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Taylor's story....the shortened version anyway. On July 19, 2004, I took Taylor to our family doctor's office to find out why he was having headaches. It was the day our lives were forever changed. We thought he might need glasses. At 13 years old he was diagnosed with medulloblastoma....he had a malignant brain tumor. Since that time he's had two brain surgeries to remove the tumor (the first was 13 hours and the second was 8 hours, spent 13 days in the hospital with an infection in his spinal fluid, had a surgery to implant a port-a-cathater for chemo, had six weeks of chemo/radiation every day, had six months of maintenance chemo, has had chemo induced neuropathy so severe that he couldn't open his hands, lost some hearing and now wears glasses, undergone MRI's (too many to count), ultra sound, ct scans, IV's and blood draws, and his last surgery to remove his port!! Today he has finished physical therapy, is going to be a junior in high school, gotten his drivers license, has a job and lastly is getting haircuts every six weeks! He's worked so hard and always has a smile. We are amazed at him every day and so grateful to God, our family & friends, and to the wonderful people who have taken care of him along the way! Thanks for visiting Taylor's page.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Happy Thursday!!

This is probably my last journal entry. I've been pokey...I know!! I honestly can't believe it has been this long since I updated. It's hard to sit down and do this anymore. Sometimes I miss it especially since it was such a great way to get out my feelings when I really needed to, not to mention it was a great way to communicate with all of you.

First let me say that Taylor had another MRI, lab and audiology appointments in May. He is still perfect!! His MRI looked wonderful, his hearing has not changed and his labs were all pretty normal. So now Taylor has graduated from MRI's every 3 months to every 6 months. WOW....every 6 months? That's all? He does have an appointment to see an endocrinologist in August just to check on all of his hormones. He's been feeling great and (I think) he looks wonderful. Of course he's almost 17 yrs old and if I actually said that out loud to him he'd punch me in the arm. But he does look wonderful. We also went to see the opthamologist this past week. His eyes have improved! Not his double vision with his glasses off, but his actual prescription. If it wasn't for that double vision he probably wouldn't even need to wear glasses. Still amazing us.

When school starts in the fall, he's going to be a junior! That just doesn't seem right. Going to be a junior, driving all over like he's the boss of himself, going to work!! What the heck? Yes, Taylor got a job and is working at our local hardware store....a very manly first job. Of course he loves it and he can come home and fill me in all of the hardware store gossip. Who's doing plumbing or planting beans or painting or whatever hardware store guys talk about.

Relay For Life was in June. It was the third year Team Taylor participated and was just as rewarding as the first year. We raised almost $7,000 which brings our 3-year total to over $25,000! I am very proud to be part of such an awesome team. You guys are true friends and I would do anything for you.

Okay, the reason I picked today to be my last update is, well, it is July 19th!! A day burned into my (and all of our) memory. Wow, it is pretty unbelievable that it could be 3 years today from the day that Taylor was diagnosed with brain cancer. Three years that were the longest and shortest days of our lives all at the same time.

I remember everything about that day. I remember that it was Monday, what I was wearing (b/c I couldn't wear that outfit for a really long time after that b/c it gave me a stomach ache), that Jerry and Mitch were at AllStar practice for Little League and Peg, Todd and the kids were camping. I remember Taylor being upset because he didn't realize when he left the house that he wouldn't be going back home and he didn't pet the dogs that morning. I remember that my feet hurt and Tay was hungry. And I remember my little boy laying in that ICU bed when they finally got us a room and him being too old for me to crawl in there with him and just hold him, but not old enough for him to not want me to spend the night right next to him in that fold out chair. I remember so cleary thinking to myself just before Dr. England told us about the tumor, "...just remember right now when life is perfect because everything is about to change...". I remember the way Dr. England took a deep breath and blew it out before he said the words, "this is never easy...". I remember Taylor smiling and worrying that he would miss Mitchell's ball games. I could keep going, but I don't want to anymore. It was so hard and I never ever want to do anything like it ever again! I want it to be gone from Tay's life forever and from Mitch's life and from all our lives. I never want to think about cancer again.

But I will. And so will Taylor and Jerry and Mitchell and our parents and siblings and friends. We all will because like it or not cancer is a part of our lives. Cancer is the part of our lives that keeps us remembering that life can change in a second, with one phone call or a word. It's the part of our lives that reminds us not to take each other for granted and keeps us focused on what's important.

July 19, 2004, wasn't all bad. It was the day that Taylor started getting better. It was our lucky day and still is. It was the first day of Taylor's recovery and what brought him to this July 19th, three years later. Without a diagnosis day, we'd never have gotten to the cure.

So when I said Happy Thursday at the top of the page, I really meant it. Happy Thursday. Happy July 19th!!

Love....Patsy, Jerry, Taylor and Mitchell
If we fall down 10 times, we get up 11!!!

Oh right and I couldn't end without a quote of day:

ME: Mitch, make sure you do your 20 minutes of reading today.

MITCH: Mom, it's summer!! Why do I have to read?

ME: It's just like baseball, buddy, if you want to get better you need to practice.

MITCH: Mom! it is not. There is NO READING in baseball!!

and Tay's quote of the day:

ME: Taylor, I'm going to do the last ever update to Caringbridge. Anything you want to say?

TAYLOR: Yeah.....it's about time.

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Hospital Information:

Taylor VanSchoick
9138 S. 25th Street
Scotts, Mi 49088


http://www.laf.org/   Lance Armstrong Foundation
http://www.kalamazookings.com   Friends of Taylor
http://www.classiclasercuts.com   Friends of Taylor


E-mail Author: pvan35@hotmail.com


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