Monday, September 21, 2009

Thanks again to everyone who has supported TEAM JOSHUA. I am 85% of the way to my personal goal, and I am proud of our Team and all their hard work. Cant wait for the walk tomorrow. Will be sure to take lots of photos!

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has been very helpful to our family over the last 4+ years. They are a great resource - a wonderful support system - and we are very grateful they're around!

Thanks again to everyone - from your donations - to spreading the word around - to joining our team for the walk!!!

Much Love and Gratitude,
Team Joshua

Thursday, September 17, 2009

2009 Light the Night

Just in time for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, my family will be joining the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's for their Light the Night walk, on September 22. If you would like to help in the Mission to wipe out blood cancer you can do so by following the link.

Light the Night Team Joshua Page

If you are interested in joining our team, just go to the Team Page and register. From there you can raise your own funds or simply join us on the walk next Tuesday beginning at Jerry Uht Park!

Join Team Joshua

The picture is from our walk a couple years ago. We are excited that the walk is now in the city and we don’t have to travel to Northeast for the event.

Josh is looking forward to it. They always spoil the Survivors; he already plans on wearing his yellow survivor shirt that he informs me he finally fits in! I’m going to have to take a picture of him in it before the walk…

Thanks everyone!!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Out of the Mouth of Babes

I dont know in what moment in time people go from being innocent and trusting to cryptic and skeptical. I mean -- was there a line on the playground that we one day crossed over?

Do we one night go to bed thinking our parents are the greatest thing next to peanut butter and jelly, to waking up the next thinking they are a kink in our cool?

I dont know - but when I look at my teen-aged daughters, then to my unobjectionable sons, I find myself longing for them to stay young forever!

Then they do something like finger paint with the above mentioned peanut butter on the kitchen walls and all yearnings go out the window!

No really, from a mom with an array of children, I've experienced a lot of joys throughout the past 17 years, even still from the difficult teen-aged ones - believe it or not.

Kaitlynn: who is fast approaching graduation, who has been driving for over a year now, who has her own job and making her own life and circle of friends will still come to me for advice and always kisses me before she walks out the door.

Halie: who just joined the teenager ranking not too long ago, who spends more time on her cell phone texting then conversing with her 'rents and who readies herself for high school next year, just curled up on my lap tonight as we watched "The Bachelor".

Kennidy: though not quite a teenager yet and is faithfully Daddy's Little Girl, still calls me "momma", and every now and again will come to me to brush or braid her hair and still asks to be tucked into bed at night.

Joshua and Nathan: two peas in a pod, yet night and day in personalties. The boys are inseparable. During the day, when Joshua is at school Nathan is a different person, but let Josh walk in the door and Nathan wakes up as a different boy - like his other half is home. Of course they fight like cats and dogs too, but I wouldnt have it any other way (well maybe I would ;-)). I love to watch the two of them play. Joshua waits for me every night to curl up in bed with him until he falls asleep, Nathan on the other hand waits for me to fall asleep so he can get up and see what he can get into - like pouring maple syrup on my beige bedroom carpet - did that sound like the voice of experience?

Throughout the years all the kids at one point or another has said something to remind me how unsullied children are. Once, when Kaitlynn was just shy of 7 years old she was writing on the backs of her school pictures getting them ready to mail to her grammas and grampas and cousins and aunts. Naturally she wanted to write her age on the picture - and she wouldnt dare put 6 on there, oh no! she was far older than 6 - she was 6 and 3/4's. So when she informed me that was what she was going to autograph, I asked her quite simply if she knew how to write that. To which she replied by drawing a 6000 on the back of the picture. Oh but it wasnt just a number - it was a 6 and three large circles behind it - three "quarters" to be exact.

How could I possibly correct her?

And I know there have been many more "out of the mouth of babe" stories over the years, sadly a lot of which I have long forgotten. That said, most recently Josh said something I wanted to share and journal so I dont lose that to Senility and Father Time too. It's not nearly as priceless as the "16-eva" story, but definitely noteworthy nonetheless.

Kaitlynn, Halie and Josh made a trip to the store to pick up a few groceries. As Halie was putting a case of water in the cart, Joshua was practicing his new-found reading skills and declared, "Spring Water? Halie, shouldnt we be buying Winter Water!"

Ahhh... maybe that's what we've been doing wrong all season!

Friday, February 27, 2009

headaches - schmedaches

Since the beginning of the year Joshua has been experiencing headaches and leg pains. At the beginning of the year there were more headaches then anything. His teacher and I had to keep a journal so I could report them to the doctor at January's visit. Two different doctor's looked him over and they sent us home with instructions to call them if the headaches persisted over the next week. The one doctor felt swollen nodes on his groin, but Dr Wollman didnt say anything about them this month and I didnt ask.

The headaches are appearing in the same fashion as the headaches he got last year when his spinal pressures were high. The doctors were concerned though because since he's not on chemo anymore, they tell me his pressures shouldnt be up. They said if continued or got worse they would order another MRI to check for fluid or pseudo-tumors.

His headaches did continue, but since they didnt increase in intensity, they decided to wait until his visit this month. One this is for sure, joshua is very resilient and doesnt like for things to get him down. He lives to play and plays to live!

His last visit was on Kenni's birthday, the 24th. While his headaches have seemed to taper some, he has had an increase in leg pain and even complained of his shoulder hurting on one occasion. I have to tell you, since leg pain is how Joshua presented with the cancer in the beginning, this has made me a nervous wreck lately. It's ironic, on one hand being chemo-free is so liberating and dont get me wrong, I am so happy for Joshua, but the security of the chemo keeping his leukemia at bay is gone and I cant help but think about him relapsing at every sneeze, bruise, or 'growing pain'.

The risk of him relapsing is greatest around the first year mark, so hopefully as that passes my nerves will be put to ease some. I have talked to other cancer-moms and turns out this feeling is common and it does indeed lessen as the years build up between the off-treatment date.

Anyway, Josh has also been fighting a cold since January - turns out he has Bronchitis. Hopefully that is where his headaches are coming from. They cant explain the leg-pains yet, but they are going to hold off on any Lumbar Punctures or Bone Marrow Biopsies as to reduce any unnecessary stress to Josh just yet. So far his [blood] counts look good and his platelets are holding strong, so that is very reassuring! So I'm going to take a stance on this kinda of like Joshua in the picture above - one BIG FAT PHEWY to Cancer - enjoy each moment!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Six Pack Fever

Here We Go Steelers
Here We Go!

The weekend started out with the kids' school spirit day. They werent allowed to paint their faces, but we found a way around that! Joshua had on his Polamalu jersey and carried his picture of the Steelers and him taken a few years back when Josh was inpatient. Remember we had tried to get Troy to sign Joshua's bald head, but his 'handlers' would let him. :shrugs: Halie was all decked out in her Steelers gear and even borrowed my scarf. At this point, I think Joshua thinks the Steelers are in the Super Bowl every year! Woo Hoo!

Sunday came and the pre-game festivities started before the last member of our zoo had their teeth brushed! I painted my face, Halie painted hers, we painted both the boys and even my mom got in on the action! Kenni and Kaitlynn were the lone party poopers, but not for lack of us trying ;-)

The boys' favorite part of the whole game were the 3D commercials. Jon's favorite part was the food and heckling me. I sat on the edge of my seat and by the time the game ended I didnt think I would be able to stand without my knees buckling. I swear this is true. I dont know how the players themselves held up - I was a nervous wreck! We were all doing the happy dance when Big Ben threw that pass to Santonio in the last seconds - way to go Boys!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A little late for Christmas

Josh lost his two front teeth!

We were sitting at the table eating dinner -- pizza -- when Josh made a funny face, exclaimed that his tooth "broke" and spit it in his hand. Sure enough his bottom right tooth fell out on it's own. I had been wondering when it was going to happen. A lot of his kindergarten friends have lost their teeth, and remember Josh is one of the oldest in his class due to us pulling him out of kindergarten last year. But his teeth are extremely small caused by him grinding his teeth as a side-effect of one of his chemos.

So we checked his other tooth and sure enough it was loose too! Joshy would NOT let us try to pull it for him (to Jon's dismay), not for any amount of bribes.

And we tried!

But after a lot of suggestions from his sisters, and coaxing from Jon and Nathan, Joshua pulled the second tooth himself!

They really were ready, you can already see his adult teeth popping through. He was excited to go to sleep that night and wait for the tooth fairy. He woke up in the middle of the night and woke me up to let me know she had come.

FIVE WHOLE BUCKS he made. Our day started early the next morning as Joshua had an appointment in Pittsburgh, and he was excited and proud to show his doctor his missing teeth! All day his mind was focused on the money in his pocket and he badgered me to take him to the store to buy a Ben 10 toy!

He's all ready to pull the other ones and keeps checking for loose ones daily. He's figured out he has a gold mine in his mouth!