Friday, December 30, 2011
Joshua got a little extra incentive to get school finished today since I had promised to take him and Jarrod to skate if he got it all done. So right after lunch, since he got it done :), we headed out to get a little ice time in. Joshua skated as a goalie today and got some good tips from a coupe of the goalies we have gotten to know. Jarrod and I had a good skate and then headed for him. As soon as we got our hockey gear stowed Jarrod and I headed over to Renee's dads to help him get the last piece of the boat lift taken down and dragged onto shore. We got it finished although we were pretty beat by the time all was said and done and headed home to get some dinner going, Renee had picked up some pork chops at the market so we tossed them on the grill. We finished our night off relaxing together and watching a little tele.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Joshua did school work during the morning but after lunch Trent and Chas came over for a while to play. The boys played inside and out for the duration of the afternoon and had a really fun time hanging out. Jarrod received the LEGO kit that he had ordered with his Christmas money so he, of course, settled in for the afternoon building. He finished it tonight during the hockey game and really enjoyed the build. We won the game which made a nice ending for our day.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Joshua and Jarrod got a bunch of their old games together this afternoon and we took them up to Gamestop so they could trade them in and get something new that they have been wanting. The line was rather long but we persevered and made it to the counter so they could do their business. It worked out like they wanted and they left the store with a new game and a burning desire to get back home as quickly as possible. Renee and I had a few other stops on the way but we managed to get them home relatively fast. They spent the late afternoon playing together until it was time for a little dinner. Renee was working this evening so the boys and I curled up and watched a few episodes of Doctor Who before bedtime.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Joshua got back on his school work this morning and managed to get through a book report with out any trouble. He is still trying to get caught up and he is gaining ground. The morning was gloomy and rainy so it was a perfect time to stay inside and get stuff finished. After lunch the boys asked if I could take them up to Walmart so they could look for a few things that they wanted to spend their Christmas money on so we loaded up in the car and headed out. We had fun walking around the store and Joshua found a new Xbox game that he wanted so he pooled his resources and bought it. I managed to sneak a few extra errands into the schedule but the boys didn't mind riding around with me for a bit. We got home a little bit before Renee had to leave for work. After we got some dinner the boys played the new game that Joshua picked up while I did some chores around the house. We settled in at 7:30 to watch the Bolts game and were rewarded with a nice win at home. The weather is turning off cooler for the next coupe of days which will be a nice change and a good incentive to get some work done outside.
Monday, December 26, 2011
Taylor and Joshua were up early playing. Jarrod got up with the sun because he had his big LEGO set to build, we only got him one large technic model but the one he wanted was huge and had over 1200 pieces so he wanted to get an early jump on it. He managed to get it done by the middle of the afternoon and was very pleased with how it looked. I will try and get him to take some pictures to share. Taylor stayed until lunch time and then headed home. Joshua had a pre-arranged play date with Carly this afternoon so he headed over to her house after lunch. The rest of us did our own thing around the house until dinner time when Joshua returned. He had great day playing but was rather tired out. We relaxed for the remainder of the evening until it was time to send the boys off to bed, the memory of Christmas still buzzing in their brains :)
Sunday, December 25, 2011
The boys did well and at least slept in until sunrise. We all got up, I made a cup of coffee, and then we sat down to watch the boys open presents. As you might suspect there were mostly presents with LEGO on the outside of the box along with a few games and other goodies. Breakfast followed and then the building began in earnest. Both boys got a few things constructed by lunchtime at which point they took a break for a while. My dad headed for home after lunch and we headed over to Renee's parents a little later in the afternoon for a visit and a great meal followed by a few more presents that needed to be unwrapped. It was a nice afternoon and we were pretty tired after we got home. Taylor has joined us for the night so Joshua and him have been running around the house and playing and enjoying each others company.
Tomorrow will be another day filled with the unmistakable sound of LEGO bricks being sorted through as new creations spring to life all over the house. I'm looking forward to it all :)
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Well Joshua and Jarrod are thrilled! Christmas Eve has finally arrived and as I thought they started the hourly countdown at breakfast this morning :) It is so much fun to watch them be all excited and anxious.
As a treat Jarrod and I went up to get in some ice time, just the two of us, since Joshua and I went to skate the other day. The rink was pretty empty and we had a really fun skate together. Jarrod is skating really well and he was working on his backwards cross overs today and doing a good job of it.
We headed home afterwards and got there just before my dad showed up to spend the rest of the day and the night with us. Renee prepared a wonderful dinner and set quite a pretty table for us to eat at. After dinner we all headed to the living room to watch a little tele before sending to very reluctant to go to sleep boys off to bed with strict instructions to not get up too early :) Not going to help but we tried…
I am sure that like every Christmas morning in the past a small voice will ask us if we are awake just as the sun is rising somewhere over eastern China ;)
Friday, December 23, 2011
The boys informed me this morning that this was the eve of Christmas Eve :) They are pretty excited, understandably, about the next two days coming up. Joshua got a little bit of school work done today, he is still trying to get caught up from Thanksgiving break but he is slowly hacking away at the backlog. We spent the day doing stuff around the house and just enjoying the holidays. Renee went out for the evening to meet up with her friend Laura whom she hasn't seen in a while. They had anise time together and she made it back in time to watch the Bolts play out in Denver. Jarod and I were the only ones who stayed up to watch the whole game which is good since they lost in overtime :(
Tomorrow is the eve of Christmas, as the boys pointed out on their way to get ready for bed and I am sure they will start the hourly countdown sometime after breakfast tomorrow.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Joshua and I headed out after eating a bite of lunch to go to a parent and player skate and shoot up at the rink. We arrived early so we cold get his skates sharpened and make sure we were on the list to go out on the ice. They only allow so many players and we were almost at the top of the list. Joshua also needed a new hockey stick as he has outgrown his older one so we looked around and found a replacement that he liked. He choose to wrap it with red tape to match his socks and jersey. We had a great two hour skate and got a lot of good practice time in. Joshua really liked his new stick and said it help him do better on the ice. We were pretty tuckered out and rather hungry when we got off of the ice so we stopped by the snack bar to get him something to eat before we headed for home. While we were gone Renee and Jarrod ran a few errands and Jarrod went for his follow up visit with his podiatrist. His toe is healing perfectly and the Doctor was pleased with the result, it shouldn't bother him anymore. Skating really drained Joshua's batteries so we took it really easy for the rest of the evening, I am sure that after a good nights rest he will be right as rain in the morning.
Wojtek came over to have some fun with Joshua today while Ania and Renee went a great Polish deli over in Clearwater to get some goodies to eat. The boys had a lot of fun playing with LEGO's for a while and then after lunch I drove them up to the park so we could have a bit of outdoor recreation. Renee and Ania were back when we came home and they spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out with us. Like always they came back with lots of yummy stuff for us to munch on. Joshua ran out of gas about mid afternoon as the chemo from Monday caught up with him. He spent the rest of the evening taking it easy and not doing a whole lot. So far he has kept the monster pretty firmly in check which is great. If he is feeling up to it we might go up to the rink and skate tomorrow, I will have to see how he feels in the morning when he gets up.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
All quiet on the home front today, Joshua has been doing extremely well managing the steroids so far. Renee and I spent the better part of the day running around town while the boys hung out with pa and helped him on a few projects. I didn't pick them up until almost dark and both off them had a good day. The weather was pretty nice which made being outside a nice thing. Joshua and I manage to get a little skating in before dinner. After dinner we all relaxed a bit and caught up with each others days. Tomorrow Wojtek is coming over for a play date which should be a lot of fun :)
Monday, December 19, 2011
Twas the week before Christmas and all through the house every one was walking on eggshells and being as quiet as a mouse for fear that the monster would soon be near… Joshua went to clinic this morning to get his counts checked which came back fine, his ANC was 2200 and everything else looked good. He got his port accessed and received his vincristine and then got his pentamadine breathing treatment. He also gets to start his steroids pulse today, he had 12 pills to take this evening.
Their was a little Christmas party at the hospital so Joshua and Renee hung out for a while to enjoy the festivities before heading for home. Jarrod and I meantime had quiet morning together at home and got started on some projects around the house. Renee and Joshua got home just after lunchtime and started in on his school work while Jarrod and I worked out in the garage. Renee had to work for a little while this evening so the boys and I had a little dinner and then relaxed in front of the tele for a bit until she got back home. Tomorrow we have a bunch of running around to do until early afternoon and then we can come home and relax a bit.
Sunday, December 18, 2011
|What a great smile! He was stoked!|
We got to attend the Lighting Employees Christmas party today which was held, of course, at the rink where they skate. Their was food, music, and Santa came to visit but the highlight for us was the chance to spend the afternoon skating on the Bolts home sheet of ice. The boys were besides themselves the second we stepped from the players bench onto the ice. It was a really neat feeling to be seeing the same sights that the Bolts look at when they are playing and definitely something we will not soon forget. Joshua even got a special visit from Coach Raymond who put his skates on and came out on the ice with us. He worked with Joshua on his skating skills for a while and gave Jarrod and I some great tips as well. It was great to get to hang out with Martin for a bit and get a chance to talk a little hockey, he is truly a great guy! We spent three hours out on the ice and when it was time to leave we were the last ones to step off and close the door behind us.
|Jarrod at center ice|
|off he goes...|
|invisible hockey stick ;)|
|Renee and her hockey boys|
|Joshua trying out center ice|
|taking the blue line...|
|in the corner...|
|even the old guys got to skate|
|Jarrod serving a 2 minute minor for excessive speed :)|
|Lee and the boys|
|On the ice with Coach Raymond|
What a great afternoon!
We headed home and all took it easy for the rest of the day with a nice dinner and then a little tele before sending the boys off to bed. Joshua has clinic in the morning and will be getting accessed to get vincristine again along with starting up another week of steroids to get him ready for Christmas :)
Saturday, December 17, 2011
We were invited to a Christmas party today way up in Odessa at a horse ranch run by Quantum Leap Farm, a nonprofit organization founded in 2000, they are a nationally recognized equestrian program serving injured and disabled civilian adults and children, military service members and their families. The facilities were amazing and the weather couldn't have been any more ideal for being outside for the afternoon. We saw lots of our cancer family including a few families we hadn't seen in quite a while. The kids had a fantastic time playing and being around all the animals. Santa showed up in a horse drawn wagon and proceeded to hand out gifts to all of the kids.
Joshua got to ride a horse whose name was Cooper. He really likes being up in the saddle and according to him he is ready to take a much longer ride out in the woods. He looked right at home to us.
One of the more interesting critters walking around was huge turkey named Wishbone. The lady that runs the farm found him injured on the side of the road and nursed him back to health. He was very tolerant of all the kids and let them pet him and take his picture. He even wore his best red Christmas bows for the party.
There were goats, horses, a donkey, and several great dogs as well. The party wrapped up around four and we headed back towards our part of the world. What a wonderful afternoon for all of us!
The boys and I got a little skate in before dark and then settled in to watch the Lighting play the Blue Jackets. We won 3-2 :)
Tomorrow we get to go skate on the Bolts home ice during the Christmas party for Renee and her co-workers, we are all very stoked about the chance to be on their home ice!
Friday, December 16, 2011
Joshua has been waiting for this evening to arrive for several weeks since he had planned a sleepover with his friend Trent. He actually got a two for one deal since Trent's younger brother Chas was part of the plan as well. Renee says they had a fun filled evening and when I got home they were all in the playroom watching a movie. Jarrod decided to spend the evening quietly playing on the computer :) In the morning we will feed all the boys and then enjoy watching them run around and have fun until their mom comes to collect them :)
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Joshua and Jarrod got to go see the Bolts play tonight with pa. Renee was working and so was I but we had gotten tickets earlier in the week so Renee's dad was able to meet the boys and enjoy the game. It was a great game and we won it in OT on a goal from Stamkos, Joshua's favorite player. I am sure Stamkos heard Joshua cheering from the top of the rink :) I cheered from home with Hobie although he sept through the whole game.
Christmas break is fast approaching and the boys and I only have to get done with classes tomorrow before we all get a well deserved hiatus until next year rolls around.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Joshua spent his school day working on phonics with Renee. He did really well and seemed to stay focused most of the day. Jarrod's toe was bothering him quite a bit last night but was feeling better this morning and continued to improve as the day wore on, he is definitely on the mend. The rest of our day was pretty standard and not a whole lot got done this evening. Every once in a while we all just need to veg out for a bit :) Tomorrow is back to work and school but the boys get to go with pa to the hockey game tomorrow night! I know they will enjoy cheering the Bolts on to victory...
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
We got an early start today with a good breakfast of pancakes thanks to Renee. As soon as we were done it was time to drive up to north Tampa for a doctors appointment for Renee, the boys and I sat in the waiting room together passing the time. When she was done we all headed back to the house for lunch. Renee and the boys got the outside Christmas lights up before we all set off again. Renee went out to finish up the Christmas shopping and the boys and I did the grocery run and then a trip to the bank on the way to Jarrod's late afternoon appointment with his podiatrist to get his ingrown toenail fixed. Joshua and I sat in the room with Jarrod while he got his toe numbed up and then the nail trimmed back. He did great but I am sure it will start hurting when the anesthesia wears off later on. We stopped off at the library to donate some books on the way back home. When we got there Jarrod propped his foot up and Joshua and I decided to get a quick skate in before the light disappeared. Renee got home from shopping while we were out in the street and we headed in to get some dinner going.
Sure enough Jarrod's toe started throbbing pretty bad as the numbness wore off, he was being a trooper and gritting his teeth a bit when he headed off to bed. I hope that in the morning he feels a lot better, the first 24 hours is the worst the Doctor said.
Tomorrow is a stay at home and get some school work done kind of day for both the boys.
Monday, December 12, 2011
Joshua got a rather late start this morning, he had a hard time going to sleep last night because Renee wasn't here so he wound up staying up until she got home which was after midnight. Needless to say he was pretty tired and slept until after 11 this morning. He seemed no worse for wear when he got up and was busy doing his school work soon after breakfast got taken care of. THe rest of the afternoon transpired rather quickly and it wasn't long before the boys were headed over to Renee's parents for a bit until I got off of work and could go pick them up. We watched the tail end of the Lightning game and then the boys headed off to bed.
Tomorrow has us pretty busy and running around quite a bit so I hope that Joshua can get a good nights sleep in.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
We all had a rather normal Sunday morning with everyone following their normal routine. We boys decided to go get some ice time this afternoon while Renee was at work. It has been a couple of weeks since we had a chance to hit the ice and we all miss it. We got our gear together, at a quick bite of lunch and then headed for the rink. We all had a good skate and enjoyed our time on the ice, Joshua did really well and his energy held up the entire session. We got cleaned up afterwards and headed for home to rest and get some dinner going. We had a nice quiet evening together hanging out and watching a little tele together before bed time. I always enjoy time with my boys :)
Tomorrow is the start of the last school week before Christmas break! Lots to get done for all of us so we can take a few weeks off.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Jarrod and Joshua along with the rest of us slept in this morning. Renee and Joshua didn't make it home last night until 1:30 so they were pretty tuckered out.
The boys had asked if I could take them to MOSI for the afternoon so we ate a quick bite of lunch and headed out. First up was an IMAX film called Coral Reefs that Jarrod has been wanting to see. We walked into the theater and Joshua picked out some seats for us, as we waited for the movie to start a group from the CCC came in and sat down right behind us. Joshua's buddy Trent was there along with the rest of the Lewis clan so Joshua was thrilled. Jarrod's buddy Matt came and sat next to him and we all enjoyed the movie together. We walked around for a few minutes with the CCC group after the movie was over until they had to leave to go home.
Jarrod's other request for the day was to go see the planetarium show so we headed across the street to the other wing of the museum to wait for the show to begin. The boys had fun playing with all the exhibits until it was time to go in and sit down in the dark for a while. Neither of the boys had ever been in a planetarium before and Jarrod relay enjoyed the show. Joshua got a little motion sick as the stars were moving about so he was less enthusiastic about the whole thing. We headed out of the museum afterwards to begin our journey back home but decided as we walked out to the car to take walk through the nature trails behind the museum. We had a nice walk and got a chance to get some fresh air and a bit of exercise.
We made it home in time to get a little skating in before it got dark. As we were eating dinner pa called to tell us that the annual lighted boat parade was going to start in about 30 minute so we finished up our meal and jumped in the car. We arrived just in time to see the procession of boats parade past grandma and pa's dock. The boats were all lit up and it was quite the spectacle. We said our goodbyes after it was over and headed home to watch the Bolts play a little hockey to wrap up our day. Quite a lot of fun for one Saturday :)
Friday, December 9, 2011
Joshua and Renee got to go visit Mickey's house this afternoon! The Children's Cancer Center along with Kill Mode Training Company, Vykin Corp. and Celestar sponsored the Hope & Shine Dream Event to take 15 cancer kids and a parent to see the night festivities at the Magic Kingdom. Renee and Joshua were joined by lots of our cancer friends including Ania and Wojtek. Wojtek has never seen the Magic Kingdom so it was an extra special treat for him. Renee tells me that they had a wonderful time and got to ride Space Mountain, Racecars, It's a Small world, and Pirates of the Caribbean… All the classics :) They had a nice dinner and were really living it up. It was a great opportunity for the kids and I know they all had a magical evening.
Jarod spent the afternoon and evening helping pa out with a bunch of stuff and said he had a great day. I picked him and Missy up on my way home and got them both safely tucked into bed.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Joshua had a little bit of a cough this morning so Renee gave him some meds and it pretty much went away which is good. We don't want him sick this time of year. Both the boys did really well in school today and got quite a bit accomplished.
After lunch Renee and the boys headed in to the Children's Cancer Center to film a short segment that will be part of a video thank you to the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Players for all that they do for our cancer kids. They are a great organization and we are lucky as a community to have their support.
On the way home from the CCC the kids and Renee stopped at my dads to pick up Missy who will be staying with us for a week while my dad travels up north for a visit with my sister. Both of the boys are excited about her staying with us and I am sure she will be spoiled even better than she currently is :)
I made it home in time to get some dinner and sit down to watch the hockey game. We found out that one of the Bolts players, Martin St. Louis, was pretty severely injured during morning practice by a puck that hit him in his left eye. Our thoughts go out to him and his family and we hope for his quick recovery and return to the ice. The Bolts managed to rally together and win against the Rangers in a shootout, we really enjoyed the game.
Tomorrow is a busy day for all of us and a special trip is in store for Renee and Joshua, more details to come :)
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
The day started of pretty normal with the boys getting started on school and me heading in to work for a bit. I got home in the early afternoon just as it was beginning to rain and things fell off from there. We have now got winds gusting around outside with rain and it is much colder than it was earlier today. All of us are still a little tired from all the stuff we did yesterday so this evening was pretty relaxed with a little Doctor Who on the tele and not much else. Tomorrow should dawn colder still and it may finally feel like we are getting close to Christmas :) In the meantime we will stay warm and toasty inside and rest while we have the chance.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Our day started with a trip to the clinic to get Joshua's lab done. His counts came back really good with his ANC at 3450 and everything else in the black.
As soon as we got done with the doctor we headed for home to change and run off to help Renee's dad get his boat out of the water and lifted onto the new trailer he got for it. Joshua helmed the boat for the trip from the dock to the yard where we pulled the boat. We got it finished but it was a long hot and physically exhausting afternoon.
We came home got showered and changed and then jumped back in the car to head into Tampa for the St. Josephs Clinic Christmas party. The boy's have been looking forward to this one and we all had a nice evening visiting with friends and enjoying the food and music.
After the party broke up we headed over to my Dad's house for a quick visit and so the boys could get his Christmas decorations out of the attic. That taken care of we headed for home so we could all fall into a deep sleep as so as our heads touched the pillows.
Whew… I got tired all over again just recounting all of that :)
Monday, December 5, 2011
Joshua got up early to get ready for Caroline. She got here and got him started like always without a fuss or any problems. She really is a wonderful nurse and we are lucky that we can continue to get her for all of his transfusions. The day passed slowly with Joshua mostly resting on the couch while hooked up to the pump. I left for work before he got finished but Renee said he did fine and had no ill effects. The boys headed over to stay with Renee's parents until I got off of work and could pick them up. They were watching the Bolts game when I called and had a fun evening hanging out with grandma and pa. It was straight home and off to bed since we have a busy day tomorrow and have to get up early and head off for clinic to get Joshua's counts checked.
I received a few pictures from Lisa of Jarrod getting his award from the Mayor of Tampa so I thought I would share :)
I received a few pictures from Lisa of Jarrod getting his award from the Mayor of Tampa so I thought I would share :)
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Joshua was feeling much better this morning with no ill effects from yesterday thank goodness. After lunch the boys and Renee decided it was time to clean the house up, re-arrange the furniture and get Christmas down from the attic. So we did. As soon as all the boxes were down and assembled the boys got to work on getting the tree up. They split the lights between Jarrod doing the upper branches and Joshua doing the lower ones. Next it was up to the boys to get the decorations out and hung on the tree. They did a fantastic job and worked well together to get the job finished. Now we have a pretty Christmas tree in the living room to enjoy for the rest of the month. Hard to believe that Christmas is once again right around the corner, this past year seems to have evaporated right under my nose.
In the morning Caroline will be here early to give Joshua his monthly IVIG transfusion, what a way to start a week...
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Today was Wojtek's Birthday so right before lunch we loaded up and headed over to his house for a party. Ania prepared a bunch of yummy polish food and we spent the afternoon eating, playing games and generally having a great time. Renee had to leave around 3:30 to go to work but the boys and I stayed until dark. It was a wonderful day with our good friends!
On the way home Joshua started to get sick to his stomach and ended up falling asleep in the car about half way home. We got him in from the car and he still wasn't feeling well. Not long after that his stomach decided it no longer wanted to hold its contents anymore, I got him cleaned up and he curled up on the couch and promptly fell back to sleep. He stayed that way through the entire hockey game and didn't wake up until I moved him to his bed. He felt much better and was hungry when he woke up so we hopped into the kitchen and got his some food to help fill him back up. I really think that he played too hard, ate too little, and didn't get enough water throughout the afternoon. Nonetheless we will keep an eye on him throughout the night just to make sure.
Well it works out that today is day 1111 and since there are no Mayan legends associated with Joshua's diagnosis date the day passed without incident. The boys spent the morning engrossed in school work, Joshua got 11 lessons done before I left for work! Jarrod was rocking along as well.
Later in the afternoon both boys headed over to Renee's parents to hang out for the evening as we were both working. They were going to spend the night but Renee got out earlier than she had anticipated and swung by to pick up the boys on her way home. I had to work extra late so by the time I dragged in the house was dark and quiet.
We have a full weekend ahead of us with a birthday party for Wojtek tomorrow and a Christmas gathering with Yan and his family on Sunday. Should be fun and I am sure the weekend will whiz by before we know it.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
We all got up early to start our day, I had to head off for a morning class and Jarrod had a doctors appointment. The rest of the day flew by until it was evening time and we all met up at the Children's Cancer Center for our annual Christmas gathering. There were a lot of people in attendance and we got to spend a great evening with a bunch of our friends talking, eating, and watching the kids have a great time running around and playing. We got home after ten and shuffled the boys off to bed for a night of rest. It was a great way to start off our Christmas celebrating :)
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
We all got up early to say goodbye to Jamie and Allie before they took off for home. It has been an absolute joy to have them around these past days and we will dearly miss their company. Allie is growing up so fast and is a wonderful child, so full of life and curiosity. We will all miss them until the next time they get a chance to come down to visit.
After they got under way Renee had to leave for work and it was time for me to get working with Joshua in school. He did really well and we got five lessons done in geography and science. We even got to do some cool experiments to test out what he is learning. We got finished just in time to get some lunch and then got to spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing and doing stuff around the house. Renee was home for the afternoon before she had to head out again. The boys and I made a quick trip to the market and then came home to get some dinner prepared. The hockey game started at 7:30 and we settled in to see if we could beat the Redwings on the road. Alas the boys were unable to pull off a win but put in a good effort. After the game it was time for everyone to get ready for bed and get some sleep, we have an even earlier morning schedule for tomorrow.
I got a text from Jamie around 4:30 letting me know that they made it home safe and sound :)
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
I got up with the boys and after a bite of breakfast Joshua and I got started on his school work while Jarrod worked by himself.
It wasn't long before we had to get ready to go meet Renee and head off to Jarrod's special lunch with the Mayor of Tampa Bob Buckhorn. Jarod submitted some artwork to be considered for a Christmas card that the CCC will sell this season and his art was one of the final selections. To celebrate they held a luncheon and the Mayor presented each winner with an award which included a copy of the cards that have been printed and will be for sale in Publix's all over the area very soon. The card turned out very nice and includes Jarrod's picture on the back along with a short bio he wrote. Needless to say we are all very proud of Jarrod and really enjoyed going to the luncheon with him. I will have a picture of the event as soon as the photographer from the CCC emails it to me and I will post it when it comes in.
We headed home afterwards to get some stuff done around the house and rest a bit. The weather has been getting steadily cooler and when we went out to skate right before dinner it was marvelous outside :)
Allie and Jamie are leaving for home in the morning :( so we had a final movie night, complete with popcorn, with all of the kids. We watched Cars 2 which was really good and quite funny in places. Afterwards it was straight to bed for all the younger folks.
Monday, November 28, 2011
We awoke to gray skies and by mid-morning it was rising and the temperature was coming down. Perfect weather to stay indoors and get some school work going. Wish the boys thought like that ;) Time for the guys to dust off their school stuff and get back in the fast lane of learning. Joshua was doing well when I left for work and did fine according to Renee. It is always hard to come off of a school break and get motivated.
The rest of the day was stock normal for the boys and they were curled up watching the tele when I got back late this evening. In the morning we have school to get done while Renee is at an appointment and then we are off to a special lunch for Jarrod. Should be fun!
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Joshua woke up today on the tired side with his back giving him some trouble. It has been 6 days since his LP so this is unfortunately pretty routine for him. He spent the morning on the heating pad resting and taking it easy. At lunchtime Jarrod and I were getting ready to head up for the open skate and Joshua decided he felt up to going along so we all loaded up and left for the rink. He did okay on the ice, he took frequent breaks on the bench and skated for almost half the session before he decided he needed to call it a day. He is very good at deciding when his body says it is time to quit doing something. So he headed of the ice and got out of his gear. When Jarrod and I got off the ice a little while later Joshua was over on the north rink talking to the Jr. Bulls team that he is friends with. All of the guys on the team remember Joshua and were excited to see him and talk a little hockey. He made sure to tell them he is using the gear they donated and how much he loves ice skating. We headed home a little while later and took it easy for the rest of the day.
Tomorrow we all get to kick it back into gear with work and school but before you know it Christmas break will be here and we can go back to playing :)
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Today was much less busy than the preceding few days we have had. We all spent most of the day just doing our own things around the house and resting a bit. Joshua and I did get out and skate for a bit to get some exercise before dinner which was nice. The weather today has been on the mild side which made it rather conducive to siting outside and relaxing a bit.
Renee had to work tonight so I whipped up some dinner for the kids before we settled in to watch the hockey game. They won rather decisively which made for a fun game to watch and was way better than the game we attended on Tuesday :) Tomorrow we are going to take another stab at going to visit the manatees, looks like the weather will co-operate this time around.
|The "everybody smile" picture :)|
Our morning started off like most others with breakfast and for me the all important cup of coffee :) Not long after we got a visit from some old friends, the Proctors, who were in town for the holidays. We haven't seen them for quite a while and it was wonderful to see how much the kids have grown up. Larry, Robert, and Emily are all so much bigger than the last time they were here. Larry and Joshua have known each other there whole lives and each time they get together it is like no time has passed since they last played together. Joshua did great even though he is full of steroids right now and the boys all played for quite a while. Us grownups congregated outside on the deck thanks to the nice weather and got a nice visit in. It was a fun time for all of us and we enjoyed the time we had with them.
Jamie got a chance to go out tonight with some of her girlfriends while Renee baby sat. Allie was great from what I heard and went right off to sleep without too much of a fuss. I was lucky enough, thanks to my good friend Stephanie, to get to go see a great show with her and my other friend Chris along with his two boys. We had a nice dinner before hand and really enjoyed the music. To top it all off the Bolts won in OT against the Panthers and Joshua's favorite Steven Stamkos got the winning goal :)
|How they really wanted to look ;)|
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Our morning and afternoon was a mix of a little house cleaning along with a dollop of skating and a little smidgen of rest to get ready for our evening feasting. Jamie and Allie left right after breakfast to go and spend some time with her family.
We all met up at Renee's parents at 4 to begin our Thanksgiving gathering. In attendance we had grandma and pa, my dad with Missy, Scott and Alecia with Taylor and Avery, and our clan. The table was beautiful and the food was bountiful! We had a marvelous feast followed by some rest family time. I can only speak for myself but I assure you if I had taken another bite I would have surely exploded :) The kids had a great time playing and Allie got to spend some quality time with her great grandparents.
We have much to be thankful for in our world, most importantly our not so little warrior is still winning his fight! We are thankful for every day since our new life began 1103 days ago way back in 2008. Before then it was all to easy to lose sight of the most important things in life. As we move toward the end of another year we will all continue to be thankful each and every day.
I hope that everyones Thanksgiving was full of family love and good food.
Tonight we rest with full tummies, tomorrow we start exercising it off :)
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
We had a full house today! Taylor and Avery came over with Alecia to visit and let the kids have a play day . They all had a fun time even though our plans to go visit the manatees got canceled because of rain. We will try and go visit them some time later in the week. Late in the afternoon they headed for home, Renee headed in to work for a while and Allie and Jamie took off to go visit her sisters leaving us boys here at home. So we got our skates on and went out to play a little hockey of course :) Jamie got back in time to have dinner with us, after we got everything cleaned up it was time to watch a few episodes of Doctor Who. I think we have Jamie hooked already :)
Renee made it home in time to put the boys to bed and that wrapped up our day. Tomorrow we will get to gather with family and have a Thanksgiving feast. Yummy...
We had a fun day at home with Jamie and Allie playing and just doing normal stuff around the house. We got an email from Coach Raymond after lunch asking if we would like tickets for tonight's hockey game, of course we said yes! After getting dinner out of the way we jumped in the car and headed up to the rink to watch the game. It was Allie's first hockey game and it had been a long time since Jamie had been as well. The seats were great! The game not so much :( The Maple Leafs beat us rather badly and Joshua was rather upset afterwards. We are sure that the steroids had a large part of his being so emotional. We waited around after the game hoping to have a chance to visit with Coach Raymond but he was unable to slip away this time, I imagine after a 7-1 loss the coaches were rather busy… It was still a great experience and we enjoyed the evening. Allie really enjoyed the game and was amazingly well behaved the whole time, she is such a wonderful little princess :) We were all tired by the time we dragged ourselves home and I am confident that there will be no early risers around here tomorrow.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Joshua took another trip to the land of lost dreams today while the doctor injected chemo into his spinal fluid. We have watched him be put to sleep more times than I care to dwell upon and it never gets any easier.
He did fine and was awake and ready for pizza by early afternoon. My dad was only to happy to oblige and Renee along with all the kids spent the afternoon at his house having a nice visit. I was able to sneak away from school for a bit and have a bite and enjoy everyones company before they headed for home and I headed back to teach my night class.
Joshua did okay for the rest of the evening and was fast asleep on my side of the bed when I arrived home. We got to start another round of steroids today as well and since Joshua's weight has increased so has his dosage. None of us are sure what the extra steroids will do but all of us have our fingers crossed that the monster will stay caged up for the week.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
We got up and had a good breakfast before heading out to the skate and shoot up at the rink. We arrived and got our gear on and headed out on the ice, while we were getting ready Jamie and Renee arrived with Allie to watch us skate for a bit. Jamie and Allie have never seen us play hockey before. We had a great skate and were totally exhausted by the time we got done. We got out of our gear and headed home to get some lunch and lay about for a bit.
Matter of fact I don't think we accomplished much of anything after we got home which was fine with everybody. Rene whipped up a nice dinner and then we all snuggled up on the couch to watch a little tele before bed time.
We continue to enjoy having Allie and Jamie here, they add a wonderful warmth to our family.
In the morning Joshua has to get up early and head to the clinic and then the day hospital, it is time for another LP and IT methotrexate. We will also get to enjoy a week of steroids during Thanksgiving :(
After this time he is only scheduled for one more LP, YEAH! The end isn't in sight yet but it feels like it is lurking just over the horizon, just out of reach…
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Allie wanted pancakes for breakfast so Renee got the griddle out and made them for everybody. Allie already feeds herself with a fork and does quite well, amazing how much she has grown up in such a short time. We spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon relaxing around the house and playing. My dad popped in with Missy to spend some time with Allie and Jamie. He stayed on after Renee had gone off to work and Jamie and Allie left to go visit her parents. We headed out to skate for a bit as he was leaving for home and then came in at sunset to get some dinner sorted out. The hockey game came on at 7 and we all settled in to watch the Bolts play the Devils. It was a good game to watch but our boys lost in the end. Jamie and Allie came back in during the third period and got to watch the tail end of the game. Afterwards we got all the kids ready for bed and gathered in Joshua's bed to read a bedtime story for Allie. Lights out followed and the house became quiet for the night. Tomorrow we are going to get some ice time in and the girls are going to come up and watch us skate, should be fun :)
Friday, November 18, 2011
I got to read her a bedtime story and then she tucked in for the night. It is nice to have Jamie and Allie staying with us and we are all looking forward to the rest of their visit.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Joshua and Jarrod had there normal morning at school and got finished after lunchtime. They relaxed for a bit since tonight they were going to see the Penguins play the Bolts with grandma and pa. We got 4 tickets from the Pediatric Cancer Foundation and Renee's parents were able to take the boys to the game. Renee and I were both working so it was great for the boys to get to go without us. I watched the game when I got home and it was an exciting win for the Bolts. I know the boys had a good time and enjoyed watching the game.
They might be a little slow getting started in the morning but it will have been worth it :)
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Joshua got Renee all to himself for school today since Jarrod and I left early to help Renee's dad out with getting a trailer for the boat. We didn't make it back home until mid-afternoon so Joshua was long since finished with all of his school work. He and Renee started getting the boys old bedroom straightened up for our guests who are due to arrive Friday evening. Jamie and Allie are coming down for a week or so and will be staying with us for part of that time. We are excited that they are coming to visit and Jarrod baked oatmeal scotchies to have on hand for when they get here. Nice to have the house filled with the smell of fresh baked cookies :) Joshua and I got a skate in after dinner and then as the sun set we all settled in for dinner and the rest of the evening.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Joshua and I got to do school together this morning since Renee was working with Jarrod. Joshua did really well and we managed to get 5 lessons finished by lunch time.
We all took a lunch break and then got ready to head into Tampa so Joshua could take part in a photo shoot with the Children's Cancer Center. He was chosen to be in a calendar that they are creating to raise funds for the CCC. Each child was asked what they want to be when they get done with cancer and grow up so naturally Joshua said he wanted to be a hockey player. We took all of his gear and he got suited up including his ice skates to have his pictures taken. I think they will turn out pretty neat, we will just have to wait and see.
After we got finished we stopped by my dad's house since we were close by for a little while. He and Missy are doing great and we had a nice time visiting with them. We headed out to get back before the traffic got bad and had an uneventful ride home. The rest of the evening was stock normal with dinner and a little tele before sending the boys off to bed.
Monday, November 14, 2011
The day after camp is always a hard one. Everybody has to adjust themselves back to the normal day in and day out schedule that we have all the time. This morning we got the boys back on school work and I got ready to go back to work and start a new semester. Joshua was a little slow getting started but managed to get up to speed after a bit of cajoling.
Today marked 3 years since we got diagnosed and the painful memories are just below the surface for all of us. It doesn't take much more than a passing thought to bring them welling up to the surface. Joshua got a bit upset last night as we remembered our fateful trip in to meet Dr. Wynn for the first time and discover that our world would never be the same ever again. Even after 1093 days the memory is a fresh as if it happened yesterday, I imagine it always will be that way. Certain moments in time just stick with you...
Joshua was doing much better today and this morning told me that he only had 141 more days to go until he would be done with chemo forever. He always manages to find a glimmer of brightness in every dark cloud :) His faith in the future is inspiring and is one of the things that keeps us putting one foot in front of the other.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
We finished up a wonderful weekend at camp this morning and headed for home around 1:00. The weekend was marvelous and the boys, as well as us old folks, had a great time playing, laughing, and meeting with new friends and old ones. We stayed in the exact same cabin we were in last year which was pretty neat. They were a lot of leukemia kids at camp this time and they were all right around Joshua's age which gave him lots of people to hang out with. Once again we got a fantastic family pal named Elena and she did a great job of keeping up with the boys all over the camp. It is always with a touch of regret that we leave Boggy Creek and head home because for the weekend all of our cares and worries disappear and are replaced with great memories of times spent with people just likes us watching all of our kids just be normal for the whole weekend. We made it home a little before dinner time and all got our stuff unpriced and put away before relaxing for the rest of the evening.
Tomorrow we get back to a normal week of school and work. Wish we were still at camp :)
Friday, November 11, 2011
This afternoon couldn't get here fast enough for the boys. We left at 4:00 for Camp Boggy Creek and got there just after dark. We are staying in the same cabin we were in the last time we came. The evening was filled with fun as I am sure the rest of the weekend will be. I am posting from my phone so I will be brief and promise lots of details when we get back :)
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Joshua spent his morning doing school work along with Jarrod. After lunch Jarrod and I headed off to help Renee's dad with dissembling the boat lift while Renee and Joshua ran some errands and went to the library to pick up some books for him to read. Jarrod and I made it home in tome to get cleaned up and head off to the Children's Cancer Center for family night and an early Thanksgiving dinner. The food was pretty yummy and we had a nice visit with our extended family. Several of them will be at Boggy Creek with us which is awesome. We made it home rather late and the boys headed off to get some sleep. Tomorrow we get ready to leave for camp! We are all looking forward to the trip and a chance to get away for a few days, we all need a little break.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
The boys spent the morning like most other engaged in their school work. They got finished early afternoon and settled in to play a little xbox. A bit later my dad arrived with Missy for a visit. They have become quite good buddies and are really enjoying each others company. We had a nice visit relaxing out on the deck and talking. Joshua wanted to skate and show gramps some of his moves so we moved out into the front and skated for a bit until it was dinner time. My dad headed for home and we tucked in for dinner. The Bolts had a late start game tonight against the Flyers so we had a chance to get the kitchen straightened away before the game came on. They wound up with a nice win in OT and we were all smiles as the boys headed off for bed. They are counting down to our departure for Boggy Creek and Joshua made sure to let me know that we needed to start packing tomorrow :)
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Joshua crashed on the couch last night just after the sun went down, he really wore himself out skating. He slept straight on through until 7 this morning, almost twelve solid hours of sleep. He was very rested today and had his usually bounce in his step. Sometimes he just needs to recharge his batteries a bit :)
The rest of his day was pretty standard with the first half filled with school and the latter half full of LEGO's and skating with dad. The two of us ran up to the meat market as well to get some protein in for the coming week. Joshua makes a great shopping companion and the ladies at the meat market love to see him come in.
After dinner we boys watched a little tele and talked about our upcoming trip to Boggy Creek. The boys are getting more excited by the day and the weather looks like it will be wonderful this weekend.
Monday, November 7, 2011
Joshua has been waiting for today to come around for over a week. This afternoon there was a skate and shoot up at the rink where we could get geared up and be on the ice with sticks and pucks. He has been beside himself waiting to get in front of the goal and have people take shots at him for the first time.
First things first though. We had to go to clinic this morning to get a finger poke and see how his counts were sitting. The results were good with his ANC over 2100, a little high but he is still on 50% chemo dosing because of the slide he had a few weeks back. They will start ramping his chemo back up after next week. With clinic out of the way we headed for home to get some lunch and wait unit time to head for the rink.
Joshua was like a caged cat the last hour, pacing around the house and checking the clock every few minutes :) Finally it was time to leave so we jumped in the car and headed out.
We got in over 2 hours of practice on the ice with only about 15 people. Joshua got peppered by pucks the whole time he was in front of the net. Jarrod and I got a bunch of practice in and accounted for a bunch of the shots bouncing off of Joshua.
How did he like it?
He walked back into the locker room, took off his helmet, broke into a huge grin and said only one word… "EPIC!"
I am pretty sure that means he had a great time. We got out of our gear and wandered out to the car, all of us thoroughly beat. I have no doubt we will all sleep well tonight.
We also found out today that we will get to go to Boggy Creek this weekend for camp! We have been on the waiting list for several months and now we are going back. We are all excited and really looking forward to being at camp again.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
The boys both slept in for a bit to get used to the new time we are living with for the winter. We took it easy for the morning and after lunch we headed up to the rink to get some ice time in. It was a good skate but it left all of us rather tired out. We came home and really didn't do much for the rest of the day. The bolts had an early game at 5 so we watched that right after dinner, they won in a nail biting shootout which resulted in a lot of whooping and hollering in or living room :) The boys headed off to bed a bit later. In the morning I get to take Joshua to clinic because Renee has a doctors appointment, should be fun.
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Jarrod and I spent the better part of the morning and early afternoon helping Renee's dad get Tigress, his boat, off of the damaged boat lift in his back yard. It was hard work but in the end we all managed to get her safely back into the water without any major damage. We came home afterwards and rested for a good while, we were both beat.
Before dinner Joshua and I went out for a nice long skate and we had a marvelous time. The weather was in the low 70's with a steady breeze, perfect for being outside. I really love being able to go out and play with the boys.
We had a nice dinner and then settled in to watch a little tele. The boys were thrilled to find out that the time falls back tonight so that they got to stay up an extra hour :) We will see how they like it come morning time ;)
Friday, November 4, 2011
Joshua got an early start with Miss Caroline to get his IVIG transfusion. Like always she got him accessed and hooked up without a fuss. Joshua spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon toting around his IV pump unit he was done around 2:00 just in time to jump online with his class and do a timed writing assignment. This poor kid just can't catch a break when it comes to school work, seconds after having a needle pulled out of his chest he has to sit down and try to focus on a creative writing assignment. But being the trooper that he is he gave it his best shot and got it finished.
He relaxed for a bit until we went out to skate around 5. The weather has cooled off and it was a really peasant evening to be outside. We came in and had a bite of dinner before the hockey game got underway. The Bolts played great and Steven Stamkos got a hat trick which made us all whoop and holler for a bit. They ended up winning it in OT and as soon as it was over I ushered the boys off to sleep. A fun end to a long day for Joshua.
I really don't know how he does it...
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Starting today I am off work for the next week and a half :) It will give me a bunch of time to spend with the family and try and get a few projects done around here as well. Joshua and Jarrod spent most of the day doing their school work. Jarrod finished ninth grade science today so he was pretty happy. Joshua is still catching up and is closing the gap.
The rest of the afternoon was laid back and since the weather was nice we grilled out some chicken for dinner. I got to watch a couple of episodes of Doctor Who with the boys before sending them off to dream land.
Tomorrow Joshua gets yet another IVIG transfusion and we hope it goes like all the rest, quickly and quietly...
The rest of the afternoon was laid back and since the weather was nice we grilled out some chicken for dinner. I got to watch a couple of episodes of Doctor Who with the boys before sending them off to dream land.
Tomorrow Joshua gets yet another IVIG transfusion and we hope it goes like all the rest, quickly and quietly...
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Joshua got up and did his school work during the morning continuing to get caught up from last week. The weather was pleasant this afternoon so Renee took the boys up to the park at the end of our street to play for a bit. The rest of the being was pretty much stock normal, the boys were firmly anchored in front of the tele when I arrived home :)
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Joshua and Jarrod got up early and were ready and waiting when pa arrived to take them on a filed trip down to venice beach. The kids in Joshua's class were going out in search of sharks teeth and other cool stuff that they could locate in the sands of the beach. The weather was ideal and I understand that the boys had a really fun time. THey even managed to find what they went looking for and brought back a couple of neat teeth. They got home later in the afternoon and spent the rest of the day here playing and watching the hockey game. I didn't make it home until after everyone had drifted off to sleep so I won't have all the details about the hunt for sharks until tomorrow :)
Monday, October 31, 2011
No clinic this week so Joshua got up and jumped right into his school work and started catching up for last week. Renee said he did really well and got a lot finished. When I got home the boys were playing out front and waiting for the sun to start setting so they could go out trick or treating.
As soon as it got dark they loaded Joshua into his goalie gear, his costume ;), and got the wagon out. Joshua climbed aboard and Jarrod towed him all over the neighborhood in search of treats. Renee and I stayed home to handle the sugar distribution duties while hey were out. They returned an hour later with their buckets full to bursting and settled in to divide up the spoils before relaxing until bedtime rolled around. Another Halloween past and now we have plenty of candy for the rest of the holiday season :)
Sunday, October 30, 2011
This morning we got a call from pa telling us he had some major problems with his boat lift so we chucked down breakfast real fast and headed over to help out. We got finished up just in time to run back home and pack our gear so we could head up to the rink.
Coach Raymond had told Joshua he was going to try and stop by to see him skate for a bit and he did. Joshua was excited that he got to show Coach what he could do and we had a nice visit before he had to head out. Maybe next time he can come out on the ice and join us.
We had a good hard skate and were tuckered out by the time we got finished which tells us we had a great workout. Joshua got some great goalie tips from some of the other hockey players his age and was pretty stoked about his ice time.
The rest of the day was pretty routine and after dinner we all relaxed and got rested up a bit. Tomorrow starts a new week filled with school and other normal type things.
Tonight was the annual Hockey Fights Cancer Night and we waited all day to go to the game. The boys were really excited and have been looking forward to going for a while. After we arrived and got our t-shirts we hustled inside because the boys were chosen to sit in the penalty box during the warm up on the ice. I wasn't supposed to go out with them but at the last minute I was invited as well so we all got to watch the Bolts warm up from right behind the glass. The NHL official in the box gave Joshua a game puck right out of the cooler! He thought that was pretty neat.
After we walked off the ice we headed up to our seats to settle in and watch the game and man what a game it was. Neck in neck the whole time with only one goal scored. Thankfully it was the Bolts who got the goal.
As soon as the game was finished we headed downstairs under the arena to meet the players. Almost the entire team came through and sign pucks and shirts for all of the kids. We got to see a lot of our favorites and Steven Stamkos was thrilled to see Joshua. Coach Raymond and Couch Boucher also came through and talked to us for a while. It was a wonderful evening and one that I am sure the boys will remember for quite a while.
Friday, October 28, 2011
We woke up to a rainy overcast day this morning. Joshua was really worn out from our trip yesterday so he took it easy most of the day. He did manage to get a little bit of school work finished which was good. I took this picture of him while he was on a conference call with his class :)
It was a nice day to just stay inside and get rested up which is exactly what we all did. Renee was gone for the evening at work so the boys and I had dinner and then settled down for a little tele before I sent them off to bed. I am sure that Joshua will be back to his normal energy levels after today and a good nights sleep.