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, April 14th

Today was certainly better than the last few. Although the day started off tough for Jacob, because he was so tired, I definately noticed that he got better and better throughout the day. They did have 4 hours of physical and occupational therapy scheduled for Jacob, but they took it easy on him. Constantly asking him if he was tired or if he felt ok. He ate a little bit more than yesterday, but not as much as I’d like him to eat. This evening he had a sudden craving for popcorn, so I was on a mission. Thankfully I found some. He ate it all, so at least I know that his appetite is coming back.

One thing that Jacob has absolutely hated through this whole thing is needles. MGH kinda ruined it for him when they poked him close to a dozen times trying to get an IV in. He has to start having shots on a regular basis of Neupogen which is supposed to boost his immune system. Unfortunately, I’ll be the one giving them to him, but as long as we’re here at rehab or the hospital, the nurses can be the bad guys. Well, tonight was supposed to be the first night for it and he was so upset that he had to get poked again. The nurse put numbing ceam on it and had the needle in and out before he even knew it. Thank goodness! Maybe I won’t have to be the bad guy after all!
Please continue to pray for Jacob….1)for him to be healed of the cancer. 2)that the side effects would be minimal and 3)that he would continue to get stronger and be able to walk on his own without assistance. With the chemo knocking him down, this may end up being a set back for his recovery.

Thanks again for all your prayers! We’re continuing to trust God and we know that He has Jacob’s best interests in mind. The Lord is good!

Wednesday, April 13th

Jacob still recovering from the last couple days. He didn’t want to eat breakfast this morning because he was afraid of getting sick, but I strongly encouraged him to eat something to give his body fuel. So he did – just a little bit though. Better than nothing! Well, they were having trouble with his port. He had a double port put in and were having trouble drawing blood from one. I was afraid that they were going to have to go back in, but they messed with it enough and got it to work. It’s not perfect, but it works. We got discharged at about 2:30 and had to head back to Mary Free Bed to continue on with physical therapy. We just pulled into the parking garage and Jacob got sick. Thankfully we got the door open so he didn’t get sick in the van. I feel bad for the person who was parked beside us. I got him inside and once he layed down he felt fine. I even got him to eat some fruit earlier this evening. At least he’s still taking his vitamins, so that should help. Hopefully tomorrow is a better day!

Tuesday, April 12th

Well, today could’ve certainly been better. Jacob was exhausted! That chemo kicked his butt last night. He woke up this morning and had a little breakfast and that was pretty much it for the rest of the day. He did have a few grapes here and there and a little bit of water. I did talk him into eating an apple earlier this evening, but he said his guts just hurt. He didn’t sleep very good last night, so he just layed in bed all day and took it easy. He did take a long, much needed nap this afternoon.

Caleb was able to come for a visit today along with his aunt and cousins. That perked Jacob up a bit. We had a good time. Another highlight of Jacobs day was that they had some volunteers that bring their dogs in to visit with the patients. First, Jacob got to meet Baer, a big black Newfoundland/Chow mix. Then Sasha came in. A cute, little fluffy thing (not sure what she was). She came right in and her owner put her up on the bed beside Jacob and she layed right down. If you know Jacob very well, then you know he LOVES dogs. That was the best part of his day!

Then back to reality. Jacob had to have his last dose of chemo for this week. Back to Mary Free Bed for some more physical therapy tomorrow. Hopefully he regains some strength soon to continue working on his walking. There has been some talk that he may get discharged from Mary Free Bed later next week and then continue with outpatient therapy three times a week for awhile. I’ll keep you all updated on that. Please continue to pray for Jacob as he continues on this journey. Also, please pray for his younger brother Caleb who’s going through a lot too. Thankfully he’s staying with my sisters, but all of a sudden, he was without his Mom, Dad and brother. Very scary and confusing to a 7 year old. And please don’t forget Ken, who has to be in the U.P., 7 hours away from his family. I could probably use your prayers as well. I’m doing pretty well considering, but only by the grace of God. Without Him, I would be a mess!!!

We appreciate all the prayers, messages and donations tthat we’ve been getting. It means the world to us, so thank you!

Monday, April 11th

Well, I must say…I am so thankful that we got out yesterday and had a good time with family because today…not so fun! We arrived back at the hospital at 11:00. Jacob had to have another IV put in for bloodwork and for the surgery. He is not very fond of needles, so that didn’t go over so well. He had his surgery to put his port in at 1:00. It took an hour and a half. Everything went well. He was back in his room by 3:00 and starving since he hadn’t been able to eat since the night before. He chowed!!! He ate a ton of food. Later on, his Uncle Neil, Aunt Kristina and cousin Brady came, along with his Grandparents. It was a nice distraction since he wasn’t diggin’ the port and stitches. They finally started his chemo meds around 11:00 tonight and about a 1/2 hour into it, he ended up getting sick to his stomach. Thankfully it was only 1 time and hopefully it won’t happen again. Poor little guy! Such a hard thing to watch. If only I could take it all away and put it on myself. He such a strong boy. I’m so proud of him!

Please keep praying for Jacob as he continues chemo. That he won’t have any more nausea and vomiting and that his fatigue will be kept at a minimum. Also continue to pray that his physical therapy goes well and that he keeps progressing.

Thanks again for all your comments and messages. Jacob enjoys reading them as do I.

Sunday, April 10th

What a wonderful day! Jacob had a very light schedule for therapy. He was done by 1:30. It was gorgeous here, we couldn’t just sit around and waste the day, so we decided to break out of this joint. Ken’s sister Kim brought over a vehicle for me so I would have some wheels to get back and forth to all the appointments. It was just too tempting! We’ve been stuck in this place way too long, so we hopped in the new van and left for Hastings (the town where both my sisters and their families live). We had a wonderful time! It was 85 degrees and Jacob was loving the fresh air and the freedom. Along with all the cousin time. We were able to stay until 7:00 and it was nice to see and smooch on Caleb. Jacob and I had a hard time leaving though – back to reality.

Well, tomorrow is another big day for Jacob. We have to head back over to Helen DeVos Hospital at 11:00 for Jacob to get some blood work done and then he will have surgery at 1:00 to have his port put in. We will be staying there both Monday and Tuesday night as he will also be starting his chemotherapy. Please keep Jacob in prayer while he goes through another tough process over the next couple days. Thank you for all your prayers!

Saturday, April 9th

I think today was by far the best day of all! Not only was therapy short and sweet, but they kept the work to a minimum and made most of it fun – Wii Fit, hand pedal bike video game, kick the soccer ball around, etc. He was done with therapy by 2:00, so we had the rest of the day free. We ended up getting a lot of company and that helps you forget where you’re at or what’s going on at the moment.

Let’s see….my sisters came and brought Caleb along with 4 of the cousins, my parents came and Ken’s Mom, sister Kim and her husband Dave. The best part is that Jacob and I actually got to leave rehab for a few hours to go out for dinner. Jacob was so excited! That was the first time he’s been out and about in almost 3 weeks. He was a little hyper. But then again I can’t blame the poor kid. We had a wonderful time and were bummed we had to come back. Can’t wait till he’s up and walking on his own. Please continue to pray for a speedy recovery! They are determined to make sure he is up and walking unassisted before they let him leave. We appreciate all the prayers we can get.

Friday, April 8th

Today was a little bit different of a day. Some of Jacob’s usual therapists were gone for training of some sort. It’s hard when you’re used to someone being there everyday and then all of a sudden they’re not. I think that kind of threw Jacob off, including myself. He still did good, but wasn’t as enthusiastic as he normally is. Most of his sessions today were all about strengthening his legs. He also did a lot of walking and he got to shoot a Nerf bow. He had a blast with that! Also, more Lego building while standing – always a hit!

Later this afternoon my sister and family (The Endsleys) brought Caleb up to see us. We had a great time visiting and the kids helped decorate Jacobs room. There are stars and planets hanging all over the walls and hanging from the ceiling. It’s a nice touch and makes it feel a little less like we’re living in a hospital. 🙂

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been in Grand Rapids for only 17 days. It feels like so much more than that. But at the same time, I realize that Jacob has come such a long way in such a short amount of time. Even though it’s so tough being here – seeing what Jacob is going through, that my sweet baby Caleb isn’t with his mom or dad, and my wonderful husband is alone 8 hours away – I have peace, total peace knowing that my Heavenly Father is in control. It’s out of my hands and in His. He has a plan…something greater than any of us could ever imagine. And the best part is? We get to be a part of it!

Thursday, April 7th

Jacob had another good day again today. I hope I can keep saying that for awhile yet. First thing he got to do this morning was the Wii Fit. He loves that part. His balance is getting better and better everyday. He also got to do the hand-pedal bike video game along with some strenthening. This afternoon he had the opportunity of getting outside and enjoying the beautiful weather by riding a large 3-wheeled bike or tricycle (he’s not quite ready for the 2 wheels). At first he didn’t want to try it (I think he was embarrassed), but had a blast once he got outside. He rode all around the parking lot for a 1/2 hour. It was so nice for both of us to get outside and get some fresh air. The rest of the day wasn’t as fun. Just a lot of exercising and walking. They have him using 2 hand or arm crutches (not sure of the technical name) instead of the cane. They don’t want him favoring one leg more than the other.

Later this afternoon, Jacob’s Uncle Neil, Aunt Kristina and cousin Brady came for a visit, along with his Aunt Rachel, cousin Jayden and most of all, his cool little brother Caleb. His Aunt Rachel brought with her an envelope of things from the Red Wings that my cousin Steve (who’s currently serving in Iraq) arranged to have sent to Jacob, including a real autographed picture from Pavel Datsyuk. He was so excited!

We enjoy having company come visit so much! It takes the sting out of having to live in a hospital.

I’ll try to get some pictures on here soon.

Another Day

Jacob had another good day again today. This morning’s therapy included working on his balance with the Wii Fit again. He also got to do one of his favorite things – put a Lego set together while standing. He got a 2 hour lunch break and then right back into therapy for 2 1/2 more hours. That included kicking the girls butts in hockey again (I must say, they are getting a tad better), LOTS of walking and strengthening exercises and one tough assignment – putting together another Lego set while balancing on half of a ball. It’s about a foot and a half wide and sits flat on the floor, but the top looks like a bouncy ball. He wasn’t allowed to lean or hold onto anything. I don’t know how he did it for 1/2 hour (with two 2 minute breaks), but he did. He did say his legs were like jello afterward. He’s certainly a champ and determined to get out of here soon. They told him that they’re not letting him leave until he can walk out of here on his own. 🙂 Hopefully that’s sooner than later because we’re both sick of living in a hospital already!

We finished off the day by working hard on a 3-D castle puzzle. It was some much needed down time.

A Better Day

Jacob certainly had a better day today than yesterday. He ended up having 4 1/2 hours of P.T. Something new today was that Jacob got to play basketball. We actually played a couple games of HORSE. I’m going to brag that I won both games only because I’ve never been able to beat him before. He said it doesn’t count because of his condition, but I gotta take what I can get. 🙂 Jacob also played Wii Fit. They’ve had him on it just about every day to help with his balance. Best of all, he played “hockey” against 2 female Physical Therapists. They took turns being the goalie. It was quite entertaining! For those of you who don’t know Jacob, he’s played hockey for the past 5 years, so he gave those girls a run for their money. Plus just watching them try to hold a hockey stick was funny enough!

To top the day off, Caleb (Jacob’s younger brother), cousins Jared and Jay, and Aunts came for a visit. We all had some good laughs, as the boys were quite funny! It’s so nice to have company and so hard when they have to leave. Hopefully time here will start going by faster. We wish you all well!!!

One last thing, for all the Yoopers out there, there will be a Spaghetti Benefit Dinner for Jacob at the American Legion in Little Lake on May 21st. Time and details to follow…