Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Home From Chemo

We got home around 6:30 pm. Vince started to feel nauseous so I dropped him off at home for Jim to watch him and Bernadette and I left to go get his anti-nausea medicine and while we were gone, he threw up! Jim was so great and cleaned it all up! I think he threw up because he drank 4 (2000 ml) of those Costco waters within 1 hr! He was already filled up from the 7 1/2 hrs. of chemo I.V.'s! I gave him the medicine and a piece of toast and he has been sleeping now for a few hrs! He needs that sleep so bad! He has not slept for more than 4 hrs. in a row in at least 6 mths! Please just pray that these next few days that he will be able to sleep through this treatment and in a few weeks from now that he would feel really good and have the energy to get his 5 day hospital chemo treatment without any gliches!
A special thank you to the Hick's family! Jim Hicks works at UCLA and brought us cookies and moral support! I appreciated that so much! Traci...Vince used those Prego Pops tonight! He really needed them and it was perfect timing!!! Love you all!
We are blessed!

Let The Chemo Begin!

Vince started chemo today at 10:11 a.m. to be exact. They are giving him 3 different chemo drugs today, along with some other things that I don't really know much about. They only allow one person at a time to sit with him, so Bernadette is with him while I sit in the UCLA cafeteria updating this blog and texting my family to give them information! Yay for technology! The nurse gave us a thorough explanation of all the drugs and side effects and basically we didn't understand much of what she said (she spoke in broken English for one:) but, towards the end she did say, "I guess we'd better get on with it, it looks like he's bored with me!" Yes, he was! He just wanted to get on with the treatment, he didn't care about all the details...he just wants to get hooked up and get home and dive into his own bed! He had a great night last night and got lots of rest (and me too:) I had to wake him up to give him his pain meds! That's a great sign if he doesn't wake up before me! Thank you Jesus! The dr. said that he should start to get relief in the next few days! Please continue to pray for a great outcome and that each day he would have the strength to perservere as we watch and see how his body reacts. Pray for NO FEVERS or INFECTIONS! He will be off for 3 weeks and then in the hospital for 5 days. This repeats 2x...not 4x like I thought...each time it will be a bit more clear to us as we travel on this journey. One last thing and the most important! The bone scan was clear and the cancer only showed up in his bicep! The bone marrow biopsy preliminary report came back with NO cancer cells! Praise God!!! Thank you for all your prayers and encouragement for Vince...it's working!!

A Devotional I Received Today..Maybe He Wants To Use You, Too?

September 30, 2008

For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
-Philippians 2:13

Do you know that God wants to use you to accomplish His purposes on the earth? Yes, YOU!

"But, Pastor," you say, "you don't know my past. You don't know what I struggle with. How can God ever use someone like me?"

I'm here to tell you today that God can and will use you. How do I know? Because His Word is chocked full of men and women who would have never thought God would use them! These are people like Noah. When God called him to build the ark, we might have heard him say, "Do what, God? Build an ark? That's impossible!"

Or what about Nehemiah? When the call of God came upon his life, he might have said something like, "Wait a minute, God. I'm comfortable here in Persia. I've got a great job. Why would you want someone like me to give up everything to rebuild a wall?"

Or think about Paul. When Jesus called him, we might have heard him say, "Wait a minute, Lord, I'm your chosen instrument? Do you know my past? Have you seen what I've done?"

Yet God called each of these men to do great things for Him! And not only did He call them, but God equipped them to do what He had called them to do.

And you know what? God can do the same for you! As our Scripture verse for today says, "For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13).

So let me ask you, are you willing to let God use you? If so, I urge you to echo the words of Isaiah, who said to God, "Here am I! Send me"!


Monday, September 29, 2008

Bone Marrow Biopsy Monday & Chemo Tuesday Updates

Today Vince had the bone marrow biopsy. He was really not looking forward to this one at all! As they were prepping him for surgery, the anesthesiologist proceeds to inform him that they will give him a "twilight sleep medicine" and he won't feel a thing. Well, that didn't go over too well with Vince, but I convinced him that it would be fine and that this would mean that he would not feel like crap all day. So, he said ok...they took him away and when he got out of recovery he was in BIG pain! He said he could tell they were doing something, but didn't really care at the time! Thank God for drugs! They took some bone from his hip and he is sore, but not as much as he thought. He said it hurts like bad landing from trying to do a skate trick, so he is very used to that feeling! OUCH! He has actually had a pretty good day (thank you for all the prayers out there!) God is so good! Just when we feel as though we are being drained, God fills us up and carries us through just in time for the next round!

We are pretty much on the same schedule...up every 2-3 hrs. giving him pain meds & back massages...reminds me of when he was a baby and I was up every 2-3 hrs. breastfeeding! I am not complaining at all here...it is an honor & a blessing to be able to spend time with him and comfort him in his time of need! That's what Mom's are for! (and dad's, too:) No matter how old our kids are...they always need us, even when they don't think they do...Love you mom & dad!! xoxoxo

Tomorrow is a big day! He starts chemo! We just found out around 6 pm when the Dr.'s office called and told us. This is the day that we have been looking forward to, so that Vince can be on his way to recovery! We know that it will be long and challenging, but we are trusting that God will get him through with miraculous results! We have had people wanting to know what to pray for specifically and here is what Vince really needs:
1. That the treatments would be effective, yet more mild than we could ever imagine
2. That he would get relief from the pain in his arm within a few days
3. That he would be able to rest comfortably and get the much needed rest his body needs to heal

Thank you to the Reilly's for your timely gift tonight! The "Chemo Kit" will come in handy in the next few days for sure!! Thank you to Allie & Aidan for helping mommy with the kit and wrapping the yummy cookies she made! You rock!
Ps. 28:7 the Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted Him, and greatly
rejoices, and with my song I will praise him.
Ps. 29:11 The Lord will give strength to his people; the Lord will bless His people
with peace.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Got Chemo Tips?

Please email me at rondacapaldi@msn.com if you have any chemo tips that you would like to share with Vince. We are going into the unknown and it would be great if we could get the "heads up"...so to speak! Thank you in advance!

Expect The Unexpected

Ok..from here on out I am going to ride the roller coaster of life with my seat belt securely fastened and a Bible in my hand! Each day for us is feeling like "Ground Hog Day"...feels like we keep living the same day over and over again! Vince had his bone scan yesterday, which by the way, was the best day yet, as far as pain was concerned...I think part of that was because Mikemo came with us to get the scan, which helped Vince to take his mind off of himself for a few hrs. We got there in 45 mins. (no traffic at 10:30 a.m. which was shortly after they cleared a 9 car pile up at our off ramp) so we were blessed by that alone! We arrived and Vince got his radioactive injection that lights up his bones, but it takes two hours to take effect, so Vince, Mikemo and I decided to go the cafeteria at the beautiful UCLA Westwood Campus and sit for the two hrs. It was really nice to see them laughing and watching skate videos on Vince's computer while I read a book.
After the scan, Vince came out and told us they found a spot on his pelvis, which is where a lot of these Ewing's Sarcomas start...but, he proceeds to inform us that because he was full of the radioactive material, that when he used the restroom prior to the scan, he dribbled on his boxers and it was reading that on the scan! Mom's of boys and all those men out there and their wives who do the laundry (LOL!), I'm sure will relate to that one!!! They made him take them off and "clean up" and re-did the scan and he said that it was clean! LOL! Disclaimer: Vince gave me permission to print this story:) LOL!

Last night about 12 hrs. after the scan, Vince's arm was swelling so much and he decided to call Dr. Tap. He told us to go to the E.R. at UCLA Santa Monica and get an ultrasound and an x-ray to see if he had a blot clot or a fracture. We got there at 3:15 a.m. where they proceeded with the necessary tests and they did not find anything. They said they have never seen this type of swelling before. They called Dr. Tap and he basically said that he needs to start chemo as soon as possible, but I am assuming he will start Tues. (he has an appt. @ 9:00 a.m) or Wed. He has one more test to complete on Monday, which is the bone marrow biopsy and we have to be at UCLA Santa Monica Hospital at 5:30 a.m. with the procedure to start at 7:30 a.m. Again, Ground Hog Day! We got home at 7:15 a.m. today and I have only had about 4 hrs. of sleep, but it's amazing how adrenaline works! God has been so good to us and protected us through all of this and I am so grateful! I just count each day for what it is and you never know what the next minute brings with it. For now, here are my top five things I've learned in the past 3 weeks:

1. It is possible to get to the emergency room at UCLA Santa Monica in 28 mins. flat, if you are driving 90 miles an hr. at 3:00 a.m.

2. Always make sure you have water, some snacks, pain meds, pillows, a book and your make up packed at all times (and don't forget your eyebrow pencil!)

3. Parking on the street because you are trying to save $17 for parking everyday isn't worth it when the parking ticket you received is $47!!

4. Make sure you bring your Bible with you so when your friends text you a verse without writing it out, you can look it up and say "I needed that!"

And the most important one:
5. Always bring a friend or loved one with you for support!

Joshua 1:9
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."
Thank you Jennifer, for this verse:) Love you!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Got The Diagnosis Today

Today Vince had to have the port for chemo put into his chest today around 4 pm, a quick surgery done under anesthesia, at UCLA Westwood. We were home by 6:20 pm and Vince's port is on the left side of his chest, just under his collar bone (it's swollen and the size of a tennis ball cut in half). The dr. described it like putting a stack of quarters in there, looks more like a stack of silver dollars if you ask me..lol! Now his right arm and his left arm are both pretty much hurting. He is on some very strong drugs, Morphine and Vicodin and they barely numb his pain, so what does that tell you? Poor guy! The dr. said after chemo starts to shrink the tumor, that's when he should get some relief from the bone pain, and he can't wait!

On the way home Vince paged the dr. to ask him to increase his pain meds, which he did, and after he hung up, I asked Vince "so what did he say?" and he said, "he told me I have Ewing's Sarcoma." That was not what I was ready to hear, it was a surreal moment as I was driving on the 405 at 5 pm...thinking...."wow, did I just hear what I thought I heard?" Then Vince says, "I'm getting my a-- kicked!" I said, "now it's your turn to kick it's a--!" (pardon my language here, but it was shocking to hear it confirmed) So that's how we got the diagnosis today, but even though it's now confirmed and it's not the one we would have chosen for him between the two, at least now he is ready for chemo. He does have a few other tests to do before he starts. Tomorrow (Th) he will have a heart ultrasound at 8:45 a.m. in Westwood and then 9:30 a.m. he will have his staples removed in Santa Monica. Friday he is going to have a bone scan and I think on Monday he will have a bone marrow biopsy. So please continue to pray as each day has it's own trials. It changes moment by moment.

Vince is waking me up a few times a night in pain and I massage his back for about an hour at a time, then Bernadette takes her turn. It's so hard on him, but he is tough and we will all get through this together! Until my next blog, please stay safe and stay healthy and get your flu shot! We are all going to get ours so that Vince is protected and able to stay as healthy as possible! Again, I am extremely grateful to everyone reading this blog, and please know that YOU are an important part of Vince's healing (and ours as a family) Please feel free to email me at rondacapaldi@msn.com or leave a comment on this blog! We love to read them! God bless!

P.S. I have permission to use this photo! LOL! I would also like to welcome the Skater community! Thanks for checking on Vince!

Hebrews 11:1
Faith means being sure of the things we hope for.
And faith means knowing that something is real
even if we do not see it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Still Waiting

We went to the doctor today and met Vince's Oncologist. He is really young and super nice. Hi name is Dr. Tap. He told us that they still don't know which type of cancer it is between the two, but hopefully he will know by the end of the week. It is extremely important to watch the cells and how they divide, in order to make the final diagnosis and proper chemo treatments. In the meantime, Vince is having a port (an implanted vascular access device (VAD), such as an implanted catheter or port. VADs are surgically placed in a large vein near the heart and can stay in place for long periods of time. A VAD eliminates the need to have smaller catheters repeatedly placed in arm veins) put in tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. He is not looking forward to it, I can tell you that, but it is necessary. The doctor told us that he will start chemo sometime next week. He told us so much and I hope I got all this straight as it gets quite overwhelming, but from what I understand he will go to the doctors office for a visit, about 6 hrs. of chemo, back home for the night, come back the next day for fluids and tests and then have 2-3 weeks recovery time, then in the hospital for 5 days and then 2-3 weeks recovery. That cycle will happen 4 x. At the end of that treatment, depending on the final cancer diagnosis, he will have radiation to his arm before the surgery to replace the bone with a rod, then 8 mths. of chemo after that. If it's the other type of cancer then chemo and radiation will be enough and no surgery needed. Of course, that's the one we are hoping for. The doctor did say it would take about 1 yr. to get through this though. He also told us that only about 1,000 cases per year are diagnosed for this type of cancer (not sure which one he was talking about, but he said it is rare.)

He is also going to have a bone scan, ultrasound of his heart, and a bone marrow biopsy, and all, I am assuming before his treatment begins. Again, he is bummed about having those done...as I'm sure we would all be, but again, it's to save his life and we are trying to keep him positive and look ahead to the goal. He said he will take it one day at a time. I think that's a great idea, since everyday the last two weeks has been filled with different obstacles each and every day and we never know what is going to happen, but he is doing great and I am so proud of him for handling this the way he has! Some days I know he is feeling better because he gets a bit grouchy with me and I am actually very happy about that! Now, that's my Vince! LOL!

I know that so many of you have been non-stop praying for Vince and my heart is so full of joy to know that God has placed each one of you ever so perfectly in our lives at this very moment and that gives us such a peace. Thank you again to those who have texted me at the very moment we are in the middle of waiting for a visit with the perfect Bible verse or prayer or encouragement. I am always sharing them with Vince, Bernadette and Jim and what a blessing to know we have YOU behind us!

God bless!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Mom's Birthday

My birthday was on Wed. and it was a tough one to celebrate since my heart was so heavy, but joy comes in the morning and I am just grateful to have been able to share it with my family! Grandma Char and Uncle Michael (Jim's Brother) came to visit and brought Cupid's Hot Dogs and Cheesecake! YUM! Thank you to my mom & dad for always being there for me! Thank you to all of my family and sweet wonderful friends, who texted me, emailed me, Facebooked me, called me, thank you to my staff at church who prayed with me, Vicki who made me a lemon cake with the least amount of lumps as possible (a true friend indeed!) Jim loved that cake and ate THE WHOLE THING! LOL! Thank you to my Long Canyon Ladies for their wonderful gift, which I will use soon! Thank you to everyone who made my day a little bit brighter...I needed that! God bless!

A special thank you to Ashlee, Andy & family for sending the awesome candy basket to Vince! What a treat! It's actually getting a lot of use by Jim! He is our candy-o-holic! LOL!

A friend loves at all times. Proverbs 17:17

Friday, September 19, 2008

Praising God!

Vince's appointment yesterday gave us some answers, and the one HUGE thing that we did find out is that the cancer has not spread!!! My heart was full of joy when I heard that, and I am thanking Jesus! But, the doctor did say that he has a small spot on his lung, which he said could be an infection, but they don't really know as of yet. We are trusting God through this as well. Our doctor isn't the most "warm & fuzzy" type, which we were warned in advance about, and he is a tough one to get info from because he doesn't really know the answers himself at this point. He says, "when I find out I will let you know"...which seems as though it's taken a year to get to this point, but it's been 2 weeks today since we found out that Vince had the 90% chance of cancer. Everything has seemed so surreal and unbelievable, but it's our reality and I am learning that it's not easy, but we are determined to see healing in Vince's body in the name of Jesus!!! He is our hope!

At this point the doctors still don't know which type of cancer it is. The two types are Bone Lymphoma or Ewing's Sarcoma. From what we understand, if he has Lymphoma, that can be treated with Chemo & Radiation and that's it, but, if it is Ewing's, he would have to have Chemo, Radiation & Surgery. The surgery would involve replacing the bone with a rod, or in 6% of cases, amputation. Either way, he will need Chemo & Radiation for the first 3 mths. So Vince has an appt. on Tues. @ 7:30 a.m. at UCLA Westwood to see an Oncologist to start treatment. We were told that he would have treatment 1 week in the hospital and then 3 weeks off, for 3 mths., but until we talk to the Oncologist we won't know for sure what the plan is.

Yesterday they removed all the bandages and took out the drain and boy were we surprised to see how big the incision was! Here is a photo! Vince's arm is a bit sore from the doctor picking up the muscles off the bone and moving them to get to the bone for the biopsy! OUCH! But, considering all he has been through, the pain is so much less than it has been in 6 mths! As soon as we were done the doctor had us go downstairs to the MRI dept. where he had to have yet another MRI. The doctor said that they didn't get enough of his lower humerous in the MRI on Saturday so they had to re-do it (he assured us he wouldn't be charged for it..yeah sure..we'll see if we get a bill).

Vince came out without any pain!! Thank you God for getting him to this point and feeling so good! We know the road ahead isn't going to be easy, but we are prepared! Vince just wants to get it over with and onto recovery!!

So at this point we are on hold until Tuesday. Please pray that the spot on his lung is just an infection and that the antibiotics that he is on right now will clear that up and we are also praying that this is not Ewing's! Pray that his pain will be minimal and that Chemo & Radiation will be as easy as possible for Vince without all those side effects that you always hear about. Thank you my prayer warriors! God bless!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Taking A Break For A Few Days

I just want to say thank you so much to everyone out there who is praying for Vince. Your prayers will not be forgotten by our Lord in Heaven! Please continue to pray. We are taking a break for the next few days until we can process all the information and future chemo treatments for Vince. We know that you will understand and we are so grateful to have an army of warriors behind us, helping us fight this battle! God bless each and everyone of you! Please read all posts for today...there are a few:)

The Whole Armor of God
A final word: Be strong with the Lord's mighty power. Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil. For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms. Use every piece of God's armor to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that you will be fully prepared. In every battle you will need faith as your shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed at you by Satan. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray at all times and on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all Christians everywhere.
Ephesians 6:10-18

PSALM 139-thank you Judy!

O Lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my every thought when far away.
You chart the path ahead of me
and tell me where to stop and rest.
Every moment you know where I am.
You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, Lord.
You both precede and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to know!
I can never escape from your spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the place of the dead, you are there.
If I ride the wings of the morning,
if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support me.
I could ask the darkness to hide me
and the light around me to become night
but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
Darkness and light are both alike to you.
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother's womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous-and how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
How precious are your thoughts about me, O God!
They are innumerable!
I can't even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up in the morning,
you are still with me!
O God, if only you would destroy the wicked!
Get out of my life, you murderers!
They blaspheme you;
your enemies take your name in vain.
O Lord, shouldn't I hate those who hate you?
Shouldn't I despise those who resist you?
Yes, I hate them with complete hatred,
for your enemies are my enemies.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

Tomorrow Morning

I decided to take a 24 hr. break from my computer today, so that's why I am just now posting this. The lack of sleep is getting to me, but I am going to bed early tonight after we have Cupid's hot dogs for my birthday dinner! Thank you Grandma Charlotte!

Vince has a doctor appt. tomorrow at UCLA @ 8:00 a.m. He will take the drain out of his arm and also give us some of the results. I am asking for BIG prayers as we hear the news of what type of cancer it is. I know that whatever the outcome that GOD IS BIG and he can carry us through this! I am just going to stay positive and fill my mind with God's word because "We can do all things through Christ who strengthens US!" Vince is feeling kind of yucky today because they changed his meds, but he said he doesn't think he really even needs them, but we have a new one just in case. He has been battling a slight fever, but the dr. said he should be ok and we will see him in the morning. Pray for sleep for ALL of us so that we can be rested for the appt. Love you all! Blessings to each one of you and your families, hug them a little tighter tonight for me! God bless!

Matthew 8:17 in order that what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, "He Himself took our infirmities, and carried away our diseases."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Vince is doing really great! It's been 12 hrs. since he got into his room and we are outta here!!! We will be home by 1:30 p.m. maybe sooner! He goes back on Thursday morning to get the drain taken out and the dr. seems to think he will have more information for us. Prayers are our strength! We have certainly kept everyone busy in prayer, but also know that you are also being prayed for as well! I have received so many emails about your trials and each one is important and being lifted up to Jesus for healing and comfort, too! We are all in this together! God bless!
P.S. Hey..no tears this time!
Don't you think he looks thrilled! LOL! Poor guy, it's torture having a blogging mom!

The Midnight Hour

Well, here we are (Bernadette & I are spending the night) sitting in Vincent's hospital room at UCLA Medical Center. I am truly blessed by all your emails, texts, phones calls, encouragement, & prayers. Every time, no matter how I was feeling, since this is an emotional roller coaster, you would send a text, email or call me at the moment that I really needed a boost! I am wondering how many of us start to email, text or call someone and start to proceed with it and think, "ah...they don't want to hear from me, what can I say to them they don't already know?" Well, guess what? I couldn't be as strong as I am without you, because you did listen to what God was prompting you to do and in return blessed me and my family and I am so grateful. Throughout the days, especially today, I would read them to Bernadette and Vince and even though Vince was in horrible pain while I read them, he would listen. God's word is alive and powerful and I believe that with all of my heart!

I am actually quite drained as I am writing this, since Vince had a bad night prior to his surgery and all those horrible tests he had to go through, which broke my heart (and Bernadette's) into a million pieces as he came out more than visibly upset than the other day, which makes it even more difficult to see joy in his suffering, but we serve a mighty God who lifts us when we can't walk on our own and I know that Vince had to endure 2 hrs. of scans today with his arms over his head and drink radioactive chalky, yucky, horrible stuff in order to do those tests that are going to help save his life, and I saw God pick him up and get him through this, when he couldn't do it on his own! I'm sure if you are a parent, you will be able to relate to me on this one....I wanted to run into that room and scoop him up and run!!!! I hate this! I am not mad at God, but I want to save my son from pain, but pain is not an option here, but I know that without pain we would not depend on God to help us and then how could we help others when they are in pain? I see it as a "pay it forward" type thing!

Vince's surgery was about 2 1/2 hrs. long and that's just for a biopsy. We kept waiting and waiting, it was only supposed to be about 2 at the most and finally Jim and I went to the surgery area and asked about him and they said he just got into recovery at that very moment. The doctor called on my cell about 1/2 hr. later and we met him outside in the hall. He proceeded to tell us that it was cancer....cancer...I hate that word! I am just going to say that I know that Vince is going to beat this cancer and be healed in the name of Jesus! Ok..now on with what he said to us. He doesn't have all the tests back as of yet and is waiting to see which type it is. I won't go into details until we find out which type, and what his treatment will be for the 2 options, but no matter what he has to have chemo for 3 mths.

Now, the hard part...telling our kids & our family. Mindy, Mikemo, Veronica, Bernadette, Piper, Brian & Chiara all came into the hallway outside of Vinces' room and as they were getting him comfortable, I knew someone would ask, "is it cancer?" and I was kind of frozen, thinking do I really have to say it? The look in my eyes wasn't reassuring to my kids one bit! They just kind of looked at me and then Bernadette broke down sobbing. Her tears would not stop for such long time. Her heart was broken, and so were ours. I know that each of us responds differently, some mad, some sad, some numb, some scared...maybe all those things rolled into one. I also know that it will hit us when we least expect it and that's ok...we just need to get it out and talk about it.

Please keep your prayers coming and all the emails and texts and calls...it keeps us lifted up! I feel like I am living in someone else's life right now and can't believe that all this is happening! But, because I love Jesus so much, my heart is at peace and I know that He is in charge and there is not much I can do other that trust in His perfect plan!
I am going to sleep next to Bernadette tonight on a 3 x 6 (ins. hahaha) cot tonight, so I will blog tomorrow, providing I don't fall onto my computer in the middle of the night and break it, to let you know how Vince is doing, but right now he has zero pain and looks better than he has in quite awhile! Praise God and to God be the glory!! Love you all!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Our Verse For The Day

Proverbs 4:20-22
My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Vince & Bernadette's Birthday Celebration

Tonight we had a small celebration for Vince & Bernadette's birthdays! He is 21 & she is 19! I wanted to post these photos so you could see his arm and how swollen it is. It's his right arm, but it would be the left one in the photo. It's hard for him to lift his arm and it's got a fever in it. Most of the swelling is probably from the needle biopsy last Wed. They stuck a huge needle in it, he says it was the size of a screwdriver, nice visualization, huh? and moved it side to side and hit a nerve! OUCH! Poor guy...I can't even imagine how he has suffered through this for 6 mths. and not had any relief!!! Now the pain is moving up to his shoulder and down to his wrist. I can't wait for him to get that relief and he is very anxious to just get on with it! He will be taking heavy drugs for the scans and will need lots of prayers to get through them! If you can remember, please pray for him around 10:30 a.m (CT Scan, only 15 mins.) and then again around 12:30 p.m. for the PET Scan (about 30 mins. or so) and then we will go to the hospital across the street and register him to stay in the hospital overnight for his biopsy, but we don't know what time he is scheduled for surgery, I guess we'll find out soon enough! He has a hard time holding his arm in one place for more than a few mins. and that is why the MRI was so difficult.

I want you to know to you, yes you reading this blog, are extremely important to us and the fact that you care enough for Vince and our family and that you keep checking back to hear from me on how he & we are all doing is so comforting and we are all so grateful! I know how much he is loved just by the responses we are getting! God bless...until next time...be safe and be healthy!!!

P.S. The Metro Link crash was so horrible and I am praying for all those and their loved ones involved...including my friends, The Sepe's & the Pratts & others who we know who knew people who died. Prayers are being lifted up!!!

One Day At A Time

Yesterday was a very tough day for all of us, especially Vince of course. It started out with that trip to the E.R. at 3:00 a.m, but I could feel God's guidance the entire way. We were thinking we would take him to Simi Valley Hospital, which is 10 mins. away, but I called ahead of time to speak to the E.R. nurse and without saying too much (she isn't allowed to give medical advice) said that it might be best if we went to UCLA E.R. (45 mins. away) just because he was scheduled for the MRI that same morning. I called UCLA to see what they thought and it was the same answer. We drove there as fast as we could, knowing that Vince was laying down in the backseat with Bernadette comforting him, but he was in so much pain. I just prayed the whole time as Jim drove and it seems like the longest drive of my life! I kept praying, Jesus get us there quick, just get us there quick! He spoke to me and told me, "I'm carving a way, I'm carving a way, I'm carving a way"! I knew he would and trusted HIS comfort! We got there in 30 mins. and not one person was in there, except some homeless man roaming around, so they took us in right away! He got registered and got a pain killer (Morphine) and we were on our way back home in about an hour! How cool was that! Piper, our cousin who is a dr. at UCLA, said that is a miracle in itself...that E.R. is never empty like that, especially at that hour on a weekend!

They gave Vince prescription for a medication stronger than Morphine, and that seems to help him but not as much as he would like. Got home at 5:00 a.m.

I have to say this real quick! Veronica just texted me as I am in the middle of sharing this and she is on her way back from Laughlin with her friend Lya's family and she said that she in is the car and hasn't looked up in about 30 mins. and when she did a big rig passed by and on the side of the truck it said, "Jesus Christ is Lord"! I love how HE give us comfort by those things he sends to us! He does care for us and if we would just pay attention we would see HIM everywhere, not just at church or in a picture! I am filled with joy, knowing that He is sending Veronica that comfort as she is also worried about her big brother! Thank you Jesus for loving us in ways we aren't even aware of until we look! I picture Jesus waving to Veronica as the truck passed by...how cool is that!

Vince's MRI was schedule for 11:00 a.m. so we got a few hrs. of sleep before we had to leave, but I had to first get his prescription filled. If anyone knows of a 24 hr. pharmacy that's close by, please let me know! I found out that none of them open until 10:00 a.m. (on the weekends) except a few. One of them was Rite Aid, which opens at 9:00 a.m., so I left the house 20 mins. early and thank you God that I did, because with everything going on with Vince, I didn't realize it was the day of the Simi Valley Days parade! Of course they blocked off all the streets to the store and I was re-routed! I was so upset! I was driving and praying, "Lord! Lead me to the right place, please lead me!" I drove to Von's and they open at 10:00 a.m., I almost started to cry at that point, but kept trusting the God had a plan! I drove to Albertson's and they opened at 9:00!!! I got there a few mins. early so I was the only one waiting and in walked the Pharmacist and she saw me standing there and said 'hi' to me and it was like she was there for only ME! I told her my story and she was my angel for the day! Her name is Shoula and we hugged as I left and I know that God was guiding me in this situation, too!

It might seem like small stuff to a lot of people, but to me GOD is BIG and HE cares for US all in ways we sometimes ignore and write off as coincidence, but I believe there is no such thing...it's God-incidence's that I see!

Sorry about the long post, but I am so thankful & grateful for all the comfort that I am getting from God, that I just have to share it! Skip to the bottom of this post if you don't want to read the details...sorry about that if you aren't a detail person (like my husband, LOL!), but I love talking about the details because that's where I can see God working!

We finally got to the MRI room and Vince wanted to lay on the floor in the waiting room, so they were so nice and brought out a gurney for him to lay on, which was such a blessing! He scan was postponed about a 1/2 hr. due to an emergency MRI on a baby. His mom sat next to me and she was crying, and I felt her pain. She did not speak very good English, but I told her I was praying for her baby and gave her a hug...she said "thank you" and cried some more. I offered her some water and a fiber bar, and she was so thankful. A few mins. later they called her in, wheeled her out with her baby in her arms and she looked at me and we said goodbye. God is so good and we are able to comfort others in our own trials as well, because we know HE is working in us & through us, and not just for US, but those HE sends to US.

Vince came out and he was visibly upset (which broke our hearts) and felt as though he would not be able to go forward with his other tests on Monday. I've called the doctor so he is aware of Vince's feelings and we are looking into having him heavily sedated for the scans on Monday, otherwise they will postpone the scans for another day, but they will do the core biopsy for sure on Monday and he will be spending the night there. After we got home is was running a slight fever, gave him Tylenol and his pain killers and he is feeling so much better today! Thank you Jesus! He still has pain, but he looks better today and we are going to celebrate his and Bernadette's birthday (hers was yesterday) today!

Your prayers are so important to us and they are working! Thank you so much to all those who are emailing, texting, calling and Facebooking! They are my strength throughout each day, which I am able to give to Vince & my family!

2Cr 1:4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Emergency Room Visit

This morning at 3:00 a.m. we were at UCLA Hospital because Vince was in so much pain. I will post about this later, but please pray for him, he is now on a drug stronger than Morphine, so that will help him tremendously. We are leaving in a few mins. for his 11:00 MRI, so at least he will be drugged! I do feel God guiding me along this journey, it's a painful one but I trust HIM!! God bless!!!

Friday, September 12, 2008


I just got a call from the MRI department and they had a cancellation, so Vince will be having it at 11:00 a.m. tomorrow instead of 3:30. Thanks again for your prayers!

Biopsy Update

We found out around 11:00 a.m. that the biopsy report came back inconclusive. Vince will have to have a "core biopsy" on Monday after his scans and will be staying overnight at UCLA Hospital in Santa Monica. He is not a happy camper! His pain was pretty bad last night and is now radiating down below his elbow. Just to let you know, he has only been taking Advil for about the last month or so, since nothing really seemed to work for him, not even strong prescription drugs, so that tells me he has a huge pain tolerance and he is a fighter!! I am calling to dr. today to see if they can prescribe him something and hopefully he will have a little relief for the weekend. I will blog tomorrow after we get home from his MRI to let you know how that went. Until then, whatever it is in your life that you are battling with at this very moment, just remember that Jesus died for you, so that you can have eternal life with HIM and that NOTHING is more important that knowing HIM as your Savior! Our family is a living testimony of HIS mercy and grace!

Our God Is Mighty To Save!!!

John 3:17 & 17
16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.

Thought This Was Perfect For Today

September 12, 2008

I rejoice, because I have perfect confidence in you.

--2 Corinthians 7:16

More than likely, you'd like to pray with more confidence.

If so, remember that to pray with confidence, we must pray with concern, we must pray with confession, and we must pray with conviction.

What does it mean to pray with conviction? In Nehemiah 1:5-6, Nehemiah prays, "O LORD God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant...."

In this passage, Nehemiah is praying with conviction because he knows that his God is in control.

When it seemed like everything was out of control in Jerusalem, Nehemiah knew that God was still on His throne. Nehemiah knew that the Lord would answer his prayer because He was a great and awesome God. Because He was a wonderful God. Because He was a faithful God. Because He was a God who could meet all of Nehemiah's needs.

And in just the same way, God can handle any problem in your life. Do you believe that today?

God is bigger and greater than any situation or crisis in your life. And the first thing Nehemiah did is the first thing that you ought to do when you have a problem, a crisis, or a need: You need to turn it over to God. You need to give it to God, not as your last chance, but as your first choice!

When you know God's place, you can find your place in the work of Jesus Christ. When you know that God is above all and that He has everything under control... and when you know that your place is surrendered under the lordship of Christ, then you can find your place and know your prayers will be answered!


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Appointments Are Scheduled

I just got off of the phone with the dr's office and they scheduled Vince's scans.

MRI on Saturday @ 10:30 a.m. at UCLA Hospital
CT Scan
, PET Scan & blood work on Monday @ 10:00 a.m. at UCLA Medical

I am glad that things are moving along and that he will be getting treatment as soon as he can. Thank you for praying in advance for him as he gets these tests done. Saturday won't be as long as Monday, but if you've ever had to get one of these scans done, you know how hard they are to go through. He will be taking a sedative before the scans, so that will help to relax him. Monday's scans will take about 2-4 hrs.
Love you all!

Matthew 15:30 Then great multitudes came to Him, having with them those who were lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others; and they laid them down at Jesus' feet, and He healed them.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It Was A Tough Day Today

We saw the bone specialist today at UCLA and they were so efficient, which was such a breath of fresh air. The doctor was really thorough and ordered quite a few tests for Vince. Today he had a chest x-ray, blood tests, x-ray of his arm and a CT guided biopsy. The biopsy was a needle biopsy which was very painful for him and he said he thought they hit a nerve, or at least that's what it felt like, but it only took about 10 mins. We couldn't believe how quick they were! He is so tough and strong and I am so impressed with his ability to endure! My heart breaks as a mom and today it was an emotional day for all of us, but it was extremely tough on me because that's my baby! I'm sure all you moms can relate to that one! On Monday or Tuesday of next week (hopefully) he will have a CT Scan, MRI, and a PET Scan all in one day. He is really just looking forward to getting on with his recovery. The results from the tests today will take about 3-5 days to get the results, so in the meantime, we are praying, waiting, and living life as normal as possible.

As I was waiting for Vince to get his tests done, and seeing Bernadette and Jim sitting across from me, I started to get flashbacks from Nov. 1999 when Jim was diagnosed with kidney cancer and how much hope we had for him, and as things moved along I would watch his character and how God was shaping him, and I saw that same thing in Vince today. It's quite strange to think that my husband and my son are going through such similar trials, in less than 9 yrs.! I am holding onto hope, and I know that God is in charge and that gives me a peace that surpasses all understanding!

It's so wonderful that so many of you sent encouraging emails & texts (especially Susy & Jennifer, who offered to come to UCLA and pray & wait by my side:) and phone calls (tons of calls from grandparents:)...which we appreciate so much! Now if I could just read the emails without crying my head off!!! LOL!!

Thank you to Mindy (sister) and Rachel (Mikemo's girlfriend) for decorating the house & Vincent's room with ballons and streamers and cleaning Vince's room! (that was a huge job:)

A God-thing happened today! A woman that works Jim and is following this blog, emailed Jim tonight and told us she was at back to school night at her childs school...her email said that she was talking to a lady who is a nurse in the O.R. at UCLA and then she said "Is Vince's doctor Dr. Eckhardt?" Well...guess what! It is!! How cool is that! What do you think the chances are that she would meet that nurse! I'd say pretty slim! But, I believe that God uses people to give us comfort and he is using Debbie as that person! Thank you Debbie! Debbie has 2 young boys that also skateboard and they are our boy's biggest fans! God is so good!

Oh..and special thank you to the Sepe Family for bringing homemade chocolate chip cookies (thank you Lisa!) and a gift certificate to Vince's favorite restaraunt, Millie's!!! You rock!

I will close for tonight by saying, thank you Jesus for all the people that you have sent to us at this time...Piper, Dr. Federman, Dr. Eckardt, Dr. Justice, our families as well as our church families all over the country and world, as Vince is probably on hundreds of prayer lists by now! God is at work, so watch out!!! Good night!

Happy 21st Birthday, Vince!

Today is Vince's 21st Birthday! If you would like to send birthday wishes, please click the comment button below or you can email me at rondacapaldi@msn.com.

We are taking our computer with us today to UCLA since we will probably be there most of the day! If you could send us your favorite scriptures we can read them throughout the day for encouragement! Thank you so much for all your prayers! We are so blessed and grateful for them!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Vince's girlfriend, Bernadette (isn't she beautiful) has been living in Oregon since Jan. with her dad and she is coming over any minute to be with Vince until Saturday! We are so excited that she is coming and I know that Vince missed her so much (as we did, too!). She will be a great comfort to him tomorrow when we go to the dr. He isn't feeling very good at the moment, feels nauseous, but doesn't have a fever, but I'm sure the stress he has had in the past 5 days is no help! Mindy isn't feeling good either and I started to feel kind of sick myself....I guess we all need to relax and slow our minds down and trust that God is in control :)
Please pray for Vince to have a good nights sleep and feel rested in the morning. God bless you all!


I am so happy to report that Vince finally has an appt. tomorrow at 10:30 a.m at UCLA! There is a possibility that he will be having a bone biopsy tomorrow, but they won't know until they actually look at the MRI's. So please pray for him as he prepares to see the doctor! I will update tomorrow evening, so until then....thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your love and prayers for my precious son!!!! God bless!

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6 & 7

Daily Devotion I Read This Morning

September 9, 2008

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.

--2 Timothy 3:16

In Ephesians 6:10-12, the apostle Paul reminds us that you and I are in a daily battle against evil.

He says, "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places."

Putting on the "armor of God" includes taking up the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Becoming a fully committed follower of the Lord Jesus Christ begins by picking up your sword each day!

As we see in today's verse, the Bible is not a human book. It's a God-given book! And it is sufficient for your every need.

That's why I want to encourage you to have a daily time of devotion and discipline where you open God's Word and ask God to speak to you through the Scriptures.

I want to also encourage you to take your Bible with you when you gather with other believers in worship. And take a pen with you so you can underline or highlight some Scriptures, take a few notes, and really engage.

Taking up the sword of the Spirit each day is the only way you'll be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might, able to withstand the attacks of our enemy, the devil.

It's the only way you'll be able to stand strong in the spiritual battle you face every day!


Monday, September 8, 2008

Still Waiting

Today was another long day that we just spent waiting. We decided to use the doctor that Piper (Jim's cousin who is a doctor) recommended. Dr. Justice agreed that he is the best doctor for Vince. There is only one problem and it's not a huge problem, but he may not be able to do his biopsy until next week. Unfortunately, he will be out of town starting Th. Why, we ask? I do think that the Lord is teaching us patience!

James 1:2-4
Profiting from Trials
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

Patience...yuk! I want it now! Isn't that how we all feel when we want it our way? I am trusting that God has a handle on this situation and I will hold on to that. But, tomorrow brings new things and I am looking forward to getting more information about our next step. I just want Vince to feel some relief and get this started and on the road to recovery! No parent likes to see their child in pain, no matter how old that child is! :) I will update tomorrow as I am hoping th
at we will have a set appt. The ideal would be to have the biopsy done on Wed. Sept. 10th (Vince's 21st Birthday!) or next Wed. Sept. 17th (my Birthday!) Please be praying for this week!

We have seen some odd things about his case and it
not being diagnosed sooner, so my advice to you is...if you have that nagging feeling that something just isn't quite right with you or your loved ones or even your friends....stay persistent and don't take no for an answer! This is the 2nd time that we have had this situation in our family...Jim (Vince's dad) & Vince....that's 2 too many!! Just a little venting here as I am a bit frustrated...LOL!

I just want to thank Piper (here is her Dr. husband, Brian & her adorable daughter, Chiara) a million times over for talking to me on the phone for hours helping me get through this and being my personal assistant & doctor all in one! She is not only beautiful, but extremely smart and caring and pro-active! Thank you, Piper!!! You are my angel!!!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Heard Some Good News!

It's about 5:30 pm on Sunday. We just got off of the phone with Jim's Oncologist and he was and always has been extremely positive. He said that the cure rate IF it is bone cancer is right around 80-85% chance, which is great news and that's IF it is the worst case scenario. He said there is still a small chance that it is benign (love that word) and we won't know for sure until he has a bone biopsy, which will be done in one of two ways...open biopsy or a core biopsy. He explained them to us but of course we will look it up on the internet to check it out further. He is hoping to get that done within 48 hrs. from tomorrow, if possible. He is going to find us THE best surgeon for this type of cancer (he has only seen about 50 of these cases in his 38 yrs. of practice), but, he is extremely optimistic for cure! The Lord has given us such a peace about this and Vince is just ready to get it started so that his pain will eventually go away, although he knows it won't be easy, especially if he has to go through chemo & radiation. But, he is ready. Dr. Justice said that this is a fast growing cancer (if it is cancer) and that chemo attacks those types of cancers very aggressively. That sounds good to us! He said that we are going to get through this "as a family unit" and that he will be talking with us a lot as we take this journey. He will monitor Vince ever so closely. We gave Dr. Justice the name of the dr. that was recommended to us by the orthopedic and also by Jim's cousin, Piper (she is a dr. at UCLA & a friend of the specialist) and said they were great dr.'s and highly recommends them as well, but we are still trusting that he will check them out and if there happens to be someone even better than they are, we will take that route, but for now they are at the top of the list. Tomorrow we will spend the day tracking down all the MRI's and X-Rays that Vince has had done in the past 5 mths. and collecting them all to take to our first appt. so that they can determine even more about his case. All of the prayers we have received are being felt big time! Thank you to everyone...Vince is dearly loved by all!! More posts tomorrow! God bless!

Waiting & waiting some more....

Today we have been waiting to hear from an Oncologist that my husband Jim has been going to since Nov. 1999, to help us navigate our way to a cure for Vince. Jim was diagnosed with Kidney Cancer at that time and has had the best possible outcome, surgery, no chemo or radiation and has been cancer free for almost 9 yrs! Praise Jesus! We are grateful that the Lord has prepared us in advance for what we are going through at this present time, it does make it a little easier to deal with, even though it's not easy in any way, but we are strong and we know that we will get through this as a family and be that much stronger because of it.

We have had so many phone calls and emails and we are so grateful to everyone for their love, support and most of all their prayers! I will update this as soon as I find out when we are going to go to the dr. and where. We will either be at USC or UCLA, depending on the information we find out tonight. We have 2 sources that we strongly connected to and both of them are so amazing and wonderful! (thank you, Piper)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

As some of you know, our son Vince has been having problems with his arm. They found a mass on his bicep and we did hear from the dr. last night about the MRI results. Unfortunately it's not good news, I wish it was. He has bone cancer (90% chance) in his arm. We are going to a bone specialist (oncologist) next week and they will most likely be doing a bone biopsy as the first step. We are going through a range of emotions and are trying to process the news, as I am sure you are as you read this email. My husband had kidney cancer 8 1/2 yrs. ago, so we feel like we have the best doctors possible to help cure our son. Vince will be 21 yrs. old on Wed. Sept. 10th. This birthday will mean more than ever to all of us as we celebrate this milestone in his life. We are trusting that Jesus will hold us close as we go through this trial. Please feel free to email me with any questions or bits of wisdom, as well as ask others to pray for us. The Lord is in charge and more than ever we realize how precious life is. I'm so glad that I am able to have you in my life for support and prayers. I will be updating with a blog as soon as I find out any other information, but for now, we, as a family, want to enjoy our weekend as we prepare for next week. God bless each of you and again, thank you for your prayers, they are much appreciated!
Psalm 55:17
Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, And
He shall hear my voice.