Monday, March 30, 2009

Happy 19th Birthday, Mikemo!










We celebrated Mikemo's 19th birthday on Friday at Golf N Stuff and boy doesn't everyone look thrilled! LOL! The darker picture is in front of Wood Ranch BBQ, where we went for dinner. Actually, everyone did have fun, they just don't like when I take pictures, but too bad, that's what mom's are for:)

Vince has an appointment tomorrow with the Oncologist and we will find out when he is having surgery. He has done so GREAT this round of chemo! He was out playing basketball and skateboarding a few days later and resting when his body tells him to. After every chemo he has to have a shot approx. 24 hrs. later and I just found out that the shot costs $6,600!!! Mulitiply that by 17 chemos over the next year, and it will have cost $112,200 just for shots! All I can say is how grateful we are for insurance! I will update tomorrow after we get home! Keep the prayers flowing! God is listening!

This is the confidence we have in approaching God; that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
1 John 5:14

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Surprise Visitors!










Vince had some surprise visitors tonight! Mikemo, Eric, Ty and Chris all stopped by to give Vince some support! Thank you for visiting and making him smile!

One Day Left!

It's day 5 of chemo and 1 day to go! Vince has felt so good this round and he has just breezed through it, and slept through most of it! I know that your prayers are working because of how good he is doing! Thank you!

I am going to sound like a broken record, but each day things change and you never know what you will hear from the doctors. Vince had an xray on his back two days ago, he was feeling a little bit of pain for the last month so the surgeon had him get an MRI last night and today we heard that both of them came back "pristine"! That's such great news! Whoo Hoo!!

The surgeon told us a few days ago that Vince may have to have another round of chemo before the surgery and then I saw him today in the hallway and he said that now they may do the surgery in 2 weeks. So, we aren't really making any plans yet, since things are still up in the air. He did say that Vince's tumor was almost as long as the whole humerus bone and really close to his elbow. He is going to do his best to try to save part of the bone so that he won't have to have a complete bone replacement, joint to joint, so that he will have better mobility in his elbow. Of course, he really won't know until he actually does the surgery, but just wanted us to know of the possibility. We are hoping that once he gets in there that he will find it even better than he thought! So, that's our prayer request for now:)

We are looking forward to coming home tomorrow and sleeping in our own beds! We probably won't be home until around 5 pm, but at least we will get out of here tomorrow!

God bless:)

They raise their voices, they shout for joy; from the west they acclaim the LORD'S majesty.
Isaiah 24:14

Friday, March 20, 2009

4th Chemo~Day 4

Here is a photo of Vince on Tuesday when we arrived at the hospital. He is so handsome with all that hair! It did change color a bit, not as red, but the beard stayed the same. It should be interesting to see it in about a year when it grows back again for the 2nd time:) Could be blonde and curly or dark and straight! They say you never know!

Vince has been feeling pretty good, he does sleep quite a bit, which is the best way to get through this. He has been able to get unhooked from the chemo machine for 2 hrs. per day and I really do think that is what is making it so much easier for him to endure. He feels so much better because of it! Thank you Dr. Tap for allowing him to do that!

Each time he has chemo we have things that change, for instance, this time he is on insulin and blood thinners, which he didn't have any other time. They said that because of the steroids that your insulin level goes up and that's why you need the shot. They don't want patients to get blood clots from laying around and that's why he has blood thinners. So, why didn't he get that stuff last time? Who knows? Maybe each time is just different, depending on how your body responds to certain things. It's such a learning experience, and one that I would rather not have to deal with EVER! But, it's not that way. So I take it in and educate myself so that I can be pro-active and learn what works best for my son.

I posted a list of other Ewing's patients to the right side of the blog. A wonderful woman named Andrea put the list together. She is starting a foundation to help fight Sarcoma and someday soon I will post her website as soon as it's up and running. Thank you, Andrea! You are truly a blessing to all! It's an overwhelming list of people, ranging from age 2 & older. Some have passed away and others are suffering big time, so please keep them in your prayers, too. Cancer is a ugly disease, but each year the odds of cure get more and more encouraging!

When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. Matthew 14:14

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day/Happy Birthday, Gianni/Chemo Started Late



We got to the hospital at 10:00 a.m. They put Vince in a giant room w/an extra bed, then to our disappointment said that they could either add a roommate or move us to a private room. We took the private room, which is the size of a matchbox, so we are all close and comfy with our cot and fold out chair! Of course, the old lady that I am I took the cot! Bernadette is spending a few nights with us and I gave her the fold out chair which is as hard as a brick, sorry Bernadette :) Jim and Veronica were here for about 5 hrs. and will come back tomorrow. It's 9:30 pm and they just started Vince's chemo about an hour ago, and it is estimated that he will go home on Sunday rather than Saturday. That's what happens when you get a late start! Oh, well! I will soak up the quality time that I can spend with my family and there is nothing better than that! I will update soon! God bless!

Happy 11th Birthday to my grandson, Gianni! He had a fun-filled day at Disneyland with his mom and dad today! I love you more!!! LOL!

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Psalms 118:1

Monday, March 16, 2009

Chemo Tuesday

Please pray for Vince tomorrow as he starts his 4th chemo. He will be in the hospital for 5 days. He will be able to have 2 hrs. free each day without the "ball and chain"! Thank you for all your prayers and wonderful words of encouragement for Vince. He will be able to get through each day a little easier because of all the love and support from each one of you!


From the heart of a mom, I THANK YOU!!


Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever!
Deuteronomy 5:29

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Quick Get-A-Way

Today Vince and Mikemo flew to Sacramento to hang out with Brandon Biebel at a skate demo. Tomorrow the 3 of them will fly back here and go to a Laker game! I am so glad they got to get away this weekend before his chemo starts next week!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Vince and Mikemo on the Crail Couch

Vince and Mikemo on the "Crail Couch" Vince does say the "F" word so beware before you show it to your little ones. And by the way, Mikmeo did apologize to me for what he said, but they cut that part out...maybe they'll re-edit it for me:) and then I can show you that one...LOL!


video

Chemo Postponed Until Next Week!

The doctor will postpone Vince's chemo until next week! We are so excited that he and Mikemo will go to the Laker game on Sunday! We are not sure exactly which day, but they will call us to let us know. We are hoping for Tuesday, which is my grandson, Gianni's 11th birthday:)

Vince talked to the doctor about his anxiety about being in the hospital for 5 days hooked up to the dreaded "chemo on wheels machine" for 24 hrs. per day, which the nurse described as a "ball and chain". What a perfect visual, now I am thinking I could get Vince some black and white striped p.j.'s...LOL! A little warped, I know...but hey...you have to have a sense of humor through this ordeal! After all, laughter does the heart tons of good!

Vince said that if he could just be free from the machine for a few hrs. each day so that he can walk around the hospital and even just walk outside to get some fresh air, that it would be so much easier to deal with. Dr. Tap said that he could definitely do that for him! We are so excited! His actual chemo lasts anywhere from 6-8 hrs. per day and hydration for 24 hrs. along with a medicine to protect his bladder from the affects of chemo, but Dr. Tap said that he could work it out that he could be free for two hrs. per day! That will make a HUGE difference for him and renew him each day!

A big part of having to go through all of this is really finding the things that work best for you. It is so important to ask questions and fight for want you need and want. We are always trying to adjust to whatever he has to deal with and then figure out the best plan so he is as comfortable as possible. The smell of the hospital room, mostly the "alcohol smell" is the hardest thing to battle. We found some battery operated candles that will hopefully help him mask the smell. It's all a learning process.

My mom and dad went home a few weeks ago and my mom is doing so great! She sounds happy and healthy and we couldn't be more blessed! She is a "non-smoker" still, and says she never wants to go through that AGAIN! Your prayers have been greatly appreciated! I love you Mom & Dad!!!!

A friend loves at all times.
Proverbs 17:17

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Chemo Is Coming Up Soon

We saw Dr. Tap, the Oncologist, today. He wants Vince to have chemo on Thursday, that's right, in two days! Yikes! Again, a week sooner than we figured that it would be. Guess we should stop guessing because it's always different than we think. It's just been so nice not to have any treatments for the last 2 weeks, something we could get really get used to, but we know better than that.

The doctor did give us a tentative time line to follow, which is 17 total chemos, with 14 to go, surgery 3 weeks after this chemo, 4 weeks later starting chemo again and then every 3 weeks thereafter. His treatment will end in approx. 1 yr. from now. It seems so far away and overwhelming, but it's already been 1 yr. since the first sign of pain crept into his life, and not knowing that it was cancer until September '08. So in a way, that's encouraging to us because he has gotten through 1 yr. of pain and suffering which means he knows that he can through this year, too.


Of course it's pretty tough for him (and us) to digest all the treatments to come, a
nd it doesn't come without all the emotions that each and every one of us would go through, which range from doubt, fear, stress, sadness, etc. etc. etc. Ultimately, the only option is to rely on the mercy and grace of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. We do rely on our faith to get us through each and every day, which may sound repetitive, but it is the hope we hold on to.

When we got home Vince remembered that he and Mikemo were planning on going to a Laker game on Sunday (tickets that Mikemo won along with 1st place in the "Battle of the Berrics" skate contest), so of course I called the doctor and left a message to see if he could have it on Tuesday of next week instead. I will find out tomorrow afternoon what he decides. Until then we are praying for strength and joy for the days to come.

I am adding extra scriptures this week so that our prayer warriors can meditate on them and send extra prayers for Vince and his upcoming chemo:) I am going to post mine on a sticky note and put them on my bathroom mirror so that I can pray each day for him. I hope you'll do the same for him and your own prayer requests as well. God bless:)

Psalms 5:11
But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

Psalms 19:8
The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.

Psalms 20:5
We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the LORD grant all your requests.

Psalms 21:6
Surely you have granted him eternal blessings and made him glad with the joy of your presence.

Psalms 27:6
Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Change IS Inevitable:[

Just when we think that we were adjusting to the news about the surgery, the oncologist office calls and tells us that they want Vince to have another round of chemo before he has his surgery! As you can imagine, Vince isn't too thrilled and we do know that the doctors have their reasons, but through it all, Vince still has a great attitude. We are scheduled to see the oncologist on Tuesday and we will have lots of questions for him, that's for sure. We asked the nurse why they want him to do another chemo and she said that the surgeon recommended it so that he will be able to have a better result for the surgery. I think part of that thinking also came from the fact that Vince got Mono and had to skip a chemo session and ended up going right into radiation. They do have a certain treatment plan that they adhere to for Ewing's Sarcoma, which of course yields the best possible outcome, according to the experts. In the meantime, we adjust AGAIN! It's always going to be an emotional roller coaster and today is another one of those days. I have been a little emotional, but I'm ok. Sometimes you think that you are quite numb to what's going on and then other days it's a big reality check. Check, check...testing 1 2 3!!! Ya...I hear you loud and clear! Hey! I have feelings! YES! I think that a good thing...LOL!

I am posting a link to a video I saw today, which of course was about 15 mins. before the dr. called and I was already crying because of this...I dare you not to shed a tear:) Click here to watch The Home Run.


I borrowed the following prayer from an online devotional and thought it was perfect for all of us who are going through various trials

Dear Lord, thank You that in the midst of uncertain times, fearful times, and heart-aching times, You are the One I can be certain of. Thank You for being a Sure Thing, for now and always. Let my mind be filled with You, and then I will know Your peace which is supernatural. Lord, I pray that You will strengthen me in this trial, and during it, I ask that You will cause my heart and my mind to continue to turn to You. Lord, don’t let this hard time cause me to be bitter or despairing. Instead, let me come out of it on the other side with a stronger trust in You. In Jesus’ name, Amen

Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.”
Colossians 3:2

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Surgery in 2 Weeks!!


We saw Dr. Eckhardt today and he said that Vince will have surgery in about 2 weeks! It's sooner than we thought by about 2-3 weeks. We were hoping that he would have more time in between all the treatments, but that's not going to happen. I can't say that I'm not bummed, but we trust that he knows what he is doing. He said that Vince will never have full range of motion in his shoulder, which means that he will have to learn to shoot baskets left handed, and it may also mean that skateboarding will be a bit tougher because your arms are used for balance. I almost wanted to cry when he told us that! When he explained that his goal is to save Vince's life, first and foremost, and that limb salvaging is second to that, and that amputation is always a small possibility, but highly unlikely, then I realize that some things are just NOT that important anymore when your life is at stake. God has his way of allowing us many opportunities in life through adversity, so I know that better things are yet to come! Who knows? Maybe he'll be a better drummer because of it, or maybe he'll decide to play guitar, paint, sculpt (I know, I know...ya right?) or even become a train conductor like he wanted to be when he was a little kid! LOL!

Dr. Eckardt said that life doesn't end because of bone replacement or amputation, and we know he is right, but no matter how many months or how many times you read other stories to prepare for it, just hearing it about yourself or your loved one is always a bit hard to swallow. I have to remind myself about all that Vince has been through in the last year, and how we always just kept thinking, "we just have to get through this" and then the next trial, the same thing, and we always get through it with a stronger faith than ever before. So far, he has been through extreme pain 5 mths. prior to any treatments, many, many CT scans, MRI's, x-rays, blood work, 2 bone biopsies in his arm, a bone biopsy in his hip, a few trips to the ER at 3 a.m, a port-a-cath put in his chest for chemo, 3 chemo treatments (1 in the hospital), hospitalized with Mono at Christmas, 25 radiation treatments over 5 week period, & now the surgery to replace the humerus with a metal rod. He will need 8 mths. of chemo, which he is not evenremotely looking forward to. We are extremely grateful to get through to this point with such great results and that he is feeling so perfect and healthy! God has been faithful so far, and I know He will continue to protect us through the road ahead. How blessed we are!!

Vince had blood work, a CT of his chest, a chest x-ray today, and we have to go back to UCLA-SM hospital tomorrow at 6:45 a.m. for the MRI. He will be in the hospital for about 5 days for the surgery and then 6 weeks recovery time and maybe physical therapy. The reason that he won't be able to play basketball with full range of motion is because that when he does the surgery he will be cutting into certain nerves and muscles, which will limit his movement to raise his arm higher than his shoulder. We are feeling very hopeful that Vince is going to do better than anyone expects, he has always had a "better than expected" attitude and we love that about him. He is never angry or upset and just shrugs his shoulders and says, "what option do I have".

I guess Vince will be playing basketball for the next few weeks as much as possible and taking good care of himself to prepare for the journey ahead. Thank you for praying for him, as always, and I hope that you and your families are happy and healthy and that you are counting your blessings each and every day.

But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.

Psalms 71:14

Monday, March 2, 2009

MIKEMO WINS!!!!!

Mikemo skated in a contest at The Berrics on Saturday and WON!!  The contest took about 4 mths. to complete and it was a process of elimination.  It's equal to a game of HORSE in basketball, which is called a game of SKATE for skaters.  Mikemo won $10,000!  Here is the link to theberrics.com, just be warned there is some foul language for those of you with little kids.  If you want to watch other videos of the competition you can see them on there as well.  Thank you to The Berrics and DVS!  Congratulations Mikemo!  We love you!