In the nearly 8 months since Joshua finished treatment, he has been doing very well. He started middle school and currently is in the 5th grade. While transitioning to a new school has been challenging,he has been working very hard and earning all A’s.
He has continued on his quest for progress in Taekwondo and this week and moved from a recommended 1st Degree Black Belt to a 1st Degree (decided) Black Belt. We are extremely proud he has accomplished this goal nearly 5 years in the making.
On the health front, Joshua is officially medication-free and as a result has been sleeping better. Although he isn’t taking any harmful substances anymore, he frequently complains about being tired and his legs hurting. We have been using natural bath salts and topical oils which has minimized some discomfort. As there is a high rate of neuropathy and bone growth problems from taking high dose steroids and Vincristine over long periods of time we wanted to check things out. Last month we visited a neurologist and an orthopedist to investigate the leg pain. The good news is his blood work looks good and structurally everything is fine. The doctors could not pinpoint the cause of the pain and the orthopedist has recommended physical therapy to help with balance difficulty and elasticity of his muscles.
A few years ago our hospital had given Make-A-Wish Joshua’s name so he could have an opportunity to dream big. We also found that his search for the wish helped to focus his attention on something positive during treatment. At that time Joshua had a wish of seeing an active volcano and Make-A-Wish has arranged a visit to Volcanic National Park and Kīlauea which happens to be very active right now. We waited for some time to pass post-treatment so Joshua’s immune system would be up for travel and we are thrilled to report that Joshua’s wish is being fulfilled and we are traveling on Sunday to Hawaii. On our way back from Hawaii we will be spending Thanksgiving with Joshua’s Great Grandmother who turned 95 last month – a trip long overdue.
We will take lots of pictures and be sure to post about the highlights from the trip.
We wish you and your loved ones a healthy and fulfilling Thanksgiving.