UPDATES


Posted below are the most recent updates on Jacob and his condition. If you wish to receive email alerts when new information has been posted, enter your email below.



Thursday, January 17th

Our first week of outpaitent is coming to an end.  Yay!  Jacob has done great this week.  No nausea or vomiting!  Praise God!  The radiation is going good also.  No side effects as of yet.  Hopefully they’ll be at a minimum.  That’s what I’m praying anyway.  It’s been a busy week.  Usually we’re at the hospital for at least 5-6 hours, but they’re getting faster everyday.  We’ve also been keeping busy by walking around the mall or checking out stores that we don’t have at home. 

We haven’t been sleeping the best.  The hotel we’re staying at has paper-thin walls and isn’t the cleanest.  The American Cancer Society got us the room for free for the week.  We’re very thankful, but will never stay here again.  Unfortunately we have a family staying in the room above us and sound like a herd of elephants.  They even vacuum around 10:00 every night.  Not sure what that’s all about, but I think we’ll try the Days Inn next week.  Praying we’ll get better sleep over there.  It’s right around the corner from the hospital and they have kitchenettes which I’m really happy about because I am already sick of eating out.  I just want a home-cooked meal.

So, we have 4 weeks left of radiation.  That’s 20 treatments and 6 rounds of chemo left.  PTL!  I hope he continues to do as well as he has been.  Please continue to pray for him!  We know the prayers are working as we see evidence of that every single day. 

 

Happy 8th Birthday to my nephew Jayden!!  We love and miss you lots!

Monday, January 14th

Jacob’s MRI was great!  The doctors were happy with all of Jacob’s tests and scans.  His lungs look great too!  Praise the Lord!!!  We enjoyed our time at home, but it went by way too fast.  We had a busy week and then we had to head to Milwaukee on Friday to meet with Jacob’s oncologist.  We decided to stay the night and tried to make the most of being out of town and had to check out some of the local attractions.  We got home late Saturday night, but had a great time just being together as a family.  Thank you to the Pages for watching our Katy!  We really appreciate it!  We also got a surprise visit from my brother and sister-in-law yesterday.  So that meant that we got to see my sweet nephew and niece that we don’t get to see very often.  They stayed the night, so  I was able to spend the day yesterday smooching on their sweet cheeks!  Wish we would’ve had more time, but some is better than none. 

Dropped Caleb off at school this morning and left from there right to Green Bay.  Barely made it to Jacob’s appointment on time.  Thank goodness the roads were dry.  He had a 10:00 appointment and started his 7th round of chemo.  He’s halfway there!  Yippee!  He did really good with that and also started radiation today.  He will have radiation Monday thru Friday for the next 5 weeks.  Please pray that he will have minimal burning and minimal radiation and damage to parts that aren’t supposed to be radiated.  After radiation, we headed back up to the clinic and Jacob got a transfusion.  His hemoglobin was a little low. 

Tomorrow morning we will be heading back to the clinic at 8:30 for chemo and radiation again at 1:00.  Friday will be an earlier schedule, so we should be back home around 4:00 to spend the weekend with Caleb and Ken.  I hope it goes by quick, because I am not a fan of motel living.  🙂  Although it’ll probably be a lot better than the hospital and a lot better sleeping too!  🙂 

We are so thankful for all of your prayers!  God bless you all!

Friday, January 4th

Great news……PET scan was CLEAR!!!!!  Praise the Lord!  We are ecstatic!!   Actually, when I told Jacob, he said calmly, “Ya, I knew it would be.”  Wow!  Faith like a child, right?  I wish I was like that all the time.  🙂   He is currently getting his MRI.  Hopefully we’ll be done soon.  We were supposed to be out of here by 4:00, but obviously that’s not gonna happen.  We’ll shoot for 5:00 then.  Well, as long as we get home safe and sound.  Please pray for safe travels!  I will hear something about the MRI tonight.  The doctor here told me if I didn’t hear from him before I went to bed tonight to page him so we wouldn’t have to go through the weekend without knowing results.  Even though we have the best news ever, they are wanting to make sure that the hardware in his back and the surgery site is still good. 

Well, gotta go get packin.  Jacob just got back and we want to get the show on the road!   Thank you everyone for your prayers!  God is soooo good!!!!  🙂

Wednesday, January 2nd

We had a busy day today.  I met with the Radiation Oncologist this morning.  Hated every second of it.  Not looking forward to the radiation part at all.  They won’t just be radiating one part, but will do a rotation around his whole body in the chest/back area.   There are so many parts involved – spinal cord, esophagus, stomach, lungs, kidneys…. Ugh!  On a good note, the doctor was very nice!  🙂
 
Jacob then started chemo which lasts about 3 hours, followed by a radiation simulation to get him set up for when he starts on the 14th.  He even got tattooed today in 5 different spots on his chest and sides.  He pointed out that “it didn’t really hurt, so……….”  So nothing!!!  Do what you want when you move out someday.  🙂  I sure hope he was joking.  Right after that, they brought him to have a CT.  They needed to put contrast in him for it, but couldn’t use his port due to the needle that was used originally to access his port.  So, he had the choice of reaccessing or to have an IV put in.  He was upset.  He does not like needles!  He’s okay if they can use numbing cream, but there was no time to let that work – it usually takes at least a half hour for him.  He made the decision to have the IV put in instead, but it went as smooth as it possibly could be.  A few tears, but not too bad.   All that took almost 3 hours and Jacob did fantastic.  Even Caleb did a good job being patient. 
 
A couple hours later, we got the AWESOME NEWS:  his CT was CLEAR!!!  I know they still have to do his PET and MRI which are scheduled for Friday and that may show otherwise, but great news! Praise GOD!!!!!! The PET Scan will be early around 7:30, then start chemo and then the MRI around 2:00.  I was told that we’ll have the PET results before we leave here on Friday and they’ll call us with the MRI results sometime that night so we don’t have to go the whole weekend without knowing.  And then hopefully we’ll be out of here by 5:00 and head back home.  I’m sure Ken is enjoying some quiet around the house, but he still has our crazy pug to keep him company.   🙂  
 
Nothing crazy planned for tomorrow except chemo at 9:00.  I promised Caleb that we would try to run over to Toys R Us tomorrow as he has birthday and Christmas money burning a hole in his pocket.  So we’ll try to fit that in at some point. 
 
Well, it’s only 9:00 and I think I’m ready for bed.  I don’t sleep well here (imagine that).  Obviously the boys don’t either.  Jacob was out at 8:00 and Caleb at 8:30.  It’s been a long day!  Please continue to keep our sweet Jacob in your prayers.  He’s doing amazing considering.   Also, please pray that something works out for Jacob and I for housing during radiation.  The Altrusa house (like a Ronald McDonald house) is never a for sure thing and I don’t really want to live in a hotel for 6 weeks and have to eat out 3 meals a day.  Yuck!  Hopefully we can find something clean, cheap and safe for us to stay in that also has a kitchenette so we can make some home-cooked meals. 
 
Thank you everyone for your support and prayers!  Love you all!!!

Monday, December 31st

We are back in Green Bay!  Happy New Years to us!  🙂  It was so nice to be home over the last couple of weeks.  We had a wonderful Christmas!  Just being home and together was enough, but we had several blessings to make it even better.  One was that we had a local church in Skandia, Community Covenant Church, come out to our house and sing Christmas carols to us.  I didn’t even know people did that anymore.  It was awesome!  Caleb really enjoyed it.  As we stood in the doorway and listened, Caleb insisted going outside and standing on the porch to hear them better.  He stood there with the biggest smile on his face enjoying every second.   He looked so proud like they were there just to sing to him – like he was the center of attention.  It was adorable!  I will never forget that.  🙂  Jacob, on the other hand, kind of hid behind Ken and I not wanting to be noticed.  🙂  Another blessing was that some family from the Green Bay area blessed the boys with a bunch of presents for Christmas.  It was through the hospital here.  What an amazing blessing!  I am still in shock!  We probably will never know who they are, but they made 2 boys very happy!!!  Thank you to whoever you are – our secret Santa.  🙂

Jacob stayed healthy the whole time we were home.  I was a little nervous because his white blood cell count was down so low pretty much the whole time and just went back up over the weekend.  Thankfully no colds or fevers.  He’s a trooper!  Caleb’s 9th birthday was yesterday.  So on Friday, he had his birthday party with his friends and had a sleepover.  All went well and not too much craziness.  In the meantime, Jacob and Caleb’s Aunt Kim and Uncle Dave came up for a surprise visit.  We knew they were coming, but the boys had no clue.  You should’ve seen the look on Caleb’s face especially.  He just stood there with his mouth wide open.  🙂   We celebrated Christmas again with them and it was nice having them there for Caleb’s birthday too. 

We left early this morning for Green Bay.  What makes it better is that Caleb is with us.  Yay!  Sad we had to leave Ken behind.  🙁  They were able to start chemo earlier than normal   – at about 1:00.  Jacob is doing very well, but since this is the 5 day stay with Ifosfamide and Etopiside (the one he’s allergic to), as soon as they give him the Benadryl, he’s usually zoned out for the rest of the day.  We do have a busy week, however, with tests and scans.  He’ll have PET scans, CT’s and a MRI done along with the radiation simulation to get ready for radiation which will probably start on January 14th.  Next we will be heading down to Milwaukee next weekend to meet with Jacob’s oncologist to go over the results and to decide on a plan on what to do from there.  We’ve pretty much decided what route we want to take, but we’ll still hear them out.

Jacob is getting his 6th round this week.  Only 8 to go.  It’s hard to believe that we’re there already.  This is where we pulled him out of treatment last time to save his life.  I am just so amazed at how great he is doing this time.  We are so thankful that God has blessed us with these great Doctors and Nurses here in WI where they actually care about the childs health and they’re not just out there to make money and boost their egos.   They are taking such good care of Jacob.  I am so happy he’s doing so well.  Thank you Jesus!!!  I just hope other children aren’t suffering at the hands of the doctors at the G.R. hospital like Jacob was.  We will have to lift them up in prayer and remember that God is in control!

Child Life came in earlier to give the boys noise makers, party hats, silly glasses and streamers to hang up for our own New Years Eve party, but they were both out at 9:00 cheese time.  I’m not too far behind.  🙂  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and cherished every minute with your children.  I also wish you all a Happy New Year!!!  May you all have happiness, good health and be blessed this year. 

Please keep Jacob in y0ur prayers this week and next as he has his tests and scans.  I will let you all know when we have the results!  God bless!

Monday, December 17th

Back in Green Bay once again!  We all had to get up early this morning to get Caleb on the bus at 6:50.  My poor baby!  Jacob and I left right away as we had to be here by 9:30 cheese time.  Jacob had an EKG and ECHO this morning before he was admitted.  They wanted to check on him again since they haven’t since October.  The reason for that is that one of the chemo drugs he is getting – Doxorubicin, is very hard on the heart, so they want to monitor it.   His heart is not functioning as strong as it was in October, but still in the “limits”.  Not what I wanted to hear, but trusting God will take care of my baby.  Thank goodness that this is the last cycle of Doxorubicin that he will ever have.  And I mean EVER!  There is a lifetime limit of that stuff and he has met it.  Poor little guy! 

Anyway, after all of that fun was done and over, Jacob was admitted for his 5th round.  Can’t believe how fast this has gone by.  It’s amazing how fast it goes when the doctors and nurses are taking care of your son and he’s not sick and nauseous, losing a ton of weight and wanting to die.  I am just so very thankful for these amazing people here in WI!   I think about it everyday – just how well he’s thriving!  His weight fluctuates, but he has not lost 1 pound!  PTL!!!  He told me a couple weeks ago that his back hasn’t felt this good in a couple of years.  Not even after the first surgery.  So much to be thankful for!   Sorry that I’m still stewing so much.  Sometimes it’s hard to not go there – knowing how well he’s doing and knowing what hell he had to go through before.   So….he did get his Doxorubicin, Cyclophosphamide and Vincristine and is done for the night.  All went well and he’s feeling great!  He was craving graham crackers and milk, so that’s what he’s currently snacking on.  🙂   Tomorrow he’ll only have the Doxorubicin and some heart protectant and then we’ll be on the road again heading home.  🙂

Last Thursday, Jacob’s counts were horrible, so Friday he had to have a blood transfusion.  Originally Marquette General said they wouldn’t accept him as a patient for transfusions when Milwaukee called and asked, but Green Bay must’ve buttered them up because they finally agreed.  PTL!  All went well, but we were there for over 5 hours.  Better than making the trip down here to do it, right?  The rest of our time at home went well, but flew by.  It was busy, but good.  We did have a pipe break under our sink when the dishwasher was running, so that was fun to clean up.  🙂  On a good note, we had a good family friend, Ryan stay with us for most of the week.  Thank you for coming Ryan.  The boys had a blast with the nerf gun fights again!  🙂 

Looking forward to being home for 2 weeks.  We don’t have to head back until New Years Eve.  That will be for 5 days.  Our last round of Induction and then they’ll do scans to see where Jacob’s at.  The docs here did offer to move his treatment back a couple of days if we wanted to be home for New Years, but Ken has to work, so there’s really no point.  I’d rather be home for the weekend when he’s off of work.  Plus, Caleb gets to come with us!  As long as he’s healthy, he’ll be staying with us at the hospital all week.  I was shocked when Child Life said they encourage it.  That they would prefer the whole family be here together to help the patient get better.  Wow…what a concept!  I remember getting my butt chewed for bringing Caleb to clinic one day with me to get Jacob’s blood checked in G.R.   I have to say, this hospital is amazing!  I’m pretty excited to have both my boys with me.  Wish Ken could be with us too, but gotta pay the bills somehow, right? 

We are so very thankful to all of you that have blessed us.  Recently and in the past!  Thank you Crystal and co-workers at Northern Michigan Bank!  Thank you Lake Superior Christian Church!  And thank you Outhouse Classic Crew!  Your generosity this past week blessed us tremendously!!!!  Also thank you to those that made donations on our website.  🙂  God has done so many amazing things in our lives over the past couple of years.  Even though it may look crazy, chaotic and even horrible at times from the outside – and believe me, sometimes it is – we are putting our faith and total trust in God!  He will never let us down.  He knows whats best for us – for Jacob and even though we think we might know, we don’t.  Only God knows.  I have no clue how people go through stress and tragedies in their lives without having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.   But I’m thankful everyday that I do.  🙂

I’m hoping to write again tomorrow, but it never goes the way I plan.  I’m also hoping to write again before Christmas, but if I don’t, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  Make sure you hug and kiss your children and spouse just a little bit more and make sure you tell them that you love them.  🙂

Wednesday, December 5th

Yesterday all went well.  Chemo went just fine.  It started around 4:30 as they move it up 2 hours each day.  Jacob didn’t feel like eating much, which is understandable, but I really wanted him to eat something, so I said if you could have anything to eat in the whole world, what would it be?  His answer?  Rotisserie chicken.  So off I was on a mission.  The nurse told me there was a Super Value just a couple of blocks down the road.  I asked her to give me a second option “just in case”.  She said that there was a Wal-Mart, but several miles down the road in the opposite direction.  Off I went.  If my boy wants rotisserie chicken, then rotisserie chicken he gets.  🙂  I stopped at the Super Value.  Do you think they had any?  Nope.  All out, but the worker told me that they would have more in an hour.  I certainly didn’t want to wait around, so I asked where the next best place was.  Austins – about 4 miles further down the road.  Do you think they had any?  Nope.  All out.  So off to Wal-Mart I went.  All they way back to where I came from and then off in the other direction.  Thank goodness they had some left.  When I got back to the hospital, Jacob said “I’m not really in the mood anymore for chicken.”  I just stared at him.  He said “Just kidding!”  Real funny!  He almost saw a grown woman cry.  🙂  It must’ve hit the spot because he ate about 2/3 of it.  That boy chowed down!

Today was kind of busy.  A local artist came in from a program called HEAL.  She had Jacob paint the same painting on two different canvases – whatever he wanted.  He painted a beautiful sunset with the silhouette of trees.  It was abstract art.  It was fun to watch him paint like that.  Usually he is such a perfectionist, trying to make everything just so, but she encouraged him to paint differently.  He had a huge smile on his face the whole time as the paint was splattering everywhere.  He had a blast!  Kim the artist brought her dog with her too.  Cree is a Hungarian Puli.  Ya know, those dogs that look like they have dreads?  Anyway, Jacob got to keep his favorite out of the two and then she takes the other and auctions it off at a benefit in the spring.   He’s looking forward to painting with her again at his next 5 day chemo stay which will be at the beginning of January.  He keeps staring at his canvas.  He is so proud!  🙂  We also had the privilege of having a new friend stop by.  Bonnie Taylor (the mom of our pastor back home) came and visited – mostly during the time the artist was here.  We didn’t get to chat a whole lot, but will hopefully get to meet up again next time we’re down.  

Also got a call from school today.  The secretary told me that she had Caleb in the office.  He had sprained his ankle at lunch recess.  Poor little guy!  Of course Ken was at work in Munising, so I called our good friend Judy McGuire and she was sweet enough to go pick him up and bring him back to her house until Ken got home.  I have to admit…when I got the phone call, I assumed he did something bad.  I hate to say that I was relieved a bit when she said that it was a sprain.  Does that sound mean? 🙂  So thankful for the McGuires.  They have been such a blessing to us over the past couple of years.  We love you guys!  I spoke with Caleb earlier on the phone before he went to bed and he said it still hurt a bit, but at least the swelling went down. 

Chemo went well.  As good as can be expected.  Still no problems and he feels just fine.  He at a really good breakfast, but didn’t feel like eating much the rest of the day.  He did a lot of snacking though.  Mostly fruit.  I did have to go on a string cheese hunt earlier.  Thank goodness the cafeteria had some.  I thought I was going to have to venture out to the store again.  He ate 2 and was happy.  Tomorrow chemo will start at 12:30.  Not sure what kind of exciting stuff we’ll have going on.  I’m sure Child Life will have something to keep him entertained.  I love how this hospital has that small town feeling.  He gets so much more attention from them that way and he loves it.  Earlier, one of the Child Life Specialists brought in two autographed Packer footballs.  One for Jacob and one for Caleb.  He was so excited!  I could see the dollar signs in his eyes.  Ha! 

Thank you for thinking of us and praying so much for Jacob!  God has been so good to us.  He is taking such good care of us.  I have to stress or worries.  No anxiety.  Well, maybe a little here and there, but then I remind myself that God will provide.  And guess what?  He always does.  So thankful for family and friends too!  We are so blessed.   Prayer request other than the obvious…..Jacob will start radiation in January.   His oncologist is checking into whether Marquette will be willing to do the radiation there.  Praying that they agree to it as it will be Monday thru Friday for six weeks.  Plus each appointment is only about 15 minutes long, at the most, so it would be wonderful if his appointments could be right in Marquette.  That’s a long time to be away from Caleb and of course Ken.  🙂  Even though we would try to be home on the weekends, six weeks would be hard on all of us.  Thank you all!  God bless!

Monday, December 3rd

I’ll try to start where I left off.  Let’s see……….

The rest of Jacob’s chemo went great.  No problems and he felt good.  We didn’t end up getting home until almost midnight, but at least we got to go home.  It was nice having a full 2 weeks off.  We went bowling with some families from our church the first Sunday we were home.  That was a lot of fun!  Bloodwork was on Tuesday.  His counts were still decent from all the Neupogen shots from the week before.  They also gave him a transfusion before we left since his hemoglobin was borderline and they wanted us to make it through Thanksgiving without having to go to Green Bay for a transfusion since Marquette General said they wouldn’t do it.  He also had physical therapy that day.  They ran him through a bunch of exercises and decided to discharge him from the program since he was doing so well.  They said he improved so much from when they first saw him that now it would just take time for the rest to happen.  He really is improving tremendously!  Thursday was Thanksgiving.  It was quiet with just the four of us, but very nice.  We stuffed ourselves as I’m sure most of you did.  We were just so thankful to be home and all together.    Thank you Dr. Folker for the turkey.  It was delicious!  We appreciate you thinking of us!!!  Friday was bloodwork again.  Yes, we had to go out on Black Friday, but we made it home alive!  Jacob’s counts were BAD!  Although he felt good, we kept him sheltered from the outside world.  🙂   We made him stay home from church on Sunday.  He was not happy about that!  Monday was bloodwork again.  His white blood cell count was decent, but his hemoglobin and platelets were borderline.  I prayed like crazy that they would jump up by Thursday when he had bloodwork again so that we wouldn’t have to head down to Green Bay for the day just for a transfusion.  The nurse warned me that they would probably go down even lower.   Thursday came and guess what?  His hemoglobin had jumped from 8.2 to 9.2 and his platelets jumped from 66,000 to 208,000!!!  Also, his wbc went from 1.4 to 5.8!  Praise God!!!!  So all was well!  🙂  Friday night we went to the big craft show at the dome in Marquette.  I always enjoy walking around checkin out all of the talented peoples work.  Jacob loves looking at all the woodwork and photography.  Saturday, the boys and I went outside and had a crazy snowball fight.  The snow was melting, so it was more of a slush fight.  We had a lot of fun!  There was certainly a lot of giggling going on.  🙂   I’m pretty sure I lost.  It really wasn’t fair.  Caleb caught all the snowballs I threw at him.  I guess making Ken play catch with the football all summer and fall paid off.  🙂   Ken was busy cleaning his deer that he had shot the weekend before.  Good job honey! Sunday we got our Christmas tree after church as I had promised Caleb that we would decorate and put the tree up before Jacob and I left again.  After we were done decorating the tree, we watched a Christmas movie and ate popcorn.  We watched a Christmas movie several nights this past week as we have many and we want to make sure that we get through all of them before Christmas is here.  🙂

Now we’re at today……This morning I dropped Caleb off at school and Jacob and I left right from there to Green Bay.  It was so foggy!  We got a little lost, but nothing major!  At least we got here before his appointment with about 20 minutes to spare.  We are now at St. Vincent hospital and will be doing treatment here for the next 3 rounds at least.  Jacob is getting round 4 this week with only 10 to go.  So happy it’s going by faster this time.  Anyway, this round will be the 5 day treatment with the Etoposide and Ifosfamide.  Etoposide is the drug that Jacob had an allergic reaction to last month.  Please pray that all goes well and that God will protect him.  We are happy with everything here so far.  I admit, I was feeling a little anxious about coming here.  Everything has gone so well in Milwaukee, I was afraid to mess with that, but they thought we might like to be closer to home – especially during the winter months for the driving part.  Children’s in Milwaukee is still calling the shots though.  Hopefully we’ll survive Packer country during football season.  🙂

Well, chemo has begun and no problems yet.  Praise God!  Actually, what’s really neat is that the doctor just came in – walked 2 blocks from home just to check on Jacob and make sure he was doing okay with the Etoposide.  He sat and talked with us about hunting and the U.P. for over a half hour.  I have to say, I’ve been impressed so far with all of the people we’ve met in WI since September.  All these cheeseheads are really truly nice!  🙂

Well, that’s all for tonight!  Sleep tight everyone!!

Wednesday, November 14th

Yesterday went well.   Jacob had to get his blood checked first thing.  His counts were fantastic!   So, we had the rest of the day to do whatever we wanted.  We went back to the Ronald McDonald house and just relaxed for awhile and played video games in their arcade.  When we were hungry, we decided to head out for lunch.  Jacob really wanted to go to The Cheesecake Factory.   We both ate a HUGE lunch and Jacob got a piece of cheesecake for dessert to go.  He had never had cheesecake before so he decided to get the raspberry lemon.  Not my first choice, but it was for him.  Next we went to the Mayfair Mall.  It’s a 2-story mall.  We walked around that for a couple hours and checked everything out.  I was quite tired after that, but he was still rarin’ to go!  He asked if we could go to the other mall – Brookfield Square.  So, we walked around another mall.  Once we were done with that, he still wanted to keep going, but Mom’s feet and legs were sore so it was time to take a break.  We headed back to the R.M. House and relaxed for the rest of the evening.  Jacob eventually had his cheesecake – loved it!  Thankfully he only ate half, so I got the other half.  🙂  YUM!

Today started off kinda crazy.  We got to the hospital at 7:40 for them to access his port on the second floor.   Originally we were supposed to go up to the 3rd floor after (as of yesterday) to register for surgery.  But plans had changed and they told us to report to the first floor instead.  Once we got to the first floor, they told us it was wrong and to go to the 3rd floor.  On the 3rd floor, they said to go to the 4th floor.  On the 4th floor, they took care of us and got Jacob prepped, but said we should’ve been on the 1st floor.  They just got a new computer system, so that was the problem, but what a way to start the day!  He finally got into surgery at about 9:30.  Everything went well and he was in recovery by 11:00 and in his room by 11:30.  They started harvesting the stem cells at 12:30 and were done 4 hours later.  Their goal (which I was way off originally) was 5 million.  They were hoping they could get that many within 2-3 days.  Well guess what????  They ended up getting 11 MILLION!!!!  Can you believe it?  God is so awesome!  They got 2 bags worth in one day.  So, tomorrow morning they’ll be able to take out his central line and start chemo later on in the day and finish up Friday.  Yippee!!!

Unfortunately with everything going on today, Jacob did get sick a couple of times and doesn’t feel very good.  They said it’s probably from a combination of things – surgery, the anesthesia, not eating for so many hours, the morphine, and the meds they put in when taking the cells out.  Also, harvesting the stem cells just wipes your body out.  He’s been pretty tired all day.  Thankfully he hasn’t been in much pain.  Just uncomfortable from having a big tube sticking out of the side of his neck.  Hopefully he’ll be back to himself tomorrow.  And hopefully he’ll be able to sleep okay tonight with that thing in his neck.  Pretty bad when he feels better with chemo than with this stuff.

Thank you for all of your prayers and support!  I know the prayers are working.  Evidence of that today!  🙂

Monday, November 12th

Wow…hard to believe a month has passed since I’ve written.  I was having problems with getting on the website, so I’ll try to start where I left off last……..

The first round of chemo ended up going very well.  Jacob didn’t have any nausea.  Praise God!  So crazy.  He was so sick before and Children’s of Wisconsin is doing a fantastic job with him.  We are so impressed.  We are just so happy with their treatment for Jacob.  They sure know what they’re doing!   It’s maddening that the hospital in GR was such a joke and that Jacob had to go through what he did, but we’re trying to look forward and be thankful that he’s in good hands now. 

Anyway, we enjoyed 2 weeks at home after the first round.  Jacob started physical therapy that he does about 3 times a week, although they have him do it everyday when we’re at the hospital.  He did end up getting a fever of 102 a week after we got home.  They don’t like anything over 101, so we had to bring him in to the ER in Marquette.  Marquette did what Children’s told them to and admitted Jacob until his counts went back up and his fever went away.  He ended up being in the hospital from Saturday the 20th until Tuesday the 23rd.  Not how we wanted to spend our time at home, but at least we were in the U.P. and I was able to go home and get Caleb off to school in the morning and off the bus at the end of the day.  Unfortunately on the way back to the hospital Monday evening, I hit a deer and wrecked our van.  20 years of driving and I’ve never hit a deer.  Yes, I just aged myself.  🙂  At least I was okay, but you think “what else”?  Off it went to the shop and at least we have an extra vehicle. 

We headed back down to Milwaukee the following Monday on the 29th for Jacob’s second round of chemo.  It’s five full days of Etoposide (very hard on the bladder) and Ifosphamide (also a mustard gas).  The week went by well.  Jacob was sad that he had to spend Halloween in the hospital, but they made sure the kids had fun by having food, games and crafts.  The kids even went trick-or-treating around the hospital.  He refused to dress up since he was bummed, but wore a cleaver head band to make it a little festive.  Wish I had a picture to share.  🙂   We were able to come home on Friday, Nov. 2nd.  They sent him home on fluids since they like him to have 24 hours of fluids after chemo to make sure his bladder is fully flushed out.  He did well all week, but ended up throwing up about 2 miles after we left the hospital.  I actually had a feeling that would happen.  Since the van was out of commission, we had Ken’s truck.  It has knobby tires and can be a little bouncy on these Wisconsin roads.  After so much jiggling, I didn’t feel so well either.   After that, he felt good and never had another problem again. 

We had another great week at home.  It went by too fast of course.  We had friends – Tim and Ryan Taylor come up for the week.  Had a great time, but missed Carisa and Lindsay.  🙁  Ryan, Jacob and Caleb had nerf gun wars almost every night and had a blast!  I will add that Ryan is in his 20’s and probably had just as much, if not more fun than the boys.   🙂  Thanks for playing with them Ryan!  I will also add that the Sunday after we got home, Caleb shot his first deer.  He was so excited!  We are so happy for him.  🙂

And now we’re at today.  Jacob and I are in Milwaukee again.  We arrived around 4:30 cheese time (central time).  We’re at the Ronald McDonald House and will be here for a couple of nights.  Jacob has an appointment tomorrow morning to get his counts checked.  Then on Wednesday morning at 8:00, Jacob will be admitted and he will have surgery to have a central line put in (just temporary) to have stem cells removed.  Not sure if they will ever be needed.  Hoping not, but we’ll have them here frozen “just in case”.   That could take 1-3 days depending on how long it takes to get the amount they need.   I think the number is around 50 billion if I remember correctly.  It’ll take 2-3 hours each day.  Once they’re done, they’ll do his 2 day chemo round and then we can head home once again for 2 weeks.  So we’ll be home for Thanksgiving.  Yeah!!!

At least we got our van back last week.  It looks beautiful!  Good job Goodwins!  🙂  Jacob is happy too since we had a nice smooth ride down here.  Hopefully the deer stay out of our way from now on.  At least when I have the kids in the vehicle.  Well, that’s all for tonight.  I will try to keep up on this now that I have the website figured out.  I will let you all now how Jacob’s surgery goes.  Please be praying for him!  Thanks everyone!!!