Lance is NED!! Lance is in the eighth grade. He enjoys being manager for the DHS football, basketball and track & field teams. He is all boy alright! He goes back to St. Jude in July 2014 for annual scans. Please keep him in your prayers.
August 2008 I am a little boy who has been diagnosed with osteosarcoma. It is a type of bone cancer. I live in New Mexico, but my parents wanted me to have the best treatment in the country so we are here in Memphis, TN at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital. My working diagnosis was made in my home town by my primary care provider. She is a very smart lady who did not waste any time by helping us get referred to St. Jude. My dad who is a New Mexico National Guardsman was stationed in Afghanistan when we found out about my illness. He was able to come home and be with me and my mom. My mom and dad are "tag teaming" with each other to make sure one parent is here with me and that a parent is home with my sister, Lindsey. Once a month we are all together in Memphis.
December 2008 After six rounds of chemo therapy, I had surgery on December 1, 2008 to remove the portion of my leg bone that had the tumor growing inside of it. I have an internal prosthesis and I am currently continuing my chemo treatment to kill any other cancer cells that may be floating around my body. I am going through physical therapy, where I am learning how to walk again.
February 2009 I am halfway through my protocol!! I am now in the single digits of chemo therapy treatments left (only nine). I continue to work hard at PT and I can now put weight on my leg. I will soon be walking with one crutch and I hope to be walking on my own in a few months.
June 2009 I have only one more chemo treatment left!! My body is very tired and my counts are all over the place. Once I recover from the last chemo and have end of treatment scans I will be going back home. I am walking with only one crutch and many times I can walk without it.
July 2009 I completed my last round of chemo. I am waiting for my counts to stabilize before I can go back to New Mexico.
August 2009 We are at home in New Mexico. I am doing well and it feels so good to be living together under the same roof with my family.
September - December 2009 I was home schooled with my buddy, Joey. His mom our dear family freind made it possible so that my body could recover without being exposed to all the normal kid school germs. My dad and I started playing the guitar since I cannot play sports any more, that's ok, because I can play better than he can. You do not have to have a ball in your hand to have a good competition. =)
January 2010 I returned back to school at Dora!! I am really enjoying being with all my friends. I turned 10, I had clear scans and I got a pet.
I know I have lots of people praying for me and I want to let them know we can feel the prayers.
My mom and dad will be keeping friends and family updated in the Journal section of my web page here at the caringbridge web site.
Well hello to all from the Dynamic Duo here in Memphis!
I am happy to report that there are no negative or positive results and that's because there were no scans for this visit. Lance has reached the point that he has scans only once a year. The reason we are here is so Lance can grow. He's at an age where he grows too much to wait a full year between leg lengthenings.
The doctors measured Lanceman and they determined that his left leg needed to be lengthened to catch up with his right leg, so they did their magic and stretched his left leg one centimeter. He's pretty sore but I guess that's to be expected when your leg grows a centimeter in a matter of seconds. He has spent most of today sleeping and resting. I am happy to report he came out of anesthesia much better this time.
It may sound strange but I kind of enjoy coming to Memphis. It’s not because we have so much fun here, we do manage to have some fun, but hospitals, even one as nice as St. Jude aren’t the best places for having fun. The reason I enjoy coming here is I always get a sense of thankfulness when I come here. Thankful for my wife, my daughter Lindsey, and my son Lance. Thankful for the health of my family and myself. Thankful for being able to run, an ability I wish Lance still had. Thankful for the people who have donated to St. Jude, which makes this wonderful place possible. On that note, I want to especially thank the Dora Lady Coyotes' volleyball team for donating the proceeds from their Pink Game fund raiser to St. Jude. The ceremony honoring or remembering those affected by cancer was truly moving. I’m thankful for the wonderful communities who supported us through our fight with cancer. I’m thankful that Lance successfully completed chemotherapy over 4 years ago, and having Lance live his "normal" life. I spoke with a young lady here today who has had multiple brain tumors and has been undergoing treatment here since 2001. Thankful for this place of miracles, St. Jude Children's Hospital. Thankful for an appreciation for the gifts in life that I’ve been given.
I hope this post has made you a little thankful as well, if nothing else you’re probably thankful my ramblings have come to an end. Thanks for taking one step at a time with the Fletcher Family.
Joe and Lance
P.S. Lance's mom has a request of the DHS Football team: you need to win tomorrow's semifinal game so your manager can be at the championship game next week!