Saturday, March 21, 2009

Update on Andrew

Things were going well until about 2 weeks ago. Andrew stopped eating due to huge blisters in his mouth and down his throat (a side effect of the chemo). He has returned to the hospital so I am not working with him at the moment but his mother texts me almost daily with updates and pictures... I hope to post one on here soon. He has lost a lot of weight and is hooked up to all kinds of things but he finds a way to put a smile on his face. I don't know where he finds the strength or courage, but it sure affirms in my mind and heart that God is holding Andrew gently in His hands so that Andrew can smile and joke from time to time. His mom says that he charms all the nurses and keeps them on their toes with his slick remarks and sweet smile.
Today Andrew is getting a blood transfusion because his body isn't producing enough white blood cells. Andrew's mom asked me to pray and to reach out to others to pray, so that is what I am doing... that is the one support I can offer her for sure.

Thanks for reading and for praying. Please feel free to ask others to join you in praying for this also.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Running, running, running....

I feel like a Forest Gump but I am hooked on running! I really tried to push myself on the treadmill this morning (at 5 am, mind you) and was able to meet one of my goals of running 3 miles in 45 minutes!! Super exciting. I am going to see if I can knock of a minute a week!! So look for a 30 minute time in 15 weeks!! hehehe

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Blogging for Andrew

This blog entry is dedicated to one of my students: Andrew G. I am his homebound teacher. Andrew is currently homebound because he has cancer and is fighting it with all his might. Andrew found out about his cancer when it was fairly far advanced... in fact, the doctors think he may have had the tumor for years but this year it became big enough to cause him some severe stomach pain. Finally he was diagnosed and the tumor was removed or mostly removed. I believe it was stage 3 or 4... From what I understand, if the chemo and radiation works the way that the doctors hope it will, Andrew won't have to have organ transplants... but if not, then he will be put on the lists.

Andrew is just 10 years old and is a wonderful boy. He is sweet, smart, funny and loving. I've only known him for a few weeks but he has my heart... hook, line and sinker. He has talked to me a time or two about his cancer and has said that he didn't ask for it, but it's here so... just fight!

But that isn't all. Andrew is also fighting the US medical and welfare system. His mother, who I have also grown to love, is a hard working single mom who is fortunate enough to have a great mother to support her somewhat and a boyfriend who is by her side, helping all he can. But because of her situation with Andrew, she is unable to work very much and isn't getting much help. Her other half works his tail off just to pay their rent (they share a 2 bedroom apartment with another couple and Andrew, just to make ends meet... while his older brother lives with the grandmother). Andrew just got approved for medicare well after his treatments had started. I don't know if medicare is going to back pay for his surgeries, radiation and LONG hospital stay or not but regardless, the bills are piling up. Andrew's family is doing what they can, even applying for food stamps (which they were denied because his mother "chose" not to work).

Anyway, I just wanted to share this story with you all... whoever you are. If you are a believer, please pray and if you aren't send your positive thoughts to Andrew and his family. They are struggling with a lot, but they smile a lot too. They inspire me.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

My First 5 K

So today I ran my first 5 K (3.2 miles) race. I wasn't looking to win anything, just to make it there and finish it. I didn't want to be last, that was for sure. I am new to this running game and I am a slow learner for the most part. But the best thing that I am learning is that I love this and I can push my body much further than I think I can. Today Kelvin ran with me and was a great coach. I am not ready to run the whole thing yet but I am getting closer to that. Kelvin has this neat GPS runner's watch thingy (for lack of a better term) and it tracks your pace, calories, direction, miles etc. When I was walking it was at a 16 minute mile pace... but when I ran, it was at a 11 minute mile pace. So I know that once I begin to run solid, I am going to be a contender!! hahaha. Can't wait for that. Today I finished it in 46 minutes... I was shooting for 45 but the 2 hills killed me!! :) Watch out world, this chubby chick is running now!!