Sunday, March 30, 2008

The "Hone" Advantage

So, I asked Justin what he wanted to name our blog and thought it would be cool to pick a name related to sports. He thought The Hone Team. It seemed appropriate since we are a team, in this together. Jackson, me and Justin. Sure, Jackson and I don't physically have cancer, but I feel like I do mentally. I am sure his parents, my parents and all other family members feel the same.

Then I really started to think about the name Justin suggested and felt it had an even deeper meaning. Any sports nut out there will tell you that the home team always has the advantage. I have always asked Justin to explain why this is so, and being the sports nut that he is, has many reasons. There are two main reasons I remember. 1) The home team knows all the secrets to playing their best on their own court, field, turf, etc. 2) Fans. Apparently fans supporting a team is key to the amount of adrenaline the team has that ultimately allows them to play better.

Well, Hodgkin's, considering you are the visiting team, you clearly have a disadvantage. You are on Justin's turf right now, and I see no welcoming committee. Justin has the most elaborate team cheering for him. Not only does he have the support of his family and friends , he also has doctors and a chemo cocktail that wants you to lose. No one feels sorry for you. It is time to go.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Information on Hodgkin's Lymphoma

A great website with information on Hodgkin's:

The cancer itself is pretty rare and great improvements have been made for treatments within the last few years. I guess you could say we "shopped" around a bit to see what the best treatment option would be for Justin. Considering his stage, the AVBD treatment [it's abbreviated, there are lots of words I can't pronounce, let alone spell :)] is pretty standard.

For those of you wondering how long/how many treatments, it is quite a number game that none of us can get straight. Justin will receive a total of 6 cycles. Now each cycle is two treatments. He goes for a treatment every two weeks, with two treatments a month, for a grand total of twelve treatments. If you ask him how long his chemotherapy is, you could get a variety of answers based on the explanation I just wrote. It makes sense why doctors have to spend so much time going to school.

Well, anyway, we like to go by treatments [remember, there is a total of 12 of those]. This past Monday he finished his third treatment, 9 left. So far he has responded very well. He has been extremely tired/fatigue. For every one that knows Justin, it is very different to see him laying on the couch. He even takes naps now [I have heard that nap time was NOT his favorite when he was a child]. Justin's hair has also been falling out. He has contemplated shaving it, but it has been falling out gradually. It hasn't been too annoying to him.

A quiz [for the teacher in me]: How many cycles does Justin have in total? I don't even know the answer and probably would resort to the paragraph above giving every possible scenario. Regardless of the treatment/cycles/etc, the goal is all the same. To say goodbye to this cancer: forever.

A New Journey

As most of you know, our family has embarked on an unexpected journey. Life some times takes different roads than we plan. Roads that you can't even imagine, or at least try and ignore and tell yourself it won't happen to me.

Justin was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma [stage IIB, bulky] February 9th, 2008. And while both of us knew something was wrong since he has not been feeling well for months, nothing could have prepared us for what we heard in the doctor's office that day.

It has become difficult to keep everyone update with Justin's progress. We hope this blog will do the trick.