Our Story

June 21, 2014
51 Comments

Here’s how this cancer business all went down. I’m gonna give you the long version because, well, I can.

Simon was born with a heart condition. He had three surgeries before his first birthday and had blood transfusions. He contracted Hepatitis C through one of those transfusions – the 1970’s weren’t the best years for modern medicine. His parents were vigilant with Simon’s health. They would drive hours to the best clinics in Texas. When we married in 2004 and moved to California, we continued the healthy lifestyle he had been raised with. We eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, limit alcohol consumption, and always surround ourselves with positive community. We sought out the best clinics again. He had annual lab work, physicals, cardiology checks – we thought our bases were covered. But the Hepatitis C was slowly damaging his liver with no symptoms.

In May 2014, Simon began to feel a little “off”. Over the course of three weeks, he experienced some tiredness,muscle fatigue, and abdominal pain. Both of us didn’t think much of it – we have little kids and feel exhausted regularly! But we also don’t take chances with his health so he went to the ER of our community hospital, one of the best in the Los Angeles area. On June 17th, 2014 a CT Scan revealed extensive liver cancer know as Hepato Cellular Carcinoma (HCC). The largest mass was 15cm – the size of a dollar bill. But the cancer didn’t stop there. It’s in both lungs. That out rules surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Pretty awful stuff. There were pockets of good news: the other major organs appear clean. The liver is still functioning very well. But still, a devastating diagnosis.

So we start the fight. A practical fight to extend life but balance it with quality. We are in the midst of second opinions and decisions for treatment. We are discussing our bucket list. We are still not telling the kids anything beyond, “Daddy doesn’t feel well” because they are not old enough to process the intense range of emotions that adults can. We ARE telling them how much we love them. We ARE having as much fun as possible while still keeping them in line. We ARE thinking of all the things we can still do if daddy becomes less mobile, like reading books, homework, and movie nights.

Here’s where the Jesus part comes in. If you want to read these updates, you’re going to have to put up with the fact that we are Christians that love Him and need Him. Even though we are in a terribly bleak situation, we have hope. We have hope in His mercy. We have hope in His big picture, whether it be extending Simon’s life or calling him home soon. The book of Romans reminds us that, “all things work together for good to those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

Our story is part of God’s story.

51 Comments

  1. Karen Vigeveno on June 22, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    I am Debi Sutherland’s aunt. My heart is deeply touched by your story and I am holding your family before the Lord, as I’m sure so many others are. Thanks for giving us all additional areas where we can support you. Love & blessings, “aunt Karen”



  2. Chris, Kyli & Carson on June 22, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    Our prayers are with you all daily. Big hugs from Texas. Love your attitude and you faith & trust in Him. He does know the big picture, you’re right.



  3. Angela Garcia on June 22, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    Loving and praying for y’all in Denton!!!!!!!! Asking God for BIG!!!!!!



  4. Aaron, Caitlin, Shepard and Cathedral Moore on June 22, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    Sending love and hope from Austin. Stay strong beautiful family.



  5. Jenna on June 22, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    K-Spice, praying for you and your fam all day, every day. Your story is God’s story, and God’s stories are stories of redemption….praying for hope. And miracles.



  6. Jill Howard on June 22, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    The strength, faith, and hope you two have shown this past week has been such an encouragement… Such a testimony of God’s love in your lives… I love you both dearly and we know God’s plan is without fault. Keep your joy! We will continue to take it to the throne of Jesus. May he continue to give you comfort and the piece that passes all understanding!
    In His Loving Grip,
    Texas Cousin, Jill



  7. Sherry Griffin on June 22, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    We are praying for Simon and your family. My husband was born and raised with Simon’s dad . We have known his parents for many years. Simon was the same age as my girls. We had prayer today in our Sunday School class at First Baptist Church , Atlanta, Texas . Love and prayers!



  8. Chuck Jones on June 22, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    I love both of you…oh, and the kids too.



  9. Tara Collins on June 23, 2014 at 5:24 am

    I am Kyli Caver’s Aunt Tara. I have been praying and will continue to pray for you all. Believing for a miraculous healing. Simon is going to be a testimony of faith and miracles. Speak healing, life, and miracles over Simon daily.
    Believing,
    Tara Collins



  10. Sherry Quinn on June 23, 2014 at 5:44 am

    praying and believing. All things are possible!



  11. David and Lou Walls on June 23, 2014 at 5:48 am

    Prayers for Simon, you and your children. We love Simon and watched him grow up in Atlanta with sweet memories of his childhood. His parents, grandparents and family are all special to us. We will continue with our prayers for healing and strength and courage with Gods merciful grace.



  12. Jean McDaniel on June 23, 2014 at 5:54 am

    Hi,
    I am a friend of a friend. I know Jesus and I believe in his Promise and Purposes. I will relentlessly pray for Simon and your family. I know God will walk this journey with you and His Plan will be established. We don’t begin to understand why these things happen but I KNOW He will hold your hand through it. Prayers and blessed time with Simon daily go your way!



  13. Kathy O'Kelley on June 23, 2014 at 6:07 am

    Praying for Simon and all of the family.



  14. Linda Cuccia on June 23, 2014 at 7:09 am

    Thank you for sharing this story with all of us who love and care for you. Simon has been a fighter from day one. Love to your family.



  15. Katy Barr on June 23, 2014 at 7:22 am

    Please know that I am continuously praying and rallying around Simon and your family. I have shared this prayer request with many members of The Village Church, and they have are praying for you daily, as well.

    In Christ,
    Katy



  16. timecia taylor on June 23, 2014 at 7:27 am

    thank you for sharing your journey! it will be my privilege to pray with & for your sweet family as we see God work thru the days ahead. He alone is sufficient!
    love and hugs from Texas to California <3



  17. Heather Jacobo on June 23, 2014 at 7:28 am

    The train family loves you guys. Xoxo



  18. Martha Welch on June 23, 2014 at 8:21 am

    Thank you for sharing your story with us! I will pray for your sweet family and ask God to heal Simon. Simon has touched many lives with his charm, so know that many will be praying for all of you!



  19. Janice Paulsen on June 23, 2014 at 8:26 am

    Just wanted to let you know that I am praying for Simon, you, your children, and the rest of the family. I am a long time friend of your Aunt Vickie.



  20. Melissa (Morrow) Echavarria on June 23, 2014 at 8:38 am

    Hi Kristy,
    I haven’t seen you in ages, but my mom just told me about your husband, and then I saw a link to this site on the WHS Alumni FB page. I just wanted you to know that my husband and I will be covering you, your husband, and your family in prayer. May the Lord bring wisdom to your doctors and miraculous healing to your husband’s body! “But as for me, I would seek God, and to God I would commit my cause–Who does such great things, and unsearchable, marvelous things without number.” Job 5:8-9



  21. Cathy Guarnacci on June 23, 2014 at 9:07 am

    Kristy my prayers are with your family and much going to Simon. Hang in there my friend. … God will answer all our prayers.



  22. Jamie (Stribble) Gomez on June 23, 2014 at 9:07 am

    Praying for Simon, you and y’all’s children. May God wrap his arms around you. I have thought of Simon so many times and wondered where/how he was. ( I’m an old friend from Atlanta, Tx) Praying, Praying, praying!

    Jamie



  23. Camille Dawn on June 23, 2014 at 9:55 am

    Our entire family is praying for Simon, you & your children.
    Joe & Camille Dawn
    Joe Dauphin (Bubba) Dawn
    Mary Dawn Smith



  24. Amanda Dupree on June 23, 2014 at 10:05 am

    A former classmate of Simon’s is thinking of and praying for you and your family today.



  25. Michelle Asher on June 23, 2014 at 10:08 am

    So sorry and am praying for all of you. I do know this is all hard to process and deal with. Keep the faith and hope.



  26. Will Cannon on June 23, 2014 at 10:18 am

    I’ll start praying for Simon and Your family today. I’m a Christian living in New Paltz, NY and my Sister sent me this link. Lord bless, protect, and send forth His healing and mercy to everyone in the family. I’ll also post this on our Church prayer chain. ~Will



  27. Chris & Tammy Lummus on June 23, 2014 at 10:39 am

    Dear California Cousins, we are continually praying & for you & with you. We’re asking God not only for His healing, but for a peace about this whole situation. You are both great examples of what a marriage & parents should be- in the good times & bad. Believing……..



  28. Jan Murphy on June 23, 2014 at 11:09 am

    I am a high school classmate of your dad. We will keep Simon and your whole family in our prayers. God is able and nothing can thwart His purposes! (Job 42:2) We will be praying that His purpose us healing Simon! Thank you for sharing your strong faith- I can see it has already blessed many and I know it will get you through this. Sending prayers!



  29. Becky Bates on June 23, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    Oh, Kristy. I have always loved your writing, and I am so sorry it is pain and heartbreak that brings you this blog, instead of humor and joy. Your #abstinenceforteenagers pictures are the best. I want you know that this phrase is going to remind me to pray for you and Simon every time my kids are doing something crazy. Like when it took me 15 min to get Elise to go the bathroom at church yesterday because the automatic flush kept throwing her off and we literally had to attempt it 8 times. Yep, prayed for you right there. Know that we are are praying hard and will be looking for ways to encourage and support you.



  30. Kristina McCloskey on June 23, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    My church staff prayed for your family this morning and my family and I will continually lift y’all up. Hugs and love from Nashville.



  31. Kristina McCloskey on June 23, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    This morning I joined my church staff in a time of prayer for you all. The McCloskeys are lifting your family up continually. We send you hugs and love from Nashville.



  32. Ariana Mossembekker on June 23, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story. It takes a lot of courage and strength to be so candid with your story. I just want you to know that I love you, and that I am keeping you, Simon and the kids in my thoughts and prayers.



  33. Linda manley on June 23, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    Thank you for sharing this so that your precious family can be surrounded by prayer. Simon’s family has always been such sweet friends. Simon and my son, Dylan, are friends and so much alike. Please know that much love, support and prayer comes from Atlanta, Tx. for all of you. GOD is in control and HE is good! GOD bless.

    Linda Manley, Dylan Manley, Lynlee Manley Hicks



  34. Stephanie Myer on June 23, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    Praying….Much love to you!



  35. Nate and Jana Burton on June 23, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    We love you guys! Dang a lot of people have said that already. Praying for you every day and are here for whatever you need.



  36. Gina on June 23, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    I’m praying for your family. I’m a friend of Nick and Ashley’s. I know God sees the bigger plan and I will be praying for comfort and healing.
    God’s blessing!
    Gina.



  37. Brandy Law Scoggins on June 23, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    Simon..I am and will be covering you in multitudes of prayer…there is so much I wish to say…i know this is the greatest trial you, your family, and your precious children have ever had to face. Believing in miracles all over the place for you and this diagnosis. I pray you feel every ounce of love and support flowing to you..I pray the spirit of fear not touch you. Strength to your bones, healing in your liver, peace in your heart and the Breath of LIFE. In Jesus name!
    I have been through this on a very personal level and want to help any way I can…may I email you here?



  38. Jill Walker Jolly on June 24, 2014 at 5:36 am

    I am your “family’s- family.” (Aunt Leigh’s sister now living in Arkansas.) I am sharing your story with my church and friends here. All love and prayers!



  39. Judy stanley on June 24, 2014 at 7:48 am

    I am Callie’s coworker in Texarkana. Have known her dad since school days in Atlanta. Callie has made us aware of Simon’s diagnosis. Prayers are being requested and lifted up for healing, strength and mercy in Jesus’ name. Beautiful pics of your family. Sweet words from a beautiful dedicated wife and mother.



  40. Debbie Bergt on June 24, 2014 at 7:52 am

    Simon, I’ve known you since you were born. It’s true that you have been a fighter all your life and also a special person to so many. It was a joy to watch you grow up and see the miracles God has done in you your whole life. I know He will not leave you now. Praying for you and your family as you face this present struggle. We’re all pulling for you here in Atlanta, TX and will keep you in our prayers.



  41. Grace Flores-Rojo on June 24, 2014 at 9:02 am

    “God allows things to happen” this small phrase is what my parents taught me. HE allows things to happen because it is HIS will. I believe in the power of prayer & miracles. Simon, you, the kids & your family are in my prayers.

    One of my favorite bible verses: “I can do all things thru Christ who gives me strength.”

    God Bless!



  42. Greg Yoon on June 24, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    Prayers go out to you and yours. Train family’s thinkin about you and hopin for you. See you soon brother.



  43. Lee Thompson Mays on June 24, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Kristy, thank you for this blog, as there are so many of us, so far away, who care so much about Simon and all of his loved ones. Your writing is beautiful.

    Much love and many prayers from Atlanta,

    Lee and Jeff Mays



  44. Kyle Robertson on June 24, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    Kristy, thank you for starting this blog and sharing this story with everyone. I’ve known Simon about 20 years and he is one of the funniest, most genuine guys I know. He is my brother, both from our years at Camp Pioneer, and in Christ. And you, therefore, are my sister. I want you to know that I love you both and I have been praying daily. I mentioned Simon in our weekly Deacon prayer time at First Baptist Church in Mena and we prayed for him, and he was added to the church’s prayer list. I have also received many prayers and concerns from Simon’s friends from Camp Pioneer. Know that you are not alone is this journey. Many, many people love you and are fighting with you.

    Here are a few verses I have read over the past few days. Hopefully you will find peace, comfort, and strength in them:

    Philipians 4:6,7
    James 1:2-4
    Matthew 6:7,8
    Matthew 21:22
    Jeremiah 29:11
    John 16:33



  45. Ross Gile on June 24, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    I’m praying for you and your family for healing and comfort.



  46. Kelly Alvord Galea on June 25, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    This breaks my heart… my kids and I have loved both of you since they went on your first date with you!! You are absolutely right, this is not just your story… it’s God’s story… and how His plan didn’t stop with the C word… You and Simon have created this beautiful vibrant family with God at the center of it. I’ve loved hearing about family life… your unique view of the everyday hum drums of life peppered with humor… Our family will pray for God to intervene and give you clear direction and fill you as only He can, with a surreal peace … Love Kelly, Skyler and Evalynne



  47. Carrie Corey on June 25, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    Hi Kristy,
    Like so many from Atlanta, I feel like I grew up with Simon (I was Carrie Miller then). I receive treatment at two different cancer hospitals in Texas, (MDA and Baylor) and I would be happy to help you maneuver for a second opinion at either. Send me a note on FB, and I will give you a call.
    Hang in there – things will get better!
    Love,
    Carrie



  48. Alan &Marcella Schechter on June 27, 2014 at 11:35 am

    Hey Simon and Kristi,

    Simon is an integral part of my Amtrak Family and I want you to know that we think of you and your family on a daily basis. Our hearts prayers and ourselves go out to the Caver Family at this time. Love to y’all.

    Love,
    The Schechters



  49. C.J. Hardman on July 7, 2014 at 11:52 pm

    Hello Beloved Caver Family & Folks,
    I met Simon while working San Diego to Los Angeles Trains our of my home base here in San Diego. I am an Amtrak Conductor who began a career as a freight conductor years ago. Simon is a mindful, friendly Cafe Car Attendednt (what we RR folks call an LSA, or Lead Service Attendant). On one trip, I saw he had the book “Where the red Fern Grows” by Rawls, which he told me he’d picked up at “The Last Bookstore” in Los Angeles, and we conversed upon it for a bit. It was a book I’d always wanted to read in school, but somehow always ended up with something technical because someone else had checked it out (I was too Asperger’s to understand the waiting list).
    Next time I saw Simon, he gave me the book, which I devoured and passed on to my husband and kid. It is a story about how rural Billy of Cherokee County yearns to raise racoon-hunting dogs, and works extremely hard to buy a pair of puppies, which he raised up to do an incredible job (no spoilers. Read the book & think of Simon–seriously, good book, easy read, get it!).
    Not to be discounted though it is a children’s book, I think most people could learn just a bit more about love and hard work by reading this little volume, and gain an appreciation for what love really means through the majesty of nature and will (or God, for those so inclined–Billy’s Christian faith is evident throughout).
    I have been an Atheist my entire life, concepts of Religion being as difficult for me to understand as Electricity or Physics is for a lot of folks (‘though I get those two things). It makes no difference, People are people, love is love. Simon, You are my railroad Brother. I am only ashamed I can’t give you more, or kidnap a bunch of scientists to come up with some superfast amazing cure for you. Record, brother. Speak of your life, faith and experiences so your precious children will remember always the amazing Dad they knew, and know that his spirit lives within them and the people he touched with his thoughtfulness and kindness.
    After assisting a lady and a number of other people on a journey once, an elder Baptist lady told me I had a servant’s heart. Because I am familiar with Christian culture, I thanked her for this gentle complement, it means a lot ‘though I am not a believer. Simon has a Servant’s Heart–gentle, mindfull. I wish there were something I could do to fight what is happening to him and the rest of you, the Caver Family. I can give you a pathetic amount of money, but I will always keep the memory of this good man in my heart. A little piece of Simon’s kindness will reside in me, a Blue Collar Dummy 🙂 I will not forget. The goodness will reside within me, and those I am privilleged to touch.



  50. tanen anderson jr on July 8, 2014 at 7:59 am

    to my fellow amtrak brother and family
    words cant express the type of person simon is….since the 1st time I met him its always been about his family….everything he does is for them…that just shows the type of person simon is….my prayes and wishes go out to you brother….god has his hands around this whole situation hes gonna be protecting you and giving your family strength….stay positive family and keep your hope…god will do the rest….best wishes from tanen and family



  51. Manny & Alex at the Holiday Inn San Diego Bayside on August 6, 2014 at 8:52 am

    We are so sorry for your loss. Amtrak has lost a good man. Our prayers go out to you and your family!



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