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

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Info, Details and a Funny

I have so much to talk about in this post, it's going to be a jumbled up mess of info, details and stuff. First I'll start with the info and details. So we finally made it. Well, not actually but we are in the hospital and receiving chemo. You see, even though Joshua's ANC was only at 660 (needs to be 750), we decided to go ahead with treatment. It also seems like Joshua is starting to recover from pneumonia so that may have been the reason his body has been so slow to recover from this last round of chemo. Whatever the case, we forge ahead.

Next, if you are interested in helping out with a great cause, then think about joining us for a golf tournament in Joshua's honor. The tournament will be held on May 31st in Queenstown. Our neighbor John hosts this event for us and it's a ton of fun. We are ever so grateful for all the friends and strangers that come out to support our family. It's completely humbling and we appreciate every effort. Every dime that is raised helps us to cover the costs associated with Joshua's treatment and we can't thank John and everyone involved enough.

Now on to the stuff. I'm going to start with our Noah. We are so proud of him. Yesterday, I had his first parent/teacher conference. This is where it all starts. Pre-K conferences. I go in and am prepared to talk about how Jeff and I are concerned about Noah. We have been thinking that he just isn't picking up on the academics of school. Okay people. We know it's only pre-k but we've noticed that Noah doesn't seem to be able to recall letters or numbers when they are shown to him. Well, to my surprise, his teacher says that he is doing great. She showed me some of his handwriting and I was so impressed. He's copying letters from the board and writing words. He's doing things that I had no idea he was even able to do. That little stinker has been holding out on us and making us worry for months. The one thing his teacher said that he won't participate in is dancing or music which cracks us up because it's one of his favorite things to do at home. And to continue with his make Mommy and Daddy proud moments, he tested for and received his next karate belt yesterday. We have ourselves a karate kid!

Adam. What can I say about this kid except that he is a hoot. Adam is little me. He is an OCD perfectionist with an attitude. Ask him what his name is and he'll promptly tell you. "I'm Adam. A-D-A-M, Adam." He is so excited to turn 4 as he knows that is when life starts for him. We keep telling him that "when you turn 4 you can..." So to turn 4 means he can go to school, try karate, play sports and so on.

Joshua on the other hand could care less. We've told him that there are no diapers for 4 year olds so he's not as excited about turning 4. We haven't really pushed the potty training thing because of the amount of fluid he gets while in the hospital. Joshua is also the kids that doesn't care if he's walking around in a wet or dirty diaper. Jeff says we're going to just have to let him run around naked and then he'll get the idea. Back to the fact that I'm an OCD perfectionist, and this becomes a hard pill for me to swallow. But, there's always grandparents and I'm planning to ship this one off this summer for a week of potty training boot camp with Nonna. Hey, I did two out of three right?

Jeff and I were able to escape for an evening alone this past weekend. Remember that I said we won an overnight stay at the hotel were Noah's school's spring gala was being held. We were really sweating that we wouldn't have the chance to use it because of Joshua's chemo schedule. Anyway, we were able to go and have a great time. They boys were loving life at Bud and Bebe's house. It was "the best sleepover ever." Jeff and I were loving life at the Holiday Inn Express were they guarantee no kids in the bed and a full nights sleep. For those of you with kids who are constantly climbing into bed with you, I highly recommend you book a night soon. We were able to enjoy the gala, have some fun with friends and get a good nights sleep. All were completely overdue and much needed.

And finally, our Czorapinski funny of the week. This past week, we're sitting at dinner. Joshua and Noah were really playing around at the table.

Me: Boys. That's enough sit down and eat your dinner.

They continue.

Me: Boys. I said sit down before someone gets hurt.

Noah: We know. We know. Joshua has no plate lips!

Out of the mouths of babes!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Wanna get away?

Every time I see that Southwest Airlines commercial I want to yell really loudly "YES." The stress of having three boys (let alone the fact that one has cancer) makes me want to get away at least once a day. I swear the next time I see that commercial, I may just have to go grab one of Jeff's guns and shoot the television!

But, while I'm stuck here, I'm dealing with Joshua whose counts are still in the dumps. His ANC and platelet levels did not rise by Friday. They actually fell even lower but of course not enough to infuse. That leaves us trying to keep an active three year old with two as equally active brothers from bumping or bruising himself. Yeah right. Try that one. So, we'll try to take Joshua tomorrow for a three day chemo admission. I'm not sure if he'll make counts but I sure hope so. With every week we're delayed it gets harder to plan a summer for the family. We would like to send Noah to some day camps and possibly try swim lessons. I would like to take the kids to the beach as well. Once we hit maintenance, it becomes a tad bit easier to plan. So lets pray for good counts so that we can get this phase of life behind us.

And for you're amusement, here's your dose of Czorapinski life. This past weekend, I tried to go get professional pictures of the boys once again. You all know about the whole Christmas disaster. Well, just wait.We go to JCPenney once again. Joshua has decided that he will smile this time and make me proud. I do have to state that I told him the Easter Bunny wouldn't know he lived here if I didn't have a smiling picture for the wall. With Joshua, food/candy works every time. So we're prepared. We walk in and Joshua walks right back for photos. Finally, I will have my first group shot of the boys since the twins were 6 months old. Then it happens. Adam has a meltdown. My dreams float right out the window. No picture of Adam and no group shot. I just can't win. I sometimes think that God is sitting up above and using me for some sort of entertainment.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


No hospital for us this week. Once again, Joshua didn't make counts and therefore is delayed yet another week. While we had originally though he would enter into maintenance around June, it is now looking like somewhere late summer to early fall. It really stinks. Right now I'm just counting down time to maintenance. Don't get me wrong, it's not like maintenance carries any less worry or any escape from hospital stays for fever, but it does mean lighter chemo at a daily, weekly and monthly rate. It still stinks but just has a more tolerable smell.

So now, we wait. We'll go back on Friday to check counts and see if he needs blood or platelets. If all is well, we'll plan for a Monday admission. Of course this does put us in serious jeopardy of missing our free overnight stay at the Spring Gala next weekend. Jeff and I are hoping not but now even if we do get a chance to stay at a hotel only 5 minutes away, we'll be sweating all night worrying that Joshua will get a fever and we'll have to head to Baltimore.

Delays. I guess we should be happy that Joshua made it this far without too many delays. It's just that I feel our whole life has been delayed. I think about how Adam and Joshua will be 4 in June and I can't remember much about these past four years except for hospital stays and chemo. There is just so much out there that I want to be able to do. I want to travel with the boys and not have to worry about a chemo schedule, counts or fevers. I want to be able to let Joshua go to school and not be terrified about what he will pick up. Heck, I want to potty train the kid and not have to keep putting it off because of him being hooked up to massive amounts of fluid to flush out the chemo from his body. I want all of this so bad that I can taste it. But, it's delayed. One day we'll get there. It just won't be today.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Winter that Just Won't Quit!

I haven't updated the blog in a while. Well, we've been busy as usual. And as usual that busy involves numerous trips to the doctor for all three kids. Today is was Adams turn. Last week, it was Noah. Wednesday, we'll be in the hospital with Joshua for more chemo. See a pattern here. Noah is recovering from a nasty cough that involved neb treatments, antibiotic and steriods and Adam has just started an antibiotic for a sinus infection. Joshua has had a runny nose since June. Thank God Jeff and I are usually healthy. Between co pays and doctor bills, we'd be in the poor house if Jeff and I needed medical attention. Of course I say that as I visited the dentist on Friday and had a $350 co pay for a crown. Ouch from the cost and not the dental work! ;-)

Anyway, we're here and surviving. J-man is doing well overall. He didn't make counts two weeks ago and therefore missed a week of chemo. We resumed last week even though his platelets were only at 73 and needed to be at 75. I'm praying he makes counts this week and we can keep forging ahead as scheduled. Right now, it looks like it will be June/July before we hit maintenance. Come on summer!

We have been able to enjoy some time with the boys. This past weekend, we made a quick day trip to OC for some Thrashers fries and Fisher's popcorn. Well actually Jeff and I made the trip to the boardwalk with Joshua and Jeff's mom tagging along. Joshua thought he might miss out on some food and while the other two decided to stay at Jeff's parents beach house with their Bud, Joshua had his shoes and coat on the minute he heard popcorn. But, it was a relaxing day and we enjoyed the family time with the boys. We hope that this summer brings a few more family trips and a lot less stress. Joshua will still be in treatment but we'll work around that minor problem.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

So over this cancer stuff

This cancer stuff is getting old. The longer you're at it, the less chance your child has of actually making counts to keep going. We've been very fortunate that Joshua has for the most part, strolled through treatment. Yeah, we've had hospital stays, scares and setbacks, but they they have been few. Now, it seems that we have to fight each week, to make counts and continue with treatment. Yesterday, Joshua was due to have two different chemo drugs given as an outpatient. Of course, I have no thoughts that he wouldn't make counts. Those thoughts were for next week after he got this chemo. Wrong. ANC was 420. We need 750. No chemo and another week delay. Stinks, but we know that it is just his little body telling us it needs longer to bounce back. I write this as he is bouncing across the kitchen "playing hopscotch."

So while we wait, we'll keep up with the other things going on in our lives. Jeff and I have done a little kitchen remodel which involved relaminating the counter tops. Huge job and I'm happy to say that we were able to do it without killing one another. Big accomplishment. Noah is still enjoying karate and should be starting T-ball soon. Let's hope that he likes that as much as karate. Adam is growing like a weed and getting way to smart. He is really excited to start school in the fall and I think that he will really take off once that happens. Can you believe the twins will be 4 in June? The boys are coming up with new things everyday to keep us on our toes. Last week, we're sitting at the dinner table when Noah asks us "Why did the chicken cross the playground?" He usually doesn't quite get the punch line of jokes that he has heard so I'm waiting to hear what he comes up with when I ask "why?" "To get to the other slide." Funny kid. And Joshua decides to recite "she sells seashells by the seashore" out of the blue to me the other day and can say it much better than I.

And in other news, a friend of ours is putting on a golf tournament to benefit Joshua's medical fund. He will be holding the tournament at Queenstown on June 7th. If anyone is interested in playing, let me know.