Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2nd Platelet Cocktail

5am Blood Draw......and we wait to hear what the nurse will tell us before she leaves her shift. The verdict is in your platelets are low and you will be needing another platelet transfusion this morning ........well not something you want to hear so early in the morning or at any other time but its got to get done.

So here we are at 10:50 in the morning looking at a nurse starting to prep Marco for platelet transfusion so here we go round two of platelets, I told Marco he may have to have a serious talk with his own platelets(army) to start to work so we can go home and see the kids and maybe be home to ring in the new year. Well, we will see if that will be possible.

Doctor came in today and saw Marco, they found out what the bug was so now the pharmacy lab techs will be able to find the right meds to give him. So we may be here a couple of more days before we go home, not sure.

Attached is a picture of the platelets that are going into Marco
's body to help him fight off the infection.

We'll keep you posted.........

Monday, December 28, 2009

What is a Platelet Transfusion?

Some info on platelet counts...sorry, no time for citations - from ACS site.

Why Cancer Patients Might Need Blood Product Transfusions

Blood product transfusions are used to replace important components of the blood when there are not enough in the body, either because they are not being made or because they have been lost. There are many possible reasons people might need blood product transfusions, such as major bleeding (due to trauma or surgery) or diseases and treatments that slow production of blood cells.

People with cancer might need blood transfusions because of the cancer itself. For example:

Some cancers (especially digestive system cancers) can cause internal bleeding, which can lead to anemia (too few red blood cells).

Cancers that start in the bone marrow (such as leukemias) or cancers that spread there from other places may crowd out the normal blood-making cells, leading to low blood counts.
People who have had cancer for some time may develop what is known as anemia of chronic disease.
Cancer can also lower blood counts in other ways by affecting organs such as the kidneys and spleen, which are involved in keeping enough cells in the blood.

Cancer treatments may also lead to the need for blood transfusions:

Surgery to treat cancer is often a major operation, and blood loss may create a need for red blood cell or platelet transfusions.
Most chemotherapy drugs affect cells in the bone marrow. This commonly leads to low levels of white blood cells and platelets, which can sometimes put a person at risk for life-threatening infections or bleeding.
When radiation is used to treat a large area of the bones, it can affect the bone marrow and lead to low blood cell counts.
Bone marrow transplant (BMT) or peripheral blood stem cell transplant (PBSCT) patients get large doses of chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. This destroys the blood-making cells in the bone marrow. These patients commonly have very low blood cell counts after the procedure and may need transfusions.
Red blood cell transfusions

People who have low red blood cell (RBC) counts are said to have anemia or to be anemic. People who have anemia for any of the reasons above may need RBC transfusions because they don't have enough RBCs to carry oxygen to all of the cells in the body. Signs and symptoms of severe anemia can include paleness of the mouth, skin, and nail beds; dizziness; and shortness of breath.

Platelet transfusions

Cancer patients may need transfusions of platelets if their bone marrow is not making enough. This happens when platelet-producing bone marrow cells are damaged by chemotherapy or radiation therapy or when they are crowded out of the bone marrow by cancer cells.

A normal platelet count is about 150,000 to 400,000 platelets per cubic millimeter (mm3). When platelet counts drop below a certain level (often 20,000/mm3), a patient is at risk for dangerous bleeding. Doctors may think about giving a platelet transfusion when the platelet count drops to this level, or even at higher levels if a patient may be at risk of bleeding because of surgery.

If there are no signs of bleeding, a platelet transfusion may not be needed even if the platelet count is low.

Currently there is one drug, known as interleukin-11 (oprelvekin, Neumega®), that doctors can give to help raise platelet counts without transfusion, but it does not work right away and is not widely used at this time.

Cryoprecipitate transfusions

Cryoprecipitate may be given to replace several blood clotting factors such as:

factor VIII (missing in patients with hemophilia A)
Von Willebrand factor (needed to help platelets work)
fibrinogen (the major part of a clot)
People with hemophilia are now more likely to get pure factor VIII, which can be separated from the rest of the plasma. Unless they are bleeding, people with cancer rarely need cryoprecipitate.

Granulocyte transfusions

Chemotherapy can damage cells in the bone marrow, and patients getting chemo often have white blood cell (WBC) counts lower than the normal range of 4,000/mm3 to 10,000/mm3.

Granulocytes, especially certain kinds of granulocytes known as neutrophils, are very important in fighting infections. When patients have low WBC counts, doctors carefully watch the number of neutrophils. The blood count that is watched is called the absolute neutrophil count, or ANC. People with neutropenia (an ANC below 1,000/mm3) are at risk for serious infections, even more so if the count stays down for longer than a week.

At one time, granulocyte transfusions were commonly given to cancer patients who could not make enough of these cells on their own or whose granulocytes had been destroyed by disease or medicines. But for many reasons, such transfusions are now rare. First, it is not clear how well the transfusions help in reducing the risk of serious infections. Granulocyte transfusions can also cause a fever known as a febrile transfusion reaction. And they can sometimes transmit infectious diseases, such as cytomegalovirus (CMV), which can be dangerous for people who have weak immune systems.

Instead of transfusing granulocytes, doctors now commonly prescribe medicines called colony-stimulating factors or growth factors to help the body make its own neutrophils. Examples include granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), also known as filgrastim (Neupogen®) or pegfilgrastim (Neulasta®), and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), also called sargramostim (Leukine®).

Also check out: PLATELETS



Doing Good So Far

So far it's smooth sailing ......no side affects, except from the Benadryl that was given to him earlier. He is still feeling drowsy ......the medication didn't even give him a chance to crack a joke, let alone a sentence cause it knocked him out.

Well at least he is relaxing and not thinking about what the hell is next.....maybe I should ask for some Benadryl. It's been pretty quite around here since Marco has been asleep since 10 o'clock this morning and it's about 1:45pm. He does wake up to see if I am here and goes back to sleep or at least that is what I like to think he is doing.

I was thinking of just sitting on the opposite side of the bed to trick him. He is so knocked out that if there was a lake outside this room you could pull of the scene from Parent Trap, where the girls put the soon to be step-mom on her mattress in the lake floating.....he wouldn't even notice right now.

We are waiting for the lab to come up with a antibiotic to kill off infection in Marco's blood. This will be given to see if we can get rid of it and hope the platelets will kick in as well to start to re-boost his immune system.

I will keep you all posted......,

Platelet Cocktail

Here we thought we were going home! Yeah, well that changed real quick when Marco had a fever of 101 about mid-night. I knew something was up because they told us that the fever was a sign of the body fighting something besides cancer.

Nurse came to introduce herself to us this morning, she continue to explain to us that Marco needed platelets because his count was very low. Really, your kidding right is what I was thinking, come on now what else can be thrown at Marco. Note:( Nurse mentioned blood transfusion but she was taking about the platelets not whole blood)

I swear I thought I was dreaming but no, sure enough she wasn't she said she was waiting to get approval from the doctor to start the platelets.

We also got the test results today Marco has a blood infection, he apparently has a bug in his body. Once they verify which bug they will give him the proper antibiotics. The platelets will run for about an hour so I hope he doesn't get any of the side affects mentioned to us. This infection he got couldn't be giving by person contact or food that he might had eaten. It's a bug in the body that just turned on itself they believe it's in his intestine because his immune system is very weak due to the chemo.

Nurse brought in a large bag with light gold syrup liquid in it. I thought it looks like liquid gold. As the nurse opened the valve for the release of the platelets to go intravenously it flowed so slowly with in the clear liquid of the other saline going in. As if like magic it was slowing working its way down the line and finally came into Marco arm. WOW is what I thought , this shit better work was more like it to be truthful. Well, just wanted to throw in some writing skills I thought I would share with all of you. But, it was amazing to see it flowing like that.

Platelets have gone in and now they run for about an hour and so far so good the Benadryl they gave him in case of an allergic reaction has made him drowsy so he is taking a nap and I don't see any physical reaction so we are good right now.

Hang in there Handsome!

For the moment we will ride it out and see what happens.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Night in the ER

Marco had a fever of 102.4 at the house and we called COH. Ended up going to the ER at COH around 7pm. He was admitted at about 12am with a fever of 103.2. Test showed his white blood count was very low and so where his platelets. Antibiotics were given last night to fight off any infection.

This morning he is looking better that yesterday, but he did give me a scare. He will be keeped here for a couple of days to make sure everything is ok.

I will try to update you later on what happens.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Why you crying?

We have been here for three days now and I am starting to really hate it. I am starting to hate to go to the bathroom, go to the lobby,or just out of the room to tell you the truth. There is only one way in and one way out.....no detours, no short-cuts, no trying to ignore what is going on just on this floor. I have cried myself to sleep just thinking of all the folks up in here and what there families are dealing with.......you can't help but to feel for what they are going through.

Some of these patients we have seen around City of Hope in clinic or here during chemotherapy. So it's easy to think don't look, keep going, but you do look. Just to make sure everything is alright even if its not. I guess that is just how we are build to look even if you have no business looking...we look and I do. I thought about wearing my damn sunglasses but I think someone would think something is up, especially after visiting hours are over.

I want to reach out to the whole family and give them a great big hug and say everything is going to be alright but the truth of it is, it's like Marco says "It is what it is."
It is a raw reality and we are very exposed to all of that here.

I am already a mess being here again, having Marco go through this shit again, being here watching them put poison in his veins and counting on "hope" that it will shrink the "F"ing tumors.
I sit here and watch him tolerate this ,wondering what goes through his mind. I know that the fear is tremendous ,we all feel it. The unknown is what scares me the most, I think.

The what and where do we go from here is scary shit too. We have to just sit and wait to see what the chemo does. Helpless is what I feel. Wanting to do more and I can't, is like having my hands tied up behind my back. Like Kriticona said in the last post you just want to find out who is exactly responsible for all this so I can just give them an ass kicking ,they wouldn't know what hit them. Whom ever it is!

Well today the kids came down to COH, thanks to Salt-n-Pepper and Medicated Man. The nurses didn't want Marco to go down to the lobby. But later on in the evening they made an exception to let him go down to the main lobby for about 5 min. which we all enjoyed.

I would like to thank everyone for all your support and thoughtful words we really appreciate each and everyone of you.

Handsome we know you can do it again! We are all here for whatever you may need weather you want it or not. We love you!

Why are you crying? Marco asked after our afternoon walk down the hall...so I turned to him both with teary eyes and said cause I can. lol

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Crossing Our Fingers.....

After a long day at COH yesterday, they didn't admitt him to start chemo till today. So far we have been waiting patiently while all the "pre-chemo" meds are given. Chemo is schedules to start at 4pm today. I really hope it does so at least he can sleep through the night without a lot of interruptions. The kids again will not be able to come up to the room to see their Papa. And it sucks....because we love to have them here with us but due to the swine (and its understandable) they are not permitted to come up to the lobby and the rooms.

Handsome, we are crossing our fingers that the chemo will do it's job and shrink those damn tumors. We are just hoping that all goes well as it has. Hope the chemo is tolerable and you don't have to many side affects. Focus on being home for Christmas with the kids.
We love you un chingo!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Hope Floats

Sorry, I haven't been able to write but it's been hard to even type one damn word without me having to stop typing because the damn waterworks in my eyes...........I can't see a damn thing I was writing....... so I will try to update often, just check in once in awhile to see if I did.

I would like to thank everyone for all your thoughts, and words of support to us. It means a lot to all of us.

So the fight continues on......

Well, it's been three weeks since we found out that the cancer came back with a freak'n vengeance. Marco started his chemo the next day. Two days ago , Marco was giving me a heart attack, he started to gag really bad as he was taking a shower, turns out that his hair started to fall out.
As he was taking a shower he went to rinse the shampoo out of his hair and the water went into his mouth with a hand full of hair.Marco said he never gagged so much in his life. I told him he needed to shave it off. I told him I was not going to do it .... he ended up going to the cowboys (Barber Shop).
I was hoping we could of waited a couple of days more, so we could take our Christmas pictures. Oh well, now we have to wait awhile longer.

I hate having him loose his hair.....it makes me mad that all this has to happen to him all over again. With no reason at all. I hate everything about it.....CANCER SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I really can't yell it out loud enough!!!!!, in my head, out loud ..... at all really.

Our last visit at COH was not a good one.....Dr. Granis told us that he was very sorry that the cancer came back and he would hope that the chemo would do it's job and shrink them away basically.
He also said that surgery at this time would not be an option....we will be meeting with Dr. Chow to talk about their meeting they had today to discuss Marco's case with the board and see what they thought and what strategy would be made next.

Dr. Granis was sure that 99% chance that the surgery wouldn't be an option so that leaves a 1% that someone may take his case and say yes I will do the surgery. Hey? you never know , someone may....

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Yesterday, we went to City of Hope for lab work, scans and what we thought would be a refill on trial medication. Instead, Dr. Chow reported that this horrific monster is back again........with a slight vengeance of three tumors, one being the size of a lemon.

We always feel that we go into the appointments open minded of what could be found, what we would do if they found something, and we can just pick ourselves off the floor if they do find it and deal with it! That easy in our minds, at least......... prepared with the different scenarios in our minds.

But when the doctor says "the cancer is back" ....everything we just prepared ourselves for just flew out the window. Because, those words just overcame every emotion.

We are usually very composed and "suck it up" and try not to show our emotions but this time we just couldn't hold it together. It's unfair!

The kids were waiting for us in the waiting room.....as we approached DLP and Machini, the emotions were riding high. DLP turned to us and knew something was wrong, all she wanted to know was were it was and how big it was. So, there we are all sitting in the waiting room balling.

To me this is the painful part.....having to tell your kids that its back and seeing my little girls eyes fill up with tears. It's unfair! I don't mention Machini's emotions because all he knows at 6 years old is that we go to City of Hope because his papa is very sick with cancer and that he needs medication and surgery to get the cancer out but doesn't understand the severity of it at all. All he knows is that his plans to go to LEGOLAND and DISNEYLAND "have gone to pieces."

Marco will be starting chemo today.......for two cycles and a scan will be done to see if the tumors have shrunk and to see if the cancer cells have stopped multiplying. If all goes well with the chemo, he will need surgery to remove them.

Yesterday, I felt like punching something....the anger was just so overwhelming. Today, very sad, sad to know that Marco has to go through the chemo again. Has to go through surgery and the emotions are riding higher now. Just when his hair was getting back to normal. NOT FAIR!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Resilient !

Yesterday marked the six months of Marco being cancer free!
As we were driving in to Cerritos, I asked out load "Who knows what today marks?" Marco, DLP, and Machini just looked at me like I was crazy. So, I asked again...."Who knows what to marks?" So they yelled "Veterans Day!" Nope, I replied. "Lazy T's birthday!" Nope.

Then there came a pause and Matthew said "It's November 11th today!"....yeah and what marks today I asked again.
DLP says I know "It's been six months that my dad has been cancer free".

It has been six months that Marco has been cancer free. Yes, we get excited because that means that he hasn't been in the hospital of 180 days, no pain, no needles, etc..etc..

We ended up going to meet One Day at a Time and Lazy T, Leezy120, and Momma M at BJ"S to celebrate Lazy T's Birthday which is tomorrow. Great company and terrific food...I swear I was full from eating all that good food.

Marco has been doing well...with the exception that his shoulder has been sore but other than that he is doing good. November 23rd he has an appointment to see Dr. Chow for the Phase III trail and we will ask to have his shoulder checked. I will let you know what happens on that appointment.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Look at that face.....who knew that just 5 months ago all hell was breaking loose. My handsome husband is looking good. We had a spectacular 4 day Nascar weekend. We started on Thursday and it ended on Sunday with Jimmie Johnson winning the race, my driver of course. We even had a visit from Moshura's sister who came in from D.C, which was nice.

Phase III trail seems to be working, no side affects thus far. He now has to go every 8 weeks to have lab work and CT Scan to keep an eye on anything that may want to pop-up so they can catch it quick.

Looking forward to the holidays, they are coming up fast.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Happy Tears!

The drive down to City of Hope was quiet and the weather was a little gloomy. My stomach was all over the place.

I turned to Marco and asked how he was feeling and he said good.
All I could think of was yeah right...if I am feeling like this I could only imagine what was going through your stomach.

These appointments are the ones I dislike the most, I think.
It's the "unknown" that fear of what could be said that haunts and keeps me awake, as well as Marco.
That's what gets my stomach in a knot.

We started the day with a CT Scan, followed by lab work. We were pretty much ahead of schedule so we decided to wait for the doctor to see us for the results.

Doctor Chow came in with his cheery self and asked Marco how he was doing and then gave us the news that all test are CLEAR! He didn't see anything on the x-ray and all labs are great. He even brought down his cholesterol level by 50 points.

So either the chemotherapy worked or the combination of chemotherapy and Phase III trail together are working. just damn good will to survive, but something is kicking this cancer's ass. Crossing my fingers that it stays like this for a long while.

I swear sometimes I just feel like jumping and giving the doc a great big hug.....so I just say thank you a million times while he is finishing up his exam. ButI think he may have to call security to pry me off of him, just because I am so grateful.

My phone went off before texting a great news message to everyone before getting to the car and it was DLP texting from school wanting to know what was going on with the results. When I texted her the great news she was quick to respond " I am so happy! Sushi on me! to celebrate."

I couldn't contain myself by the time I got to the car my eyes were filling up with happy tears and by the time I reached the freeway... Marco looked over and said why the hell you crying .. I said they are happy tears and that was all it took to take me over the edge...... I was full blown crying. Good thing I wasn't wearing make-up cause you won't want to get a visual on that.
It's just a sigh of relief to know that this disease is not in control in his body "right now".

I texted everyone with the good news and within seconds everyone was replying with excitement. It feels good to know that everyone is there and feeling the same feeling that we are.

We finally went to Yoshi Sushi last night and celebrated. While we were there, I turned to Matthew because I realized in all the excitement I forgot to mention it to him about our day at City of Hope. Didn't mention the results and that there was no cancer.
So, I turned to him and asked, while he is tearing up some green tea ice- cream with whip cream and chocolate all over, if his pappa had told him the good news, he replied with " no what good news!" so I leaned in and told him that we had gone to City of Hope and asked him and guess what!

He had a smile on his face and said they didn't find anything on his lungs..(as he touched his chest).they didn't find a tumor anywhere in his body .....it's gone!? We all said yes ..... Good" said Machini, so now we can go to Lego Land since it's gone." We all laughed and started to get teary eyed right then and there, as we all continued to laugh through it .......while Marco adds ....."Just for that I am going to have beer!" and he did.

I would like to thank you all for replying to the text ...we appreciate everyone's love and support

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Sense of Calmness

Here we are at the Auto Club Speedway for the Nascar Foundation Blood Drive. I had the opportunity to donate. They asked if we wanted a tour of the speedway and you know we didn't turn down this offer. It was a terrific tour, we even had the chance to get out on to Victory Lane and yes rang the "MOBELL VICTORY" bell . That was a treat all on its own.
Before you know if we were driving up on the track all the way around. It was awesome!

We are glad that we have had some great opportunities come our way, the opportunity to be together as a family in our home without mentioning cancer or appointments that we had to be at City of Hope at 6 am in the morning. To feel a sense of calmness come over the house hold these couple of weeks.

Not having to go to City of Hope and not having your heart in your throat all the time, the sense of piece of mind "right now", and I say " right now" because its the" right now" that we live in. I have said before we never turn our backs on this sarcoma even if its gone for "right now".
Later, when CT Scan and labs are needed that uneasy feeling comes crawling up from the pit of your stomach to the top of your throat. That uneasy feeling is why I say "right now'.

We have had more time to spend with family, volunteering for Think Cure at Dodgers Stadium (a first), going to the beach before summer was over to celebrate Machini's 6th birthday and go to our first Oceans of Hope 2009 that we have been trying to attend since seeing Marco swim in the ocean just months after his surgery. (it brought tears to my eyes.) It's amazing the things he can do when he sets his mind to it.

We attended birthday parties, BBQ's, just hangin' out and eating all day at Momma M, or playing poker with Salt-n-Pepper and Medicated Man, or spending some time with Bee, Nate, and Jeronimo. All of these thing may not be BIG things to some, but it is a great deal to us.

It's been a long time coming for these moments in life. We had forgotten, I think, for some time what it was like to live outside of City of Hope.

Summer will soon be over, but I am glad that we got to do things with the kids outside of City of Hope.

UPDATE: I am very happy to report that Marco has been doing very well thus far.

The Phase III trail has been going good. No side affects, but his cholesterol has been significantly high so they have been monitoring him for that. He was not happy to hear he had to cut down on shrimp, carne asada, and menudo, etc...etc...etc...

His hair has been growing about normal now. It had been taking its time growing, its now dark brown and really curly. It makes him look more handsome now.

CT Scan and labs done on Sept. 28 and I will let you know what is going on then.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Update on Marco: Marco's appointment turned out great all labs came out good.
He will be having his CT Scan on his next visit at the end of this month.
Trial medication is going good. He is starting to do more things outside of the house so that is a plus.

Sunday, August 30,2009 at Manhattan Beach, California the weather was perfect for the paddle boarders. They endured a 36 mile paddle with only their arms......hours in the water all thinking of their families waiting for them on land. Each paddle board represented a person who had or has Sarcoma Cancer.

It didn't take much for all the volunteers to set up and get ready to cheer on all the paddle boarders. Looking out into the ocean seeing all the boats that were in company with the paddlers was amazing, but the most amazing was seeing the paddlers only using their arms to cross that finish line toward shore. I could only imagine what they could be going through out there. Especially with their upper body... to swim for 5-7 hours non-stop to shore must have been the most challenging thing to do. All will tell you that they did it for a friend or family member and that they know that cancer patients go through so much, the paddling is nothing in comparison.
Everyone's stories were amazing and the caring volunteers greeting everyone were great!
I hope we have the chance to get together and do it again next year.

HP came to represent in Manhattan the Cousins, ODAT, Leezy120, Lazy T, S3U5 and family. Thank you for coming with us to experience our first annual Ocean of Hope 2009.
Everyone enjoyed cheering in the paddlers and oh yeah the water was great.
The boys had a blast boogie boarding too.
We had a great time, thanks again to all who were there .

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Think Cure Volunteer Experience

Volunteering for the Think Cure at the Dodgers Stadium was great!
We all arrived ready to go and ready to start helping in anything we could.
As we arrived we were greeted by Ingrid and Jason who then gave us a Think Cure
volunteer t-shirts. Then we were given jobs and we started to get busy.

Jobs were either inputting data into the computer, collecting online donations, holding off the crowds that were forming to have a picture taken with the one and only Fernando Valenzuela.
Tommy Lasorda was also there taking pictures with fans. Marco, Victor, Joe,Jen were invited to go see the radio-a-thon in one of the suites were they were taking donations by phone and online.
The atmosphere was so exciting that you were just excited for being there helping a good cause that was close to all of our hearts.
There were 10 of us in total who volunteered. We all agreed that it would be something we would do next year and maybe we can get more family members to volunteer. DLP was so excited to be there it didn't matter what they needed help in she was ready for the challenge. DLP and Turd gave 2hours more than asked and it was appreciate it by many.
Thank you both for that.
The kids had a ball watching the game and eating all that the Dodgers had to offer like Dodger Dogs, Soda, Pretzels, etc, etc.. they were all on their best behavior. They didn't have a job at the time for Marco when we arrived so they told him to go enjoy the game and he did, you didn't have to ask him twice.
Good Job to All : Leezy, Lazy T, One Day At A Time, S3U5, Victor,Joe,Jen,DLP,Marco .
Can't wait till next year.
Happy to report that the THINK CURE raised 107% of their goal over $214,000.00

Marco Update: Marco has been doing really good. All his hair has grown out and he is looking really good. He will be going next Monday for a CT Scan and blood work. Our fingers are crossed and with hopes that all will continue to look good for Marco. I will post the results to the test next week.

Again THANK YOU to all for volunteering....GREAT JOB!
Enjoy the video from our experience at Think Cure 2009!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Dodgers Stadium THINK CURE!

Dodgers Stadium THINK CURE! http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com/la/community/think_cure.jsp this weekend starting today and the family has all volunteered their time for this awesome charity to help the community.
The call came out that they needed volunteers to help at the Dodgers Stadium and we didn't hesitate. This will be our first charity event as a family and hell, we are very excited to join in on the fun.
I would like to invite everyone if you can to donate even $5.00 to the cause . The proceeds go to Childrens' Hospital in Los Angeles and City of Hope. Now we all know we owe a great deal to City of Hope for saving Marco's leg (twice) and taking the cancer away till now. So we need to come together with the Dodgers to help them in their efforts to the help the community.

Tonight the game will start at 7:10pm and the donations have been taken since early this morning so get a move on. We will take pictures to post later.........DONATE NOW!

Thank you to Surviving 3under5 for getting all the information we all needed and organizing this family event for tonight and Surviving 3under5 baby's daddy for volunteering to stay with all 3 + Machini makes 4 kids.
To Marco for saying yes on the first try.... DLP , we are hoping she can make it, if she is feeling better (cold) One Day At A Time, Leezy120,Lazy T, Mookie, Jen and Turd to all of you stepping up to the plate even if it was last minute. Thank you to all! Let's go have some fun!

Let's Go Dodgers! Let's Go!

Friday, August 14, 2009


Ocean of Hope Campaign
The Ocean of Hope campaign is the largest fundraising event of the year for The Sarcoma Alliance. Ocean of Hope (O2H) is a paddle board race held each year in August in conjunction with the Catalina Classic in Southern California. The 32-mile course begins at Catalina Island and finishes at the Manhattan Beach shoreline.

The O2H Campaign is a special group of paddlers who have annually volunteered to dedicate their race to the benefit of the Sarcoma Alliance and thousands of sarcoma patients and their families. Every yard, every mile, and every arm stroke, will be made in the hope that their passion and grit propels people to give to the Sarcoma Alliance this year.

Our goal is to raise awareness and funds for The Sarcoma Alliance so that we can continue our work of guidance, education, and support to sarcoma patients and their caregivers.

Contact The Alliance with questions or for more information about The Ocean of Hope Campaign by sending an email to info@sarcomaalliance.org.

Calling all Rally Monkey's.......Let's get together and have a lot of fun. Get you beach towel, swim suits, plus your picnic and join us to cheer for the paddle boarders coming in to Manhattan Beach. It's for a good cause and we can spend the day at the beach. E-mail me and let me know if you can or can't make it.

UPDATE: It has been 3 months with no cancer as far as the eyes can see. Marco has been doing very well, thus far and is also doing well with the Phase III Trail medication. He hasn't had any side affects, but that doesn't mean he is not taking the actual drug. It has been nice not having to go to City of Hope and seeing Marco wanting to do things especially when it is spontaneous.
We have been invited to some summer birthday parties and outings, and let me tell you, we have been non-stop just up until before the kids started school. Yes, they are back to school, the house is so quite now.

I would like to take this time to thank everyone who has been there for us through all of Marco's stays at City of Hope and to all who doesn't know us and had a kind heart to lend a hand. It took us awhile to accept that sometimes when you need help, it's ok to ask for help. From the bottom of all of our heart THANK YOU for being there for us. THANK YOU is not big of a word to express our gratitude for everything everyone has done.
Hope everyone can make it to Manhattan Beach, Ca on August 30th at 9 am, let me know.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

"It's Always Something" Essay Update

From The WIfe:

On July 21,2009 we were invited to attend an award ceremony for all the essay entrants. The ceremony took place at the Gilda's Club in Cathedral City. It's a non-profit organization to help cancer patients and there family with information on cancer through out the community.

The last couple of times we went to visit S3U5, Marco had seen the billboard that mentioned the Gilda's Club supporting cancer patients and their families but never really paid attention to it. Till we were driving up to Cathedral City and he had seen the billboard again and noticed that it was where we going. As we approached the doors to Gilda's Club we were all excited and were wondering if maybe DLP had won. They served a beautiful buffet of finger foods and desserts with some wonderful lemonade. They invited us to sit in a medium size room and told us to wait till the ceremony started. As we were all sitting there a woman was strategically setting down kleenex boxes at the end of the rows. The V (S3U5) asked the woman if she was expecting people to cry and the woman responded with I think they may. I turned to DLP and told her they may make you read your essay, she looked at me with wide-open eyes and said " I don't want to read it I will cry the whole way through. Just as we were talking they started to mention that there were two 3rd place ($250) winners and the first one to go up was a young guy 15 years old, I believe.....and he started to read his essay.....all hell broke loose he had the whole room balling. Hell there wasn't enough kleenex in the box for one row.

The girl who won 3rd place ($250) didn't read her's well that didn't stop any of the judges they read her's and oh boy! The girl who won 2nd place ($500) didn't read her's either so you guessed right the judge read her's too.
The 1st place ($1000) winner was a 17 year old who lost his dad in March of 2009 to prostate cancer and he also read a poem he made for his dad. Everyone else was called to go up and receive there award. As they called their name they would read the title of there essay also. When they called DLP and then read her essay title "Cancer Sucks" everyone started to giggle and then there was laughter it was an ice breaker for everyone in that room who had been balling prior to the reading of the other entries. We all thought it was funny that they all loved the title.

Each essay was a personal encounter with cancer and how they dealt with cancer, DLP was a winner with us though, she did a great job with her essay and it was a personal expericence just to be participating in the essay. All the rest received an award (honorable mentioned) and received $25.00 visa card. They invited all the participates to take a picture all together at the end of the ceremony which was nice. In all there were 24 entries.

We left very sentimental let me tell you, I couldn't control my tears. We cried all the way back home. DLP was so emotional she said she didn't want to do it again cause it was to much but I explained that it was good that we all went because there are a lot of people affected by cancer and how they cope with cancer was a learning experience for all. You get a better understanding of how much cancer SUCKS.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sarcoma Awareness Week (July 18-26)

From the Wife:
Zuma Beach in Malibu was great. It was windy in the morning but it was calm later on in the day. We set up our spot on the beach and into the water we went. Marco even got in the water twice, well three times if you count the time that he decided to be sneaky and attack DLP from behind to put her in the water.

You should have seen his face! He was determined to get her in the water...while she is screaming at the top of her lungs... Marco lunges backwards pulling DLP down with him, he lands flat on his back and was laughing so hard! Needless to say, DLP never landed in the water.

I was very happy to see Marco having fun and getting into the water...the smile on his face especially when he is feeling great brings a smile to all of our faces.

We all had a great time out at Zuma Beach we missed all of you and would have loved to see you all but we knew it was last minute.

Hopefully we can all get together soon. Mark your calendars for August 30th on a Sunday for the Oceans of Hope at Manhattan Beach, Ca. We'll cheer in the paddleboard racers coming in from Catalina to Manhattan Beach to raise money for the Sarcoma Alliance. We can make it another day at the beach. I will post more information about this event later to remind everyone. Enjoy the pictures!

Update: This is now week 5 of the Phase III Trail and all is well so far no side affects and no other changes. He will be having another CT Scan first week in August to see if there are any changes. So far all is well and Marco is feeling stronger and looking great, looking good.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


From the Wife:

Well, Marco's Birthday came and went, and now his is officially the BIG 4 0.

The morning start with a carrot cake Kray had gotten him (his favorite) and gifts. The thoughts in our minds where more like -- oh no today is the day that we go to COH, have a CT Scan and doctor appointments to determine if he is still cancer free,
two months after the surgery to remove the tumor that was on his diaphragm.

We hate these appointment because anything can happen or it sends us on a damn rollercoaster ride with your heart in your mouth or it sends us to orbit on the greatest feeling ever that you are beating the shit out of cancer (but on guard no less).

We always remember not to let our guard down. Marco's appointment would not be till later in the evening so I had already forewarned DLP that if all hell broke loose at the doctors we would come home, and if all went well we would take him to eat somewhere to celebrate. Since we have to be conservative with $, we chose not to take him to one of his favorite resturants in town. With that in mind we had no idea how it would play out.

Finally he had his CT Scan done and we met with Dr. Grannis.

I swear it seemed that no matter what the doctor tells you - good or bad - I think we still have that confused, puzzled look and "what did you just say" look as the doctor repeated: "The CT Scan is all clear with no concerns of any kind. Cancer free" Oh my word..... I thought as tears start to fill my eyes...then as he examines Marco he says that he is really glad that he is looking so good after his surgery.

So he asked the magic question..."How do you feel"? Marco answered "Good, I have been doing things here and there trying to test my limits". Then doctor said "Ok, that sounds good...I think you can go back to work".

WHAT! We were not expecting to hear this soooo soooon, especially me.

That just took me over the edge.....sniff sniff and a clear of the throat. As the doctor left the room Marco let out a big sigh and you could see that a huge weight was lifted off his shoulders.

The whole time all I could think of was - We need to celebrate his 40th and this good news we just got! We are taking him to Todai ! Marco had the biggest beer and we all ate till we couldn't eat no more. It was delicious and we even made a toast.

Great news! Now get the hell off the rollercoaster and move foward through the park of life.

We are all very excited...we don't know if the Phase III Trial has anything to do with it but we will take this good news anyway.

We love you! Marco you are an awesome fighter...keep up the good work.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Look who is turning 40!

From The Wife:

Today Marco is turning 40. Seems like just yesterday we were running around our neighborhood. Time has gone by so fast...I have know Marco since we were 9 or 10 and I have to say from the first time I saw him we clicked somehow. We were together for a couple of years and broke up a couple too. But at the end we came back to each other ...yeah, I know cheezzy, right, but it's true.

Marco hasn't changed much in the 30 years that I have known him. He is still pretty much the same. Always there to lend a hand, to lend an ear, to give advice and always a great friend to be around. He has accomplished a lot in these 40 years of his life.

What do you write for someone who is turning 40? I have already given some insight to his life and what he has done these couple of years. Maybe it should start with cheezy stuff? I think everyone loves cheezy so lets start with...

Marco is a wonderful husband and father. He has accomplished lots. He is witty, funny (sometimes), but his humor could use some help! Sometimes his jokes suck but he means well I guess...I tell him after one of his jokes not to quit his day job because he wouldn't cut it as a comedian.

But sometimes (notice I said sometimes) he can make you piss your pants, of the shit that he comes up with, especially at his age 40 (oops! that number just keeps popping up).

Well this morning I asked him if he felt any different he said "No" then I asked if he felt like he grew up overnight and he said "No, I still feel like a ToysRus kid."

I think celebrating 40 and still feeling like a kid is great.

Honey, I hope you enjoy your day today! We love you!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Not your average Quinceañera...

We are back from a great 15th birthday celebration for DLP.
We started with a surprise for DLP at the Sahara Casino where they had a NASCAR Café and SPEED the Ride, then we got our room and when it was almost 3:30pm we started to go get something to eat and we realized that all of our shoes were missing. We spent about 45 min. looking for them all over the hotel, car and even went in to the luggage hold at the hotel and found nothing. We had to go on a store hunt....I am not kidding you when I say 20 min. later we see TARGET and it saved our lives. We finally had our shoes to wear to the opera. We all got ready and headed out. Machini in his suit looking handsome as ever with his phantom mask I made him. DLP and myself wore the mask that we made especially for DLP's special occasion. Everyone loved to see Machini and after a while I should have started to charge for every picture that was taken with him and all the women. He was loving every famous moment. He was too cute.

DLP was looking so elegant and all dressed up.....let me tell you, I had to hold my tears back to many times. She would of thought that was cheezzy.

The Phantom of the Opera in Las Vegas was just AMAZING! We couldn't believe how beautiful and great it was. We are still talking about it.......Marco didn't want to have anything to do with the Phantom so he waited for us as he watched NuNu. He was his side kick for the night and Marco loved every minute of it ........due to the fact that "quote" "unquote" He was a "chick magnet" we were all laughing as he was tell us how all the girls thought NuNu was so cute and of course I am sure Marco loved the attention too.

We all froze our asses off in the pool, here we thought that in 100 degree weather the pool water would be at least somewhat luke warm but boy were we surprised....the first one to jump in was DLP and you would of thought just by looking at her face we should of stayed out of the pool and I do believe she did say it was hella cold, but we all ignored her. The next one in was Machini and again looking at his shivering teeth. Marco just plopped right in and no it didn't stop there I decided to jump in as well because by then Marco was already on his way over to throw water at me and I was going to get wet anyway so yes I did jump in. Hell-a-cold was not the word I wanted to use. It was so cold that I could feel the metal in my hip getting cold.....Marco looked like his body was going in shock and out we went within 5 min.

We laughed all the way to the room. I don't know what we were thinking at the time ...it had to be all the smoke in the casino I guess.

All in all we all had a great time on our outing....hope you enjoyed the pictures.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Week Two of Phase III Trail of AP23573

Marco has been doing ok so far with no side affects that he can notice thus far. The only may be he gets a little tired and sleepy the first two days after he starts to take it.
The surgery area is healing really well and the pain level has gone down with some of the soreness but there are times that it hurts more than others.

His hair has grown out and his skin has color now.....I love to touch the hair on his head it feels like a baby kitten. Its sooo soft. It started growing fast when he was at City of Hope for his surgery then it just stopped growing, he just had his hair cut last week and it looks good now, cause he started to look like he was out of the 70's show.
It's nice to see that he is looking better now a days.......he even walks a little faster and hardly holds his left side. The sneezing is the worst to see him do I think, cause then you do see that it hurts to do that. AHHHHHH Chew! Ya, did you just have a visual on that cause if you did you would see how that would hurt.

Just wanted to share some exciting news about DLP...our baby girl will be turning 15 this Monday. Yes, I did say baby girl, she will be our baby even if she is 80 years old. Maybe won't be able to sit her on my lap at 80 but she will still be our baby. Well enough of that. Everyone who knows DLP knows she is known to change her mind of what she wants to do for her B-Day and will text everyone on the countdown to her B-Day.

So no NASCAR party this year! Thank you in part to Marco's family she will be attending her first opera in Las Vegas to see the PHANTOM OF THE OPERA and has invited Machini and I.
This is the part where you are probably asking yourself what happened to Marco. Marco will not be attending this event due to a lack of appreciation of the OPERA. Basically he can't stand the singing in the movie or here at home when we all sing. He basically said HELL NO I'm going to see the Phantom of the Opera , you are all out of damn mind. HaHa it makes me laugh even when I am writting it. We will take picture to show you later.

Marco will now be on a two week follow up then will be on a 4 week follow up and will be under a watchful eye with CT Scans and xrays. So if anything shows up it will be caught on time.

Just a reminder SARCOMA AWARENESS is July 18 thru July 26. August 2009 will be the OCEANS OF HOPE in Mahattan Beach,Ca maybe we can make it out this year! That would be fun I think.

I also would like to invite our friends and new friends from the fundraiser to read and post a comment. Marco reads the blog everyday. Thank you to all again for everything you do!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Superstars at Griffith Observatory

From the Wife:

Today is the 4th dose of AP23573...Marco has been doing well under the treatment. Of course we don't know if he is taking the real deal or the placebo pill. We hope and will believe that he is taking the real thing. Today is also a month and 7 days that Marco has been "cancer free" since his surgery to remove the tumor from his lung on May 11.

Marco has been doing ok and has been trying to do things outside the house....here are some examples:

Monday- The Griffith Observatory:

This trip was nice we got to tour the whole museum all three floors and took full advantage of the beautiful view from up there. Its amazing (it was overcast but nice). The view at night was spectacular. We said we would go back to be able to look through the telescope on a clear day. The pictures above show you some of the things we did.

Saturday Adan called Marco to join in on a baseball game with all the guys....so I asked if they expected him to play and he laughed saying that Adan was counting him in but Marco told him he was on disability and still recovering and would not be able to play. Adan said um...so your suspended for drug use too. Marco laughed and said yeah. So we ended up going and Marco was the umpire/scorekeeper. Yeah, that went well....At times I think Marco would zone out and I asked him if he mentioned to them that he still had some chemo brain. Marco laughed and said no but I should have.

We like to see that he gets out and enjoys himself. Marco still has pain along with soreness and some day's its more than others. It's all part of the recovery...it will take some time.

Monday he will have his one week follow up for the AP23573 treatment with blood work...I will let you know if anything comes up.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

National Cancer Survivor Day 2009

From the Wife:
We were invited to attend National Cancer Survivor Day yesterday at City of Hope. This was our first invite that we attended. The invitation was nice and it described a survivor..... a survivor is one who has been diagnosed with cancer, is dealing with cancer or is in remission of cancer, but I truly loved this description and I agree with it 100%. A survivor is on who deals with cancer day in and day out for the rest of their lives.

There was a very nice banner and everyone was asked to write a message to our survivor on a balloon and place it on the huge banner. We were then asked to continue into the resource center where Marco was greeted and was acknowledged with a medal for being a survivor. We continued to walk in and there was another greeter offering a goody bag to the survivors only, it had a T-Shirt, one raffle ticket, and some information to take home.

We submitted our raffle ticket. The girls from Positive Images were there with models wearing wigs and scarves. There was another table with an author of Writing for Wellness and she was explaining her book and told us about the class that she gives at City of Hope for writers. We told her about DLP submitting an essay for a contest and was very much interested in DLP and she invited her to part take in a class.

She also told us she was a two time cancer survivor herself and she told us that she had written this book about her personal experience with cancer and she also had other writers' poems and experiences. She believed that if a cancer patient has a good support team of family and friends, survivors would live longer than if they had no one. She was very nice and it was interesting talking to her.....Angels of Love were there too, giving out angels, which were handmade.

It was a very nice event they had for all the cancer survivors at City of Hope.

Finally we got to do something else since the kids are now on vacation..we are so proud of our kids. DLP just go her report card and she did great, she will be a sophmore in August and little Machini will be a BIG boy and will be heading out to the First grade...wow.

We were able to go to the movies to see Night at the Museum. It was great to have the whole theater to ourselves.

Update.....Marco has been recovering very well though he still has some soreness and slight pain. He is doing ok. We are still waiting for the result to come back from the outside lab where all his test and blood work have been sent to determine that he is a good candidate for the Phase III Trial. The waiting is nerve-racking. I guess just waiting to see if he is or isn't going to have a chance to participate in this trial.

This just in.....hot off the press as of 15 min. ago

We got the call from City of Hope it's a go....Marco will be a participant in the Phase III Trial he will be starting on Monday, June 15.....very excited with this news.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sign on the bottom line

From The Wife:

This week we went to City of Hope to have the consultation on the AP23573 Phase III Trial.

Dr. Chow explained and told us all that would happen in this trial. Marco needed to have blood drawn and a CT Scan done the next day. These tests will be sent to an outside lab to look at and determine if Marco is eligible to continue with Phase III of AP23573. As soon as the results are back from this outside lab we wll be getting a call with an appointment to have Marco start his treatment.

It was funny the whole time that we were in the doctors office talking and seeing Marco sign all the paper work, consent forms, HIPPA forms and all of what needed to be signed before the treatment is given: The positive feeling in that room was overwhelming. I kept telling Marco that I could feel that he would be the one to get the real "pill" and not the "sugar pill". I think the mind is a powerful thing and at times I find myself hoping and sending positive vibes to Marco to have some good energy go his way.

Marco has been doing well. He is still in some pain but most of the soreness is in the surgery area. He is looking good. He was able to sit through a Dodger game on Monday night up until the 7th inning which was great. I am very glad that Marco is doing better.

I will let you know when his appointment will be to start the AP23573 treatment. Fingers crossed that this pill will be the one to hold off the sarcoma cancer in a lot of patients. Cancer Sucks and it needs to be nipped in the bud.

The Wife

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Hope Floats

The verdict is no radiation at this time. Dr. Chen says it can wait for now because it's too risky in the area where radiation would be given. The heart and the lung could be compromised and it would not be good for Marco.

Dr. Chen spoke with Dr. Chow (chemo doctor) who is also the prime investigator at City of Hope for the Phase III Trial of AP23573. He also agreed not to do the radiation now. He wanted to give Marco a chance to start on the AP23573 because tests showed that the chemotherapy has worked to kill the live cancer cells in the lung tumor.

We are crossing our fingers that this Phase III pill will be the real thing and not a "sugar pill" which in any case it wouldn't matter in the long run because a lot patients with sarcoma's will benefit from all the information gathered.

These last couple of days has been somewhat of a stress since Marco had a lot of questions and concerns in regards to the Phase III Trial. After reading and re-reading all of the paper work that was given he decided to go ahead and do it. This, Monday June 1st he has an appointment to meet with Dr. Chow to see what is going to be needed before they start or if they still need to do some exams to verify that he is still a candidate for the Phase III Trial.

Marco is still having some pain but has been up and around...he continues to test himself at times but now he knows what his limits are. (It's about time!)

Well the kids are now on vacation...for a moment, Marco thought that he might have to do some radiation and all he thought was oh no that meant that the kids summer would be spoiled again and that he and the kids (and I) would be at COH. So he was relieved when Dr. Chen said no more radiation.

Like Marco says, you try not to say that you get use to it (being at COH)...but you do. City of Hope has become our second home away from home. Under the circumstances we wouldn't have it any other way.

I would like to thank everyone who have been calling Marco lately, it has been a great treat to see Marco talking and laughing with you guys.

I will let you know what happens in the next appointment...

The Wife

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Made of Some Tuff Stuff!!

Well it's been about 1 week and 4 days that Marco came home from the hospital since his major lung surgery. It's amazing to see Marco right now, walking around, making jokes, laughing and just being himself again. Just two weeks ago he was not looking good. He couldn't breath right, couldn't talk for a second because he would exhaust himself and getting up out of bed with a chest tube in your back was a chore.

He has been walking around and taking evening walks to try to stay active so the pneumonia doesn't come back and the lungs can get all the oxygen they can get.

He built a Hot Wheel for NuNu for his 4th birthday this past weekend...it was a chore but he did it....and he was in some pain but he did it anyway. He wants to do so many things but as he tries to do some of them he finds out pretty quick if he can do them or not.

If you were to see Marco after each surgery and even see him today you would never imagine all that he has gone through and you could never imagine to see the huge battle scars he carries on him. Those battle scars are of a true warrior. All of Marco's hair had fallen off with the four cycles of chemo he did and during his one week stay in the hospital it all started to grow back. His eye brows are really dark and the hair on his head is really light and it's so soft. We tell him we started to like the bald look on him and he just gives a smile. Speedy recovery honey!

Rally Monkey's! We are fighting back! With a new plan of attack.

Marco has made a decision to participate in the Phase III trial of the AP23573. I am so proud of him for deciding to go ahead and do the trial. This will not only help him but others as well. This medication could be the pill that will help sarcoma patients with different types of sarcomas, I hope.

We all need a cure for some form of cancer and you bet that Marco will be one of the ones who says Ok! I will do it. Even thought it may be a placebo, it is still helping in the studies being make for this pill.

Fighting back is what Marco does best. This cancer has no ideas who its messing with. Marco your a tuffy and we tell you all the time. You are made of some tuff stuff.

Today he has a chest x-ray and a post-op appointment with Dr. Grannis the surgeon who did his surgery. (He did a great job) I will post an update in this post later or make a new one. I will let you know after we come back from City of Hope.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Essay written by Moshura's Little Girl...

This is an essay that DLP submitted to a radio contest on "How I cope with cancer":


Cancer. The disease is unforgivable. It brings pain, tears, heartache, and for some it brings out the warriors with in. Cancer takes a lot from a person, emotionally and physically. Not only does cancer affect those who have this disease but it affects all their loved ones around them. This disease can have a terrible impact on a family.

I am fourteen years old and my father was diagnosed two years ago with soft-tissue sarcoma cancer, an aggressive reoccurring type of cancer. My dad was a mess emotionally for the first couple of months along with my mom. Although they have their emotional out burst from time to time. I had never seen them cry so much or stay in bed for so long. It was devastating news, especially for my dad. I never want to cry in front of my dad. I try to stay strong. I don’t want to make him feel more pressure to worry about me then he has to. I tend to cope on my own. I do have family which help me relieve stress. I know they help out my dad as well. I try to think in reality of the cause and effect possibilities. Such as for surgeries there will be mood swings and self-preparation before. After there will be recovery and treatments. Then side effects of the treatment tiredness, vomiting, more mood swings, self doubt, and lots of mind wondering. With every surgery there’s a possibility of death. In my mind I just have to realize, for this cause that will be the effect. There is nothing I can do no matter what cause or effect is. The biggest cause event has already taken place. Now its the doctors job to take the cancer out of my dads body, and also my dads jobs to think positive and self heal his own body.

Over the last two years my dad has had three surgeries (soon to be four) three months of radiation and four cycles of chemo. As these numbers increase I can see my dad slowly giving up as in getting tired of it all. My dad is the strongest, most positive, most inspiring man I know. He has made amazing recovery and treatment results. He even has his doctors in awe due to the fact that the type of cancer my dad has does not respond to chemo very well and his tumor shrunk more than half way. He also didn’t lose as much weight as expected. Although he did lose his hair and had other side effects, and yet he still keeps pulling through. As the more the chemo progressed the more he started getting antsy and restless, I don’t blame him, he just wanted to be home already and not in the hospital. The more surgeries and more difficult they are. I see him in a way expecting death. Though the treatments help they still have their setbacks. Its not like my dad looks forward to be in the hospital for weeks at a time and dealing with the side effects there or at home.

Coping is hard to do, but yet still doable. Many people have different way to cope. We all have to cry, scream, laugh at some point in time. I cry at times when things become to over whelming, but then again what else is there to do but cry. I haven’t reach the point to scream, yet. Laugh, laughing is the best therapy there is. Making jokes of the effects of the surgeries or chemo helps to raise a little spirits in my family. For example, my dad has lost his hair due to the chemo so some of us tell him to go comb his hair or put gel on his hair. My dad gets some kicks out of it and makes fun of himself. The laughs now and then are good, they aren’t always around when you may need them most.

Reassuring. That is key to positive thinking and well being. I always have to reassure not only myself, but my dad as well that he will be fine and no matter what happens we will all be fine one way or another. I also have to accept the realities of the toll this cancer on my dad and family.

We now are a day away from surgery number four, which is one of the most life risking major surgery my dad has ever had to encounter. The thought of death has been going through everyone’s mind so I asked my dad if he was scared to die, he relied “a little.” I reassured him that dying is a natural thing in life and that its not something to be afraid of. At some point in our life we must go and there is nothing anyone can do about it. We all must accept the fact of death and we must deal with it although it may hurt and cause pain its what our future holds for us.

I believe that with in myself coping I realize the outcomes of everything and no matter what it is I must accept it. My perspective on life has changed I don’t believe in things that I once did. Life itself is too short to be so focus on the little things. You should just let life take you on an adventure and live freely. With the situation my dad is in, that’s the basics of it all. Not to worry so much on the little things such as paying bills, loosing the house, or what will happen if you don’t get a job soon. Sometimes you just have to breathe and focus at the task at hand. Getting through surgery and back to some want yourself mentally, although it may not show physically. Cancer a thing of purely torches a person, which also brings hardship and test your body on how hard it can fight and how far your willing to go to win the battle. In over all, CANCER SUCKS.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Latest Report

From the Wife:

Last week was tough...Just thinking of what could happen and what was happening in the surgery room was too much to think about at times...sitting in the waiting area having time pass by and not knowing is a horrible thing. Your stomach is turned in so many ways and you can't even call the staff to see what is going on cause they just took him in 20 minutes before and it seemed like an hour had gone by.

I had several scenarios that the doctor said could happen but he couldn't tell me anything till he was on the operating table and figuring it out himself. There was a lot at stake this time around.

The first thing was to place the scope (camera) in the pleural cavity and see if the cancer had spread in that area. If it had then there would be nothing else to do but to close him up and do another chemo round to see if that would do the job. The pleural cavity is an inoperable area. (We hoped it would not be this one)

The second was to go in with the scope and see where the tumor was and what it was holding on to. If it was attached to something, they needed to see to what. The plan was to remove 4 ribs and the chest wall, remove the tumor and reconstruct his side to hold everything in place.

We were all excited when Dr. Grannis called us all in to give his findings during surgery and he asked if we all wanted good news. We all said yes, of course. He said he didn't remove any ribs or the chest wall but he did have to do the major surgery (a cut of about 12 in. from back to front on his left side) to remove the tumor and that he would be in great pain. We all cried tears of joy! I couldn't believe what I had just heard. It's amazing what the doctors at City of Hope can do.

Marco was transferred to ICU to be under observation because of the type of surgery he had and needed to be monitored for other things.

It had been the worst day I could recall from all the times that we have been at City of Hope. The doctor telling us we had to watch out for infection and fever, which probably wouldn't happen .... but it happened. We were all very scared and having the word "pneumonia" in the conversation was not good at all. I tried my best to have Marco rest and not get too worked up about what was happening but I think we all did our part as best we could. The high heart rate was not helping either and not to mention that he couldn't breath. That is the part that I hate the most when I can't physically do anything to make it any easier. As I headed home that night I couldn't sleep just wondering what was going on and if his fever went down , if he was breathing right, if his heart rate was down. I don't think any of us slept right all week. Nerve-wracking I tell you. This is the time were you hate the fact that Marco has cancer and you want to choke cancer for having him go through all of this.

I was so excited to see Marco up and looking good than the nights before. He had a more calm look to him. His heart rate was down and his breathing was better too. A whole new person sitting up in his hospital chair. You can't even imagine the joy to see that sparkle in his eyes...knowing that he felt so much better.

They had him get up a day after surgery and that was painful for him...but the fighter in him amazes me. He went out there and walked more than what the nurses wanted him to walk. Everyday after that he would double that walk. Since they saw he was determined to go home they started physical therapy and he was good to go by Friday.

The pathology report came in on Friday and the doctor was excited to report that there was no live cancer cell in the tumor that was removed from the diaphragm and there was no cancer in the pleural cavity. This was good news...very good news. Because we know that sarcoma cancer is very aggressive and is known not to react to chemotherapy but had. I have said Marco has a very positive attitude and mindset that he will beat this. The chemo worked and it killed all of the cancer cells in the tumor.

He was told he is a candidate for a medical trial coming up, this would be a medication given every day for patients with soft-tissue sarcoma that meet the requirements. Marco fits the requirements now. This is a decision that needs to be made within a couple of weeks. A lot of paperwork was given with pros and cons and what may or may not happen. The other thing would be that a placebo would be given to some patients during this trail but only the FDA would know who was given the "sugar pill". A lot of information could be collected from this trial that may help Marco and other patients too.

I am so very happy to know that there is NO MORE CANCER (for now). But we will not let our guard down and we'll stay focused on this upcoming trial. I will let you know what happens in regards to Marco doing the trial or not.

I would like to thank everyone again for all you do for my family. We truly appreciate it all.

Marco, Myself and our kids are very lucky to have each and everyone of you.

Thank You!!

From the Wife:

From the bottom of our hearts.

Thank You, we feel is not enough to say and to express what we feel. We were shocked and puzzled by what everyone has done for us. I say shocked and puzzled because we had no idea what was going on. All we knew was that ODAT and LazyT had to go to a banquet of some sort for LazyT's job and S3U5 was out with Raul at another banquet and Momma M and Leezy were going to stay at COH after hours. To our surprise everyone arrived at S3U5 house at the same time and they let the cat out of the hat. They all exposed their sneaky sneak sides.

We had a long day at COH and Marco was moved from ICU to a regular room and we were all emotionally drained. We couldn't see straight, my tears were just flowing with emotions and not to mention DLPs. It's amazing what you all have done for us. There are no words we can use to express how thankful we are.

Our family has been through a lot and we have hope that we are looking at a better tomorrow, everyday. We appreciate every day and deal with it one day at a time.

There are so many BIG HUGS we want to give each and everyone of you. Your donations will help us and give us a little peace of mind.

We always tell V that it's hard to be the ones on the other end of a situation especially because we were the ones always being there for everyone else. Doing things for others was a highlight in our lives.

We never ever did anything expecting something back. It's especially been very hard to feel like we can let go and have someone else do something for us.

Thank you again to all who attended and for all your letters, e-mails and notes.

Thank you for being there for our family. You are all GREAT RALLY MONKEYS!

With lots of love,

Moshura's Family

Friday, May 15, 2009

Sarcoma Fundraiser Video and Update!

NOTE: This is from an older post. Donations are always welcomed to help get the family through these hard times. Thank you! -Moshura's sister. 12/2009

Marco is on his way home!!! Doctors performed tests on the liquid/gel that was starting to form in his lungs and they did not detect any cancer cells, which is GREAT!! More updates coming soon!

This is from V:

Sarcoma Fundraiser
Last night Raul & I held a Fundraiser for the family at J Lounge in Los Angeles, Ca. Our family and friends came together to show their support, their words of encouragement, positive thoughts, and words of prayer. All shared joy in hearing the latest updates on Marco's health.

News of Marco being transfered out of Intensive Care was received with an enourmous cheer. We all spent the afternoon sharing warrior stories about the whole family to all who came to show their support. Everyone signed a beautiful Journal with personal notes for the family that were received by Marie with an open heart. Marie has heard all of your best wishes through our daily conversations but reading your personal notes were a true blessing. In tough times like these your words of encouragement and support are priceless.

With the help of all, we raised $ 2,500.00 in two hours for the family. Your generosity is greatly appreciated. In addition we thank those that have sent us letters and card with your generous gifts. We wanted to thank Maricela, a lifetime friend of the family, for starting the silent auction idea and helping make it a success. The silent auction helped increase the fundraising endeavors. Thank you to all who sent prized donations to help our cause. Our cousins Brenda & Pedro gave prized USC Football tickets. Our brothers and sisters donated items and tutoring services. Our friends Maricela, Jorge & Patty, and Jenny & Jim generously contributed Movie Tickets, Limousine Services, and Movie DVDs. We truly appreciate the support.

If you were not able to attend the Fundraiser you're contributions are still kindly appreciated!


Friends & Family bring richness to life...we are rich to have you all as part of our support team.

You all rallied to help our family's fundraiser,

Thank You.

V & R

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Unofficial Surgery Update

Will get a more official update from The Wife once they learn why Marco has this fever...

-Tumor with inactive cells removed from diaphragm, chemo worked to kill off those cells, still not sure about the liquid that accumulated in his lungs from previous surgery/pneumonia, being tested for cancer
-Marco's in a lot of pain (level 8 or 9), couldn't sleep all night
-Has developed a fever this morning, being closely monitored, x-rays taken, waiting to hear from Doctors

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Big Day Tomorrow!

First of all Happy Mother's Day to All the Mommas!! I hope you had a great day.

We're all praying that things go well tomorrow. It's a roller coaster all right and we'll have to see where it takes us for a ride Monday morning.

We love you Marco and we know you always enter these moments open and accepting and courageous as always despite the pummeling you take from this cancer. You are in our prayers.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

More Rally Monkeys

From the Wife:

We continue to thank all of the blood donors. This is so awesome to see family and friends donating. Everyone at the Blood Bank knows the Rally Monkey already. As some of you experienced the most amazing treatment that we deal with on a day to day bases with all of the staff at City of Hope. All of the volunteers are very passionate and dedicated to their work, some have or had loved one whom have or had cancer and they dedicate there time to give back to City of Hope. I am glad that each and everyone of you had the chance to experience this piece of compassion. All of you are were very brave and to Gaby who I feel was the worst of the bunch - still had a smile on her face to say her story on how hard it was to donate and how brave she was to be determined to give blood for Marco. Now that is love for the man.

Thank you again!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I Donated!!!

From the Wife:
We would like to thank all the brave family members who donated blood. I know it was hard for some, especially Gaby, who faints at the sight of blood. But she was a good sport, even though she was poked 3 times and has bruises to prove she donated. She still managed to do it. Great job! Also to ODAT who waited one year to donate and she finally gave blood for Marco on Sat. Yahooo!

You are all good sports and we are proud of all of you. Thank you for posing with our rally monkey too. I hope he was a comfort to you while you were getting pinched.

Please share your blood donating experience with us, even if it wasn't all that good...:)


Friday, May 1, 2009

Too Darn Sweet!

I think a lot of people don't believe me when I tell them that my big brother and his wife have been in love since they were kids. Okay, now don't get freaked out, the Wife is not a child-bride in this photo, she's a "dama" - a "gentle-lady" with her "chambelán" or "gentleman" Marco at a friend's Quinceañera ages ago :). Ok, only a few dozen years ago... How old are you both in this picture anyway?

Well, these dapper looking cutie-patooties continue to amaze me and I always think of this photo in all of its innocence and remarkable beauty when I think of my brother and his wife's love for each other. I just thought I'd mention it because its Friday and because I need to look at something beautiful today cause its been a hard week. I hope you all enjoy it. When you see the Wife and Marco, pinch their cheeks and ask them how they've managed to stay so cute all these years...