|Back to CHOP
for surgery... and more chemo
|Waiting in surgery reception before my
surgery on March 10
|This is the day after surgery in my room. I had to stay immobilized strapped in an abductor
pillow until my cast went on. It was pretty uncomfortable to not be able to move my legs.
Mom and Dad put up a great fathead of Brian Westbrook in my window.
|Mom told me I could ask for a "Brave Present" for
the surgery, so I asked for an electric guitar. I got
to pick it out before the surgery, but had to wait
until I woke up to actually see it. It is sweet.
Getting out of bed for the first time with my new cast. The cast
is called a spica cast, and it goes from my ribs down to my
ankle. My left leg is free to move though, otherwise I would be
really stuck for 6-8 weeks. The cast weighs 15 lbs which is
really heavy after having your ilium removed!
|This is my first time getting out of bed. It was really really painful, and once I got
into the wheel chair, I didn't want to get back out again right away, so we went for
a ride. We stopped for lemonade and looked out the window for a while. I have
to have a wheel chair that leans back because the cast has me angled back.
Brushing my teeth. I like my new pillow case. It comes from "Conkerr
Cancer" a charity organization that makes pillow cases for children with
cancer. This one was made by women in the Morrisville United Methodist
Church in PA. Thank you!!
I was really happy when two of my classmates came to visit me at CHOP. Mr.
Nees was a real hero to bring Riley and Connor down, and to bring me a
bagel with lox and cream cheese... and taco bell... and...
Riley, Connor and I played video games on the PS2 in my room.
Gia was giving a Hanna Montana concert in the hallway while I
was trying to get out of bed and try the walker for the first
time. She came to cheer me on while I tried walking.
Gia is 3 and had abdominal surgery the week before me to
remove her tumor. She has neural blastoma. The nurses
call her the surgical floor's "Cruise Director." She is a pretty
great little kid! Having Gia cheer for you helps you keep
My brother James painted the window on my door for me.
You can't see the smiley faces he put on the top. You also
cant see the IV pole and all the tubes and stuff connected to
me! That makes it really hard to move the walker or wheel
chair and not pull out drains or my broviac, (the central line
that runs into my chest).
My brothers, James and Harry
Megan is my oncolgy clinic nurse. She is the best! She sent me emails, and came to
visit me from over in the Wood Center. This is Meg signing my cast.
|Meet Dr. Dormans.
He is my pediatric orthopaedic surgeon, and my hero.
I feel really really lucky to have him for my surgeon.
My Upper School Headmaster, Mr. Sigrist and his family: Mrs. Sigrist,
Katie, and baby Anna. It was fun to have them come visit.
Mr. Sigrist brought flowers with him from my Lower School Headmaster,
and a present from Mrs. Spaven!
|Gia's Road Show-- she sang bedside for me
|March 18, 2:30pm
AHHHH, my sofa at home!!
While I was still at the hospital, the Jaycees, their kids and some of my
soccer team tied blue ribbons on every tree on my street as a welcome
home for me. It was cool to see on my way home from the hospital. I
was really surprised and it felt like my community knew and cared
about what I was going through. They really did a great job. Even the
telephone poles and street signs got ribbons! My brothers and
grandfather helped too.
Blue ribbons are for Ewing's Sarcoma awareness, but it is a darker
The Jaycees and their families also helped me raise money for
pediatric cancer research at CHOP. They sold my wristbands in
front of our grocery store. It is really nice that people want to
help me raise money to fight children's cancer. Thanks to
everyone who contributed.
I use a walker because it is easier than crutches. In this picture, I
was on my way to take a wheel chair ride around the
neighborhood because it was kind of warm and sunny.
My cat likes my new hospital bed at home. He sleeps in
it all the time when I am not in it. The hospital bed was a
gift from the Jaycees. That was really nice of them, and
it is really useful. Thank you!
ROUND 7 of chemo
COUNTING DOWN THE MINUTES on Round 7, (a two-day
chemo)... 47 minutes until the transfusion and chemo
are done and I hit the highway and head for home!
Sponge Bob was helping to distract me.
On April 3, which was the Friday before my Birthday,
my school called me on Skype from the lunchroom to sing Happy Birthday to me!
Gee, Mr. K, If it wasn't for this big blue cast, I would totally help
clean up the mess... no really, I would... seriously!
This is cleaning up after my party at school. My Headmaster believes
that if you have fun, the work isn't very hard at all. He did a good job
vacuuming up all the popcorn and candy.
Maybe I should have saved this photo to blackmail him later for good
grades or something.
For my Birthday, my school let me have a movie and pizza party in the old library with
all the boys from my class. We watched Kangaroo Jack, had pizza, popcorn, real
movie candy, and a special video made by one of my classmates of our field trip to
the Metropolitan Museum. They made me a cool banner for a present. Everyone
brought either prizes for the kids at CHOP to win during BINGO, or donations to The
Children's Hospital Foundation, and even some presents for me! We had a good
time... including a pillow fight, but I was kind of at a disadvantage on that!
THANK YOU TO MR. K., MY SCHOOL, AND EVERYONE IN MY CLASS! I had a great
I also want to thank all the people who sent me presents, cards, e-mails, e-cards, phone
calls, and balloons it was really great to hear from everyone, and I hope you will all come
help me celebrate at my victory party when I am done with my cancer treatments. Thank
you everybody!! Now back to business... returning to CHOP for round 8.
For your own mini concert, click this link to watch Gia's
You-Tube video: Watch Gia sing!
|4th Grade Strikes Again! The Fourth Grade emailed me this great Birthday Greeting
Meet "Malcolm" the Impala!
New friends that I met through my web-site are
part-owners for a wildlife conservancy near Mount Kenya
called Soita Nyiro Conservancy. For my Birthday, they
named the first baby animal to be born on or after my
birthday after me. So, this new baby Impala is "Malcolm"!
What an awesome birthday gift! I hope to go to Kenya to
Thank you J, J, C, and T!
On Friday, there was no school, so I had some free time to
play video games.
Patrick came by with the instrument cart on Friday, and James, Patrick and I played some music for a
while. With James on the drum and me on the ukulele, it sounded like island music!
It was nice out on Thursday, so mom took me out to the CHOP garden after the
day's chemo was finished. I fell asleep-- but it was REALLY nice to be outside!
|Friday... three hours to go...discharge at 9pm.
This is a portable X-Box game. The X-Box machines were donated to the CHOP Oncology floor by
the Champions in Courage Foundation and the Stefanacci family's Go for the Goal Foundation.
Their son Richie Stefanacci died in June 2007 after fighting Ewing's Sarcoma for 13 months.
It was a great gift to us kids on the oncology floor. Thank you very much.