Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day… Day 1200 29FEB12

Today of course only exists once every four years which makes it a fitting day for us to start Joshua's 10 day countdown to his end of treatment.

His ankle is looking better today and the swelling has gone down quite a bit. We are going to have him take it easy for a few days to make sure it heals up without him injuring it again. He got his school work done this morning and then spent the balance of his day playing quietly inside. Renee is a bit under the weather currently so we let her rest up today so she can start feeling better. Jarrod cooked up a nice batch of corn chowder for lunch and I took care of the dinner hour. We boys spent the evening together watching a little tele before it was time for them to head off to bed. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Ankle problems again… Day 1199 28FEB12

Joshua spent the first half of the day getting bunch of his school work taken care of. He seems like he got enough sleep the night before and stayed pretty focused through out the morning. He was done by lunchtime and spent the early afternoon playing around the house. Carly called after she got out of school and wanted to know if Joshua could come over for a bit so Renee ran him over to her house. When he came home his ankle was pretty swollen and he said he slipped on some grass and twisted it. It is his left ankle which has caused him lots of problems before and by the time the hockey game got started it was really swollen and we started icing it to keep the swelling down. I am afraid that his ankle will cause him problems for quite a while as it has been injured over and over. It looks like he just sprained it again so we will keep it wrapped up tonight and see how he feels in the morning. The Bolts played a good game and won which made the boys happy. It was off to bed after that and I hope Joshua can get a good nights rest in.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Mondays after vacation are no fun… Day 1198 27FEB12

 Joshua slept in this morning and was just getting up as I walked out the door to go to work. The boys jumped back into their school work and got done after lunch. Joshua got a call from Carly and headed over later on to spend some time playing with her.

Our trip back yesterday was tiring as we had two flights and a 3 1/2 layover in New York. Luckily we flew from Portland to NY with Wojtek and Desiree's families so we had somebody to hang out with in the terminal. Our experience at camp was wonderful and although we are all dragging today we would go back in an instant. Here a some of the pictures we took to share:

Leaving camp... Day 1197 26FEB12

After lunch we headed into Portland to start our journey home. The trip was long but we finally made it back home. We are all exhausted and headed for bed. I'll have more details tomorrow when my brain starts working again :)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

White wonderland... Day 1196 25FEB12

We woke up to a winter wonderland this morning. The snow fall from last night continued and had built up on all the trees and the ground. It was quite beautiful walking up to eat breakfast. Right after breakfast the boys and I headed down to play some boot ball on the ice rink. Joshua was playing goalie and was doing a fine job of keeping the puck out of the net. The boys headed off to activities before lunch while Renee and I took a nice snowshoe walk through the woods. The afternoon was busy and before we ate the adult men took on the teenagers in a game of floor hockey outside on the basketball court. It was a spirited game and we all had a blast. Dinner was the next order of business followed by the closing celebration. In the morning it will be in the single digits up here so everything will stay good and frozen. We leave camp for the airport right after lunch but will not arrive home until almost midnight. It has been a marvelous camp experience and we are looking forward to coming back again sometime.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Snow made it... Day 1195 24FEB12

We awoke to temps below freezing and a slight overcast at breakfast time. Today was the day we got to go skiing at Shawnee Peak which is what the boys have been looking forward to most of all. We had morning activities and then got ready to go. We hopped in the van and our driver Kevin whisked us off to the mountain. The boys and I got all our gear, grabbed a quick bid of lunch and headed out to the slopes. We took a refresher class with a great instructor, Melinda, who had us all up to snuff and carving powder in no time. We spent the rest of the afternoon trying different runs down the mountain and all of us had a wonderful time. I am certain that we will all be pretty sore in the morning. As we headed back to camp it began to snow just a little bit and then just after dark it started coming down in earnest. Big lazy beautiful snowflakes :) the boys were thrilled and immediately went outside to play in the new snow. It was the perfect consistency to build snowmen with so we wasted no time in erecting a life size model. As I sit here and write the snow is still drifting to the ground and we have gotten close to 3 inches so far. Should be beautiful in the morning when we get up.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Snow is on the way... Day 1194 23FEB12

After a good nights rest we all got up and headed up the hill to get breakfast. Camp officially opened this morning and we all spent the day at different fun activities and had a blast. Renee and I got a nice walk in the woods and enjoyed it immensely. The camp had a NHL goalie come out today to visit which Joshua loved, he even scored on him in floor hockey! The rest of the day was great and after dinner we got our skates on and took a spin on the much harder sheet of ice, it has been getting colder as the day progressed. The forecast calls for 3-6 inches of snow to come in overnight and tomorrow while we are skiing. The kids are excited! We will keep our fingers crossed that the forecast holds true.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Not so much snow... Day 1193 22FEB12

We got up early in the morning and quietly loaded all the suitcases into the car and set out for the airport. Our flights were on time, as comfortable as plane travel allows and we arrived in Portland ahead of schedule. There is a lot less snow up here than we had last trip and it was in the 40's when we arrived. The van was waiting at the airport to take us to camp and we got settled in after a bite of lunch. The boys spent the afternoon running around and playing in the snow. Camp looks a lot different without the four feet of snow covering everything and we discovered quite a few new things. We have a bunch of families up from our area this time and it is great to know so many people here. After dinner and camp activities the boys and I got our skates and took a few turns around the patch of ice they have frozen here. Still way too soft but we had fun any way. The weather is supposed to get colder over the next few days and there is a good chance for snow on Friday. We will keep our fingers crossed.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Look out Maine here we come… Day 1192 21FEB12

Today was a bit hectic as we prepared our stuff for our departure tomorrow. Renee took charge of all the packing and had it done a lot quicker than I would have managed. The kids are excited and we are all looking forward to our little getaway for a few days. Look for updates from the far north and lots of pictures when we get back home.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Three strikes and your out leukemia!… Day 1191 20FEB12

Wonderful news friends of Joshua! We got the results of the three tests that they ran on Joshua from his blood, spinal fluid, and bone marrow and they all came back NEGATIVE for cancer! 

This is the best news we have gotten in 3 1/2 years and we are all overjoyed. Joshua was over playing at Carly's house when Renee got the news from the clinic. We weren't expecting any results until next week but they came back sooner than expected. Renee called Joshua straight away to give him the news and he was pretty happy. I was still at work when she called and couldn't wait to get home to give Joshua a big hug. He still has several weeks of chemo to finish but as far as we are concerned he has won! This is truly a red letter day :)

In other news we are preparing to return to Camp Sunshine in Maine the day after tomorrow :) We are all super excited about getting back to the far north and enjoying some seriously cooler weather compared to home. Tomorrow we will finish packing and preparations for a very early departure Wednesday morning. There will be a bunch of families from here going up this time so we all will have lots of good friends to hang out with and enjoy the snow. Should be a wonderful trip and a nice break from Florida for a few days.

So everyone clap your hands and yell woohoo! Joshua is cancer free! 

Boy does it feel good to be able to say that :-)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Full day of fun… Day 1190 19FEB12

 Joshua was up early to leave with Trent to go have some fun. They went to church and then headed off to the movies for a matinee. In the meantime we had a quiet morning at home and were treated to a visit from my dad and Miss Missy after lunch, he even brought cookie to share :) A while later Joshua came back with the entire Lewis clan and we had a great visit with Charlie and Cocoa while the kids ran about and played. It was nice to have the house full of friends, family and the laughter of children for a bit. After a spell everyone headed home and we settled in for the evening. Joshua's back was bit achy so we will keep an eye on that tomorrow and see how he feels then.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Tired… Day 1189 18FEB12

Joshua was up at the break of dawn this morning, the steroids turn him into an insomniac, another side effect we will not miss. Renee was also up early to go work an event at the ice forum. I got up a bit later and hopped into the kitchen to get Joshua's raging furnace fueled up. We started with cinnamon rolls and finished with a slab of bacon which seemed to do the trick. 

Their was no skate on the schedule for tomorrow so we grabbed up our gear and headed up today at lunchtime to skate. We had a good skate but Joshua was tuckered out before the half way mark and after several extended breaks he decided to head off the ice and get out of his gear. He was beat in the car on the way home and didn't really get his energy back unit later in the evening. Considering all the things and chemicals his body has had to deal with this week none of us were surprised. He pushes himself hard and sometimes his batteries just aren't up to it.

After dinner we settled in to watch the Bolts take on the Capitols and were treated to not only a great game but a resounding victory by the Lightning. Joshua was thrilled along with all of us. The boys headed off to bed as soon as the game was over and they didn't take long to fall sound asleep. With luck enough of the steroids will have left Joshua's system for him to have a restful night.

Friday, February 17, 2012

  • Ding dong the monsters dead!… Day 1188 17FEB12

Renee and the boys got up extra early today and headed up to USF for the Engineering Expo. It was a drizzly morning but the boys had a great time and were pretty impressed by all the technology and robots and such. Afterwards they talked Renee into going across the way to MOSI to get a bite to eat and hang out at the museum for a bit before heading home. I meanwhile had a quiet morning at home and then headed off into the mist to go teach. The boys spent a quiet afternoon at home tucked safely inside out of the rain.
TECO's newest lineman

Robots are cool!

The great news for the day! Joshua took his very last dose of steroids tonight!! 



The monster is officially banished, dead, outcast, forbidden to return, forced to wander the land of no dreams forever, in other words never coming back :) We are all thrilled that he is done and amazed at how Joshua has managed to handle the effects of the steroids so well for so long. 

So we get to say goodbye to yet another part of his treatment regimen… I like watching this stuff slip into memory :)