Monday, October 31, 2011

Not An Easy Transition

When we first found out that Marco had cancer in 2007, we didn't know what the hell to do. We first went through disbelief, and we just came out of the doctor's office with those words said to us….."YOU HAVE CANCER." We knew then that we were in for a fight and in for the long haul, no matter where the road would lead us. It has not been an easy road at all.

We have always been very open between ourselves, with our kids and with everyone.
Our world, as we knew it, came to a standstill, and we have never looked back. We
were shifted into the world of cancer and all of its realities.

We knew that Marco would be fighting for his life. We knew that this type of cancer was un-cure-able and extremely aggressive. Aware that one day it would take his life.

Each surgery was life and death, each surgery meant we had more time to take advantage of, each surgery Marco knew the risks that he was facing and with each one we were more afraid than the last one. Each chemo he tolerated and dealt with the side effects. Chemo and radiation came with its risk and he would take them, even though he didn’t want too. He has faced so much and has had to deal with a lot.

We were aware of the 2mm nodule in his right lung seen last June when Dr.Trisal and his team discovered it. It would have been in October that he would have had a scan appointment, but due to the brain tumor that was detected and removed after Labor Day weekend, all of those scans were canceled due to metastasis to the brain, and this would change everything. The chest scan taken in ETC when the brain tumor was diagnosed showed the tumor in his right lung to be approx. 8mm. That is 6 mm larger. Due to the very aggressive nature of this disease and that several recurrences and metastasis to the brain and right lung have occurred, the Sarcoma Team at City of Hope have exhausted all treatment options to prolong Marco’s life.

Since COH is a treatment facility and there are no more treatments, Marco has been referred to hospice care. He will be enrolling in hospice care in a couple of days…which means that he will now be in their care for whatever is needed. He will be observed and treated only for pain management to make him comfortable and help us all with the next transition in his life. Marco looks and feels good right now, other than for the pain for previous surgery and he continues to have his postitive motivation and attitude no matter what.

We don't ponder on what will happen. We just take it one day at a time and enjoy
what he have. We face each day with positive vibes, a kiss, a smile, a tears and a laugh as we have been all these years.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Getting Our Pumpkins Ready

Machini hard at work getting his pumpkin carved out
The kids did such a great job with their pumpkins
Grandma wanted Curious George...I tried my
This one is Machini's who wanted something really scary
Looks scary even when the the lights on

We hope everyone has a safe and Spooktacular Halloween!

Mini Hawk

Saturday 10/22/2011

This week seemed like Marco was shedding off more hair than normal. Leaving a trail of hair everywhere on the pillow and especially on his shirts all the time. Well today he went to take a shower and as he came out and settled to go to bed he turned a certain way and all you saw was a bald spot just to the right of his left ear not to far from his incision. I leaned closer and most of the hair was gone. I reached in to feel around the area and more hair started to fall. Marco went to go tug on his hair and a chunck came out.

I told him I had to cut his hair, his response "Does that means I have to take another shower". Uh, yeah.... so I started to cut his hair and avoiding as much as I could not to get close to the stitches and staples still in his head. So now his is semi-bald till the stitches and staples come out on Friday so I can finish shaving it all.

Looks like a mini-mini hawk

Marco just seems to take everything in stride. While it just makes me angry that he has to deal with this on top of everything else.

Busy Week It Has Been.....

We had an appointment with Dr. Chow recently to confirm what we already knew that there would be no more chemo and no more surgeries. We hope that it doesn't come back, if it ain't there already. So far Marco is doing good, we continue to enjoy and take it one day at a time.

Marco will be having his stitches and staples removed from his head this Friday.. He has been waiting for awhile now and is anxious to get those things out. He started to loose some of his hair due to the radiation. I need to cut all his hair off and just sport a semi-balled look cause the radiation only affected one side, oppose to his hair falling off during his chemo which made all the hair fall off. Any which way his still look handsome to me.

Gianina is starting to feel better after they removed what they thought was a cyst turned out to be a "fatty" tumor on her upper breast area. They said not to worry about it , yeah tell that to a regular person. We worry about anything looking like a lump of any kind. So, I made sure to keep reminding them to take it to pathology to get it checked anyway. Results came back benign,negative. Stitches for her came out and she needs to wear special bandage to make sure no scar.

Abuelita (Marco's mom) gave us a fright recently. She ended up in the hospital with very low blood surgar and a stroke. Scary thought of what could of happend and just happy it turned out well.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Walking for Cypress Academy Fundraiser

Marco and Machini posing before the walk at Cypress Academy 10/14/2011
Machini ran the first lap and left Marco and myself behind to fend for ourselves
Marco was able to complete a lap and said I will wait for you in the shade right
after this picture was taken. At least he did one lap.

Machini did a good job and completed about 20 laps. Great Job!
Machini was really excited that we were able to show up to his walk.

He even called from the office to make sure we didn't miss it.

Thank you to all who supported Machini in his walk, he will be having lunch

with his principal Mrs. Seegar later in the school year.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Possible Phase 1 Trial

Saw Dr. Chow today, there may be a Phase 1 Trial that Marco could participate in. There is a waiting list for it though. It may take 4-6 weeks if not sooner, before we hear anything. In the mean time we wait. Marco will be getting his stitches out next week along with the staples in his head.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Message From My Sister Ericka.....

Hi Guys,

It's Ericka. I was planning a Cancer Awareness Week Proposal and was looking around for goodies to sell and started messing around with shirts. Then I got to thinking and creating and BAM! We have a shirt to show our support for Marco. We will be ordering shirts soon, so please commit and send your money to me so we can get these sweet shirts ordered. Please send message to to get address to mail in your order and payment.

I will be placing orders for TWO different color shirts. --- You can order both( that would be awesome) or just one.

Black or Grey T-Shirt come in sizes YOUTH ys - yl and ADULT S-XXXL each shirt is $20.00 -
Grey Hoodie Sweater sizes as mentioned above is $35.00
We will be donating all proceeds to City of Hope. City of Hope has truly given us hope and slowly but surely we shall give back.
Get your orders in SOON please so we can get these shirts in quick.


Thanks Bunches. - ericka

Friday, October 7, 2011

Last Radiation and Talon Screws Removed Today

Marco had his last brain radiation, all went well. Marco did mention to the tech today, that towards the end of the treatment he was seeing like a strobe light affect while in the machine. He would close his eyes and still see it even more. The tech told him it was normal for him to see that because the radiation was in his vision area. Not to worry. So, I asked today if he saw it and he said yes. But since they told us it was normal we didn't worry about it, cause it would go away shortly after he noticed it.

Marco's next appointment was to go to the ETC to have the talon screw removed. The truth I was a little worried of how they were going to remove them. I did figure a screwdriver would be involved somehow. But the great nurses in ETC sure new how to calm someones nerves. They are too funny The video says a lot of what was going on. Marco was not in any pain throughout the whole thing. He did very well and Rosalind did a great job. City of Hope has some amazing people working there.

The incisions are not that big, there are three staples closing them and they all look really good. He will be finishing up all his anti-seizure medication and then will no longer need them. We just need to watch him in case of anything but we hope nothing happens this weekend, we did see Dr. Chen after the ETC appointment and he told Marco that everything went well as far as the 3 radiation treatments and if he feels anything out of the ordinary he needs to call them quick but he didn't see he would have any problems. Let's hope so. We are so glad that those talon screws are out...maybe he can get some sleep now without really worrying if he would lean his head the wrong way and land on them.

The stitches will be taken out in 2 weeks which by then the staples will be removed as well. The only thing bugging Marco right now is the lifting limit...nothing over that mean he has to wait yet another 2 weeks before he can even think about......yes I am going to say it .....GO FISHING!!!!!!! He has been wanting to go since before his surgery to catch the big one that got away on his last trip.

But he has patience, he knows he can't go till he is good to go. Tonight all is well, Marco asked for some extra medication cause he is starting to feel some pain ,I guess the anesthesia has worn off and after tolerating it he need to have his medication. But all in all he is doing good, just looks and feels tired.

Thank you again to everyone for all your positive thought and well wishes we do appreciate them all.

NEXT APPOINTMENT: With Dr. Chow for follow up on Monday 10-10-2011 will let you know how that goes.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Appointments Cancelled

MRI and CT Scan were cancelled today, after an exchange of emails with Dr. Trisal this weekend. We let him know that he is doing radiation and he had the talon screws in. He recommended that we wait till the radiation is complete so we could reschedule the appointment.

All in all he is doing good, he hasn't had any side effects to the radiation. We hope it stays that way even after his last treatment on Friday, October 6th, they will be removing his talon screws at the end of the day too. He will be having his second radiation treatment tomorrow.

Marco has left the walker behind and is now using a cane. He has been trying to get rid of it too but, it may take a little more time to leave that one behind.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Brain Radiation Started Today

This morning I woke up nervous, nervous that Marco would start radiation to the brain. You would think this is something serious but once we got to COH the nervousness went away because I knew he was in good hands. I walked to the back with Marco as the Radiation Tech explained to Marco what was going to happen once he was in the room. I was able to take some pictures of the machine that Marco would be using for his 3 treatments.

This is the Tomo Therapy Machine that Marco will be placed in while getting his treatments. They had to place him on the table and they aliened him with the beam of lights.
Marco was waiting for the tech to come in and screw him on to the table to keep him from moving and to pin point were the radiation would be given. These machines are amazing.
Marco will lay on this table for approximately 1hr 30min but from the tech said only 16min would be actual radiation therapy. There are specialist who come in and out while the procedure is being performed to make sure everything is accurate and all is going well.
The tech had placed and aliened the screws on his head to the table and tightened them and made sure everything was good to go.
This is a picture of Marco in his position were he would stay without moving till radiation therapy would be completed.
Its hard to see Marco having to deal with these talon screws in his head. Tonight, Marco said he was very tired and has a headache 3 out of 10, I gave him some medication and it seemed to work for him, so that is good he may be able to sleep tonight. Next radiation will be on Tue. but Monday he has a busy day with lab work, MRI and CT Scan for Dr. Trisal and Dr. Chow.