Thursday, December 2, 2010

A very long update.

We got released from the hospital the Monday before Thanksgiving. Jack's counts were still really low, but were headed up. We spend the next few days relaxing and trying to get settled after our impromptu week-long stay at the hospital.

On Thanksgiving we lounged around and watched movies. Ryan got all of the Christmas stuff down and brought in the Christmas tree. A very sweet family brought over a TON of food so we had a nice Thanksgiving meal. While we were sad to not be with our families, the point to all of this is to get Jack better so we can have MANY more Thanksgivings.

After eating, we bundled up the boys and drove over to Prairie Lights. A drive-through Christmas light experience is right up our alley. The boys LOVED it and we will continue going every year until they tell us to stop.

The rest of the weekend was pretty low-key. I snuck away for a couple of hours to do a little Black Friday shopping with a bestie and Jack "helped" me decorate the house for Christmas. Mainly he would decide he did not agree with where I placed something and he would pick it up and say "I'm gonna find a place to put this Mommy". Okay! I'm trying to indulge his creativeness and leaving things where he put them.

Sunday night we decided to head to the drive in movies to see Tangled. I was a little worried because a friend told me that it was a princess movie with lots of singing, but I knew it had knights (a Jackson fav) and the boys LOVE movies so off we went.

It was awesome...very cute and funny! Both of the boys just loved it and we all laughed the whole way through! It was a great family night. So thankful for fun activities that you can do in the car. Yesterday Jack asked me if he could "eat food with Daddy and watch Tangled in the car again"! So sweet...he definitely enjoyed himself!

Monday we had to head to Arlington for an eye appointment for Jack. His first appointment in 6 months that is NOT cancer related. He had eye surgery at 8 months so this was just the yearly check up. Everything looked great and he is seeing 20/20!

When we got home we changed the boys and set up our camera outside to take some family photos. Right before naptime. With 2 toddlers. It was a little crazy and Ryan's head was cut off in some of the pictures and Jack was holding a leaf in front of his face in others, but we got some good ones! Those boys are just my world (all three of them) and I love getting pictures of our family of four.

Tuesday was spent getting ready for our next trip to the hospital. We were due to check in yesterday for Round 14 of chemo. So on Tuesday I washed, packed, organized, cleaned, etc. Fun stuff! On Wednesday morning we were loaded and ready to for our 3 night, 4 day stay at Club Chemo (as the doctors say "Kind of like Club Med, but not").

We made it to the hospital and headed to our radiation follow up first. Dr. Munoz said his leg looked a little swollen and felt a little hard but that it should all go away within the next few weeks. He was really happy with how his leg looked overall.

After that appointment was over, we headed upstairs to clinic. We got called back pretty quick and did the normal routine. Jack is gaining weight and getting taller!! He is a little over 36lbs and is 39.5 inches tall! He grew a lot this summer (take that cancer!).

After height and weight, it was time for Jack to have his port accessed. It's still really hard for him...ever since surgery he just has such a hard time with it. This time was actually not as bad as some of the recent visits. We got it done with only me holding him down and Ryan trying to distract him. Sometimes we both have to hold him down.

Once he was accessed, Nurse Ginni got his blood and Jack actually got to carry it to the lab! It was pretty cool, but once we got in there he was pretty scared and asked to "get outta this room!!" I think the big machines reminded him of the radiation room.

Then we waited for his counts to come back. Jack's new friend Kadence had given him a watergun in the playroom so Ryan showed him how it works (in the sink only!).

So remember that when we left the hospital right before Thanksgiving his counts were up from 0 but still not good? They were 120 then, and 9 days later...they were only 500. A minimum of 700 is required for this type of chemo.


We are really ready to be done with chemo (who wouldn't be?) and while it's just a date, I would really like to start 2011 without chemo in our plans.

But God has a BETTER plan than me. And His timing is perfect.

So we headed home with an appointment for Friday to try again.

Thankfully the boys were both tired once we got home, so we were able to get them down for a good nap. After they woke up, we played outside for a bit then I loaded them up for a apple juice slushie from Sonic and to look at Christmas lights...Momma needed a little cheering up :)

Then was a GOOD day. It started with a quick trip to Target with Brayden to get milk while the big boys slept in. Of course I left with more than milk (one day Target, one day I will leave your awesome store with only what I came in for) and then we headed home for lunch and naptime.

And then my phone rang.

It was a very sweet lady explaining that someone had nominated us for a Christmas Wish through our local Christian radio station. The morning host read the letter that my awesome friend Heather sent and of course I was in TEARS. I haven't cried in forever because I'm kind of afraid that I won't be able to stop if I start.

I was right. I couldn't stop. Three hours later and I'm still sniffling and shaking.

KLTY is so very generous and they are blessing us in amazing ways and they are enabling us to bless others (SO EXCITING!). We are beyond thankful!!! Words really do not do justice to the gratitude we feel.

I said thank you over and over while we were on the phone (in between sniffling) and the lady talking to us said that while they would love to take credit for everything, thanks were really owed to the people that donate to the Christmas Wish program. She said that it's God's way of showing us that we are not alone on this journey. I love that!

Although the gifts are AMAZING and I am so incredibly grateful...the best part of the whole experience was this...

After it was all over, I was told to expect a call from a guy named Jack to work out the details.

And then my phone rang.

It turns out that Jack also had cancer at age 3 (he is 23 now). He underwent 26 rounds of chemo and had several radiation treatments. I was crying as he described how he played sports and is getting married in a few months.

You have no idea how hearing that calmed my heart.

Lately, I have been especially worried about Jackson's future. I KNOW that he will beat cancer. I believe that. I have faith that God will bring him through this, whole and healed. But the truth of the matter is that the drugs and procedures that ensure that he will be a cancer survivor can cause other issues.

So it was so moving to cross paths with this grown-up Jack. An instant connection. Only people who have been through it can REALLY understand, and his story is the most similar in terms of age and treatment that we have come across.

I know I will have so many questions for Jack and his parents. I want to hear his story, every detail.

Can we talk about how amazing God is for a minute?

Childhood cancer is rare.
Childhood cancer that requires radiation is even more rare.
Both named Jack.
Both cancer patients at the age of 3.

The way that God orchestrated this connection...through Heather, through his job at that Ryan and I could feel hope for our Jackson's beyond incredible.

We are so blessed. Cancer and all.

Just a quick update on what the boys are doing lately...

Jack is teeteeing in the potty! And staying dry overnight! Wooooohoooo!

Lately, Jack has been asking about God. It started with this question "Mommy, did Bob the Builder make us?" and that has led to more conversations. Precious, precious conversations. I love his three year old mind. We don't even watch Bob the Builder!

Brayden is such a mess...literally! He can wreck a room in seconds!

He is starting to talk..."no" "Melmo" (Elmo) "Bubba" "go-go" (there you go) and many more! Of course he has mastered Momma and Dada :)

We head back to the hospital tomorrow morning bright and early to try and be admitted again. Please pray that Jack's counts will be high enough to get this show on the road!

{Thanksgiving morning}

{Mean reindeer}

{Sweet reindeer}

{I have no clue}

{Best boys ever}

{Poor thing}

{Munching with Daddy at the movies}

{Chaos during family pics}

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
James 1:17



  1. I love this and so needed to hear it today! Sometimes it seems like we hear so many negative stories and not enough positive ones! :)

    P.S. I think Jackson is going to be like my husband - incapable of taking a serious picture. :)

  2. I sometimes wonder if that worrying about the future for our babies ever goes away. My worry is so different now with Monkey than with the other two and I loathe it. I am so happy to hear you have found some peace.

    I can't wait to see your family pictures you captured and prayers always coming your way! XXOO

  3. Lindsay - I came across your blog through the Sartin's blog. I just want to let you know that prayers are being said for you, Jackson and your family from Colorado. You are an amazing mom and Jackson is lucky to have you as his mommy and his advocate. God Bless!



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