In April, 2010, when Andrew was 2 1/2, a tumor was discovered behind his eye. The tumor was removed, but it was found to be an aggressive cancer. He endured seven months of chemo and six weeks radiation. In December of 2010, the day after his last treatment, he was rushed to the ER with an almost fatal bacterial infection. He survived.

He is now seven-years-old!! I don't visit here much, because during the ordeal, this is where I dumped everything--my rage, my fear, my sadness, my ugly, my hope, my everything. But I want all of you who supported and prayed for us to hear his updates. You helped me survive, and I am deeply thankful. Every once in awhile, I will check in to let you know how he's doing. Please continue to pray that cancer will never return to his body. Thank you.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

It's been two days since my last confession, I mean blog.  It does feel good to have this place to come and spill it all. 
Well, at least, most of it.

The GOOD...

The last few days have been good. 
Andrew has been happy and playful, no pain meds needed. 
Tonight he ate a good meal instead of just picking at his food. 
It is amazing how much better his empty plate made me feel.

We filled up the good days with good stuff. 

 We went swimming!

This is Andrew's Superman stance. 
"Superman! To the rescue!"
he yells.

We went to the park!

We made gooey crafts!

We played in the yard!

There was a lot of smiling. :)
There was a lot of music.
There was a lot of dancing.

And Andrew is cooperating with his mouth treatments a little better
and feeling proud of his bravery.

The BAD...

  Tomorrow we return to the torture chamber (the TC) for continued exorcism of this blasted demon. 
For a 5-day stay.

Completely new drugs tomorrow.  A whole new story.
Hoping it goes well, for Andrew's sake,
but also so that next time
 we can do it on an outpatient, clinic basis. 
Fingers, toes, eyes, and hairs are all crossed.
Praying hard.

The UGLY...

Today started off rough. 
 I noticed Andrew's hair was starting to fall out,
and the reality of this whole deal hit me really hard. 
Combine that with the ache-in-the-pit-of-my-stomach dread of another hospital stay and the unknown of these new chemo drugs
and I was a flowing faucet for several hours. 

John's mom came over to watch Andrew in the morning so that I could get my emissions testing done
(woo hoo!)
and do a little shopping. 
As I sat in the emissions line, I had tears running down my face. 
They didn't stop when the guy asked me to
"turn off the ignition, turn off my accessories, and exit the vehicle."
  They didn't stop when I sat in the strange little blue booth
and got out my credit card for payment. 
They didn't stop when the guy told me to "have a good afternoon." 
No, they started flowing even more.

They didn't stop when I got to Target. 
Some people are emotional eaters. 
I am an emotional shopper. 
I bought every little sign in the store that had something to do with "hope" and "courage" and "kindness"
(and where am I going to put them?  I have no idea.)
   I walked past several mirrors
(I was in the home decorating section)
and it was pretty scary.

For lunch I went to Aaron's school for his end of the year party.  People noticed Andrew's scar, so I had to tell the story. 
More tears.

But later, one of the moms called me. 
Her son had cancer when he was four, and he is now doing great. 
She told me I could call anytime, and that pretty soon,
Andrew would be up and running around,
just like her son.
And even though neither of us has any idea
 if that will really be true or not,
it made me feel better. 

So, I haven't cried since about 4 pm.

Gotta go pack my bags.

The TC awaits.


  1. Oh, I hope there are more good than bad in the future for you and Andrew. The good sounds really good! The bad... I just wish I could say something that would help. Still sending lots of prayers and hugs and wishes your way.

  2. Hey Julie...sorry to hear about your tears, but very glad you found some happiness this week and someone to chat with. Also, have you ever read the Manic Mother blog. Thought she might be helpful for you...she's an awesome photographer AND she can relate to the TC situation. Here's the link:

  3. So many loves and hugs being sent your way from my little corner. XOXOXO My hubby and I talk about how brave you all are all the time, we are in awe of you.

  4. I'm glad for the good stuff (is that your backyard? The pool is beautiful!), and sorry for the bad stuff (many days are a blur, but I remember vividly the day my hair started falling out.)
    I'll say a little prayer that Andrew's 5 day stay goes okay. Good luck!

  5. Praying for a smooth five days and the strength, creativity and will to handle it. Love the pics and love that you are creating such fun experiences for you all when you can. I keep thinking that's got to help balance the bad. Praying for you and the ugly - thankful that there is at least camaraderie with this damned disease - Bless you and I'll be by with dinner on Tuesday sometime - we'll chat.

  6. PTL for the good days your son has been having!! That's wonderful! Sending extra prayers as you begin this next 5 day journey. I'm SO HAPPY that you received a bit of encouragement from another mom. Wonderful!!

  7. I came along through momalom's 5 for 10. And I'm just putting my thoughts here in hopes they will let you know you are heard. I am so sorry for your little one and your family. I DO believe in miracles, having witnessed one myself with my son. All that said, keep writing. We want to hear you. You take amazing photos! Your boys are lucky and if I lived in AZ, I'd go all Martha Stewart on you because you need someone to take care of you through this. I'm crossing everything that can be crossed for Andrew and can start sending Reiki if you'd like. Rachel:

  8. Praying for a smooth week of treatment, that your little guy is comforted through it all, and for many more really "good" days.

  9. I've become an emotional shopper too. If you really do have too many encouraging signs you could pass them out to other families at the hospital!

    I'm glad you were able to connect with that mom. Make sure you do call her...


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