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!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Chemo week 28

That update is at (or see the link on the right to My Mom's Blog).  The update to that update is that Jake is feeling much better!  I dived into the the cleaning of the pantry today and Jake felt good enough to sit at the counter and give me annoying comments like:  Throw that out!  We don't need that!  That's old!  Get rid of it!  Mom, why are you getting rid of that?

His hands are still too weak to do much, so he asked me to cut his toe nails.  I asked him if I could take a picture, but he wouldn't let me.  I'll just tell you, they were so long, I had to cut them twice!  He said he chewed his fingernails, so they didn't need cutting...resourceful! 

The swelling has gone down out of his face but there is still some swelling in his leg.  I didn't realize this because he has been wearing long pants or long pajamas and I couldn't see his leg.  He gained a couple pounds...that's always good...for him!

We get a scan in three weeks to see how he's doing.  That will be our next chemo visit.

Jake got a very expensive shot last night.  Supposedly, he will only have to have one shot until his next chemo, instead of a shot every day.  I don't know how much they will charge us, I just know that their cost was $3000.  Anyway...I was asking Jake if he had any side effects from the shot and he told me that talking about anything medical/hospital related makes him nauseous.  So it has come to this now!

Well Jakey, we only have 8 more dates in Salt Lake.  I promise not to make you eat or smell any food from the big white building.  I'm praying that our long dates won't make you as sick as the last one did and we can get through these last weeks of ..... mother-son bonding!  We're almost done, bud!  You can do this!  Just a little bit longer!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Update for 1/25/11

Please see "My Mom's Blog" for an update.  Too tired to post in both places.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Another trip to Primary's

Jake spiked a fever, again.  His counts dropped to zero (no immune system) and I told him to stay in the house Friday.  He had a fever of 100 on Thursday, but we wanted to wait until Friday to see if it would get better or worse.  He didn't listen to mom and went over the a friends house...just for an hour or so, but that was long enough.  Friday, I finally found the ambition to paint grandma's room.  I got the walls patched and ready for paint.  I checked Jake's temperature at 10 and it was up to 101.6.  I gave him some of his antibiotics and told him that if he still had a fever at noon he would have to go to the hospital.  I was about to walk out the door to pick up some paint supplies when I thought I had better check on him again.  Still had the fever so to SLC we went.  He said he didn't want to go, but it was Friday and the clinic wasn't open the next day.  I warned he that he might have to stay overnight.  He said he wouldn't do it!  You have to understand 2 things at this point.  1)  Jake is 19 and still thinks he's invincible!  2)  At this point, Jake is so tired of hospital stays and hospital food, smell, pokes and pukes...I can't really blame him for not wanting to go.  But we are almost through it!

Interestingly, when we got to PCMC, there was hardly any patients in the clinic.  Most had come in the morning.  There was one toddler girl in a room with her dad and a 5 year old girl in the back getting something in an IV.  Dr. Wright said that by chance his ANC was above .5, he would only have to have one dose of IV antibiotics, then he could go home.  However, since his ANC was zero the day before, chances were very slim that this would happen.  Typically, he would have to stay overnight for more antibiotics, but since Jake did very well at home and he is older, she said she would let him have the home care nurse give him antibiotics at home.  Amazingly, his ANC was up to 1.6!  We were out of there in just over an hour and on our way home!

I was ecstatic that it wasn't worse!  I said, "See!  That wasn't so bad!
Jake's reply:  "For you!"
Ok, well it could be worse!  (Sigh!)

Next day, Jake was feeling much, much better.  I had to go back to giving him the shots, but hopefully, he won't need them come Monday.

For some reason, emotionally, I don't mind taking him for planned visits.  It's the unplanned visits get to me.  Although the doctors and nurses assure me that it's all normal, it's hard not to see it as a set back.  This morning I made the boys a huge breakfast to motivate them to get out of bed (in time for church).  We were having our usual jovial bantering and Jake was pretending to cry about something.  Zack had teased him about cancer making him something or another...I added, cancer makes you cry.  He said, "No, mom!  cancer makes you cry!"  He was right.  Loving and caring for a boy who has to have cancer as a challenge in his life, makes me cry sometimes.

Lesson learned:  In the ballgame of life, the pitcher is not going to throw the ball the same way every time.  You have to be flexible!  Sometimes getting on base and letting someone else hit you in is just as good as hitting a home run!  Life is a team sport.  You don't have to do it all by yourself.  And best of all, if Jesus and Heavenly Father are on your team, you always win! :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

No more shots for a while!

Counts are pretty good today!  Platelets are low again, but ANC is up high enough to forgo the Neupagen shots! YAY!!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Day of Hope

So we are sitting in the cancer clinic at Primary Children's Hospital.  We are hoping to be out of here by 5:00 p.m., just in time for night traffic!  Maybe earlier!  That would be awesome!

I asked the doctor what is Jake's best case scenario.  She said that as good as he is doing, it is very common that it will take a few months to recover from the chemo treatments, but that he should be able to lead a normal life (except for the fertility part)!  It would take a miricle for Jake to have children.  I guess that is that saddest part for me...but, you never know what God has in store for Jake.  If he's suppose to have children, he will!

So today my eyes are wet...because I have hope!  My heart is full of gratitude for those of you who have been generous with your time and means to help our family and especially Jake.  So grateful for your prayers in Jake's behalf. 

May God bless you for being our angels!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Counts are up again!

Counts are up again, so chemo in the morning!  This is the long-day chemo.  We will be starting the i.v. about 9:30 tonight.  I never thought I would be storing i.v. fluid in my fridge!  Since they delayed his chemo by one week that messes up the last day of chemo till his birthday, April 19th!  He told me that he refuses to have chemo on his maybe it will be the day after!