This is Jake's Story...

Jake is a 20-year-old twin who has been diagnosed with stage 4 Rhabdomyosarcoma, a very rare form of cancer. Going through a vigorous daily radiation treatment and weekly Chemo treatments make him extremely tired, weak and sometimes nauseous.

Jake is otherwise a normal teenage kid. He likes playing computer games, paintball, swimming and golfing. He loves hanging out with his four brothers, 4 wheeling, camping, and ruining his mom's laundry baskets while making home videos. He hopes to someday become a computer programmer.

This blog was started to keep his family and friends updated on his status.

Addendum: Jake became cured of cancer, free of pain and everything this world brings on September 29, 2010. He continues his journey in Heaven. He is doing awesome! Hope you're doing the same!

His family thanks you for your generosity in donations, love and service. God has shown us many tender mercies!
Thanks for being one of them!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

No Chemo this week!

That's not necessarily a good thing.  For the first time ever, Jake's platelets were too low to receive chemo.  They weren't low enough to get a platelet transfusion, so they are doing nothing until next week.  It's suppose to be the long-day chemo, so there is a lot of juggling that has to go on to make it work.  Well, it gives us time to fatten him up a little.

Join with me in imagining a healthy, cancer-free Jake! 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

God Bless You!

Wow!  Thank you for your generous donations towards Jake's bills!  We don't know any of you that opened up your hearts and pocket books for Jake this Christmas season, so we are doubly amazed and touched by your generosity!  May God bless you doubly!

With grateful hearts,
Jake and Mom Holladay


Here is most of my crazy boys!  (Mike was at another table with his new BFF)

Jake is doing great right now!  He had a transfusion of blood and platelets last Friday and is feeling and looking much better now.  I think his weight is down a little (I notice this when I have to give him a shot and have a hard time finding enough fat to put it in.  I have to have him curl up in a ball so the skin is loose enough on his stomach to pinch together).  I found out that there was a shot that I would only have to give him one, after chemo.  We're going to check that out!

I counted how much time we have left with the cancer treatments.  Here is the run down:  We have 15 weeks left.  We have 6 long days (formerly inpatient) of chemo and 4 short.  We only have to have chemo once in January!  He will have his second evaluation scan on Feb. 8th (probably).  Swelling continues to go down, but...(not complaining this month so nothing here).

Thanks for your continued prayers and support!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Chemo: Week 22

We tried something different this week.  We were suppose to do the overnight chemo this week, but in the past 22 weeks, Jake has grown to loath everything about the hospital.  We opted to try the long chemo in clinic.  We actually started the night before with some hydration.  This is Jake's nurse, Karen, accessing his port.  The pharmacy sent us some saline and it ran all night, until 5:30.  They trained me on how to disconnect the IV, so I did that and we went to the hospital.  We had to wait for about 1/2 hour for the nurses to get things started, so there is no sense going in that early.  We had to wait for the pharmacy to mix up the chemo, but all in all we were able to leave at about 6:15 p.m.  He had to be on IV fluids until 11:00 pm.  The nurse trained me how to de-access his port.  I was able to get the nurse to start the IV fluids before we left the hospital, so I wouldn't have to push saline and heparin (which makes him throw up every time.).  My aim was to keep as much food in him as possible.  I didn't even have to push the saline at 11 for him to get nauseous.  I was pretty nervous to have to play nurse...but we got through it fine (big sigh).  Jake decided he liked it much better.  It makes for a long day in clinic, but at least he gets to go home with me.

My bro-in-law, Bob invented some gel that you can use as disinfectant.  It sterilizes the area for up to 4 hours.  He has some that has moisturizer in it so we can use it for hand disinfectant.  It doesn't have that alcohol smell that makes Jake nauseous either, so I am excited to try it.

Only 18 weeks left! :)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Dear Santa...

Dear Santa,

I would like to return some gifts I received this year.
The first is my lack of hair.  I'm done with the baldy look.
Second, you can have my numb fingers and toes.  It makes it hard to do anything.
Third, you can have my lack of hunger and taste buds.  It would be really nice if food taste good again.
Fourth, please take the pain in my stomach and the diarrhea that goes with it.
Fifth, please put the warmth and color back into my skin.
Sixth, please help me to lift my feet so I can run with my friends.
Seventh, the tumor and cancer in my body...totally done with that.
Eighth, You can have all the trips to the hospital, transfusions, antibiotic and chemo they give me.  I'm totally done with that too.
Ninth,  not loving the Neupogen shots I have to get every night.  I know they help, but if you're taking the rest of the stuff, you can totally have the Neupogen.
Tenth, all the can have those too.

This year, I just want to be healthy, like I was on my last birthday.  I would rather my mom hassle me about getting a job, rather than getting my shot. (Oh ya, and a girlfriend!)

The gifts I want to keep are my friends and family who love and care for me, my neighbors to bring me treats, all those who pray for me.  Then there are the strangers and anonymous angels who give without even knowing me or my family.  Those people are most awesome!  There were a lot of friends and family who sacrificed time and means to make things a little easier for me and my family...again, a big dose of awesome from them!

Your friend,

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Chemo: Week 21

Well, this was a long day at the hospital.  Jake ended up getting a blood transfusion so we were there from 11 to 5.  Neupogen shots started up again today.  Even though Jake hates getting the shots, he realizes now that it helps keep him out of the hospital for extra stays, so he no longer protests.

Next week we are going to try getting the overnight chemo treatment during the day.  I don't know if this is going to work out, but we are sure willing to try.  I'm a little bit nervous...  I guess the home care nurse is going to come and hook him up to an IV to get him hydrated overnight.  I don't know if that means we have to change out the bags of IV all night.  Are they going to have an IV pole with a pump?  This will be a new adventure for us.

One sweet byproduct of Jake's illness is we got a call from Children with Cancer Christmas Foundation.  They have a party for families that have cancer kids and let the parents shop for a toy for the younger kids.  The next day they have Santa there and a big pizza party and fun evening for the family.  The boys all love pizza, so I think they will enjoy it.  The cool thing about my boys is that they are good friends with each other, so it's ok if they don't know anyone there.  Opportunity to meet new people!