He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
- Isaiah 40:29-31

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Reasons why 2008 did not suck for us...

In response to a post on Hope4Peyton , I am posting my own list of reasons why 2008 did not suck for the Czorapinski Family. Here it goes and believe me, I have to dig deep for the "brightness" in some of these.

1. Joshua has made it through 30 weeks of chemo on time without any set backs. The child is such a trooper. (I will not mention that 2008 sucks because he relapsed. That isn't what this post is about.)

2. Jeff and I went on our first alone vacation in 5 years. We took a 36 hour trip to Orlando back in February. Don't know if that would be considered a vacation but boy did we enjoy it.

3. We got to see what live without chemo might be like. Joshua was chemo free for two whole months.

4. Adam joined the potty club in August.

5. Noah fought through his social phobia to become a "karate kid!" He also participated in his school Christmas program. This is a big step for us people.

6. Even though we are in the middle of harsh chemo treatments with Joshua, we were able to take the family to the beach for two days. The boys loved it and we were able to capture a few lifelong memories.

7. Friends. We have met and become friends with some amazing people. Every time I hear that song "You find out who your friends are" I think of you all, and you know who you are.

8. Relay for Life. We were able to raise over $2500 with the help of our friends and family. And boy did we have a great time doing it too! (Thanks to those of you who have signed up for Relay 2009. I'll be in touch!)

9. Bonding. Being stuck at home all the time really drives you nuts. But, it has also bonded our family. I don't think if it were for cancer we would spend so much time together. The twins would be in school and we would be out and about much more often. So, 2008 may have made a very stressed and crazy mommy, but it has helped us learn to enjoy those little moments.

10. Your turn. Think about what meant the most to you in 2008. I'd love to hear your list!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Can we just skip 2009?

I feel like I am constantly wishing my life away. I am always looking forward to the end of chemo and moving on to the next chapter. Don't get me wrong, I do savor every moment with the boys. Every day is a blessing but it will be such a different world without cancer being an every day part of it. Jeff and I have to get a sitter for the simple things. We can't through the kids in the car on a Saturday and hit Sam's Club. We don't dare plan vacations or even nights out. And this has been our way of life for so long now that I have no idea how we will act when life isn't this way. So as we move from 2008, the year that Joshua was chemo free for two months and move into 2009, the year of the unknown, we will start it with what we know. We will be in the hospital where Joshua will be receiving yet another dose of high dose methatrexate. But we are doing well and we are looking forward to getting yet another week of treatment moved over to the done column.

I know I haven't been great at posting on the Czorapinski Family events. It's been a crazy time with Joshua's hospital stays, the holidays, the boys being sick and such. Noah and Adam were both on steroids and antibiotics for yucky coughs this past week. Christmas came and we were swamped with toys, toys and more toys. Santa had a momentary lapse of judgement and left each of the boys a guitar and saxophone that play music. To his defense, they do have volume switches but we still think he lost his mind for a minute there. The boys love them and have had a blast playing "rock star." Thanks to Jeff's parents they now also have a dance cam and can watch themselves rock out on tv.

And finally, I will end this post with some randomness. I have been tagged by my neighbor Julie. She was tagged by a friend on their blog to post six random things about herself. She then tagged me on her blog to do the same. So here it goes.

1.) I played the piano for about 8 years. I also took saxophone lessons for a year and a half and played the xylophone for two and a half years. I also took French class in high school for three years. I don't remember much from any of this. I can remember how to play heart and soul on the piano and how to order a beer in French but don't remember how to ask where the bathroom is so I don't think it's too helpful.

2.) I was president of my sorority. Okay, so it is a women's fraternity because sorority did not exist when we were founded. Go Phi Mu.

3.) I hate it when people where tennis shoes without socks. Yuck.

4.) My house burned down when I was a freshman in high school. The day after Thanksgiving too.

5.) I didn't have my first real haircut until I went into 9th grade. My hair was down to my waist. Since then, I can only grow it until my shoulders before I'm itching for a haircut.

6.) I would eat liver as a child and actually liked the taste although I haven't eaten it in years and don't know if I still would. Maybe it was the massive amounts of ketchup that I put on top.

So there. Some random Ami things. I hope you are all informed and feel like you learned something :) And since I only really know one other blog, I am tagging you Anissa. You're it! Oh and I'll post my top reasons why 2008 didn't suck with my next post!

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Christmas came. Santa was here. I'll post when I finish digging out!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Busy Times

I have been meaning to post an update for a while now. Things have just been so busy with the kids and Christmas and the hospital. I'll make this post a quick one and update with more detail later. Anyway, Joshua's spinal tap went well yesterday. His counts are great and we are scheduled to go back into the hospital for 4 days of chemo on Tuesday.

I had to take Adam and Noah to the doctor after Joshua's spinal yesterday. They both have really nasty coughs and sure enough they both needed to be put on oral steroids and antibiotics. Fun times in the Czorapinski house.

I hope you are all enjoying the holidays. Remember that no matter how much or how little is under the tree this year, the fact that you are surrounded by your loved ones is truly what matters.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Blizzard has got to be coming

Last night was Noah's school Christmas program. The entire Pre-K was up on stage in front of a ton of parents and grandparents. They sang songs, played bells and wore cute little hats on their heads. Now if you know us closely or have been following this blog, you know that Noah doesn't do crowds. He hates attention directly on him and placing him in front of hundreds of people might not be a good idea. I was not expecting much.

So the kids filed in. Right into the chapel and Noah has his head hanging down. Things don't look good. Jeff and I were in the far back of the room with Jeff's parents waiting to see if Noah would even go on stage. I'm still not expecting much. Then, the first song starts. And low and behold, my child's lips are moving. He's singing. Then the next song involved standing up and doing hand motions. There goes Noah again. I could have cried. I told Jeff afterward that it had been such a crappy week and Noah gave us the best gift. He participated. Oh the joys of being normal!

And now for our little Joshua man. Today we went to Hopkins for a count check. When we left on Monday, his ANC was in the 200's. Today, he has an ANC of 27,000. The child never ceases to amaze me. So, now we are on to a spinal tap on Tuesday (Merry Christmas) and then a scheduled hospital admission for new years. But hey for now, we're home, we're "healthy" and we're acting normal. I couldn't be happier!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Outta Here

Counts are up. All is well and we are waiting for walking papers. Five nights in the hospital and we are so ready to get home.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Still Waiting...

Joshua's counts are still in the dumps. ANC is still at 0. He received platelets yesterday and the blood that he got on Tuesday is running low again. His temperature is what concerns us. The fact that he has been getting antibiotics since Wed and this temp is still fluctuating, has caused the doctors to add a second antibiotic. They did a throat culture yesterday but we haven't heard back yet. Joshua is grumpy and really not eating. He talks about all the food he wants when he gets home but won't eat anything in the hospital. So, it looks like we'll be at least a few more days in the hospital. Please pray that they figure out what's going on with Joshua's temperature and that we are all home soon.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Just a little update from Hotel Hopkins

Yes, we've checked in. Wednesday afternoon, Joshua started running a fever of 102.2. You know what that means. We raced up to Hopkins to find that Joshua has an ANC of 0 and that we have at least a two day hospital stay. As of today, his ANC is still at 0 with no sign of improving in the next day or so. So we're having some unscheduled rest and relaxation. He's not really eating much and feels pretty yucky. He has had a fever on and off but seems to have kept it in check for much of today. Hopefully, we'll start to see a little improvement by tomorrow. My guess for check out is probably Sunday but we'll see. The good thing is that we are hopefully getting this out of the way before Christmas. His counts are exactly where we expect them so the chemo is doing exactly what it is supposed to do.

Monday, December 8, 2008

You Better Not Pout!

Yeah well someone better tell Joshua that. He doesn't believe me when I tell him Santa doesn't visit grumpy boys. And can I tell you that he is VERY grumpy. Yesterday, he stayed upstairs four about two hours and refused to come down. He undressed himself because he didn't want to wear clothes. Forget the fact that it was about 20 degrees here yesterday. Oh and the kid has no hair to insulate him. Other than that, he is is usual demanding self. So far we have remained fever free. He's not enjoying the nightly shots in the legs that Jeff and I have to give him but he always bounces back with a hug and a kiss. Oh, and don't forget that all important band aid!

As for the other two boys, they are enjoying the holiday season. All three boys have helped put up the tree, wrap presents, string lights, and bake cookies. It truly is a fun age for Christmas this year. Adam wants everything under the sun for Christmas except the "girl stuff." Noah loves to sing Christmas carols although he only knows Jingle Bells and only some of the words. We have our usual Czorapinski nightly dance parties where Joshua "shakes his booty." That is when he's not being a grump.

Hope you are all enjoying the holiday season as much as we are enjoying it!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Oh My

That's what the doctor said when he looked in Joshua's ears last night after we noticed that Joshua was running a fever. Yeah, I guess the snotty nose and cough and junk finally caught up with him. He is still running a fever and the chemo was started anyway so we'll see as to when they might let us out of here. It still amazes me that with an ear infection and a cold that the kid can still have good blood counts. He truly is an inspiration.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Holiday Shopping

Okay so Thanksgiving is over. Christmas is only 23 days away. And now it's time to start shopping. I am happy to say that I finished early this year. Yes, I have a few little odds and ends to pick up when I'm out but the majority is done. For those of you that haven't even started, I know how to help. What do you give to someone who has it all? Or what about that someone on your list that leaves you stumped? What about cookies? Everyone loves cookies. No time to bake? Well, how about giving cookies that mean something. How about cookies that help fight pediatric cancer? Now that's a gift. Check out Cookies for Kids Cancer and help out our kids as well as check one or two of those gifts off your list.

So now that I've finished my advertising, I'll fill you in on the Czorapinski's. We had a wonderful relaxing holiday. Jeff, Adam and I have awful colds that we can't seem to get rid of. Joshua has also started to pick it up. We are scheduled to go into the hospital tomorrow for three days worth of chemo. We are entering into Joshua's harsh part of treatment again. He will be hospitalized for chemo every three to four weeks from now until May. I pray that he continues to handle the chemo as well as he has up to this point. I can't tell you how the Lord is carrying him through this though. You would just have to see it for yourself. Our little guy is so full of energy. He is rotten as ever and his last round of steroids plumped him up like you wouldn't believe. The last week he was on them, he gained 4 pounds. We are just so blessed that he is doing so well.

The boys are excited for Christmas. Adam wants everything that comes on tv or shows up in a catalog in the mail. Noah changes his mind each day as to what he wants and Joshua gives it some serious thought but usually says an airplane. Hopefully Santa will deliver the right goods and all will be thrilled. They had a blast decorating the tree this past weekend and just love the lights outside. I have to say that as the boys have gotten a little older, Christmas is just so much more fun. I love to see the excitement in their eyes and the childhood wonder of Christmas. When you are faced with cancer in your life, you learn to never take things for granted. I don't take the fact that our family is able to be home and together for the holidays for granted. Please remember to enjoy and be thankful for what you have and to not worry about what you don't.