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! 


  1. Oh Mari, so happy to hear that Evan is responding well and pray that it will continue for him. He certainly has an amazing circle of friends and family to support him.

    Know you are in our thoughts and prayers always.

    Love you,


  2. Mari, so thrilled with this news! All of you are continuing in my prayers! Let me know if I can do anything to help!


  3. This blog is awesome! I'm so happy for Evan's progress and all the love being shown in support. What a blessing. Love you guys and pray daily for Evan to overcome this challenge. My love to the family and best wishes for a very happy New Year!