There are people that will come into your life that will inspire you to the max.
Kaley O’Kelley is that person to me.
With over a decade of friendship under our belts, Kaley continues to lead the way as a force in the television news business, as mother, wife, and much more.
Today, she is sharing her message on life and recent scare with cancer.
Here is her story.
It’s been almost 8 weeks since I heard my doctor say “ovarian cancer”.
There were many, many, many other words. I never heard any of them. I saw his mouth moving and fought like hell not to cry.
First, I prayed asking God to guide me and I thought of my children.
I could smell their baby lotion lathered heads.. with a hint of dirt (if you’re a mom you know that smell). I could hear them belly laugh… It was all slow motion. It was my life.. All those little things .. Really were BIG things.
This was my life-altering moment.
LESSON #1: Slow Down
Days prior, I noticed there had been a dull nagging pain in my lower left abdomen.
Looking back I’ve come to realize the pain had been there for months.
I remember driving to work one day thinking I should get it checked– but I’m not exactly the type to make time to get to the doctor.
I’m a working mom.
Free time? What’s that?
Two nights later I was in bed, sat straight up and said “What the heck was that?!” It felt like a massive balloon exploded in my stomach.
My husband turned the light on and said “Kaley.. You look terrible”.
I crawled to the bathroom and felt a rush of pain sweep through me.
I typically have an *unusually high tolerance for pain. It was excruciating
I felt nauseous, almost fainted and then I went to the Emergency Room.
MRI results revealed what the doctor said was an ovarian cyst rupture. “Several” other cysts were spotted. Ovarian cysts are normal but the doctor at the ER recommend I see a specialist and suggested more blood tests and ultra sounds to “really see” what was there.
As soon as I could get an ultrasound it revealed at least one, possibly two cysts described as “complex”.. and “of particular concern”.
The doctor I was sent to in Texas was ready to operate right away.
I wasn’t so sure.
LESSON 2 : Don’t put your health on hold.
I opted to get a second opinion from my OBGYN in AZ.
I met Dr Eckle in 2010 the night I learned I was 8 weeks into an ectopic pregnancy and hemorrhaging.
He was the doctor on call that night.
During emergency surgery he saved my life AND salvaged what he could so Paul and I would have an opportunity to become parents.
Years later he delivered both of our babies!! They are the greatest thing to EVER happen to us. (A TRUE blessing considering my fear of motherhood and commitment!!)
Dr. ECKLE looked at all of my test results and requested a few of his own.
He too suggested a November surgery.
There was never any pressure from my managers at work but because Television News is wacky we still live in a world that revolves around Nielsen Rating points. November, May and February are months in which people in our business just don’t take time off… PERIOD.
In my mind taking time off work during these months would be like being the point guard on a college basketball team that made it to the Sweet 16 Tournament and then just leaving to have surgery.
Why not at least ask my doctor to entertain doing it 4 weeks later?!
Because “better looking” results of a particular blood test my doctor said we could schedule the December surgery date as long as I took it easy.
Considering how much pain I was in and the fear that my condition may have worsened, I made a mistake.
My health should have come first. For me yes but, for my family as well.
This was a narcissistic choice. I am ashamed to admit that. It’s embarrassing to even write down. My hope is.. In doing so I will learn from it AND that by sharing this, maybe others will too.
We are now 6 days post op.. Yes I hurt like hell but not like I did. The pain I feel now is the result of surgical incisions.
What was going on inside of me was a constant drag on my overall being.
Now, I feel more alive than I ever have!
LESSON 3: Staying Positive is a Game Changer
In October during testing many things were said that could’ve sent me into a tailspin.
The moment I prayed in that doctor’s office I felt an overwhelming sense of God’s presence. In that moment I decided I was not going to Google anything about this process.
My Native American heritage has taught me about the significance of energy.
I love the quote:
“What you think about grows” and it goes both ways. THIS is why choosing good thoughts will change your life.
I’m living proof.
Long ago, I made a decision to consciously think positive.
As we approached surgery I never wrote the “C” word and I only said it a handful of times. Only when I had to.
Guess what? Results of my Ultra Sound from just before surgery revealed the “complex cysts” we’re still there but they never grew. In fact they were a little smaller the day of my operation.
The fact that they stopped growing is incredibly significant.
LESSON #4: The best WAKE UP CALLS in life tend to be the most terrifying.
I can’t claim to have handled this one perfectly BUT from this I have learned to slow down and really listen to my body.
I have learned that no job or task is important enough to put my health on hold for
I have also proven to myself that positive vibes really are contagious and in my case proof that miracles can and do happen and especially so when we have FAITH and let GOD handle what WE simply cannot.
LESSON #5: I once heard Robin Roberts (Good Morning America) say, “Make your mess your message”.
It was good friend who recently encouraged me to journal through the pain of my process. FYI: The very thought of sharing a story all about “me” makes my stomach turn. My fear? That I’m talking too much about myself. (I’m a journalist. I tell stories about other people).
Hopefully though my story will help others who might need to slow down too and enjoy the moment.
I feel a new zest for life.
Looking forward to getting back on my horse.. Riding back to TEXAS and tackling what I now KNOW is going to be the best life chapter yet!
Thanks for listening.