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.