Jones Family

Jones Family
November 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Are you ready for some football?

In our house, fall is in full swing! With a house full of football fans (yes, even Hershey had donned a Cowboy's bandanna, poor girl) we've been very busy! Last weekend with the big College football kickoff (which mom prefers) we had a great time cheering for the SEC teams. Our beloved Hogs played a great game, which we were unwilling to be TRUE fans and pay the $36.95 pay-per-view fee to see! Why bother when you can watch a game on tv and listen to the Hogs on the radio? Then tonight, I have become freshly reminded that the official NFL season has kicked off. Brayden is oblivious. To him, a devoted Cowboys fan, the season began in pre-season. No, training camp! He's been VERY excited and I'm thrilled each year that I grew up a sports fan or what in the world would I be doing now? Oh yeah...probably catching up on housework or scrapbooking or taking a bath. Who has the time?

We've had a full week. Brayden enjoyed a great Labor Day weekend with indoor swimming, eating outside, spending time with friends. One event he had been begging to do - return to the driving range. If you're familiar with his story, the last time he went to the driving range with dad was the day we ended up hearing the awful news something was wrong a few short hours later and began this crazy journey. I thought of this but didn't realize the impact it would have on dad to return. It was hard for him, and I've realized I need to remember he's a strong man, but not made of stone. He's admitted how difficult it is for him each day driving to work past the hospital where he saw his baby boy and wife lift off in a helicopter Life-Flight mission to Arkansas Children's Hospital 4 1/2 months ago. It reminds me how detached I am sometimes about the emotions of it all, while both trying to shield it from Brayden and dealing with it on a daily basis. Bryan is awesome and I'm so thankful for him. He enjoyed playing at the driving range with Brayden, no matter what it meant to him. We both realized a few hours later and into the next day we didn't stop to consider Brayden's endurance in all of this! Poor guy was so eager to hit golf balls, he had some pretty sore muscles the next day from all that hitting and swinging for the first time in a while! He still says it was worth it to get to play.

We all needed that extra rest day this week with Labor Day Monday. It definitely helped me get rested up, give Brayden just a fun play day and dad, well, dad worked and has a lovely garage all cleaned out and helped mom around the house!

This week we hit the grindstone again and Brayden has been doing so much better with schoolwork. We're nearly caught up and hopefully this momentum will continue for him. It's been a tough start, but he's been excited to get to call in to his school and read with his friends again. He's also realized he doesn't want to get behind. We'll keep working hard. My company has blessed us with a new computer for Brayden's classroom! Complete with a webcam for us and for them, we'll be able to try some different techniques with keeping Brayden involved and hopefully allowing mom to have a teaching break from some of the tougher subjects. We are excited to get it all set up and try it next week. WOW! How awesome is the company that I am privileged to work for? What a wonderful gift to help Brayden? And us?!?! Thank you so much to Jeff & everyone at Malt-O-Meal for making this happen. While you're out this week, give our bagged cereal a try and keep buying more! They are a fabulous, truly family-oriented company I'm so eager to support and boast about!

Tomorrow we'll learn Brayden's counts and if we return to Little Rock yet again next Monday for another 4-day round. Bryan and I have been asked to attend a local charity event Saturday night to raise money for CMN (Children's Miracle Network). We're honored to attend and nervous about speaking. We're praying our Journey will help others realize how prevalent childhood cancers really are and that their donations will continue to help fund a state of the art hospital in our area that is actively working to help children each day live better lives. It will be hard as I've teetered back and forth from rigid and professional and the way I would approach this in my career, vs. realizing I need to speak from the heart as a mom and really tell Brayden's story. We are truly so thankful for Arkansas Children's Hospital, to have been blessed with a wonderful Oncologist within the first few hours of arriving in ICU there, who has worked to keep Brayden his priority and fight the aggressive Leukemia that was taking over, and to be blessed with a staff that is so professional, yet reassuring and treating us like family each time we're there. We don't have to worry about traveling hundreds and thousands of miles from home and separating our family while we get treatment for Brayden. For that, we are so thankful.

We've had some scares this afternoon. For the first time in a while, Brayden's been in some pain. He actually asked to take a nap today. I couldn't remember if I ever mentioned this before, but he's yet to have 1 nap at home since being diagnosed! I find that a miracle. I thought he'd be in bed all the time and weak and frail and he's been so strong. But I know today and yesterday have been tougher days for him. I'm praying he remains strong. But he's asked me if the tumor will come back or why he's hurting. I'm praying it's nothing and he's just tired and sore from activity. Please keep him in your prayers that with each visit to LR, the Leukemia will slip farther and farther away and no bad cells will EVER return. Hearing Brayden ask those tough questions just breaks my heart and catches my breath as I search for ways to reassure him yet pray for reassurance for myself! That's the scary part in all of this. And hearing those questions from him make it so much more real as his mom.

To some fun things...while at ACH last week, I mentioned how Brayden got to build some things with the crew from Home Depot. He had a blast and I was thankful he was able to have a wonderful distraction from his 4-day stay and round of chemo. Here are his pictures!


  1. I love the pictures! Brayden - you look amazing! You do not look like a child who has gone through so much.

  2. Wow Ah It is awesome how Brayden has such a clear perspective about what is happening. I think most of us would not want to ask those hard questions. We would not even want to think about them. It is also awesome how you are able to reassure when you yourself are battle with the thoughts of what if. I refuse to let this illness take that foothold in my grandsons body in Jesus Name
    Pa Pa
    Oh one more thing.... Brayden you smell like beef and chedda

  3. Lisa, it was so nice to meet you and your husband tonight at the Crossmark event! I hope we can keep in touch. We will keep the three of you in our prayers!