Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mini Update

Vince has been feeling great! He has been out of the house a few times and it's so nice to see him doing things that he would normally do, like go to lunch with his brother or friends. He has been driving, too! He is not on any more drugs, just Tylenol! Yay! Today he is taking his dog, Deric, to the groomer, especially since he found a baby bunny in the backyard and has been using it as a chew toy (sorry to all those animal lovers) and rolls all over it, because he is weird! LOL! Vince tried to scoop it up with the shovel and dropped it, since is has only one arm that he can use, and Deric ran over and picked it up and ran away with it! He thinks it's a game! Vince came in and got me, so I scooped it up while he distracted, sadly for Deric, no more bunny toy! LOL! Off to the groomer he goes!

Vince will be going to the surgeon tomorrow because his arm has been swelling for the last two days and the doctor wants to check him out. Hopefully, nothing to worry about. We think it may be from the excess fluid that the drains were taking care of, and now that they are gone maybe that's why there is fluid? They also like to rule out blood clots, so that's the main reason he will be going. Other than that, we are just trying to catch up on resting and relaxing and just taking it easy! It feels so good!!! I am so happy that we aren't in "emergency mode"! I kind of feel normal again!

Blessings to ALL our faithful friends & family who read this blog!!! Thank you for always be here for us through our time of need! You are AWESOME!!!!


April 28, 2009

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

--Psalm 46:1

All Christians will face difficulties and struggles. But there is one element that separates those who live a defeated life from those who live a victorious life.

It all has to do with where you find your source of strength.

Perhaps you are facing problems with your health, family, finances, or career. Whatever you are facing, I want to remind you to look to the Lord for His strength.

It might seem like you will never come out from under the weight of despair. But as you call upon Him, and draw strength from His Word and His presence, He will give you the strength you need to persevere.

Be encouraged today by the words of Isaiah 40:29-31:

He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

The Lord knows your situation, and He is with you to help you through this time.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Awesome News!

Vince had his 10 day post-op appt. today at 9:30 a.m. The doctor came in and took out the 58 staples and also pulled out the 2 drains. The drains were a little bit painful on the way out since they are about 4 in. long inside his arm! He said it's such a relief to get those nasty things out! Yay!

I asked the doctor if he had any information from the pathology reports and he said he didn't have them back yet, because they were a little more complicated samples and he said he would call us when he got the results. Early this evening I got a call from him with the results and he told me that the tumor was 99% dead! I said, "it's not 100% dead?" and he told me that "no one gets a 100% dead, 99% is the highest you can get!" All the margins were clear, which means that they removed all the cancer and it wasn't in any other areas outside of where the tumor was! He also said that everything that Vince has gone through so far is worth it because we could not have had a better result.

Thank you, Jesus for the BEST news EVER!! We give YOU the glory! Dr. Eckhardt was just a tool to get those results and we are so grateful that he is such a gifted surgeon! Thank YOU!!

I said to Dr. Eckhardt, "now we just have to get him through the chemo" and he told me, "if Vince wasn't strong enough in the beginning of this fight, he will be even stronger when it's over", I said that's what we always tell him, too!

Vince will go back in two weeks for another check up to see if his incision is healed and then he can start chemo. In the meantime, we are breathing a huge sigh of relief and we are that much closer to getting his treatments behind us! It's already been almost 7 mths. since we found out about his cancer, so 1 more year really doesn't seem that long. I am so grateful that God gives us what I like to call "amnesia" because in the beginning of this journey everyday seemed like a year and now we look back and it's hard to believe it's been 7 mths. Strange how that happens.

I just ask that you would continue to keep Vince in your prayers because I know that all of you have been praying overtime for him and your prayers have been answered! So, I hope that your faith has increased as mine has because you have seen faith in action!!! God does hear our prayers and Vince, my wonderful son, is living proof!!!

I have made a few new friends with Ewing's Sarcoma and if you could add them to your prayers I know they would appreciate it so much! Here are their names:

Erica (21 yrs. old) in Colorado, she is about 3-4 yrs. out of treatment
Tyler (16 yrs. old) in Georgia, he is in the midst, like Vince
Todd (24 yrs. old) in Calif. is about 4 mths. out of treatment but just had a surgery 6 weeks ago to fix his prosthesis
Tina's husband (42 yrs. old) in Canada, in the midst as well

By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus' name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.
Acts 3:16

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Post Surgery Update! Sorry, It's a Long One!

I am just now getting some energy to write this post. It takes me a few days to recover from lack of sleep while we are in the hospital. I hate to leave Vince, so I spend every moment there with him. It's a mom thing:) Jim comes and stays most of the days as well, and the kids came to visit a few times, too. He has done extremely well and I know that the prayers are working because we can feel them. It's not something you can explain, it's just there. It's a peace and a comfort that hangs in the air and I know it's the Holy Spirit, and if I didn't have that, I'd be going crazy. This experience can really push you to places you don't really want to go.

Here is a photo of the incision, how cool is that!!! The doctor took out the original incision from the biopsy and made a whole new incision for the surgery, so at least it doesn't look like a road map:) He is not allowed to move his shoulder at all so it is basically velcro-d to a block that is strapped to his waist and a strap that goes around his shoulder and neck. He is only allowed to move his arm from the elbow down, not that he wants to, and is also able to move his hand in circles and up and down. He has two drains coming out and he will get those removed on Thursday when he goes back to the doctor for his 1 week check up.

The doctor told us that the "prosthesis" is made from cobalt chrome and put together kind of like Tinker Toys. Click here to see photos of the pieces they used. Dr. Eckhardt replaced the humerus from the shoulder down to just right above the elbow. Originally he thought he may have to replace the entire humerus, but the chemo and radiation helped to shrink the tumor so much that he had clean margins and didn't have to go that low. He was also able to save much more of his muscle than originally planned, and didn't cut any nerves either! Vince may have a much better range of motion than the doctor ever thought he would! I love when doctors are amazed! Hmm...I wonder why? LOL! Hopefully we will be able to get the xrays someday of his arm and I will post a photo of that for sure! Dr. Eckhardt had a twinkle in his eye as he told us the good news and he also thanked Vince for getting the treatments he recommended because he responded so well. I thought that was interesting he said that to him.

When Vince was in surgery we had such a peace about it. Even though we had to sit and wait about 5 hrs. those hours zoomed by and I just knew he would come out with flying colors! We had 9 of us in the waiting room which helped pass the time. Having our kids, grandson, Bernadette, Jim's mom, sister, and all the prayers that were being lifted up from all of you, helped so much! Vince is so loved!

When we got around the corner from Vince's room, we heard him throwing up, which really broke my heart, especially since I spoke with the anesthesiologist and I told him that he gets sick from anesthesia, but I guess sometimes that's what happens. Still, it made me mad. Thank goodness it was just that once. As we came in the room, my breath was taken away when I saw him because his head was so swollen and he was as white as a sheet! The doctor later told me that it was because of the position they had him in during the surgery, which went away within a few hours.
Vince was feeling very emotional as we approached his bed and as I started to tell him that his surgery went better than expected and that they didn't have to take as much muscle as Dr. Eckhardt thought and he was indeed able to save his elbow and that he will have a better range of motion because of it, he started to cry. Of course, we started to cry , too! I said, "I hope those are tears of joy?" and he shook his head "yes" and I asked him if he thought that he would wake up without an arm and he shook his head "yes" and he was crying even more. It broke my heart because even though I thought about the possibility, it really wasn't something I thought would even happen, so I had a peace about it, but obviously he didn't, which is totally understandable because it's happening to him! His tears flowed for quite some time. He later told me that he was so happy when he woke up from the surgery and saw his fingers and realized he still had his arm. Oh my gosh! What a relief he must have felt! Thank you Jesus for all your blessings for our son! We are so full of GRATITUDE and GRATEFULNESS! We give you the all the glory!

So, the journey continues...13 chemos to go and then he will be finished! It should take about 1 more please, please, please, continue to pray for him! We are so looking forward to celebrating when it's over! Again, thank you in advance! I will keep you posted!

Thank you Chris for coming to visit Vince at the hospital those 2 nights! You are a great friend!

Thank you "blog followers" for always being here for us!

Thank you to all our family and friends for all the ongoing support and prayers that you endlessly give!

The bigger the challenge becomes, the bigger the platform for your God to do His amazing thing - maybe something bigger than you have ever seen Him do before!
~this was taken from a devotional that I read today

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Psalm 46:1

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Home Sweet Home!

We are home! Vince was pushing to come home last night but they weren't too thrilled about that! So, the dr.'s know how much Vince hates being in the hospital and they changed his bandage and sent him on his way at 9:00 a.m.! We are so happy about the outcome and it is definitely better than expected even for the dr's. I will explain later today after I get a shower and some rest and of course I will give you all the wonderful details! Here is a sneak peak at the incision!

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound!

“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’" declares the Lord. ’As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’” Isaiah 55:8-9

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Quick Update:)

Just a quick update since my computer isn't working in the room and I am down in the cafeteria. Vince is doing GREAT!!!! He is in a little bit of pain, but not like you would think. He would just like to sleep through the whole recovery time, but the nurses and doctors won't let him. They want him up and walking around (not a lot) but also moving his wrist and hand. He does have some numbness and tingling in his thumb and forefinger, but other than that he is more irritated at how much his face itches from the drugs or how hot he is, and the room in set at 60 degrees and the nurses keep asking him, "aren't you cold?" The time is going so slow for him and he keeps asking me "what time is it?" and I say "didn't you just ask me that?" LOL! So, I will update later...that's it for now! We are blessed and full of JOY!!! Thank you for your answered prayers!!!!!!

You must worship the Lord your God. If you do, I will bless
your bread and your water. I will take away sickness from you.
Exodus 23:25

Monday, April 13, 2009

Surgery Is Over!!!

Dr. Eckhardt just came out at 12:30 pm, after 4 hrs. 45min. He was able to save Vince's elbow!!! He told us that he was able to save the elbow joint and put a stem in and also saved more of his muscle than he thought he would. He is afraid that Vince will have more range of motion than he would like him to have, since he is so active he is a bit worried that he might break the stem! So that's a great thing!!! LOL! God has answered our prayers! Thank you Jesus! Thank you prayer warriors!!! I'll update later! Oh happy day!!!!

And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, "Rejoice!"
Matthew 28:9

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Calling All Prayer Warriors!

We have to be at UCLA Santa Monica Hospital at 5 a.m. tomorrow morning. Surgery is scheduled at 7 a.m. It will be approximately 4 hrs. long. I am asking for prayer for the doctors and the surgery team and that they would all be well rested, that God will use their knowledge and skill to give Vince the best outcome possible. I pray that Vince will feel better than he could ever imagine and that he would even surprise the doctors with how well he will do! I pray that the elbow can be saved and that the joint in the shoulder would have a better range of motion than they anticipate.

I am thanking Jesus for the huge testimony that Vince's life is revealing, and that hearts would be softened and souls will be saved because of the work that God is doing in each one of their lives. I am so grateful that we have each one of you praying on behalf of Vince and our family and we can feel a peace that surpasses all understanding each and every day!

I will blog as soon as I am able to sit and write about how the surgery went, hopefully later tomorrow. In the meantime, Happy Easter and YES! HE IS RISEN!!!

Here is a devotion from Pastor Greg Laurie. His son died in a car accident in July 2008, and his testimony and love for Jesus shines brighter than ever. He is truly an inspiration! God bless:)

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:2

Happy Easter! He is Risen! Jesus Lives!

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Surgery Date Changed

Vince and I went to UCLA yesterday for his pre-op appointments. He had an MRI, 2 xrays, blood work and saw the doctor and it only took 4 hrs! One thing I have learned through all this is that you need to be flexible and patient. I always bring a book and my computer with me so that I can get stuff done and be productive.

Actually, I really feel very blessed to be at those appointments with Vince because we always meet the most amazing people. I met a mom of a 25 yr. old special needs young woman and she was having a hard time with some tests that they needed to give her and she kept screaming, "get me out of here", "get me out of here"! It's not the most pleasant thing to hear while you are in the hospital walking down the hall, but bless her heart, you could tell she was scared.

When I met her mom and she told me about her daughter and how they had to do various tests on her liver and that she had many things wrong with her. I told her about Vince and we just looked at each other with tears in our eyes and we had an unspoken connection because we could really feel for each other and how hard it is to watch our children suffer, even if they are adults, but they will always be our baby. As she got up to leave, I asked her if I could have a hug and she said, "I'll take all the hugs I can get". I saw God at work by having another tender heart to comfort. There IS joy in suffering:)

Vince's surgery was changed from Tuesday to Monday, again flexibility is necessary. We have to be there at 5:00 a.m. Surgery should be around 7 a.m. and approx. 4 hrs. long. We did see the MRI immediately and the doctor was showing it to us while we were there. He said that he does think that he can save the elbow joint, but he said that for sure the shoulder joint will be replaced. I will know more of the details after it's over and I'll keep you informed.

Dr. Eckardt's #1 goal is to save Vince's life before anything else, so he just wants us to be aware of the possibilities that are involved, so we are informed. What we thought was interesting is that he told us that in the 1970's and earlier, if you were diagnosed with Ewing's you would have no hope and you would just die. Do you know how blessed that makes us feel, knowing how far medicine has come in the last 30 yrs? Even though cancer is a tough thing to fight, at least there is an excellent chance of cure.

Vince played basketball tonight on his team, "The Beirdo's" for the last time. He is staying active since he feels so great. He is taking good care of himself and just wants to do as much as he can, even with a tear in his Meniscus:) The guy has a huge pain tolerance for sure! Mikemo didn't play tonight because he went to Florida for a skate demo and he will come back Sunday night, just in time for Vince's surgery.

Mikemo got his first shipment of the "Mikemo" shoe, which should be out around the end of the year. It think these are just samples and the colors may change when they finally come out.
Here is a photo of Vince and Mikemo holding the two different color options. I sure wish they would smile! I bet if Ty were taking their picture they would smile!! LOL!

I do have a few prayer requests this week for our family. We are all going through different health related issues and we are asking for clean reports all around! Also, for Mikemo as he is away in Florida.

Thank you to Pastor Murry for all your prayers and ongoing support for our family! You are a special blessing to us! Thank you for the Bible verse listed below!

Thank you to my Bible study ladies for praying for my family! You are awesome! I feel loved!

Thank you Cathy for being such a great friend and always being there for me for the last 34 yrs:)

Thank you Anne, my prayer warrior and the best piano teacher in the universe!

Pastor Mark and his wife Michelle and their two sons, Jaxon and Levi...thank you for praying for Vince and of course all of us! We need all the prayers we can get!

Thank you to our parents and all our extended family, we know that it's not easy for you to be at a a distance and watching Vince go through this trial. We are so grateful to have each one of you praying for him.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Vince will be having an MRI tomorrow at 10 a.m. This will be for pre-surgery plans for the surgeon to determine where to cut to replace the bone. Please pray for better than expected results for him as he goes through this limb sparing surgery.

Vince didn't get to go to Camp
Woodward with Mikemo because he hurt his knee last week and had an MRI and the results showed a tear in his meniscus (he had surgery for that a few years ago on the same knee), which he will probably be referred to another doctor for that situation, but I guess one thing at a time. Also his elbow on his other arm was hurting, which of course we were concerned about, but it did quit hurting the day he decided not to go. So, just to be on the safe side and not be 2 hrs. from home, he decided not to go, so that gave us peace of mind.

Thanks for praying for our son! We are truly blessed to have a great army of prayer warriors!

My wonderful hubby, Jim, celebrated his 46th birthday today! I love you and I am a better person because of you:)

n the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. Psalm 5:3

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Almost Surgery Date

Yesterday the surgeon's office called and left us a message that they wanted to schedule Vince's surgery for Tuesday, April 7th (Jim's B-day) and I tried to call all day long to tell them that he will not be available since he will be at Camp Woodward that day. Finally, around 4:30 pm the office calls me back and says, "we couldn't work it out anyway". So, the surgery date will be Tuesday, April 14th instead. That is so awesome! Vince, Mikemo & David Loy will be at the camp for 3 or 4 days, they will be leaving tomorrow.

This morning Bernadette told me that a chunk of Vince's hair was on his pillow when he woke up. Bummer! Today he is wearing a hat...I guess that's going to be the "no
rm" for awhile. Beanies, hats and wigs are welcomed!! Hey! Maybe Jim will shave his head and we can make a wig for Vince OR I can order this mullet wig for him! What do you think? LOL!

Also, we haven't heard anything about his MRI on his knee yet, which we are hoping is a good sign they didn't call the same day!

He gets angry once in a while, but across a lifetime there is only love. The nights of crying your eyes out give way to days of laughter.
Psalms 30:5

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Vince "Skated" Through This Chemo:)

We still don't have a definite date for the surgery. It will most likely be the week of April 13th. Vince is feeling so good but he is a bit bummed because his hair is starting to fall out:( It's the last time we will see him with hair for about 1 yr. If anyone would like to send some cool looking hats or beanies you can send them his way! Not sure he'd wear them all, but I'm sure it will be fun getting them!

Vince hurt his knee a few days ago and had an MRI today, so please pray that it's nothing but a sprain, so that he can have the surgery on his arm as scheduled. He and Mikemo will be attending a skate camp for kids, Camp Woodward, next week for a few days and it will be a great time to just get away and have some fun doing something good for those kids who are going to get a chance to see their favorite skaters.

Please add Vince's girlfriend, Bernadette, to your daily prayers as she re-fractured her hip for the 2nd time. It seems as though our family is being slammed with health issues, a few more of us have been afflicted, but we are hopeful that God has each one of us in His care and we have peace because of that very reason.

I found this cool photo a few months ago and thought I'd share it with you. It also happens to show the "humerus" bone, which is the one that Vince will have replaced in a few weeks and it also reminds me of my favorite show...American Idol! Go Adam!

Give me knowledge and good sense; for I have put my faith in your teachings. Psalms 119:66