August 17 Update

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We had two successful trips to Grand Rapids last week. On Wednesday, he was back inside Helen Devos Children’s Hospital for an infusion and a clinic, and on Thursday we returned to Mary Free Bed for a checkup. During his appointment with Josh’s oncologist, she told him about two cancer treatments that she was recommending. She also said that Josh could just hold off on any treatment and wait to see if any new tumors form. When asked what he thought he would choose, Josh said that he would choose to take one of the treatments instead of waiting.

I’m grateful that there are options, and hope that we will be able to guide Josh towards the most successful choice. Last winter after Josh had completed his chemotherapy, he was able to achieve a lot of great things at school and in his therapy. I am hoping that we can give him another opportunity to focus on getting stronger.

Last week, Josh’s occupational therapist challenged Josh to put his baseball cap on with his right hand. While this comes natural for most people, this continues to be a struggle for Josh. He has to exhibit a lot of control over his arm and hand when he grips his hat, lifts it up, and tries to set it onto his head. He has been practicing and will be able to show off this new skill tomorrow during therapy.

When the school year starts for Shepherd Public Schools on August 31, Josh will be taking his classes virtually. This seemed like the best approach given his weakened immune system. We will also be managing his health during a new treatment. I would like to see Josh eventually attend classes in person because it is really important that he is able to interact with his friends and fellow students. Last year, I think it made a huge difference.

Josh continues to exhibit a level of dedication and perseverance that never ceases to amaze me. There are a lot of people supporting him, but really it’s his positive attitude that has made the biggest difference. I am hoping that he will eventually be rewarded for his efforts, either through his physical recovery, the elimination of new tumor growth, or a combination of the two. It has been exciting seeing the progress he has made with his right arm.

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