Breast Cancer Awareness - The Kelly Wampler Steffen Story - First Surgery a Disappointment (continued)
As of January 2015 - Kelly has been diagnosed CANCER FREE!!!!
God Bless !!!
Kelly Wampler Steffen - three days out of surgery ...
Kelly had a double radical mastectomy on May 6, 2014.
I find myself praying to God, continuously asking ... why do bad things happen to good people? I really wish we could get an answer to that question.
As the tale is told, she joked with the nurses all the way down the hall and into surgery. Her family posted updates throughout the 5 1/2 hour procedure. Things were looking good. At the end of the surgery, the family was told that the doctors did not think the cancer had spread - nothing looked odd about the lymph nodes and they think they got all the cancer in the chest cavity. They were not able to complete the breast reconstruction, because there was not enough tissue left to 'expand' for the surgery. Expanders were surgically implanted to help stretch the tissue and muscle for future reconstruction. Still, Kelly and her support community was elated!
Kelly left the hospital the following evening and her spirits were on top of the world. By the third day out of surgery, she could be found reading a book, outside in the sun in a lawn chair. After a week, she was completely off pain meds. There is no such thing as a set-back for Kelly!
It was the following Friday when Kelly and her family received the news - Kelly's pathology reports came back. Cancer was detected in the lymph nodes and it looked as if they did not get 'clean margins' in the tissue of her chest cavity. Now her real battle has just begun.
Kelly will undergo surgery again on May 27, 2014. Surgeons will perform an 'auxillary node disection' - a surgery considered equally as extensive and painful as the first. Additionally, the tissue samples from the first surgery were sent to Washington University for further study and the results are still pending.
Kelly is proud to be primarily a stay-home Mom. Hubby Jaime is a store manager in a national restaurant chain and receives medical insurance for the family, with a 60% - 40% coverage. With everything moving so fast, it's hard to even get a total on how much the Steffans 40% responsibility has already totalled. This is just another massive worry for the family.
Kelly's support community has planned two different fundraisers to help offset expenses.
They invite everyone to attend the fundraising benefit to be held on Saturday, May 31st. The event will include a casino night, Dj, silent auction, basket raffle as well as a 50/50 raffle, The cost to attend is $20 per person. This includes beer, soda and pasta dinner. (see flyer below)
A benefit Trivia Night is also planned for Friday, June 20th. The event is sponsored by Dr. Mohr and the O'Fallon Pain Relief Associates. Additional information will follow about this event. (see flyer below)
What else can one do to help? A special donation site has been established to help offset the portion of medical expenses that will need to be paid by the Steffen Family. Anyone wishing to help this young family through this difficult time may do so by visiting https://www.youcaring.com/.../help-support-kelly.../159333 .Every little bit helps and is appreciated. Cards or messages can be made out and mailed to Kelly Steffen, c/o The Scoop Newspaper, P.O. Box 824, O'Fallon, MO. 63366
And last but most importantly, please remember Kelly and her entire family in your prayers. We all believe in the power of prayer. With God, all things are possible! (to be continued)
Breast Cancer Awareness - The Kelly Wampler Steffen Story - The 'Girls Night Out' Before the Surgery (continued)
A special 'Girl's Night Out' was was gathered at Kelly's home on Friday night, May 2, 2014. (above) Remember the Where's Waldo days? We've returned with 'Where's Kelly"! (below, left) Kelly and her sister, Cassie are as close as two sisters could be. (below, right) Karen Van Bieber Larkin and Kelly go way back to high school days as friends. Posted 5/3/14
I received the sweetest Facebook message the other day from Kelly's Mom, Joan. I am so in tune with all of Joan's worries and fears. It's a motherhood thing.
Joan was concerned that one of Kelly's closest friend was not in the picture posted last week and she didn't want anyone to have 'hurt feelings'. I told her I fully understood her concerns and I would be sure to be sensitive to everyone's feelings, simply because, everyone involved in Team Kelly, or Meal Making, or the planning of the fundraiser, etc, etc, etc are incredible people. I also knew there was a get-together coming up that following Friday night, and I knew I was not going to miss it. However, like Mother, like daughter ... always thinking of other's feelings first.
On Friday, I joined the party at 9:00pm and it was well on its way.
So many ladies came out for the evening around the fire pit. It was so rewarding to observe just how much each of them meant to Kelly, and Kelly to them. Even more heart-warming was the kindred spirit that developed with all the ladies in attendance.
They all went to school together until 1997, but never really socialized as a group. They just knew each other, then. Friday night, they saw each other maybe a bit differently and they appreciated each other for the wonderful, kind-hearted people they had all grown to be.
I was blessed to be a part of that. They have bonded together for a single purpose ... to support Kelly through her recovery from Breast Cancer.
The Bickford sisters and Voss sisters have known Kely since she was six years old.
As Kelly and I spoke, Kelly said something that really hit home and is a true testimony of all the people that are surrounding Kelly and her family during this frightening experience. Kelly humorously exclaimed, "When you get cancer, everyone wants to help out! I have friends helping me clean my house. I don't even want to clean my house! Yard work, cooking, you name it. They are ready to go and get it done! I'm ready for this surgery... thanks to everyone who has shown such amazing support!" I think that about says it all. Mission accomplished, ladies.
Kelly will go into surgery this week and have a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. I listened during general conversations as friends commented on their 'plan' for the time Kelly is in surgery. Kelly will have an army of prayer warriors with her during the process.
Kelly is scheduled to start chemotherapy on May 23rd. Please remember Kelly ... and her entire family in your prayers.
So, in closing this week, I just want to share with EVERYONE surrounding Kelly and family ... they are 'feeling' the prayers and support. And, in the process of giving of yourselves, you all received the special bond of friendship with each other. If you respect and help each other like this for the rest of your lives, you will have achieved one of the greatest gifts of all.
Zillions of selfies and group shots were taken at the girl's night out. Enjoy just a few ...
Jamie and Kelly Steffen
with their children Savannah, Kaylee and Jake
Over the years, O'Fallon, Missouri has become a city known for it's explosive growth of over 70% in population over a ten year span of time. When a city grows that fast, when the people of the community become more transient, and when the population becomes so much more dense, it's easy for a lifelong resident to become lost in the newfound statistics. However, this was not the case with Kelly Wampler Steffen, and her family. When Kelly received the news that she has breast cancer and shared the news (via her social media account) there was a moment when so many in our community could have heard a pin drop. The reaction from the community reverted back to a time when neighbors behaved like neighbors and the 'village' came out in numbers to help the young family ... kids and all.
(above) Kelly's Dad and kids
(below) Kelly's Mom, daughter and sister
Kelly is 34 years old and married to hubby, Jamie Steffen. Kelly is the mother of three children: Kaylee, Jake and Savannah. She lives in a sweet little ranch home in a established neighborhood, drives the standard "Mama-style" mini-van, knows the shortest route to every park in town, clips coupons and pinches pennies to make ends meet - all in order to be a stay-at-home Mom for her family. Kelly lives a short distance from her Mom and Dad and is active in her childrens' schools. Kelly has her life planned for many, many years ahead. Kelly is most often the first to arrive at the side of any friend in need. Now Kelly must rely on the assistance of others, something not ease for this fast-paced Mom to do.
Kelly was diagnosed with Breast Cancer on April 1, 2014. Due to the red tape in the healthcare and insurance industries, it has taken 30 days of bouncing around in the medical system for Kelly to get a surgery date. At this time it is unclear as to whether the cancer has spread to the second breast. However, to remain on the safe side, Kelly will have a double mastectomy/reconstructive surgery in the very near future. After surgery, she will go through chemo-therapy treatments.
Kelly fully intends to fight the winning fight against this breast cancer. However Kelly will not go through this battle alone. Kelly has a bright beam of light to help her through the recovery period ahead. It takes many rays of sunshine to make a bright beam of light ... and each of Kelly's supporters are a ray of sunshine in the beam of light.
Many, many friends have come out in support of Kelly and her family. Pictured (left to right) are just a few: Lisa Hollingworth, Kelly, Kristie Ketcherside, Jody Allen and Christine Bisping Williams.
Once Kelly announced her battle ahead, word spread rapidly. Many minds were stunned from the shock of the possibility that something so frightening could happen to someone so 'together' and loved. Long lost, but never forgotten, friends began to follow Kelly's Facebook page to watch for updates. Loved ones sent prayers and greetings to Kelly, her family and even each other. The invisible arms of the internet were wrapped around each and every one of Kelly's 'rays of sunshine' in her life. Kelly and her family are tremendously grateful for every prayer said, every meal cooked and every kindness shared by all the marvelous people who surround them.
Fundraisers are planned, a 'Walk for the Cure' team is organized, Team Kelly and 'RackPack' t-shirts have been printed, bumper stickers are made and a donation site has been set up to help offset the medical costs that the Steffen family will be responsible for throughout the long battle road ahead. Many family friends have filled the Steffen home with meals. A calendar has even been set up to assure a variety of meals are prepared for Kelly's family throughout her recovery period.
This blog will follow Kelly and her community of support along the road ahead. We will share medical updates, photos and some incredibly heart-warming stories along the road traveled from friends and/or family that wishes to submit them. Most important of all, we all ask that anyone reading this blog, please take a moment and say a prayer for Kelly and her family. It's those very prayers that will keep Kelly's beam of light burning brightly, with a path well lit and supported along the way.
What can one do to help? A special donation site has been established to help offset the portion of medical expenses that will need to be paid by the Steffen Family. Anyone wishing to help this young family through this difficult time may do so by visiting https://www.youcaring.com/.../help-support-kelly.../159333 .Every little bit helps and is appreciated. Cards or messages can be made out and mailed to Kelly Steffen, c/o The Scoop Newspaper, P.O. Box 824, O'Fallon, MO. 63366
Once again it is said, The Dear Lord works in mysterious ways ... and the oddities that always seem to accompany shockers like this have already begun ... ( to be continued... )