Friday, February 22, 2013

Catching Up!

That has been the name of the game ever since we returned from Utah!  But that's the good news--WE'RE BACK!!  Josh finished his last round of radiation on February 12th, 2013 and we have been partying and catching up ever since!

His radiation was done at LDS Hospital.  He had the best therapists and nurses working with him who made each day a little easier for Josh.  I swear it sounded like they were having a party each time they would take him back for his treatments!  When he hit his half-way point of treatments they gave him a "Happy Half-Way" plate pictured below where everything was cut in half!  The bottle of water was also only half full and they promised they didn't drink it before they gave it to him!

10 treatments=half-way!!

His "Happy Half-Way" Plate!
We celebrated half-way with dinner and a movie!

 Our excitement for hitting half-way was nothing compared to when he finished!  After his last treatment he got to ring a "victory" bell  in the hospital while everyone cheered!  And boy did we cheer!  We had watched others ring that bell, and now it was finally Joshua's turn.  

Bernice and her family had been busy and when we got to their house they had a "Heart Attack" waiting for Josh!  They had gathered notes from EVERYONE in the family written on hearts and placed them all over the walls and floor!  Here are a few samples of his love notes:

"Josh, Now that Radiation is over you probably picked up some super power like spiderman did from the spider.  I just want you to know your secret is safe with me!  If you can fly will you come pick me up one night?  Love you Bud!  Uncle Richard"

"Josh--Pres. Hinckley once said, "Go forward in life with a twinkle in your eye and a smile on your face, But with a great and strong purpose in your heart."  Josh--The twinkle in your eye and smile on your face throughout adversity and hardships will forever be an example in mine and my families' lives.  Love, The #2 greatest KYLE in your life! (close race for #1)"

"Josh--It has been a treat for me to spend time with you during this LONG experience!  Your faith and strength have been amazing!  You stared adversity in the face and smiled!  Thank you for your example!  You have shown my kids that we can all do hard things!!  Good luck getting back into the swing of things!  Praying for you!  Love Aunt B"

"Josh--You are the man!  You face obstacles with a smile on your face and a determination to keep on going.  Keep fighting and know that we love you and support you like a good pair of socks with no holes in them!  =)  Love, Uncle Jaydel & Family"

We concluded the night with a pizza party and a movie!  Thanks Aunt B for making it so special for Josh and for taking such good care of him!

As a family we had a party on Valentines day which seemed very appropriate as our hearts were so full we thought they would explode!  We went to dinner and came home to have treats and celebrate a life spared, a body healed and a family back together again!  Joshua's radiation mask served as our centerpiece for the evening.  When the therapists gave Josh his mask they said he could run over it with the car, or burn it.  So far it has survived.  Surely we should be able to come up with some great object lesson to use it for before it is destroyed.  It's fate lies in Joshua's hands.

Joshua's radiation mask.  Treatment was done face down.  This held him in place.
Kyler & Andrew

Drake, Kelsie & Josh




"So now what?" is the question we are asked.  We have learned that the end of treatment is just one door shut once you've had cancer.  There are many doors still left to shut and one that will hauntingly stay open for the rest of his life.  Josh has an MRI and Lumbar Puncture scheduled for March 11th.  This will be the beginning of scans that will be done every 3 months for the first year, every 4 to 6 months the second year, and then yearly after that.  He will be closely followed by his Oncologist docotor for the next 10 years of his life.  After March 11th we can officially say that he is in remission and we can then make arrangements to get his shunt taken out.  So Josh will move ahead and close each door, one at a time, and do it with a smile on his face!

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