Monday, November 29, 2010


Which mask will you be wearing today?

I just love this picture. It makes me think about how maybe we are our True Selves when we are sleeping. And whether we realize it or not, we do exactly what the guy in the picture is doing each and every day. 

I was part of a church for a while that was full of masks. It was very "clickish" and believe me, you weren't getting inside that click no matter how hard you tried. I love my church now. I have never been a part of a body of believers that were so genuine and so real! At any other church I have EVER attended you would keep it a secret if you drank occasionally, if you smoked, you wouldn't dare tell a soul. And OMG.....if you cussed, you were for sure going to hell! My goodness, for that matter we were told we were going to hell for reading a book that Oprah approved of!! 

I have always been a "real" person. The kind of person that "what you see is what you get". But after years of living in a traditional church setting, I too put on that mask. I was so afraid that if someone new my past, they would never speak to me again. So I had to pretend with the best of them. But when I was diagnosed with cancer back in April. It was so easy to just open up and be really, really REAL. It was like, ya know....I could die. In the grand scheme of things, do I really care what anyone else thinks? Of course not! I started this blog and have been as real as I can possibly be. For months this is how I felt and my actions followed.

But after my last chemo treatment, I realized that when I talked to certain people, I wasn't sharing how I was really feeling. About three weeks after my last treatment, I spent about 6 - 8 weeks being completely NOT myself. I didn't know what in the heck was happening to me. I was extremely sad yet I couldn't shed a tear. I was just numb. I was tired of dealing with all this cancer junk. It has been a long hard year! During this time I was saddened to realize that I was back to putting on different masks. One mask for church, one mask for home, one mask for family, one mask for certain friends, one mask for work, one mask for __________________. You can just fill in the blank. 

After going through this entire ordeal this year, I have gone through some changes. Not just physically but spiritually and emotionally as well. I am a completely different person in so many ways. One of the biggest changes is that I see people SO differently. EVERY SINGLE PERSON HAS A STORY! And who am I to judge a single soul? You have NO idea what people are going through. Anyway, I'm tired of the masks, aren't you? I just want to be me!! That is when I am the happiest. I want to be my TRUE SELF at all times.

True Self: The true self is the center of consciousness out of which spring love, inspiration, compassion, conscience, even illumination. Before we can harmonize what we do with who we are, we need to get reacquainted with ourselves. We need to take the time to align our actions with our deepest values so we don’t continue to create internal conflict. It is your deep and natural core before you were socialized to be something different.  It’s unpretentious and following it will lead to your most authentic joy and happiness.

So be conscious of your "masks" yourself, have fun, enjoy each moment because the only time we are promised is this very moment right now! 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Surgery update

Kelley says.............

Just thought I would update everyone that the surgery went well. I have been really, really sore but I am so happy I am DONE! No more surgeries and here pretty soon I won't have to see doctors near as often. So that is really good. I have no idea what I look like yet because I am still all bandaged up. But I go in today at 9:00 and I'm hoping they remove the bandages because they are itching me like crazy.

As always, Deryl and the girls have been such wonderful caretakers. Deryl took this whole week off to be home to take care of me. I got to the hospital Monday at 5:30 and was in surgery by 7:30. I went to recovery and was on my way home by 12:30! Nice to be home and not in a hospital bed. AND, the guy who did my IV did a great job on the first try. So God definitely answered all the prayers that were lifted up for me!!

Hope you have a fabulous Thanksgiving!!


Monday, November 22, 2010

Kelleys Final Surgery

Deryl says.........Kelley is having her surgery tomorrow and I find myself
uneasy about the whole thing. I am not sure why. It seems as if I should be
very happy about it ending. I think I might be wondering what now? She's
had all the treatment and they say she is cancer free. So what do we do now
to make sure it doesn't come back.
I am happy that everything will be over and that there is no more
treatment. The thing is I want someone to assure me that this is the end
and that we will never have to deal with this again. Of course that cannot
happen. I guess I am going to have to learn to appreciate each moment
better than I have before. Please pray for us. Especially Kelley!

We love you all!


Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Final Countdown

Kelley says.............

I only have about 30 hours left to wait for my reconstruction surgery. This is a surgery I am not nervous about AT ALL. This is one I can get excited about! I don't have to wait on test results. I won't wake up wondering if they got all the cancer out or if it was worse than they thought. I'll hopefully look more normal to myself. 

I was really hoping to go a size bigger but with all the problems I have had on my skin where the tumor was removed, and with how thin the skin on my chest is after my first surgery, I have to stick with the size I am at. So, I'll end up with the same size I was before all this mess. But I am thankful. I know there was a time that a mastectomy was the only option and reconstruction wasn't even heard of. So, I am very grateful that I have anything at all. 

Last night we spent family night with another family. This particular lady has a 4 year old and an 8 year old. I went over there without my scarf on and when I rang the doorbell I was wondering what the kid's were going to say about my hair. They both noticed right away and wanted to feel it. It was so cute. Anyway, they both seemed "extra" attached to me last night. Of course, I was just eating it up! Later in the night, the little boy who is 8 kept sitting right next to me and talking to me. I would see him just staring at me and looking at my hair. Then he says "Kelley, when your hair comes back I just know you are going to be so beautiful". Is that so darn sweet or what? It just made my night......from an 8 year old! 

You see, me and these children have something in common. We have both lost a parent to cancer. But to look into the eyes of a 4 and an 8 year old who have lost their daddy, that just breaks my heart into pieces. But they were so much fun and we had a blast spending time with them!

So pray that all goes well with my surgery Monday morning! It is at 7:00 and will be about 2.5 hours. Pray I will have a smooth and quick recovery and that all my nurses and such will be awesome. And also that getting the IV in will be a breeze with no problems whatsoever!! Deryl isn't feeling well so I am also praying that I will not get whatever he has. I sure don't want to be sick AND trying to recover.



Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Susan G. Komen 3 Day

Kelley says.......

Well, the 3 Day has come and gone. We walked 19.3 very long miles on Day one. Tammy pulled her left hamstring that first day and the arch in my left foot collapsed. Day two, we only walked 11- 12 miles. And I can't even remember how many on the third day. It was a really amazing experience. I think I would love to do it again. Either walk again or volunteer or cheer people on. They had 11 cheering stations. And their were 21 private cheering stations! That is where many people came and parked their cars and got out and handed stuff out and cheered and clapped and just thanked us for walking. It was truly incredible.

When I got home on Sunday night, I took my shoes off and my big toe on my right foot was really sore. I realized that there was a big blister UNDER my toe nail! I have had to drain the fluid off myself just to relieve the pressure. So, I am really praying that it doesn't get infected and heals up before my surgery on the 22nd. I also got a big blister on my left heel but it is already almost gone!

Thank you SO very much to everyone who donated to make it possible for me to go on this walk. I am really proud of myself for doing it. I was really impressed by the whole event. I can never thank everyone enough for all of the support you have given to me and my family.

Love you all!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Update on Kelley

Deryl says.....I wanted to give everyone an update on Kelley's bone scan.
The results showed no cancer in her bones. I am sure you all know what a
relief that was for all of us. Thanks for your kind wishes and prayers. I
will post more soon.
Deryl McElreath
Business Development Manager
Nationstar Mortgage
Phone - 214-557-0611

Scan results

Kelley says...........

The bone scan came back fine. Just showed that I have slight arthritis. I believe at this point that the bone pain is from the estrogen blocker I am on, Tamoxifen. I quit taking it until I am done with the 3 day this weekend. Then I'll try it again. I'm going to try and give it at least a year and see how it goes. But if I continue to live in pain on this medication then I am not going to take it. I want to have a good quality of life and not spend it in pain if I can help it.

The 3 Day starts tomorrow and the closing ceremony will be at 4:30 on Sunday at Fair Park. I am so excited!!!! I'll blog all about it when it is over!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Heavy D

Deryl says.....I hope this post makes sense because I feel all over the place. I am sitting here watching the Rangers in the World Series (something I thought would never happen) trying to get into it. But I am having a difficult time for a few reasons. So let me list for you the things going on.

First and foremost Kelley had a bone scan on Friday because she has had pain in her hips. The doctor doesn't think it is anything to be concerned about but wants to be safe and have it checked out. What sucks about it is that it makes you realize that every time Kelley has an odd pain it is hard not to wonder if cancer has spread. Kelley had already mentioned to me that she was experiencing those thoughts and feelings. But I didn't get concerned because I figured it was a natural reaction for someone in her situation. But when the doctor wants to rule things out then I get caught up in the anxiety of it all. Kelley didn't want to tell me about it but I am glad she did. Even though I am anxious about it at least I can pray about it and if it did wind up being something bad I won't be blindsided by
it. I think that would be harder.

The next thing is that the girls were fighting tonight. I tried so hard to help them work it out calmly. And I failed so miserably. I tried to talk to Rachel about it and help her see things differently and I just couldn't communicate it in a way that she could understand. By the time I was done I couldn't even try with Heather. I was mentally exhausted. I know that nobody is perfect and I try not to dwell on it but when I fail in a parenting situation I feel so low. Kelley thinks they need more discipline and I think they need more love and encouragement. The reality is they probably need more of all of it. I just hate feeling like a bad father. I don't really think I am but sometimes I sure feel that way.

I know I usually have something philosophical to say or some spiritual lesson I gleaned out of this but right now I just feel really shitty. There is no other way to describe it. It is probably exaggerated because of everything else going on. I don't really have the time or the desire to describe it all. I am naturally such a positive person but it is all starting to feel so heavy. This valley has been so long and so hard it will be so nice when it is over. We appreciate all your kind thoughts and prayers.