Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A trip to the dentist… Day 1018 30AUG11

Joshua got a trip to the dentist this afternoon to repair one of his teeth that has decided to fall out in pieces instead of as a whole unit. It is one of his baby teeth and set to leave his mouth anyway but this will make the second time he has a piece of it break off and had to go to the dentist and get it bonded back together. Luckily there is no pain involved and he is doing fine. The rest of the day was a lot less exciting and the steroids monster is doing pretty good at staying away so far this week. We are still waiting to start Joshua in school and really have no good answers yet as to what is causing the delay or when it may be resolved, so for now he gets a little break from a full school day and we will continue to wait for the school system to get all the kinks sorted.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Dreamless sleep… Day 1017 29AUG11

Renee and Joshua left early this morning for the clinic. Joshua got his port accessed and then received his pentam breathing treatment. Jarrod and I got up had breakfast and got a few things done around the house before heading up to the hospital to be with Joshua during his LP. We arrived in time to spend a little bit hanging out with him before the Doctors arrived and he was sent off the the dreamless sleep while we watched. It is always hard to watch him slip away into the dreamless world no matter how many times we have witnessed it. We trudged out to the waiting room like we always do and waited for the Doctor to come out and give us the thumbs up which he did after a short while. Good thing because we have come to really dislike the period of time between the closing of the door to hi treatment room and the Doctor walking out. I had to leave for work after I said goodbye to Joshua's still and sleeping form. He awoke an hour later and was fine albeit quite hungry. He had to walk back over to the clinic to get his vincristine and get de-accessed so he could head home. The rest of the afternoon was pretty normal for an LP day with Joshua being a little tired and achy. We get to put one more of these days behind us and dream of the day when we won't have to wait for the Doctors anymore.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Family skate… Day 1016 28AUG11

Renee decided to join us today on the ice this afternoon so after lunch we all headed up to the rink. She did great on the ice and we boys had a good hard skate as well. It was fun to have everyone out skating together.

We headed home afterwards and I must confess we didn't do a whole lot after we arrived, just a nice lazy sunday afternoon.

In the morning Joshua will head off to the hospital for clinic and an LP along with vincristine and the beginning of a week of steroids. He will be NPO in the morning, which he always dislikes, and as always Renee will stop at McDonalds on the way home to break his fast. I start back to school tomorrow so I will be unable to go and be with him at the hospital and sit by his bed while he sleeps the dreamless sleep but I know Renee and Jarrod will look after him like so many times before and I will see him for dinner.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Skills class… Day 1015 27AUG11

The boys and I started our hockey skills class this morning. We were all pretty excited about the chance to learn more and we got a good introduction on the ice today. Our class is pretty large with about 30 people or so with several Joshua's age and a whole bunch close to Jarrod's. I may be the token old guy but I am not sure yet, got to compare ages with a few of the other guys sometime :) The class was really challenging and we all skated hard but had a lot of fun as well. Both boys did really good and are looking forward to going back next week. My dad stopped by to watch us skate on his way to the Humane Society to do some volunteer work. We had a nice visit after we got off the ice.

After getting home and resting a bit we got to work putting some new shelves in the boys closet so they can safely store their permanent LEGO creations. Jarrod was my helper and we got it done in only a few hours. Joshua spent his evening resting and saving up his energy for the coming week.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Still no books :(… Day 1014 26AUG11

Joshua still hasn't received his school books are access to the school stuff online. So his first week of school was pretty much a bust. Not that he complained all that much but we don't want him to get behind. Renee has had several conversations with his teacher and we are not the only ones waiting for stuff to arrive.

Jarrod on the other hand is up to his eyebrows in school and doing well so far. His first week passed in a jiffy and he is on task and on time.

We spent the afternoon working around the house and getting the boys rooms re-configured. After dinner we boys headed outside to have a little fun and get some exercise in. In the morning we head back to the rink for the next level of hockey training, the boys are really excited about it and I am looking forward to it as well.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Helping out day 2… Day 1013 25AUG11

The boys and I got up early so we could get some breakfast before heading over to my dad's house to help him out for a bit. He is going to be working with the Humane Society by providing a foster home for dogs waiting to be adopted so we got an exercise run installed and help move some furniture around to better configure the house for his upcoming visitors. The boys both helped out a bunch and we even got our favorite pizza for lunch. We headed for home after we finished eating to help Renee work around the house. We are cleaning up and rearranging the boys rooms to make better use of the space. We cleaned for quite a while and made a big dent in getting things taken care of.

We had some dinner and then the boys and I headed outside to play for a while, the weather is starting to be tolerable in the late evening so we took advantage of it. The rest of our night was pretty quiet and restful. Back to school work in the morning.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Helping out… Day 1012 24AUG11

Jarrod got up this morning and headed off for his annual checkup with the pediatrician while Joshua stayed at home with me. We are still waiting on his books to arrive so we are kind of limited when it comes to school for the time being. We are still hoping that hey arrive soon so he can get started, not sure what the delay is.

Jarrod got back before lunch and got his school work finished so we could go help Renee's dad move a bunch of stuff. We headed over to his house after we ate and got busy. The people across the street from him are moving and they wanted to get rid of a lot of stuff in their house including a huge tv and an entertainment system. Renee's dad worked it out so the church youth group could get the tv and all the rest for their new youth room. We got it all disassembled and then helped load it up for delivery. It was a family effort and everybody worked hard.

After we got finished we headed home to get cleaned up before returning to her parent's house for dinner. Renee made taco's and a nice salad and we all enjoyed a great meal. The boys headed down to the dock for a bit and Joshua got in a little fishing before it got dark. There was a nice breeze and it made for a pleasant evening outside. After homemade milkshakes for dessert we headed for home to get some rest. It was full day for all of us but we got a lot accomplished.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

First day of school… Day 1011 23AUG11

Today was the boy's first day of the new school year. Jarrod dove right in and got to work, Joshua on the other hand is still waiting for his class materials and books to arrive from FLVS so he did some reading and studied his multiplication tables today. With any luck his school stuff will show up tomorrow and he can get started on his real class work. He is kind of excited but is a little nervous about being in school every day. I am sure he will do just fine once he gets started.

The afternoon was pretty routine, Joshua and I ran up to the grocery store and the meat market but other than that we stayed mostly inside. We did go out for a bit after the rain quit to practice a little bit out in the street. So now we will settle back into the school routine and keep that rolling until the winter break. Should be fun :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Last day of summer vacation… Day 1010 22AUG11

Today was the boy's last day of summer break. They spent it like most days playing on the computer and messing around the house. They did get a break and left with grandma to get a plant to put on top of Tornado's final resting spot. I heard they picked out a nice bush and helped her plant it before heading home.

In the morning school will officially start for Joshua and Jarrod, strangely they didn't seem all that excited about it ;)

I am sure it will be a fun and productive school year for both of them. Jarrod will settle right back into his normal routine, Joshua will have some adjusting to do at first but I know he will get settled in and take off quickly. Renee will definitely have her hands full working with both boys but I am confident she will take it all in stride and do a wonderful job as their mentor. Luckily my schedule for the next semester is all afternoon and evening classes so I will be home every morning to help out where I can. So here's to a new school year and a safe return for all the kids going back to school. Christmas break will be here before you know it:)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Skate and rest… Day 1009 21AUG11

We didn't really do much else but go skating today. The boys and I got in an afternoon session at the rink since it will be a different schedule now since school is starting back up. We will not be able to skate during the week like we have been doing this summer and will be limited to the weekends. We had a fun time as usual and afterwards I drove them over to Gamestop to pick up a used game that they had been eyeing online. When we got home it was showers and rest for everybody. The evening was quiet and the boys played their new game while Renee and I puttered about the house. Tomorrow is the last day of summer vacation and school fires back up on Tuesday.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Graduation and goodbye… Day 1008 20AUG11

Renee was gone when we woke up this morning, she left before sunrise to help set up the benefit yard sale that was organized for Yan today.

We got up, ate some breakfast, and headed off to our last hockey class. We all graduated to the next level and got to play a pretty intense game for the better portion of our class time. We were pretty knackered by the time we were finished but it was a blast. We can now move up to the skills class which we have been told is really tough. Should be interesting. We have all come a long way since we started a few months back and feel pretty at home on the ice.

As soon as we were done we got cleaned up and headed over to help out with the yard sale. Tons of people pitched in their time and donated items for sale with all of the proceeds going to help Yan and his mom get established in Boston next week. It was very hot out but the rain held off and they had a really good turn out and it looks like they raised quite a bit of money. As we were cleaning up we had to say goodbye to Yan so he could head home. They are leaving for Boston on Tuesday and it may be some time before we get to see him again. It was sad but at the same time we are glad that he is going and can get the best treatment available. We finished cleaning up and then all of us headed for home. After showers and some food we all pretty much collapsed and didn't do much for the rest of the evening, the weather agreed and it turned dark and stormy making us even happier to lay around and rest.

It was a day filled with hard work and the great reward of knowing that we helped someone else. We wish the best for Yan and Yansen on their trip and in their new adventure in Boston.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Dinner with friends… Day 1007 19AUG11

We spent most of the day preparing for our guests who were coming over for dinner. Renee cooked and cleaned with a little help from us boys. She prepared a great italian feast with lasagna, stuffed shells, spaghetti with meatballs, garlic bread, salad, an on and on. We had a little chance to catch our breath before our friends started arriving. The dinner was for Yan and his family to wish them farewell and a safe journey as Yantzen and Yan move to Boston to get him treated with a new chemo protocol that is unavailable anywhere else. We were joined by the rest of the Lewis clan as well. Trent had been with us all day and he and Joshua had a rip roaring time. Those two are absolutely hilarious together and the mirth and laughter never seems to stop. I am glad that Joshua has a good friend that he enjoys spending time with. Dinner was really scrumptious and we all ate our fair share and enjoyed the company and watching the kids play around the house.

We cleaned up after every one headed home and then collapsed in a collective heap on the sofa.

I am sure that we will all sleep soundly tonight.

The "gang"

Our little friend Yan :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Skating and giggling… Day 1006 18AUG11

We went to Joshua's school open house this morning and got a chance to meet his teacher and get lots of great information about the virtual school program he will be in. His teacher was very nice and Joshua got a chance to meet a coupe of the other kids that will be in his group. They already have several really neat field trips planned for the coming months and Joshua seemed excited about it all. School starts officially next Tuesday so summer is almost over :(

After lunch we boys headed up to the rink to get in some ice time while Renee did things around the house. We had a great skate and on the way home we picked up Joshua's buddy Trent. He is spending the night and those boys giggled all evening. It brings a smile to your face when you hear them get started, you just can't help it. They had a fun evening playing games and such and we finally had to chase them off to bed. I am sure they will be up early in the morning laughing and ready to go for the day.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Little cooler… Day 1005 17AUG11

Joshua got his assessment testing finished up this morning while Jarrod worked on his school work. The testing will help us properly place Joshua in classes for this upcoming school year to make sure he can get back on track, if the chemo co-operates. I spent the afternoon with my dad and the boys stayed at home and relaxed around the house. When I got home we had a little dinner and then Joshua and I went outside for a while to hit a puck around. We even managed to get the little girl across the street to play a little and Joshua was helping her work on her stick skills. The weather for the first time in a long while was a little cooler tonight, we are all hoping that it is the first hint of Fall. Tomorrow we have another busy day including the open house at Joshua's virtual school, we will get to meet his teacher and some of his classmates. Should be fun.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

School and skate… Day 1004 16AUG11

Joshua and Jarrod worked on school this morning for a bit. Joshua has not officially started school yet but he was working on an assessment test to help design his curriculum for the coming school year. It looks really neat and I hope it will help him get caught up and moving forward.

We all ate lunch and then headed out to get an afternoon skate in while Renee ran some errands. Our skate was fun but rather tiring and we were all pretty tuckered out by the time we made it home.

We got to talk to Jamie and Allie a couple of times via face time and it was fun to watch Miss Allie run around and play games with us. I wish they were here but this is the best thing we have right now. Joshua really misses them and he wants to call almost every day.

We played a game of Qwirkle after dinner and then the boys relaxed a bit before going to bed. As Joshua was eating his before bed snack (left over hunger from the steroids:) his loose bottom tooth came out. We got it cleaned up and it is awaiting pick up by the Tooth Fairy later tonight who unfortunately does not have any cash on hand, busy season and all, so Joshua has agreed that an IOU will suffice for now :)

Clinic and home… Day 1003 15AUG11

Joshua had his clinic visit this morning for a finger stick and labs. His ANC came back at 1400 which is just right for him, all of his other numbers looked good as well. I stayed home with Jarrod so he could get going on his school work for the week. His is currently only taking algebra and science until his other classes kick in next week. Joshua arrived back home right after lunch and we spent the afternoon cleaning up a little and getting the yard work done for the week. After dinner Joshua asked me if we could go out and skate in the street and play a little hockey so the two of us got our skates and sticks and headed out for a bit. It was pretty hot but we had some fun before calling it a day and heading in to the coolness of the house. The evening was quiet and restful. Tomorrow is a pretty normal day and not much is on the calendar.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Whew… Day 1002 14AUG11

We had a full day and a lot of traveling around today. We started with a visit to Charlie's church to watch Joshua and Trent in their VBS production that they were a part of. The kids did a great job and really sang well. The congregation was full of very nice people and we enjoyed sharing their service.

As soon as we were done there we ran home to change clothes and headed off to my dad's house. We had a nice visit and a good lunch together around the table followed by some fun conversations and a few plans to get some things done around his house.

We said our goodbyes after a while and headed up to the north side of town to visit a party for our little friend Yan. He and his mother are leaving for Boston in the next week or so to get him treated by a special team of doctors up there. A lot of our cancer family was there and we had a wonderful time visiting and watching Yan and the kids run around. After an all to brief time we once again headed out on the road to travel back towards home.

Our next stop was at the Lewis's house for a beach bash and back to school party that Charlie and Coco were hosting for the church families. The food was good and we got a chance to get to know some new interesting people as we sat around and talked. The kids had a blast playing on the huge inflatable water slide in the backyard and I am positive that they will all sleep deeply tonight. We finally made it home just after dark and promptly all collapsed around the house. It was a busy day but filled with great friends and lots of precious children doing what kids do best… play :)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Hockey test… Day 1001 13AUG11

At our hockey class this morning we had to take our evaluation test to see if we are ready to move up to the next level. We all had to demonstrate a bunch of skills that we absolutely couldn't have done ten weeks ago. We all passed and got promoted to the hockey skills class which will start in several weeks. It is a much more intense training class and will really test all of our skills. I was really proud of the boys, they have come a long way since we started. After we got done with our test we got to play a little hockey. It was a really close game with both sides working really hard. Joshua made a couple of great plays and Jarrod did a good job of defending against me when I was trying to get the puck into the zone. After we got off the off ice my dad showed up to visit. He was taking a class across the street and decided to drop in and surprise us. We had a nice visit and then we all headed for home to eat and get cleaned up. We all spent most of the afternoon resting and hanging out. I managed to get a light fixture swapped out but that was about it for the day. Tomorrow we have a really full schedule and will be on the go most of the day so a day if rest was a welcome thing.

Friday, August 12, 2011

A thousand days… Day 1000 12AUG11

Today is the 1000th day of this blog. It has been that long since Joshua was diagnosed and he is still fighting cancer every day as we march toward his end of treatment date next year. It is hard for me to believe that so much time has elapsed since that fateful day in November.

We have come a long way and we have a little further to go yet.

Joshua go tup and got ready to go play with Taylor and Avery over at pa's house. He left not long after breakfast and we didn't see him again until late this evening when he arrived back home. Sounds like he had a fun day playing over at pa's and then over at Taylor's house followed by a concert in the park and a chance to play in the cool kids fountains that were close by. He seemed like he was pretty tuckered out and I am sure he will sleep good tonight. We have hockey class in the morning and then a normal day around the house.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Busy day… Day 999 11AUG11

The boys and I got up early, got some breakfast, and then headed up to the rink for the morning skate. We all had a good skate and were pretty bushwhacked by the time we got home.

After a quick lunch we headed over to Renee's dads to help him take a part and move a huge exercise machine that his neighbor had given him. It took a couple of hours to take it apart and move all the pieces across the street and man was it hot today. 

We headed home after that for a quick round of showers so we could head in to the CCC for family night. We had a really fun evening visiting and painting glasses for an upcoming charity event. We had three new families attend and we hope we will see them again. We were all pretty beat by the time we dragged into the house and I am sure no one will be in a big hurry to get up in the morning.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Another summer day… Day 998 10AUG11

Joshua and Jarrod had another typical summer day. Jarrod did school work in the morning and then they both wiled away the afternoon hours before heading over to spend some time with Grandma and Pa. I heard they got in a game of monopoly and got to go to McDonalds for dinner, which I am sure they both loved. The last few days of summer break are drawing closer and pretty soon it will be school for both of them in the mornings, until then I am certain they will continue to enjoy playing and relaxing.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Sad morning… Day 997 09AUG11

Joshua and Jarrod had a sad morning because we had to tell them that Tornado, the dog we had that went to live with Renee's parents when Joshua got diagnosed, died unexpectedly last night. He had been sick for a few weeks but we had no idea how bad he was.

Right after the sad news Renee and the boys headed out to pick up Trent and then take Joshua to a dentist appointment. His teeth are in good shape and they were headed home before lunch time arrived. The boys al played inside on the computer and the xbox because we had torrential rains for most of the afternoon and early evening.

Renee dropped the boys off at her mom's this evening so she could go up to Sears with her dad to get a tire replaced on his van. The boys had a nice visit with grandma and actually got home after I did.

So what started off as a rather sad day at least turned into a nice day filled with friends and family.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Good feet, sick cat… Day 996 08AUG11

Joshua got a clean bill of health from Dr. Bradley who said he didn't see any drop foot problems anymore. The ice skating seems to be helping and Joshua's ankle are doing great. After they left the hospital Renee and the boys headed over to have lunch with my dad before heading for home. They managed to talk him into Caesars pizza which is fantastic and I am sorry I missed out.

Our cat Hobie has not been feeling well for several days so Renee bundled him up and headed for the vet this afternoon. The diagnosis is still unclear and we are waiting for lab results that should be back in the morning. He has been with us since just after Jarrod was born and we hate to see him so sick.

The boys spent the rest of their afternoon playing and just generally enjoying the remainder of summer.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Day away… Day 995 07AUG11

Joshua had breakfast and then headed out for the day. First stop was Pa's house to hang out with Taylor and Avery for a little fun. After lunch Jarod and I headed off to get some ice time in while Renee ran Joshua to his next engagement at VBS with Trent. We had a good skate and headed home to relax for the afternoon. After dinner Joshua called to see if Trent could come over and spend the night, which was fine with us, and a little while later our numbers swelled a little bit. The boys had a fun evening and our house was filled with snickers and giggles. It is nice that Joshua can get in so many great play dates before the school year fires back up and everyone gets busy. In the morning Joshua goes for a follow up visit with his ortho doctor to check on his ankles and feet. I expect he will get a good report and will not have developed any new issues.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

First Goal… Day 994 06AUG11

I woke Joshua and Jarrod up early and we got some breakfast before heading off ot the rink for hockey this morning. My dad met us there so he could watch the boys skate for the first time. We had a great practice and Joshua got his first goal in our scrimmage game. He was pretty stoked and we were very proud of him. He continues to improve and will make a great hockey player.

After we got done skating it was time to head home for the rest of the day. Taylor and Avery came over while we were skating to spend the day with us, so we had them plus my dad for lunch and the afternoon. Renee made a great salad and I grilled some salmon burgers to add to the mix. It was a nice afternoon of the kids playing and the adults visiting.

After everyone went home Jarrod mowed the yard while I did the weed eating and then we pruned up the trees in the front before coming in out of the heat for the day. We were pretty beat by then and spent the rest of the evening resting and puttering about the house.

Not much planned for tomorrow, always stuff to do around the house though :)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Not much fun… Day 993 05AUG11

Joshua had a rather rough morning. The nurse showed up at 8 and his port did not want to flush. She had to stick him three different times before it started working.

Needless to say he was pretty hysterical by this point and it took a bit for him to settle back down. I fear that his port is just getting worn out after all this time, I hope it will last until next year when we can get it taken out once and for all.

The rest of his IVIG transfusion went according to plan and he was finished up by early afternoon. As usual he was pretty tired afterwards and spent most of the day relaxing around the house and playing with his brother.

He was pretty much back to normal by the time I got home from work and we had a nice evening together. In the morning we get to go to hockey class and the boys are looking forward to it, they had their gear packed and lined up by the front door before I even asked them to get it ready. My dad is supposed to meet us at the rink so he can watch all of us boys on the ice for the first time. Hope we don't fall down too much :)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

New guy on the ice… Day 992 04AUG11

Joshua and Trent were up bright and early and having fun. They spent the morning playing and then we all got ready to go get some ice time in. Trent have never been skating before but he was game to give it a try. He did really good and had fun giving it a go, with a little practice we could make a hockey player out of him. We all had a good skate with no major spills although we were all pretty tired when we got home. The afternoon sped by and before we knew it darkness had fallen and it was time to wind down for the day. Another great summer day for the kids and a fun time for me as well. Joshua is up for another IVIG transfusion in the morning which means a pretty early start for him so Renee can get his pre-med and imla on his port. We are also not going to have our usual nurse so we are a little anxious about how it will all go. Should be fine and he will be done in time to relax for the afternoon.

Keeping busy… Day 991 03AUG11

Joshua had breakfast and then headed of to spend the day at Trent's house. He and Trent had a busy day and then both of them came back to our house for a sleep over. Joshua has been doing really well so far this week keeping our favorite monster in check and I think that all the activities he has had this week has helped. The boys had a fun evening here playing LEGO's and on the computer. They even went to bed at a decent hour and were up bright and early. Summer break is winding down and school will start back up in a few weeks so I am glad Joshua has been able to enjoy spending lots of time with all of his friends.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Blonde at the park… Day 990 02AUG11

Joshua went over to Renee's mom for a bit this morning while Renee ran a few errands and Jarrod mowed their yard. On the way home they stopped at the park and Joshua struck up a conversation with a cute blonde who asked him to come over to her house to play. It was of course his good friend Carly who he ran in to and they had a fun time swimming and playing around her house for the afternoon. I had to go in early so I could spend a small fortune on getting a new set of tires on the front of my car. Apparently when the tire splits open and you can see the steel belts inside it is time to replace them. Who knew?

Joshua was looking content and was eager to tell me about his day when I got home. I love that :) He is doing good so far on the steroids and the vincristine and methotrexate seemed to not have scrambled him real bad so far. Let's hope that continues to hold true for the rest of the week.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Clinic… Day 989 01AUG11

Joshua got up early and got ready to head out to the clinic. Today he was scheduled for labs, vincristine, and his pentam breathing treatment and he will start steroids this afternoon. His ANC was down a little to 1100 from it's normal level of about 1500 so it is not a real steep decline. We think he has been fighting off something for the last few days which would explain the drop. His port access went well and he got his vincristine without incident. He got finished right around lunch time and was headed back whenI called on my way to work. Renee's mom had gone with the boys this morning and they all decided to go shop for some shoes for the boys. Joshua is really hard on his shoes and his current pair were well beyond the worn out stage. They managed to find some shoes that both the boys really liked and they were keen to show them off when I got home this evening. The rest of the afternoon was run of the mill and all was quiet this evening, no monster sightings as of now :)