Tag Archives: Kate Michaels

When you feel helpless…


It’s been too long since I posted an update on Brave Kate.  The last time I posted about our little cancer warrior, she was about to have her tumor removed.  The surgery was a great success, as far as surgeries go.  There is hard news though.  The complete biopsy changed her diagnosis to unfavorable histology.  I asked Kate’s mama, Amanda, to write up an update for us.  It is so heart-breaking to watch one of my closest friends have to walk this scary road with her baby.  Such a helpless feeling engulfs me when I think about it!  Maybe you feel the same way?  I remind myself that praying is a far cry from helpless.  I can pray and attempt to recruit more prayer warriors on Kate’s behalf.

Here is an update and Amanda’s prayer requests.  Please continue your prayers for this family… they are needed now more than ever!

***We are one week into our new protocol for Kate. She has started her treatment from the beginning of UH1 because of the chemo resistant cancer cells in her tumor. Even though the surgeons have removed the tumor and her kidney (all 2.5 lbs of it, which covered most of her left side with a 1 inch piece of tumor) she needs to go through this 30 week chemo plan to keep even a cell from reproducing into a more resistant cancer. The surgery was a “clean” surgery with every border cleared of cancer, but there is no way to know if there is a finger shoot of cells somehow clinging to her body. If the cancer did come back or we chose a lesser protocol she would have about a 40% chance of survival. Relapse is very real and much harder to beat in Wilms kids (another angel yesterday). We have to hit it hard now, with her plan she still has an 85% survival rate, just a lot more to go through. We have a lot behind us, but in front us we are facing daily neupogen shots to keep her white blood cells up to help her body fight infection, inpatient stays (5 times we will stay for 5 days and 10 other 1 nights stays), twice a week blood counts (finger pokes), and a much higher risk of neutropenic symptoms (her body reacting to the chemo with fevers to fight off the cancer, but will need to be hospitalized, most parents who have been there have said they end up in the hospital between most treatments).

Having shared all these crazy realities for her, here are the things on my heart I would love prayer for:

– Her anxiety level is much higher now whenever we go to the hospital or when she has shots. She is gritting her little teeth, Please pray for her to have some kind of special grace to get through this challenging time. I am amazed at her recovery, after the shot or procedure she seems fine. She continues to have a beautiful faith that God is with her

– Her next inpatient visit they will be employing the strongest chemotherapy drugs, which cause the most nausea. But she had a bad reaction to the anti nausea drugs last time so they are stripping her plan down to the bare minimum to see if her reaction will be better, but there is a risk she will be much more sick or they will pick the wrong drugs to pull. Pray for least sickness and pain for her.

– Pray for her long term memories to not be haunted by the pain of these challenges (some kids seem to remember nothing, some remember everything). Especially the catheter, I am praying she does not feel violated, but can have some understanding about it. She already has calmed a lot of my fears by sharing she understands she needs to do hard things to get better.

– Pray for her daily shots, it is an ordeal. We are trying to just do it and get it over with, the anxiety is stronger for her then the pain. Lots of tears and hugs for her. Praying she can have some understanding about why we have to do it and some peace. Rob is getting better at it. He is my hero! So grateful for insurance, the shots cost about $1,000 a day.

– Thursdays are the new chemo day, please pray for her on that day, she struggles so much with being accessed in her mediport under her skin.

– Please pray for a good appetite, she has been doing well with eating the last few days (thanks to Connor my nephew) but she is at her lowest weight. They will not put in a feeding tube until she has lost 15% of her body weight since the surgery (which was 33 lbs. she is about 32 lbs. now) So I am really hopeful she will not need one.

– Her energy and patience is a struggle for her, pray for wisdom for us on how to comfort her and keep a few boundaries in place so she feels secure.

– Please pray for our family as a whole, Luke’s separation anxiety, Rob giving the shots and his financial concerns, and my headaches and heart break over my little girl going through more then a 4 year should encounter.

I have to share there continues to be mercy from God lighting the way, he smiles at us through your prayers, mercies that are new every morning. Lots of support and an extended family that has rallied and loved us in more beautiful ways then we could have every hoped for, ever. Thank you for your love!***

Amanda, Rob, Luke and Kate Michaels

Gettin’ that tumor out!


It’s been almost 3 months since Kate was diagnosed with Wilm’s Tumor.  You might remember my original post about it.  Tomorrow is a big day… one we’ve been anxiously anticipating!  The tumor is coming out!  Kate’s mom, Amanda, wrote the update below.  I want to pass it on so that you can pass it on.  There can not be too many prayers behind this sweet little girl and her family!
Kate’s tumor will be removed (along with her kidney, some lymph nodes and possibly some adrenal glands) on Wednesday at 12 noon Eastern Time.For those of you who are joining us in lifting up Kate in prayer, here is a list of things on my heart. Please pray for:

– God’s gracious hand will continue to guide us, we are in awe and wonder over His kindness to us in the midst of Kate’s Cancer.
– The anesthesiologist would skillful and careful with her
– The surgeons would be very careful taking out the tumor, I am praying there will not be any rupture of cancer cells to the rest of the body, no damage to her aorta
– She has some nervousness about the surgery, would you pray for her nerves to be calmed
– For the nursing care to be on target with her treatment plan and compassionate
– The staff to communicate well amongst each other as a team
– Please pray for no extra pokes, sickness or unnecessary pain
– For her counts to be healthy enough to do the surgery, she was right on the line this last week
– For speedy recovery, she is planned to stay 4 days in hospital, but we are hoping for 2-3 days. Kids recover quick!
– Continued healing and good relationships among our family, we want to learn and grow in all the ways God has for us!
– Good communication and decision making for Rob and I, more growth and team work. We have been experiencing some beautiful miracles in our marriage lately.
– Kate being able to eat (she usually will not eat at the hospital)
– Health for myself and for our family as we are with her in the hospital (I am feeling much better after our wonderful weekend, but still have the headache, a sore throat and some congestion)
– Luke will be spending some time with Rob’s parents while we are in the hospital, pray for a good and happy transition for him. He is Momma’s little man lately.
– My MRI tomorrow, the neurologist hinted that they are looking for MS, I am peaceful about it, but praying for some answers soon.
– We have some pending legal issues, for God’s will to be done and no one else would be hurt.
– We are hoping for a refund from our cruiseline when we could not vacation while Kate was under treatment, we have been refused a couple of time, hoping for a good result with that situation
– Rob’s work to continue to be supportive of the time he is taking off for Kate’s care. He is such a loving Daddy!
– Kate regression to be reversed soon! For her to grow and be back to her old self soon, that her outlook on the world would be changed for the better. She would continue to grow in faith and perserverance.
– God’s peace that passes all understanding to guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Brave Kate: update #1


I have been so incredibly blessed by several people who have written me recently.  I’ve heard things like “my family and I pray for Kate every morning” and “my Bible study group is praying for Kate and Amanda.”  I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen such a rapidly growing network of prayer warriors before.  I am sure, however, that there could not be a more deserving recipient!  Brave Kate is being such a trooper in the midst of all this yucky cancer stuff.

They are now doing Kate’s care at home, going back to the hospital every week for check-ups and chemotherapy.  The current plan is 28 weeks of chemo (2 down already!) and then re-evaluating.  Surgery can’t be done on the tumor until the chemo has done it’s shrinking job.

I asked Amanda for some specific prayer requests for me to share with you, and here they are!

– Kate’s chemo treatments on Mondays, this week it will be at 2:00 pm. She is still really afraid of her port being accessed after all the blood draws and the IV at the hospital, pray she would learn quickly that it is not very painful and she does not need to be afraid!
-Her tumor to shrink substantially before the next CT scan in 4 weeks
– The side effects would be minimal, her next dose of Chemo gives her constipation, and hair loss
– The hair loss, we praying either she will not lose any hair or that her transition will not be real upsetting for her. She has the opportunity to donate her hair, so I am hoping if she wants to do that is would help it to be a positive thing.
– The next surgery, she will either have it in 5 weeks or 11 weeks depending on how well her tumor shrinks with the chemo. It was pretty hard on all of us to be in the hospital for so long this last time, I am not really looking forward to it . Even though the care was very good. Pray for the hospital stay to be as good as possible.
– Pray for Luke, he loves his sister like crazy, but has a hard time being gentle with her surgery site. He also had a rough time while I was at the hospital, pray for our next visit when I am gone.
– Her mouth sores continue to bother her, but she has a rinse they prescribed to help her. Pray it will help her be in less pain.
– Her appetite to improve, she has lost 4 1/2 lbs. She is doing better, but I would love it if she would be willing to do a few more fruits and veggies in there!
– God’s presence to continue to be accessible to us, that we would really depend on the Lord and he would show himself strong. He would use this for good in our lives and the people around us.
– We praise God for the people who have poured out love and support for us. I am blown away by the kindness of each of you!


Urgent Request


This is not my usual hour for blogging.  Normally I would be enjoying my Bible study and cup of coffee right now.  I do have my coffee, but am having a terrible time keeping focused on my study of the book of Esther.  My heart is so heavy this-morning and I keep finding myself staring into space praying mini-prayers like “God, give them peace” and “Lord, please touch that little body and heal it completely!”

One of my closest friends for the last 13 yrs is Amanda Michaels.  She has been there for me through absolutely everything!  When God called my brother away from this earth, she hopped in the car and drove to CO from MI without hesitating.  She was a bridesmaid in my wedding and I was in hers.  She came to visit just a few weeks after Cloe was born, and flew me to MI to meet her first baby as well!  This is the baby that I’m preoccupied with today.  And have been since Tuesday morning.  That sweet baby (her name is Kate) is now 4 yrs old, and she’s in the hospital.

Meet Brave Kate!

Kate has been diagnosed with Wilm’s Tumor, a cancer of the kidney. Right now they believe she is at stage 3. It has spread to her lymph nodes, abdomen, and main artery that reaches her legs.  Her prognosis is good… they said with chemo and surgery she has a 90% chance. Amanda said that Kate is in good spirits and is telling everyone that her name is “Brave Kate.” She is asking her friends and family to pray for her, and for lots of hugs!  What a precious, brave little angel!

Amanda, Luke, Kate and Rob Michaels

This-morning (at 9 am MI time), Kate is going under to have a port put in and a biopsy done on the tumor.  As of yesterday, they believe they can not do surgery to remove it until the chemo has done it’s job and shrunk the tumor, as it’s intwined with her main artery leading to her legs.
Wouldn’t it be great if, when the Drs got in there this-morning, the whole cancerous mess was just gone???  God could do that.  He’s done it before!  I absolutely believe He is able.  But if that isn’t part of His plan for Kate, I am praying that He will accomplish something else SO great that only He could receive the glory for it.
Will you pray with me?  Pray for God’s complete healing of this sweet little girl.  Pray for her mama and daddy, Amanda and Rob, as they walk through this terrifying valley together.  Pray for exceptional clarity of thought and expertise for Kate’s Doctors.

My sweet friend Amanda and her little first-born, Kate.

If you would like to send a card or flowers or anything, I know it would be a huge encouragement.  They are at William Beaumont Hospital (Room 5337) in Royal Oak, MI.
Please pray!  I will post an update on here, I’m sure, but you can write me if you need any info.