Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Relay Pics and More...

Last post I asked if there were additional pics from the Relay that I could post...both Meg and Melody emailed me pictures that I wanted to share.  Thank you Meg and Melody - the pictures are wonderful!!!

We are so thankful that Cash has done so well lately.  In fact, the past few days he has seemed to improve even more (God is so good!).  I know this next video may seem extremely boring, however, it shows Cash's dexterity - he hasn't eaten yogurt by himself since he got this video you can see he's eating without too much mess...:-)

Finally, here are my favorite pictures from the past week.  We've had many visitors and the boys have had a great time playing with all of their cousins and friends...

 (Brrrrr, this is cold!)

(Give me another one please!)

Have a blessed holiday weekend and thank you for your continued support!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Relay for Life

Yesterday in Lynden was the Relay for Life, an American Cancer Society event that celebrates and honors cancer survivors and current cancer patients.  We were unable to attend, however, I was sent some amazing pictures from the event.  Many of you who have been supporting and praying for Cash were there and Coleson Brink cut the ribbon to kick off the event.

This week Coleson received great news at Seattle Childrens - his cancer is in remission (the scans came back clear)!  We are thankful to God for answering prayers and continue to pray for the Brink's and celebrate with them - we hope maybe next year at this time Cash can cut the ribbon...

While I don't have a picture yet, Wendi's dad (my father-in-law), Bob VanderHoek and Mel Yonkman walked the track until midnight!  Bob and Mel walked to honor Aunt Alyce, who recently passed after a battle with cancer, and celebrate Cash and his progress to date.

Here are the rest of pics that were sent to me, I know Jen is sending me more and if anyone else has pictures please email them to me at, we would love to see them!

We are continually amazed at the support of our community in helping those who are fighting cancer and want to thank everyone who walked for Cash!  We'll see you next year, hopefully by that time (Lord willing), Cash can actually walk the track himself in the survivor lap.

Have a blessed Sabbath and we'll post some videos this week of Cash - we're thankful to God that he's doing well and we pray that the next three rounds of chemo will stop this tumor from growing!  Thank you for your continued prayers and support!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Back @ Children's

I hope all the dads had a great Father's Day.  The entire Jack & Wilma Parriera (Sr) clan drove to our house from Lynden for a bbq - we had a great time and even though the weather didn't cooperate, we were still able to roast marshmallows (in the rain).

This morning Cash had his first appointment with Dr. Leary at Seattle Children's.  She hadn't see him since we left and I was encouraged that in the short visit Cash had with her, she was very encouraged about his progress.  We talked about the next round of chemo and tentatively scheduled it for July 10.  He'll receive two types of chemo, both are very powerful, thus he'll need to have his own stem cells given back to speed up the recovery between treatments.

Here are a few pictures from the last day at the proton center as well as the kids playing around the house.  We are all thankful to be home and I'm thankful for your continued prayers and support.  Our new friends Doug & Misty and their son, Zack, are in this picture.  They started treatment for Zack the day after Cash and we spent a lot of time with them in Houston.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Home Sweet Home

We successfully made the trip back to Seattle yesterday.  It started at 3:20 a.m. when Cash woke up - not sure why he woke up but it gave us plenty of time to get everything ready.  Drew (Houston Texans) picked us up at 4:45 and we were at the airport by 5:20, but then it got interesting...It took nearly an hour and 20 minutes to get checked in and through security - we literally got to the gate and they started boarding.  Cash didn't really know what to think but Jack had a blast:

Even though the adults were all in a sweat, the kids were great on the plane.  Jack and Cash were with me and they watched movies and played, Wendi and Kingston were with my mom (we could not have done it without her...) a few rows in front.  Corey and Katey were waiting for us when we landed and all of our luggage was first to come off the conveyor belt (that never happens!). 

It is so good to be home and I think the kids know it too - they all slept well last night and have had a great day playing around the house.  Cash picked up where he left off, constantly looking for things to get into and he loves playing in Jack's room.

We had so much help in Houston and that made the 7 weeks go by very quickly.  Thank you to all for your support and prayers and have a blessed Father's Day this weekend, I know I will - I am very blessed and thankful.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Graduation Day

The morning started out great with a victory for the Netherlands - the kids were all geared up thanks to Auntie Karen:

Graduation almost didn't happen today...This morning (8:00) as we were all getting into the car the Proton Center called and said the machines were down and we'd have to wait until it was up before heading over there.  Thankfully at around 10 it was running and by 10:30 Cash was in treatment.

It was definitely a great morning although we had to keep Cash from wanting to eat or drink until much later than usual.  Kent Postma stopped by to say goodbye and Carol Nelson joined us for the graduation.  In addition, we've made great friends with Doug and Misty, whose son Zack is three days behind Cash in treatment.  Doug and his family started driving down from Auburn the same day Jeremy, Cash, and I flew to Houston.  I know Jack and Cash will miss playing with Zack, they've had a lot of fun in spite of the circumstance.

The staff at MD showered Cash with gifts...As you'll see in the video he gets presents from the staff.  They were so wonderful - They treated him like they were their own and we're so thankful to God for putting them in the right place at the right time for Cash.  Please be in prayer for the Purdue family (one of the doctors), their mother, Mrs. Bobby Harris needs prayer for total healing and strength.

For a 720dpi video of the graduation please click here.

We are now busily preparing to head home.  Thanks to Carol, we have a ride at 4:30 in the morning on Wednesday in one of the Texans' vans - we have 3 adults and 3 children, 3 carseats, 6 suitcases, not to mention my guitar and everything else we brought down.

I also want to thank the folks at Impact Church (The Middlebrooks) - Jim D and his wife volunteered to come to our apartment when we leave and clean it all up and check out for us.  That is a tremendous burden lifted as we'll be very busy just packing and taking care of the kids.

I will also dedicate a full post to my mom when we return - she's spent nearly 5 weeks with us and has done all of the cooking, cleaning, buying groceries, and running errands - not to mention going to every appointment with us and taking excellent care of the kids.  We have been tremendously blessed to have her (and earlier this journey, Jeremy and my dad) spend so much time with us - I could not have done it without her.

Well another step in Cash's journey is almost completed...he still has three more rounds of chemo and we'll meet with Dr. Leary on June 21.  There is an MRI scheduled on July 2 and we'll start the first round on July 5 (hopefully).  We continue to pray that this tumor has been disrupted enough to stop growing and as always thank you for your prayers and support - we definitely couldn't do it without you!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Cut for Cash for Locks of Love

We've had many boys and men cut their hair for Cash, however, I've not even asked any ladies if they would cut their hair for Cash.  Not only has Wendi's cousin, Julie, been extraordinarily helpful during the past few months to our family, she decided to cut her hair for Cash and donate it to Locks of Love, an amazing organization that provides hair to disadvantaged children that have hair loss due to a medical condition.

Thank you Julie for your gift to Locks of Love for Cuts for Cash and Happy Birthday today!!!  You look beautiful and Cash thanks you for helping other children!!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Another Amazing Gift

Last night Betty Douma called my mom and told her some amazing news about a gift that was given to Cash.  I was sleeping so they had to wait until the morning to break the news to me, although my mom told me she was tempted to wake me up (if we hadn't been averaging 4-5 hours per night thanks to Kingston I know she would have :-))...

It was announced last night at graduation that the Lynden Christian Class of 2010 has given their Class Gift to the Cash Parriera Benefit Fund - I emailed Don Kok (Superintendent) at LC this morning and asked him how we could possibly thank the Seniors for such a tremendous gift.  If I could I would write letters to all 98 students in the class of 2010 but I'll start by trying to thank them via this blog.

I spoke with Kim (Assistant Principal) this afternoon and she told me that many of the students were aware of Cash's diagnosis and keep up at school via the blog.  In addition, many of the students from the Jazz Band performed at Cash's benefit a few weeks ago and Kim told me the decision to use their gift for Cash was unanimous.

From the early diagnosis all the way through the treatment here at MD Anderson, we have continually been amazed at the spirit and generosity of people.  The students at LC in the Class of 2010 were born approximately the year I graduated from LC - I don't 'know' them per se, however, I 'know' of their spirit and it is amazing.  Thank you LC Grads for your generous gift, we will use it to continue to help Cash fight and your unity demonstrates your strength and trust in God.

Speaking of fighting, I google'd 'brain tumor' just on a whim today and came across a story about a new surgery technique that was used on a child with a brain stem tumor...I immediately called the hospital and am waiting to hear back from the head nurse.  The surgery took place in Belgium - apparently there are only a few people in the world who can use it and the equipment is there - If God leads us there to help Cash that's what we'll do.  It's all in His hands.  The link to the article is located here.

I pray you have a blessed weekend and thank you as always for your support and prayers - 1 more treatment to go and then we get to come home!

Thank You Leann and Pictures

Well Cash is down to one more treatment on Monday!  We are very excited that he has almost completed treatment and very thankful that he's done quite well (Praise God!).  On Wednesday, Leann left (:-() to go back to Iowa.  She is missed by all of us, including Jack who had so much fun with her.  Leann was great with the kids and helped out so much we are very thankful she was able to join us for a week.

This week has been interesting from a weather standpoint - nearly every day there has been threat of thunderstorms and today it apparently is supposed to feel like 105 degrees...I hear all it has been doing in Seattle is raining so maybe we'll bring back some sunshine...

I think Cash is going to follow in my dad's footsteps and be a guitar player - every time I play the guitar he immediately comes over to join me...

So it's our last weekend here in Houston and we're continually thankful to God for protecting Cash during his treatments.  We will miss the new friends we've made (Carol, the Middlebrook's, the folks at MD, Doug, Misty & Zach) but are excited to get back to Seattle.  Thank you for your prayers and continued support!!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Zion Fundraiser and Assembly

I have often mentioned how thankful I am to Zion for allowing me the time off, really starting in February when Cash was first diagnosed.  The staff, students, and families have Zion have been amazing to our family.  Bro. Gordy sold dinners for multiple weeks leading up to raise money for Cash and Bro. Keith (a parent) took pictures of the students for Career Day as a fundraiser as well.  In total, they raised over $2,500 for Cash - what a tremendous blessing Zion has been to our family during this trial.

In addition, this past Thursday, they had an assembly for Cash.  I was able (thanks to Sis. Julie and Sis. Janae) to Skype in - we watched the assembly and then I gave a brief 'sermon' to the students.  The choir sang and then they released balloons with 'A Cash of Hope' into the skies - Dr. Jackson's hope is that once they land people would go to the website to learn more about Cash and pray.  It was a very special event and I am honored to be a part of such a wonderful community.  Bro. Keith took pictures and emailed them to me - here are a few of the wonderful students and staff:

Only 4 more treatments left for Cash down here in Houston - we'll be back next Wednesday and hope to start the last three rounds of chemo soon.  Thank you for your continued prayers!!!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Last Full Week Starts Tomorrow

I can't believe how quickly the past 5+ weeks have gone.  We are already down to 6 more days of proton therapy for Cash.  Which means that next weekend will be our last in Houston - it's definitely bittersweet - Cash will be done with radiation for good (it's a once-in-a-lifetime event) and we've made great friends down here.  Today my mom and I went to the Middlebrook's church, Impact Houston ( and very much enjoyed the fellowship with Charlie, Mollie, and the folks we met.

It seems like I haven't had much time to blog lately but I wanted to continue to thank God for Cash's progress.  Every day we witness him doing things he used to do 'pre-tumor' (whenever that was) and we're enjoying spending each moment with him and the family.  The boys are amazing with Kingston, they continue to kiss him and rub his head, although Cash is working on what it means to be 'gentle'...:-)  We attempted to photograph the future 'band' as I'm referring to them tonight - here are a few photos:

This past week we went to Kemah and it was the first time taking all of our boys out - it took at least 45 minutes to drive the first 15 miles and it wasn't because there was traffic (McDonald's attempt, bathroom, feeding, and finally a Dairy Queen disaster (did you know they sell Chicken Fried Steak burgers down here?  I accidentally found that out)).  But we made it and we had a great time:

I forgot to post earlier this week, when it was time for proton treatment Cash went to his favorite nurse, Stephanie, then when they got to the room he went to Cynthia, his favorite anesthetist:

We are thankful to God for this opportunity and He has continued to keep Cash safe and protect us when we are so far away from our family.  Thank you for your continued prayers and have a blessed week!!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Sequence of Pictures

It's been a busy few days here in Houston.  Yesterday Cash had his proton therapy then we went to see his oncologist at the main MD hospital.  Thankfully he didn't didn't a transfusion and he only has proton therapy until June 14 or 15 so we're getting close to coming back to Seattle! 

One of my mom's good friends from Iowa flew in today and is staying with us through the 9th.  Jack and Cash have already taken to her, Leanne is a teacher and she's already started teaching Jack a lot of things - it's almost like pre-school at the condo.  We're very thankful she's here, now we have 4 adults for the 3 kids...

On Monday the Middlebrook's gave Jack and I tickets to the Astro's game and I had to share this sequence of pictures, they tell quite a story...

Here's Jack right when we arrive...he loves baseball and was excited to see a steam train in the stadium (it is on the left field wall and goes back and forth when a run is scored...

I then proceed to buy him popcorn, which you can tell he's excited about...

After eating most of the popcorn, we get a fritter of sorts - he called it 'strings with sugar on it'...

And about the 6th inning he crashed and slept on my lap until we left the game...:-)

Kingston also doing great - he's just over 2 weeks old and both of his older brothers are very gentle and sweet with him...they'll be that way until he starts taking their toys and then I'm sure they will have their bouts...:-)

Tomorrow morning I'm skyping in to Zion to talk with the students...It will be great to see them and share Cash's story and hopefully reveal to them God's sovereignty in the midst of trials.  We continue to be very thankful for this opportunity for Cash to be healed and ask that you continue to pray for him in his treatments.  Thank you as always for your prayers and support - we are encouraged with your kind words and encouraging thoughts!