Tyler - 17 year old fighting cancer!

Tyler - 17 year old fighting cancer!
Ready for Battle!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Physical Therapy and Trach Collar

Tyler is now on a trach collar and off of the ventilator! One less tube is a good thing. He doesn't like the sound the oxygen makes, but he'll get over that. He's not talking, but he's more alert and nodding and giving thumbs up. He also started 2-3 hours of bed physical therapy this week. He actually likes it a lot and it's going really well.

Please continue to pray for comfort and relief from pain for Tyler. Please also pray that the chemo will do its job in shrinking the tumor, but not have too many ill effects on his stomach, kidneys or any other major organ.

All we have is gratitude

It's so hard to put into words the emotions our family is feeling about the event last night. It was completely overwhelming to see blessings flowing endlessly throughout the day from all of you.  And all we have is gratitude to offer you!

Tyler's Aunt Cheri and Aunt Patty manning the front table
I walked into the hall on Thursday afternoon and was struck immediately when I saw that the entire building had already been transformed from volunteers over the last day or 2. Tables and chairs were set. The food stations were ready. There was a box of donated t-shirts for all of our family that read "Team Tyler". And I cried. There were tons of volunteers already in motion. I took my son back to my parents for a brief nap and when I returned an hour or so later, the room had a busier buzz and now everyone had their blue t-shirts on...and I cried.

Alenna and Blake getting set up

Our little ones - Lance, Billy, Lydia, Alenna and Blake had their tables set up. Duct tape purses, hot chocolate, bracelets that read "Keep Fighting Tyler", "Stay Strong Tyler", "Hope", etc lined the tables. And I cried.

ALL of the food was donated from various people...including salad, veggies, meatballs, pasta, sauce, desserts, ice cream, etc. There were 75+ baskets and auction items donated to the event to raise funds. Looking at all of them so neatly organized and given so freely made me...well, you guessed it...cry! Then there were piles of people coming in. I mean hundreds of people! We knew many of them, but certainly not all. These pictures don't do it justice because this was only the upstairs. There were more downstairs, I just didn't find a moment to snap a picture. People coming from everywhere. Family, close friends, friends of friends, people we've met in the ICU waiting room, people that didn't know us at all but have been reading the blog. It was so unbelievably overwhelming and we were all emotional about it.

When the evening started to wind down, our family sat around and enjoyed the feeling. We were so full of gratitude and for the first time in the last few weeks...we laughed and smiled and joked and stuck around and just hung out talking about how much love we had felt that night...outside of a hospital waiting room. It was a nice release. Again, I didn't have the opportunity to take too many pictures while we were sitting around, but here are just a couple.

I want to avoid writing specific names because there was so much generosity poured out over this event and I would be bound to leave someone off the list. But, I do feel we need a shout out for some that worked so hard to pull this thing off. First, Tyler's Papa Bill did an amazing job at coming up with the idea, promoting and selling tickets, and getting monetary and auction donations. And, Tyler's Uncle Don (who we've always referred to as the "social director" of the family) got auction items donated, organized the whole place, cooked the food and kept it coming (with a team of people). The entire family and some really close friends, worked so hard organizing, setting up, getting baskets together, cooking and running the show. We had so many compliments on how smooth things went and how organized it was even though there were hundreds of people around. We never even ran out of food for 400+ people. We cooked and went through every bit of 60 lbs of pasta! Whoa!

We thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for your prayers, time, effort, energy and donations. We are so very blessed. We raised a lot of money that will directly benefit Michelle and Tyler. Of course, Michelle didn't leave her son's side even for this event. I know she is grateful that you have made it possible for her to continue sitting at her son's bedside and not worry about bills or finding another job while this is going on with Tyler. That security is something that is irreplaceable. Thank you from Michelle, Tyler and the rest of us!

Much love (and in tears as I end this post),

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Another Rough Night

Tyler had another rough night. We think they may be trying to wean him off of too many medications at once. So, they are still trying to figure out a good regimen for his pain and anxiety. His heart rate reached 170 and he was running a 103 fever.

On the positive side, they are talking about doing the tracheotomy collar tomorrow and start some bed physical therapy. His kidneys are still functioning well too.

Again, we hope to see you all at the fundraiser Thursday. We have some really great donations pouring in that we'll be giving away as raffles and auction items. If you can't make the dinner, please consider donating on line by clicking here: http://www.gofundme.com/1drbvk.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Some Progress

Tyler continues to make progress. He has been breathing on his own since Thursday! They are talking about removing the ventilator soon. He will still have the trach, but he would be able to talk if he covers the air hole. His blood pressure is good and he hasn't been running a fever. He has also tolerated the chemo well so far. We are all happy his kidneys are still functioning well.

Today will be the 5th day of chemo in a row. Next week will be more telling of how he tolerates all of these chemo treatments from this week.

We are still praying that the infection will be completely cleared and the swelling will continue to go down. They've also finally got his pain and anxiety somewhat under control. We're praying that his new regimen will keep him comfortable, especially when the chemo effects kick in.

Thank you all for your continued prayers. We praise God for every victory, although they seem small at times.

We are hoping to see you all on Thursday at the fundraiser.