Journal entry by Jill Fouch

Hello Team Fouch Fans, Supporters, Officials, Entertainment Crew, Hospitality Specialists, Assistant Coaches, Team Chaplin, Spiritual Leaders, Cheerleaders, Medical Staff,  Players Big and Small, Old and New and everyone that keeps us energized and ready to gain yardage each day of this journey,

We are in Houston, Texas!  I guess we came to MD Anderson on a recruiting trip:)  Since our fields were buried last week in snow and now flooded from the warm up, this was a great time to take a break from our game in progress and check our game plan and possibly bring on some new players.  The good news is we can keep our medical team in Grand Rapids and have them work with the team here on our game plan.  

We were anxious about leaving the kids for the week, missing school and climbing on a plane with little to no knowledge of what to expect. We knew we were leaving our kids, Kabookie too, in good hands.  We also had our note taker, negotiator, terminator and comic relief person come along with us on this first trip, my sister Kristen.  After our 6:30 am flight yesterday morning, our anxiety decreased and we were ready to learn a lot!  We have found that you never know who you will meet and how they will impact your life.  A lady my sister works with in Canton, connected us to a couple that have been on a journey very similar to ours.  After the connection was made, guess what, they were going to be in Houston the same time as we were.  We were able to meet them for dinner last night, share stories, ask questions and laugh about our experiences thus far.  The best thing is, they only live a couple hours away which means we can stay in contact and hopefully support one another. 

So nothing in life is a coincidence, we know that God has his hand in what happens to our family and ultimately has a plan for us.  This becomes clearer and clearer as we take our journey.  How smoothly being referred and getting our appointments for this week, connecting with Brad and Erin, today being "World Cancer Day", Kabookie Week starting at the high school and the only numbers in our wifi pass code being 23 (a number that is significant in our family), clicking with our doctor immediately are only a few signs.  So maybe the 70 degree weather too:))) 

First of all, MD Anderson is exactly what everyone has told us, AMAZING!  There are so many people that are helpful, I am pretty sure we had the "I have no idea" look on our faces this morning.  This also included a person in the waiting areas asking if they get you some water. A cafeteria that serves Chick-Fil-A and makes Sushi!  The Uber and Lyft drivers are nice, drive nicer cars than I could ever dream of, and give us front door service.  Our accommodations are wonderful and make us feel at home.  This place is a fine tuned machine and has thought of everything possible to teach and support families taking this Journey.  They have inspiration plaques throughout the hospital, the first one we saw this morning said, "Who's a survivor?"  "You became a survivor on the day you were diagnosed!"  We hadn't looked at survivor-ship in that way before.  Yes, they are right, Matt is and will be a survivor! 

As we spend our week here we are trying to embrace the experience and look at it as a vacation:)  Yes, we are here to make sure we are doing the best treatments and are on the right track, we are recruiting and evaluating our game plans.  Yes, there are appointments, blood draws, several tests, a schedule to follow and times that cause us to wait.  But also there is the opportunity to explore, talk to people and learn about their journey, break out of our shells and sit right next to someone we don't know in the waiting room and end up carrying on a 45 minutes conversation and most importantly count our blessings.  We might not be on a "vacation" but in a a crazy way we are.  We are together without our daily demands and distractions.  We are able to experience lots of new things in a city we haven't been to before (or sleep), we can walk outside with out a winter coat and boots and we are driven around like we are important:)  A friend of mine posted something on FB about vacations and I saw this fitting.

So as we continue to follow our Coach's plan and "find a vacation everyday." We also encourage you to keep those positive thoughts and vibes coming.  Keep the cheers loud and proud!  The prayers and love you send us each day keep us confident, bring about a sense of peace and fuel our faith.  

Time to get back to our recruiting process, until next time, FAITH over fear!

Love to all, 
Matt and Jill
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