Journal entry by Jill Fouch

It has been a while since I have posted an update about our journey.  It makes me think of the saying "No news, is good news!"  I am happy to say this is the case right now in our lives.  Since I last updated, Matt has started his new treatments and completed three rounds.  His side effects seem to change a little each time which keeps us on our toes.  Nausea and fatigue have been consistent side effects of all Matt's treatments.  However, this treatment has brought about joint pain and the dreaded hair loss.  Our key player now is bald after discovering his hair was falling out while in Florida.  After our first day of fun at Disney with Z and Maddie, Matt took his hat off and all of us noticed a big circle that was hairless on his head.  From that point on he and Z joked that he could pull it out and spread it like "Pixie Dust" throughout the parks.  For anyone visiting any of the Disney World Parks over spring break, Matt has left a little magic for you.  He decided he looked a little like "Goofy" and had the rest shaved at our resort.  

Matt's treatment days are longer and he usually can count on being downtown for at least seven hours.  Luckily they give him a very high dose of Benadryl and he sleeps a lot of the time he is there.  Our new oncologist is awesome and we continue to feel so much more at ease!  She takes the time to listen, explain things, text Matt with information and support our game plan from MD Anderson.  We feel truly blessed that she was put in our lives.  It is a wonderful feeling to know that a major part of your Team is all in,  100% devoted and prepared to handle this nasty opponent.  One of the things she does is check is his CEA (cancer markers) once a month.  This wasn't done until we went to Houston.  While at MD Anderson, his CEA number was 95.  After his first treatment his number dropped to 57 and after the second treatment it was 10!  Once again we know that God has got this, so we continue to have faith in his plan.  Matt will have one more treatment prior to our trip back to MD Anderson in mid April.

Our family was given a trip to Disney World by one of Matt's former students.  I remember getting the phone call from a mutual friend telling me about this kind and generous gift.  Matt and I shed a few tears before connecting with Mackenzie.  Well, we took our trip March 14-18, 2019.  This trip was so magical and memorable for so many reasons.  Z and Maddie had smiles that were not forced and pure joy in their hearts.  Matt and I were able to slow down from work, extra activities, doctor's appointments and treatments to simply have kid like fun.  The time we were there was very busy, but a great busy, a busy that fills the soul.  Jake did not join us on this trip since missing high school is tough.  He also wanted to be around for the entire first week of baseball.  We all missed him a lot, I am not sure I will be ready for him to go to college in a year and a half.  His turn to take a trip is the end of this week.  He, Matt and Jerry will take off Friday for a road trip to look at a couple colleges, and check out the Bass Pro Shop Pyramid in Memphis, TN.  It doesn't sound like much, but if you have a chance check out the website you will see it's like a Disney World for hunters and fishermen.  Who wouldn't want to stay in a hotel with a balcony over looking the man made swamp?  This is a twelve story high "shop" complete with a hotel,bowling ally, shooting range, archery range and so much more.  I can only imagine the stories Jake will tell after spending time with Matt and his grandpa.

Other then that, Team Fouch has had a pretty "normal" month since we started this new game plan.  The kids are trying to keep their head in the game of life and school.  Like with any journey such as cancer, there are moments of worry, anxiety, questioning and frustration.  However, I would say our Team Spirit brings many more moments of gratitude, joy, empathy, motivation and love than despair.  The support and cheering we continue to receive is amazing, and keeps us strong mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.  We have been able to make lemonade from lemons that were thrown at us in July.  We have been able to grow and understand that when bad things happen, how things end up will be determined by how we handle the situation.  Our faith continues to grow, and we believe that nothing is impossible with God.  In one of my first updates I mentioned a sign that I stumbled across shortly after July 18.  "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9.  I see this hanging in our house numerous times a day, and each time I am reminded about having faith in our head coach's plan.  

Many of you are on spring break or will start spring break at the end of this week.  I hope you are and will continue to create memories with those you love.  Even if you are not venturing anywhere, take a moment each day to create a vacation.  Take time to think about all the blessings in your life.  Spread joy like glitter, we all know glitter is impossible to get rid of, joy should be equally as impossible to get rid of.  We will continue to fight hard in this game against this opponent we call cancer.  Our team, including all of you, is strong and determined and most of all we believe in "Faith Over Fear!"

Love to all,
Team Fouch

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