Monday, August 30, 2010

MRI Results

Well today was another MRI - I think this is his 5th or 6th and we tend to not look forward to them (for pretty good reason as you'll see below).  The best way to describe the results are not encouraging and not discouraging...

The good news is the main tumor in the brain stem appears to still be 'dying' - there is more contrast than the last MRI which either means it's dying or growing inside the stem, but it doesn't seem larger so we're sticking with it's 'dying'.  Another positive from the MRI is the spot on his lower spine is barely visible.

The not-so-good news is while the spine tumor is barely visible, there is now what they refer to as 'sugar coating' - smaller spots that are not visible to the naked eye, but clearly appear to be additional tumor cells.  The other news is that there is visible contrast that may indicate another tumor behind his left eye.  Dr. Leary wasn't certain what that was, but it was not there in July.

Since the current chemotherapy isn't 'shrinking' the tumor as they hoped it would, they are recommending not finishing the 6th round of chemo/stem cells.  Instead, they are going to create a comprehensive list of every possible study, research or experimental, and chemos/medicines that are currently being used on brain tumors - we are meeting on Thursday to go over this list and Children's will make a recommendation on what they think would be the best next steps.

At the same time, I've already mailed the MRI results to MD Anderson and they will be doing the same process and coordinating next steps with Children's.  We are still in 'fight' mode and the doctors are still amazed at how well Cash looks.  He has not digressed in the 8 months since diagnosis and we're holding out hope for the 'miracle'.

We had great support today and the list includes my parents, Jeremy & Steph, Bob, Auntie Ine, Auntie Dee & Uncle Bill, Auntie Karen and Uncle Gil - we kept busy and are in good spirits.

Speaking of Auntie Ine, she flew up on Friday and helped out tremendously today - she took care of Kingston and Jack Jr while we were at the hospital.  We had a great weekend in Lynden and here are a bunch of pictures from the weekend and a very funny video of Cash laughing until he almost runs out of breath...oh and I also bic'd Jeremy's hair so it's nice and smooth like mine and Cash's...:-)

There is so much more I feel I could write but will stop for the time being.  Another great piece of news is that there are 15 people signed up to walk in the Seattle Run of Hope!  That is great and if you want to walk please see the last post - I'm hoping for 30 or 40 people to walk with Cash!

Thank you for your support and please continue to pray for our Miracle!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Seattle Run of Hope

Two great friends of ours, Mike and Wendy, created the "Cash of Hope" team for the Seattle Run of Hope, which will take place on Sunday, October 3.  It is a 3k walk or 5k run - Wendi, Jack Jr, Cash, Kingston, and I will be walking (I don't think I've 'ran' since high school) - it's a beautiful location, Seward Park, right here in Seattle.  I'm hoping as many of you as possible can join us.

The Seattle Run of Hope will raise money for pediatric brain tumor research - last year they raised over $250,000.  You can register to participate in the event by clicking here.  Cost to register is $30 per person.  If you can't participate but would like to sponsor the Cash of Hope team you can do so by clicking here.

We've been so careful the past 7 months to avoid crowds because of Cash's counts that we haven't participated in anything that supports cancer research.  Thankfully Cash will be all done with chemo and we will be able to re-join the community so-to-speak so we're looking forward to the event and it would be great if many of you were able to walk with Cash to support this important research.

It seems like we've been running into walls when it comes to seeking additional treatments for Cash - so little is known about Cash's tumor but we're holding out hope that something is out there that can cure Cash or children like Cash.  Of course we know that God is the 'Great Physician' and can heal Cash, and ultimately, our 'healing' comes when we join the Father in heaven.  So it's a win-win for Cash and for us as well...

I'd like to share a few pictures from yesterday of the family - it's amazing sometimes to sit back and realize I have three boys, a wonderful wife (married 15 years today), and an incredible network of family and friends.  We are blessed beyond measure!

Monday, August 23, 2010


It's been a relatively quiet weekend - the weather hasn't allowed Cash to play outside as much as he'd like, however, we are finding ways to entertain him inside.  Cash did need platelets on Friday (the second time last week) and that seemed to give him the energy he needed to have a good weekend.

Yesterday morning Cash woke up and entertained himself not with the toys I bought him, but with the box (that figures)...Here's a video of him figuring out how to get inside the box - it was pretty funny.

Here's are two pictures of Cash I took yesterday playing my guitar - he loves playing it much more than he does listening to me play it...

Jack Jr. has been amazing during Cash's illness - he keeps both kids busy with his energy and can make both kids laugh with his craziness and they love trying to copy him...

This week looks pretty quiet so far - next Monday we have the next big MRI and then Cash will start chemo over the long weekend - then we're done with all 6 rounds of chemo!  We're excited to be 'done' with this part of treatment and are hoping and praying that the tumor will be held at bay.  In saying that, we don't look too far ahead and are living one day at time - God has been good to us and blessed us tremendously and we trust that He knows what the future holds for Cash and we take tremendous comfort in that.

Have a great week and thank you for your prayers!!!  Keep praying!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Picture Worth A Thousand Words?

We had pics taken a few months ago at Babies r Us and I just found the package of photos and forgot to scan this and post it when they were taken...It perfectly sums up how things go sometimes in the Parriera household.  I think the photographer thought we were crazy but I'm thankful she took the picture and I had to share it... :-)

Have a great rest-of-the-week and thank you for your continued prayers and support!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Prayer in the Midst

This past weekend was very low-key.  We anticipated Cash's counts (ANC's) to drop and did not want to expose him to anything that could make him sick.  Yesterday, Wendi took him in for a blood draw and as it's been the last two rounds, he needed blood and platelets again.

About a month ago (2 infusions ago) we took Cash in and he spiked a fever which kept us in the hospital for 3 days...Yesterday just after platelets, he started to throw up and started getting a fever (again).  We managed to get him to sleep and I prayed and prayed while he slept and his fever rose to about 100.0 but then dropped back to normal within a few hours.  Cash and I left the hospital at 7:30 and couldn't leave fast enough.  We knew he was fighting something but God answered our prayers right on the spot.  His ANC's are still at zero but hopefully they rise within the next day.

Here are two pics I took of him, one in the hospital trying to pass the time and the other when we came home...he immediately started playing with Jack and the rest of the evening went very well.

I also wanted to post a video of Jack reading Cash a book this weekend.  It's a bit hard to hear him because of the fans running in the house, but it's still amazing - Jack obviously can't read but he can sure tell a story...

We are praying for a calm rest-of-the-week and that God continues to protect Cash and that the tumor keeps shrinking.  Thank you for your prayers!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

4 out of 5

I haven't blogged recently, mainly because Cash spent Friday, Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday in the hospital.  The only 'added' day was yesterday, it was determined Monday that he needed blood and platelets which was done yesterday.  On Sunday Cash had a very lethargic day - my parents and Wendi's parents came over for the day and it was obvious he was in need of a boost.  By yesterday after receiving blood and platelets he perked up significantly and the color came back into his cheeks.

Here are some pictures from the past few days.  On Monday, Bob, Dillon, and Jack Jr. stayed with us at the hospital, helping to entertain Cash:

Yesterday, my mom took shifts with Wendi at the hospital and Joann (she and Roger drove Wendi to Houston) took care of Kingston.  It was the first time she'd seen him in a while and we're so thankful she could help out.

In addition yesterday, Coleson was at Children's for a series of tests with Ryan and Sara - Coleson made Cash smile and laugh and we're so glad they stopped by (Praise God that Coleson's scans are clear!!!).

I also took a short video of Cash playing with his brothers at home.  The youtube video doesn't quite fit into the blog, however if you'd like to see it click here.

Nearly 40 hours in the hospital since last Friday has taken its toll - last night Jack Jr spiked a fever of 103.2 but thankfully it's back within normal range.  We're trying to teach him what 'quarantined' means because we don't want Cash or Kingston to get what he has.  He's struggling with that as he loves to shower his brother with kisses and hugs but we're staying on top of it and keep reminding him...

We're thankful to be back home and Cash is in good spirits so we'll simply enjoy today and not worry about tomorrow since it's been promised by God that He's taking care of it.  The sun is out so the kids will play outside all day and we'll keep hoping and praying for a miracle.

Thank you for your support and prayers and have a blessed rest-of-the-week.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Day 1 &2 of Round 5 In the Books

Yesterday morning Wendi and Hana took Cash in at 8:00 a.m. for a meeting with the doctor and the start of the 5th round...We were able to convince them to do all outpatient this round, as long as we assured them we'd take care of the things that are usually done by the nurses inpatient.  This includes dressing changes, frequent diaper changes, bathing, etc...

Hana volunteered to spend most of the week with us again which is great - We weren't sure she'd want to stay with us after last week, she definitely got a glimpse of caring for Cash, babysitting Kingston and playing with Jack.  I think she realized it was a lot of work but we're so thankful that she is really acting as the "hands and feet of Jesus" right now and she's really helping out.

The day went by pretty slow and we were finally cut loose at 7:00 p.m.  Cash was in great spirits all day and we took some great pictures and video of him in action:

Saturday Update:
Today we started again at 8:00 and were pleasantly surprised when they told us they could give the 4 hours of fluids at the same time as chemo...Why they didn't do that yesterday is still a mystery - but we were home by 1:00.  Good to be home earlier than planned and we actually have a Saturday.

On Monday we'll return for 4 or so more hours so they can give him back his stem cells and then we're down to one more chemo session, 3 weeks from now.

We're continually thankful for those who are helping us out so much - Today Auntie Dee drove Jack Jr. from Lynden all the way to Seattle to drop him off and at the same time, Julie was here deep cleaning the house so this week when Cash's counts drop there'll be less 'germs' to worry about.  (Thank you!!!)

Have a blessed weekend and thank you for your prayers!

In Jesus' Arms

I had another blog post ready but I'll post it later...I just read that Cash's friend, Christopher, passed away yesterday.  He had been battling the same cancer as Cash and fought valiantly.  My prayer is for God to give Judy, Allen, and Erica a peace that passes all understanding and the comfort in knowing they will be with him in heaven at the appointed time.  He no longer suffers and is in the arms of Jesus.  Rest in peace little one...

You can visit his page at

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Cash's Haircut

I mentioned yesterday that Cash's hair had started to fall opposed to the first round when we let if fall out all on its own, yesterday I pre-empted that by shaving it.  I also shaved Jack Jr's hair and mine, so at the moment the Parriera boy with the most hair is Kingston...:-)  Not the best picture since it was nearly bedtime, but you get the idea...

We'll start the 5th round of outpatient chemo on Friday - so Friday, Saturday, and Monday we'll be for long days but hopefully won't have to spend the night.

Have a great week and thank you for your prayers!

Monday, August 2, 2010

"Side!" at CB

At 11:30 on Friday Wendi and I decided to take the kids away for the weekend, this being the last weekend before another round of chemo.  I texted Uncle Randy (Jack Jr's bff) and the condo at Crescent Bar was free this weekend so by 12:30 we were on the road headed to Eastern Washington.  (Thank you Randy & Marti - it was a very welcome getaway!)

Cash absolutely loves Crescent Bar - the sun, grass, dipping his toes in the pool, crawling around and playing with Jack Jr - it was a great weekend.  I managed to take a few pics and a video of Cash poking Jack Jr (we didn't bother talking about inappropriate touch because he was laughing too hard...:-)):

Cash is now losing hair like it's nobody's business - he'll probably be bald within the next few days which isn't so bad as his head will look a bit more uniform (as opposed to the radiation spots as the only bald spots).  I keep writing this, but he is extraordinarily strong...This morning he threw up a little bit of his food and before I even had a chance to wipe off his mouth he was putting another piece of food in his mouth.  If that were me I wouldn't eat the rest of the day...He's also trying to stand up again, starting on his knees and getting up on all fours - he's weak but that doesn't stop him from trying.

On our drive back yesterday Jack Jr. made a comment about the 'big ball in the sky' - the sun was very unique yesterday and for those who don't live in Seattle I took a picture so you can see what Jack was looking at...

If all goes well this week we'll start the 5th round of chemo on Saturday.  We're hoping we can do it all outpatient so we can sleep at home.  Thank you for your prayers and support - I continually pray that God put a hedge of protection around Cash and we're thankful to Him for watching over and keeping Cash safe during this difficult season.