Thursday, May 31, 2007
The big activity recently was the memorial day weekend. Before kids we would often venture out on a camping weekend, but now we stay home and enjoy a nice long weekend. We kicked off the weekend with Spuds (aka Fishy time) for dinner on Friday. We setup a picnic across the street in the grass and fed all the dozens of seagulls with our left overs. After dinner we walked the beach looking for "sea glass" and shiny rocks. Everything we found went into Daddy's short pockets. We finished the night out with a visit to whale tail park where the kids swang, went on slides, etc.
On Saturday we had a break from T-Ball and hung around home...worked in the yard, etc. That night we had plans with Doerrs where we went to our local "steak house" JaKs. Julia's brother had flown into town the night before so he came along as well. We had a great time like we always do, lot of laughs, good food, good times. We finished the night off with a few drinks at Taliricos. Thanks to Mom J for watching the kids :-)
After a late night on Saturday we didnt have any intention of heading to church, but when Maddie woke up she got dressed and came into our room asking if we were going...kind of hard to turn that down. After church we tried to get into Easy Street for breakfast but it was packed..45 min wait, so we headed home and Chef Mike cooked up some Egg, Bacon and Cheese breakfast sandwiches. Once the kids got a nap we headed over to the Landskovs for a summer BBQ kick off. There was quite a spread with salads, wings, beans, burgers, hot dogs...you name it. The kids loved playing in their fun filled back yard. As the night went on, we fired up a small fire, made smores and just chatted. It was a ton of fun. Special thanks to the Landskovs for a great party!!
So, after 3 busy days, you might think we would lay low on Monday...Naaa. After sleeping in we checked movie times and headed downtown to see Shrek 3. We went out on a limb and took Kenzie with us...It could have gone a lot of different ways, but Kenzie did AWESOME. The movie started and she was kind of into it..even blurted out a few "Shrek!" for the audience, and cracked a few laughs. After about 30 minutes, right on Q, she konked out for a nap. Meanwhile, Maddie loved the movie. She (and Dad) are big Shrek fans. A lot of the humor is more for the adults than the kids, but it was great. We ventured over to Cheesecake Factory for a late Lunch, and the finished the day/weekend off with an Ice Cream cone on the beach.
It was a busy, fun, weekend! A great way to kick off summer.
P.S. - Forgot to mention that we squeezed in a WebCam conference with Ryan, Stacey and Haas. So we were able to see the new guy (virtually.) Everyone is doing great!
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Haas Caliway Perry arrived Saturday May 19 2007 at 7:58pm weighing in at 8 lbs 3 oz and measuring 21"
He is healthy, hungry and happy. We are all doing fine and can't wait to introduce you soon.
- Ryan and Stacey
Saturday, May 19, 2007
After nearly 24 hours of labor - our new little nephew, Haas Caliway Perry is here. He was born at 7:58 pm 8lbs 3 oz and 21 inches long. We haven't talked to the new mommy and daddy yet but my mom said that Stacey sounded great! I am looking forward to a call from Stacey once the activity settles down a little bit. We will get a picture on our blog as soon as we get one - probably morning.
been asking about baby action! What a fun email to wake up to this morning.
I guess contractions started last night around 10 and then went to the
hospital this am around 6. So, a long night! They are going to give her
potosine sp? to try and move things along because the Dr wants to move
things along. My mom just talked to my sister and she his having labor in
her back - poor thing.
Maddie is running around telling Kenzie their cousin will be born today! We
are all excited. Please pray for a speedy delivery from here on out!
Stacey is doing great. 3cm and 4min contractions.
Sent via blackberry
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
The other tooth is loose as well, and she is working on it all the time...When that one goes, we will post another fabulous portrait :-)
Thursday, May 3, 2007
Fortunately, we won't make you wait three months for the resolution.
Were we nervous going into the appointment? No. Or at least, I didn't think so. The night before, Amy and I were treated to dinner by the staff at Entertainment Weekly at a real swanky place in Long Beach—"The Last Supper," I joked (it was hilarious, trust me!)—and we discussed our respective dread quotients and discovered they were relatively low. Maybe we were kidding ourselves. But we just felt… confident. I'd like to think we were buoyed by all of your prayers. Maybe we were in denial. It just seemed impossible to either of us that we were standing at the beginning of the end. But I also felt that whatever was waiting for us at 11:15 AM the next morning, I would be ready for it.
Boy, was I wrong! When the nurse called us into the doctor's office to discuss the results of the MRI, I stood up and felt a little wobble in my knees. It hit me like a ton of bedrock that in the next 10 minutes, I could be hearing the words, "Amy, the tumors have come back. You have one year to live. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a noon tee time at the country club."
But our amazing neurosurgeon, who to my knowledge does not play golf, did not say what I feared he would say. He said what I hoped he would say. He said, "I am very, very pleased." And then he complimented Amy's "pimped out" purse. Yes, he used the words "pimped out." It was that kind of day--an exciting, faith-affirming, prayer-answering day, and yes, totally pimped-out day. (He also quoted from a rap song by Tupac Shakur-or 2Pac, if you prefer--to characterize the way cancer cells replicate. Times, they are a-changing.)
Of course, one month from now, I could be telling you something completely different. See, there's one glitch—"the only bit of rain on an otherwise glorious parade," in the words of the hip doctor. The MRI detected a very small circle-shaped… "something," located on the periphery of where Amy's tumor was removed. He called this something "very strange." But we think this is a good kind of "very strange." He says it's unlikely that it's a tumor. Not impossible, but unlikely. More likely, he says, is that it's just swollen brain tissue caused by the radiation, which will heal over time, no worries. Just to make sure, we're going back in one month for another MRI. And even if it's still there, it probably won't require major surgery—maybe just a biopsy, maybe more radiation.
So please, keep praying for Amy, and pray that this strange little thing is just some harmless swollen radioactive brain tissue. And pray that the tumor cells that remain in her brain which the MRI can't see will never grow again. If the MRI can't detect them, that means they're not big enough to do any damage.
That's the full update for now. Amy remains a little tired—a side effect of the radiation that will stay with her for a couple more months. There will be one year of chemo, but she'll only have to take the pills five times a month. We feel very anchored by our family and friends. I can't imagine what it would be like to make it through all this without you. Thank you to our parents, who sacrificed time and resources to help us and come down and take care of us. Thank you to all our extended family of relatives and friends for the care packages filled with love. Thank you to my brother, Mike, for checking up on us and posting the updates on the blog. Thank you to all those who are reading this that we actually don't know personally, but have somehow heard about our story, and felt compelled to pray for us and even reach out to us in the form of payers, emails and letters filled with encouragement. Thank you to our church family and our community of friends, who have taken care of us and our kids with food, transportation, child care, fellowship and faithfulness; your love has changed our lives. Thank you to my good friend and colleague Dan Snierson and the entire staff at Entertainment Weekly for their unwavering support. And thank you to our pastor, Lou Huesmann, and my good friends Steve, Dennis and Dana, who earlier this week offered some sage spiritual counsel as Amy and I struggled with some anxiety about the news to come, especially if we found out that the news was not good. Happily, the news is good, but I'd like to hope the lessons we have learned would have been just the same. This has been a life-changing, orientation-shifting experience, one that has taught us much about trust, about community, about the everyday blessings we take for granted. Our pastor forwarded us some words of wisdom from someone who had lost a battle with cancer, and they resonate with us now: "We live and pray one day at a time. We pray each day and say, 'Thank you God for the healing you gave me today. Please heal me tomorrow.' [I]f we were truly spiritually sensitive, we would have prayed that way all of our lives but it took the threat of imminent death to bring us to this point." And then, he quotes an anonymous author: "Our favorite distinction between the spiritual life and the practical life is false. We cannot divide them. One affects the other all the time; for we are creatures of sense and of spirit, and must live an amphibious life." I guess you could say the last few months have been lessons in swimming for us.
The story is not over. There may be trials to come. Regardless, we face the future with renewed hope and with the confidence that we are not alone.
Thank you, and much love,
Jeff, Amy, Ben and Lauren
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Wednesday, May 2, 2007
The bottom line is that Amy has responded very well to treatment. The only
hitch is that the MRI detected a very small, curiously round anomaly near
the space where her tumor used to be. There is a small chance that this is a
new tumor. But what's more likely is that this is merely swollen brain
tissue caused by radiation; the shape of this anomaly seems inconsistent
with tumor. Still, he can't rule it out, so there will be another MRI in one
month to check if it's still there.
We were sent away being told this was a happy day. This good news and
reason to be very hopeful. We feel God has really heard all those prayers
you've been praying for Amy and has responded. I have more to say about all
this, but that will come in another email. But I know you've been eagerly
anticipating this news, so wanted to get a newsflash out to you ASAP.
and Much Love!
Jeff and Amy
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