Sunday, January 31, 2010

Home... Day 444 31JAN10

We got up this morning and had a quick breakfast before heading for home. The trip back was uneventful and we made it back before lunch time. The rest of the afternoon was consumed with unpacking, putting away, washing, etc…

This evening we headed over to Renee's parents for dinner and to visit with her Aunt Marguerite and Uncle Phil who are visiting from Kansas. Scott and Alecia were there with Taylor and Avery along with Jamie, Christian, Allie, Bella, and Spike. Dinner was great and we all had a wonderful evening. When we got home we all pretty much collapsed. All the walking and adrenaline surges has left us worn out. I know that we will all sleep well tonight.

I had some technical difficulties which prevented me from uploading any pictures while we were away. Stupid firewalls. So here is a compendium from our trip for you to enjoy.

This is what happens when teenagers and kids take a "break"

The worlds largest golf ball

Jarrod got sushi Sunday a little early

Joshua had a cool monorail bento box

Love those buttons and the big smiles!

Joshua and Hannah took a little time out to show the Blue Ranger a couples of there moves.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Trifecta... Day 443 30JAN10

Today we did the Disney trifecta successfully doing three parks in one day. We started off at Hollywood Studios where we enjoyed riding Tower of Terror, Toy Story, Star Wars, the Honey I shrunk the Kids playground and the Rocking Rollercoaster. The boys loved all the rides. We hopped a boat to the back entrance of Epcot and headed for the Japanese pavillion where we enjoyed a great lunch followed by a fun shopping experience in Mitsukoshi. It was raining at the time so we hid out until it subsided a little. After a wet walk we tried out two rides that none of us had been on before, Soaring and the GM Test Track. They were both fantastic and scored very high on the boys awesome meter. We hopped on the monorail and headed for the Magic Kingdom after that. We managed to get in the Speedway, It's a small world, The Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Carribean, and had a big finish with a front car ride on Space Mountain. The boys had a terrific time and so did we. We are all pretty tired and I know that my legs are going to be pretty sore in the morning. It was great to have another family to share all of the fun with.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Look out Mickey... Day 442 29JAN10

I hope Mickey and all his friends get a good nights rest because they are going to be invaded come morning. We are in Orlando with Tiffany, Nate, Brianna, Hannah, and Preston and the kids are all primed and ready to hit the parks in the morning. We had a fun afternoon after and easy drive we stopped at the LEGO store in Downtown Disney and had a lot of fun oohing and ahhing over all the new sets that have come out. Jarrod and Joshua walk through the store with big eyes looking for the sets that they don't have yet. Joshua picked up a new LEGO watch and a few small models. Jarrod cleaned up at pick-a-brick and got a bunch of pieces that he has been looking for as well as a few we have never seen before. We had a nice spaghetti dinner at the hotel with both families and then headed off to the pool for a bit. The kids had a great evening and I am sure tomorrow will be a blast.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Good school day... Day 441 28JAN10

Joshua had a good school day today. He did really well on his spelling test and Renee said he read half of a book to her tonight before he went to bed. It is nice to see him doing well again, we worry a lot about how all of his treatments will affect his cognitive abilities. I know it is one of the main concerns of all the cancer parents I talk to. So each time Joshua has a rough day or seems to be in a fog we silently freak out a bit. It is bad enough for him to have to deal with the effects of cancer and his treatment now without thinking that he might have to deal with permanent effects for the rest of his life. We will remain watchful.

On a much brighter note. Tomorrow afternoon we are going to head to Orlando to spend a little time at the house of mouse. Joshua and Jarrod have really been looking forward to going to Disney and having fun. It will be a nice chance for all of us to relax a little and spend some fun time together. We will make sure and take tons of pictures and share them when we get back.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Just a good day... Day 440 27JAN10

Joshua had a great day. He got up and worked hard on his schoolwork this morning. After he was finished he had a great playdate with Hayden but it was "too short" according to Joshua. I know he wishes he could get more time to play with his friends. Later in the afternoon he went to the park with Jarrod and DJ to get a little exercise in. He cheered the Lightning on to victory during tonight's hockey game. He basically had a good normal day. He is definitely looking forward to going to Disney this Saturday as we all are.

Still a little foggy... Day 439 26JAN10

Tuesday. Another day of school and homework turned in and new work assigned to be finished. Joshua did okay in school today, Renee said he was having a little trouble with his reading. I am afraid that there is still a little fog lingering on the edges from last weeks chemo.

The rest of his today was pretty normal. Jarrod spent the afternoon having a great time with Jake, his big buddy. They went to a go-kart racing track and had a grand time from all accounts. Jarrod really enjoyed the chance to drive. Frightening that he will be ready to start learning to drive a real car in just a few short years. Where does the time go? While his brother was gone Joshua played with his mom and got to hang out with DJ for a bit before Jarrod got home.

Tomorrow is homework and a play date for Josh in the afternoon. I know he is looking forward to the play date. The homework not so much...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Just another clinic Monday... Day 438 25JAN10

It was just another clinic Monday (insert melody from old Bangles song). If you are old enough to remember that song you are our kind of people. Retro people.

Counts were excellent thanks to our friends at the prednisone farm. They should start to fall back to normal levels this week. His meds stayed the same so we are in the chemo groove so to speak.
When Joshua got home he jumped into getting his school work done. Renee said he went into his room and worked on it by himself. He tried hard to get it all done but didn't quite manage to get there but am sure he will get it finished up in the morning before his teacher arrives.

Later this afternoon Jamie and Allie stopped by for a visit. It is always fun to have them around and Jarrod was enjoying playing with Allie. I unfortunately was teaching and didn't get a chance to see them, I will catch them next time for sure.

So here we are at the end of another clinic Monday ( I just couldn't resist putting the song back in your head ;) and things are moving along. We have our sites set on a trip to visit Mickey on Saturday to make up for our previous abbreviated Disney experience and so far things are looking good! Our biggest potential pitfall may be the weather but Saturday is still a few days out. Besides a little rain is nothing and won't slow us down at all.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Lucky # 13... Day 437 24JAN10

Thirteen years ago today Renee and I got married. We have come a long way since then and we still hopefully have a long way to go yet. It has been an interesting trip so far that I am sure neither one of us could have even come close to predicting. We have certainly had our ups and downs and maybe more than our fair share of things to deal with yet here we are still fighting the fight together. Its what we do. I wouldn't have it any other way. Happy Anniversary my Love.

Joshua is doing okay today, he is certainly a different child from a few days ago. He was having a little trouble with his back earlier so he spent some time with the heating pad. By the afternoon he seemed to be doing better and spent some time outside playing and working out in the garage with me. His temperature was up to 99 tonight... hope that means absolutely nothing. We tend to obsess over little things like that.

To celebrate our anniversary this year Joshua went to the video store and got the movie 9 for us to watch as a family. We got chinese take out and we cuddled up and watched the movie. I know, not terribly fancy or anything but our plans to take the kids to a movie this afternoon got put on hold by Joshua not feeling up to it. That's okay with me. Less germs at home...

We have learned in our world that the best times are the simplest times and we don't need much besides each other.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Play day... Day 436 23JAN10

Joshua had a play day. Taylor and Avery stayed over until late this afternoon and the kids had a great time just doing different things. Sometimes I would look and they would be doing something together and then the next time they would all be off somewhere all by themselves. I know that Joshua was pretty tired by this evening and was to tired to make it all the way through the Lighting game tonight. He was wearing his shirt however and they did win.

We have survived another cycle of steroids and Joshua was much better this afternoon and evening as they got out of his system. The monster comes quickly but thankfully it leaves just as fast. So we now have our regular Joshua back for a couple of weeks.

We missed him.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Slumber party... Day 435 22JAN10

Joshua had a pretty normal morning. When I left to go teach the boys were shuffling off to get homework finished so they could get some play time in. Joshua is having a small slumber party tonight. Taylor and Avery are over at Joshua's request to play and have fun. Which is pretty much what they have been doing all evening since I got home. Joshua needed a little alone time earlier, steroids are like playing with a loaded gun. Luckily he was okay after a little time off to himself. He moved the xbox into his room so the less vertical (smaller ;) children could have fun playing games without being bothered by the more vertical ones. It seemed to work out rather well, Jarrod was happy to stay in the living room and watch the Discovery channel. I think it will be real interesting to see if all four kids have completely different things for breakfast or if there will be any overlaps among them. My bet is on four different meals...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Parent's and kid's night out... Day 434 21JAN10

Joshua was doing much better today and the fog seems to have lifted for the time being. He did pretty good with his teacher this morning and finished school in a good mod instead of being frustrated. The chemo fog is one of the things we are carefully watching. So far the effects have come and then gone relatively quickly. Let's hope that continues to be the case.

The rest of the day he played with his brother and his new LEGO creations. Speaking of LEGO, at the press conference to day about the new Florida LEGOLAND they announced the opening date was set for the end of 2011. This happens to coincide, we believe this is not by chance, with Joshua's end of treatment. He has already decided that he wants to celebrate his end of chemo at LEGOLAND Florida and that a lifetime membership will be an absolute requirement for Jarrod and himself. We may even be forced to move closer... I wonder if we could buy a lot inside the park itself? Have to check on that...

This evening we all had a treat! The Children's Cancer Center hosted their annual Parent's and Kid's Night out. The kids were treated to dinner, a trip to build-a-bear to create their own stuffed friend, and ice cream afterward. The parents were treated to a wonderful diner and a chance to hang out with people their own age for a change. It is always great to spend time with our extended family and to see all of the other cancer kids having a great time. Joshua had a minor/major meltdown which caused Renee to miss the actual dinner part but that is life with a kid on prednisone... Even with the meltdown, or the incident as we are referring to it now ;) , we all managed to have a fun time. Joshua wanted to share a few pictures of his creation from this evening. I don't think we have an official name just yet. Stay tuned...

Tennis... Day 433 20JAN10

Sometimes I find it very hard to sit and watch my son struggle with trying to understand something. Today was just one of those days. No matter how hard we tried at schoolwork, it wasn't going to happen. Joshua managed to finish some of his required work but some of the things we left unfinished. He just wasn't getting it. I know it's because of the chemo he had earlier this week. I know that the fogginess will go away. I also know that it will happen again. I guess that is the reason why it's so hard to watch him go through it.

Joshua did manage to have a fun afternoon after mommy finally said "close the books!" We went to the park and played a little tennis with Joshua's friend Carly and her mom. I am very lucky to have Carly's mom teach Joshua tennis. Before he was diagnosed, Joshua really enjoyed tennis and he was pretty good for a beginner. I really don't want to see him lose that. We are going to try and get Joshua on the tennis courts as much as possible. He really enjoyed it today.

Later on in the evening the UPS driver dropped off another two boxes - both filled with Legos. Joshua spent the evening again putting together legos and playing with them in his newly cleaned room. He is very happy to have been able to donate a bunch of toys and have lots of shelving now for his lego creations.

FYI....we hear that the owners of LegoLand California just bought Cypress Gardens here in Florida and are going to turn that into a LegoLand Florida. They will be having the official news conference tomorrow! Jarrod and Joshua are already asking for Lifetime Memberships!!
Imagine That!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What? More Lego's?... Day 432 19JAN10

What did the UPS driver bring this afternoon?  You guessed it!  LEGO'S!
I bet that one was a tough one to figure out. The boys took the gift cards that they received from Christmas and placed a huge order with the Lego Company! Today, only some of their order arrived. That's o.k. though because now they will get random orders shipped to them probably for the next month. As I'm sure you can guess from past experience, it took them no time at all to assemble all the required pieces. They were then left to play for the rest of the evening with their creations. 

The morning got off to a slow start for Joshua. He had a lot of "chemo fog" going on, so schooling was a bit tough. Joshua stuck with it and managed to get some homework done. We are hoping tomorrow will be a little easier. He has also started the steroids and as of yet no major meltdowns. It sort of reminds me when he was 3 years old. You never knew when he was going to throw one of his temper tantrums! The difference between now and then is that now he has a better grip on the situation and understands the reason. He is trying very hard to keep everything under control and he is doing an awesome job at it. 
Joshua and I also started cleaning his room and getting toys ready to be donated. Before we were interrupted by UPS, Joshua had managed to fill up three large IKEA bags full of toys to donate to the hospital. We may have to spread them out to different places.
Lee and I are very proud of him! Tomorrow is more cleaning, schooling and relaxing with Lego's. Maybe I can even talk Joshua in letting me play Xbox with him! 

Monday, January 18, 2010

The land of no dreams... Day 431 18JAN10

Joshua had a busy day at the hospital. He got a real early start and was at the clinic by 8:30 for labs and to get accessed for his dose of vincristine. He also got some zophran and a pre-med for anesthesia when he got to the day hospital. His LP went fine and Dr. O did another great job. Joshua conked out pretty quick but took almost an hour to wake back up. While he was still under the nurses got him unhooked and de-accessed so we didn't have to go through the hassle of getting the cover-derm off while he was awake. As soon as he woke up I had to head off to a shoot but he left the hospital not long after and headed home with a quick pit stop for a little food on the way.

He had an okay afternoon. He is back on prednisone for the next five days on top of everything that he got today. Renee said he was pretty cranky but not too bad. He was pretty tired by the time I got home and was really fighting to feel good. His stomach got upset so he got another dose of zophran to keep diner where it belongs. We can always tell when he is not feeling that good and tonight was definitely one of those times. He will hardly ever complain even if he is in pain or not feeling well. Renee and the boys crashed just before 9, they were so tired that they didn't even stay up to finish watching the Lightning win tonight, that will make Joshua happy in the morning. Not only did he wear his special shirt today he wore an autographed t-shirt under that. I tried to get him to change before he went to bed but he wanted to keep it on for the entire game lest he ruin their chances at winning.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Beautiful and bouncy... Day 430 17JAN10

Today was the prettiest day we have had in a while. The sun was out and it was warm enough to be outside all afternoon and enjoy watching the kids play. Joshua, Renee, and I attended Jayden's birthday party this afternoon. The kids pretty much bounced in the bounce house for four hours straight with only quick breaks for food. Joshua had a great time and amazingly was not totally worn out when we finally got back home. He did manage to twist his ankle a little but it didn't seem to be giving him too much trouble this evening. We will see how it is doing in the morning.

Tomorrow Joshua starts another round of maintenance and will be doing clinic and then an LP. It has been a while since he has been in the day hospital and I am sure he will be hungry since he is NPO as of midnight. I always get a little nervous before an LP even though we have done it so many time before without any problems. Joshua is actually looking forward to it because he likes the meds they give him to make him sleep. Yikes...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Wind then rain... Day 429 16JAN10

Most of the day we had fierce winds whipping through. It made it a little difficult to be outside a whole lot until this afternoon. You really had to keep a good grip on doors to keep them from getting sucked out of your hand. Joshua played inside most of the day and helped me put in the garage a little. Jarrod was gone playing most of the day as usual.

For a treat we took the boys out to eat thanks to a gift certificate Joshua received. Joshua voted the grilled cheeses sandwich number 4 in his national taste test. After diner he narrowly missed beating me at a rousing game of foosball.

The rain started right after we got home and is still going strong. Sadly I am afraid that most of the plants in Florida are already dead and the rain will probably not help them at all. We all cuddled up in the living room to watch the Lightning play the Panthers. Unfortunately they lost even though Joshua was wearing his lucky shirt. The rain will likely last through till morning so we may have a lazy day inside tomorrow.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Playtime... Day 428 15JAN10

Joshua had a full day playing with his brothers. Christian and Jamie came over with Allie to spend the afternoon and Joshua had fun playing with JArrod and Christian. He played outside, got a ride in up to the park and I am quite sure showed Christian all of the LEGO creations he has done lately.

When I got home I had a chance to spend a little time with Allie while Jamie and Christian went out on a little dinner date. Baby sitting is such fun when its your grand child. Jarrod was absent as he is sleeping over at DJ's tonight, wonder how much sleep they will actually get... Joshua and Renee had a lot of fun, by the sound of it, playing Clone Wars on the Wii. Tomorrow promises to be a warm day and a chance to get some stuff done outside.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Normal boring day... Day 427 14JAN10

Today was one of those normal boring days that we refuse to take for granted no matter how many we are lucky enough to get.

Joshua did school work this morning and then played for the remainder of the much warmer day. This was the first day you could be outside without a jacket in recent memory. Tomorrow we expect and will be thankful for more of the same both from Joshua as well as Mother Nature.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Slowly warming up... Day 426 13JAN10

The cold spell that has had us in its grip for the last week is finally starting to abate a little. I am afraid that the damage to our plants and yards is going to be rather severe. Every where I look the grass is brown and plants are starting to wilt.

Joshua on the other hand is doing good today. He spent most of the morning working on school before relaxing the rest of the afternoon and evening. Nothing much to report. He enjoyed watching the Lightning play last night and is now convinced that wearing the shirt that Stamkos gave him ensures a victory. He has promised to wear it the day of every game from here on out.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A special hero... Day 425 12JAN10

I am always amazed at the strength and courage Joshua shows. Even lately, it seems all of his senses are in overdrive. Everything seems to smell funny and nothing is quite right. Nothing has changed in his chemo so I am constantly wondering why?

The real answer is because Joshua has cancer and he is going through chemotherapy.

Some of Joshua’s closest friends had cancer or still have cancer. They are just as strong, brave, and wonderful.

They are Cancer Kids!

There are other wonderful and amazing kids out there too. Kids that are once in a lifetime heroes and kids that are everyday heroes. Sometimes you focus so much on the ones that need that extra special care that you forget the others.


Today, Lee and I sat down with Joshua and told him about another amazing and wonderful young man named George. George had a class project to create a business plan from beginning to end and send the money that he raised to a charity. His charity or cause was the Joshua E. Gandy Trust Fund. He sold Greek pastries outside of his grandfather’s store over the holidays and raised quite a few dollars for Joshua’s Trust Fund. Quite a few!
He is a Hero in our book. He has strength, courage, and generosity.

He is simply amazing.

George, Joshua and the family thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You are a remarkable young man and you will grow into a very caring and generous adult. I know your parents and family are very proud of you! I know we are!

Did I mention that George is just about a year or two older than Joshua?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Cold Clinic day... Day 424 11JAN10

Today was another visit to the clinic for Joshua. It has been our Monday routine for so long I can not remember life before clinic (LBC) any more. Joshua's counts were good with his ANC at just over 1200 and everything else in a good range. Thankfully going to clinic has been uneventful for a while now. Josh also got his pentamidine treatment which unfortunately gets his little motor revving at top speed. Renee said he was having a hard time concentrate on school work this afternoon. He also took his methotrexate this evening which usually has him pretty wound up the next day. We will see how he does in the morning when his teacher comes for school.

It is still unnaturally cold here and frankly we are starting to wonder if it will ever warm back up again. My flip flops are starting to get a little dusty...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Inside day... Day 423 10JAN10

We all chose to pretty much stay inside today as the temperature never got past 39.

We had a wonderful day today because Miss Allie and Jamie came over to visit. Allie gets spoiled rotten by her uncles and her grand parents and she loves it. We like doing it:) She is so close to rolling over for us in fact, she has already done it for her mom at home. We were hoping for a command performance today and she came amazingly close several times. We had a great time and hope she comes to visit again soon. Renee made cookies and they smelled and tasted great!
Joshua is doing pretty good. His taste buds are out of whack again and it was hard to find things that he could eat today. His tastes change almost daily it seems and he has a hard time trying to figure out what he can actually get to taste right. One of the side effects of chemo unfortunately. He did manage to find a few nourishing things although I would love to see him pack on a few more pounds.

Tomorrow is clinic and pentamidine with school on the afternoon. We are not expecting it to warm up much until towards the end of the week. Hope everyone is staying warm.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Crazy drivers... Day 422 09JAN10

Brrr... just barely above freezing when we woke up and raining. We actually got some sleet right around lunch time. This is Florida we are talking about here. Central, sub-tropical Florida. It never even made it over 40 all day. We stayed in this morning and then bundled up to head over to have a play day with Tiffany, Nate, and Preston. Joshua and Preston have been buddies for a while and he has been looking forward to going over to his house to play. The kids had an absolute blast playing and especially driving around in Preston's battery powered cars. Let me just say that Joshua will probably be hard to insure one of these days.

We all had a lot of fun and enjoyed spending the afternoon and evening. Nate and Tiffany made us a wonderful diner and we all ate way too much. It was a great day. I could tell Joshua had a good time because he was asleep in the car before we had made it ten minutes down the road. By the time we made it home the temperature had dropped down close to freezing and it is supposed to drop even more before morning time. I can't wait to get our electric bill next month :(

Frosty Friday... Day 421 08JAN10

Another cold day for us sunshine people. Actually we didn't get any sunshine today either. IT was rather dark and gloomy most of the day with a little rain now and then. Just the kind of weather to stay indoors and do stuff in the warm and dry. Joshua took it easy today, he was pretty tuckered out after yesterday. He did a little exercise with the Wii, played with his LEGO's and made sure to wear his Lightning shirt since they are playing today.

He was complaining of back pain this evening so we gave him some tylenol with codeine which apparently acts like and amphetamine in his system. It is almost midnight and he is still wide awake and showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Hopefully he will crash soon and we can get some sleep.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Fun For All... Day 420 07JAN10

The boys started off slowly doing school work but by early afternoon they were running at full force. They rode their bikes to the park to hang out for a little while. They came home, had some dinner and then we were off to the circus. Lee was working tonight so DJ tagged along to keep Jarrod company. A lot of the families from the Children's Cancer Center were given tickets like us and were in the same seating area. Joshua saw lots of friends including Preston. Everyone had a wonderful time and we were all laughing and clapping by the end of the show! Tomorrow will bring more cold weather, more schoolwork and then a very lazy afternoon.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Honored Hero… Day 419 06JAN10

A couple months back when Joshua was asked to be the Honored Hero for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s campaign “Man & Woman of the Year”, he was also asked to do the same for their “Pasta 4 Pennies” campaign. This is a truly wonderful fundraiser for the children in school. They raise money in support of LLS and Joshua is their spokesman for the schools in our area. We were asked to join the kick-off campaign party at Olive Garden today and we had a wonderful time. I was asked to speak about Joshua and our journey. I may have spoken a little longer than I should but I believe that I made an impact on everyone that attended. Joshua’s only wish is that enough money is raised so they can find a cure once and for all. Joshua is thrilled to be leading the pack this year and he is very excited about visiting his own school again. Maybe this year, his school can raise the most money!

Joshua had a great day today. He worked really hard on his schoolwork. He did a little exercising on the new Wii Fit Plus that daddy bought the family, and he had a great time supporting LLS. Tomorrow he has a visit from his teacher and then we are off to the Circus, The Greatest Show on Earth!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Shopping... Day 418 05JAN10

Today was a busy one for Joshua starting with his teacher being here at 8 a.m. to start school back up. As soon as she left his nurse showed up to access him and transfuse his IVIG treatment. A scant six hours later he was done and feeling okay. We are not sure if it is the IVIG or the pre-med he takes but something makes him tired and kills his desire to eat by evening time. He ate lunch but did not want anything for dinner even though I prepared one of his favorite meals. But then again it is a daily struggle to divine the gastronomical desires of Master Joshua.

After all the people had left we took the boys up to Wal Mart and then to Target. They both had Wal Mart gift cards from Jim and Sally that were absolutely burning holes in their pockets and had to be redeemed today or the world would meet a tragic end. Joshua also had a Target gift card from Sherry Tucker that he was dying to trade for something. Shopping with our kids goes something like this:

First we let them wander up and down each and every aisle in the toy section so that they become utterly confused as to what they want.

Next we dismiss all the items they propose that are guns, swords, tasers, weapons of mass destruction or reasonable facsimiles of the afore mentioned items.

Then we wait a bit.

Then a bit more.

Finally we try and help guide them towards something that they have wanted for months but inexplicably do not want tonight. After several attempts at a minor meltdown they finally agree reluctantly to purchase what we suggested when we first got to the store and then refuse to let go of it until we get home. At which point they play with their items for the rest of the night.

And after carefully taking an inventory of every offering in the toy department at both stores what do they ultimately buy? Wait for it...


Big surprise.

Still cold... Day 418 04JAN10

Joshua started off the day by going to the clinic to get his counts checked. I am happy to report that his ANC has stayed up at 1410 and his platelets are at 295. Looks like they have got his chemo pretty much dialed in for now.

Funny how numbers are so important to a cancer family, we think about them all the time. When Joshua fell on his bike last week the first thought in our heads was "what are his platelets, his ANC?" Not the stuff most people ever even consider.

The rest of the day the boys and Renee spent at home and I had to go back to work today. The boys did their school work and then played around the house for the afternoon and evening. Just another, thankfully, normal day. Unless you count the very brisk cold temperatures... I know we Floridian's have a fixation on the temperature when it gets cool down here. What can I say.. its rare and we don't like it because after all, that is why everyone comes to Florida in the first place. And to top it all off, my toes get cold in my flip flops ;)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Brrr... Day 417 03JAN10

It is cold here. It is cold just about everywhere from what I can gather. Luckily we have a nice warm house to stay in. Which is pretty much what we did today. I worked out in the garage and the kids went over to Renee's parents for a bit to hang out and have a little fun. They were home in the early afternoon and spent the rest of the day either here or hanging out with DJ. Tomorrow Christmas break is over, Joshua goes back to clinic, Jarrod starts back to school, I go back to work. None of us really wants to do any of that, but it is time I guess to jump into 2010 with both feet and start moving towards 2011.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Officially over... Day 416 02JAN10

Christmas is officially over. Jarrod and I got down the boxes this morning for Renee to start packing up Christmas stuff. Jarrod and DJ took care of the outside lights while Joshua helped indoors. By dinner time it was all gone, put away until next year. Our living room seems to be twice the size it was before. It is a little sad to see it all go away, it is kind of nice having a lit up beautiful tree in your house. It looks really good from the street as you walk by the house and I can't think of a prettier night light for the kids. I guess though that if it were there all the time we would just take it for granted and that would be sad. So we will just have to wait until Christmas comes around to our house again.

Joshua continues to do good, he played outside and rode his bike today. Although it was pretty chilly, by our standards, when we got up the day warmed up nicely and it was quite nice outside. I spent most of the day working out in the garage which is rare until this time of year. I will enjoy it while it lasts.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year... Day 415 01JAN10

Today Joshua and all of us begin a new year. The day dawned cold and dreary, hopefully not a portent of the coming year. The boy's spent the day playing mostly indoors but Jarrod did manage to get out and take in a bike ride. Our weather like much of the country will be much cooler over the next week or so.

We had a grand time watching Allie last night. She was a great baby and is infectiously cute to boot. This is a New Year that will be full of exploration and wonderment for her and her parent's and we will sit back and enjoy watching them as they journey together down a path we have trod before.

Our family's resolution this year is to be just that. A family. We have strength in each other and together we will face down all that comes against us. We will celebrate each and every day that we have together never forgetting how much life can change in a single instant. We will continue to battle the cancer that Joshua lives with every day. We will draw from his well of strength as we pour ours into him. We do not know what the future holds for us but we will continue to journey forward together as we have done all along.

We are strong.

We are a family.

May all of you who share our journey have a wonderful, blessed, and prosperous 2010. Thank you for traveling with our family.

New Year's Eve... Day 414 31DEC09

Joshua had a play date this morning at the park with Cameron and Jayden. While he was at the park Jarrod and D.J. went over to Pa's for a boat ride. Both sets of kids had a great time. Allie came over after lunch with Jamie and Christian to spend the night with Grand ma and Grand pa (yes that's us) so her parents could have a nice night out together. She is terribly cute and we had a lot of fun with her this evening. Just a few more months and I can start feeding her M&M's ;)

Jarrod crashed about 10:30 but Joshua hung in until the ball dropped. We want to wish everyone a Happy New Year!

For us we hope that 2010 is a year of better times for Joshua and all of our other cancer kids.