Thursday, April 29, 2010

Update on Ollie

We've been soooooooo busy lately! We just got back from Oliver's Make*A*Wish trip to Florida so I'll be trying to update the blog with photos and such! It's been hard to update the blog because we want to spend all the time we can with Oliver, not to mention I have three other children including a very active 2 1/2 year old and a sweet little 4 month old that take up a lot of energy! :O)

Oliver's Health --
Oliver has been pretty steady with regards to his health. He finished his 6 weeks of radiation on February 11 and has been weaned off the steroid. We are opting out of chemo at this time because we want him to feel the best he can. Ed and I both agree on this decision.

He is always wearing an eyepatch on his left eye since his eye is turning in due to the tumor location. He sees double otherwise resulting in more nausea than normal and headaches.

He doesn't complain much about headaches or nausea much anymore. He rarely complains about anything... sweet kid. If we get in the car, he most likely will throw up either in the car or shortly after we reach our destination. This makes travel pretty hard on him. He has anti-nausea meds and motion sickness meds, but usually throws them up shortly after taking them.

He staggers and drags his legs a bit more than normal. This is due to the tumor pressing on the right side of his brain causing muscle weakness on the left side of his body. He's always been active and very much into sports and has been frustrated with the fact that his 'arms and legs aren't doing what they should be doing'. He is in a wheelchair whenever he has to do a lot of walking, but still breaks into a run every now and again. He still has light saber duels and wrestles with Jaren. It's just hard to see the different things that he's no longer able to do.

Since it's hard for Oliver to navigate stairs, he is no longer able to attend school but he will be going on the 3rd grade field trip to the Mississippi River Museum in Dubuque as long as he's feeling well. I try to let him play with friends every once in a while as well since he misses his buddies.

Upcoming Events --

May is Brain Tumor Awareness month so wear gray to support and honor those who have gone through this. We may be going to a 'Homerun Walk' in Omaha to support 'The Cure Starts Now', a foundation started by the parents of a little girl who passed away from DIPG. Also, we will be placing another order for 'Ollie's All-Stars' bracelets. They are $1 each and are gray for brain tumor awareness. Oddly enough gray is also Asthma and Allergy awareness as well, which Oliver has suffered from since infancy.

Oliver starts baseball on May 6. We've been practicing hitting and he can still hit it, but he may need someone to run for him. All three of his coaches from last season came to his benefit along with some teammates and told him that they wanted him on the team NO MATTER WHAT! He's very excited, but I can tell he's nervous as well. He wants me to paint an eye patch for the Braves, since that's his team!

Saturday, June 5th in Des Moines there will be a kids day with the Des Moines Blaze, a semi-pro football team down there. One member of the team heard about Oliver and wants him to be an honorary team captain for that game. He said that he's always wanted to start a cancer foundation and this will be his start. I'm not sure of the prices and times yet. There is going to be fun games and activities for the kids as well! We are very excited!

Please keep us all in your prayers. Pray for strength to get through the rough days, peace with the unknown and hope for a miracle. We love you all and are soooooo grateful to be strengthened through your thoughts and prayers. We are also very grateful for the thoughtfulness of so many in the wonderful cards and things you've done for our family, especially for Oliver. :O)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Spring Conferences & World Fair

Thursday, April 8, 2010 - Edison Elementary

Tonight Oliver and Eden had their school conferences and again we were very pleased with what their teachers had to say about our kiddos! They said they are both model students especially in the Character Counts aspects and they do great work and are constantly trying to do well in school.

We met with Oliver's teacher, Mr. Galloway and counselor, Ms. Hay to talk with them since Ollie hasn't been back to school for several weeks. We don't think he will be back because of his weakness. Ed had to carry him up the stairs just to go to the conference! Since the school is a two story building it isn't equipped for a wheelchair... unfortunately. I know that everyone would do everything in their power to try and allow him to feel comfortable there, but it's just not possible... plus... I like having him home with me. Anyways, since the kids did great we celebrated with some Dairy Queen! YUM!

Saturday, April 10, 2010 - Samara's Birthday
Today we went to Takoda's sister's birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese and then Pizza Hut for pizza. She is such a doll!

Oliver, Eden, Jaren and Phineas at Chuck E. Cheese.

Takoda and Ollie at Pizza Hut (Samara is behind Takoda)

Jare doing the 'birdie'!

Finny boy

Eden and Oliver at the World Fair in Waterloo. A former classmate of mine formed 'Over the Rainbow', a non-profit organization that brings health and education to the people throughout struggling countries. Once a year, usually in the spring, they host the World Fair at the Pepsi Pavillion on the National Cattle Congress grounds. There's food, activities, booths and entertainment for the whole family. We found out about it last year and we really enjoy going. It's fun and it's for a great cause!

Eden and Angela, a childhood friend of mine. I helped her apply temporary tattoos and face paint on the children there! So fun!

Capoeira Club that Ollie was once a part of. A year ago he was playing with these same guys at the World Fair.

It was rough seeing Oliver not be able to participate in something that he once loved. He's so weak that he can't physically do the same things any longer. Heartbreaking to see.

Easter Weekend 2010

Easter Egg Hunt and BBQ with friends

Eden, Oliver and Jaren

Dying Easter Eggs and Egg Hunt with Grandma and Uncle Chad.



Chad and Ollie


My Yoda egg

Ollie and some of his Hulk eggs.

The hunt begins...

LOVE that smile!!!

Baseball and S'mores... what more could a kid ask for???

March 2010 - Grandma & Grandpa Boardsen's house

Playing baseball with Grandpa and Dad.

Nice hit, Oliver!

Jaren and Joey

Happy to see him able to climb with his weakness on the left side.

Phineas and Eden

Grandpa and Eden

Oliver driving the John Deere mower.

Me and Ollie

Ollie... I don't know if it is possible for this kid to not make a goofy face!

Making s'mores in the back yard.

Grandma Ellen and Finny

Harlem Globetrotters

Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - McLeod Center on the UNI campus - Cedar Falls, Iowa

Tonight we went to see the Harlem Globetrotters with Ed's parents! I've always wanted to see them in person and I was so excited that they finally came to a town nearby! Ed bought court side seats which was really fun! (Oliver was in his wheelchair due to his walking and weakness.)

One of the fun things about these guys is the fact that they include the crowd in their show. 'Flight Time' #4 was trying to get away from 'Big Easy' #52 who was holding a bucket of water. Out of nowhere 'Flight Time' grabbed Jaren, our 2 1/2 year old, and took him out onto the floor with him! Jaren didn't cry, but the look on his face was priceless! This photo ended up in the newspaper!! As we were sitting there I saw someone across the arena and realized that it was my step brother, Rex, who was there with his family. It was a really fun and goofy program that they put together. I'm still amazed at their skill with the basketball. It's unreal to see it in person.

We bought the kiddos some shirts and a basketball and I also bought a program so Ollie could get some autographs. One nice man who worked with the team, held the rope up for Oliver to go on the court so he didn't have to wait in line for everyone's signature. Some of the players signed his shirt and they even signed their wristbands they wore during the game and gave them to him. It was pretty special! What a wonderful and memorable event!

Oliver's Talk in Primary

Sunday, March 28, 2010 -

Today at church Oliver gave a talk in Primary (his Sunday School class). The topic was "God Speaks Through Prophets". He read a small story from the children's church magazine, "The Friend" and then bore his testimony about how he knows that prophets tell us about Heavenly Father's commandments and that we need to follow them because that's what Jesus would tell us to do. We had just talked about that same thing during our nightly scripture study with the kids.

I got teary eyed watching him give the talk, not knowing if it would be his last one. He'll have much to do on the other side, I'm sure. I know that if Heavenly Father wants him then He'll take him at that time. Prayers don't change Heavenly Father's will. I don't pray for the things that I want... I pray for knowledge to make good decisions and for peace and strength to get through the days that lie ahead. Every day I try to make my will align with His will... which is a struggle some days. Some days I just don't want to go on, but I just have to trudge through what life throws in my path.