Nathaniel's room sort of says it all….if Pete could have talked me into decorating our room like this, it would be identical. The border across the top of the room is made of comic book covers, either copies or originals, taped up to make a one of a kind, never to be duplicated decor….he has the Millennium Falcon hanging from the ceiling….he has 4 foot tall Master Chief (X-box video game character) pinned to the wall….it is a guy's room. This room says it all….we are a family of geeks.
We like our video games, we like our sci-fi and we like our comic books….we are nerds. Maybe me and the girls not as much as Pete and Nathaniel, but there is a very definite pass down of the nerd gene. So, when we contacted the [url=http://fl501st.com/tampabaysquad/page1.htm]501st Troop of Stormtroopers[/url] to come out and be a part of Peyton-Palooza and they agreed to come, we were really excited! I mean, we love Star Wars….after the yard sale and our live encounter with the troopers, we had to come home and watch all the movies…we are THOSE people.
But the awesome thing is this…as I've gotten the chance to talk to some of the people behind the costume masks, and read the stories of what these people dedicate their time to, they really are heroic! The founder of this group is a man named [url=http://www.albinjohnson.com/]Albin Johnson[/url], who lost his daughter [url=http://www.katie.albinjohnson.com/]Katie[/url] at 7 years old to a brain cancer. At Peyton's yard sale, the Stormtoopers presented her with the sweetest little pink patch of a pink droid, and I didn't fully understand what that was about until I read about Katie. Katie made a wish for an R2-D2 and a group provided her with a pink one that they named[url=http://www.r2kt.com/] R2-KT[/url] (which sounds like Katie, if you didn't pick that up). This mechanical legacy that Katie left now goes around entertaining kids at hospitals, raising awareness for pediatric cancers and raises money for charities like Toys-for-Tots and Make-A-Wish.
I am just amazed by the way people are able to create the greatest good from their deepest grief. How easy and justifiable would it be to just curl up into a ball and let the sorrow overwhelm you? I know that just knowing that Peyton had cancer threatened to crush me, and I can't even imagine the depth of pain these families face, but it is so inspiring to see the ones who channel all that pain and loss into a way to help others. The Tucker family started the [url=http://www.givinghopethroughfaith.org]Giving Hope Through Faith Foundation[/url], The [url=http://www.caringbridge.org/fl/jacob]Duckworth family[/url] have championed the [url=http://www.fastercure.org]Pediatric Cancer Foundation, the Pediatric Cancer Foundation[/url] itself is only in existence because of two cancer parents who made it their mission to find a cure, the [url=http://www.childrenscancercenter.org]Children's Cancer Center[/url] is full of staff and volunteers who have been touched by cancer, and that's only a few local examples, the list goes on and on….the ways that families are making the difference between cancer and hope.
I finally feel back among the living, it was a flash 24 hours of sheer yuck, but now it's over and that's a good thing because when Mom goes down the whole foundation of the household threatens to crumble. Peyton's clinic trip was good, her counts were all up so she'll get her chemo on Monday and officially start Maintenance with spinal Methotrexate, Vincristine in her port, 5 days of steroids, daily Mercaptopurine (6MP) and her other assorted antibiotics and side effect fighting meds. It's still a lot of medication, but this is her life for the next 2 years.
We saw our little cutie friend [url=http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/allieblain]Allie Blain[/url] at the clinic this morning and she just needs us to wrap her up in prayer. Allie has ITP, a platelet disorder, and she currently isn't in any treatment plan because the last plan she was doing didn't work. They are waiting to see what her body is going to do, and they are praying that a solution will come for Allie. Just to give you an idea of the limitations that Allie suffers under, she can't jump rope, she can't bounce on a bed, she can't climb on furniture, a simple fall has the capability to send her to the hospital….she is so trapped within the dangers of what could happen if she were to get injured. The bruising bounce that Peyton took at the yard sale would have been unbelievably dangerous for Allie, whose body can't stop bleeding on its own….each bruise and bump for Allie is a threat. Please keep Allie and her family in your prayers, especially as they are waiting….just waiting for an answer of what to do, what is the best path of treatment for Allie.
I never thought I would be so happy to be doing load after load of dirty towels!! But let me tell you, I'm abnormally jazzed about it….it'll wear off sooner or later, but for right now, I'm on a Tide-inspired euphoria right now!
f.r.o.G…fully relying on God