About Me

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Bakersfield, CA, United States
Hans was a busy, happy, sweet and fearless three year old when he was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma. He fought his disease like a "gladiator" for nearly 6 years. Hans was an animal lover to his core. He was 'guarded' at home by his three cats, Black, Orange and Cotton. He also had his Golden Retriever, Honey, to keep him company. Hans enjoyed swimming, biking, gardening, grilling (he had his very own grill!), horseback riding, playing video games, building Legos, and flipping between Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and Animal Planet. Hans loved all members of his family and he was a loyal friend. He had to go through a lot of treatment in his life. But Hans powered through it. His attitude was let's get this done! His motivation was always to get back home, to his family, pets, favorite foods and pool.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Fighting for half of his life, now.

Well, not too much has been happening in terms of side effects. In fact, Hans is doing and looking fabulously! I'm pretty happy about that. He lost all of his hair last week and is bald now. But, I do say, quite beautiful. Without all that hair, I am enjoying seeing, kissing, loving the gorgeous face on that boy. Counts today, big meeting with school tomorrow, scans in Philly in two weeks. I think we are cruising along.

We have reached a couple of milestones. Hans is pushing himself on the swing now! It's such a sweet milestone of childhood. He was inspired by one of our friends, fellow Kindergartner, Kira, who he noticed that last week at the park was pushing herself really well. He's been working on it since MLK Day, and he's got it down.

The other milestone - Hans' has now reached the point where he has been in treatment for exactly half of his life. He was diagnosed at age three years three months, on 10/25/06, and now he's six and a half, yesterday was 1/25/10. This makes me a little sad. Sad that my pre-diagnosis memories are there, but some are fading, and we don't get to make any new ones. I'll always have some sadness and grief those are just two big facts that he doesn't get to be the Hans he was all set to be before diagnosis. He has suffered many not-so-fun side effects from his non-stop three plus year battle. And yet, I have to feel so proud of him and how he handles all of this. He is the happiest kid. He has never once complained of something he has to miss out on. He'll almost never complain of the procedures he has to go through. And, he's got the LOVE thing down. This kids tells us all the time how much he loves us. He wraps his arms around me and kisses me all over my head saying "I can't stop loving you!" I say, "I don't think I could love you any more!" He is just as affectionate with his daddy. He actually loves him even more unconditionally. With me - Hans has laid some funny ground rules. We are together all the time - so this is the deal - when I'm still in my jammies, he loves me, cuddles, etc. etc. - but once I'm all dressed. No more snuggles! Same rules apply to Elle, but she has to be wearing some special jammies that he bought her for Christmas, or no love! He's a trip.

The other way I need to spin this is that after all this time and treatment, we still have him. And, although it is not fun to fight this battle, we can and will continue to do it as long as we can, and hopefully we can somehow lay the beast to rest. We are fortunate to be fighting a version of this disease in Hans that is as responsive to therapy as it is. We only hope and pray that we continue to make the best choices in his treatment to try to save him. There are so many choices once you hit relapsed NB - there are no right/wrong answers.

Thanks for coming along this journey - especially for those of you who can still believe and have hope that we'll come out okay. Thanks to those of you who have helped us in one million little ways. We'll need you for a long way out. There is no way to do this alone! We have to keep the hope alive. That is our only choice.

Love, Lara
Every day is an adventure. Every day is a gift.


Anonymous said...

You, Kevin, Elle, AND HANS are the true gift!!! All who know you are continually amazed and inspired!

Tell Hans some of the MOST handsome men are BALD!!!

You and Elle had better wear those special jammies often!

All of the milestones are special and to be celebrated...with more fun!

Love and hugs,
Aunt Susy

The Adkins Family said...

We're always thinking of you guys!

While it is in no way a good comparison, I can understand "pre-diagnosis days" with Ethan's diabetes. I hate that he has to forever be worried about how high or low his blood sugar is. As parents I'm pretty sure we always want the easiest road for our children.

I also hate that Hans has been fighting cancer half his life. Although they don't ask why, I do. These kids don't deserve these horrible diseases.

Like I said, we're always thinking of you guys. Please let us know if you ever need anything.

The Adkins Family said...

I should also add that I'm thrilled that Hans is doing so great!

Anonymous said...

What a eloquently said blog posting! You are all such fighters and HANS is such a beautiful lovable boy. Always hoping for the best for all of you- I admire your strength...Much love

Kerry & Sean & Madison

Anonymous said...

Well said!! It is hard to believe he has been fighting the BEAST for half of his life!

I am so grateful to have been part of some of the many post diagnosis memories and milestones that Hans has had. I say a prayer each night for him and all my TXCCC kiddos especially the NB kiddos.

Here's looking towards the ultimate milestone..... NED!!!

Love y'all... Rub that bald head for me.


bud elkins said...

beatiful note, thanks for sharing, the Tuesday night mens group at Klein UMC still has you guys on our prayer list and I gave them an update tonight. All of you are my hero's.

Anonymous said...

La - Tell that boy that I'm going to kiss him all over his head the next time I see him. Tell Hansie that I had bacon, cheese and pepperoni the other day. Love you all lots. pl

Anonymous said...

I remember the the day after you brought Hans home from the hospital. I took him outside in the early morning warm summer air. We sat on the back deck for a while. It was very quiet and the sun was low in a clear blue sky. The only sound was the rustling of leaves on the tall trees all around us. Hans was so calm, so alert, so happy to be apart of the world, so ready for anything. He is the strongest person I know.
The love and support you all give him will keep him strong and safe in your care.
You are so lucky to have each other.
I love you all,
G'ma Stephanie

Anonymous said...

Despite everything you've all been through, each of you has a smile that lights up the world. Keeping prayers, healing thoughts and hugs coming your way :)

Love, Aunt Holly and Uncle Michael

Blair said...

Such a beautiful post, Lara. Thank you for being a true example of HOPE for all of us! Continued prayers as you fight this battle...

Anonymous said...

Reading this brought a smile to my face. I can totally see him spreading all that Hansie love. You know you guys are always in my thoughts. Love ya'll.

Nurse Natalie

suzanne said...

Yea for mastering pumping! It's these "little" things that usually bring tears to my eyes!

Anonymous said...

This was a wonderful blog posting Lara--thank you for sharing! This is why fundraising is SO IMPORTANT! We must raise the money to continue to fund THE CURE!!! I can't wait for the day that Hans doesn't have to fight anymore and you all can live in the AFTER cancer days and make those memories! We are always here for you guys.
The Nolens

Anonymous said...

I always feel like Hans is going to be okay....I never think otherwise. love you guys! jana