Saturday, July 31, 2010

A kick in the grass… Day 625 31JUL10

Today the sun moved closer to our area. A lot closer. It was just plain hot. According to NOAA it was 113 with the heat index. Yikes.

I spent my morning at the graduation for the college I teach at. It was a good ceremony just hot up on stage. It is a rather unique experience to see people whose lives you have helped shape just a little walk proudly across the stage and receive their diploma.

I stopped in to see my dad for a bit and then headed home. We rested in the relative coolness of the house until Renee's parents came over so we could all go watch the Rowdies play a little soccer. We were lucky enough to get a bunch of tickets from the Children's Cancer Center. My dad met us at the stadium and we all marched in. They tied 2-2 and played a good game. It was a fun evening for all of us.

We have one more day until we leave to go pick up our little noise maker. It has been unnaturally quiet here since he left for camp and we are all looking forward to him getting back home.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Day with grandpa… Day 624 30JUL10

Jarrod took off this morning with my dad to hang out and help him clean the roof and do some cooking. He also got a swim in at the next door neighbors. Renee got a day at home by herself after I left to go teach. Still no call from camp so we figure Joshua is doing just fine.

Jarrod and I wiled away the late evening watching a few shows on Discovery before he headed off to bed.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bowling… Day 623 29JUL10

Renee and Jarrod took off this morning for a little bowling. Jarrod got a certificate for a free bowling date for his birthday so they decided to go trade it in. Jarrod said he bowled okay but not as good as he wanted. Renee got a chance to coach…

Renee called me at work this afternoon to let me know that there was now a realtor sign in the front yard.


It looked really strange and little forlorn when I drove up to the house this evening. It made Jarrod a little uncomfortable, he is struggling a little with all the change coming at him. In truth it makes me a little uncomfortable, our future is rather unclear right now. We had a talk with Jarrod and he is okay but is understandably a little worried and apprehensive about what is happening.

No calls from camp means Joshua is still having a wonderful time and will have lots of fun stories to share on Monday when we pick him up. I can't wait :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Humanoid… Day 622 28JUL10

Renee called today to check onJoshua at camp. He is doing great and is having a lot of fun. His ankle is holding up fine and his counselors said he has been the model of good behavior. I know you are not supposed to check up on your kids at camp but secretly I was glad she did :)

Jarrod spent today helping get the house ready for our realtor to take pictures of for the listing and playing with his LEGO's. He made a little video to introduce his MindStorm Alpa Rex to the world:

It is really neat and I am sure he will share more of its capabilities in the near future.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Finally Camp!… Day 621 27JUL10

Joshua and I left this morning and said goodbye to daddy and Jarrod. Lee had to go to work and we were afraid he wouldn't make it back in time. It was Joshua and I until we picked up Pa. He offered to drive over with me to keep me company. It was two hours of Joshua asking "How much longer?" The drive seemed to go a lot quicker for me than for Joshua. Camp Boggy Creek is beautiful. They have everything so organized and well planned that in no time at all we had passed through all four check points and had Joshua set up in his cabin with his counselors. We were the third car to arrive but Joshua was the very first camper to check in! He was excited! After getting him settled and making him promise to take it easy on his ankle, I asked him if he wanted me to hang out a little while since there were no other kids yet or if he was ready for Pa and I to leave. He said "you can go mom!" Ugh! I bravely said ok, grabbed another hug and out the door I headed. I was very good! No tears! I am totally excited for Joshua to finally make it to Camp. He was so disappointed last year when he couldn't go. He is going to have a blast. I told him I wouldn't call to check on him but I know I will!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Listed… Day 620 26JUL10

We listed our house today. It is officially for sale in hopes that we can get it sold on a short sale before the bank forecloses on us. Our friend Liane from the Man and Woman of the year campaign is helping us and we are glad that she is. This is a scary time and we are glad that we are dealing with someone we know. We keep telling ourselves it is just a house and in reality it is. We have put a lot of blood and sweat into this place but we can do that again somewhere else and we will some day. So now we begin the process of loading our stuff into boxes and trying to thin out our possessions and accumulations to a more manageable level. Fun times…

Joshua went to clinic this morning and got his labs done. His ANC came back at 518. Considerably lower than we had hoped for. Dr. Ross Bach checked him over and signed off on him going to camp so tomorrow he will finally go to Camp Boggy Creek. Renee has him all packed and ready to go. I am afraid we are both freaking out about having our baby gone for a whole week, we just can't help it. I know he will be amazingly well cared for and will no doubt have the time of his life this next week. But we will still worry a bit while he is away. His ankle is still bothering him and he needs to take it a little easier than he has been. The mysterious fever has left and not seen fit to return which is great. Jarrod spent the day working on creating Alpha Rex, a humanoid, out of his MindStorm kit. I hope to have pictures tomorrow if he gets it where he is happy with how it works.

So tonight Renee and I fill out paperwork for the house and hope that things go better than they have so far. We still have faith that they will.

Listed… Day 620 26JUL10

We listed our house today. It is officially for sale in hopes that we can get it sold on a short sale before the bank forecloses on us. Our friend Liane from the Man and Woman of the year campaign is helping us and we are glad that she is. This is a scary time and we are glad that we are dealing with someone we know. We keep telling ourselves it is just a house and in reality it is. We have put a lot of blood and sweat into this place but we can do that again somewhere else and we will some day. So now we begin the process of loading our stuff into boxes and trying to thin out our possessions and accumulations to a more manageable level. Fun times…

Joshua went to clinic this morning and got his labs done. His ANC came back at 518. Considerably lower than we had hoped for. Dr. Ross Bach checked him over and signed off on him going to camp so tomorrow he will finally go to Camp Boggy Creek. Renee has him all packed and ready to go. I am afraid we are both freaking out about having our baby gone for a whole week, we just can't help it. I know he will be amazingly well cared for and will no doubt have the time of his life this next week. But we will still worry a bit while he is away. His ankle is still bothering him and he needs to take it a little easier than he has been. The mysterious fever has left and not seen fit to return which is great. Jarrod spent the day working on creating Alpha Rex, a humanoid, out of his MindStorm kit. I hope to have pictures tomorrow if he gets it where he is happy with how it works.

So tonight Renee and I fill out paperwork for the house and hope that things go better than they have so far. We still have faith that they will.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Countdown… Day 619 25JUL10

We are counting down the days until Tuesday when Joshua is set to leave for Camp Boggy Creek and his first time staying away from home alone. Of course nothing is ever without problems… He started running a low grade fever this evening. It has not gotten very high and has been rising and falling from normal to a little elevated. We are all crossing fingers and toes that this is just a weird thermostat fluctuation or a result of the IVIG infusion he got Friday. He goes in to clinic tomorrow so we will get his counts and have the Doctor look at him. With any luck we will leave Tuesday and drive him up to Eustis for camp.

The boys spent today like most others. Joshua playing around the house and Jarrod alternately working on his robot and watching shows he has stashed on the DVR. The rains waited until late to come rolling in so the boys had plenty of time to pay outside and get a little swimming in. Summer is drawing to a close and pretty soon they will both be back at school work for most of the day. I start a new semester this coming week and will back in the thick of things for a bit. I have enjoyed being home every day this past week spending time with the family and wish it could last longer.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Alligators in the house… Day 618 24JUL10

Joshua spent today playing around the house and getting a little relaxing in. The weather was hot and sunny for the first half of the day and then we got torrential rains and a wild electrical show for the rest of the evening. The boys did manage to get in a trip up to the park and a little swimming in across the street. Jarrod has been working with his robot and is making lots of progress.

Today he built a robotic alligator that senses that you are in front of it then attacks. It was a lot of fun to test out with each of us acting as stand in victims. He is currently working on a robot that will differentiate the color of a ball and then sort it accordingly. Pretty neat stuff.

Friday, July 23, 2010

MindStorm Challenge… Day 617 23JUL10

Joshua got up early, had breakfast, put emla on his port and took his pre-med for IVIG. The nurse showed up while I was taking Jarrod to his last day of LEGO camp and Joshua was accessed and hooked up when I got home. Initially he gets very tired from the pre-med and then his energy gradually returns as time passes.. He did great and had no side effects once again. Taylor and Avery came over while he still had a few hours to go and played with him for the afternoon. By evening time he was back to his normal self.

We went up to the grocery store after dinner to get him some chocolate milk and he asked me as we were getting out of the car why I had his picture on the dash of my car where I can see it all the time. I told him it was to always remind me what is most important. He thought about this for a moment and then asked, "Do you think I will beat cancer?" My throat tightened up as I responded "I have no doubt." Joshua said, "If I can stand up to my big brother then I am strong enough to beat cancer." "Yes",I said, "you definitely are strong enough." Such is the profound wisdom of an eight year old cancer survivor.

Jarrod had a wonderful week at camp and I was lucky enough to be able to go and see his team compete in the final challenge. Their robot did really well in all five challenges and they came in third overall out of twelve teams. Jarrod has really enjoyed the opportunity to learn about robots and how to make them work and I am sure that he will crete many amazing and wonderful things at home with his MindStorm kit. I am looking foreword to being wowed.

The rains set in this afternoon and are supposed to stay for several days thanks to a tropical storm down south. Should make for a nice relaxing weekend for all of us.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Playday… Day 616 22JUL10

Joshua got to have a play day today with his buddy Hayden. We dropped him off this morning around 10 and he stayed until Renee picked him up at 4. He had a wonderful time being a boy and paying hard. It is something he has really been looking forward to and I am glad he got the chance. Jarrod had another fun day at camp and his team is currently fourth out of twelve teams in the challenges. Tomorrow is the final challenge and this time I get to go and watch all the fun.

Jarrod's Mindstorm robot arrived late Wednesday evening and he has been working on it every spare minute since. He tells me that he is planning something special to introduce his robot to the world. Stay tuned…

Tomorrow Joshua will get yet another IVIG treatment as his levels are still low. It means a long day hooked up to an IV pump for him and being pretty wiped out afterwards.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Clear… Day 615 21JUL10

Jarrod had another day of camp today including his field trip to VALPAK to see all the robots in their production line. He had a great day and is really having fun working on the challenges.

Renee finally got all her test results and had an appointment with the endocrinologist to review everything. Good news is their are no major issues with her thyroid. Bad news is she is still really tired and needs to figure out how to get better rest. Kind of hard with all of the stressful issues she faces every day. We will work on that one.

Joshua was my car buddy today as we ran a few errands and went to pick up Jarrod from camp. He is great to spend time with and is always fun to have around. After dinner tonight we had an impromptu super soaker battle on the back porch. Very wet and very fun. The rest of the evening was quiet.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Visit with Grandpa… Day 614 20JUL10

Another early morning to get Jarrod to camp. Renee took him this morning and then headed over to the hospital for the second part of her thyroid scan. Today was the last scan and she will meet with the doctor tomorrow and we hope have some results by then. Joshua and I had a nice morning together and after lunch we headed into Tampa for the afternoon. First stop was at my dad's house for a visit. Joshua showed us his newly developed batting skills out in the backyard for a while and then we went next door for a dip in the pool. It was a fun afternoon and a chance for Joshua to spend some time with grandpa gandy without Jarrod. We left his house and headed over to the Children's Cancer Center for tutoring. Joshua was having a really hard time staying focused and he didn't get as much done as I would have liked but considering the effects of the chemo he got last week he did okay. We came home and I fixed a little dinner for everybody. Jarrod had a great day at camp and his team is currently leading in the challenges. He is very excited about what he is learning and he is really excited about his own Mindstorm that should be here tomorrow. The rest of the evening was pretty quiet, Renee has been really tired the last few days so she rested with Joshua. Jarrod and I caught a few shows on the Discovery channel and then it was off to bed. We have another full day tomorrow.

Monday, July 19, 2010

It figures… Day 613 19JUL10

We all got up early this morning to get ready to leave. Jarrod started the advanced LEGO Mindstorm camp this morning and Joshua had clinic. We dropped Jarrod off and headed for the hospital. While we waited for Joshua's counts to come back Renee walked over and got her meds for the thyroid scan she was going to get later in the day. Joshua plated with his friends in the waiting room.

Joshua's ANC came back at 510.

The day after we took him to the Wonderful World of Germs.

It figures.

He is all set to go to Camp Boggy Creek in a week and now we get to worry for a few days and keep an eye on him. Not that we don't constantly fret over ever cough over sneeze already, we are just going to have to step it up :) His other lab results indicate he is rising back up again so we will keep all our fingers crossed. He deserves to go to camp this summer.

Renee's scans went good and we will have results in a few days. Jarrod had a wonderful day at camp and he and his partner worked well together. Tomorrow they will start solving daily challenges with the robot. He is really looking forward to that. Thanks to lots of great friends and family his very one Mindstorm Robot should join our family on Wednesday. I wonder if he can program the robot to make oatmeal scotches?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Around the world (Details)… Day 612 18JUL10

We started off Jarrod's birthday by getting up early. I made waffles for breakfast at Jarrod's request and as soon as we were done we loaded up and headed for EPCOT. The ride over was fine and we got there just as the park was opening up for the day. We rode every ride that could be ridden, visited every pavilion that could be visited. We walked. A lot. 
First stop was Spaceship Earth. Next up was the living seas where we had a great time interacting with Dude Crush from Finding Nemo. Disney has an amazing experience where the audience interacts with a cartoon character on the screen. It was really like he was actually there. After looking at all the cool marine life Joshua got chosen to be the dive buddy  for the demonstration of the lockout chamber. He did a great job and the divers name was Josh. What a coincidence. 

The morning went by quickly as we worked our way around through Canada, the UK, France, and Morocco on our way to Japan. Jarrod had requested that we eat sushi in the Japanese pavilion for lunch. We had a great meal and then did a little shopping at Mitsukoshi downstairs before setting off again on our round the world tour. 

Next up was America, Italy, Germany. We stopped in China and watched a neat movie about their country. Off we bounded to Norway to experience the Maelstrom. This turned out to be Joshua's favorite country. A quick journey through Mexico and then we headed off to test our bravery and mettle against the rides. 

Test Track was invigorating. Jarrod and Joshua really like going fast. No big surprise there:) 

Our next stop was Mission Space where we formed a four man crew for a voyage to Mars with Joshua as Navigator, Dad as Pilot, Mom as Engineer, and Jarod as Commander (what else;). We all thought the ride was awesome! Mom thought otherwise and made it clear that she will never join us for another space mission. In our continuing quest for adrenaline we went to Innovention and designed our own simulator rides and then strapped ourselves to the end of a hopefully benign robotic arm and let it flail us around in the air for a bit. It was great! 

We finished off by riding Spaceship earth again. Jarrod really liked the planetarium at the top of the ride and wanted to see it again so off we went. By now the day was winding to a close so we bid farewell to EPCOT and headed for the LEGO store. Jarrod found several new Technics kits to build and Joshua managed to come home with a new addition to his Star Wars fleet. Downtown Disney was a madhouse so we decided to start driving home and stop for dinner on the way. Jarrod finished off his day with another one of his favorites, crab legs. Joshua had some too and I was proud of my little shelling units, they learned well. We finally made it home late last night and after a few minutes to wind down the boys promptly crashed. To quote Jarrod, yesterday was "A-W-E-S-O-M-E!!"

Today we spent a  quiet morning building LEGOS and then Jamie, Christian, and Allie came over for the afternoon. We had a great visit and had fun watching Allie crawl and stand up all by herself. She is getting real close to figuring out how to become a true biped. It won't be long before she is speeding around all over the place. We had a nice ice cream cake and then spent a relaxing evening hanging out with our new teenager!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Around the world… Day 611 17JUL10

We just got back from EPCOT. It was a a wonderful birthday for Jarrod and we all had a great time. I will post all the details and pictures tomorrow. We are just too wiped out tonight :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Not so long ago… Day 610 16JUL10

Not so long ago, thirteen years to be precise, Renee and I were eagerly awaiting several things. She was looking for an end to the tortuous and long day of labor she had been enduring and the arrival of our son Jarrod. I was waiting for her pain and suffering to be over and for the arrival of our son. He finally decided it was time to join the family and he has been with us ever since. It was a tiring and magical night all those years ago, although they seemed to have slipped by frighteningly fast. In the morning we will wake up to a teenager in the house. One portion of his life journey over and a new part beginning, that awkward transition from child to adult. We have faith that Jarrod will handle the journey down that bumpy road with the patience and deep thought that he has always brought to bear. For his birthday we have a special trip planned to Epcot for a day of fun and excitement. Both of the boys have been looking forward to to going for quite a while and we had  quite a time getting them to bed so they can get a little rest.

Joshua's day was good according to him. He played outside for a while, beat his brother in a bike race, and finally got Professor Snape in LEGO Harry Potter. His ankle is looking better and we should be fine for tomorrow. Renee got everything laid out and ready to go this evening so we can get an easy and early start tomorrow. We will take lots of pictures and have all the details tomorrow :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Mom on a Rant!… Day 609 15JUL10

We’ve always tried to only say positive things about Joshua. It is what Lee and I agreed
on when we first started Joshua’s Story. It was important that everyone around us stayed
positive and upbeat not only for us but for Joshua as well.

In basic truth….Cancer really does Suck! It really does affect the entire family.
I wish I could say that we have only had a little stress to deal with but that isn’t exactly
the truth. Joshua’s therapy treatment is excruciatingly long and sometimes it is just

I’ve spent a good portion of the last couple of years worrying and dealing with an
incredible amount of stress. Even before Joshua was diagnosed, I was worrying about
my job as an appraiser in a failing market, loss of income, finding a new line of work,
how my boys were doing in school and then it seemed I hit rock bottom. Joshua had
cancer! I suddenly had something new to deal with and all the things that kept me up
at night didn’t seem so significant as the life of my child.

Now I find myself worrying not only about cancer but also about finances. It seems that the bank is finally going to foreclose on us due to the fact that we haven’t been able to make a mortgage payment
since Joshua was diagnosed. It’s just a house but it is the only house Joshua has ever lived in. That’s hard to take.

But it is still just a house! I also find myself concerned with where do we move, how to afford the move and even if we can afford a rent payment! I also worry about how Lee is taking everything since all the finances fall into his lap including the exorbitant amount of medical bills that we owe. He is a wonderful husband and has done a terrific job getting us this far.

I am always wondering if the boys are taking everything ok and how they will adjust. I find myself thinking, “If I could just win the lottery”, but I know that wouldn’t solve anything either…just bring on more problems! We, as a family, have been through a lot this past year and a half on this journey we call life. Cancer seems to surround us everyday. We constantly see new children diagnosed, Lee lost his mother to cancer only months ago, my dear friend has just been diagnosed and undergone surgery for breast cancer and I find myself constantly wondering when it will all end. In plain truth, It won’t! This journey is continuous! Even as I sit typing this I know that next week I will be undergoing a Thyroid scan to see if the two small nodules that the doctors have found on my thyroid are cancerous. The good news is 90% are not!

The life we live will continue on and I will continue to worry, but we will also continue to stay positive and focused on Joshua’s complete healing. Thank you for praying for Joshua and for our entire family. We know you are out there supporting us, and that in itself is a true blessing. Yes, I have to deal with a large amount of stress, but I know that in the end Joshua will be healed. Both he and Jarrod will grow into remarkable young men capable of anything they set out to accomplish.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Nothing day… Day 608 14JUL10

Today was kind of a nothing day. Joshua is still favoring his ankle so he rested it today by staying off of it and doing less active things like building LEGOs with Renee. I rested some more and am slowly climbing out of the pit this cold dropped me in.  We ran a few errands late this afternoon and then came home before the rains hit. A quiet dinner and off to bed. Pretty normal stuff. We'll take it...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Halfway point… Day 607 13JUL10

Today we reach the half way mark on our journey down our cancer road. Joshua will finish treatment 606 days from now. The journey so far has taught us many things and irrevocably changed who we are and what we will all become. When I told Joshua this morning that we were at the halfway point he was happy and said, "We will keep going and kick cancer's butt!" It amazes me the strength and conviction that he has. Every day shines bright upon his beautiful face and lets me know that each and every day is a special blessing. Each step we take together as a family makes us all stronger and we will finish this journey together.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Eagle… Day 606 12JUL10

The boys and I started off early this morning. We made an extra stop to pick up Taylor so he could go to clinic with us. Joshua is doing well. His ANC was up in the 5000 thanks to the steroids last week. Unfortunately the results from his IVIG came back and he has dropped to the low 500's which is below normal. He will be put back on IVIG transfusions. He has also had a minor set back with his ankle. He wasn't exactly careful with it on Sunday so I'm making him use his crutches for this week.

We have a big day coming up this Saturday. Jarrod has decided that he would like to go to EPCOT for his big "13th" Birthday and that will be a very long day full of walking and a trip to the LEGO Store! Jarrod is counting the days!!  Lee woke this morning with a severe head cold. He hardly gets sick but when he does he has the worst symptoms. Hopefully he will feel 100% better by Saturday.

After clinic I took the boys for a special tour of the USCG Eagle. It is a three masted barque. It is on tour for five weeks and is normally stationed up in New London, Cn at the Coast Guard Academy. It is used for training. It was very exciting to be able to tour the vessel. Lee was able to make it down to meets us along with Pa, Uncle Scott, Avery, and Grandpa Gandy. Afterwards we went to meet Aunt Alecia and get a little lunch. It was a long wait in the hot sun but the tour was fun and a nice experience for the kids.

We spent the afternoon resting in the A/C and of course, playing a little LEGO Harry Potter on the xbox. In my book, you can always find the time to play with your kids…no matter what they want to do!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

World Cup… Day 605 11JUL10

Renee and Jarrod went to church this morning with her parents and Jarrod went home with them. So we had a quiet morning at home before the kids came back in time to watch the final World Cup game. Jarrod seems to have passed the cold he had last week on to me so I am feeling a bit under the weather today so lazing around on the couch all afternoon worked perfectly. I hope Joshua will not catch it as well. I have sanitized all of my stuff that I touch with any regularity and will be stepping up my germ warfare for a few days. Other than that we had a relaxing evening. Renee made some great chicken soup for dinner and it was the perfect thing to help fight off this cold.

Tomorrow is back to clinic for a finger stick and labs. Joshua got enough stuff done this past week to last for a while.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Quiet… Day 604 10JUL10

Joshua left in the middle of the morning to go over and play with Taylor and Avery at Grandma and Pa's house. He deduced to extend his visit and spend the night. He came home to get his clothes and some toys together and he was really happy that he was going get to spend the day playing.
While he was having fun Jarrod and I got a chance to run up to Sam's to pick up a few things. After a few hours of doing stuff around the house he helped me make a nice dinner for the three of us. He and Renee got a few good hours of playtime on LEGO Harry Potter together before he trundled off to bed. Just a nice quiet evening at home.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Day trip… Day 603 09JUL10

Joshua got in a little day trip this afternoon to visit with the Cavanaugh clan in Seminole. Renee and the boys headed over at lunchtime to hang out and get a little swimming in. I had to work so I missed out on the fun. They had a great time and were home in time for a little pizza for dinner and a relaxing evening. It is nice that Joshua can get out and have some summer fun, his ankle is healing wonderfully and he should be back to 100% in no time.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Allie visit… Day 602 08JUL10

Joshua started off the day like most with a little breakfast and a little TV. Jarrod spent most of the mooring in his room working on a new LEGO creation and I was ensconced in my office trying to get familiar with a new textbook for next semester.

After lunch we were visited by Jamie, Miss Allie, and the pups. She is growing by leaps and bounds and is crawling nicely. She sits up with ease and definitely knows what she wants and pretty much how to get to it. I wish I could have had more time to visit but I had to get ready and leave for work. Renee said they stayed until dinner time and then headed home.

Jarrod went out and mowed the back yard all by himself for the first time. I am very proud of him and glad that I now have someone to share the yard work with. The rest of the evening passed quietly and everyone but Renee was sound asleep when I got home.

Playtime… Day 601 07JUL10

Joshua had a full day of playtime with his friends. Jarrod left with Lee in the morning and was dropped off at grandpa Gandy's for the day to help him do some projects around the house.  First friend to come over was Wojtek with his mom followed by Taylor and Avery with grandma Peters. The kids all played while I made up some tasty things to eat for lunch with a little help from Ania and my mom! After Wojtek and Ania left Joshua headed over to grandma's house to play on Taylor's new Foosball table top game that he got for his birthday. I headed over later for dinner which was nice. Joshua is doing a lot better with his ankle. He is able to walk around on it without the splint. Nothing seems to stop him or even slow him down!

Jarrod had a great day with Grandpa Gandy but came home with a very bad headache that started in the car on the ride home with his dad. It is something we are definitely going to gave to keep an eye out for.

I feel some days that I am turning into a hypochondriac with all the horrible things that travel through my brain when even one of my children gets sick. I know it is probably nothing, but I also thought Joshua just had bronchitis! I also don't want my kids running to the hospital every time they feel a little sick. I guess these are the conditions that go along with a diagnosis of cancer in a child. I hate it! I just hope and pray that one day I can feel a little bit easier about everything!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Soggy … Day 600 06JUL10

Things are starting to get a bit soggy around here. The rain has continued for yet another day. The grass has already turned green and it is finally growing. With any luck this summer will be a little kinder to our plants than the last few years. Joshua's ankle is already improving and our biggest challenge is now going to be making sure he doesn't push too hard too fast. He was a little grumpy and tired today but after all the drugs from yesterday that is not a big surprise. We spent the day doing stuff inside. Taylor and a friend stopped by for a bit so Joshua could give Taylor his birthday present. Happy Birthday Taylor bear!! After they left we got loaded up in the car and headed to the Children's Cancer Center for a bit. On the drive back it started pouring so it took us quite a bit longer to get back home. We were even stuck in the car in the driveway for a bit waiting on the rain to slack of enough to make a run for the front door. Tomorrow I am gone all day at work and hopefully the rain will abate enough so the kids can get some outside play time in. Cabin fever is definitely starting to spread :)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Rainy hospital day… Day 598 05JUL10

We awoke this morning to rain. Again. Jarrod walked out when he woke up and looking out the window turned to me and asked "IS it ever going to stop raining?"

Renee and Joshua left early to get things started at clinic. He got accessed, got blood drawn, had the doctor take a look at his ankle, got his pentamidine treatment, got vincristine in his port, and got his orders for the day hospital. Jarrod and I made snacks and lunch for everybody and then headed up to the hospital. We watched as once again they put our baby to sleep, which by the way he is really enjoying. Nothing like an 8 year old who likes to get high. He quickly  went to the lands where dreams get lost and the procedure got started. He got his IT methotrexate and Dr. Wynn was done in no time. As we were walking back to his room I asked Dr. Wynn how many LP's this made for him. He laughed and said he quit counting after the second one. Joshua got a good nap in and woke up hungry like always. He had some fruit and then we got him all unhooked and into the car for the ride home. The rest of the day was just another rainy day at home with all of us finding things to do to keep occupied. His ankle is doing much better and Motrin is keeping the pain and swelling at bay. He is supposed to start trying to put some weight on it tomorrow evening to help it heal. He is already tired of the crutches and I am sure he will be happy to ditch them as soon as he can.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Guess what… Day 597 04JUL10

We awoke this morning to rain. Heavy rain. Matter of fact it rained almost all day. We have been asking for it and it finally arrived and will hopefully go a way towards alleviating the dry conditions we have had so far. Needless to say we spent the day inside playing games and puttering about the place. During a break in the showers Joshua and I ran up to the grocery to pick up a few items we needed. He helped me pick out fruits and vegetables he felt like he would eat. So much easier when he is there instead of us trying to guess what he might want.

After dinner the boys went outside to play a little and Renee and I were sitting in the living room when the front door burst open and Jarrod hustled in carrying Joshua in his arms. Joshua had twisted his ankle badly and was in a lot of pain. It started to swell almost immediately so we iced it down for a bit. The pain wasn't going away so Renee took him up the road to the after hours clinic for a look. The results after an x-ray and an exam by the doc? A severe sprain. So he got splinted up and received his first set of crutches. He will have to keep the splint on for two weeks and then get an x-ray on his follow up to make sure his growth plates are still properly aligned. His ankles are weak already due to the vincristine he receives and I am sure that was a factor in his accident. He was pretty stoic about it most of the time but also a little scared. We had to re-wrap his ankle when he got home to make him more comfortable so he could get to sleep. I hope he sleeps well as tomorrow is a big day.
Jarrod once again showed what a great big brother he is. He always keeps and eye on Joshua and is there when he needs him. They fight and bicker like all brothers but Joshua knows he is safe when Jarrod is there with him. We are very proud of him.

We start another cycle in the morning which means an LP and IT methotrexate at the day hospital. Another time we get to watch them put our baby to sleep and send him into the land where dreams get lost.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Fun day… Day 596 03JUL10

The first half of our Saturday was pretty average. We got up and ate breakfast and each did our own little things around the house. This afternoon we headed out for the day, first stop was Brandon to pick up Jarrod's new glasses. They look great on him and he was very pleased with them. He is growing up so fast it is amazing. He seems to grow from day to day and he is turning into a fine young man. After Brandon we jumped on the interstate and headed over to Seminole for an evening of fun with our friend's the Cavanaughs. The kids had a great time playing in the pool and we adults got a chance to hang out together, talk, and relax. I think the kids would have all started sprouting gills if they had swam for much longer. We had some good food and the adults played a game of euchre which I have never played before. It was pretty interesting to learn and once you get past some of the rather unusual rules it is great fun. All in all it was a delightful evening. Just two cancer families having a good time. Joshua took a pretty good nap on the long drive home and gave us no arguments about climbing in to bed.

Friday, July 2, 2010

IVIG…not… Day 595 02JUL10

Renee and Joshua got up early this morning and got prepared to do his IVIG treatment. We still hadn't heard from anybody so she called as soon as she could only to find out that the doctor had decided to suspend his infusions to see how his levels hold up at 4 weeks out and 8 weeks out. Unfortunately they forgot to tell us of their decision.

 So today was a "normal" day without any IV pumps or plastic tubing being involved. Which is a good thing, we are not complaining. So Joshua spent the morning playing LEGO Harry Potter while JArrod finished reading the first Percy Jackson novel. He really liked it and already wants the second book in the series.

I went to teach for the afternoon and made it back just in time for dinner and a movie with the family. We all cuddled up on the couches and watched Percy Jackson and the Lighting Thief. It was  pretty good film but Jarrod said it wasn't very much like the book.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Working day 2… Day 594 01JUL1

Jarrod got picked up this morning by grandpa Gandy to head over and get ready for the dinner party tonight. They had a lot of cooking  to do and he was really looking forward to it. The evening turned out to be a big success and Jarrod received lots of compliments on his cooking. He really enjoyed helping out and I know that grandpa really appreciated his help.

Joshua spent the day hanging out at home. He showed me how to play LEGO Harry Potter this morning and coached me through a few tough areas of the first level. I let for work early in the afternoon so he got another fun evening at home with Renee. She told me that they went up to rent a movie and then came home and watched it together before heading off to sleep. Joshua is supposed to be getting his monthly IVIG treatment in the morning but the nurse never called today to confirm. Just to be on the safe side Renee is going to get him up early and get disport ready along with his pre-med.