I prayed to God for your complete healing saying that if you were healed I would know for sure that God’s hand alone is what would preserve your life. I basically asked for a miracle so I could truly know that God can really do it and seeing you so healthy gives me so much joy for you and your family but also helps increase my faith in our Lord God.

  4. It is so exciting to see God working in your life and using you to encourage others in their walk as well. God has a plan in all of this and will continue to be with you! You are amazing and you are loved!

  5. Kim,
    I am Rachel Ellis’ mom. Ever since she shared your “story” last year, I have been praying for you and today I am overwhelmed by God’s amazing graces. He is so gently good with you and I cry tears of joy. Prayers will continue as you get on with a life not taken for granted.

  6. I love you and don’t have to know you to say that. You seriously lit up my day. I’m so happy I get to read your words, I needed them. God bless your life, love you

  7. wow. this puts it all into prespective. God bought you to a place where you were at peace with God calling you home or keeping you here on earth. You opened you life and said “Lord im yours. I would like per mission to use this post as part of a up coming daliy devtion if its ok with you. if not i understand.

  8. God is good and answer prayers, Kim God is not done Sith you get, He has plans for you life the best is yet to come. praise the Lord praying.

  9. Sounds like it’s time for the happy dance!!!!! Rick and I are so happy for you and your family!!!!!! Big hugs sent your way…………Adele and Rick

  10. Im so glad to hear your response to the Keytruda. Awesome. what a miracle of modern science. Praise the God who gave the Doctors and scientists brains to reason and figure stuff out with method and evidence.
    Really, Praise God -KIA

  11. Kim…I just read this update & couldn’t be happier for you & your family. God is so Amazing. I can’t wait to share this news with my daughter, Makiyah. She knows you from Teen Camp. God Bless you & continued healing ♡♡♡

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