Nicholas finished treatment on 11/18/2010. He will continue to go for blood work for the next 3 years. He is still in remission.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from The Shannon Family

Hello All,
As many of you know, I did not send out Christmas cards this year. However, I did write my annual Christmas letter and wanted to share it with you all. We enjoyed receiving all the cards this year from our family and friends. We are going to enjoy the next week as a family and spending lots of time together. Wishing many Christmas joys this year.

Merry Christmas to All Our Family and Friends,

I am not even sure how to start our letter this year. We are first and foremost so proud of our children and all they have accomplished over the past year. We have come a long way since the beginning of our journey with Nicholas. Let’s start with the youngest this year:

He is now 17 months and heading straight into the terrible 2 stage. He was walking at 10 months and chatting up a storm shortly after that. We believe he is saying phrases now and we can even understand what he wants. He is so happy all the time and stays curious about what his brothers are up to. He does not miss a beat. Thomas will make you laugh and cheer up your day when you need it. We know he does not understand everything going on with our family, but he does know how much we love him and how to keep us smiling all the time.

Our strongest child. I have to say this because he hardly complains about anything. (Except on steroid week) He endures a lot with his treatment and accepts the things he can & can not do at times. He is so smart and really enjoying Kindergarten this year. I think it is about socializing. He is making new friends and loves riding the bus. I do not know what goes on during the bus ride, but somehow it is super cool to be part of it. He started Karate and just earned his first yellow belt.

Our passive child. He plays soccer and Karate (purple belt). He is having a great year in 1st grade. He is above average in reading and loves his word search puzzles. He has lost 2 teeth and we think at least 3 are loose. He is very helpful and really into the Holiday spirit this year. He put up most of our decorations and stockings. He continues to look after Nick and ‘Wish’ Nick would get better and not be sick. I have to say that if you ask Colby what his one wish would be, it would be that… Nick gets better. He is such an unselfish child and we are so proud of him.

Greg is still working at Bose, going on 15 years with the company. He is back in the Mechanical Design group and building some great products. (We get to test them from time to time). Karen is working at SC Johnson and going on 4 years now. She is enjoying her job and the challenges of it as well. We were very fortunate to take 2 family vacations this year. Although, we never thought we would actually be going to a camp for families with cancer, the experiences we had were amazing. Hole in the Wall Gang Camp (started by Paul Newman) was over a weekend in May. The place was amazing and it was our first time to actually relax and enjoy family time. Then we went to Camp Sunshine in Maine. The camp was wonderful and gave Mom & Dad some time off together. We met wonderful families and heard their stories of survival.

We continue our journey with Nick and staying strong as a family. We are blessed to have our family together for the Holidays and Nick in a better phase of his treatment. The support and prayers have not gone unnoticed and we are truly thankful to have you in our lives.
God bless and enjoy the Holidays!

Monday, December 21, 2009

The snow storm and clinic

Hi All,
We had a great weekend as a family and celebrated with friends. We went over the Love house on Friday night to give Grammy her presents before she drives down to NC to visit the Wykoff Family for the holidays (Karen's sister and family). Saturday night we celebrated at Al & Robyn Nasuti's house. It felt so great to relax, enjoy some adult beverages, good food and just let the kids play. We woke up Sunday to about a foot of snow. The kids played outside twice and enjoyed the hot coco by the fire after. Tom has his first experience of playing in the snow. He loved it, until he stuck his face right in the snow. I actually brought my camera outside and took pictures.
Today, Nick decided he would like Papa (Boston) to take him to clinic. It is hard to give Nick that little freedom of Greg or I not being there and asking the nurses about him and always checking up on everything that is going on at clinic. Papa does a great job and of course I send him with my questions and concerns. His counts were good:

WBC: 2.2
RBC: 9.8
Plts: 263
Neut. 27.7

We were originally scheduled to have Nick's next spinal (LP-lumbar puncture) on the 29th but the doctor moved the appt. to the 31st. I guess there are a few doctors taking some time off, so no one is available on the 29th to perform the LP. There are no issues with moving the date out a couple of days for Nick, it will be an adjustment for us. Nick will not start his next cycle (w/steroids & Vincristine) until the 31st. We will be moving clinic days to a Thursday for at least a little while. We will try to catch back up to a Monday clinic day over time. The good news for us is Nick will be able to enjoy his Christmas school break the whole time and not have those 'cranky' (steroids) in him.
As I mentioned before the Sturbridge Federated Youth Group is hosting a charity dance in honor of Nick and The Tomorrow Fund. We will be bringing the kids to the dance on Wed. night. We are looking forward to meeting Ryan and Sharie, who have worked very hard to put the whole event together. We will post pictures after the event. Take care, Karen