Friday, July 31, 2009

Headed home... Day 261 31JUL09

The kids and Renee are headed home tonight. I spoke with her at 11 p.m. when I got out of school and they were halfway through Ohio. They should be home by dinner time tomorrow night. I know that they had a great time and I am sure the kids didn't want to leave the beach behind. I am so glad that Joshua finally got a much deserved break from the craziness that is his life. He really deserved one. I have missed them all terribly and Hobie and I will be very glad when they are home safe and sound.

Another Beautiful Day!... Day 260 30JUL09

We had another great day at the beach....our last one. We once again picked up our cousins Dallas and Brent and hit the beach. Jarrod and Dallas spent most of the day playing in the waves, while Joshua and Brent headed to the house to play. The boys had another great day! Later in the evening we went to see Deidre (Dallas and Brent's mom)play softball and then we all went back to the lake house and down to the beach for s'mores. Earlier in the day Joshua had dug out a hole in the sand for the fire pit and all the boys helped collect the wood.
Tommorrow we will clean up the house and jump in the van to head home.
We will miss the beach and all of our family!
Thanks mom and dad for taking me and the boys with you this year.
We really needed the time away from our reality world of cancer.
The beach has been very theraputic for all of us!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"Boys rule...girls drool!"... Day 259 29JUL09

"Boys rule...girls drool!" That was the theme at the beach today. We went to pick up Dallas and Brent and after a quick lunch it was down to the beach. The boys wasted no time diving into the cold water. Joshua and Brent started singing "Boys rule, girls drool" with a couple of variations. Joshua decided to switch it around and say that girls rule and boys drool. Jarrod, of course, said no way. In response to that, Joshua said "Yes they do, when you become a teenager!" At 7 Joshua is very wise for his age!

We had a couple of hours of sun before the storms started to move in, so the boys headed back to the house to play Wii and computer games.

Another relaxing and fun day for Joshua with his cancer a distant memory lingering in the background. We have been very blessed to have this opportunity to get away from it all but we miss daddy terribly!

Daddy misses all of you!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Movies and Books... Day 258 28JUL09

Today was a relaxing day with a little bit of fun thrown in. It was a little cloudy this morning when the boys finally decided to crawl out of bed, so we decided to hit the movie theater. We saw G-Force and then took a trip to Barnes & Noble for more books for Jarrod. Around dinner time we went over to our cousins house so Jarrod and Joshua could play with Dallas and Brent. They had a good time playing all the games on everything from X-Box to Wii. We came home early so the boys could rest up. We are picking up their cousins tomorrow so they can come and hang at the beach. Hopefully it will be a beautiful, sunny day!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Day to play... Day 257 27JUL09

These are the pics of me and the boys earlier today hanging out at the beach. Family showed up around 4. The boys had an absolute blast playing with all of their cousins at the beach and at the house. They were both worn out and sleeping early tonight!!

The pics are of all the kids, all the adults (my aunts, uncles and cousins) (some of them had left by the time we took pics) and the one on the beach is of the all the boys playing in the water!

Watching the weather... Day 256 26JUL09

Joshua got a cool weather station today. The weather station reads the temperature, wind direction, wind speed and amount of rain fall. As you can see Joshua and Jarrod collected alot of rain in just a 10 minute down pour. Jarrod also got a science experiment activity set but we need alot of home items that we don't keep in stock at the lake house so we will have to do those when we get home. The boys continue to have fun and enjoy themselves.

Dad and Hobie are doing great, I went over to see Jamie and Christian's new house this evening. We had a great visit and a nice dinner together. Jamie is looking great and doing just fine nurturing our granddaughter to be.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Race to Mackinac... Day 255 25JUL09

Joshua and Jarrod enjoyed a day of better weather today When I called at lunchtime they were at the beach watching the sailboats that started racing today from Port Huron to Mackinac Island. Jarrod went down with Pa this morning to hear the bagpipes and see the boats go down the St. Claire river in preparation for the start.

Renee didn't get a chance to send any pictures this evening but I am sure there will be some more for tomorrow. I miss them but I know they are having a great time and the rest and relaxation will do them all a world of good.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Pictures... Day 254 24JUL09

I'll let the pictures do the talking this time. Enjoy...

It's just rain... Day 253 23JUL09

Who cares if it Rains
The boys had another great day. We only had about 35 minutes of sunshine thru the haze today but they managed to talk grandma into taking them to the beach so they could jump in the water. Me....I put my toes in!  Lake Huron can be very chilly in the summer.
Jarrod also received a shipment of LEGO's that he ordered before we left with his Birthday money. With the rain outside, he had his creations built in no time.
We also went to visit our cousins and celebrate our Aunt Marilyn's birthday. Joshua and Jarrod had a great time running around and playing. It was very hard watching Joshua and having to remind him to take it easy. Being up here and away has helped Joshua and Jarrod forget what we go through everyday and we are only on day two. I was very happy today watching my boys run and play and laugh with no worries.   

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

We made it!... Day 252 22JUL09

We made it!

We had a pretty good trip up! Joshua did great in the car. He rode in the back seat with Tornado, his dog (who is now permanently on retirement with Grandma and Pa so they can spoil him). As you can see, they slept most of the way up.

We also had a heavy supply of hand sanitizer and masks for those necessary stops, when you hope and pray that the facilities having been thoroughly scrubbed, but you know that they have not!

Joshua felt great with no complaints until we arrived. We arrived in the rain so the beach picture isn't that pretty and the kids couldn't run down to the beach and take our nightly walk. I've been told by our neighbor that the rain is to continue until Monday. Hopefully he is wrong, but I promise if and when it stops raining, I will have more pics.

Right now the house is very quiet because we have no T.V. Everyone is relaxing and I'm sure we will be getting to bed early tonight!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I'll miss you guys... Day 251 21JUL09

Joshua had a good day today. He is feeling great and was very excited about starting his vacation this evening. He and Jarrod were climbing the walls this afternoon waiting for the time to come for them to leave for Michigan. I am really going to miss them all for the next 10 days but I know that they will have a great time and it will be a wonderful chance for Joshua to rest. I would have loved to go with them but I couldn't get away from work. We have always enjoyed our time as a family up on the lake in Michigan. It has always been a chance to recharge our batteries and just take it easy for a little while. Nobody deserves that more right now than Josh. Renee has promised to take lots of pictures and keep me updated on what they are doing and I will pass it along to all of you.

Earlier today Joshua was doing one of the PT exercises he learned where he tries to pick up as many marbles as he can with his feet. He managed to get five in one shot which is a new record!

Jarrod and Joshua never cease to amuse us with the crazy things they come up with. Jarrod fashioned a playdoh wig for Joshua. We were all laughing hysterically at that one.

Everybody was happy about their trip.

Everybody was sad that Dad couldn't go to.

I will miss you guys!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Still waiting... Day 250 20JUL09

The salmon didn't work.

Josh still didn't qualify for maintenance this morning.

Well, to be fair, it sort of worked; his counts have improved across the board but his ANC is still only 582 which is short of the 750 mark he needs to hit. We will eat more salmon and try again in a week or so.

This delay is kind of expected by the doctor's and is really not going to affect Josh in the long term. Right now he gets a much deserved break from chemo and gets a chance to feel good and enjoy having a good amount of energy. Needless to say Joshua was not very disappointed when he found out he would not be getting an LP today. He was also NPO and was really glad the he could go out and get something to eat instead of waiting.

It has been great watching him the last week as he has played and had a good time with his cousins. It has been difficult watching Josh not be able to act like a kid these last few months. He was always such an energetic and fearless little guy. I have had a chance to catch furtive glimpses of the old Joshua these last few days. I hope it continues.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The day before... Day 249 19JUL09

Today is the day before. We get to these quite frequently as we trudge down the cancer trail. Tomorrow Joshua has another chance to qualify for chemo. He went to the grocery store with me this afternoon and picked out a special meal to boost his counts. He choose a nice caesar salad, some lovely cucumbers, a wonderful salmon fillet, and some frozen fruit pops for dessert. He is convinced that this will help him qualify tomorrow. I hope he is right. If for some reason he doesn't make it they will try again in another week or so.

If he does then he will get a LP and a new round of chemo and then come home.

The rest of the day went by rather slowly. Which is nice. I did yard work in the morning and the kids did some tie-dying with Renee before it got too hot outside. The rest of the time we rested and played games and spent time together.

I apologize for the horrible quality of the video but I had to be very sneaky to catch Joshua singing. I laugh every time I watch this :) This is why parents adore their children!

Wish us luck tomorrow and hope that we can get Joshua back on track and started on maintenance.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Family day... Day 248 18JUL09

Today was a day to hang around with family. Scott and Alecia came over this morning with Taylor and Avery to have some cake and celebrate Jarrod's birthday. The cake was from Cold Stone Creamery and was delicious! We had a great visit. Later they had to go to a wedding so Avery and Taylor stayed with us to play and have fun.

The kids had a blast and played hard all day long.

See what I mean!

Later in the evening Jamie and Christian came over to bring Jarrod a gift and to visit. Jamie is doing great and has been feeling good. Christian had a good time playing against Joshua on the Wii. Josh unfortunately is completely unstoppable and unbeatable. He gets lots of practice time in the hospital. Renee's parents came by as well to be with Jarrod and to help us dispose of the evil cake.

Josh was really tired but had a great day playing and hanging out. Jarrod had a fun and very happy birthday and sends his thanks out to everyone who helped him celebrate!

Go back to sleep!... Day 247 17JUL09

"Happy Birthday go back to sleep!" That's how my morning started out. Well, actually, Joshua had a bad dream and crawled into bed with us around crawled out and onto the sofa (he likes to hog the bed...Joshua not Lee). That's when Jarrod walked out of his room. Too excited about his birthday!

Jarrod had a great day. After he opened all of his presents, he built all of the Legos that he received. We then went to pick up his Ice Cream Birthday Cake and, of course, had to get a little sample for ourselves while we were there. In the evening, we went to Cameron's Birthday Party who shares the same day with Jarrod. The boys had a great time at an indoor putt-putt golf course. It was really cool and really fun.

Joshua had a great day as well. He is feeling great and had lots of energy.

Unfortunately, daddy had to work and missed most of the day with the boys, so we plan on having an all-day party tomorrow with lots of ice-cream cake and family and friends!!!

Sometimes, life can be really good. These are the "normal" days most people take for granted. Don't!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Almost 12... Day 246 16JUL09

Joshua had a great day. He is feeling good and playing hard. He spent most of the day playing at home and went over to Grandma and Pa's this evening so Renee and I could get a little time alone to get some shopping done.


Tomorrow Jarrod will be 12 years old!

It shocks me to realize that so much time has passed since that late night when Jarrod became a part of our lives. After a really long day of labor Jarrod was born at 2:59 a.m.

He was so cute!

He has since grown into a fine caring young man who is always ready to help anyone with no thought of reward.

Since last November he has helped us care for Joshua and has been his friend and protector. Words cannot express how proud we are of our "little" boy who now wears the same shoe size as me! We are lucky to have him. Jarrod gets pushed into the background a lot because of Joshua and his cancer. It is hard to maintain the balance between children when one of them is so very sick. We try our best and Jarrod knows that he is a very big part of all of our lives. He hardly ever complains about being stuck at the hospital or the clinic.

Tomorrow is his special day and we are fortunate to have Joshua feeling good to help us celebrate.

He could not have a better big brother.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Still trying to climb... Day 245 15JUL09

Joshua didn't qualify for chemo today. His ANC has only made it up to 286 and it needed to be above 750 for this phase to start. According to the doctor it is very common for kids to not have recovered from intensification in time to start maintenance. So now we wait. All of his other blood counts were in good ranges so at least we don't have any worries there. He will go back to the clinic on Monday to see where his counts are and if were to qualify he would get his chemo then. A few weeks delay at this point is kind of expected and shouldn't have any ill effect on his treatment.

While I was gone teaching this evening Josh re-built, with mom's help pulling out all the pieces, a police truck. He was very proud of his work and agreed, graciously, to let me take pictures.