Viewing entries tagged
#TeamBryon

Celebrations

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Celebrations

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The further Bryon gets away from chemo, the better he feels. Chemo finished on Friday, April 13 (yes, Friday the 13th). His birthday was on April 17, but he asked that we hold off on sending his birthday package to until he felt better. We just sent that package to him!

We still do not know if the tumor is dead yet. We know that it did shrink by 50%, but he needs a PET scan to determine if it is actually dead. That scan will happen in a month; more chemo needs to leave his body first. We were hoping that the PET scan would happen this week, but we must wait. The doctor had told us that he was literally infusing Bryon with platinum, metal, and that, of course, will show up on the scan.

For now, it is amazing to see Bryon becoming himself again. I talked with him on the phone the other day and said, “You are sounding like my son again”.

His immediate tongue-in-cheek response was: “What, as opposed to your daughter”? 

“No,” I said, “as opposed to chemo and cancer.”

“Oh, ok,” he replied.

Happy and joyous day of your birth, Bryon!!  We are all cheering you on and planning to celebrate the end of cancer soon!!!

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It Takes a Village

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It Takes a Village

WOW. And GASP! It is incredible how many people have stepped in to help my son battle cancer.

His girlfriend, Amber, has been absolutely amazing. She kept me informed when Byron first went into the hospital. Then she stayed with her parents and loaned her apartment to me so I'd have a place to stay during Bryon’s first round of chemo.

Amber’s parents, Cyndi and Dave, have opened their home to all of my family as we've traveled to California to be with Bryon.

Our oldest daughter, Genette, started a fundraiser for Bryon on FaceBook, and some of my classmates from high school (even though high school was quite some time ago) chipped in to help with his medical expenses. And these were kids I didn't even hang out with! Storytellers added to the fund. So did Bryon’s friends, my friends, Genette’s friends, our youngest daughter Carmen's friends. My family has been overwhelmed by the help we've been offered. 

Extended family on my side and my husband’s side have been such an encouragement and help. There are just too many people to mention.

Many have sent cards of support, silly stories, jokes and puns to lift our spirits. Prayers, good thoughts, best wishes, text messages and positive energy have come from not only all over the United States but from the United Kingdom, Greece, Australia, countries in Africa…who am I missing? (I know I must have left someone out.)

This broad and generous support has brought me to a deeper understanding of what it really means when we say, “It Takes A Village!” I had no idea that our "village" was so extensive. How, oh how, do I say thank you for EVERYTHING and EVERYONE who is part of #TeamBryon? You have touched my heart and even healed wounds that have lingered with me for far too long. I've learned that people who do not know you can and will become part of your life; and that's a good thing. It truly takes a village.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. You are appreciated!

Sincerely and with love,

Lona

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#TeamBryon

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#TeamBryon

My daughter, Genette, and niece, Samantha, decided to make t-shirts in support of Bryon's fight with cancer. Genette drove from Virginia to Sam’s house in West Virginia for a weekend and the two girls designed a simple logo and ironed it onto t-shirts for the family. My sister, Kay, and brother-in-law, Chuck, drove from Maryland to Sam’s house to help in the “manufacturing process.” I was in California, so they did a video chat with me so I could see what they were doing.

The design is in the color that I call "Bryon blue." Here is the story behind the color. When my kids were little, everyone in our family was assigned a color; Steven, my husband, has purple; I have yellow; Genette is green; Bryon is blue; Carmen is red. It was really an organizing system — cups were purchased in these specific colors so we knew which one belonged to whom, we identified gifts by the color of the ribbon… you get the idea, right? As the family has grown, so has the spectrum. Genette married Abe; his color is gray (he picked it, it is not my fault). Amber, Bryon’s girlfriend, has chosen teal, her favorite color.

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It was appropriate that Genette and Sam used Bryon blue on the shirts. When I look at those t-shirts, I don’t just see an article of clothing, I see the love of family.

I see cousins getting together to help Bryon fight.

I see these girls being friends and enjoying each other.

I see my sister supporting me, as she always has, as I stand with my son.

When my extended family wears these shirts, I see one unit. We live in different states, are at different stages of life, with different ideas.

We are different individuals. But when it comes to the important things, we are united... we are a team.

#TeamBryon #dontmesswithmycubs

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