Welcome to the Dupree family page! Whenever Kevin and Kayla provide us with new information about their family’s journey we will post updates here.
Thursday, July 29
3:30PM, From Kayla
Home is seriously where my heart is! I’m feeling well! Had an appt yesterday and my platelets are up to 80000 with no more transfusions, indicating my bone marrow is starting to wake up on its own! My doctor informed me he wants to do a bone marrow biopsy ( ) after this next round of chemo to be positive everything still looks good. This scared me at first since they hadn’t mentioned the need for it prior to now, but honestly better safe than sorry!
Kevin has been able to work the past couple days and I’ve gotten to be mama to my four babies on my own. I seriously love every second!
I’ll be admitted for my second of four rounds of chemo Aug 9. Please pray all goes well with that! They now know I need fancy HLA matched platelets, so please also pray theyre able to be fully prepared about a week after chemo stops when we know we can expect my counts to drop again!
Kenydee-had her picc line pulled! No more IV abx, she’s on oral now and doing great! Her labs looked excellent Tuesday, and honestly everything is where it should be. She’s so brave, now that she doesn’t have a PICC line they have to poke her to get blood, she’s seriously such a strong girl! Her wound is getting smaller and less and less drainage, please keep praying there’s ZERO drainage soon! She’s in no pain, praise Jesus, and walking without a walker! She’s also doing physical therapy twice a week and I think our girl will be 100% in no time.
Thank you for supporting our family and for all your prayers and love during this season!
Monday, July 26
Kayla Dupree is home! Reunited and it feels so good! Thanks for the prayers!
Monday, July 26
4:15PM, From Kayla
Rejoice! Kenydees MRI results are in. She saw her infectious disease doc and her orthopedic surgeon today. Basically, all her labs, lack of symptoms, as well as now the MRI do NOT point to further infection! Her incision is still slightly draining, and they don’t know why. The orthopedic surgeon said from what he can see there’s nothing to surgically drain, but he is sending her story over to a colleague to confirm there’s nothing he’s missing. We’re taking this as good news! They extended her IV antibiotics for another ten days and will continue to monitor labs to see where to go from here.
Me: the HLA matched platelets from the blood bank in San Diego worked-I’m at 55000 today and waiting on my docs to round for a discharge plan hopefully by tomorrow!
**A lot of you have asked how you can be tested to see if you’re an HLA match. I asked, and there’s no one way to test this. There are a lot of different identifying factors, none of which are “named” or can be searched for a match. I guess it’s just a process the blood bank follows and it’s anonymous. With that being said, we’re looking into seeing if “be the match” can help figure out if finding a local match is possible. In the meantime, a huge help for the greater good, me included, would be to donate blood/platelets through the Red Cross, no matter your blood type! There’s a national shortage, and these transfusions are life saving for me and so many others!
Thank you for your continuous prayers, please keep them coming!
Sunday, July 25
Ok, your prayers have been heard and answered! Kayla’s platelet count more than doubled from 13000 to 29000 from this last transfusion!!!!! So happy we found a solution that works and hopefully this means discharge soon!!!
Sunday, July 25
10AM, From Kayla
Still in the hospital, battling low platelets, emotions, and missing my family. NONE OF THAT will stop me from worshipping with my church family. Communion is still communion in my heart, even if it’s with hospital apple juice and graham crackers. Love my church fam. I highly encourage you to catch the 11 am service Grace Community Church – Detroit or check it out later. For me, it was the reminder I needed to get through another day of waiting.
Friday, July 23
11:30AM, From Kayla
My only update today is that my platelets continue to drop despite transfusions. 8000 today, we don’t know why. Thank you for praying.
Thursday, July 22
3PM, From Kayla
Another frustrating day. After getting platelet transfusions all night, they went down from 12000 to 9000. There are no answers, other than that my body is not taking the transfused platelets, despite them matching my blood type. Had a scare today-my nose bled for about 35 mins. It’s finally starting to slow down now. My white blood count and my hemoglobin are trending upward, so they’re hopeful my bone marrow is waking up and my platelets will recover on their own soon too. Until then, we transfuse to keep my platelets stable (meaning not dropping back down near zero), and we hope for the best.
Please keep me in your prayers. Platelet recovery is the only reason I’m still here. Thank you!
Tuesday, July 20
9AM, From Kayla
Despite three platelet transfusions overnight my platelets have only gone up to 4000 (they expect them to increase 5-6000 per unit and I’ve gotten 30 units). They’re working with the blood bank to try to get me some exact match platelets, but until then they have to keep me due to my bleeding risk. I’m sad and frustrated this morning and I miss my family. For most people undergoing this treatment, transfusions are expected but are outpatient. Because mine literally got to zero and the transfusions won’t work, that’s not the case for me. Please continue to pray, thank you.
Monday, July 19
6:30PM, From Kayla
Kenydee’s appt this morning that I was so anxious about went as well as it could! Clinically-labs, looking at her, pain-everything looks how it should. The ortho doc said the X-ray she had done last week also looks how he’d expect it to. The only thing he’s puzzled about is why her incision keeps draining. Instead of jumping into another surgery blind, he ordered an MRI so he can see exactly what’s going on before making a decision. The MRI will be Friday so hopefully we have some answers early next week. Please continue to pray her body heals on its own and that no further surgeries are needed.
Upon walking in the door from Kenydee’s appt, my doctor called and told me to go to the emergency room based on the lab work I had drawn this morning. My platelets are zero. I’ve been in the ER since 10 am, just got a platelet transfusion, and just waiting now to see what their plan is and if the transfusion worked and how my labs look now. Please pray this is easily fixable, that my body responds to transfusions, and that I get to go home and stay home until my next round of chemo.
Friday, July 16
1:30PM, From Kayla
I’m asking everyone to please pray/fast this weekend for Kenydee, in whatever way that looks like for you. We saw her infectious disease doctor who alluded to Kenydee’s osteomyelitis infection now being considered chronic vs acute since it hasn’t healed and is still draining.
We don’t know what Monday”s appt with the orthopedic doctor will bring, but I can’t help but have an uneasy and anxious feeling about how this morning’s appt went. She will likely require more surgery/surgeries to manage this persistent infection, and I just need our girl to be okay. I’m sad for her, frustrated for our family, and honestly just physically sick over it.
We will overcome regardless, but please pray we don’t once again have to. Please pray for a miracle. I’ll keep everyone posted when we know more.
Thursday, July 15
1:30PM, From Kayla
Kenydee: she still has slight drainage from her surgical incision. The drainage is clear and a small amount, no signs of infection as far as pain, redness, swelling, or warmth. Her labs improved again this week from an infectious standpoint as well so I’m really not sure why it’s draining but it is. We see infectious disease in the morning and ortho monday morning and will have a plan from there. At this point, we know we’re not in control and that she’s protected regardless of the outcome. Please continue to pray for miraculous healing between now and monday.
Kace: the tummy saga continues! The good news is, he saw his doc yesterday and went from 10 lb 2 oz Friday to 10 lb 8 oz yesterday so growth is not a concern! He is, however, still uncomfortable sometimes and very spitty so we’re working on formula/med combinations to sort it out. He also has a random rash all over his body. Please pray that’s from daddy doing laundry while i was gone (and not from the hypoallergenic formula that’s actually working well) and that it easily resolves quickly. The dude is a fighter!
Me: I had labs Monday and Wednesday and saw my doctor Wednesday. I’m responding to treatment exactly as they’d expect. I do have some bone pain but nothing I can’t tolerate as of now. They said to plan for chemo every first week of the month for the next three months as long as all goes as planned in between so I’ll go back sometime the first week of august with twice weekly labs in the meantime.
Kevin: his procedure Tuesday went well! His doctor was not surprised and did not find anything he’d not expect to with Kevin’s chrons diagnosis. He will continue to see this doc and just keep an eye on things. I’m so thankful!
Khaia and Kayden: Khaia’s tooth wasn’t a cavity, she just needed her spacer adjusted because it was causing pain on her gums. Easy fix! And Kayden Grace is along for the ride! Thank you for continuing to lift up our family and support us in ALL the ways!
Monday, July 12
4PM, From Kayla
Kenydee’s orthopedic doctor said if her wound doesn’t dry up in one week she will need another surgery. Please pray something miraculous happens and it heals extremely quickly!!
Sunday, July 11
2:30PM, From Kayla
Even typing this feels like a lot, but I’m home! I got home yesterday and feel “ok,” definitely not 100% this time. I’m not sick, just a general “hungover” unwell feeling which I’m thinking I’ve heard described as chemo brain.
Between the six of us, we have ten appts next week-pray they all go well and smoothly! I get a shot on Monday (tomorrow) like I did the last hospital stay-which causes bone pain but stimulates my bone marrow to wake back up after being suppressed by the chemo. Please pray that goes okay this time around since it was pretty rough last time.
We’re trialing different things for Kaces belly, Kenydee is feeling ok and her appt last week went well. They’re not concerned about her elevated platelets given her infection (praise Jesus). She sees her orthopedic surgeon Monday who will hopefully clear her for physical therapy.
Please also pray Kevins procedure and appts this week go well and uncover something that’s easy to fix and manage related to his Chrons. Add to the list-Khaias toothache! We will get her to the dentist tomorrow and I’m confident that will be easily resolved.
Thank you for continually lifting us up in prayer and for all the needs you’ve helped meet before we even have to ask. We’re family and we love you!
Wednesday, July 7
11:30PM, From Kayla
I’m half way through my first round of consolidation chemo. I’ve completed bags 3/6 and get bag 4 at 330 am (in a few hours). They do give me a medication before chemo (and IV steroid) that’s given me some unpleasant neurological side effects, but they’re short lived and my labs and vital signs are responding as expected for this treatment. This time around, you discharge after chemo (so likely Saturday) and then next week I’ll have appts for lab monitoring, potentially infusions, and I’ll have some tired days with some bone pain probably, but we will get through.
Kenydees wound seems to be healing well and she’s not in pain. Kevin and my family are managing her IV infusions well and overall we’re pleased with how she’s healing. Her platelets were high from yesterday’s lab work, but the doctors have told me not to worry too much about that since she had surgery/inflammation/infection and that they’ll just keep an eye on it. Please pray these come down appropriately and as expected. As you know-just the word “platelets” is traumatizing after the diagnosis I have and what I’ve been through.
Kace is still struggling. He has lost a little weight we think and his reflux meds need adjusted. Our pediatrician did that tonight so please pray that it’s effective. We’re doing a weight check Friday and again Wednesday. Please pray he doesn’t lose, because that could result in the need for more intervention.
Kevin has a procedure and test next week for his Chrons. Please pray whatever they find is easily manageable and nothing severe.
To be totally honest, im emotionally struggling this time. I miss my babies, i hate that any sort of control as far as parenting or at my home has been completely taken away from me and is on Kevin (even though he can handle it and handles it well-I hate he has to). After kind of breaking down today, I’ve decided to take tonight and just refocus on Him and rest in His promises for our lives-all six of us. In the meantime, I feel your prayers and love and support. Thank you.
Monday, July 5
9:30AM, From Kayla
Prayers appreciated today! As I check in for my first round of consolidation chemo this morning, I cant help but fear the unknown and I already miss my kids (Kevin will be able to come see me). Please pray that this chemo has zero side effects for me again and that the time just flies by.
Please also pray for my mama heart that’s already struggling.
Wednesday, June 30
1:20PM, From Meg
Kenydee Dupree is being discharged! Thank you for your prayers.
Tuesday, June 29
11:30PM, From Kayla
Prayer warriors! Please join us in praying specifically for Kenydees CRP in the morning. If it continues to trend down like it has been, we can go home as long as her incision looks ok and isn’t draining anymore pus/no signs of infection. Home will be overwhelming with outpatient physical therapy a few times a week, IV antibiotics 3x/day, and at least twice weekly appts for a while, but we don’t care and we’ve never been so ready to be all together again before i go back in Monday for a week! Thank you for lifting our girl up!
Monday, June 28
6PM, From Kayla
For those of you who don’t know, we planned to dc Kenydee to home today. The drs came in to do her discharge teaching and ortho changed her dressing over her incision. When they removed it, there was some cloudy drainage, indicating further infection. Since she hasn’t had fevers, labs look good, they thought this was a localized infection at the surgical site so they took her back for another surgery this am to clean that out.
They can’t say how or why it was there today after looking great everyday since surgery, and they also can’t say it won’t happen again. But today, her wound is clean. She did great with the surgery and is feeling ok with minimal pain. I’m not sure how long this delays our discharge, but maybe a few days. Please pray for the smallest delay possible and no more infection for her. We’re ready to get her home.
Update on me-Our family and friends that were here to help from out of state left this weekend, so please pray that Kevin and I continue to effectively manage switching the other kids to take turns sleeping at the hospital with Kenydee. Again, pray this is short term. Also, I am being admitted a week from today for my first round of consolidation chemo.
Please pray that we’re home and settled by then (family is flying in again for that week), and that i have no side effects from this new regimen. Please also pray for my mama Heart as i leave Kace for the first time and all my babies again for about a week. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support and prayers. We obviously still need them!
Thursday, June 24
3PM, From Kayla
It’s official my biopsy results came back and I’m still in remission!!! No leukemia cells were found praise Jesus! This result combined with no genetic mutations means my need for transplant is eliminated and that this can be managed with four more rounds of chemo!!!! Thank you prayer warriors for praying bold prayers for me and my family, God is so faithful and I’m forever changed through this whole process for the better!
Kenydee-still fever free! There’s an inflammatory marker called CRP that is and has been extremely high due to her infection. They need to see this trending down before they can look at discharge planning so please pray specifically for this lab to improve when they collect it tomorrow morning!
Timeline-they want me to start my first round of consolidation chemo monday potentially (5-6 day inpatient stay) but this will depend on Kenydee’s status and DC date. Please pray this all lines up and works out to where I’m able to get her settled at home before I’m admitted.
Wednesday, June 23
8:20PM, From Kayla
The last genetic results came back and it’s not detected! No mutations praise Jesus! My doctor said this makes him very confident that my bone marrow biopsy from Tuesday will come back “clean” and free of leukemia! Please keep praying!
Wednesday, June 23
8:45AM, From Meg
Last night Kenydee was fever and pain free – thank you Jesus! Please pray for Her as she goes back for her picc line placement (requires more meds to put her to sleep) at about 845/9:00 this morning.
If you would like to send a small gift to Kenydee, items can be dropped off at Grace from 10 am – 4pm, M-F or this Sunday at the counter. I will be happy to deliver them. She is 8 years old and enjoys coloring, drawing, and games.
Tuesday, June 22
8:20PM, From Kayla
Kenydee has had a pretty uneventful evening-praise! Her temps are better and the highest has been 99.1 since surgery. Tomorrow morning around 9 she goes for PICC line placement-this will be the IV she goes home on IV antibiotics with and it’s just a more stable line than the peripheral IV that’s in her hand now. After that, from what I understand, it’s lab monitoring to make sure her labs improve, temps regulate, no signs of infection in the surgical wound, etc.
If those things don’t improve, she will require a second surgery to clean out more of the infection. The prayer is that these antibiotics work to resolve her labs and symptoms and that we can be on the path to discharge hopefully within the week. I’ll administer her IV meds at home after discharge. It’s one more thing, BUT it’s a pleasure to be healthy enough myself to be able to care for my baby girl.
Me: The biopsy site is painful now, but I felt ZERO pain during the procedure and she successfully only had to do it once. Thank you for your prayers about that! Please direct your prayers to Kenydee’s healing as well as for my results of this biopsy-no leukemia!
Tuesday, June 22
3:45PM, From Meg
I am sure Kayla will provide a comprehensive update at some point but for now she asked me to let you know the latest.
Kenydee is out of surgery and in recovery. It is possible that she will need a 2nd surgery if her symptoms do not resolve (104 temp) – something to pray about. The infection did involve her tibia bone. Kenydee will likely be in the hospital for one week and require IV antibiotics at home for several weeks. She has been so brave!
Kayla’s bone marrow biopsy procedure went well and she was able to be with Kevin while their daughter was in surgery. That was definitely a kiss from God that they could be together! Thank you for continuing to pray for the Dupree family. Our hope is in God and we are thankful for His mercy, power, and steadfast love.
Tuesday, June 22
10AM, From Meg
Kenydee is having surgery at 10:30 this morning to remove the infection from her foot. Surgery should take about one hour. Kevin is with Kenydee.
Kayla is waiting to undergo her bone marrow biopsy. Kayla’s father is with her. Khaia and Kace are being well cared for by a Grace family.
Thank you for keeping the Duprees in prayer. I will post updates from Kayla and Kevin. You are the best church fam!
Tuesday, June 22
10AM, From Kevin
Even when the waves keep raging, WE WILL WAIT on the Lord!!
Our oldest daughter, Kenydee, is in the hospital now and has to have surgery for an infection in her left ankle. If you get a moment please lift her up in a prayer for the procedure at around 10:30 am. Also, lift my lovely wife, Kayla Dupree, as she also has a bone marrow procedure to be done today.
Tuesday, June 22
12AM, From Meg
We just received word that Kenydee is being admitted to the hospital for likely osteomyelitis-bone infection that will require long term iv antibiotics.
Please pray for Kenydee to have peace and to experience swift healing.
Pray for Kayla and Kevin as they navigate the challenges of having their daughter in the hospital, a newborn baby at home, and Kayla’s next bone marrow biopsy first thing in the morning.
Our God is able. Pray bold prayers, Grace fam!
Tuesday, June 22
10AM, From Kevin
I can’t believe this is actually happening but Kenydee is now admitted for likely osteomyelitis-bone infection-that will require long term iv antibiotics. Please add this to the prayer list for our Dupree family.
Kayla is extremely overwhelmed. Between her bone marrow biopsy this morning, anxiety about the test results, getting little to no sleep with a newborn, Kace not doing well with his formula and is extra fussy, now her daughter being admitted… please pray for the Peace of Christ Jesus to completely overtake her and Kevin today.
Hebrews 4:16 says “￼Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Because of the blood of Christ we are able to approach the Holy God with all confidence and boldness to ask of Him. Ask for His healing, His strength, and His perfect peace to overtake the Dupree family today.
Monday, June 21
9PM, From Kayla
A few important things! All genetic results except one are back! And ALL ARE UNDETECTABLE which is exactly what we prayed for! Please continue to pray that this last one is negative as well!
Bone marrow biopsy is tomorrow! Arrival time is 8:15 am and I’ll have some sedation. Please pray for no pain this way and totally clean bone marrow indicating NO leukemia! These results are critical to determine my course of treatment. Please also pray for my anxiety while awaiting the results.
As If we needed more excitement over here-Kenydee has had a relatively high fever since Wednesday (and had to miss her last two days of school). With the fever she’s had ankle pain and swelling that’s worsened over the last couple days to the point she can’t walk, and no other symptoms except a headache end of last week. X-rays are normal, so we had lab work done today to make sure this isn’t cellulitis or some other bacterial infection. She’s miserable, immobile, and sad that she feels so bad. Please pray we get some answers ASAP and that they reveal something easy to treat. Thank you!
Thursday, June 17
2:30PM, From Kayla
Repeat biopsy is scheduled! It’s this coming Tuesday morning the 22nd at 9 am. They were able to schedule it through Beaumont so I can have sedation (praise Jesus). Please keep praying for little to no pain as well as for the results showing zero sign of cancer!
Another exciting update-Kaces lab work came back. He had to have his newborn screen repeated due to it being abnormal when they collected it in the NICU-the results were totally NORMAL this time! Thank you so much for your prayers!
I’ll keep you guys posted as soon as i hear any more results-apparently the genetic mutation testing should be back tomorrow-the prayer is that the results are totally free of any sort of mutations (mutations=resistance to chemo, difficult to treat) love all of you so much! Kayla
Monday, June 14
8PM, From Kayla
Bone marrow biopsy results: I found out this afternoon that my biopsy showed 3.6% blast cells (which is a fancy term for immature cells, SOMETIMES classified as leukemia cells, but not always). When I was diagnosed, I had 53% blast cells that were leukemia cells in my bone marrow, for reference. With leukemia, anything less than 5% blasts, by definition, is considered “remission.”
Technically speaking, this means I’m still in remission BUT they were only able to test 1/3 of that 3.6% of cells under the microscope. By doing so, they were able to determine that those 1/3 were NOT leukemia cells. The other 2/3 of remaining cells, however, were too immature to test. This means they have no way of knowing whether those remaining cells are leukemia or not. This is crucial information because if they are leukemia cells, my treatment plan could change-either another intense round of induction chemo (3-4 weeks like I just finished) OR straight to bone marrow biopsy.
Since they have to know, they have no choice but to repeat the bone marrow biopsy next Tuesday They said that by then, those cells should have matured and it will be more conclusive to determine if my body was just still working on regenerating healthy cells after the chemo, or if they’re truly persistent cancer cells.
Please please pray these baby cells grow between now and then into healthy red and white blood cells, totally free of any signs of leukemia. The good news is, since they have such trouble and this is my fourth bone marrow biopsy since April 30, they’re going to do this one under conscious sedation to minimize the pain-praise Jesus for that.
The next big factor is the cytogenetics of my cells. When i was diagnosed I was told i had two genetic mutations. With successful chemo and true remission, these mutations should disappear as my body’s healthy cells regenerate. The results of the genetics should be to my dr by this Friday. IF those mutations are still present, that leads them to believe my specific disease is resistant to chemo, which would likely give me no choice other than a transplant. Please pray these mutations are completely GONE with zero trace.
While I feel like I’m on the biggest roller coaster of my life, I’m thankful that this wasn’t totally bad news. I’m aware i have to endure the process (like my husband preached about yesterday) and I’m choosing to stay positive. Your prayers, i feel like, are literally giving me the strength to do that. Please, please, please keep them coming.
All my love,
Saturday, June 12
7PM, From Kayla
I know there are a lot of questions about when I’ll be inpatient for chemo again, results etc. so i wanted to reach out here and update as well as ask for specific prayer!
Last week i had a bone marrow biopsy on Wednesday. The results of this biopsy will determine if I’m still in remission after my body made it’s own cells again after chemo. Thursday last week i met with a transplant doctor. While they don’t think my mutations will require a bone marrow transplant, the results of this test will determine everything treatment wise. Basically, any sign of relapse (meaning leukemia cells or mutations of my cells) means bone marrow transplant as my only option for treatment. This will be the case going forward forever, and transplant is a very risky, complicated thing that I pray I wont need.
Specific prayer-my doctor thought I would have had my biopsy results Friday (yesterday), but I never received a call. This just means more time to pray! Please pray specifically that there is no leukemia, no trace of mutations, and for healthy cells only. Please also pray i find out the results sooner than later, as the anxiety of waiting is almost too much to bear. Thank you all for your love, constant support, and prayers!
Thursday, June 10
PLEASE continue to PRAY for Kayla’s bone marrow biopsy results. The anxiety of what this test could mean has been rough on her. We are hoping to get results tomorrow. This is a big one. Thank you all for your prayers and support! And baby Kace says thank you
Tuesday, June 8
12:30PM, From Kayla
Tomorrow is bone marrow biopsy day Please pray between now and then for minimal pain (this time it’s in the clinic so my options for pain relief are even less than previous times) and that my body made ONLY perfectly healthy cells and zero leukemia cells!-that’s what this test will determine.
Also-I have an appt at the transplant center Thursday. Please pray this is precautionary only and that I’ll arrive only for them to tell me this is a step I WONT need to take!
Final prayer request-Kace had lab work done yesterday because his initial newborn screen (routine newborn labs) showed some elevated amino acid levels. This is likely because he was on TPN and antibiotics at the time they drew it, but please pray the repeat lab results are perfect just like he is!
We’re all doing so well and we’re happy to be together. The appointments are endless, but so is the love Thank you for all the prayers! I’ll keep you posted on all results as I know them.
Wednesday, June 2
9PM, From Kayla
My bone marrow biopsy is June 9-and then likely admitted to hospital the following week for next round of chemo. Thank you for your prayers!
Wednesday, June 2
11AM, From Kayla
Just wanted to let everyone know how we’re adjusting since being home! This week has been lots of appts-Kace’s checkup (he’s 7 lb 5 oz and loves to eat LOL) and labs and clinic appts for me, then newborn photos on Friday and adjusting back into our routine. Other than that, it’s uneventful-just the way we want it to be right now!
I feel good, Kevin is the sweetest most supportive husband on the planet and he’s so helpful, and I’m soaking in some time with my parents before they leave next week. The girls are obsessed with their brother and Kevin and I have to set boundaries or we would never get to hold the little dude haha. We’re happy and blessed and just so thankful for the continued prayers.
My next step is another bone marrow biopsy to confirm that as my bone marrow woke up after chemo and started making cells again that they’re all healthy cells. Please pray for minimal pain, and only healthy cells and no leukemia! I’ll keep you posted on that date as soon as I know it-but it will likely be early next week. Love every last one of you!
Saturday, May 29
4:30PM, From Kayla
Today was the happiest moment of this entire process! Kace is home, I’m home, my babies are so happy and we’re so surprised, and words can’t come close to expressing how these moments felt!
To our family and friends, to the BEST team of doctors and nurses both oncology and NICU, to all the friends I’ve made along the way, to everyone who dropped what they were doing to meet every single need-from the bottom of our hearts-THANK YOU!
I have several appts and still need to be careful to stay safe/healthy before I go back inpatient in a few weeks for more chemo-but when that time comes I cant wait to hug every last one of you! Kevin Dupree we did it! We ALL did it!!!!!
Thursday, May 27
5:30PM, From Kayla
Kace is doing great! At this point the nicu is working with me very closely and being super accommodating to try to accomplish us getting discharged on or around the same day. He’s medically stable, taking bottles as expected (and better) and is up to 6 lb 13 oz. We are so blessed to have this team being so compassionate and sensitive to our needs during this time. It’s truly unexplainable other than GOD!
Since I’m no longer getting chemo and overall feeling great, the last several days have been a waiting game for my bone marrow to “wake up” and start making cells. I have had pretty painful bone pain the last two days indicating this was maybe starting to happen, and today was the day! My stubborn platelets went from 10000 yesterday to 41000 today-even my dr was shocked!
My other numbers also slightly increased which is a good sign that this will continue. That’s all we need to go home. My dr told me today while there are no guarantees, we’re getting closer to discussing discharge. He said a reasonable timeline would be possibly by the change of calendar month-Monday is the 31st!!!
Please pray Kace continues to do well, that my counts increase every day, and that I can take my baby home in the next few days!! Side note-my dr also called me the poster child of this whole process. With my attitude, lack of side effects, making friends with all the nurses and doctors, and roaming around the unit and taking the stairs to the nicu each day-I’m confident these nurses and physicians MUST at least think to themselves-only Jesus! What a blessing!
Hair update-it’s gone. I’ve had a very emotional and traumatic few days with it falling out in handfuls so yesterday I took control. Kevin shaved my head. I’m still self conscious about it as I know it will take some getting used to, but he made me feel like still the most beautiful woman in the world. And then he cried while worshipping immediately after-the Dupree’s do hard things for HIS glory and to whom much is given, much is required. He’s truly my strength when it feels like I have none left and i mean it, God actually gave me the best husband in the world.
Since there has to be a first time, and likely the anxiety of it all will be hard each first time, here it goes. I’ve done things I didn’t want to from the moment this happened and He’s guided me every time. Thank you for your continued prayers and support!
Tuesday, May 25
9AM, From Kayla
My biopsy results are in and I’M IN COMPLETE REMISSION!!!! I’ve cried so many tears the last few minutes, the chemo worked! Praise Jesus! Thank you for all the prayers! I do have to have another bone marrow biopsy in two-ish weeks to confirm that as my bone marrow recovers and starts to make its own cells that the leukemic cells don’t come back. After that, it’s just four rounds of consolidation chemo-monthly inpatient stays of about 5 days to ensure it stays away. Glory to God!
Now is about the time my numbers should start to trend upward. Despite several platelet transfusions yesterday to help move that along, they’re lower today than they were yesterday. My dr isn’t super concerned, just said he’s “annoyed” by it. He’s going to give me more today but otherwise I have to just wait until my body starts to make them again. This has to happen before I can go home, so please continue to be in prayer for that.
Again, I can’t say thank you enough! The power of prayer and your support in this time has held us up and given us the strength to get to this point!
Monday, May 24
5:30PM, From Kayla
Prayer request: please pray at 6:05 and continually for bone marrow biopsy results. The doctor said they expect to see them hopefully sometime tomorrow! Also-my platelets are being stubborn and despite transfusions they’re not increasing at all. Please pray they begin to improve-this is vital for me to start looking toward discharge. Thank you so much family!
Saturday, May 22
1:30PM, From Kayla
Genetic results are in. This is NOT from the biopsy yesterday-those results won’t be until next week to find out if I’m in remission. The genetic results determine which mutations you have and that’s how they decide if a patient needs a transplant or just more chemo, that’s how they decide how to treat you long term.
With AML, there is good, intermediate (or standard) and poor risk. If you’re going to have this disease, good is the most treatable and has the best long term outcomes. Today I found out i have two mutations-the first one-GOOD RISK!!! Praise Jesus. My doctor said If you’re going to have AML this is the mutation I want.
The second one is rare-<5% of adults with AML have this mutation and my dr (as well as 15+ other drs he consulted with from MD Anderson, UM, Karmanos transplant center) don’t really know what to make of it because it’s so rare. This specific mutation if by itself, has a very poor prognosis. However-because I have the favorable mutation with it, all these doctors agree to treat me as “good risk.” This means I’ll need several rounds of inpatient chemo over the next six months, but no transplant is recommended at this time.
We can only take this as good news!! While the unknown can be scary-my family and I have taken this as good news and are trusting God to work out the rest! Thank you for your prayers! I’ll update on bone marrow biopsy results ASAP next week when I have them!
Saturday, May 22
10:30AM, From Kayla
The bone marrow biopsy yesterday-praise God it’s over. They did have some trouble again this time so it took about 45 mins and was excruciatingly painful, but they got the sample they needed from my left hip bone. Other than feeling sore, I still have not felt sick or had any big side effects other than fatigue.
My hair is starting to fall out in strands, not big chunks or anything. I’m to the point now where I’m getting blood and platelet transfusions daily (expected). We won’t know the results of the biopsy until sometime next week as well as that last genetic result they’re waiting on to determine future treatments. Please pray for both and for the anxiety that comes with that waiting!
Kace-BIG day yesterday! He got to try a bottle for the first time! I was able to feed him for every bottle feed yesterday and he did great! He got sleepy half way through so got the rest from his feeding tube but we’re so proud of him! I called this morning to see how he ate through the night and she said he finished two FULL bottles last night! He’s such a little fighter and I swear gets cuter everyday. I’m so thankful we’re together right now.
Regardless of the results of this biopsy, we have to wait for my counts to increase before I can go home. There are a lot of questions about when that will be for both Kace and I , but we just don’t know. Next week Friday will be three weeks that I’ve been here. I told the dr my goal is to be home by my birthday and they agree that could be doable. The neonatologist said babies are so unpredictable but that if he had to guess Kace may be on the same timeline as me-maybe a week or two more in here.
Please pray we stay on the same timeline and that it’s sooner than later but at a safe pace for us both. Thank you for the prayers and for everything!
Thursday, May 20
Kace is doing so well! He did have some blood in his diaper a few days ago, indicating what they think is a cows milk allergy (not surprising since Khaia had this as well). They switched his formula to soy and he hasn’t had any issues with that since.
He’s still on the 3L of high flow respiratory support, but his breathing has started to slow down and I believe it’s because he’s no longer in pain with his tummy. So hopefully we can wean that next! He’s up to 6 lb 6 oz already-from 5lb 9oz only 16 days ago so he’s growing well! Every single day the snuggles are what I look forward to the most.
As far as me-I’m doing the same! Still minimal side effects, no hair loss yet. My numbers look how they should the drs say. I have a bone marrow biopsy tomorrow morning (it’s painful but not too anxious about that part). This will tell us by early next week whether I’m in remission or not.
Please keep the prayers coming! If I’m in remission, then it’s just a waiting game for my counts to start returning. I told them I want to be home by my birthday 6/5 and they thought that was a reasonable goal-that would be a month in here. Ultimately, I know God has already handled all those details.
Saturday. May 15
10AM, From Kayla
Chemo is officially done! She just took down my 7/7 day chemo, and now we wait. I feel okay today, my platelets are 20000, hgb 6.8, white count is below 1 and nearly non existent. This just means the meds are working, I’m at risk for bleeding and high risk of infection, and I’m tired. I’m getting a blood transfusion shortly, and in the next couple weeks it will be a cycle of platelets and blood transfusions and waiting for my bone marrow to recover.
I will have a bone marrow biopsy on Friday. This will tell us one of two things: full remission or residual disease. Please shift your prayers for me for continued minimal side effects but also full remission.
If remission is achieved, that will just confirm my disease is responding to treatment and I’ll be able to go home when my numbers recover and come back for future treatments (shorter inpatient). If it indicates residual disease i have to redo this induction therapy and it means the only treatment is a bone marrow transplant (I’m praying against that in Jesus name).
Kace is the same. He’s still on 3L and room air and has been tolerating his feeds well. He has periods where he breaths fast and his heart rate increases pretty high even when resting, so that’s why they’ve been hesitant to wean those settings. He’s gaining weight and doing everything else he’s supposed to. He loves snuggles with mama and daddy and I can’t get enough.
Please pray his little body continues to find its own rhythm and he remains comfortable and growing.
Friday. May 14
7AM, From Kayla
Today was a good day. Our mindset is to take each day as it comes, and today was everything I needed. Kace has remained about the same and is tolerating his feeds now that they are giving them over a longer amount of time. He’s still on 3L high flow in his nose, but is on room air so not requiring supplemental oxygen, his little lungs just need time. They’ll wean that as he’s ready, bottle feeding won’t happen until that’s down to at least 2L and he’s tolerating it well.
Kevin was with us all day, and came back and we met in the NICU to put Kace to bed. My soul and my heart are so refreshed! Tomorrow is my last bag of chemo which will end Saturday, then it’s recovery from there. They say the toughest days may be ahead, but we don’t focus on that! Praying for an uneventful night for our little guy and that morning comes soon so I can squeeze my big guy again
Wednesday, May 12
7PM, from Kayla
Day 5 of chemo! I’ll get the continuous chemo for 2 more days and then the rest of my hospitalization will be recovery of my bone marrow. On day 14 they do another bone marrow biopsy () to be sure the chemo worked and that I’m in “remission.” If all goes according to plan, that biopsy will be free of leukemic cells and then it’s a waiting game for my blood counts to recover with transfusions when needed.
I’m not sick, but do feel weak some days. I haven’t lost my hair yet but know that’s coming and will lean on Kevin to support me through that process. The nurses are incredible, they bring me Starbucks and treats and hang out with me in their spare time. I’m truly so blessed.
Kace! He’s on 3 liters of oxygen now-a few steps down from the ventilator he was on previously. He’s doing great on 3L and they’ll wean him when they feel he’s ready. He’s been tolerating his feeds and doing everything they want him to do. I get to see him and hold him whenever I have the energy and that alone has been so healing for me. Sometimes he’s crying when i come in and immediately calms down when they hand him to me.
KEVIN CAN COME TOMORROW!!!!!! The day I’ve been waiting for is here! He will be able to freely visit me and Kace-until my toughest days which they anticipate may be in the next week or so when my white count plummets. Knowing we get to see our baby boy together tomorrow has kept me strong (and sane). We’re doing well and it’s because of all the prayers and support. Again, thank you will never be enough!
Monday, May 10
7:45PM, From Kayla
The one genetic test they were waiting on which determines the “risk” of this coming back and the need for bone marrow transplant came back with preliminary results today and it was NEGATIVE. This means (as long as the final result confirms it) I’m still in the standard risk category and the likelihood of me needing a transplant vs just treating this with chemo is low. Praise Jesus!
Kace is also coming off the ventilator in about an hour. He will be put on CPAP and if he tolerates that well they will remove his chest tube around 6 pm and then I can hold him! (Kayla did get to hold Kace!)
12PM, From Kayla
I woke up this am feeling the worst I’ve felt-and it’s because my hemoglobin was 6.9. I’m getting a blood transfusion now and already feel better. The drs came by and said I look exactly how I should and even used the word “great,” so I’ll take it!
Kace is coming off the ventilator today! They’re putting him on cpap and if he tolerates that well they will remove the right chest tube so I can hold him. I’m praising God for the big and small wins and counting down the seconds until Thursday when Kevin can come see us both.
Saturday, May 8
8:15PM, from Kayla
Days 1-3 I get two different types of chemo, so both started today around 12. The second one runs only over about an hour and only days 1-3, the other one is continuous 24hrs/day for seven days. Today was day one. So far, no side effects from the chemo which can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, mouth sores. Some of these things may also show up progressively but I’m praying I escape them altogether.
I’m not in pain, just a little tired and weak. They tell me my hair will start to fall out probably over the next seven days or so, and starting around day 7 is when I’ll feel extreme fatigue/weakness. Until then, I’m trying to get up as much as I can and move around. I’ve also seen Kace several times a day since I’ve been here. I can’t hold him yet, so that’s been the hardest part.
I’ve blasted worship music, prayed, and taken advantage of sharing the gospel through my story with every single person that will listen. This alone has given me strength. Please pray my symptoms just stay mild and for my anxiety as I start to lose my hair. Kevin has it all set up at home so I can literally see the living room at all times and when they video chat me they put it on the living room TV so it feels like I’m there. God gave me the best husband in the world.
Kace has progressively gotten better each day since his last pneumothorax. Today they removed the left chest tube, and weaned his oxygen on his ventilator down to 21% (room air!). Right now, he still has the right chest tube and an arterial line that are preventing me from holding him. Those should be removed in the next day or two if he continues on this path.
As far as the ventilator, they can’t tell me how long he will need that. It’s not giving him oxygen, it’s just giving him some breaths and controlling the pressure in his lungs. He’s breathing with the ventilator on his own, so it’s not doing all the work for him. They’ve also been feeding him and he’s tolerated steady increases in feeds today (through a feeding tube).
In a sweet moment Friday night after I prayed over him, he opened his little eyes and just looked right into mine. He was still and calm, and looked right at me. He knows and I know we’re not in here alone and it’s an honor to fight right alongside my new little guy. Please continue to pray for his lungs to heal and for all tubes to be removed.
Saturday, May 8
7AM, from Meg
Kayla was admitted to oncology yesterday to begin chemotherapy. Please pray for strength, peace and comfort over her mind and body.
Thursday, May 6
5PM, From Kayla
Update on Kayla: with AML, there’s always the initial induction chemotherapy that everyone gets (three week inpatient which I’ve made the decision and come to terms with starting tomorrow). What determines the long term treatment are specific genetic results of the cancer cells themselves-looking for certain genetic mutations that classify the cancer cells as low medium or high risk for coming back. If the risk is medium or high, it requires more of a battle with the need for eventual bone marrow transplant as well as additional chemotherapy.
Today we found out that all tests are back except for one, and that as of now I’m in the “standard” category meaning this can be treated with chemo alone (typically four inpatient rounds after this initial one). Please pray that this last test determines the same thing!!!!! This would be best case scenario for me and my future prognosis/ability to reach cure quicker and without transplant and another huge month plus hospital stay.
Update on Kace: Kace has improved today each hour. Last night after the second chest tube and ventilator placement, he was on 100% oxygen with the vent. Today they’ve successfully weaned that 5%/hr down to 30%. 21% is room air, so he’s requiring very little help with oxygen. He also had a PICC line placed today for more stable IV access (I’ll get mine tomorrow so he and I will be twins). At this point, he’s “stable” and resting. As his lungs heal, they’ll work to remove the chest tubes, then wean the ventilator completely. No one can tell me how long this may take but please pray that it’s quick so we can hold him.
I’ll be discharged home this evening, and readmitted tomorrow to oncology. I’ll go to the NICU first, and then they’re working to allow me to see him each day until my counts are too low (typically the worst days are days 7-15). This is a blessing because I’ll be able to see Kace until Kevin is cleared to-which is May 13-and it lines up that he will be cleared on or around my “hard days.” They’re doing their best here to accommodate our situation and I’ll be forever grateful for that.
To our FAMILY-because that’s what all of you are-from the bottom of my heart thank you. It doesn’t feel like enough and I wish I could individually thank everyone for their support and love and encouragement-but please know your strength and prayers are holding me up right now. “I may be weak, your spirits strong in me. My flesh may fail, my God you NEVER WILL.” I’m ready to fight this thing. For my new little guy who is fighting with me, for the best husband anyone could ever ask for, for my three sweet girls at home, and for everyone we know and love. This is a part of our story, not our whole story and I’m at peace with that now. Please continue to keep my baby and my girls and all of us lifted up. ❤️
11:30AM , From Kayla
It was a long night but Kace remained about the same. When they put him on the ventilator last night he was on 100% supplemental oxygen. Today he’s on 60% and has tolerated weaning it ok. 21% is room air. He has to get a PICC line today just so they have more stable access if they need it. He’s on antibiotics prophylactically as well.
The chest tubes seem to be doing their job but there is no guarantee it won’t reoccur. The unknown is killing me. They’re very hesitant to give reassurance in the NICU, and that just leaves a void that I desperately need filled. We will likely be discharged today from labor and delivery and it’s my choice to start chemo tomorrow or Monday. When things spiral with him, it makes it impossible to make any decisions about my own health. I’m numb and I’m sad and I don’t feel strong. Kevin can’t see Kace until May 13 so that makes this even harder.
Please pray for my baby. For his lungs and for his strength. And for my mama heart that just keeps breaking.
7AM, From Kayla
“I went to the nicu around 830 to try to see Kace and they wouldn’t let me in. He had another pneumothorax on the right side this time. They did an emergency procedure and he now has a chest tube on the right side as well. He’s also on a ventilator because he’s requiring more oxygen. They’re attempting to put a central line in his umbilical cord to prevent so many pokes now that they know he has a longer road ahead of him.
Basically he just rests with the ventilator, pray the holes in his lungs heal, and wean him as soon as possible. I cant hold him and it feels like my chest has been ripped out of my heart repeatedly. Physically I’ve also started to feel symptoms from the leukemia today (according to my oncologist) so I’m having a really hard time. Please pray for Kace’s lungs and miraculous healing. I’ll be ok if he’s okay.”
Wednesday, May 5
7:30AM, From Kayla
“Kace had a rough night. He developed some trouble breathing around 3 am so they did a chest x ray which showed a pneumothorax (essentially a collapsed lung) on his L side. The neonatologist had to place a chest tube and his lung inflated back, but has to stay there a few days. She said they gave him pain medication and he’s considered back stable now, but this is one more hurdle. Please pray for my baby.”
Tuesday, May 4
2PM, From Kayla:
“Kace (pronounced case) Canon Dupree made his way into the world this morning at 5:31. He weighs 5 lbs 9 oz and is 19 inches long. The labor was unmedicated and quicker than they anticipated, which was a blessing (now, not at the time). Kevin Dupree was everything I needed and more for those 8 hours and my body cooperated to get this little guy here smoothly. He has a full head of dark curly hair and is my strength right now while my body and emotions are weak. I’m exhausted, I’m sad, I’m numb, but I’m so happy that step one is done and he’s here.
Kevin and I were able to keep him in the room with us for about an hour after delivery, but he did need a little respiratory support. He’s been in the NICU since about 7 or so and is on CPAP. He only needs a little help and is otherwise doing great. I was able to go see him, but Kevin’s COVID results just came back positive so now we have to get a game plan for what they will allow.
I’ll likely get my port placed maybe tomorrow, and possibly be admitted to the oncology unit Thursday to start treatment. They’re working on arrangements for how I may be able to see Kace while we’re both inpatient, but we don’t have those details yet.
GOD IS FAITHFUL. He is a HEALER. This baby and this process have made me stronger, even though physically I’m weak. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the prayer, the financial support, the words of encouragement, and just everything everyone has done to remind us we’re loved and supported. TOGETHER We’ll overcome, one thing at a time.”
8AM, From Meg:
We are grateful to God for the birth of Kace Canon Dupree early this morning. He is 19” long and weighs in at a healthy 5lbs, 9oz. Mom is a superstar and doing well! We are also grateful that Kevin and Kayla are now able to have Kace in the room with them – a big answer to prayer.
Once Kayla has recovered in the hospital, she will be transferred to oncology to undergo three weeks of inpatient chemotherapy. What Kayla is struggling with most is that during treatment she will be separated from Kevin, their daughters, and their newborn son.
Kevin will get to take Kace home from the hospital when he is strong enough to be discharged. Kace can count on a lot of love from his three sisters when they welcome him home!
Monday, May 3
Kayla Dupree, Pastor Kevin’s wife, is 35 weeks pregnant and has been diagnosed with AML (leukemia). This was unexpected and heartbreaking news for all of us at Grace. While our hearts are heavy, they are also bursting with hope in God’s good plan.
In order to prepare her to start cancer treatment sometime later this week, Kayla will have her labor induced this evening (Monday). We are praying for a strong and healthy baby and mom!