Monthly Archives: July 2013
The past several days have been very good days. Tyler has been in very good spirits, talking, making jokes, telling stories and laughing with us. It has been so good to see him like this. Yesterday, while we were visiting with him, we got several bits of good news: his neutrophil counts have risen (his immune system) and he is doing so well that they have decided to release him from the hospital today! He has been stuck in there for nineteen days, so he is more than ready to get out of there. He also found out that he can venture out some…to the beach where he can wade in the surf, to the movies as long as he wears a mask or he goes during the less busy hours…he can even go out to eat as long as he doesn’t eat anything cold or on a buffet (but still no sushi, to his disappointment). He just has to be careful.
As he undergoes his final round of high dose chemo and another stem cell transplant in about three weeks (give or take), he is still in need of many prayers. It’s not over yet, but we believe and are speaking a complete and total healing for him. He is going to come through this and be stronger than ever. I just can’t say enough how proud we are of him, of how strong he is. He truly has become our HERO!
Yesterday marked five weeks that we have been in Florida to be with my oldest step-son as he undergoes a tandem stem cell transplant and high dose chemotherapy at the Mayo Clinic. My husband is not the primary caregiver, and as we can not spend 24/7 with him, there are days when it leaves us with a lot of time on our hands.
If you know me, you know that I am all about saving money…and I’ve gotten pretty good at it. I’ve found so many FREE or cheap things we can do down here as a family, when not at the hospital, so that we are not spending every day in a hotel room looking at the walls (we have our 12 year old daughter with us, so that got pretty old really fast…even though she has been spending quite a bit of time at the hotel pool). One of them was touring a plantation house, which was also an item on my bucket list. We went to Kingsley Plantation, located on Fort George Island, yesterday. The plantation has the remains of twenty three slave quarters, barn, waterfront, the oldest standing plantation house in Florida, kitchen house, and interpretive garden. Their main crops were Sea Island Cotton and Indigo. My husband and I are both fascinated by history, but our youngest daughter….not so much. She was pretty bored until the Park Ranger pulled her aside to help with the demonstrations. She was very shocked to see how small the slave quarters were.
Touring this plantation really brought home to us just how horrible conditions were for slaves, and knowing that slavery is still alive today in certain parts of the world…it’s just heartbreaking. We learned many things we had not known previously, such as the life expectancy for the Indigo working slaves was a mere five years. It breaks my heart thinking about what they had to endure for so long.
All in all, it was a very interesting place to visit, and I recommend you stop in to visit if you are ever in the area. I’ve included a collage of the outside and inside of the house and kitchen below (click the picture to view larger images).
Two of the quotes below are made by a lymphoma survivor. But I think it applies to everyone battling any form of cancer. I read these, and it really struck a cord with me, and left my husband and I in tears. My step-son, Tyler, is in the fight of his life right now, battling two different forms of testicular cancer; Mature Teratoma and Choriocarcinoma, which is very rare.
Last week, after a round of high dose chemotherapy and a day after his stem cell transplant, Tyler told his dad, “It’s so hard to fight, Dad…but I’m not going to stop fighting.”
Tyler has taught us what it means to be strong and what it means to stand up and fight. Tyler is our hero.