showers of blessing

June 17, 2011

Tears came to my eyes as I read “A Lump in the Road” A Woman’s Courageous Journey in the local newspaper this morning. First of all, I have the most amazing best friends in the entire world: Kiley, Lauren, and Rebecca. We’ve known each other since we were 3 feet tall. Now we are all well into college and our lives in different places, but we are all still and will always be part one another’s home that we always come back to.

Secondly, with an abundance of prayers comes an abundance of blessings. If you read my last blog post, I found out this week that all of my medical expenses have been taken care of by Vanderbilt’s Assistance Program. And I realize that at the time the article in the paper was written, I did not have a way to pay for everything. So my lovely friends have set up a fund for me and are putting together a benefit concert. Wow! The power of prayer: Ask and you shall receive. Ask a bunch and you shall receive a bunch, I guess. Haha.

Well, I’m not sure that as much financial support is necessary as was initially anticipated. It is such a blessing to be able to say that! Though I still may have a hefty medical bill or two from the hospital back in Boone, God has more than taken care of my major expenses that are ahead of me. And though my income is non-existent at the moment, I’m sure that He will provide a way for me to cover my not-as-overwhelming expenses such as prescriptions, living expenses and moving all my stuff in North Carolina back to Tennessee. Thanks to all of you for caring so much about me to take the time to read what I have to say about all of the things I am experiencing during this season in my life.

I can’t help but think that the compassion and leap of faith that it took for my friends to write that article, start a fund, and work on a benefit concert for me had to do with the letter I got in the mail this week informing me of my financial assistance through Vanderbilt. And I know your prayers had everything to do with it.

“I will bless them and the places surrounding my hill. I will send down showers in thier season; there will be showers of blessing.” -Ezekiel 34:26

IN A NUTSHELL

  • I have an abundance of financial support. Thanks God!
  • My medical expenses are fully covered with the assistance of Vanderbilt
  • I still have expenses, though not nearly substantial, that I could use help paying for such as prescriptions, living and moving expenses, and a couple of medical bills from Boone, NC
  • My friends have set up a fund called the Cheslie Wilson Fund at Heritage bank in Kingston Springs. If you have any questions regarding donations you can contact Lauren Ensminger 615-812-9046| Rebecca Shew at 615-517-0921| Kiley Kosinski 615-533-0904
  • If I find myself in the situation of having more than enough money to cover all of my expenses, I’m not exactly sure how yet, but I will find a good way to use the excess to bless someone else perhaps in a similar situation or supporting a cancer organization
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one week in

June 16, 2011

I survived my first week of chemo! My first infusion went well last week and the needle situation wasn’t too bad. The first 3-4 days after were rough with nausea, appetite and sore-mouth, but a much-needed surprise visit from Mark, my fiance from North Carolina whom I hadn’t seen in over a month really helped me feel better! I am on anti-nausea meds, and I’m feeling pretty normal now except for a little coughing and maybe some fatigue. I’m praying that I can continue to handle the side effects as well as I did this week as I continue to receive more treatments.

I have been so overwhelmingly blessed by all of you and by Vanderbilt. I received a letter in the mail informing me that I have been qualified for 100% financial assistance for Vanderbilt Medical Group services and that my remaining balance has been adjusted to zero! It feels like I just won the lottery! When I started testing and procedures for a diagnosis, I had dismissed the overwhelming “How am I going to pay for all of this?” question (because I am a 20-year old college student with my own dinky health insurance through my college and a current income of $0) and replaced it with “God’ll make a way”. And like always, He did. Already! I almost feel guilty for being blessed in such a huge way, like I should have prayed for it more or harder before I received it, but maybe someone else had been…

Praise Him from whom all blessings flow. Provider. Healer. Savior.

IN A NUTSHELL

  • My first chemo infusion went smoothly. One week later, I am feeling pretty good with very little side effects
  • My medical bills have been 100% covered under the Patient Assistance Program >>> PRAISE GOD!<<<
  • My second treatment is on June 22

The battle begins at 1:30 tomorrow, June 8 (aka I’m starting my chemo). I’m a little nervous, but to be honest, it’s for a stupid reason. I HATE getting IV’s. I don’t usually make a scene over them or anything, but they are really starting to get to me. Needles never bothered me too much until recently I’ve been stuck so many times. You’d think I’d be getting used to it, but for some reason it is going in the opposite direction. You’d also think that I would be more worried about feeling terrible after, losing my hair, etc. but I most dread getting a needle in my vein so many times…wow, that sounds wimpy. So any suggestions of getting over that will be appreciated.

pray. Here’s the deal: after 2 months of chemo I will have another PET scan to see if all of my masses in my neck, chest, spleen, and liver are gone. Hodgkin lymphoma is very chemo-sensitive, so it is very realistic that all of it will be gone in two months. So if it is all gone, praise the Lord and I will finish out my chemo the next 4 months in remission. However, if there is even a tiny bit left after the two months, I will have to go on a more intense chemo with harsher short-term and long-term side effects… Your prayers have already been building me up and preparing me for this time in my life, so keep up the good work. I thank God everyday for your prayers and support.

believe. The Lord has always taken care of me, so why wouldn’t He this time? “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.” -Psalm 55:22 I am trusting Him throughout the healing process. I am believing that He will heal me in two months and that if I am not healed by then, that He will heal me in His time. I am going to experience the meaning of faith in its fullness like never before.

conquer. With the full armor of God, I will be victorious. I am conquering the obvious, but I am also conquering fears along the way. With all of you behind me and God’s power and strength, I will not be defeated.

diagknowsis!

June 1, 2011

It’s official. I have Hodgkin Lymphoma. After three weeks of being scanned and tested, poked with needles and IV’s, knocked out and cut open, and all those types of things, I was more than ready to get the big news yesterday. Basically the hopeful expectations my family and I had that we were crossing our fingers for were accurate. Hodgkin Lymphoma is a type of the cancer common among teens and young adults that begins in cells of the immune system. I am Stage 3, and I will be undergoing chemotherapy for about 6-8 months. If all goes according to plan, I shouldn’t have to have any radiation. I am meeting with my oncologist, Dr. Morgan, today to go over all the details and get all of my questions answered.

I feel light. I feel hopeful. I feel a lot of things right now and all of them are positive. I know my parents feel relieved, too. Just knowing what I have for sure brings me so much peace. I never once in my life thought I would be relieved to hear that I have lymphoma, especially after labeling in my mind as “the worst thing possible” when I went to the health clinic three weeks ago.

I have a lot of decisions I have to make and plans to figure out this summer. I want to get back to my life in Boone, finish school, get married, and start my career but I can come back to all of that later. My priority right now in life is to get better, and I do not want to do anything to hinder or delay my recovery. I’m not excited to start chemo and experience all the things that come with it, but I am looking forward to start destroying this crap!

So thank you over and over for your prayers this far. They are already kicking in 🙂 With God as my rock, I can’t be shaken.

IN A NUTSHELL

  • I have Hodgkin Lymphoma, Stage 3
  • My treatment will be 6-8 months of chemo
  • You guys are all making it very difficult for me to be scared about all of this, so thanks for keeping my spirits up with all of your encouragement and love