An Update and An Inspiration

For this post, I thought I would give a bit of an update on what’s going on with us these days and talk about someone who has truly been an inspiration for me during this time.

The Update

The last month has been a wild ride, to be sure.  Four weeks ago today I had surgery to remove that blasted tumor. I was in the hospital for 8 days, and under house arrest for two weeks following.  As I discovered, lower abdomen surgery is a real kick in the pants.  The recovery has been intense, but it’s gone well.  This week is the first week I’ve been able to really walk around almost normally and without much pain. I even photographed half of a wedding this past Saturday and it went well.

One thing I’ve learned – walking is a big deal.  There are a lot of muscles that go into walking around! That first 6 days after surgery it was all I could do to even put one foot in front of the other. I could barely get out of bed. When I did finally make it up, I had to use a walker and needed someone to hold me up – and even then it was a struggle.  So now – I’m so thankful that I can walk.  Under my own power. It’s a big deal.

The surgery was very successful.  Everything went great.  And most importantly, there was no other cancer detected anywhere. Thank God.

The next and last step is more chemotherapy – which will begin October 12. It will go through mid February or so.  I know it’ll be tough, but I’m going to tackle it with all I’ve got.

The Inspiration

Kailen Combs Taylor has been a friend of mine for a long time.  She and her family are very dear to my family. We all grew up going to church together in Louisville. She valiantly fought a long, difficult battle with cancer and, unfortunately for all of us, passed on from this world to the next last week.  She was 25 years old.  Kailen and her husband Bryan were married back in December of 2010 and we had the privilege of photographing their wedding. [Below are links to our blog post of the wedding we published right after.]

kailenBryan 12.18.10

When Kailen found out my cancer diagnosis, she texted me right away. She encouraged me and gave me lots of practical advice from someone who had been through it all. Kailen was a light.  Anyone who knew her could attest to how much she shined the love of God despite what was going on in her life.

Her faith is such an inspiration. Here is a text she sent me on Aug 20,

“We pray for y’all and y’all pray for us and God will be faithful to meet us where we need Him! I just figure if I am obedient to simply keep walking, moving forward, and putting forth some sort of an effort; then God has no other choice than to show up, right? …God hasn’t let me down yet.”

Well, we can now say that God has definitely shown up to Kailen now, more than ever. She is now in His presence, completely whole, completely full of Joy, and radiant in the glory and grace that we can’t even imagine here on earth.

As for me, I hope to live out even half the faith and bravery that Kailen lived. She is such an inspiration and I’m so blessed to have known her.

This passage comes to mind when I think of her…

…the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.        -2 Timothy 4:6