Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Matt is officially in complete remission, which means his PET scan showed no evidence of disease.  Awesome.  It's what we hoped for at the start of all this of course, but to have it happen so early on in treatment feels great and is a huge relief.  The fact that his tumors were knocked out so quickly from ABVD's punches makes them much less likely to return.

While he was scheduled to have 12 treatments (6 rounds), he will most certainly be saying an early farewell to the comfy chemo chair.  The standard oncology formula is Complete Remission + 2 Rounds, to catch any little microscopic buggers hanging out that the PET scan couldn't find.

Not a bad way to start out a Tuesday morning.  Matt is having some ABVD for breakfast as I type, but I'd bet it's a lot easier to stomach with this news!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Catching Up

**Matt update**  I'm sure the vast majority of you know this by now because my Mom has likely put up billboards in most major cities, but Matt's PET scan last week was 'great'.  We won't have specifics until Matt speaks to the doctor (on Tuesday before chemo, probably), but the nurse called and said the PET scan was great and that the doctor wanted to speak to him about altering his course of treatment.  The doctor would only think about altering treatment if the PET scan was clean, so it's fantastic that the tumors responded to the chemo so quickly.  Matt has been wondering about most current research, and how he can ensure that this cancer is completely wiped out while doing as little longterm damage as possible from the chemical cocktail he undergoes every two weeks.  He plans on speaking to the doctor about whether it would be more beneficial to shorten the number of chemo treatments, or doing less chemo and then a light radiation treatment...I'll keep you posted.  But we're all thrilled that things are going so positively.

I haven't posted recently because we've been busier than usual around here, and much of it has been enjoying the glorious Colorado fall weather.  Having grown up in Miami, I didn't fully understand and appreciate what a season was until I moved out here.  And I love it.  Fall in Colorado, as I've seen up close and personal this past month, has everything from bright blue skies to crisp leaves swirling in the air to heavy snowstorms.  Three weeks ago, the Autumn Blaze maples that we planted in the front yard were the most brilliant fiery red--I looked out the window constantly and can't wait until next fall to see them again.  Then, snow.  This is what our street looked like just 3 short days before Halloween:

We had about 14 inches of snow--school canceled, the whole bit.  It was awesome fun--Sam built a snow fort in our front yard and we all had snowball fights with neighbors.  Kenyon, true to (round) form, focused on eating as much snow as he could.  I used the snow as an excuse to make hot cocoa with marshmallows, and we had a fire going the whole time.

After two and a half days of snow falling steadily, the sun came out and worked its magic for all moms who were dreading attempting to fit snowsuits under two vampire costumes and lugging around a toddler while trudging through ice and snow so they could get candy that they don't even eat--namely, this mom.

Thank you, Sun.  By Halloween night, snow was nowhere to be found, and we didn't even need to wear jackets.  I love the fact that snow comes to visit Denver but doesn't stay like a dirty, unwanted houseguest as it does in the midwest and east coast.

I stupidly announced to the boys that we were making our own Halloween costumes this year.  Their initial hesitation vanished upon our entrance to the fabric store, where they were allowed to pick the inner fabric for the vampire cape I would be 'sewing' for them (red spider webby material for Jackson, silver swirly material for Alex).  I use the term 'sewing' loosely, because I have never actually come in direct contact with a sewing machine, nor do I have anything but the most rudimentary knowledge of needles and threads.  The universe took pity upon me and placed a woman in front of me in line at the fabric cutting counter who was also making a vampire outfit for her child, but this was a crafty woman.  She told me exactly how I could sew a cape, and although it would take longer because I was doing it by hand, it seemed doable.  How difficult could it be to make a cape?

Well, it wasn't all that difficult, but it was time-consuming and also did not hold up all that well to even two uses.  The boys were thrilled, which of course was the whole point, and they looked fine as long as you didn't examine the handiwork (or lack thereof).  They are already planning their costume for next year, which means I need to enroll in a sewing class, and fast.

Kenyon was an owl for Halloween, because I wanted to reuse an amazing costume that my mom made for Jackson when he was just about the same age.  Amazingly, we were able to stuff his body into teeny brown tights (belly hanging over unfettered, of course).  I couldn't manage to get a good picture of Kenyon in costume for comparison, but here are the two brothers in costume, five years apart:

Too bad Alex wasn't an owl when he was that age. 

I blinked and five years have gone by; how is that possible?