Monday, January 31, 2011

Clinic, school, and soccer… Day 808 31JAN11

Joshua had a rather busy day starting off early with his usual trip to the clinic for counts. His ANC has stayed up at 1035 which is good considering his recent hospital stay. His platelets are down a little from where they have been but are way above the mark where we start to get worried about tiny little bruises and start padding the furniture. As soon as he got lab results it was time to head home to meet with his teacher and get back in the swing of things for school. He did very well and had a good day with her. Yeah!

The afternoon was spent playing outside with Jarrod and hanging about the house until it was time to go see Taylor and Avery play soccer. I understand the games were very exciting and Joshua has decided that when he is not playing hockey he thinks he would like to be a goal tender on a soccer team. He did mention that he was going to wait until his port was out before he signed up for a team however. Amazing how practical an eight year old can be. So we get to start off the week on much better footing than the last one and head into February full steam ahead.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

All Stars… Day 807 30JAN11

We had another lovely day to play outside and we took full advantage of it. Taylor and Avery came over after lunch time and spent the rest of the afternoon playing with the boys. We got Taylor some hockey practice in as well :) After they left the boys and I settled in for the evening while Renee and her mom went out to run some errands. We watched the All Stars hockey game and the boys really enjoyed it. The game was really fun to watch and the scoring was practically non-stop. Afterwards we ran up to the grocery store before Renee got back home. It was a nice, restful weekend and the boys are both done with their meds and back to feeling good. Tomorrow begins another "normal" week with clinic and school on tap for the morning. With luck Joshua's counts have stayed high and he will be back on an even keel.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Banana pudding… Day 806 29JAN11

The weather today was quite warm so we had a chance to get out and play a little outside. We took it easy to make sure the boys didn't get overly tired. They both seem to be feeling much better and I think that this bug is definitely behind us.

Later in the day Taylor and Avery came over with Scott and Renee's parents. Scott had to leave but everybody else stayed for dinner. Mary Ann brought a huge bowl of yummy banana pudding for dessert. Seconds were definitely in order. After dinner we all watched the All Star skills competition and rooted for Marty and Stammer. It was fun to watch and amazing what those guys can do with a hockey puck. The boys and I decided we definitely need more practice :)

Friday, January 28, 2011

School and a movie… Day 805 28JAN11

Joshua is continuing to improve and feels much better, Jarod is doing god as well. Joshua managed to get a little school work done this morning which will help get him caught up for this past week that he missed. After lunch the boys headed over to Pa's to watch the movie Secretariat. The boys and Renee said it was really good and enjoyed watching it. This evening we all rested a bit after dinner and watched Joshua's favorite hockey player get picked in the first round of the All Stars draft. Joshua was very pleased :) We plan to let the boys rest up over the weekend so they will be back in shape for the next week of school.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

On the mend… Day 804 27JAN11

Joshua and Jarrod appear to be firmly on the mend from their recent illness. Jarrod even managed to get some school work done while I was at work today. When I got home Joshua had enough energy to go out in the backyard and show me how well he could hit the baseball with a bat that he got from his friend Trent. It was a little chilly but we had a good time paying for a bit. After dinner the boys relaxed and watched a little TV before turning in for the night. It sure looks like we are back to normal and by Monday the boys should be back to 100%. Just the way we like it :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Back at home… Day 803 26JAN11

Joshua got sprung from the hospital late this morning and was back at home right before lunch time. Emma, Wojtek, and Preston escaped as well. It was good to have Joshua and Renee out of the hospital and back into normal surroundings. I only got to spend a little time with Joshua before I had to leave for school. He is doing good and is on Tamiflu like his brother who is also feeling much better. They spent the day being normal brothers and hopefully getting just a little bit of rest so they can get well faster. So now we must reset the inpatient record clock and see if this time we can break the old record again.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Still waiting to come home… Day 802 25JAN11

Joshua is still stuck in the hospital but is doing better. His has been fever free all day and if he continues they will probably let him come home tomorrow. All of his friends are still there with him as well.

Today Joshua got to do several really fun things. First he met and had a chance to hang out with Delilah the radio host. She was at the hospital in support of Together for Kids which helps raise money and awareness for the Children's Hospital. Joshua got an autographed t-shirt and really enjoyed being the center of attention for a while.

In the afternoon he managed to get a group of Navy personnel to play a game with him. His choice to play with the guys from the Navy? Battleship of course :)

It is Navy week and they were at the hospital to spend some time with all of the kids.

Jarrod is felling much better and I picked him up this morning and brought him back home. We had a nice day and I cooked him the dinner of his choice this evening before we settled in for the hockey game. Joshua's shirt came through again and the Bolts recorded another win!

With any luck our family will be re-united by the time I get home from school tomorrow. We are hoping that Emma will also get a chance to escape and head home as well.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Happy Anniversary… Day 801 24JAN11

Today is Renee and I's wedding anniversary. Unfortunately I had to work all day and she is stuck in the hospital with Joshua which has happened to us before  and wouldn't you know that this is one of the times I actually had a card and a present ready before hand :)

Joshua is still running a fever every time the Tylenol wears off and will be stuck in the hospital until he can get it under control. Jarrod is still sick but doing better. Pa took Jarrod to the pediatrician today and she diagnosed him with flu and put him on some meds to help him get better quicker. He is supposed to stay away from Joshua until he is fever free. He spent the day with grandma and pa and is spending the night with them as well. I will go pick him up in the morning. Thank goodness for Renee's parents being available to help us out with Jarrod.

I went to see Joshua and Renee after class tonight and he was looking okay but I could tell he was tired from the fever. We played a few card games and then I tucked him in and headed home. As of tonight almost our entire leukemia family is in the hospital. Anderson, Lisa, Wojtek, Emma, Shawn, and Preston are all on the same floor as Joshua. Not exactly the kind of family reunions we like. Emma came back positive for the flu but Joshua did not so they are re-testing him, should have results in the morning. His counts remain high thanks to the steroids and so far al the cultures have come back negative as well as negative results on his virus panels. He is stuck in his room until he is no longer running a fever and I am sure cabin fever will set in pretty soon. Renee and I are both hoping that we do not become the next ones to fall victim to this flu, to much to get done to bother with being sick.

So please send lots of happy thoughts to all of our kids in the hospital. With luck they will all be back safe at home very soon.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Gypsies again… Day 800 23JAN11

Joshua and Jarrod both woke up feeling under the weather and things just went downhill from there. By noon they were both running fevers and their temps were steadily climbing. Joshua hit the magic number and we were on the phone to the doctor and packing for the hospital. Twenty minutes or so later and I was waving goodbye out in the driveway. Jarrod peaked at 103.8 before his fever broke and he started to recover a bit. Joshua has been joined in the hospital by several of his friends including Wotjek and Emma both of who were running similar fevers. Emma's brother Trent who was over at our house also ran a fever last night. All of them were together at some point this week but we are unsure where they picked up the bug. Joshua is now accessed and getting cefepime to knock out any possible infections. His ANC was over 6000 thanks to the steroid pulse last week and we hope that will give his some extra fighting power. He has a little bit of a cough so he got a chest xray and a respiratory workup.

The Bolts played this evening and the TV at the hospital didn't get the game so I kept Joshua updated via text. He was wearing his lucky shirt and rubbing it for good luck. In the second period Joshua predicted the final score would be 7-0. The Bolts won 7-1… The magic of the shirt :)

Jarrod and I went over to Renee's parent's house for dinner. Mary Ann had a great table set and Jarrod ate a pretty decent meal. Jarrod was feeling better this evening but after dinner his temperature started to go up a little. I am hoping that he stays cool and does all right through the night. He was very tired and ready to hit the bed after the game was over.

Joshua was back up to 102.2 this evening as soon as the Tylenol wore off so they will continue dosing him. Emma was doing okay with Tylenol but Wojtek was still running a fever. I hope that they all can get a decent nights rest and feel way better in the morning.

So after over a year of being at home here we are back in gypsy mode again. We switched so effortlessly that you would have thought we were in the hospital last week. Frightening.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Even more playtime… Day 799 22JAN11

Joshua and Trent were up before the sun this morning and luckily Renee was able to convince them to go back to sleep for a bit. After they woke up the second time they were ready for the day. When Trent's mom came to pick him up Joshua and Trent asked if Joshua could go back over to their house to play and she said it was okay. So we had a rather quiet day around the house. Renee caught up on her sleep a little while Jarrod and I ran some errands and puttered around the house a bit. The weather has turned off cold and windy so we stuck to indoor activities for the most part. Joshua made it back home jut before dinner and he was pretty tuckered out. I am sure that he will sleep really good tonight. It was nice to watch him have so much fun the last few days, cancer can really put a crimp on just being a kid.

Friday, January 21, 2011

More playtime… Day 798 21JAN11

Joshua got his day off to a good start with his teacher and did very well on his school work. He is managing the effects of the steroids pretty good this time and as he put it "the monster is under control." After taking Jarrod to a doctor's appointment this afternoon he headed over to play with his buddy Trent. They had tons of fun and he called around dinner time to ask if Trent could come over to our house and spend the night, so we have an extra boy until tomorrow :) All of the boys played until they were laughing hysterically in the middle of the living room floor. They calmed down a bit when it was time to watch the Bolts play. Halfway through the game Renee's parent's surprised us with a visit and some yummy cookies. They came over to watch the rest of the game and we were all rewarded with not only another win but a great game to watch. Joshua was very pleased. As soon as the game was finished it was off to bed for all the boys who I am sure will rise way earlier than normal in the morning to continue their fun.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Playing hard… Day 797 20JAN11

Joshua had a fun filled day. He started off with a play date at our house with Wojtek who came over after lunch to have some fun. Renee and Ania took all the boys up to the park and they ran around and skated for a good long while. After getting cleaned up they headed for the Children's Cancer Center for family night and I met them there after I got done at work. We had a nice diner and then spent the evening talking to other parents and listening to updates on all of our kids. Several of our kids are either just finished with treatment or are going to be finished within the week which is amazing and wonderful news. It is always uplifting to hear that there is finally an end to the chemo that the kids have endured for so long. It also saddens us a bit as we are reminded that our road still stretches out in front of us and we still have a ways to travel. But we are always thankful for an end to treatment for any of our kids and the chance that they will live the rest of their lives cancer free. Joshua played extra hard with his friends tonight and he was wiped out by the time we made it home. He stayed up long enough to watch the tail end of the Bolts game which they won in a shoot out. As soon as it was over he curled up on our bed and promptly crashed.

Holding steady… Day 796 19JAN11

Joshua has been holding steady and keeping the steroids monster at bay for the most part. He had school with his teacher this morning and he was doing good when I left to go teach. Jarod was taking care of his work on the computer and getting his math done for the week. The rest of the day was quiet from what I was told and tomorrow will hopefully be a repeat of today. The steroids affect Joshua differently each cycle and we never know what to expect from cycle to cycle.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Project day… Day 795 18JAN11

Joshua and Jarrod both had projects they wanted to work on with me today. Joshua wanted to build a case to hold his beyblade stuff and JArrod wanted to finish his LEGO thumb drive. We got Joshua's project underway after he and I got back from running a bunch of errands. We had a good time walking from store to store and just hanging out. He is a great little companion and I really enjoyed the one on one time with him. Joshua did almost all the work on his case with me only handling the parts that involved potentially finger removing types of things. A little later Jarrod and I finished his LEGO thumb drive which we had started working on this past weekend. It turned out pretty cool and he is very proud of it. The rest of our evening we spent hanging around and relaxing a bit while the Bolts won at home in a shootout. Joshua was very happy :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Clinic day… Day 794 17JAN11

Joshua left for clinic early this morning and he was expecting to be there for a little while. He started off with a finger stick to see if his counts were okay. They were, his ANC was 1450 which is about normal for him. Next he got his port accessed and got vincristine followed by his pentam treatment for his lungs. Renee and the boys didn't get back home until 1:30 this afternoon. Not much fun to spend a rainy holiday in the clinic. They spent the afternoon doing school work and hoping that the weather would clear off. The rain finally abated this evening but it kept the boys in the house all day which is probably a good thing as it gives them a chance to rest up a little bit. We will probably all need the rest as this week is also a prednisone week. Taming the monster is hard work. Here's hoping that Joshua can keep it tightly wrapped up like he did last time and we can keep all the doors on their hinges…

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Kids day… Day 793 16JAN11

Joshua and Jarrod had a kids day today. Jamie and Christian came over right after lunch and all the kids, both big and small, spent the day playing and having fun. They played video games, we went outside and played hockey, we had dinner, they played more games. The whole time Miss Allie was entertaining us with all of her cute and adorable little behaviors.

The kids finally had to leave to get Allie home to bed so we bundled them up and said our goodbyes. It was a fun day for all involved. Tomorrow, holiday notwithstanding, we will be on the move. Joshua has clinic and both the boys have school work to get working on so it was nice to take a break this weekend to get recharged for the week ahead.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Not again… Day 792 15JAN11

Joshua did really well today. Normally he is pretty wiped out after an IVIG transfusion but he spent most of the afternoon skating and playing down the street. Jarrod was skating with him as well but his ankle started bothering him so he called it a day and took it easy from that point on. Renee is starting to sound and feel better after finally getting some antibiotics to help fight off her cold. This is a particularly nasty bug and it just hangs on and on. After dinner we settled in to watch the Bolts play and much to joshua's chagrin they lost their second game in a row even though he was wearing his lucky shirt. The picture says it all:)

Tomorrow is a free day with a chance that Jamie and Christian might bring Miss Allie by for a visit.

Friday, January 14, 2011

IVIG again… Day 791 14JAN11

Joshua got up early this morning to get ready for his IVIG transfusion. Ms. Caroline showed up at 8 and had a little trouble get his port to work right. She had to stick him three separate times until she could get good blood return. After that it was a pretty normal transfusion which he finished up after lunch time. His teacher was here as well this morning and he sat at the table with his IV pump doing his school work. Once again we are thankful for no adverse reactions to the IVIG and other than his port being a little frisky it wasn't a bad day. Jarod and Joshua spent the rest of the day playing and Joshua was doing pretty good this evening, not overly tired like he can be sometimes after a transfusion. We watched the hockey game, they lost :(, and then the kids headed for bed. Our weekend is clear on the calendar so I think we will all just rest a bit and try and get things taken care of here at home.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dentist visit… Day 790 13JAN11

Joshua left this morning to go get his teeth cleaned and have them checked. He had one filling that was a little worn so they took care of that and then cleaned his teeth. Afterwards Renee and the boys ran some errands before heading for home to get school done for the day. The weather here has again turned off cold and we are bundled up for a few days until we can go back to wearing shorts this weekend. The crazy weather has made just about everyone sick and Renee is still battling with her cold. Joshua and I got a little play time in outside but we had to stop when we couldn't feel our fingers anymore :) We spent the evening relaxing with the boys and I playing the Wii game that Nonna got for them while she was here. Tomorrow is IVIG for Joshua which means and early start and a long boring day for him.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Half day… Day 789 12JAN11

Today was a half day for the kids in public school so Joshua had arranged to have a play date with his friend Carly after she got out of school. First he had to get through his own school and get all his work done. He gave Miss Angela a rather hard time this morning and just didn't want to get through it easily. He did eventually get it done and headed over to Carly's for the day. Renee said he didn't call until 7 to arrange for her to pick him up and that he had a great time. My mom made it safe and sound to Colorado and has, I am sure, already enjoyed staring out at the snow covered mountains that surround where she is. So we are back to "normal" for the rest of the week with only a dentist appointment for Joshua along with his IVIG transfusion on Friday.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Goodbye to Nonna… Day 788 11JAN11

Joshua had several appointments today. First up was a visit to the hospital to get his hearing checked. The results were a little disheartening because he has some hearing loss in his left ear form the chemo he takes. Right now it is very mild but we will need to keep an eye on it as time progresses. At least we now have a baseline measurement to compare it to as we go forward. Next stop was a visit with Ms.Leanne at the CCC and then back home to hang out with Nonna. Jamie, Christian, and Miss Allie came over this afternoon as well to spend some time with us before we went to dinner at Renee's parent's house. My mom and I ran a few errands and had fun visiting our local nursery and looking for plants. She gave Renee and I a beautiful orchid which we I know we will both enjoy. We headed over to eat dinner and had a really nice time with all of the family. Scott, Alecia, Taylor, and Avery were there as well so we had a full table. The food was excellent thanks to Mary Ann's great cooking and we all left stuffed to the gills. Nonna leaves early in the morning for a visit with my brother in Telluride Colorado. Her flight is at 6:40 in the morning so she will have to leave the house around 5 to get there in time. We have really enjoyed having her with us these last few days. It is always hard for me to see her leave, it took me so long to find her in the first place. But she is always with me no matter how far apart we may be. I know she will enjoy the snow and I wish we could join her while she hangs out in the mountains. We wish her a safe and speedy journey and will count the days until we can see her again.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Clinic and shopping… Day 787 10JAN11

Joshua went to clinic this morning and got his usual finger stick for his CBC. His ANC came back at 1350 which is a good jump up from his low numbers last week. As soon as they were done he headed home to meet with his teacher and get his school work done. After lunch the boys and Renee took my mom out to Brandon to get a little shopping done. They hit Game Stop so the boys could pick out a game from Nonna and then headed over to Babies-R-us to get something for Miss Allie. The rest of the day they spent at home hanging out and having a good time. Renee has gotten whatever cold I had last week and sounds like I did with the stuffy head and bad cough. Hopefully she will feel better in the the next few days and be back to normal. We are hoping that the kids both escape the bug that has knocked us both down. So far so good…

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Fun day… Day 786 09JAN11

Things were pretty quiet here when we got up but that changed right around lunchtime when Miss Allie arrived with her parents. My dad arrived shortly after and we proceeded to have a fun filled day. We played outside for quite a bit interspersed with trips inside to rest. We even had Jamie out skating and playing hockey with us. The kids left a while after dinner and we all just rested after they left. It was a great day with extra fine weather and it is really neat to have everybody here. Tomorrow is off to clinic and school for Joshua and back to work for me. Nonna will get to see first hand how crazy our monday's usually are :)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Nonnas here!… Day 785 08JAN11

The boys woke up excited today because Nonna was flying in this afternoon. When I left to go pick her up Joshua was baking her a welcome cake which he had finished just before we got back. Her flight was eventless and she had a good trip down from Virginia. It is a far sight warmer here than up north so she was shedding layers pretty quickly. We spent the afternoon having fun and letting the boys show off their skating skills. We even got a chance to take her up to the manatee center for a nice visit with our wintering manatees. After a nice dinner we settled in to watch the Bolts play up in Canada. Joshua was, of course, wearing his shirt and they won in regular time which made him very happy. As soon as the game was over everyone scattered for bed. Tomorrow we are going to have the kids over along with my dad so things should be a little crazy but fun like always :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

A little slower… Day 784 07JAN11

Joshua was moving a little slower today than normal. He went this morning to meet up with Wojtek for a home school field trip and then headed back home to meet with his teacher. He did fine at school but Renee said he was a little bit off. He didn't play much during the afternoon and when I got home around 7:00 he was crashed out on the couch in the sunroom. He woke up about an hour later and said he just didn't feel good. No temperature so for now we will just keep an eye on things and see where they lead. We hope he is not getting sick just in tome for Nonna's visit which starts tomorrow, keeping our fingers crossed…

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Family Night… Day 783 06JAN11

Tonight was our night to get together with all of our family at the Children's Cancer Center. Renee and the kids spent the day at home doing school work and then ran some errands before stoping at my dad's house for a visit. I met them there after I got off of work and a little later we headed over the the CCC. It was a nice evening and it was great to hear that several of our kids will be finished with treatment very soon. This is very exciting to hear and it always makes me feel as is we have won another victory against the insidious cancer we all hate. We all reluctantly left later in the evening and headed for home. Tomorrow is the last day of school for the week and then Nonna will be here to visit. Joshua and Jarrod are just bursting at the seams with stuff they want to show her when she gets here.

Day off… Day 782 05JAN11

Joshua got a partial day of from school because his teacher's family was all sick and she didn't want to risk bringing anything "extra" over with her. So he managed to get done with what he had left rather quickly. Jarrod had a little more to get done but he got finished so they could get in some play time in the afternoon. Joshua still has a dry cough but his temperature is holding steady so we will continue to just watch and wait. We are hoping everyone, myself included, is all well and healthy by the time my mom gets here on Saturday. The boys are really excited that she is coming and looking forward to spending a bunch of time with her. Me too :)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Errands… Day 781 04JAN11

Joshua got his school work done pretty quick this morning so he and I ran a bunch of errands while Renee and Jarrod got his school stuff rolling. Joshua and I had fun and even made several unplanned stops just because it sounded like fun. When we got home Jarrod was still finishing up so we made some lunch and waited for him to get done. The rest of the afternoon we spent playing outside. The boys really like their new hockey net and were giving it a pretty good workout. It is wonderful to be able to o out and play with them and have fun. Our evening was pretty quiet as Renee and Jarrod got all the Christmas stuff taken down and boxed up. Jarrod helped me get it all back up int h attic in time to watch the Bolts beat the Capitals. Joshua told me he was rubbing his lucky shirt the whole third period and it worked. Joshua has a little bit of a cough today and his nose was running a bit. We are hoping that it is the tail end of whatever dropped his counts and not him getting sick. We will keep and eye on him tomorrow and see how he does.

Monday, January 3, 2011

School… Day 780 03JAN11

Joshua started off early with a trip to clinic to get his weekly finger stick for labs before heading right back home to be ready when Miss Angela arrived. He did very well on his first day back to school and had a good day. He finished all of his work up so he could go out and skate for a while. Jarrod had a good start as well and got in touch with two out of his four teachers to get started in their classes. Me, I went and talked myself right out of a voice. Maybe I should figure out a way to exercise my vocal chords during the breaks :)

Joshua's ANC came back at an alarmingly low 250 down from 3500 last week so we are now hoping that he has either beaten whatever caused it to drop or that he will not get sick. It seems like everywhere we turn someone is sick including me who has been fighting a cold for several days. We will keep our fingers crossed that he stays healthy and out of the hospital.

Jarrod and Joshua had ordered a hockey net for the driveway with money they got for Christmas and it arrived this afternoon. I understand it was "frustrating" to put together according to Joshua. They persevered however and got it finished so they could take it out for testing. Early reports indicate it was a good choice and will be rugged enough to handle both of them.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Back to school… Day 779 02JAN11

To be honest none of us are terribly excited about school starting back up. The boys would just as well stay on vacation forever and I would love to stay with them. Alas that is not the way it works. So tomorrow morning I will head out early to start a new semester and after clinic Joshua will meet with his teacher and get back working. Jarrod will fire up his computer and blow the dust off of his school supplies so he can get back in the saddle. In order to prpeare today we relaxed and played a bit. Renee was still feeling under the weather so we left her to rest while we tinkered around the house. Jarrod and I got the outside Christmas decorations taken down and boxed up while Joshua rested with Renee. Later in the afternoon I took the kids over to Renee's parents so they could play with Talyor and Avery. We joined them along with Scott and Alecia for a lovely diner to kick off the New Year. It was an early night for us all and we headed home to get ready for tomorrow. We have our fingers crossed that the boys will awake from their winter hibernation and get right back up to speed in school. Super special motivation this week is Nonna is going to be here on Saturday for a few days visit. It has been much too long since she has been able to come visit and we are all looking forward to her arrival. Here's hoping that this is a smooth return to school week for all of our friends out there.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

1.1.11 New Year… Day 778 01JAN11

Welcome to the New Year! We wish a happy,and healthy New Year to all of our friends and family.

Our start of 2011 was a little slow. Renee woke up with a really upset tummy and feeling pretty crummy so we let her rest today. The boys divided their time between playing together indoors on the xbox and skating at the end of the street with the some of their friends. I did some stuff in the garage and took care of the household stuff. Our evening was consumed by hockey as the Bolts were playing (they won!) and the Winter Classic was on as well. Joshua was the only one who made it to the end of the game but we had fun watching them win together. He promptly ran of to bed as soon as it was over. So although we got off to a slow start I am sure we will make up for it as the year progresses.