Latest update

I know it’s been a long time since I’ve updated this blog, and I’m sorry for that. I went a few weeks ago to get a CT scan and a brain MRI as a normal checkup. I spoke with Dr. Buck and Dr. Shertz last week and the scans look good. The tumors are still there but not growing or spreading so that’s still good. My lungs are thick, but that’s because of everything Dr. Shertz said. I did talk to him and Dr. Buck about me spacing out, and Dr. Shertz thinks I am having seizures. Between those 2, they’re going to find a neurologist to send me too in the area. Aside from that, everything is just peachy with me! I just found out (as I am typing this) Amanda just passed her HESI for school, and will be graduating next week. I am so proud of her! She’s going to make a great nurse.
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, and ate lots of Hokie birds. Christmas is right around the corner, and I hope everyone has a great Christmas. I am so thankful to be here to share it with my family and friends. I go back to Dr. Shertz in May so I’ll update again at that time. Thank you all for your support.



Website font fixed!

So I TOTALLY forgot that the font was messed up in IE on my blog page. I have fixed this so now you IE users can view my blog with no problems. Also when I was looking at my web stats I see a lot of hits still going to www.dreamscapetech.net/livestrong so please make sure you update your bookmark to www.joshesjourney.com

I went this week for a CT scan of my neck, chest, abdomen, and pelvis. I go next week for an MRI of my head. THEN I will go the following week to see Dr. Buck, and the following week to see Dr. Shertz. It’s been a while since I’ve seen either of these great doctors, so I am excited to get some results. As soon as I get some results I’ll be sure to pass them along. Thank you to everyone that continues their support and prayers.



Just a friendly update

Hey guys! I just wanted to give you a quick update on myself. 2 weeks ago I went for an MRI of my head, and a full body CT scan as a normal checkup. On my way home, Dr. Buck called me, and said that everything looked great with my head. The 2″ hole in my head had started to collapse and was very little dura-bond left they could see. The brain is filling itself back in. That’s a good thing!

I followed up with Dr. Shertz this week, and he said everything looked good. The scans only showed scarring in the lungs, and a slightly enlarged spleen. The liver was back to normal size with no residue of tumors or any sort of scaring. He bumped up my scans from every 3 months, to every 6 months. He also made me an appointment with Dr. Harrons office so I can discuss my ‘spacing out’ issue, and determine if Dr. Harron needs to do anything or if I need to see a Neurologist to see if this will ever go away. Hopefully it will.

Everything else in life is going good, I’ve found a lot of my old friends on Facebook, so I can keep up with people a little better. Amanda is doing good in school, I am so proud of her. Kobie is doing excellent in school and he makes us both so proud. Sadie is growing up super fast, and is spoiled rotten. We’re all excited about going camping this summer. We’ve got several camping trips planned, and we can’t wait!

I will post more updates when I talk to Dr. Harron to see what’s going on with that. Until next time friends, have a great spring and enjoy the weather. BYE!



An update on life

It’s been a while since I’ve posted an update, and I know it’s overdue. I went to see Dr. Buck about 3 weeks ago, and he’s scheduled me for a head MRI in April. Dr. Harron wants to see me again in January. I go next week for another CT scan then the following week, to see Dr. Shertz to discuss the results. Thus far tho, my results have been good. No new tumors, and they’re not growing. That’s good.

I hope that everyone had a good summer, and had lots of fun. It’s fall again and time to wind down and get ready for Christmas, yay!

When I was diagnosed with cancer last year, I didn’t have anyone I could talk to about my disease that was my age. Sure, I could talk to Amanda or any of my friends, but nobody that could really relate to me. Right when I was diagnosed, there was a story on Roanoke.com about Brooke Smith and her diagnosis. I found Brooke on MySpace, and her and I started chatting. We had a lot in common. She grew up on the street behind the street that I grew up on in Roanoke City. We both also loved skating. We talked to each other about our cancer, how to cope, and all of the good things in life. Brooke really opened my eyes and made me see things the way they SHOULD be seen. She was the biggest inspiration that I had while I was at my roughest spots in my battle. SHE of all people, could relate to how I was feeling. New Years Eve 2008, Brooke, her friend Seth, and her sister Ashley met Amanda and I at Roanoke Civic Center and we all hung out and had a good time. Brooke was on crutches but she still got out there and danced, and had a blast with everyone. She made us have a real good night. Brooke went to Boston to do clinical trials to try and help her beat her rare form of cancer, but it was unsuccessful. She remained strong, remained having a strong faith and remained very close to God during her whole journey. Brooke was a real special friend to me, more than most people could imagine. Brooke passed away Friday, September 25th 2009.

Brooke, you’re with your daddy now, and you’re with God. You are in no more pain, and can be free of the disease once again. I love you Brooke, and will miss you dearly. I’ll catch you on the flip-side.



1 Year!

Circumstances in life often take us places that we never intended to go.  We visit some places of beauty and others of pain and desolation.  I never imagined that cancer would be a part of my life history–especially not at the age of 23!  Like with any great trial, God uses everything for good if we allow him to heal us.  Every moment is teachable; every ounce of hurt can prune us for future happiness.  Don’t give in to weakness by dwelling on what you see today; look through it, as hard as it is, to the vision just beyond your sight.

One year ago today Josh was diagnosed with cancer.  Neither one of us will forget that day.  One year ago today we thought our lives were coming to a crashing end yet we now see it as just the first of many obstacles we have had to overcome this past year.



More MD appointments

Josh had two doctor appointments on Friday.  His first appointment was with Dr. Schertz. His second appointment was with Dr. Buck.  Since Dr. Buck’s appointment went better I will begin with that.  His head is healing well; his hair will start to grow back very slowly.  Since the radiation kills the hair at the root it takes it a while to grow back.  We asked once again about the disorientation/lack of coordination which Dr. Buck said was normal and normally only lasts 3-6 months.  Dr. Buck wasn’t sure how much longer if any it would last for Josh since he had 2 brain surgeries along with radiation but we are hoping it will being to subside as we are now 3 months since his last brain surgery.  Since he has another follow up with Dr. Harron next month he won’t see Dr. Buck until September.  Dr. Buck said if Dr. Harron doesn’t order an MRI before then he will order one at the appointment in September. 

Onto the first appointment, Dr. Schertz.  The appointment didn’t go quite as well as we had hoped.  Dr. Schertz did more lab work and discussed the next ct’s which will be the first week in May.  We already have them scheduled but I can’t remember which day.  Josh asked how his prognosis looked now, before the brain tumors we were told that he had about a 70% chance of becoming cancer free.  Dr Schertz said that due to the recurrent brain tumors and the aggressive tumors that did not respond well to chemotherapy his percentage has decreased considerably.  Josh remains upbeat, like nothing has changed.  I am a little down but I will be fine.  Once again, we have been reminded how fragile life is.  We have decided to take a vacation this year.  We had decided against it earlier this year due to finances and vacation time, and the fear of getting somewhere and Josh getting ill. Due to the recent changes medically we have decided that there will never be enough vacation time or money or certainty that something bad won’t ever happen and we both think that we need a family vacation together this year so if you have any ideas email us! We have also decided that it would be best if Josh remained out of work, we will reconsider him returning after his next CT.  Dr. Schertz said that it would be best if Josh stayed out of work, due to his lack of hand-eye coordination.

            I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter; ours was good despite me sleeping/working.  When I got home from work this morning Kobie had just woke up so we woke Josh up and went though the basket.  Then we hid eggs and found them then I laid down to sleep and Kobie hid more eggs…real eggs…and neither Josh or Kobie remember where they hid them.  So…hopefully we will find them before they rot.  After all, he is only 5 he couldn’t have hid them that good right?

 

I got this emailed to me, I loved it, and it reminded me so much of Josh.

John is the kind of guy you love to hate.   He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say.  When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, ‘If I were any better, I would be twins! He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, John was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation. Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up and asked him, ‘I don’t get it!’ You can’t be a positive person all of the time.  How do you do it?’ He replied, ‘Each morning I wake up and say to myself, you have two choices today.  You can choose to be in a good mood or…you can choose to be in a bad mood I choose to be in a good mood.’ Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or…I can choose to learn from it.  I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or…I can point out the positive side of life.  I choose the positive side of life.’ Yeah, right, it’s not that easy,’ I protested.’ Yes, it is,’ he said.  ‘Life is all about choices.  When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice.  You choose how you react to situations.  You choose how people affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood.  The bottom line:  It’s your choice how you live your life. ‘I reflected on what he said.  Soon hereafter, I left the Tower Industry to start my own business.  We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it. Several years later, I heard that he was involved in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, he was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back. I saw him about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied, ‘If I were any better, I’d be twins…Wanna see my scars?’ I declined to see his wounds, but I did ask him what had gone through his mind as the accident took place.

‘The first thing that went through my mind was the well-being of my soon-to-be born daughter,’ he replied.  ‘Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered that I had two choices:  I could choose to live or…I could choose to die.  I chose to live. ”Weren’t you scared?  Did you lose consciousness?’  I asked. He continued, ‘…the paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine.  But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared.  In their eyes, I read ‘he’s a dead man’.  I knew I needed to take action. ”What did you do?’ I asked. ‘Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me,’ said John.  ‘She asked if I was allergic to anything ‘Yes, I replied.’  The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply.  I took a deep breath and yelled, ‘Gravity” Over their laughter, I told them, ‘I am choosing to live.  Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead.’ He lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude…I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully. Attitude, after all, is everything. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.’  Matthew 6:34.