Sunday, January 20, 2008

Shooter!

I'm happy to report more fun and laughing days with Joseph. He has become obsessed with this little light-up gun that shoots foam discs at us (Thanks, Nana!!). He becomes absolutely delirious with joy while playing this game (we call it shooter). At first, he just wanted to shoot Mimi over and over again, but last night he starting running around the house from her, which was so great to see. Overall, he is acting much more like his goofy self and is so cheerful and energetic again. He even went down the slide at the zoo playground (right after I wrote he hadn't played on a playground yet!). He is off the steroids and is sleeping through the night again and taking a nap. It feels so good to have that normalized again. Those steroids are no picnic, let me tell ya (just take my word--don't try them on your kids).
We went to see the Peabody ducks last night, which was not the leisurely visit we expected. We got there 15 minutes early and the little fountain and red carpet were completely surrounded by eager children and parents. We finally squeezed in and got to see the ducks but then we were told to move back so the ducks could exit...well, of course no-one wanted to move back, Joseph got claustrophic and Holly started throwing herself down on the floor screaming. So, we got out of there with both kids screaming and found an ice cream shop, which made everyone happy again. We were told later that the ducks are not usually such an attraction, but there was a big basketball game on later so everyone came to see the ducks first. So, we're going to try again on a weekday and hope for a calmer visit.
Today we will probably try the museum here, which is amazing and has a real car inside and a fire truck. Holly and Joe both love it. Memphis has some great activities for kids and Jennifer's house is at the most 10 minutes from everything. The museum is 5 minutes as is the zoo.
Joseph is starting to get a rash on his face from the Tarceva (which is one of the side effects). We were actually hoping he would get it b/c it is supposed to mean the drug is being effective. It can be very uncomfortable so they will give us medication to relieve any pain. Right now he doesn't notice it--it just looks like a little acne.
Holly is back with us and Joseph was so excited to see her. She was thrilled to see him but especially the dogs. She is good b/c she reminds me to change their water and give them food. She has a special bond with them. Oh, and I have to mention that Holly has started to remind me to pray for Joseph (she must have gotten into the secret network of children who are banding together to pray). When I put her to bed she will say "Amen?" which means "Let's pray." Then, if I forget to pray for Joseph (see, I'm not such a great parent) she will say, "Pray, Jusha?" (Joseph). Then she says a big "Amen!" afterwards. It is so sweet to see such a little child have faith. Thank you for praying for us and all your encouraging comments. We love reading them all.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Religiously, Natalie and I check for updates and when one is posted, we almost fight over who will read it first! We've discovered that there is blog etiquette in our home. The top 2 rules are: 1. No reading over someone's shoulder and 2. Once read, no sharing of information until everyone has a chance to read for themselves! Thanks for letting us in on how things are going. We so wish we could be a part of the network of family and friends helping you out daily. Our part is to pray faithfully for all of you and you can count on that. We love you! Mel & Steve and family

sj said...

ahhhh....how sweet. A random girl at church(that I don't really know) came up to me to tell me how she and her little son are praying for Joseph daily. These kiddos are truly amazing.
Hope you have some better duck days this week.
soooooooooooooooooooooo glad Joseph is playing and enjoying his daily life better. I'm going to make a new group on facebook. "Boo to Steroids"
will you join?

Brea said...

We pray for Joseph every night with Brennan. I'm happy to hear about Joe's good rash and will pray that he continues to tolerate his treatments well and otherwise enjoy life!

Mary Vagnoni said...

Hi guys, so glad to be reading such happy reports. Trying to get a trip together to come and visit you, maybe for Holly's birthday? What or who does she like? Continuing to pray through the good and not so good times
love aunty Mary

Margaret said...

I'm so glad to hear that you are having more "normal" days. Dontcha love a good routine?? I'm so glad for Joe to be off the steroids and getting back to his usual run around crazy guy. And 2 cheers for the rash and proof science is taking its best shot at this nasty stuff, too. You are constantly in our thoughts and prayers.
Love, Margaret
p.s. You are a GREAT parent and I won't let you forget it!!

Nana said...

Gill the pill aka Sally!! What a great update I am soo glad the shooting foam gun is such a hit.Lightening Macqueen we are very proud of you!!!For those of you who dont know Holly very well or for those of you who havent seen her pray(now remember she has not turned two yet)she makes her two hands into a fist and puts them on her little cheeks and bows her head and prays!! she is very good at saying amen but last week she prayed all by herself we had no idea what she was saying but God did!!precious sweet girl who also has the best manners she says Dank you!! for almost everything you give her especially treats!!Now that i have bragged about Holly you have to hear what Joseph did one week after his first surgery Allen was praying before they ate and Joseph said "Ididnt eat while you were praying Daddy!! I agree with Sam Allen and Gillian are the "best parents" and are always fun. We love you all tons and tons and I cant wait to see you all this week"My prayer for you all everyday is "this is the day the lord has made let us rejoice and be glad in it"Have a great night and "Sleep sound in Jesus" love from Nana(Guido)

Anonymous said...

Good afternoon, guys. Thanks for the update--poor Mimi, I'm glad the shooter game has soft foam--I got a big smile thinking about her running around the house being chased by Joseph. I bet she would let him shoot her with a BB gun if she thought it would make him smile! She sure is an awesome grandmother. I saw the picture you gave her of the 3 grandchildren--they are precious.

I was sick last week and spent a bit of time brainstorming who I could ask to be new prayer warriors for Joseph. I think I was successful!

May your week hold all kinds of blessings from God, as he holds you all in his hands.

Alison Fontenot

Abbie said...

Gillian,
Lots of love to each of you. We have been to that Memphis museum as well....very fun.
Love & prayers,
Abbie

Anonymous said...

I was led to your blog by a friend, and tune in daily. Not only to keep up with Joseph's progress (which is amazing), but also to witness such great faith in God. What an awesome encouragement you are to all of us! Your blogs always bring a smile to my face, and usually a tear. Thank you for being faithful stewards and sharing with us your struggles. You are great parents and great children of God. Thanks again!!
Melissa Carpenter

Anna Tester said...

Thank you Gillian- what a continued blessing you are to me. In this time when I so want to encourage you- you instead encourage me. Love hearing about Holly and the dogs! Hampton was in love with my parents dog and starting cooking the dogs food which meant pouring the dog food into the water bowl- this actually was a huge hit and the dog ate it all up! Anyway- watch out Holly might start "cooking."
xo!

Anna

Wrights said...

We are so encouraged to hear that you are getting some "normalcy" and routines. It is definitely a must with small children! We continue to pray for you daily and our friends at church are praying lots for you as well. God brings you to our minds often.
Nathaniel, Rebekah, Anna Walton and Olivia

Kate Etue said...

I'm so glad to hear that it looks like the medicine is having an effect. Praise God! We'll keep trusting and believing that God is working miracles in little Joseph's body.
And I have to say, the story about the ducks brought a smile of familiarity to my face! :)

Kate

susan said...

Dearest Allen, GIllian, Joseph, Holly, We praise God for His mercy and help and for returning to you the excitement of active playfulness. We continue to pray the Lord would be progressively shrinking the cancer. We love you with all our hearts!!!! "Peace I give to you; my peace I give to you; let not your hearts be troubled; neither let them be afraid." WE LOVE YOU!!! - Susan

courtney said...

I thought that about the ducks, too.... Kinda neat, but, a little difficult w/ kids?!?!? So glad to hear that Joseph's energy is up. Always praying...

Laurie said...

It sure is good to check in tonight and find an update on this little guy. He has been "in there" all along. Steroids, though necessary, are such a bad trip all the way around. I continue to pray for him and for his treatments to work well. He is in Gods hands and I know you are a great mom and dad who love this little guy to the moon. I am so thankful to hear that he is acting like his good old self again and I am praying for a complete healing for him. Praying for you to be encouraged and have peace in your hearts.

Laurie in Ca.

Lynn T said...

I'm so glad to hear such a great report. Go Joe! I can't wait to see him running around and going down the slide! I LOVE all the details you share about your outings. I feel like I am there with you. Glad the duck outing ended in icecream and smiles! I am sure Mimi is loving being chased around the house and enjoying the smiles it is bringing Joseph.
Goodnight and sleep well.
Love you, Lynn

susan and brian said...

Fantastic news that Joe is off the steroids and that he is sleeping and napping, please God it will continue. Holly sounds to be a really fun little girl. Thinking about you all a lot.

DukeSoprano said...

I also check for updates religiously! =) I am so glad that today's report was so good! God Bless!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to hear that Joseph is getting back to himself-- I know that is the biggest encouragement to you all. It is so nice to hear about all the Memphis attractions you're visiting. We miss you guys in Atlanta and are praying for you all constantly. May God continue to bless you all and to heal Joseph.

-Sara Wade

Jean Joiner said...

I've been praying for sleeping during the night and I'm so happy to hear that now that the steroids are finished he's able to do that. I'm glad you guys are finding some fun things to do there in Memphis. We'll keep on praying...

Love,
Jean

Anonymous said...

It must run in the family because we check the blog religiously too! Thanks so much for the pictures. What a treat to see the kids! Our prayers continue.
love,
vann and norma

Jan said...

Hi Allen and Gillian,

Just wanted you to know that we're still praying over here in Atlanta--all my classes. Thank you for the pictures. It's true that joy is in the moments, and Joseph seems to be having some joyous ones! God bless you!

Brubakers said...

Thank you so much for sharing your lives with us and the many emotions during yalls journey. We are praying for peace and joy as a family and in your marriage as you both continue to work as a team in Joseph's care.

Michael said...

Good to hear good news...I know life is not "normal" for you guys, but I am so encouraged to hear of the normal things in the midst of your journey. Yea for poop in the potty...Connor did the same thing.. pee,but not poop. Ugh. What great distractions and fun to go to the museum and movie. Intown is praying for you all...you all are missed. We pray for Joseph to handle all his meds. well and for full healing. God is good. May He be your strength and rock. Shannon Pierce and family

Lisa Allen said...

How wonderful that Joseph is having better days and getting back to himself. It's so sweet that Holly reminds you guys to pray for him. We're still praying for a full recovery for Joseph and for all of you as you struggle through this difficult time.

Love, The Allens

satterfields said...

I just took a personality test and found out that I am introverted. Thus, the reason for not keeping in touch! Actually, we really miss you guys. I hope we can introduce you to little SamSam (Sophie's version of Samson) in the near future. It is wonderful to read about "Gosef" (as he is known in our house) having a great time at the museum. We look forward to a day when we can just hang out and "be" with you guys again. Heaven and bliss!
Angela (Evan, Jack, Sophie, and SamSam)

nana said...

gOODNIGHT SHERIFF SALLY LIGHTENING MACQUEEN AND MAC .ITS GUIDO HERE AND MAITRE(GRANDAD)BY THE WAY LIGHTENING GRANDAD WAS VERY HAPPY YOU GAVE HIM A CAR NAME!!IAM GOING TO CALL HIM MAITRE ALL THE TIME NOW NO MORE BILLY OR GRANDAD!!!IHAD A GREAT CAR RACE BACK TO NASHVILLE THIS AFTERNOON.I DROPPED INTO THE CONE MOTEL TO VISIT ALL OUR FRIENDS.I THEN WENT OVER TO DAVIDS SCHOOL WITH MAITRE TO WATCH HIS BASKETBALL GAME THEY WON !!AND DAVID GOT A BASKET YEAH!!LIGHTENING IF YOU DRINK LOTS OF MILK TOMORROW MAITRE IS GOING TO BRING YOU OUT TO GET A TREAT!! DAVID AND MAITRE WILL BE DOWN TOMORROW MORNING.I LOVE YOU ALL A LOT AND MISS YOU ALREADY.SLEEP SOUND IN JESUS LOTS OF HUGS NANA

amber said...

So glad to get updated with wonderful news. Praise the Lord for His work in your lives and for laughter! We've not been able to check for over a week and are thrilled about your "fun days" and enjoyed reading about them today. We are praying!
The Hess Family