Monday, May 22, 2017

Some people never meet their Hero. I gave birth to mine...

Is that a little strong to say? Not in the least. Have you met Evan? He just completed round 11 of his now "maintenance chemo". This young man is defying all the odds. In my eyes, he is an absolute miracle. There's no other way to describe it when you know the physical shape he was in and with all the tests showing how much it had spread. He has worked dang hard and has gained 40 pounds back. And that cough that was so constant and violent, is virtually gone. 

Evan is a dedicated athlete and works out at the gym 7 days a week, 2 hours a day.  He eats a strict diet for body building along with his friend Zac. He "looks" like a healthy and strong young man. And yes, he still has cancer. But you won't "see" it.

One day, he rode his bike to the gym, did his workout and then rode back home. It was a super windy day and a little rough on the return home.  We heard him cough a couple times. Dale and I looked at each other and had this "aha" moment. We realized that he literally has not been coughing at all and that was the first time we heard him cough in quite some time. That is huge. He is doing phenomenally. Evan is like his old self. It's truly incredible. He will probably indefinitely have to continue his chemo maintenance every 3 weeks. There is a chance that his body will become immune to the treatment at some point and then he would need to switch to an alternative treatment. It's kind of like when a certain antibiotic no longer works for you and you need to switch to another kind.

Evan and Braden - Concert time

A question he, and all of us, gets asked all the time is if he is in remission. The doctor says no. That it never will be. On the bright side, he says, we are treating this like Diabetes.  You take the necessary  care of your body the way you would with that. If one medicine stops working for you, you try another. And, he reminds us that many people live long  productive lives as long as they keep a handle on their Diabetes. New meds and treatments are always coming out and that is what has allowed those with Diabetes to live "normal"  and longer lives. Well, it's the same for Evan. The chemo is doing it's job and has shrunk the cancer. It will not completely go away, but it has brought it to a "manageable" stage. And, most importantly, Evan is living life almost like before his diagnosis. They found one new spot on his brain, however, the doc's are just watching it because it is so small. And, it could very well be just a bunch of blood vessels that have adhered to each other. It's also not in a place that is concerning to them. In June, he will have another brain MRI to followup on that.  He will also have another Pet scan to see how the cancer is doing. But as of right now, his blood cancer markers continue to go down. That has slowed down a bit and that is exactly as expected.

So what else is Evan up to? He got to take a trip of a lifetime with Braden, Jordan and Parker to Germany, Amsterdam, London, Paris, and the Eiffel Tower.

They got to see a friend serving on his mission. Justice Santiago, on the far left, a long time baseball buddy. Then pictured is Parker, Jordan, Evan and Braden. 

He completed this last semester at Dixie State University and has decided to take the summer off. He's joined a bowling league this summer with some of his buddies and guess what he bowled last week. 
A 279! Can you believe that? SO close to a perfect game of 300.

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

This organization was extremely generous to Evan. They contacted Steve and worked out a "Hunt of a Lifetime" experience for Evan. It's supposed to be a sure thing that he will get a Deer. It's extremely hard to get your name pulled in the lottery nowadays. He had no idea and was quite surprised. Now, he can't wait for that time to roll around. That brings back great memories of hunting with his dad, brothers and grandpa Moss.

Evan and Garrett-humoring me with a picture while they work. Paul's in the background on his computer. 

Garrett and Madi have moved in with us and this has been a real treat for all of us. Evan moved his work station back home and works downstairs with Garrett. It's great that they get to be together.  Jackson is loving having them here as well. They are so good to him too. We absolutely love having them here. 

The last couple months we've also had 2 of Evan's step-brothers get married. Pretty fantastic days as well. 

Tyler and Laurel 

C.J. and Noelle

More days to celebrate! We are grateful all the way around. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

His name is Evan Moss and not even cancer is going to stop him.

You know, it's kinda weird cuz I get on to blog and it's hard to go "backwards."  I actually keep "notes" in my phone so it will help me remember what to tell you all who are following Evan's progress.

Where were we....Ah, yes! There was the Super Bowl Party with Devin Dixon which was phenomenal!


It was also just about time for the benefit concert, James the Mormon. I need to back up just a tad before that to bring you up to speed on some new info that has impacted our family.  Around that time, (the end of January) we got the news that Evan's grandpa, (my dad) was diagnosed with cancer.  Initially, they thought it was stage 2-3 but a Pet scan determined it was stage 4. How is it even possibly that TWO  people in my immediate family have stage 4 cancer at the same time? I mean, really? At this point, I have to admit...I needed to attend a support group. My dad has started chemo and has had a 2nd treatment as of this writing. He didn't want to tell me because he  didn't want us to worry about him when he knew we were focused on Evan. My goodness!  I got to go down to California and visit with my dad and, yes, he's lost a lot of weight but he "looked" good to me. It was a wonderful visit. And naturally, getting his life story on video has become a much higher priority while his health is still good and he feels good enough to talk about it. So far, the chemo is working and he says it is shrinking the  tumor.  He also feels better. We'll celebrate that too!

My dad, my brother Danny and his wife Jeannie

That same week was the benefit concert on Saturday. The day before, Evan got a fever of 103.5. We were instructed to take him immediately to the ER. Turns out he had Coronavirus. With his immune system being compromised, he couldn't go to the concert. He can't be around anyone who is sick. For him, the consequences are much more dangerous than for you or me.  They got him on an antibiotic and he got better. Talk about scary times!  They ran every test under the sun, which I was quite grateful for. The James the Mormon concert was absolutely amazing, a total blast and a huge success.  There were TONS of people, food trucks and the energy was off the charts! It was so uplifting and a much needed diversion.

A heartfelt thank you to St. George Kids Dental, Oral & Facial Surgery Institute, Burke Orthodontics, James the Mormon, Vault Kalamity AND the Food Trucks! They raised $4,000.00 for his medical expenses.

As of right now, Evan has had 2 maintenance chemo treatments which will continue every 2 weeks. The doctor decided to keep him on 2 meds instead of one. He seems to be handling it quite well. AND, better news still....his blood work keeps improving!  He has a brain MRI coming up in a couple weeks to follow up on the radiation treatment he had. Hopefully, it will follow suit!
Evan with Jordan and Braden - Chemo Maintenance  #2

Now, you want to hear about a chance of a lifetime? Evan is currently on a trip.  And you know where to? Germany! He got the "thumbs up!" from his doctor. You have to understand how HUGE this is!  A few months ago, his health could not handle a change in elevation with his lungs so to be able to FLY in an airplane... is big time, amazing! He has a very generous great life-long friend, Parker Ferris, and his wife, Aspyn Ovard, who were able to pull this off.

Evan was friends with Aspyn in elementary. Parker actually found a video "clip" and included it in their vlog. It was so cool to see that.

Evan, and a few of his close buddies, Jordan Evans, Braden Olson, Parker and Aspyn, are on this amazing adventure. They are going to Germany, Amsterdam, London, and Paris. And another cool thing is, that they are supposed to be able to see two baseball childhood friends while they are there serving on missions . Dylan Draper is in Germany and Justice Santiago is in London. How cool is that?

Look how young they are...cute boys!

Now, let's go to today. My thoughts today can't help but be quite reflective. Here they are...

Gosh, time is so  precious in a way that has complete new meaning since all of this. Not just "time," but words such as "strength," "determination," and "sheer will." I look at Evan and he's a "pillar of strength" in a variety of ways. This young man, took the worst news and yes, of course, it devastated him beyond words. It pained him so deeply as he and all of us tried to make sense of something you can't possibly make any sense of.  Our hearts were physically aching and breaking from the diagnosis. Now, 6 months later.  I sit and I marvel. I am  in "awe". I  don't know how he has done this. But I do know this. I'm sure it's a combination of things. I know that Evan is a monster fighter. He has something inside him that is triumphantly fighting every minute of every day. It's more than a miracle. He is inspiring. People are saying quite frequently now that when they see Evan, that he doesn't look close to anything like someone who has stage 4 cancer.  At his last appointment, he mentioned this to his doctor and Evan's response was "That's the goal! (with his cute little smile). I wish he would let me show you how hard he has worked, but he won't. He's private that way. He's gaining weight (almost all of it back!) and his muscles are defined again. He has worked SO hard. This kid, and yes, I know he's a man, but a young 21 year old,  and he's our son, is a mighty work horse. It's like nothing is going to stop him. He is unstoppable.

On the last blog, he started back at Dixie State University.  He's taking the 10 credits and is keeping up. It's quite a bit of homework but one of his classes is accounting and we all know how consuming accounting can be just by itself, right?  Then he goes and works some and then he hits the gym. Like clockwork. I look at Evan  and then I look at myself and I see this kid who's defying all the odds. His body is "sick" and my body is not. And what am I doing with it? Some days I'm good and I hit the gym. It's really cool to be up there (on the 2nd floor) doing my thing and watching him down below with Zac Ivie and Jordan Evans doing their thing.

It really makes you stop and think. It's like he's the "comeback kid." Or the pitcher you bring in when you need a comeback and to close up the game. He's #42, Jackie Robinson of the Dodgers only his name is Evan Moss and his number was always #9. He's "Smalls" from Sandlot; that's what they called him. Evan is inspiring and he gives hope. That's huge, isn't it?  I know today... I spent a lot of time using words trying to "define" him at this juncture in this journey. He simply amazes me. I guess I don't have the words to adequately describe how absolutely incredible he is. And yet, I wonder...Does HE know it? Does he really KNOW the power of the miracle that lies within him?

Each and every day is a gift. This mama has a big smile on her face. Along with tears of gratitude and love.

Monday, January 30, 2017

6 Rounds of Chemo DONE! BAM! So, now what? A WHOLE LOT!

Braden Olsen and Evan

January 25th's chemo treatment went a little different than last time. Ok, a lot different. Last time, (January 4th) Evan had a reaction with the last medication they administered called Carboplatin. But we didn't realize it at the time. He thought that maybe it was just something he ate that went down the wrong way and he started coughing a lot, got red in the face, got kind-of clammy and his stomach felt funky. So we didn't think much of it and the nurses made sure he felt okay before they let him leave.  But this time, just as they started to give it, Evan immediately felt those same symptoms. They had to stop it and give him a good amount of Benadryl by IV and his dad drove him home to sleep. The doctor explained that sometimes your body can only tolerate so much of these chemo meds and Evan's body was saying "I'm done" with that one. 

So, what's next now that he's completed the initial 6 cycles of chemo? Well, he is scheduled for another Pet scan in about 2 weeks and that will determine the number of maintenance chemo meds he will need. He for sure will do the Avastin and the Pet scan will tell the doctor if he needs to keep the Premetrexed and do that combination which will be ongoing every 3 weeks. In addition to Pet scans every 3 months to keep a close eye on it. It's much less intense and he shouldn't get sick from these treatments or have side effects, from what we understand. Evan had his follow up with the Radiation Oncologist and appears to be doing well according to his cognitive and physical responses. The doctor agreed that it would be a good idea to repeat the brain MRI in 2 months. He lost a little round patch of hair from the radiation but you'd never know it cause his long hair covers it up so well. 

Merry New Year! 
Between Christmas and New Years Eve, Garrett and Madi came down from Salt Lake and Taylor and his family came up from California as well as my brother Dan, Jeannie, and Megan. Kenzie had to work, dang it! We missed you, sweetheart! 

Evan, Danny, Jeannie, Hailey, Taylor, Megan, and Will
The brave one's who went side-by-side riding out in Warner Valley. Notice that little Will is in there and he's only 4! Someone had to take care of the other grandbabes ;) 
Dale, Heather, Marty and I took that on.  

Danny and Evan

Garrett and Madi

Do you see that sparkle in his eyes?
We sure do! Ever since the visit from family over the holidays and the encouraging news from his Pet scan just before his 5th round of chemo, there has VISIBLY been a change in Evan's demeanor. There is a light about him that we've missed seeing and it's back! 
And it's simply BEAUTIFUL!

Cherry Creek Radio and the Devin Dixon Show!
Bless Devin Dixon and Cherry Creek Radio.  He had Susan Larson talk about the 9 Pin No Tap bowling tournament at Sunset Bowl that she organized and he had me tell Evan's story. The bowling tournament was a huge success and a great thank you goes to the all the bowlers who came to support the tourney. Special thanks to Sunset Bowl for hosting the tournament as well. To the Gibson Family, the Rutledge Family, Jordan Evans, Dylan File, and Jamie Saunders and many others who contributed in so many ways. It was fun to see the PA, Thomas Bean, who was the clinician who finally took us seriously and PERSONALLY made SURE that Evan got IN to see the Pulmonary doctor who diagnosed the cancer and got the ball rolling immediately. All within a week. When I called, the earliest we could get in to the pulmonary doctor wasn't until November! Imagine that! THANK YOU Thomas Bean, PA! And we are forever indebted to Dr. Mustufa Saifee, Dr. Derrick Haslem, and Dr. Sam Donaldson. They are a few of our hero's!


The 9 Pin No-Tap Bowling Tournament generated close to $1,800.

The Auction and Baked Goods

Evan's younger brother, Jackson, his dad and Ron Floreani, the owner of the Shell Gas Station on the Boulevard, Steve's lifetime mechanic, and trusted friend AND he actually bowled  TWO 300 games!

Jordan, Evan, Bryce, and Brittany

Guess what? 
Evan started school at Dixie State University again January 9th! We are so SO proud of him. He's taking 10 credits and, while he's tired, he's giving it his all. 

Devin Dixon and the Falls Event Center is surprising us again!

So, Devin Dixon is a rock star, I tell ya! He got this brilliant idea of doing a Super Bowl Party and it is this Sunday, February 5th. For details, Call 435-986-7171 for tix!

Come support local 21 year old Evan Moss' fight with cancer at The Falls Event Center and watch SB51! The party will be hosted by local sports personality Devin Dixon! There will be raffles, drawings, games, and all you can eat food! Proceeds go to Evan! Call now to reserve your spot! 

 You can get also get your tickets through Susan Larson 435-817-6884 
Tell your friends!

Wait...there's MORE fun lined up! After you're done with the Football game of the Year...

This is HUGE! Just Youtube "James the Mormon" if you haven't already heard his 
hip-hop rap music that is so fun, clean, and inspiring! We feel so overwhelmed and blessed that Burke Orthodontics, James the Mormon, and Vault Kalamity CHOSE to do a benefit concert on Evan's behalf for his fight against Lung Cancer. 
An American Sign Language Interpreter WILL BE PROVIDED!
(for those who don't know, Evan's grandparents are both Deaf and we are extremely involved in the Deaf world. I owned an interpreting agency for 13 years and have been professionally interpreting for 35 years and am nationally certified. Although I won't be doing the interpreting on this one. I will be enjoying-just like the rest of you! 
For tickets, see the flier above. 

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Let's Catch up! The good, the new findings, and the Angels!

This is my NEW favorite picture of Evan. This is the day before Thanksgiving at his Dad and Kim's. Also, Day 1 for his 3rd cycle of chemo. 
Ty and Bryce were there with him for this. 

Today, we got the news that the chemo is doing it's job. It's shrinking and actually opening up his right lung a bit. His cough is considerably less and not near as violent as it once was. 

How about that? Storm Troopers for friends!Which one is Ty and which one is Mitch? 

Dale's cousin, Shonie Christensen,  who is an All State Insurance agent, had a customer appreciation day where she bought all the seats for 2  theaters for the showing of the new Star Wars Rogue One movie for all her friends, clients, and family. SUPER DUPER COOL! (Dec. 17th)

So.... back to the second bit of news we got after the good news. As a precaution, they do an MRI of the brain. That news wasn't as good but we quickly moved forward with pursuing that treatment.

Initially, they told us they had seen 4 spots and it would need to be treated with radiation. We went and had the consult and had to wait for good ol' insurance to approve to do the treatment option he chose. He chose the targeted treatment which would take place in 2 appointments. The doctor was thrilled they approved the one Evan chose because he wasn't so sure the insurance would. Given his age, this treatment made so much more sense. Then we had to wait for insurance approval AGAIN, because he needed to have an MRI with contrast that would take more precise measurements in smaller "cuts" and he needed to also have a mask made. 

The mask is intense! Check this out!

He wants to use it at as target practice the next time they go to the shooting range. Unfortunately, they were closed when his brothers came up between Christmas and New Years. I'm sure his dad will help him get this done. 

So, it turns out, as we met with the doctor after the 2nd MRI with contrast they actually saw 6 spots. This was the day before Christmas and he wanted to just get this done. The good news is that they are all less than a centimeter and not near his brain stem.  They were still able to get all the spots with the 2 treatments. You see those grey things? Yeh...those are like bolts! They actually have to secure his head down to the table so he doesn't move not one tiny bit.  Evan said on the second appointment, there was a time where he felt like he was just "on fire" and it was so painful. He gave them a signal that he needed a break and so they got him up and let him walk around a bit. Then they re-adjusted him and he said it was fine after that. Strange. He then got to bang the "gong" that he had completed his treatment for that. The doctor and his team are quite optimistic and pleased. They were all amazing. Evan really has had an awesome team of doctors and nurses who are great at what they do. And, they genuinely care and can get him to smile every now and then ;) with their wit. LOVE them!

Just to keep things in some order, the 4th round of chemo happened and it was a freaking longgggg day. One doctor had called in sick and our doctor doesn't short his patients because of it. He still gives you all the time in the world as if you are his only care. Which, is another reason we love him so. It was just his dad and I this go round and Evan was a patient, patient!  After recovering from this round, which followed the same results of previous treatments, he got to go do something he loved. Check this out.... are you ready? Although I don't have a picture, Evan went snowboarding! Yeah! You read that right! All day, I was a little anxious about the elevation change and how his breathing/lungs would take  it since it can get you breathing hard. (Not that I've ever done it-but walking in the snow alone can get your heart-rate up...this I DO know ;) He went with Brady Ames and Chance. I was walking up to the front door just as Brady was leaving and I asked him how Evan did. He gave me a thumbs up! Evan said he did alright. He had to take it easy and took some breaks but he did it! We were SO happy for him! And thankful to Brady and Chance for taking him to do something he's always loved! The conditions weren't so great-they said it was icy. But he was able to do it! We will celebrate that in a big way!

In all the years of my children's lives, we have never been the recipients of the 12 days of Christmas. We have NO clue who this family or group of people are but if you could have seen the boys eyes when they found this on the door step.  They were so confused. We didn't even know what it was or how it really worked. Whoever these angels were, they were tricky and smart. Now we know how to pay it forward next year.  
What a blessing? What a gift? What love?!!! 
A very special Thank You to these Angels who thought of our family at this time.  
There are MORE angels among us and I promised them I wouldn't post their picture. Our hearts were full as we opened the door and couldn't believe our eyes. We saw them come in one-by-one and they just kept coming with presents in hand to give Evan, Jackson, and Paul (our boys who live at home) and us Christmas. I wish I could describe to you the light and the joy that we could see AND feel from these angels who came through our door.  It makes me tear up just when I think of it. We truly thank you for the Christmas spirit you brought into our home. Where's the emoji's for hearts? This is ALL so fitting because...

Evan's MOST favorite holiday of the year IS Christmas. And, it's not even about the gifts. Shortly after Halloween, he asked if I would put up Christmas early this year. I got right to work. Especially after he said, he would leave Christmas up all year round, if he had his choice. Well, guess what. The moment I heard that, this boy got that wish. He has his very own Christmas tree in his bedroom that will never come down. We love you, son! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Do You Know What YOU ALL Did? Holy Cow!

OH      MY     GOODNESS!!! 

In this fundraiser alone... you all took the time to  bake, donated your time, your money, your love, your support, washed cars, advertised, had your cars washed, donated supplies to DO the car wash. Summit Athletic Club allowed the car wash to be held at their location. In addition to this, Summit AND Hungry Howies sold #everyone4evan wristbands. Friends in the area AND in Provo, Utah, led the wristband donations.  Do you know what you did? The totals are still adding up but you helped to raise...  
 At one of the games...Shyanne Hensley and Susan Larson. Susan is also the one who set up the
Up in Provo, Utah...


Evan WAS there and felt bad he missed seeing some of you who came earlier. 
The Bond of Brothers