One Big Adventure
An opportunity to log in some of the thoughts and activities of our homeschooling family of eight. We love books and good food and aspire to a Christ-centered, multi-generational, agrarian life.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

969 days later

Edited: James' off treatment pictures weren't showing up for some reason. Hopefully it's fixed and y'all can see Mr. Handsome. If not please leave a comment and we'll try to figure out what's going on. Thanks, Hannah

On February 25th, 2007, Momma posted that for some reason, she had this feeling that we had several more big weeks ahead of us. And she was right. Though, none of us would have thought it would have turned out this way. Those several big weeks turned into 2 years and 8 months!
But yesterday, James took his very last chemotherapy pill at 7:10pm and is now officially OFF TREATMENT! In a way, I am so thrilled, for James, and me and our family. But it brings more unknowns... and unknowns are.... well, unknown. But not for God and that is full of comfort. Before we close the chapter on leukemia, I would like to share some pictures of James before, during and after treatment. GO JAMES!!!

Before leukemia and with hair....
(January 2006)

During Treatment

(March 2007)

(May 2007)

(December 2007)

(May 2008)

(August 2008)

(September 2008)

(February 2009)

(September 2009)

And now.... Officially OFF TREATMENT

Off treatment pictures by Daniel R. Simpson Photography

As I put this 'in review' post together I saw so many other pictures I would love to have shared with you. If you want to see more pictures and to read James' journey through treatment, the best place to start is in February of 2007 and then finish up here.

We are eternally grateful to everyone who supported us in this journey and continues to support us through everything coming up.

With gratefulness and happiness,


Friday, October 23, 2009

Shin splits

I haven't been doing any real running recently. A couple of days ago, Owen was going to run up to where the chickens are and move the pens and I asked to go along, because I wanted to get out and stretch a bit. So Owen and I ran pretty much all the way down and back. The next day, my shins started hurting and I thought it was just sore from where James had sat on me. The next day, my shins felt like there was a bruise and someone was pushing down on it all the time, except there wasn't a bruise and I couldn't think of anything I had done that would make my shins hurt this long. So I told Momma what was hurting and what it felt like and Momma said "That kind of sounds like shin splits." so I asked how would one get it and you'll never guess what she said... running or walking after not exercising much. I checked on Wikipedia and now I have shin splits and they hurt! Next time, I think I'll walk, in my sneakers, not my boots!


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I'll bet you didn't know

What the difference is between bird flu and the swine flu.
For bird flu, you need tweetmint and for swine flu? oinkment.


P.S. Thanks Aunt Donna for this great laugh!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Camping tonight

Tonight in the south (where we haven't felt 'global warming' in nearly a year), Katie, Owen, Becca, Carrie and I are going camping in the yard. It seems that all us children set up our 8 person tent and sleep in it about once a year. Usually, we set it up in the livingroom/diningroom. But this time we are actually going to sleep outside. Some of us (including me!) are wimps when it comes to camping and we wimps decided to take our mattresses out and sleep on those, smothered in our sleeping bags and piles of blankets. Hopefully we'll stay warm, it's supposed to get down to 39* tonight.

Owen has built a fire and beds and bedding is set up. We even decorated with pine boughs inside and outside the tent and we have boards at the entrance, so that we don't track in sand. Carrie is all dressed up in her flannel pantelettes, red turtleneck, blue couch-pouch and two pairs of socks. Becca has her horse sweatshirt, a denim shirt, flannel pantelettes, sweatpants and two pairs of socks on. They both look too cute for words and are eagerly looking forward to sleeping in the tent tonight. Maybe I should go take pictures, so we can share our experience.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Mendelssohn's 200th Birthday

This evening, Momma, Katie and I went to a concert given by GCSU, celebrating the 200th birthday of the famous composer, Felix Mendelssohn. It was very pleasant to listen to the choral groups and finally the orchestra play. We heard 'There Shall A Star From Jacob Shine Forth' from his unfinished oratorio, Christus and some from the oratorio, Elijah, and then the orchestra played first movement of Mendelssohn’s famous E Minor Violin Concerto (there are clips of the concerto on the link), which was awesome to listen to. We ended up leaving during the intermission, because it was already 8:40 pm and we had things to finish up at home. As we talked on the way home, we agreed that James would love going to listen and it would have been neat to hear more of Mendelssohn's music. Going tonight inspired me to learn more about Mendelssohn and perhaps get some, if not all, of his music from the library to listen too.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A recent dessert

This is what I made for a quick and relatively healthy (wink) treat recently.... Chocolate Pudding, whipped coconut cream and fresh mint leaves on top. Yummy!!!

and the side view.... We had just taken them out of the fridge.

Monday, October 12, 2009

James--endings and beginnings

We actually have a date for James' last chemo. Friday, October 23rd. He will finish the last pills and we will be done with chemo. The week of Nov 2nd, we'll get James' counts checked locally and the results will be sent to the oncology team and the surgeon. (Please pray with us for GREAT counts!)

The surgeon is in the loop now to start the process of reversing (hopefully and Lord willing) the ileostomy James had to have at the beginning of treatment. If the problems were caused by the chemo AND all is well with the pieces and parts after 2.5 years of chemo and non-use, then they should be able to put our little guy all back together again. Which is, of course, what we are hoping and praying for!

Assuming all is well with counts, James will have a fluoroscopy of his colon on Nov 9th. This will ensure there are no blockages or anything strange with all this non-use. Later that day, James will have procedures in Day Surgery. The oncology team will check his bone marrow and spinal fluid one last time. (Pray all is CLEAR... no more leukemia... EVER, Lord willing!)

During the surgery time, the surgeon will do a rectal biopsy to be sure that James still has all the important cells that should allow him to 'work like the rest of us'. The surgeon will also do a scope of the colon and check the health of James' colon and the mucosal lining. If all is well, he will flush the colon (via James' mucous fistula) and see how things work. Then we will figure out where we stand on the road to repairing James' ileostomy. (Please pray for a healthy colon with great mucosa, all the right cells in all the right places, and that there would be no blockages and things would flow JUST like they are supposed to.)

As we get closer to procedure day, I'll ask for prayer that either James would tolerate the fluoroscopy well, or they would be willing to sedate him for the test.

When James started chemo, it seemed like it would be FOREVER before we finished. Treatment is 130 weeks and we are now in week 128. With the end of treatment, brings the beginning of other new things... so we have endings and beginnings and we have James with us still. Which, if you had seen him 2 and half years ago, you would know that that is nothing short of a miracle. We are so grateful for God's mercies!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Heading to Atlanta

In a few moments, Momma, James and I will be on our way to Atlanta. James has his regular once-a-month clinic visit to the oncologist and another appointment with the surgeon who placed his ileostomy. Hopefully, I can post about the trip tomorrow, because I'm sure that we'll be tired by the time we get home.

Love, Hannah