Tyson's Brave Battalion

Tyson's Brave Battalion
Things don't go wrong and break your heart so you can become bitter and give up. They happen to break you down and build you up so you can be all that you were intended to be.” ~Samuel Johnson

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Last IV Chemo!!

First things first before we get to last chemo... We just finished our Camp Hobe marathon where mom makes 4 three hour trips to Tooele in 2 weeks.  The big kids all stayed for a week (kids camp and teen camp) and Ty and Merin did the day camp which lasts two days. 
At the end of day camp they sing the camp songs they learn for the parents, in this pic they are singing baby shark.  We love love love Camp Hobe!!!
To celebrate Ty's last IV chemo treatment we went to Lagoon the day before his appointment
 Ty LOVES rollercoasters, one more inch and he can ride the really big coasters!
Here we go!  The kids got to come today to participate in the celebration...one of their favorite things about end of treatment you ask?  LAST STEROID PULSE!!!! 
Ivy the therapy dog was there to congratulate Ty, we love the therapy dogs
All hooked up for last video games, Ty's favorite part about treatment...and the main reason he's not that thrilled about being done with treatment 
And last Otter Pop while we wait in infusion  
 And there it is!  Last IV chemo Vincristine
 Then all of the nurses and staff sang him a no more chemotherapy song.  Man we love them.  It is going to be really strange to not be hanging out there once a month!
 They gave Ty a bundle of presents
  One of our favorite nurses of all time Kathy came over from ICS to watch Ty ring the bell.  She was there when Ty was first diagnosed and when he had that fungal infection.  She also goes to Camp Hobe so all of our kids love her.
And another favorite nurse Becky who was also Ty's nurse for a few days when Ty had that fungal infection.  There are a couple of other nurses that didn't happen to be there that day that we would have loved to have pictures of.   And I'm kicking myself for not getting one of Ty with his oncologist...hopefully we can talk her into one at his next appointment.  Thinking of Ty's oncologist and nurses makes me all teary...and if you know me getting all teary is not something I do often.  What would we have done without such great nurses? 
At clinic and in ICS they have a bell on the wall that has a poem about being done with treatment.  When the kids are done they get to ring the bell.  It is a moment we have been looking forward to for a long long time! What a fantastic moment!
While we waited for Ty's meds at the pharmacy we had some superman ice cream in the new lobby 
And when we got back Ty's cousins were waiting with a surprise congratulations party! 
Complete with donuts and balloons galore! 
One of Ty's requests for celebration was to eat at Bamboo Gardens so the next day we filled up Bamboo's extra room with lots of family members for lunch.
So what now?
Ty is still taking his at home chemo pills, he takes his last one on July 19th which is his official end date of treatment.  He will get his port removed a few days later and will continue to take Dapsone which is an antibiotic he has taken throughout treatment for 3 months after that while his immune system tries to get back to normal.  He gets an Echo in September to check for heart damage from the chemo and then an Echo every 5 years.  For his first year off treatment he will have a blood test and physical once a month to watch for relapse.  We will alternate months with our family doc at home and his oncologist at PCH.  Then after that he will gradually go in less and less over the years.  The farther out he gets from treatment the less likely it is that he will relapse. 
When I think of the last 38 months I am overwhelmed with how many people have helped us in one way or another or many ways.  A million 'thank yous' are in order to everybody reading this blog.  Thank you Oncologists and nurses.  Thank you social workers and child-life specialists and staff.  Thank you researchers and parents from the past who agreed to clinical trials even when they knew their child might not make it to see the results. Thank you Childhood Cancer advocates.  Thank you for every penny you donated to childhood cancer research.  Thank you to my mom and dad for being there for Merin and the other kids when Brady and I couldn't be and for your endless support. Thank you Grandma and Erin for making things fun for Ty when his immune system didn't let him leave the house. Thank you to my visiting teacher who understood more than anybody else could, who cleaned and arranged meals and visited and lifted me with all sorts of compliments. It was no coincidence that she became my visiting teacher a few months before Ty was diagnosed.  Thank you to a bunch of neighbors and family who cleaned our house top to bottom so Ty could come home to a sanitary environment.  Thank you for the countless meals brought to our family on treatment days. Thank you PA at Urgent Care who decided to do a blood test that led to Ty's diagnosis. Thank you Russ and Melissa for your cancer expertise and moral support. Thank you fellow mom at ICS and her pediatrician for helping Ryan with his earache.  Thank you Michelle: Ty's home health nurse who came at all hours of the day and night, who befriended us and the other kids, who brought treats to Ty, who understood how the siblings felt and helped them feel included and important, who helped Ty be brave for magic stickers (port access), and helped us all not go crazy as we dealt with all of the medical stuff.  Thank you Primary kids from church who made a get well poster for Ty and stayed home from church when they were sick so they wouldn't get Ty sick.  Thank you Miss Shelley, Ty's preschool teacher for creating a preschool that Ty could safely attend and for all of your kindness and concern. Thank you Ty's preschool buddies who also made him a poster, and their parents who let me know when Ty might have been exposed to something.  Thank you Youth from church who brought Ty frosted flakes and made cards.   Thank you to the many generous neighbors who donated money and signed a card.  Thank you Ty's Aunts and Uncles who visited in the hospital and brought Ty's mom treats.  Thank you to Ty's awesome cousins in Utah who organized a St. Baldrick's Fundraiser and shaved their heads in honor of Ty. Thank you Swore Farms for the pumpkins.  Thank you Randy's Tumbling for helping Ty build his strength back up. Thank you for the Legos.  Thank you to a wonderful neighbor who made Ty an 'I Spy' blanket even though she was dealing with some medical issues herself.  Thank you for the JoyJar. Thank you everybody who brought Ty Phineas and Ferb bandaids for his pokies.  Thank you neighbors and friends and family who sent inspirational cards, made Ty a blanket to stay warm during chemo, brought me a framed inspirational quote, and gave us a vinyl quote for our wall.  Thank you Ty's Kindergarten teachers for making his school year worry free for this mama.  Thank you to everybody who organized, donated to and attended the CureSearch walks.  Thank you Mike for running all the way across Idaho in honor of Ty and his cancer buddies.  Thank you Ty's cancer buddies and their families for reaching out to us and being our friend.  Thank you Make-A-Wish for the vacation that helped us turn our stress and worry and heartache into fun and hope and happiness. Thank you Utah cousins who let us stay at your house and brought lucky charms and kids and goodies to the hospital. Thank you Camp Hobe for helping our kids connect with other kids who 'get it'.  Thank you Bristol, Smitty and ISU for a great game, a fun night, and an awesome Triathlon for local kids with cancer.  Thank you Matt at KPVI for covering Ty's story. Thank you Joe, Elliot TherapyDog, Annie TherapyDog, Cheri, Oliver TherapyDog and Ivie TherapyDog for all of the smiles. Thank you for sending and bringing gifts that we used as pokie prizes and helped Ty have fun at the hospital. Thank you to our community for all of your support of the recent St. Baldrick's event in town. Thank you for sharing Ty's videos on facebook.  Thank you to Ty's local docs and nurses who put up with our midnight fever runs to the hospital and VIP treatment at the office.  Thank you Tenley Foundation for giving us a way to think about others.  Thank you Chubbuck Elementary for doing Penny Wars.  Thank you Moose at The Canyons for making Ty smile.  Thank you cousins who organized childhood cancer projects from a distance and made pillowcases for kids in the hospital.  Thank you for reading this blog, for praying for Tyson and our family, for writing comments of support on here and on facebook, for asking about him and telling people about him and all of your words of care and encouragement. 
Thank you for being a part of Tyson's Battalion.
 Thank Heaven...literally...for all of you.