Sunday, January 30, 2011

Two Months

Two months ago Joel and I left Armstrong and drove down to Children's Hospital in Vancouver.  Joel was happy and joking…. he was off for an adventure.  I remember arriving at the hospital, dropping Joel off at the emergency department and driving off to find a place to park in a very big lot.  I read through the parking rules but at that point my mind was mush and they made no sense to me.  I got a ticket, parked the car and hoped it would still be there when I came back and I hoped that I would remember where it was that I had parked it.  When I found my way back to the emergency department, Joel was registering at the front desk and then we were put into isolation since his blood counts were so low.  If I remember correctly his white cell count was .80, his red cell count was 80 and his platelets were either  at 45 or 65.  We were then asked what felt like a thousand questions.  Later in the afternoon Joel was admitted onto ward 3B, one of the oncology  wards.  Doctors and nurses came in and out continuously, tests were ordered and much blood taken.  A lumbar puncture, first round of chemo and another bone marrow test were ordered for the following day.  Everything was moving so fast and my head was spinning.  I did not know where I was in the hospital or how to find the car and if I did find the car….. would I be able to find Joel again?  I felt like a mouse in a very large maze.
The next day our nurse took us on a tour of both oncology wards as well as the oncology clinic where Joel would receive most of his treatments.  I was more lost and confused than ever.  When it was time for Joel's procedures, we met the surgeons and nurses and they talked us through what they were going to do.  One of Joel's nurses said how lucky he was that the leukemia had been found when it was.  She said that in a month from now (end of December), Joel would have been very sick and in two months from now (end of January), Joel would not be here anymore.
Anyway, here we are at the two month point.  Joel still here and we are very thankful.  He is at home until Wednesday and very grateful for a few days of normal life.  He is doing very well with treatment and has been given a very good chance at beating this.  Driving and parking in Vancouver has become old news.  I can even venture out sometimes without using the GPS.  I have no troubles now finding my way through all the hospital corridors and I have not lost our car yet.
But the point of all my rambling is, it has been two months and Joel is still here.  For that, I am very grateful.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Morning at the Hospital

Clinic at 8:00 this morning.  Joel is MPO which means no food or drink so I let him sleep until it is time to go.  Joel didn't have to be coaxed out of bed this morning..... maybe cause he is hoping to being paroled for a few days.  The hospital was nice and quiet this morning, Joel was the first one here.  First he was weighed, measured and blood pressure was taken.  Weight was down by a kilo but that is not much of a surprise.  It is hard to get more than 2 meals into Joel now as the nausea has hit with a vengeance.  Next his port was accessed, anti nausea medication started and blood work done.  We had to wait for some blood counts to come back before treatment could start but Joel was in the procedure room by 8:30 this morning.  Sometimes he doesn't get in until after lunch.
After the lumbar puncture he will have to lay flat for at least half an hour in order to prevent a headache and I will head over to Starbucks to get him a coffee or chai tea.
The brown bag is Joel's hospital survival bag.   The black one is mine.  We find that the more we bring to the hospital, the quicker the procedure goes.  The days we think we will be in and out quickly and we don't bring distractions, those are the days we seem to have complications and end up staying the whole day in clinic.
Inside Joel's bag is his laptop and reading material.  This morning he read all his new facebook posts before being called in for procedure.  I can't thank you all enough for all the encouragement you send him.

Inside mine.... quilting supplies

Reading material and lots of food for Joel.  He is usually hungry and in a very good mood after treatment.  He never remembers the jokes or the princess bandaids after.  I will cut this short as he should be out of treatment soon.  One more set of chemo after his hour of laying flat is finished.  Then a meeting with the doctor to see if he can go home.

January 25,2011

is, and proudly so!

Well, I've been hanging witha bunch of people lately. it's been great being with all of you guys! Treatments continue and at the end of next month the docs'll check where I'm at again. So just pluggin along right now, going through the w...orks. hopefully I'll get home for a visit here soon. Been a little moody lately, on and off, just feeling rather down and not really wanting to be all brave. Honestly I was wondering if i really did want to keep fighting. I saw a girl outside theh hospital a few weeks ago yelling something, mom said she was tired of getting poked, I now sorta see how she felt. Anywho, I was listening to Robin Mark today, and man that guy is good! His one song is called "When it's all said and done", and ya, not manly, but I cried. So ya, I'm doing good again! I needed that, i was trying to stand on my own and i can't. learned my lesson, lets see how long i remember it this time, aye? In Christ, Joel

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Week in review

Tuesday the 18th
Gramma came to visit.  She drove into Vancouver at the beginning of rush hour and left at the end of rush hour.  Now she knows when not to visit........ but it was a very nice treat for us to see her.

Wednesday the 19th
Joel slept lots but I managed to drag him out to Whole Foods in return for a smoothie.  It is my new method of bribery...... If we go out, I will buy you a smoothie..... works every time.

Thursday the 20th
Chemo day.  We had to be at the hospital for 8:00 am.  It was snowing.  I told Joel that we were fine cause we had winter tires, it was just all the other Vancouver drivers we had to worry about.  Joel started the day with a lumbar puncture and a dose of chemo to his spine.  When he woke up from that but was still somewhat affected by the drugs.... he was given another dose of chemo, two needles to the legs.  He remembers the poke, but not the princess bandaids they put onto his legs.  After three hours of being hydrated and monitored for reactions to the shots, he was given one more dose of chemo through the port and allowed to go home.  Just before leaving we met a family from Salmon Arm who's daughter has just been diagnosed with leukemia.  Her aunt is also Joel's science teacher so we knew the family was down here.  It was nice to connect with them.  Their clinic day is also Thursdays so we will be seeing them often.  We made a quick stop at Whole Foods for a smoothie.  Joel stayed in the car and fell asleep.  When we got home to RM House, it was straight upstairs to bed.  We also watched the movie Second Hand Lions.

Friday the 21st
Joel stayed in bed most of the day.  I made him fruit perogies for breakfast but he made me take them away.  The nausea has hit.  I am lucky now if I can get two meals into him a day.  A quick visit from the Goldenthals brought him back to life. 

Saturday the 22st
Joel decided to re-teach me how to play chess (it has been about 25 years since I have played).  Here is Grants comment, pasted directly from the email I received.....When Joel teaches you chess be patient and don't run out of the room in anger, he might win, this is normal when you learn a new game.... Needless to say, I have not run out of the room or slammed any doors yet.  We were pleasantly interrupted by friends visiting and we headed off to Metrotown where we rode escalators, gazed at people a floor below us through pools of water and did other exciting things that are not available to us in Armstrong.

We saw some Rock Stars...... no wait.... I think that is just Steph and Joel in disguise.

Friday, January 21, 2011

In The Beginning....

I want to post what we are doing and going thru daily but since we are starting this 2 months in, I would also like to go back and post a bit of what we have already been through. So please be patient with the back and forth of it all until I am caught up.

I knew something wasn’t right but I didn’t think it was anything serious. Joel was tired, he got a little sick and felt under the weather. He just didn’t seem to bounce back. Teenage boys are usually up for a good time. Joel would still go out with his friends but for the next day or two he would sleep all day on the couch. He still kept up with his school work, kept his grades up, played his guitar, continued to work 2 or 3 days a week, he went out with friends and to youth group every week.
In the middle of November I made him a doctors appointment and didn't give him a choice in the matter. He went for a quick check up on November 22nd and had blood work done on the 23rd. He was called back into the office on the 25th and diagnosed with Pancytopenia which just means that all his blood counts were low. We were told that it was most likely caused by a virus (maybe mono) and that they would like to do more tests. They did not think it was leukemia at that time due to his low white cell count. We went home and googled Pancetopenia and read thru the list of 20 things it might be. An appointment was made for Joel to have a bone marrow test done on the morning of November 29th. Joel was called back to the doctors office the same afternoon and was diagnosed with leukemia. His response was to laugh…. A private joke between him and Brayden. It was off to the clinic for a chest x-ray, home for a few hours, back to the hospital for more blood work, home for the night and then off to Vancouver in the morning. When we spoke to Children’s Hospital on the evening of November 29th, they said you will be coming down for more than a few days. Here it is the middle of January and we are planning our first few days home at the end of the month. It is all still a bit of a blur.

Who get’s leukemia? The exact cause in unknown but there have been many studies done and it has been linked to a few factors
1. Genetic factors - Kids that have been diagnosed with a syndrome or certain chromosomal abnormalities have a higher risk of getting leukemia then children who do not have these genetic disorders.
2. Environmental factors - exposure to radiation, toxic chemicals, prenatal exposure to x-rays, exposure to benzene (an industrial chemical), and certain types of chemotherapy have all been linked to childhood leukemia.
Studies have been done to see whether or not things like electromagnetic fields (power lines), mobile phones, exposure to herbicides or pesticides, jet fuel, mothers use of alcohol during pregnancy, diet rich in processed meat (hot dogs). But none of these studies have been conclusive.
Leukemia in some of these circumstances may occur in clusters.
3. Viral infection- Many researchers believe that a virus or a series of viral infections can cause a mutation (mistakes in DNA synthesis) in the developing cell. The body fails to recognize and destroy the new leukemia cell and soon it has invaded and taken over the body.
4. There is a possible link between leukemia and the way in which vitamin K supplements were given at birth. Children given an injection of vitamin K have a higher risk than children given the oral supplement.

My assumption is that #3 applies to Joel.  I am currently looking into whether or not #4 applies.

A little extra information -
Benzene is a known Carcinogen. In the past it was used for decaffeinating coffee, as an aftershave and as a solvent. Today it is still used as an additive to gasoline but in much lower doses than it once was. It is also used in the making of plastics, nylon, adhesives, pesticides, rubber, dyes, drugs, explosives and detergents. It is also used by oil refineries, gasoline related industries, chemical plants and shoe manufactures. Tobacco smoke, motor vehicle exhaust and industrial emissions also contain low levels of benzene.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

chocolate critique

Just for the fun of it, Joel and I have decided that it would be in everyone's best interest if we sample and critique a chocolate bar.  I was thinking weekly would be a good time frame in hopes that it would get me off my daily chocolate habit.
We will try different stores each week in our effort to broaden our knowledge of Vancouver streets.  Today we chose Mein Hardt on the corner of Granville and 14th Ave.

Today we made a very hard decision and went with Dolfin 88% Dark from West Africa.  Until today I did not know that Chocolate was grown in Africa.  The bar though was made in Belgium.
So first we rate the packaging.... clean, classy and simple lines.
Priced at $3.49 and weighing in at 30 grams it is not big enough to share.....
We did share and I am left wanting.
Are you tempted yet?
A little known fact is that good quality chocolate always makes me sneeze.
No, I am not allergic..... I would never admit to that.
Anyway, the sneeze factor on this one was very high.

A solid resounding snap when bitten into.  Neither overly sweet or too bitter.  Satisfying chocolate taste which slowly melted over the palate.
We give this one a thumbs up

Monday, January 17, 2011

Week in review

Second week into consolidation.
Joel was given the okay to be paroled and he was hoping to go home for three days in between treatment.  But due to the weather we decided not to risk it.  So Monday morning we went on a field trip to Long and Mcquaid.  Joel did lots of drooling and tried out several electric guitars.  He walked out of the store with a Fender Jazzmaster.  She does not have a name yet but I know he is cuddling up with her every time I am not looking. 

Tuesday, Joel got up and had breakfast and then went back to bed.  He got up for lunch and then went back to bed.  He got up for supper and I forced him to stay away till bedtime. 

Wednesday, Joel was well rested.  After Breakfast Joel started working on his last physics test.  Then Uncle Stephen came for a visit and distracted him.  They drooled over the guitar for awhile and Joel even let Uncle Stephen play a little bit.  Auntie Rachel also came later in the day and brought home made soup..... yum.  They both stayed for supper as the Temple Shalom came and put on a family dinner.  Roasted chicken, quiche, rice and mushrooms, lentil soup, lentil salad, spanakopita, banana bread and cake.

Thursday we were at the hospital at 9:00 am for a lumbar puncture and spinal chemo.  Joel had to lay flat for an hour after.  Then he got his next chemo (ARAC).  Stopped at Starbucks for a Venti Chai Tea Latte as they do wonder for the headaches that star 5 minutes after chemo treatments.  Then it was home for a rest and to play the new guitar.

Friday we went on another field trip...  off to explore Granville Island.  It took me driving, the GPS and Joel telling me where to turn but eventually we arrived.  There Joel found a  picure of the woman of his dreams.  Or maybe it was just a picture of any woman but she was holding the food of his dreams.

And I saw the school of my dreams
We saw a dream house
We saw lots of amazing little stores and could have emptied both our bank accounts but we left with only a freshly baked bagel, covered in cream cheese and dripping with jam.
Then it was off to the hospital for chemo.   We were in and out quickly.... less than half an hour.  Joel started limping within 5 minutes of treatment and the headache started.  We picked up a chai tea and then it was back to  RM House for a nap.

Saturday we went to Mein Heart to pick up some groceries.  Then it was off to chemo.  The hospital was busy so Joel had to wait for treatment and for blood results.  Red counts were low so that means transfusions tomorrow.  The nurse told him to go eat some steak so it was off to the Keg for supper.  Prime rib and horseradish.....just following nurses orders.

Sunday was a long day at the hospital, 10:00am till 4:00pm.  Chemo and then two units of blood.  I think the first unit was from a very grumpy and unhappy person but the second seemed to be from someone with a much happier disposition.  After the hospital we drove downtown and got takeout from Gorilla Foods, a raw food restaurant... pizza, burger, shakes and chocolate cake.  All yummy.

Monday, Joel finished up his physics test.  I think he is dragging it out as long as possible just because he doesn't want it to end.  We will go mail off his last physics unit today and hopefully go for a cruise along the ocean.  The sun is shining today and we will look for a beach.  Or maybe not.... it looks like Joel is sleeping again.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

January 16, 2011

So, I have been incredibly busy lately, doing nothing and things of something. When I've been feeling up to it I've been getting out and being all adventurous. Last night I went to the Keg for the first time, and man their steak is good! Finally made it to Grandville island the day before that, and that was cool, found a place that has really good bagels, and the guy that made it really knows how to lay the cream cheese on :D And a week or two ago I went to a music store, and yes, I actually bought myself a guitar. A little Fender Jazzmaster, yep, she's a beaut and my new baby. Right now I'm sitting in the hospital, just got chemo and gonna get someone else’s blood pumped into me in a minute, weird aye!?! So I’ll be here for the next four hours if everything goes good. Oh, and apparently the one chemo I get is basically just mustard gas, I mean, how sweet is that! Ya, I’m not psychotic! Hehe *twitch* Gonna try and hit an evening service at a church just down the road, if it works out. Been a while since I’ve been to church in person so hopefully.

Friday, January 14, 2011

January 13, 2011

Joel Macaulay has become a caffine adict!

They actually help with the headaches, go figure! but mom still won't let me have coffee, the landline decided to join the wifi in it's rebellion against mankind, but we have overcome them... well, the techy did. Feeling pretty good... today, tired after the chemo but no headache today :D doing good so far in the treatments, looks like I'll be down here for the next 8 to 9 months with the odd visit back. Then it'll be a trip to either kelowna or Vancouver every month for a while. how long I'm down here will depend a lot on how I respond to treatment and there could be gaps in between treatment phases if my blood counts drop too low, which is rather common. so at this point it is rather impossible on a human level to give dates, but hopefully home to stay-ish in around nine months. So ya, God is good though we don't always see his plan, but look at King David, he suffered for years before becoming a king and he didn't know why he suffered either, so maybe I'll become Prime minister... or not! I'll stick with redneck farmer if that's where you want me Lord, please?

January 9, 2011

wifi is down and I've been too lazy to go use the landline computer so thats why I haven't been on for a few days. still doing pretty good, been tired, but not too bad considering. Thank you Lord for that one! starting to get some stuff ...figured out with treatment but rather hard to plan very far ahead, so if your trying to plan something and I still haven't gotten back to you, I appologize and I'll try and get back to you when I can or know. still getting used to the new hair style (or lack of one) but that don't mean I ain't rockin the look! In Christ alone, Joel

January 5, 2011

Joel Macaulay is bald, and still a wee bit sexy!!!

Ok, the stuff from the last bone marrow is in. If you remember, when I first came in my bones were full of cancer cells and that was the 100 percent mark. We are now at (or slightly under) the one percent mark! :D Also they've pretty much confirmed what kind of Leukemia it is, with all its special, personal little details. Basically it's the Pre-B-cell A.L.L. (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia) and it has one of the best prognosis of all the types of A.L.L. Found out that I am a Slow Early Responder, which means I get a few extra weeks of chemo and some radiation treatment at the end. When I first started this, I agreed to be part of a cancer study, which is simply that they take a little extra blood and bone marrow, and they ship it off to the states somewheres for testing. So I'm actually getting the best testing and most up to date results available, which is cool! Starting the second phase of treatment tomorrow, which will last for eight weeks I believe. There's something every week so I'm not sure if I'll be able to come back for a visit. But in the third phase of treatment it looks like their might be a couple ten day breaks between treatments and hopefully then it'll work. From now on the treatments will be working to drop the number of cancer cell from one in one hundred to one in a thousand. Then one in ten thousand, ect. It's just me and my Mom down here now, dad and the bro's are heading back, in the snow, right now. Everybody says its snowing here, I personally call it slushing. Feeling good, steroids are disappearing quite nicely. And they didn't make me fat like they were supposed to. And ya! God is good!!!

January 2, 2011

We fight through the hard days for the good days!

December 30, 2010

Haha, doing good! Sounds like my Mom and both the bro’s are coming down Monday, Lord willing :) Got another bone biopsy tomorrow and that should tell us where the cancers at. Their also gonna do another spinal tap, which is just putting ...a little chemo in my lower spine just to get anything that might be hiding in there and I think they might take a little juice out too, just to check what‘s going on in there. So, that’s tomorrow, get to the hospital at ten and when they can get me in they’ll do the procedure. This may mean waiting around for a while, or it might all happen quick, bring a good book aye? So that’s tomorrow. I'm actually eating very good, especially considering its two guys batching it for the most part!!! Just to throw that out there ;) Steroids + an amazing Whole Foods grocery store... lets just say I like that store right now, a lot!!! Filled with a strength and joy right now that is straight from God, and its amazing! One day at a time and really working just to let God have control in everything, gotta say it makes things way nicer. Off to bed now, God bless ya’ll!!!

December 28, 2010

Is doing great! The family's heading home right now, bummed to see them go but I'll be seeing them again soon. Gerbrandts are coming today, stoked for that. I decided to be lazy again and just copy most of an email to a really cool indivividual of amazing incredibleness. So ya, God is amazing to me, even while I don't deserve it at all, he still carries me through.
Thank you everyone for all the prayers and Christmas cards, they are beautiful and amazing and majorly encouraging! Love you all, in Christ!!!

I'm actually doing really good and feeling really close to God. I had a really good talk with Him... a few nights ago, just getting a lot of straight and lettiing myself more than anyone know that I'm fine if He takes me home. Now before you freak out from that statement, I am fine! This isn't a terminal cancer, just a bit of an annoying one. Totally getting yourself right with God on the whole matter of death is such a load off though. i've just had major peace ever since, cuz, worst that can happen, I'm ok with it. The only thing I'd worry about is the pain it would leave behind. So emotionally I'm doing great! Treatments aren't bad, chemo is either given through needles or IV poles so that's a breeze and I haven't had any major side affects other than the one day I had some muscle pains in my chest and back which hurt, but not to bad, and it went away after a while. Steroids make me rather tired and occasionally dopey (to a rather stupid level sometimes). The odd slight headache but nothing too bad yet thankfully. sleep comes and goes at night, I usually have a nap for an hour or two after lunch, and that usually keeps me going "right tooten dandy" till bed time. Bowels are a biggy, as awkward as that sounds ;) laxitives and prunes are a gift delivered straight from Heaven. Without I'd be dying! And ya, that's an honest "how I am". Christ is amazing and I am a sinner. Even now, I try and push God away, trying to control little stuff like what I eat and when, how it'll affect me and just trying to take control of what little I could. Emotionally it started getting rather obssessive and ridiculous. And then I clued into the fact that it didn't matter, yes I gotta plan meals so my bowels don't make me regret it. But its only food (or what ever that little thing is), in light of eternity, whats a single meal aye? Hand in hand we carry on, living life to the full in the arms of our Savior, one day at a time, in Christ alone. Theres gonna be a big meeting on the fourth of January and that'll tell us where I'm at, what kind of treatment we'll be doing and DNA-wise how I am and how that'll affect treatment and hopefully get some sort of plan together.

And ya, geting caught up on the messages slowly. I love hearing from you guys and if I don't get back to you, please don't let that slow you down. gonna run now,
Because of Christ,

December 24,2010

Had an amazing day with the family and I felt great!!! Uberly stoked for tomorrow, have a blessed Christmas everone!!! For we are worshiping an incredible Savior, and God bless us every one! :D

December 22, 2010

"It's when your on fire, that you shine!"

The results from the bone marrow got back, the percentage mark of leukemia in my bones as of the fifteenth day of treatment is down to 9% from the previous 12%. God be praised, its creeping down! I think we’re on day 20-ish of treatment t...oday. There’s a meeting on the fourth of January that we’ll kinda figure out where we are at and we’ll start to make the plan for future treatment.
Feeling really good, and am so incredibly blessed. Really filled with a strength right now that is straight from the Lord, its totally not me and I have this huge feeling of peace and joy. Oh the glory of our Christ. This is a fire I pray will never dim. It may get hard here, it might not, its totally in God’s hands and as long as I’m hanging on to Him, it’ll never be too much. Just gotta remember that God never gives us more in a day than we can take, its when we take on the burdens of tomorrow that we become overwhelmed. We can learn from the past, plan for the future, and live a life to the full, in the moment.
Family’s coming down tomorrow, super excited to see them. Prayers for a safe trip for them would be greatly appreciated. Side note: with the family coming down and Christmas I might not get on here so if it’s even a week or more without hearing from me, don’t panic. I’ll probably get on but just in case I don’t. It’s been amazing having all the prayers from everyone, I can’t explain it at all but they have been huge. They are definitely doing something! Might try hitting Grandview Island today if it works. Please pray for a boy here at RM House, he just got diagnosed with a cancer quite similar to mine. But he had some bad reactions to the one chemo we had both gotten and, though I was fine, he actually went into cardiac arrest, or something very similar. He’s looking a lot better and they are hoping he can come to Ronald Macdonald House tomorrow night from the hospital. It was pretty hard on the family and a big scare, their doing good now but it shook them up. Pray that I have a chance to share Christ with them, living alongside of them here. Pray that He shines though to this family and all the families around us here. Totally floundering in the love of my King, and absolutely loving it!!!

December 20, 2010

So Friday night I started having some muscle pain, nothing to bad. Docs wanted to do an x-ray just to make sure everything was good. Figured that it was just overworked muscles plus a little bit of chemo reaction. Then they found this go...ofy little air bubble sitting just outside my lungs by my central line that they stuck in me. They just wanted to keep an eye on it for a bit so it was hospital food again till today. Looks like it’ll just go away on its own. I’m back at Ronald Macdonald today and got some real food in me, woot woot! Then I got a surprise visit from Peter and Martha Kornelsen which was amazing, thank you guys so much for coming by and the gifts! God is amazing, been taking such care of us. In Jesus we stand!

December 18, 2010

 Is doing amazing!!! Internets been down last few days so here’s the updates:
Thursday went great and I was in the hospital at 9 AM and out by 11AM, which was great. That day went great. And I wrote the following that evening.
“I am so overwhelmed with God’s goodness, and amazingness and so totally beyond anything words could ever say. Here I am, a young man entering into manhood, one of the hardest stages in life, finds out he has cancer, and is totally, ecstatically, madly in love with his Creator. I am saved, I am totally in His hands, I am surrounded by so many amazing fellow Christians who are majorly holding me up in prayer and I will be with for eternity. I KNOW MY SAVIOR DEEPLY! Nothing on this earth or beneath can ever touch me. But from above the earth I am completely saturated with God. Lord let me shine bright, my brothers and sisters in Christ let me call upon you! We are going to do something great, every moment we are dedicating to Christ from this moment onward. We are going to fight for every soul against that devil, we are bringing them to our Heavenly Father. Holy Spirit we cry, fill us, help us for we are nothing without you, yet in You oh Triune God, we are filled so far beyond eternity! I love You Jesus, MY JESUS! You, my King, are my desire, and this is my pledge!”

I wrote this on Friday, rather repetitive but ya!
So, yesterday’s chemo and biopsy went great, actually was done and out of the hospital by about eleven AM and we had gotten there at 9 AM. In and drugged up and out pretty nicely, not much waiting around. Then hung out with Glen Janzen for the afternoon which was a hoot! Then that evening I wrote the previous paragraph there, and oh boy, is God ever good!!! Today is sunny and me and my dad went on a beautiful walk this morning around a few blocks. Eating and sleeping are getting figured out nicely, God’s really showing me what to do, though steroids and self control don’t always mix well! ;) Headaches haven’t been much of a problem, the odd slight one but as long as I don’t overdo it, I’m good. Looking forward to seeing the family up here in a few days!!! Continually amazed in God’s majesty and loving it!!!

Today I’m good, a little achey but not too bad! Gonna keep er pretty quiet today! God is amazing and all glory and praise to him!!!

December 15, 2010

Ok, so I was writing a message to a real cool person, then I realized I should write an update, so I'm being lazy and copying most of it here! 
So a few people were wondering when I'm coming back for a visit, maybe a sunday next month would be sweet. But I have no idea how time here in Van will work, first phase of treatments continues for sure till end of month, and once there we'll see if I need another two weeks continued first session treatment. Then after that depending on how I respond to treatment or if we need to change treatment, it may mean visits starting back home. But really we have no idea till we quite literally get there! And for the first while they'll be short and farther in between, maybe! So we'll all be praying for that too, as He's about the only one who knows, which is so flipping SWEET!!! Tommorrow I'm going in for a wee bone marrow and getting some chemo, so I'll be all drugged up and happy tomorrow and then Friday Ill probably sleep all day so I might not be on facebook till saturday-ish! For a more personal prayer request, each and every one of the fruits of the Spirit! I actually stopped and though about each one individually today/yesterday and ya, I could use every single one! Get to have the whole family together in a week so really excited for that!!! My Mom got home safe today, thanks for all the prayers for her, as well as all the others too!!! Because our Heavenly Father is so good, peace out!!!

December 14

OK, so we got a little bit of info from the bone marrow today! 
Basically, when I first came in, the cancer in the bone marrow was full (as expected) so that amount is considered the 100 percent mark. Last bone marrow was done on day 8 of procedure and that percentage mark was at 12 percent, which is a...bout normal for most cases. They were kinda hoping it would be under 5 percent as that would mean I'm responding very well to the treatment, but we'll definetly take this! :D It may just mean a few more treatments down the road is all. Thursday will be day 15 of procedure and I'll have another bone marrow just so they can see how treatment is affecting me and another at the end of the month. There has been talk of starting a little bit of chemo treatment Vernon, so down the road I might be able to do a bit of stuff there, something to keep in your prayers if you think of it! God has truly been amazing, last night I was up for a while and I was totally having this "on fire" time with God and really seeing the good side of stuff and kinda thankful for this in a weird yet really sweet kinda way! Feeling really good, had a nap which was beautiful. Got to see my Mom which was sweet, she came last night and weather permitting she'll head home tomorrow so pray for a safe trip for her. I'll be staying up here for Christmas which I'm fine with and the family will be coming up next week-ish so prayer for safe trip for everyone there would be greatly appreciated! Because of Christ, for He is good, we will praise Him together!!!

December 12, 2010

 So, time for another updatery!!! Got into Ronald Mcdonald house quite nicely, real smooth move over. it's a pretty snazy place, four floors but not obnoxiously big or anything. Real nice people here too! And from my last update I discovered that a lot of people don't like saurkraut, if so, well you're just weird, n...o offense! I've got 'er pretty good right now, God is really taking care of me! 
And again, thank you all so much for your prayers and all your support for me and my family, I really appreciate it, like seriously! The results from the last bone marrow biopsy should be ready for tuesday, and that should really tell us how I'm responding to treatment and other such relative information. So keep the fingers crossed and all for the glory of God, aye? If you think of it, please pray for me, and everyone else going through this with me (that means you!), for a strength and joy far beyond anything we can ever comprehend! It shouldn't make sense to anyone watching us! Food for thought! Christ reigns over all and who can know His ways!!! Job chapters 38-42

December 9, 2010

OK, so after a week plus of hospital food, me and my dad got a frozen lasagna and saurkraut from Safeway, and it was AMAZING!!! Like a good ukranian women's cooking compared to Mcdonalds, that's what this was like! Got another bone biopsy and lumber puncture tomorrow morning and then it should be Ronald Mcdonald house Saturday. God is good in so many many more ways then I could ever even begin to say, He has truly been my Strength!!! Thanks again for all your guys's prayers and support to both me and my family, you guys have been amazing!!! Love you all!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Vancouver Canucks

Joel and Grant said the funniest thing about the Canucks visit to the hospital was the reaction of the nurses.   Some were speachless and others wore their jerseys and fixed their makeup every 30 minutes.  One of the nurses can predict when they are coming to the hospital by keeping track of the home games.  She makes sure to be working the dayshift when they have two home games in a row with a few days off in between.

December 6, 2010

Has finally resorted to taking steroids! One dose in the morning and then again in the evening adn that's about it till friday. Then its another chemo adn bone marrow biopsy, or as I prefer calling it, tushy mashery! But that shouldn't be to bad. And just so everyone knows, especially for those who've dealt with ca...ncer before, child cancer is a lot different than adult cancer.  All risks are way lower and looks wise I'm a thinking I'm just going to look rather bloated in the face from the steroids adn bald! :D God bless you all and thanks again for all the support and prayers, love you all

December 4, 2010

 Due to size, I gotta do this in like three posts. Doing good! Feeling a lot better today, not near as sore and I can get up on my own just fine now! So I always thought of chemo treatments as this big machine that they stuck you in and they zapped you with all this radiation and wires attached all over you, electricity flying everywhere, you know, just the regular.  But it turns out its just meds they put in my I.V. tube going to my chest and a bunch of pillss I gotta take, so that was a bit of a relief.
So this is the second part of the update. I'm going to be losing my hair so I was thinking, mohalk or monk look? I'm leaning towards mohalk! God is good and your prayers are helping a lot!

December 4, 2010

 I've been getting a lot of messages from all of you and thank you for that, it's very encouraging and nice to hear from everyone back home and with whats going on there. I'm not even going to try and reply to every message but keep em coming anyways :D miss you all and see you soon. In the hands of our King, we stand firm!!!

December 2, 2010

Tired and sore in body and a little worn in spirit. Your words of encouragement mean so much and they keep making my mom cry. Found out today that it is the ALL leukemia which is the easiest to treat. Off to surgery tonight to put in my new port and then chemo starts tomorrow. The sooner this starts... the sooner i...t is going to be done. Thanks for all your prayers.

December 1, 2010

Bone marrow biopsy and spinal tap are done and went good. I got to sleep thru this set of tests :D Just waiting for results now which should take a few hours. Now I get to meet some BC Lions and cheerleaders. Partying it up in the big V, aye! God is good !

November 30th 2010

Thank you so much to everyone! i REALLY appreciate all the support and especially prayers! There thinking its hopefully one of the best types of leukemia you can get, find out tomorrow maybe or by thursday. if i don;t get back to you for a few days, don't be surprised. i'm doing good, God is really helping me a lot, love you all!!!

November 29th 2010

 God is good!!! it might be leukaemia but wait and see here, but no worries! and like I said, God is good!!!!!!!!!!!!