Journal

Journal entry by Jill Fouch

Good Friday Eve!
Matt's 5th treatment is behind us and we have had a "Non-Chemo Week!"  I have grown to love these weeks for many reasons.  They are the days that we check our "equipment" and take some water breaks.  Checking our "equipment" usually means that we evaluate our heart, body and soul for neglect from the previous week.  "Chemo Week" can cause us to become mentally, physically and emotionally tired and weak.  Although we push through with a positive attitudes, we do have times that we weep from from exhaustion.  Matt is a true fighter, very seldom does he complain or want things to change because how of he feels.  On those rare occasions that he becomes bruised and weak, we are able to use not only medical means to help, but prayer and faith in God's plan to get him back in the game.  Okay, sometimes humor helps too.

 



Today is Thursday, Friday Eve!  Not only is tomorrow Friday and the Homecoming Game, but we will celebrate Matt and his birthday.  Many adults respond with "It's just another year," or "I stopped counting years ago!" (I am guilty)  Well guess what?  Team Fouch has decided we will embrace each and every year, and celebrate!  We will continue to count the blessings we have and treat each day as a gift. Since we can't go back to yesterday, and we do not know what tomorrow brings, we need to cherish today and everyone that is part of our lives!  

I just wanted to write a quick update, I must continue preparing to celebrate Matt!  Bring on the cake, balloons, steamers and the gift of time! 

Hugs to all, Jill

Journal entry by Jill Fouch

Hello,
“Today I choose to live with gratitude for the love that fills my heart, the peace that rests within my spirit, and the voice of hope that says all things are possible.” –  Anonymous

We have thought a lot about how you adequately thank people that have helped you
more than words can ever express.  Thank You just doesn't seem like enough, nor will those words ever be enough.  The support we have felt from our family, friends, EGR community, colleagues, friends of friends, complete strangers and everyone in between has been humbling, amazing, heart filling and pure love and kindness.  
Last Wednesday evening, we attended a fundraiser set up by the Stadel Family and Carolina Lowcountry Kitchen in Gaslight Village.  Some of you may know, Matt and I struggle being on the other side of this journey, we much prefer to be the one trying to lift others during challenging times.  We find such joy in helping others and it has been difficult to agree to offers of ways to support us, mainly because it is out of our comfort zone.  I wasn't sure how walking in to an event that focused on supporting our family during a difficult time was going to feel.  Sara and Nick had asked us if we would be able to stop by for a bit, reluctantly we said we would.  It would have been easy to make up an excuse and hide at home.  However, with so many people sending us their love, prayers and support, we decided to lace up our cleats and head into Carolina Lowcountry Kitchen!  As we entered the restaurant my heart filled with peace, joy and comfort from all the love that was surrounding us.  I found my self walking around taking everything in, and locking the memory of what I was experiencing not only in my mind but filling also my soul.  I truly felt like we were at a "Pep Rally" and to be honest, I think we needed to hear the cheers.

I have found that we can have a positive attitude, but also feel the hits when we line up for a series of plays.  The past couple treatments, about two days before,  I find we are feeling anxious, maybe even scared of getting hit again by the giant that is across the line from us.  The positive attitude is not gone but it takes a pep talk to tell ourselves we will fight and follow our plan because our outcome is to score again.  If I feel this way and our kid's feel this way, I can only imagine how Matt truly feels.  Nausea is rough, cold sensitivity eliminates his food of choice, smoothies. Fatigue makes him mad because he is used to non-stop action. His rash from the Vectribix is not pleasant, in fact it cause him a great deal of pain.  It also messes with his mental and physical well being. He looks in the mirror and the reflection he sees is not one he likes.  However, when our family looks in the mirror with him, we continue to see a man that is a coach in many areas of life, very strong, faithful, full of love and hates to lose.  I am sure some of you would echo what we see. 
Tomorrow will Matt's 5th treatment.  I am not sure if he will get his dose of Vectribix tomorrow, it is common to take a break after a few treatments.  He will however still get his chemo and go home with his pump until Friday.  He will march into the cancer center and show cancer how it is done.  He will handle the discomfort knowing that victory is our goal.  He will use his faith to handle our fears as well as keep us on the path God has put in front of us.  He will take in what is going on around him and count his blessings for what we have been given.  He will most likely tell the nurse a joke or two, that may or may not be appropriate.  He will for sure be thinking about all the support you all have given us, as a source of strength to make our score Team Fouch 35-Cancer 0.  Thank you for sending us prayers and giving us pep talks, we will forever be grateful!


Journal entry by Jill Fouch

Happy Tuesday Night!
It's been a long time,  almost a week since I last posted.  I guess I will use the excuse "No News is Good News!"  Last Wednesday was Matt's 4th Chemo infusion which means the score is now Team Fouch 28-Cancer 0!  I love the feeling of having a belief in a common goal, faith in the plan that has been created and positive attitudes. After Matt's treatment we walk out almost feeling empowered, tough and like we have made a statement against this enemy called cancer.   I love knowing that we have so many others that also embrace these feelings, and are helping to support and lift us up as we fight for our win.  

Matt's liver enzyme numbers were down again this visit! This means his liver is starting to function as it should, Amen.  His blood counts remained within the normal range, which gives the green light for his chemo.  Sometimes when we see the lab results I feel like I should grab a set of pom poms and do a cheer!  Then I remember how mortified my children would be and say a prayer of thanks instead.  Matt still has a rash from the Vectibix, but he was insistent on the next dose, I am pretty sure those that know Matt are not surprised.  Apparently Matt lives by the "No Pain, No Gain"  theory.  While we are talking about good news, something wonderful happened Wednesday night after his treatment, he slept, all night!  Now, those with babies and young children can appreciate how this can make you feel like a new person.  Matt and sleep have not gotten along after his previous treatments.  Oh how we celebrate things we once took for granted.  

The side effects seem less intense this time around, his biggest two are the rash on his face and torso and being fatigued.  We have figured out how to defend against the nausea and cold sensitivity.  I am sure we will have a plan to tackle the rash at some point soon.  The fatigue will probably remain, but Matt is learning how to relax and take naps.

We all went to the game Friday night until half time.  EAU Dance showcased the sweetest dancers and sent some "Love" for Team Fouch at the end.  We were so touched by this special surprise.  Jake was out during last week's game because of his concussion. He will be back this week against Wayland, he can hardly wait.  As I sat at the game, I was able to see what brings true enjoyment to others.  The enjoyment for some was simply going to a game on a beautiful Friday night, for others it was seeing friends and relatives they look forward to seeing at Friday night games.  Then there were the "little kids" that were so excited to watch the "big boys" play or the marching band perform.  I saw so many elementary kids that felt empowered because they had the freedom to go to the concession stand with a friend to get a special treat.  I witnessed middle school students hang with their friends without having to stay within their parent's sight.  I saw the high school students dressed according to the chosen theme, we could hear them chant and of course the paint was hard to miss.  I observed people of all ages sitting, standing and cheering together for a common cause.  I have intentionally spent the last few days "Enjoying the game of life."  I have smiled at strangers upon entering the grocery store, the bank, the gas station etc.  I have said "Hi" and followed up with "How are you doing?"  Then, I stopped and gave them my undivided attention as they answered.  I  brought this up as an example during my "Links Connect" classes. I figured I should practice what I was teaching, and pay attention to my body language and listening skills!  While on walks, I noticed the joy on children's faces that had found a butterfly, spider or a very large leaf. I gave encouraging words to the parent with a toddler in meltdown mode, I have certainly been there:)  I slowed down my pace to walk with a middle school student down the hallway that looked a bit gloomy.  I sat with some 7th grade boys in the cafeteria, they didn't scatter, they actually wanted to talk.  I gave my self a goal of giving compliments to others.  The rules were, I had to give  genuine compliments, not something superficial.  I made sure my children and husband heard the three most powerful words (in my book), "I love You!" each day, sometimes several times per day.  Matt and I have done some soul searching and praying about how we can continue to "Pay it Forward" using our time and talents to support others.  

So many people have said "How can you say you are enjoying this game?"  Well, unfortunately it takes something like a diagnosis of stage IV Colon Cancer to make us see the bigger picture. Many times it takes a life changing event to slow down, count your blessings and appreciate what you have been given.

So as we head into the second half of our week, I have one request for those that are interested.  "Enjoy Your Game!"  
Love to all, Team Fouch

Journal entry by Jill Fouch

We are three days away from scoring again!  Wednesday we will march into Lemmon Holten, meet with our oncologist, go through the routine labs and if all blood counts are good, we will carry the ball towards the goal line!  

We always joke around that if we didn’t have bad luck, we wouldn’t have any luck at all!  In the past three weeks we have replaced our water heater, our dishwasher and had to call the plumber to unclog our drain.  Naturally we thought we were done, well until this weekend rolled around, as you will read.  Of course this type of bad luck doesn't seem to hit us the same way it might have seven weeks ago.  It is funny how your perspective changes when you receive a diagnosis such as Stage IV colon Cancer.
Some of our not so great luck followed us into the weekend.   On Friday The EGR Pioneers battled so hard but fell short of a victory according to the scoreboard.  In my mind, given the size of some of the players on Muskegon’s team, I call it a victory that everyone stayed relatively healthy.  Jake was fortunate to play and across the line from him was a 300+ LB high school "boy.".  Jake is about 175-180 LBS after a big meal.  Well, he did his job and then on a kick off took a big hit and ended up with a mild concussion.  We were so proud of him, he put his heart into each play, taking full advantage of being present on the field.  I have to admit,  I was "nervecited" all week. (Maddie's way of saying nervous and excited)  However, Like any athlete he was "present" each time they lined up, feet on the ground taking in the moment. He is doing better today and will follow the protocol for concussions before playing again.  Zac had a great game on Saturday!  They won, and it was so fun to watch 5th and 6th graders play as a team!
After Zac’s game, because there is never a dull moment, Matt and I made a quick trip to ER, per his oncologist's request.  He had some swelling and mystery bruising on his ankle.  After an ultrasound we were told no blood clot!  Maddie had a fun time this weekend attending the game Friday, she was actually somewhat interested:)  She started dance today and will begin her swim season this week.  We are finding that busy is good, it feels "normal."

I titled this post “Being Present” because this journey has been a learning opportunity for Matt and I on doing just that.  I have found myself doing this so much more than before July 18, 2018.  I am giving myself “grace” for yesterday, and trying not to think about tomorrow.  I am happy to be right here, in the moment.  I am enjoying most of the non-stop busy that life gives us, quiet moments and all that today has to offer.  I am realizing that worrying about what may happen does no good, I rarely can control "what might happen.".  What I can do is be present, and control my reactions to what comes my way.  I can control how I listen to Matt and the kids.  I can control my daily actions, reactions and my words.  When Matt and I started on this journey we decided that Cancer would not control our lives, but rather, we will control our lives and cancer happens to be part of it.  Being present surely helps this thought process. It’s amazing what can wait and what isn’t important.  I find myself letting things roll off my back, where before I would spend precious time trying to figure out how to fix or make everything okay.  By doing this I missed memories, laughter and times of joy.  We find ourselves putting our phones down, taking walks and being better listeners.  I personally have missed phone calls, forgot to return texts and or emails, been a free cycle failure and missed messages.  Not intentionally, but because I am "Being Present."  

I wish you all a wonderful week, filled with many moments of "Being Present."  Keep those cheers, prayers and good vibes coming!

Love to all, Team Fouch

Journal entry by Jill Fouch

Happy Friday Eve! 
I just wanted to give you a quick update on Team Fouch.  We have conquered another week, tackling our opponent, day by day, play by play!  Matt started feeling like himself by Monday morning.  The last infusion of chemo was a bit more intense when it came to side effects.  We were prepared with the right attitude, support and leadership from our head coach.  The rash came, as they predicted, but we had the tools to help ease the pain. The mouth-sores came, but we were armed with "Magic Mouthwash" and a full bottle of mouth rinse. The nausea came, but we were able to keep it under control.  The fatigue hit, but Matt was able to sleep as needed without feeling like he had to do something. 

He made it to Jake's game!  He sat for a little over a quarter, watching our other favorite team, The Pioneers, battle against Forest Hills Northern. We were so incredibly touched by FHN's support.  They also wore "Team Fouch" stickers on the back of their helmets.  Jake gave him his routine thumb's up while running on the field, which gave Matt peace knowing that any amount of time he stayed and watched would be okay!  Jake has always had this habit of looking for Matt during games. This has gone on in every sport he has played on since he was very young.  When he couldn't find Matt during the second quarter, it was Zac that told him that "Dad will be listening to the game, and cheering really loud!"  Sometimes I think that kid is an old soul buried in an eleven year old's body. Maddie and I cheered from the stands with Bumpa, Hamma and Grandpa Fouch!  The win was fantastic by The Pioneers!

So I titled this update as "Water Bottle Half-Full" because that is how we are looking at life.  Yes, Matt would have loved to stay for the whole game, but, he was lucky enough to see what he did just a day after a chemo infusion.  When we were at the Cancer Center Friday to have his pump disconnected we both noticed a few things.  The office waiting room was filled with people, all with different stories.  Some were wheeled in by staff from the nursing home they resided in.  Some were young and others were elderly.  Some people had family members with them, some had friends and some were alone.  Some looked very ill, others looked like they could run a marathon. Some patients were business executives and others had different abilities that made them special and unique. As I continued to observe what was happening around the waiting room, it hit me! We indeed have a glass (water bottle) that is at least half full.  And guess what?! When our glass starts to run low, we can refill it in so many ways!  For this we are grateful!  Thank you for helping us keep it half full (many times it is overflowing)!  The prayers, notes, good thoughts, hugs, kind words and your unbelievably kind actions have kept us hydrated!  
Wishing you all a weekend that has your glass at least half full. 
Love to all, Team Fouch


Journal entry by Jill Fouch

Hello to all our faithful, loving and supportive fans!
Today we completed treatment 3/12, so in other words the first quarter is complete.  We continued to move the ball yard by yard focused on reaching the end-zone.  As we moved the ball we made sure that we played fair, acted like a team, helped one another up and cheered so all could hear.  Matt is trying to settle into a routine while he is off from school.  He comments once and a while that he is "bored!"  Well, that is a mistake because I have a million things he can do:)  Matt tries to rest for some of the day, with hopes he can make it to practice and spend some quality time with us afterwards.  He does get fatigued quickly which is his primary complaint.  Since I think I was a  professional napper in my past life I am quick to give him tricks and tips of the trade.  The kids are easing into the routine of school, sports and homework. I am feeling grateful for everyone of my colleagues at school, they have been so supportive to all of us. My friends continue to amaze me with their words of encouragement, messages of faith and sometimes I am even scolded for not being able to say "no!"  Those who know us, also know how incredibly difficult it is to let go of some involvement at school, in the community and giving back when the opportunity arises.  Matt and I were discussing this and will continue to pay it forward in some way as we go for the win.  Doing what's right for others brings great strength, joy and light to our entire family.  

Last Saturday, our families came together to watch our other favorite team, EGR, play at GVSU.  Although the boys fell short of a win, the did work as a team, helped one another up, cheered for others even if they were not in the lime light and learned so many valuable lessons.  Seeing so many Team Fouch hats warmed our hearts.  It is so emotional for both of us when we are at events, we are humbled and feel such love and support.  We may look like we are hiding, however, we are processing and taking in every positive vibe we can.  

The kids and I are so thankful for the many gift cards and meals.  The only negative part of this is that I may have to step up my cooking skills.  What a true blessing to come home from school, sports and appointments to find a meal waiting for us. 
Words cannot express our gratitude for all that you, our faithful fans, have provided.  

During the past six weeks, Matt and I have made it our mission to stay positive, keep our faith in God's plan, and always stick together as a team.  By doing these things, we are able to make  a stand in this game against cancer. 
I tend to use quotes to give me strength, help me lead by example, remind me what is important in life, make me laugh, as inspiration and motivation and most importantly to lift me up when I fall.  The quote that has always been my mantra is "I will choose joy!"  I must say this to myself a dozen times a day.  It is amazing the effect this has on my attitude and heart.  Matt uses quotes as well.   Many of them come from movies and television.  Some of these shouldn't be posted, but feel free to ask him when you see him:)  He does have some serious and inspirational quotes he uses around our children and while teaching and coaching. He has embraced a quote while on this journey, most of you have heard it, "It's Game Time!"  Another favorite quote of Matt's is, "The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it." (Moliere)  I challenge you to find a word, phrase or quote that inspires you, motivates you, makes you smile and give you confidence to believe in yourself.

It would be fun to hear what you have chosen, you never know this may make an impact on someone else.

I will leave you with a few other quotes that we as a family have embraced, many prior to Matt's diagnosis.
Enjoy the week, keep sending prayers, positive vibes and keep cheering!
Love to All, Team Fouch


Colossians 3:23-24
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

 
Philippians 4:13
“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

“Courage is taking those first steps toward your dreams even if you can’t see the path ahead.”

“Ability is what you are capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.”

“Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.”

"Be happy in the moment, that's enough.  Each moment is all we need, not more."-Mother Theresa

"Life is like a game, play it...life is too precious, do not destroy it."-Mother Theresa
"You are greater than you know."-Mother Theresa

"In a world where you can be anything, Be Kind."- Wonder

 “When given the choice between being right or being kind choose kind.”-Wonder

“It's what you've done with your time, how you've chosen to spend your days, and whom you've touched this year. That, to me, is the greatest measure of success.” -Wonder

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." Ghandi

Your TALENT determines what you can do. Your MOTIVATION determines how much you are willing to do. Your ATTITUDE determines how well you do it.--Lou Holtz

Life is TEN percent what happens to you, and NINETY percent how you respond to it. – Lou Holtz

"We would ACCOMPLISH many more things if we did not think of them as IMPOSSIBLE."--Vince Lombardi

 The game of life is a lot like football. You have to tackle your problems, block your fears, and score your points when you get the opportunity. -Lewis Grizzard

“Courage is taking those first steps toward your dreams even if you can’t see the path ahead.”

“Ability is what you are capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.”

 

“Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.”

 

 

Journal entry by Jill Fouch

Hello from Team Fouch!

Team Fouch 14-Cancer 0
Matt had his second treatment yesterday.  After talking to our Oncologist, having his blood drawn, he was hooked up and we prepared to score our second touchdown.  The blood test came back with his WBC, RBC, Hemoglobin and platelets all in the normal range!  That news right there was a huge play toward scoring our second goal.  We were feeling so lucky that he didn't feel many side effects after our last score, and hoping that this would continue to be the case after his treatment.  He felt well enough to go to the scrimmages last night, and of course had his body guard with him(Zac).  His face showed pure joy as he watched all levels play, especially as he watched Jake in his first varsity scrimmage.  He did have some cold sensitivity last night.  This is a common side effect with the type of chemo he is on.  Touching cold and/or eating/drinking cold food and drinks are painful when this happens.  Today, he claims it is better!  I am not surprised because he is bound and determined to continue playing this game and will not let pain slow him down.

So I mentioned to "Cue the Band" in the title of this post.  It seems that when people are going through a hard time, a certain song gives them strength, focus and determination.  Well, leave it to Maddie to find just the right song.  She started Matt's day by blasting "I Am The Champion" by Carrie Underwood.  The lyrics and video can be found at the end of this entry.  It is a great song with a great message.  I challenge you to listen to it once for Matt!  

Until Next Time, keep praying and sending positive thoughts!
Team Fouch

I am The Champion, By Carrie Underwood
Lyrics



I'll be the last one standing
Two hands in the air, I'm a champion
You'll be looking up at me when it's over
I live for the battle, I'm a soldier, yeah

I'm a fighter like Rocky
Put you flat on your back like Ali
Yeah, I'm the greatest, I'm stronger
Paid my dues, can't lose, Imma own ya, ay

I've been working my whole life
And now it's do or die

I am invincible, unbreakable
Unstoppable, unshakeable
They knock me down, I get up again
I am the champion
You're gonna know my name
You can't hurt me now
I can't feel the pain
I was made for this, yeah, I was born to win
I am the champion

When they write my story
They're gonna say that I did it for the glory
But don't think that I did it for the fame, yeah
I did it for the love of the game, yeah
And this is my chance I'm taking
All them old records I'm breaking
All you people watching on the TV
You go ahead and put your bets on me, ay

I've been waiting my whole life
To see my name in lights

I am invincible, unbreakable
Unstoppable, unshakeable
They knock me down, I get up again
I am the champion
You're gonna know my name
You can't hurt me now
I can't feel the pain
I was made for this, yeah, I was born to win
I am the champion, oh

Born champion, Luda
The C is for the courage I possess through the drama
H is for the hurt but it's all for the honor
A is for my attitude working through the patience
Money comes and goes so the M is for motivation
Gotta stay consistent, the P is to persevere
The I is for integrity, innovative career
The O is optimistic, open and never shut
And the N is necessary 'cause I'm never giving up
See they ask me how I did it, I just did it from the heart
Crushing the competition, been doing it from the start
They say that every champion is all about his principles
Carrie

I am invincible, unbreakable
Unstoppable, unshakeable
They knock me down, I get up again
I am the champion
You're gonna know my name
You can't hurt me now
I can't feel the pain
I was made for this, yeah, I was born to win
I am the champion

I'm the champion, yeah
Surpassed all rivals
It's all about who wants it the most (I am the champion)

Fight for what we believe in
That's what champions are made of

I am the champion


Songwriters: Brett James / Chris De Stefano / Christopher Brian Bridges / Carrie Underwood

The Champion lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC








Journal entry by Holly Lampen

Hi Everyone
After much work, Sue McKeel, Kathy Larson and I finally convinced Jill that some meals might be helpful. We all love Team Fouch so much and are looking for ways we can show it, so here is the link. 

Journal entry by Jill Fouch

Hello, and Happy Sunday!  What a beautiful day! We embraced each and every minute of the weekend.  Matt had a busy week that was so wonderful for his mental well-being.  He made it to almost every football practice and stayed as long as he could. (which most days was the entire time) Mornings were much easier, by the middle of the afternoon practice he was hot and tired.  Naps and/or rest was a great help in between.  Maddie returned from camp on Friday and had a great time.  She was tired as well, and appreciated having some time to decompress.  Zac started his week as his dad's bodyguard at practices, then had a short trip to my sister and brother-n-law's house.  No news to us that he was spoiled every minute he was there.  Jake made it through his first week of varsity football practices.  He came home sweaty, tired, hot and hungry.  Most importantly he came home so happy!  This weekend we spent time together, soaking in the last days of summer before I start professional development on Tuesday at school.  Our kids start next Monday, August 20.  When I first heard about our early start date, I have to admit I was sad.  However, I am ready to wrap up summer and get our routine established and more of Matt's chemo treatments completed so we can mark them as "done."

So I titled this post as "Meet Our Team Members!"  We have had so much support from everyone!  Matt and I reflect on this often, it brings great joy.  We know that due to this support and our faith, that is how we have gained strength, a positive attitude and peace about our journey.  Of course we have so many relatives, friends, students, former students, student's families, colleagues and community members cheering us on in the stands!  It is not possible to adequately express how this has made us feel, and will continue to carry us going forward.  We have also had our immediate family members providing support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I thought it would be fitting to introduce our families and the current position they hold on our team.


Assistant Coaches-Our parents, Carolyn and Gary Vaughan and Jerry and Sue Fouch- Looking at our own EGR staff, I know how important it is to have many people with different talents supporting the head coach and the team.  God of course is our head coach, but each of our parents provide help, instruction, pep talks, needed hugs,  unconditional love and inspiration to us.  These are all things that will continue to make us a successful team.

Referees- My sister and brother-n-law-Kristen (Sissie as my kids refer to her) and Uncle Tim Hennessey.  These two help with some of the tough decisions and tasks.  They are monitoring our team emotionally and making sure that penalties are called when necessary. (stress can sometimes require team members to take a brief water break)

Team Nutritionists-Matt's sister Allison and our brother-n-law Brody Duncan.  When Matt first came home from the hospital, he took on an entirely new way of fueling himself.  Allison and Brody were by his side, using their experiences and knowledge to help.  They have researched, shared information and given us some hands on instruction.  This has been very important to keep Matt's body ready for chemo, hopefully sidelining or decreasing side effects of his treatment.

Media and Marketing Specialists-Matt's brother David and our sister-n-law Ashley Fouch.  They have spent endless hours of sharing ways to show Matt support.  They made the hats possible, and WOW, just WOW!  They have also been able to communicate to others about what our journey looks like, which sometimes has become so exhausting for us to do.

Team Chaplins-My brother Greg Vaughan and my nephew Brady Vaughan.  My brother has been able to strengthen our faith in ways he may not be aware of.  He gives us things to ponder and provides guidance when needed.  He has helped give words of encouragement to our kids and helping them understand that "God has a plan."  My nephew Brady, sends us texts that lift our spirits, come from the heart and seem to come at just the right moments. After he found out, he rode his bike to church and lit candles for his "Uncle Matt." 

Team Trainer-My sister-n-law Karri (greg's wife), is a PA in Traverse City.  Karri has been our go to with questions that arise about physical, mental and emotional components of cancer.  She is always a phone call away, but she checks in each day to see how things are going, while giving us encouragement.  She is able to break down some of the medical terminology we don't quite understand and was on speaker phone for our first appointment to the oncologist.  This was so comforting to both of us.

Comic Relief-Cooper and Sully Fouch, David and Ashley's kids.  Anyone that went or attends East knows about the "Chicken Man" at games. If you don't know about "Chicken Man" he is a HS senior that has been picked by the previous "Chicken Man."   He has the important job of swinging a rubber chicken above the student's heads while leading them in a chat after each touchdown. Well these two come pretty close to hyping up the crowd when they are around.  We are lucky to have these two around showing us that humor is good medicine.  Really,Who doesn't love popcorn and lemonade while picking up "Team Fouch" hats!.  I think these two have a future in sales.

Cheerleaders/Dance Team-Max (Karri and Greg's son) and Scout and Luci (Allison and Brody's girls)-These three are rocking the entertainment, leading group cheers and performing dances for whatever might be happening during the game.  They really don't realize that they doing this, but we do and love it!  Sometimes it's pure innocence that helps us see what is important in life. 

Players to watch-Jake, Maddie and Z- These three are the players coaches love.  They switch positions on the field and during the game when asked, because it's for the team.  I have never seen such flexibility and commitment to do whatever our team might need.  These kids are strong, tough and have their sights set on a win!  

Matt and I sure feel fortunate to have the best team and fans around.  We are so appreciative and will continue to need you all during this game.  The game may drag on, water breaks and time outs will be needed, some calls may go our way and others we will want to argue.  We will see turn overs, first downs, "Hail Mary" plays, crazy plays, unexpected penalties, plays that make us smile and cheer.  However, yard by yard, we will work towards scoring against cancer.  
Enjoy your week!  Keep those prayers, encouraging words and loud cheers coming!

Journal entry by Jill Fouch

Those of you reading about our journey, you get two updates today!  As Matt posted earlier, he went to practice today, both practices.  It felt good to get him out of the house doing something he loves.  I felt a bit uneasy, since he hasn't been out of my sight much in the past couple weeks, lucky Matt!  He thought he was free, but Zac assured me he would keep his dad under a watchful eye.  (He also mentioned getting our awesome trainer Courtney for back up if needed, he is something else!)
I think Z looks forward to practices as much as Matt does.  Z has been on the sidelines since he could understand that he needed to stay out of the way, when the coaches are yelling at him for water, they really aren't angry and what is said on the field stays on the field.  Jake made it through both practices, coming home hot, hungry, tired, but super excited!  Maddie is at Springhill Camp this week.   It seems strange to have her gone, she is my deep thinker and seems to know just when I need a hug.  I ventured out this evening to run errands, after my 4th or 5th call home to check in, Matt sort of indicated that I didn't need to call again:)

Tomorrow, August 7th, we celebrate our 19th wedding anniversary.  Each year we have searched for the perfect card, perhaps splurged on a gift, went to dinner and toasted to another year filled with joy, love and adventures!  This year, our anniversary feels different, it reminds me of the vows we said and what they truly mean.  When I repeated "In sickness and in health," I never dreamed how important that single line would be nineteen years later.  I have a whole new appreciation for our vows as I cheer Matt on and commit to being his biggest fan, throughout this entire game we are playing.  Fortunately we have so many fans supporting us, cheering loudly, helping us up, getting us prepared for the next play, coaching us, giving us a pat on the back, a hug, a prayer and reminding us that their is no "I" in team.  

I know the game we are playing is tough, but right now I feel a strength I have never felt. I feel great joy because Matt and I can celebrate another year together.  I am experiencing love that only seems to get stronger every day. I feel at peace knowing that our family will continue to make memories each day.  

Keep those prayers coming, positive thoughts and good vibes coming!  And most importantly, remember...

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

1 Corinthians 13:4–8a 

Love to all, Team Fouch

Journal entry by Jill Fouch

Sometimes you prepare for that Friday night football game all week and things go exactly as planned.  Sometimes you plan for the game and the other team puts in some unexpected plays,  plays that weren’t on film and have their star players return after injury.  Well, Team Fouch needs to adjust our game plan that we thought we had figured out in our most precious game, everyday life!

After abnormal results on some blood work a month ago, again last Wednesday, again Sunday in ER, again today and then an x-ray and CT scan, Matt has been told he most likely has stage IV Colon Cancer.  This team we are facing is tough, scary and likes to win, just checking stats, outcomes etc. will tell us that.  With that being said, our team, Team Fouch will not back down, we will approach each play with love, strength, faith and by listening to God, the almighty coach.  Please say some prayers for our family as we prepare for this showdown.   This isn’t a game we wanted to play, no one wants this opponent called cancer, but now we will play tough, we will play hard and we will not quit.
So we now acknowledge what we know and that is...“It’s Game Time” and Matt Fouch is out to win!
Matt’s Story

Site created on July 19, 2018

Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement.   Please pray for our entire family.

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