Marshall's music, t-cells, t-shirts and more

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Family Pics 2015

These pictures mean so much to our family as Marshall is in the middle of his fourth fight with leukemia and is preparing to try t-cell therapy for the second time. He puts such a big smile on his face even though he's not feeling well. 

We give credit where it is due to the amazing Heal Courageously Peeps! Thank you, thank you Michelle and Alex. We really enjoyed our time with you and are in awe of Alex's amazing skillzzz. Please check them out at and like Heal Courageously on Facebook. If you or someone you know has seen the 'darker side of life' and are struggling, they can help you see some light again. At least the light of their camera flash.

Saturday, September 19, 2015


        Kezman is four and his self-proclaimed favorite book right now is:

I love that he loves this book because it displays his optimistic attitude that he gets from his daddy.

He's reading it to me right now so I can type it for you:

"When Mom says, I HATE RAIN,
Nate says, Rain Brings Frogs.
When Ben says, Not enough,
Nate says, Enough to share.
When his sister says, It's SO UGLY,
Nate says, It's so warm.

When Charlie says, KEEP OUT,
Nate says Room For All.
When dad says, MUD, MUD, MUD,
Nate says, Rainbow, Rainbow, Rainbow.
When Casey says, I lost,
Nate says, I finished.
When Liz says, I NEED MORE,
Nate says, I need one.

When his friends say nothing to do,
Nate says enjoy the view.
When everyone says We see clouds.
Nate says, Behind the Clouds I SEE SUN!"

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

You Choose Your Tude

As things stand I have yet to have a cancer free sample of my spinal fluid. Last Thursday's sample showed one - that's right one - blast (cancer cell) and this Monday's sample only had two blasts. Considering that my lab results from a month ago had nearly 100 blasts I am definitely close. We will continue to do injections of chemo every Monday and Thursday until we can get a "blast free" sample. At that point my doctor explained that we can do a longer acting chemo and take a break from the LPs for a couple weeks.

Allow me to explain why it is important that my spinal fluid is clear of cancer before I undergo the t-cell treatment: After one receives the t-cells and they begin to destroy the cancer cells they kind of go crazy. This reaction is called Cytokine Release Syndrome. The fear is that if I have cancer cells in my spinal fluid (this is also my brain fluid) it could cause significant brain damage/neurological issues.

The FDA has yet to approve the new protocol for the t-cell treatment. As I understand it, if I'm not the first, I will likely be the second human to undergo this new treatment that targets protein marker 22 instead of 19. The other major change to the protocol is that they are administering the t-cells in three incremental doses rather than one.

Not only is it frustrating waiting for the FDA and for my spinal fluid to come out clean, it's scary. Scary because I have tumors growing in my arm and shoulder. Scary, because the chemo that I am taking is causing my hands to cramp painfully and get stuck in strange twisted positions. Scary, because the more time that passes the more leukemia grows in my bone marrow. 

That said, I would like to share a quote from Victor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning, "...everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."

In short, as a co-worker of mine used to say, "You choose your tude." This has been my challenge each day - to remember that I may not be able to control many of my present circumstances but I can choose how I react to them. I can choose to find the goodness in each day.