Friday, June 13, 2014

One Whole Year

Wow. Has it already been a year? It’s amazing how quickly time goes by. A year from this past Wednesday, June 11th, I had my bone marrow transplant. That’s incredible. I would like to extend a thank you to everyone who has been by my side supporting me the whole time. And to think I still remember February 1, 2013 at CHOP in the Hematology clinic like it was yesterday. I am so blessed to have recovered so well and so quickly. Unfortunately, not every kid who is diagnosed is as blessed, so I ask you please to continue to Pray For A Cure. To all the nurses and doctors reading this (not just the ones who’ve helped me along my journey) I’d like to thank you, what you do is amazing. Also, to the nurses and doctors that have helped me along my journey, thank you so much for everything, I couldn’t be where I am without you.
As some of you may know, this past week, I had a few tests at Johns Hopkins on Tuesday, and one Wednesday morning. We received a few results back and so far my bone marrow remains Leukemia free! It was kind of weird to celebrate a 16th birthday and a 1st birthday on the same day. My parents were a little confused; do they get me sippy cups or video games?? Unfortunately, I didn’t receive any sippy cups. I did receive one “Happy 1st Birthday!” card though.
I hope everything is going well for all of you and your families. I ask you to please continue to pray for everyone in hospitals; including the doctors and nurses. The patients need many prayers for recovery and also, doctors’ and nurses’ jobs are not easy. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about the people that take time to get to know you on a friendly level, not just a professional level, it’s that they work very hard for many hours a day to help not only young kids like me, but people of all ages with any type of sickness. Thank you and I wish you all the safest of summers!!!
In the words of St. Augustine, “Find out how much God has given you and from it take what you need; the remainder is needed by others.” Even though you may think you’re in a really tough position at times, there is always someone who is struggling more than you at that moment. Don’t be selfish; God didn’t make us to be that way.
One last thing, I would ask you to please keep a specific patient in your prayers because prayers can never hurt. My friend Bobby Taggart who goes to Germantown Academy is struggling with a different type of Cancer. Please keep him in your daily prayers. Thank you and remember, B+!!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

He's 6 Months Old!

       Hey everyone, it’s Mason! I know it’s been awhile since the last blog post but this one is very special. In around early November, I had a flare of Graft vs. Host disease. This disease is when the new bone marrow (engraftment) starts to attack one or more of three organs of the body. It can affect the skin, the stomach, or the liver. My Graft vs. Host (GvH for short) had affected my skin causing an itchy, irritating rash. Shortly after my diagnosis of GvH I was put on a medicine called prednisone which is a steroid that’s job was to help calm down my new marrow. It was successful! Finally, this past week I could be taken off prednisone. GvH has a scale of brutality from 1-4. 1 is simply a small faint rash on one part of the body. 2, which is what I had, is an itchy rash from the waist up. 3 is a rash on the whole body, and 4 is a rash with blistering. GvH is also looked at as a positive thing in the Oncology world. Knowing there is an effect of Graft versus Host also tells us that there is an effect of Graft versus Leukemia. This past Monday my mom, my dad, and I left for Baltimore because on Tuesday I had all of my 6-month tests. Tuesday morning I had a pulmonary function test, which tests the strength of my lungs. After that I had blood drawn along with a lumbar puncture and a spinal tap. The lumbar puncture and spinal tap are to check to see if I am still 100% of new bone marrow and also to make sure no leukemia cells remain. We got the fantastic news on Thursday night that I am still Leukemia free after 6 months!
            As not much will be happening within the next few months (prayerfully), I will try and post on the blog as much as I can to keep you all updated on everyday things. I thank you all so much for all of the support and everything you have done for me. I could not have done any of this without all of you reading this. I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

Once again, in the wise words of St. Augustine, “Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.”

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Getting closer!

Hi everyone!! I know it’s been so long, but I have a quick update on my little brother for you!
Things have been going so well; maybe even better than ever! Just recently he got his Hickman removed. For those of you who don’t know what a Hickman is, it’s a port that is connected directly to his bloodstream. It was used to draw all of the blood they tested, and it was also used to receive chemotherapy and all of Mason’s other medications, such as his anti-fungal. It’s basically an intravenous, or IV, line in his chest. Getting that taken out was a huge deal!
He also got an MRI of his brain yesterday and all is clear there as well. Go Mason! As we approach the 6-month post transplant coming up in December, we can’t help but feel anxious but excited. As things progress on this way, we can’t help but have a strong faith that we are so close to the Emerald City. We know that in reality it’s pretty far away, but we’ve never been as close as we are today, and with each passing day we only get closer.

Thank you everyone for the continual prayers and good wishes. We do the same for all of you every day. We hope all is going this well for you, too!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Most Recent News!

Hey Everyone, it’s Mason.

I hope you all are having a fantastic summer and continue to do so for the few weeks left. Today, I have some updates for all of you. We got results back from my latest bone marrow aspirate and now my bone marrow is 100% donor (Morgan). This is fantastic news because it means I don’t have any more of my bone marrow which was the problem in the first place!
However, I did have a CT Scan about a week ago, which showed that my sinuses were very congested and the Doctors were a little worried about that. Last week they took cultures of the mucus in the sinuses. Great news that nothing grew from it! We just keep getting our prayers answered and it’s amazing.
Also, some more good news! Most of you know that in April I had a fungus infection that started with my eye. I went to the opthamologist today and he was amazed at what he saw. He said usually when fungus shows up in the eye it should leave a scar. Not only is the fungus gone, but also he could not even see any scars or remnants of it. He said that this was remarkable.

Thank you all for praying and we ask if you could keep praying because God is answering. Thank you all so much.

In the wise words of St. Augustine, “It was pride that changed angels into devils, it is humility that makes men as angels.”

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Finally Home! and I have been since July 19th....

Hey everyone its Mason. I finally got home! Hopefully this time for good. I thought I was surprising my family, but I was the one who was surprised. Much of my neighborhood was waiting for me in my front lawn as I drove down the only street in the state that had orange balloons on every mailbox. Though I still have a ways to go, I’d like to thank everyone who has been following us on this long journey, and we will continue keeping you updated. Because I am the most vulnerable 100 days post transplant, I am not clear from my transplant until I go those 100 days infection free, and I will keep seeing doctors for a little bit. Even after all of that I have to be in remission for over two years until I’m considered “cured.” Thank you for all the prayers, and I hope your summer so far has been fantastic.  

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Quick Update :)

Hey Everyone, It’s Mason. As you all know I’ve been staying at a hotel in Baltimore for the past week just to have follow up care three times a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday). We thought we could be sent home this past Friday but unfortunately I wasn’t able to. The Doctors here are more comfortable with me staying for a little while in the area. But it’s not bad! This just makes the day I get to go home even more special.

I don’t have much to talk about so I will ask you to please continue to pray for our friends, the Leyvas, all the children in the world that have been going through the same or similar situation I am in, and to all of their families. Also, for a cure. Yes, chemotherapy “cures” Cancer in many situations but the side effects and what children have to go through with it is very tough. I’m glad that I had all the support from all of you because it made it much easier for me.

In the wise words of St. Augustine, “How can the past and future be, when the past no longer is, and the future is not yet? As for the present, if it were always present and never moved on to become the past it would not be time, but eternity”

Thank You All!