He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
- Isaiah 40:29-31

Friday, September 26, 2008

Slumber Parties

Yes he made counts. I swear this child is so unpredictable. You can never tell with him. His ANC was 60 last week. He has a cold with a runny nose and coughing. He's snotty and yucky and yet his ANC was at 1296. I give up.

So here we are. He finished his chemo infusion at 10 pm last night and has to get at least three doses of the rescue drug before we can get out of here. Hopefully by 5 am tomorrow morning we'll be walking out the door and headed home. Then it's back on Tuesday for some more out patient chemo. It just never ends.

Anyway, we're having slumber parties and doing great. Jeff got to stay last night with Joshua and I got to go home to Noah and Adam. Adam seems to have a cold as well so hopefully we don't have to make another doctors appointment anytime soon for him. Noah seems to have escaped it so far.
Also, there are a few newly diagnosed kids on the floor this week. Please keep them and their families in your prayers as they enter into this unwanted cancer world. I remember when Joshua was first diagnosed and all the fears, questions and concerns about the unknown that we had/have.

Monday, September 22, 2008


IE. Yes, he played in his soccer game and of all the positions he could have chosen, he chose to be the goalie. We are just so proud of Noah. Last week he tried really hard in school. He went out on the field to play soccer like a champ. Jeff and I have seen a big improvement and all because we spent a little one-on-one time with him. It's amazing how much cancer touches each member of the family. I am just so glad that we are able to help Noah deal with having to share so much of Jeff and I with Joshua. I mean, at 20 months old, he not only gained one sibling and had to share the spotlight with them, he gained two. Then, at 30 months old he missed us for a month while we stayed with Joshua in the hospital. He has had to be the big brother so many times and Jeff and I sometimes forget that he is only 4. But, we're trying and making improvements. We took Noah to the Renaissance Festival on Sunday and had a blast. He got to have some alone time with mommy and daddy and enjoyed every minute. We did too.

Now, we have to help him get past this week as we are scheduled to take Joshua back into the hospital on Wed. for chemo for 4 days. Hopefully with Jeff or I coming home every night, we can keep the other two in somewhat of a normal routine.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


This is just one of those posts where I thank all of our friends. Since Joshua relapsed, we have had dinners made, offers to watch the kids, visits and much more. We are so blessed to have you all as friends and thankful for everything you have done from pray for to help out our family.

Tonight, Jeff is out with the guys. He is enjoying a little down time without his lovely wife and his darling children. Okay so he's escaping the house of chaos but it sounds better the other way. Anyway, as he was leaving, I tell the boys that Daddy is going to play with his friends for a while.

"You know, like you get to go and play with your friends."

"Daddy is going to play with his friends?"


Then Joshua looks at Jeff and in the sweetest voice ever, he says
"I'm your friend Daddy. I want to go with you."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Long Day

I'll make this a quick post since I am exhausted. Joshua had his first spinal tap since last December with chemo into the spine today. The drug that they use to "dope" him up didn't work. He was hard to hold down and get into position. Thank God the doctor that was doing the procedure is extremely good and fast. She did the procedure in record time. It was the after effects that have made us decide that from now on we will start to go back to doing spinals in the OR. Well that and the fact that we can't promise to be able to hold him so well in the future. Joshua screamed and cried and was completely uncontrollable for about an hour afterward. Then it fell asleep and was kind of restless the rest of the time. While that part wasn't good, there were no complications from the procedure so we'll take what we can get.

On the other hand, in complete Joshua form, he asked for a happy meal on the way home and is now dancing to the theme song from Bob the Builder. I thank God for small things.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Czorapinski Boys

I know I haven't been the best blogger in the world. It's been a while since I last updated but we've been really busy. And let me just tell you all about my kids.

My kids are the ones that stand out in a crowd. I wish it were for something like being super smart but nope that's not our kids. We have to be the weird ones. The ones you just can't figure out. We're like that.

Anyway, on Friday I got a note sent home in Noah's folder. Mind you that it was only the second week of school. The letter started with "I so hesitate to send this letter." It can't be good. What has my child done in this church school? Only my child. Well, it turns out that it isn't what he has done. It's what he hasn't done. It seems that Mr. Noah man "really does not want to participate in school." He is excited at drop off, enjoys his special job of the day and talks about school as if it were the best thing. Actually doing anything the teacher asks him to do, like artwork and such, not happening. Great. My child. Add that to the fact that we stick out like a sore thumb because we have the bald kid with cancer and we're well know in the area. They might not be able to pronounce our last name but gosh darn it people know who we are.

Well, Noah added to that attention on Saturday. We talked about his soccer game. We played in the yard. He was excited about the uniform. He talked about liking soccer. We get there and he refuses to play. An entire hour in the 90 degree heat and my child only wants to run on and off the field to get a coin that the coach was trying to use to get him to play. Actually go out, stand or even try wasn't happening. Ahhhh, my kid.

So, I wish I had a great picture to post of my little soccer guy. I wish I didn't have to spend time on the phone today telling his teacher to try some tough love. I wish I could figure out exactly what it is Noah needs. It's easy with Joshua. He has cancer. He needs chemo and radiation and medications. With Noah, nothing is consistent. He will do some things some of the time and not others. He will go up to the stranger in the park and ask them to play yet he won't dance during music with his friends at school. It's frustrating. I'm considering trading this model in for the upgraded one. Of course, even with his faults I've grown fond of him so that isn't happening. Guess will have to work it out. We're going to try some more one on one attention. We might even sign him up for some martial arts. We'll get it but it's going to be a journey.

And that would be my kids. God sure does have a plan for our family and our boys and I sure am completely in the dark as to what it is.

But what else has kept us so busy you ask? Well, Jeff and I finally got to get some alone time this weekend. Our neighbors offered to watch the boys on Saturday night so we could go out to dinner. We watched Dylan for them on Friday night so that they could do the same. It's a great plan and they don't mind taking three more (bless you Kelly and Chris) so it works out. It was funny when we picked them up though. Adam had a pooping accident and Chris had to give him a bath. Apparently Chris and Kelly have some very nice towels because Adam was sure to tell them "these are nice towels." He also thinks they have the best tv in the world and Kelly will tell you that they are probably the only people on the street without a flat screen LCD. That's my Adam.

Joshua had a stinky diaper while there as well. Kelly had to bribe him to let her change it. When cookies didn't work she resorted to lollipops and that did the trick. I actually feel guilty that we didn't pay them to watch our "crappy" kids. And speaking of that word...

Joshua was eating dinner on Friday night. He was completely enjoying every bite of his steak.

Me: That's it Joshua. That's all the steak there is.

Joshua: It's all gone?

Me: Yep. You've eaten it all.

Joshua: Aw, crap.

So that's our weekend. We did get to take the boys to the toy store today and they each got to spend a gift card they had. Noah got a fire hose ball shooting toy. Joshua picked out an ambulance that makes noise and of course Adam got an excavator. Some things with these kids throw me for a loop. Others are completely expected. I just never know what I'm going to get from these Czorapinski boys!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Dirty Feet

I'm not one of those Mom's. I don't have it all together and my kids aren't perfect. I know. It's a surprise to me too but it's true. I dream of having the kids that wear designer clothes. Hell, I dream of wearing designer clothes. I would have a spotless house and the boys would not need to be reminded to say things like, "thank you, please and yes mother." I would have a PDA and actually know how to use it. I can just imagine it all.

This is not the case. MY kids wear JCPenney clothing and whatever I can find on the clearance rack. I wear the same clothes I wore four years ago only they are a lot tighter. The house is far from spotless. Every room has toys all over the floor and just yesterday my mother-in-law found a french fry on the carpet in the family room. I don't remember when the boys last had french fries. As far as a PDA I barely know how to use my cell phone and don't even think about asking me to text you.

It's our life. I laugh every time I watch Jon and Kate and they say "it might be a crazy life, but it's our life." I think "yeah, and mine too." Our life is one big crazy mess. We try our best to be organized, have family dinners, get to bed on time and keep it together but we just aren't that family. We're the Czorapinski's. The family with three rambunctious boys and the house where you can get away with a lot because Mom and Dad are too overwhelmed with getting through the day to care if you take your fruit loops into the den. When Mom finds the bowl you hid under the hope chest three weeks later, she might care but by then it's too late. That's us. And to be completely honest, I wouldn't change it. Even if I had the designer clothes and the PDA, they would have snot or ice cream on them and juice spilled all over. No, I'm the Kool Aid mom. The kids come in at the end of the day with dirty clothes and feet and a smile on their face. And as I tuck them in and tell them I love them to the moon and back, so do I.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Beating the traffic

We decided to beat the traffic in the best way I know how. I busted us out of Hopkins around 5:30 this morning. Now that is the way to travel over that bridge. Joshua finished up his rescue drug around 3 this morning and the doctors told me yesterday that we could go after that and before they came in for rounds so I took them up on the offer. As we walked through the doors, Joshua promptly yells out "oh Adam, Noah I'm here!" I'm telling you he is sure to be the life of the party one day.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Party Time

Last night I went home for the evening. That meant that I had to fight through 2 1/2 hours of traffic because of that stupid bay bridge. Then, I had to rush around to pick up Noah (thanks again Kelly for watching him for me) and then get him fed, bathed and in bed. Oh, I had to water the lawn, take out the trash, check the mail and do all the little "mommy things" that needed to be done before hitting the bed myself. I was able to sit down and watch Sarah Palin's speech at the RNC. What a woman. I think I have it bad some days with my busy schedule, three young kids and the cancer life we're living, but this woman has 5 kids, one with Downs Syndrome, is already a governor and is running for VP of the US. Wow! I'll have to add VP to my list of goals.

Anyway, while I was snuggled up in bed with Noah last night, Jeff got to spend the night on the oh so comfortable hospital pull out. He apparently doesn't get too bad of a sleep though because at some point in the night, Joshua woke up and had a party with the nurses. You see he fell asleep yesterday around 5:30 and didn't wake up until about midnight. Jeff put on some movies for him and went back to sleep. Well, this morning he awoke to find out that Joshua had been making his way around the halls with his nurse. He had gotten her to get him out of the room and push him in a little buggy. He played hide and seek with the nurses and also got a chance to play with play dough and crayons. The nurses made him balloons with faces out of exam gloves and he just had a great time. When I asked him about it this morning he said. I played hide and seek and didn't wake up Daddy. Glad to know he's having fun in the hospital at 3 am. These nurses are just the best.

Noah's enjoying his first week of school. I haven't had much time to talk with him about it and of course it's complete work trying to get information out of a 4 year old but he seems to be liking it. I know it's wearing him out since he is exhausted come bed time and doesn't put up a fight to go down. I just love school.

And Adam is still doing well with the pee pee thing. I am so proud of how far we have come in the past week and a half. I keep telling him once he gets it all down we'll have a potty party. Cake and all!

So all is well. Hopefully we'll be able to bust out of Hotel Hopkins by early tomorrow morning. It's been a crazy week with juggling kids, school, soccer and the hospital. Jeff and I have only had a few moments face to face this week. I'm looking forward to a relaxing and quiet weekend. And we all know that with three boys, that just won't happen :)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Happy National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Don't quite think it's a happy thing but what else can you say. It sucks that there has to be a childhood cancer awareness month. Or even better that most people in the world have no idea that it's childhood cancer awareness month. Last year I wrote a letter to our local paper asking them to do an article on the topic. I explained that my child was fighting the fight of his life and that there were at least two other children, and I am sure a few more that I didn't know, fighting the same fight in their reading area. I wanted them to just make the public aware. I had to write to them twice to get a response. What did I get? Well, about a month later I got a call from a reporter that said he wanted to write a story about Joshua. That wasn't quite exactly what I was going for so I told him to no thank you and that I was completely disgraced at the fact that they wouldn't shed light on the topic of childhood cancer. All they wanted to do was write about our story. We aren't a charity case and that's what it seemed like they thought we were looking for. So, the story never got written and another year went by with most of the world unaware that September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Get used to that statement. I'm going to remind you a lot this month so that you can spread the word!

Okay, so for the scoop on the Czorapinski family. We've had a busy weekend. The boys got to do a little fishing with Pappy on Sunday. Joshua was thrilled to catch fish. Every time the kid put his line in the water, he would hook two fish. I said it's the twin gene he's got but in reality I am hoping that he just has that kind of luck. He could use it. It was really nice as Jeff's parents were able to join us for the trip and the boys got to fish with both Pappy, Bud and Bebe. What an afternoon.

And for the biggest news. Adam is a big boy now! He has been in "big boy pants" all week and has finally gotten the pee pee thing all worked out. We haven't had a pee pee accident in two days. WHOO HOO! Two kids down and one to go. Can you tell that Mommy is excited. Now for the poopy thing. DISCLAIMER: if you do not like bathroom stories do not read any more! You have been warned. Okay, so tonight Adam and Joshua are in the bathtub. I have scrubbed both boys and am in the process of gathering pjs. All of a sudden, Adam gets out of the tub and stands at the potty. I am so excited because he needed to go and for one thing he didn't go in the tub. For the other, he didn't need me to tell him to go to the potty. Well, he's standing there and I notice he is kind of grunting. I say "Adam, do you need to go poopy?" He says yes and I tell him he needs to sit down to go. We're still working on that part. So I go to put him on the potty and Joshua stands up in the tub and says so matter of factly, "oh look Adam, you dropped one." When I looked down, sure enough there was poop on the floor. Can I just say that Joshua's comment had me rolling. Ah, this is one story that I can't wait to tell when they get older.

And so, it's the beginning of another week. Noah starts his first day of pre-K tomorrow. He has grown so much over the summer and I can not wait to see how much he will learn over this next year. Joshua also goes in for the nasty yellow chemo tomorrow. At least four days in the hospital and hopefully he handles it as well as he did this last time. I plan to keep him eating and drinking so that he can clear it in record time again. The faster he clears it, the less chance of side effects being so bad and the sooner we can come home. Here's to my little warrior and fighting through yet one more week of treatment. We are on week 14 out of 104. It will be a crazy week but I am looking forward to getting another one behind us. We are so blessed that he has handled this rough stuff as well as he has. It is only by God's hands that he is so strong.