Archive for April, 2008

Some praises…

-The CT and the bone scan were both clear! That means that we are pretty confident that the cancer is only in his right leg!

-Seth has had some sick leave so he has been able to be with us without worrying about rushing back. His bosses and co-workers have been so gracious

-Jackson has been such a good sport despite being so exhausted and hungry because most days this week he has had to fast and misses his naps! He has been such a pleasure. Most of you remember our posts about how the Colombian women just ooh and ahh over Jackson. That culture prepared him for all of these doctors and nurses poking and prodding. He feels like a celebrity.

-We have mentioned it before but our doctors are excellent. We have had info coming in not only from MD Anderson but Baylor, St. Jude’s and TX Children’s. Jackson’s case is rare so we are getting spoiled with the best of the best.

-We have been overwhelmed by the love and concern of all of you, our friends and family, we couldn’t get through this time without all of you-thank you for the notes, calls, gifts for Jackson, snacks for the hospital and all of your prayers!!!

Some prayer requests…

-Jackson will have surgery tomorrow as most of you know. We will learn tomorrow whether or not it is malignant for sure but not what type. We are obviously praying for a miracle but doctors have led us to believe that it is quite bad. We are praying for healing! And for success in getting the tumor completely out. We have an excellent oncology surgeon, Dr. Hayes- Jordan. You can google her. She is one of the best! Pray that she will be well-rested and have wisdom during the surgery tomorrow.

-One of the major concerns after getting all of the cancer out is saving as much of the function of his leg as they can. We have been so burdened with the thought that our wild little boy might not be able to do all of the things we dream of for him. We have teased that it is going to be hard to pay back the Astros for Jackson’s signing bonus that Seth has already spent years in advance. (Most of you know that Seth LOVES the Astros). In all honestly, we like any parents, just hope that our little boy can run and jump and chase little girls some day just like all of his buddies. He has a lot of spunk and we don’t want him to be held back!

-In a few days Seth’s sick leave will run out. People from the Embassy have mentioned an interest in donating time. Pray that all of the logistics of this will work out so that Seth can be here and not feel the burden of missing work

-Pray for us as we are away from home. We miss feeling settled. I mentioned to Seth that I think last week was the first week I felt settled at our home in Bogota. Ironic how the timing works out.

-Pray for rest and patience with one another. So far we are holding things together but our tiredness is wearing on us and it’s tough to keep our cool.

Well, there are probably more things on our minds but as I said we are pretty tired so I will keep it at that. We are overwhelmed by the knowledge that thousands are praying for our sweet boy! We cannot say enough to express our thanks.

Here are some pictures of family and hospital days…


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We struggled through trying to get a CT scan today and after a few hours and 3 IV’s we were successful.  The scans came back and  there is no evidence of additional cancer in at least the abdomen, pelvis and chest. That is a huge answer to prayer. At this point we will move forward with surgery and then once we have a diagnosis we will determine what further treatment is needed. We have a bone scan tomorrow and surgery on Thursday. We will be admitted for a few days and then we will return home to hold him still and keep him off his knee!!! Not possible! We will keep you posted as we get more results.

We are tired in every way. Jackson had a rough day of being poked. We pray that the next few days are less painful for him.  Pray that tomorrows testing goes smoothly and gets us home early in the day so that we can have time to rest before we head into the time of surgery and recovery.

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Today has been a day to catch our breath.

While we’re ready for Jackson to be better and wish that they could be running tests this weekend, we’re also thankful that we have two days without all of that.  Life has been a whirlwind.  When you think about the fact that at noon on Wednesday the doctor said the word “cancer”, we packed up our lives, caught an international flight, and spent a day with doctors, we’re glad that we have today and tomorrow to get other stuff done.  We’ll have a chance to see some family, eat a Whataburger (I’ve had two dreams about Whataburger recently), and buy Jackson some summer clothes (since he mainly wears winter clothes in Bogota).  I got a haircut, Kristen and I went for a Sonic cherry limeade, we’ll have some Papa John’s pizza, and see more family.  (As you can see, part of our lives revolve around American food).

The craziness will start up again next week.  And who knows when it will end.  So, we’re thankful for how God has planned things, to rest in some “green pastures” in the midst of this unpeaceful Life.

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We had our initial appointment with MD Anderson today. We haven’t had time to report about this but there have been so many connections made in the last few days. The nurse at our med unit in Bogota used to work at MD Anderson, Seth’s family has a friend who was treated there and then today half of the people we met on the hospital staff had a spouse from Colombia or other connections. It was comforting to have connections and know that even though our “home” is miles away (once again) there are still many reminders of home. We feel like we are home in some ways but feel so displaced in another way. We didn’t ever anticipate leaving so abruptly and have no idea what the future holds.

Our day with the doctors was amazing in the sense that they spent hours answering our questions and debating what would be the best course of action for Jackson. They did confirm that they are almost completely certain that Jackson has a form of sarcoma. Cancer of the soft tissue. The MRI’s from Colombia told them a lot and once again without a biopsy they confirmed cancer. Obviously, the growth could miraculously come back as benign but we spent 8 hours with doctors talking to us about the next steps for surgery, chemo and possibly radiation so no one is reassuring us at this point. Our little boy is so happy and appears to be healthy minus his “chubby knee”. We are shocked and have many decisions to make quickly. We came home tonight which was nice because we could have been admitted. We will start CT’s, bone scans, blood tests, etc on Monday. The scans will help to determine whether or not the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, bone, etc. We did a chest x-ray that appears to be clear. You can be praying that this tumor in his knee is the primary source! Surgery will likely occur Thursday or Friday although that all depends on what avenue we decide to take with treatment.

We will keep you posted. We will be settling in this weekend and won’t likely have any news for a few days.
Thank you for your calls, prayers and support. It means so much.

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Quick update

We made it safely to Houston this afternoon. Jackson did wonderfully on the flight. This was an answer to prayer! We are overwhelmed by your prayers and encouragement.

We have an appointment tomorrow at MD Anderson’s Pediatric Cancer Center. We know we will be seeing the best of the best when it comes to doctors. We are praying that the doctors will have wisdom and that they will have more information for us.

Thank you for your support.

We’ll be updating our blog as we can. We are hoping the hospital has wireless that we can access with our laptop to keep you all posted. We don’t have cell phones here so check the blog for updates if you are curious.

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continue praying

Well, we received a call this morning that we needed to see the orthopedic surgeon immediately because the MRI did in fact show a solid mass. We rushed to the hostipal, got the labs and rushed over to see him. He thinks that from looking at the tumor that Jackson has malignant cancer. We are being med-evaced tomorrow morning to Houston to go straight to MD Anderson Cancer Center. We have to pack up and move out basically by tomorrow morning. We will leave our belongings obviously because we won’t know if we will be moving permanently. Pray for us as we push through our sadness to get packed.   We are drained to say the very least.

Thank you for your prayers.

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We would greatly appreciate all of your prayers these days. On top of preparing for our trip to the states in a few weeks we are quite over-loaded. On Friday or Saturday we noticed that Jackson had a space above his knee that was very swollen. We were in Cartagena on the coast and didn’t feel comfortable going to the hospital. It wasn’t red, bruised or anything like that. Today I took Jackson to the doctor here and he was concerned as are we. He sent me for x-rays and then on to an orthopedic doctor. I snuck a peak at the x-ray on my way to take them and could see there was no damage to his bones, but there’s a mass above his knee. The orthopedic doctor had now recommended an MRI to rule out a tumor. As you can imagine we are very concerned. The MRI will be today at noon. I am supposed to not let him sleep so that he will be so tired that he will lay perfectly still. Not really possible with a 9 month old. You can pray that it is just inflammation and that it will go down significantly so that no further measures have to be taken. We only have 2 1/2 weeks left before going home on medical leave so we aren’t quite prepared to handle more big medical expenses and emotions. Jackson is as happy as ever with the occasional discomfort. We are really hoping this isn’t anything that will interfere with his desire to move!! We don’t want it to hinder his crawling or walking. We’ll keep you updated as we know more.

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