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.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Soccer Weekend

We just go back in from a weekend in San Antonio. It was all-soccer, so we didn't even manage to squeeze in a trip to the River Walk. The good news was that all 5 of us made it there and back in one piece. I say 5 b/c we got to host Elle's teammate Jules. Her family was out of the country, less one older brother playing in another soccer tournament in Dallas. We had a lot of fun team bonding. The girls' season had a happy end. Elle broke her streak with two goals this weekend. She and Jules each had tie-breaking/game-winning goals this weekend, so I guess we stayed in the lucky suite - 107!

Hans had some pretty low counts on Thursday. HB 9.5, Plts 135, and ANC of a mere
165. So, we were a little apprehensive about bringing him on the trip. But, in the end, he did just fine and we were all able to stay together. I had printed up directions from the hotel to the Chilren's Hospital in San Antonio - just in case we spiked a fever. Thank Goodness I didn't have to pull those out! We'll try to get him in for counts locally at our pediatrician's office Tuesday, then it's back to the clinic on Thursday. Thursday is also the last day of school here!

Soccer has just ended, but we do have try-outs for next year the week after school gets out!

Hans is starting to look a little better. You could just tell that that upped dose of Millennium was hitting him pretty hard this weekend. Just hope it's working on that little spot!!!

Thanks for checking up on us.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Hans getting sprayed by Seany with Ms. Katie's mister at the walk a thon. Madison in the background walked all night!

Hans spraying Seany.

Hans at TCBY today - his FAVE is rainbow cream. Kath - this is the pic we took when I told him u needed a pic. I actually told him it was so you could show Pepper.

Hans and Kev heading into the Atrium area at CHOP.
Just got back from The Sparrow Clubs Walk-a-Thon for Hans on the 9th Grade Campus. How wonderful. It's such a surreal feeling to be walking laps at a High School and see students whom you've never met turning out to the fields to drop off envelopes full of pledges. It's that 'Its a Wonderful Life' feeling that there are no words for. Kevin has often said, I wish everyone could get a taste of such benevolence. We wish everyone could feel it, but we certainly wouldn't wish the NB on a soul. Thanks to all the great, cute, wonderful, sweet, kind, giving, optimistic, spirited, helpful, cheery TEENS who came out! Thanks to Dodie for setting it all up - and your awesome little family who was there the whole time. Thanks to the Sparrow Clubs Prez Travis for his ongoing support. Thanks to Shannon and fam for making it to the Walk-a-Thon. Thanks to all the sponsors. It was so nice:-) Thanks to our new babysitter Katie. We luv ya. Wish we would have found you three years ago! You are the best. Katie donated today's wages! She was able to get Elle to soccer, and then show up to have Hans walk an entire lap with the 4 other kids out there. That is actually a pretty big deal in this ridiculous heat. Thanks again everybody!

In Hans news, he is doing pretty well. He is happy it's pool season. The kids are in school through next Thursday and then it's swimming, playdates, a few camps. Fun.

Hans finished his 8th Round of Millennium. I don't think I mentioned that they had to up his dose because he grew a bit and gained some weight. It seems he is tolerating the higher dose just fine. Counts tomorrow. I am also trying to take him to get signed up for a summer reading program through the Houston Children's Museum tomorrow. He only has to comply with the assessment process to get in. Keeping my fingers crossed, compliance isn't his best strength! But, hey, he walked a lap today and I wouldn't have counted on that.

Thanks for checking up on us!


Friday, May 21, 2010

Walk-a-Thon for Hans!

Wow - I just got an email from our sparrow clubs rep, Dodie. She and the 9th Grade Campus at Branch Crossing are putting together a Walk-a-Thon for Hans. This walk is for Hans' Medical/Travel Fund through the Sparrow Clubs.

All I can say is WOW - I had no idea they had this up their sleeve. If you live here and you'd like a registration form, you can email Dodie Neimeyer:
dniemeyer@conroeisd.net. The Walk-a-Thon for Hans is open to anyone.

Here are the details:

Wednesday, May 26th, 4-7 pm
TWHS 9th grade campus track
to help raise funds for 6-year-old
Hans’ cancer treatment

Dodie says anyone can participate. If you don't live locally and you want to participate, please contact dniemeyer@conroeisd.net.

We appreciate these fundraising efforts. It gets expensive to fly to Philly and keep pushing for the best treatments for Hans. We are humbled by people's ongoing contributions to both Hans' medical/travel expenses, as well as our continued efforts to raise funds for the Children's Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation ! How do we thank you?

With our new news we now feel we have the freedom to 'plan' the next six weeks of our lives!


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Good News

Just got back from our appointment with Dr. Mosse. I have to be quick b/c we have to check out. Overall take on things: "slightly improved!" Hallelujah! MIBG scan appears now to be only the one spot on skull, now fainter. Bone Marrows and CT were clear. "It means we're doing the right thing" is how Kevin sums it up. We will start Round 8, and return to Philly end of June for more scans. Just the MIBG next time.

Thanks Michelle for taking such good care of our other beautiful baby, and alana for taking care of les chats!


Scan Day

I have a little time before we go into clinic for the MIBG scan and our office visit. Thank you thank you for keeping those prayers coming for Hans!

I think I got the good end of the bargain yesterday. Kevin stayed at the hotel and fed Hans is first 2 cups of IV Contrast in blue gatorade- while I went the Philadelphia Museum of Art! I have wanted to visit many times, but yesterday was the day! I saw online that yesterday was International Museum Day -'in order to promote Social Harmony'...sooo, needless to say, I was floating around the museum, feeling very socially harmonious, enjoying the Van Gogh's and Monets.... my favorite was this sculpture of a little boy holding a rooster...a Cecioni... here is a link if you want to check it out http://www.philamuseum.org/collections/permanent/124792.html?mulR=6682. Reminds me of something Hans would get himself into! Hans is such a champ though. Then, we got him down to the Hospital and I took over, feeding him the next 2 cups of CT contrast in blue gatorade. He drank it while playing Go Fish. He cheats a little bit, so he beat me like 16-4!

Hans has been eating his way through Philly - we dined at Mad Mex twice in a row now... I think I'm finally starting to get sick of that place now, after 18 months! It's fun to see him chow down though.

Kevin had actually hoped to go to a Phillies game last night, but we didn't want to buy tickets with the rain and the unsure status. So, we didn't get tickets. The game was on, but it would have been a little miserable!

Okay - will post the update when we get the news. I am still not used to going through this scan stuff every 6 weeks. I think mentally I'm still on the every 3 months schedule.

Everyday is an Adventure. Everyday is a Gift!


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Time Line

Hi -
Just letting you know what we're up to. Yesterday we got in early and were 'first case' for Bone marrow biopsies. Today we'll go in for CT and MIBG injection. Tomorrow we will do MIBG and have a meeting with Dr. Mosse (Dr. Maris is out of the country).

We have a car this time, because we had to stay out by the airport when we got in Sunday night. Penn's graduation was yesterday so everything was booked up. We were able to move over to the Sheraton, and we'll see if we get into the RMH for our last night, tonight. We are getting out of the University City area a bit more, checking out Fairmont park a little bit, but it is supposed to RAIN a lot today.

When I talked to Elle last night, she asked if Hans was hobbling around like a little Ewok after the bone marrow biopsies. Pretty much! We were all ready for a big nap yesterday.

Michelle has Elle and was there for her last night to see Elle's band Spring Concert. She recorded it for us - so we don't have to miss out.

Thanks for the prayers for the good news.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Some Pics

Since it has been a little while, leaving you with these parting shots before we hop on a plane.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Wow - it's just been a flurry of activity around here. Our counters look gorgeous, but unfortunately the plumber found a series of problems, so our project is getting a little out of control. At least our sinks shall flow and drain like a model home when it's all said and done. I'll post a pic as soon as we've got the place back together. Even though I'm washing dishes in the bathtub for the time being, it's exciting! We haven't done much to our house since we moved in 7 years ago and it is really 'preserved' circa 1988. How fun to say g'bye to the gray chipped formica countertops!

In Lanyard news we've been busy over the past week or more. Thanks to Kim, Charon and Vickie for their support! And to hostesses Wendy and Margie! We've held workshops at Tamiko's, with the NCL Sustainer's Group, and with the Senior Class at the John Cooper School as part of their 'May We Help' campaign during the period of time they have no scheduled classes before graduation. How cool is that? I was an invited guest at the NCL end of the year brunch on Saturday morning where I accepted a check for $1000 to the CNCF. Again, How cool is that? Thanks to Marlene for making the NCL connection this year. I think we've raked in at least $1800 in donations at just these events. How cool is that??? I guess I needn't sweat it out that I was unable to secure a bake sale date for this spring.

Elle is superbusy - I think I'll dedicate a whole post to her fifth grade year soon b/c I'm so proud of the way she handles herself despite Hans' trials.

I signed Hans up for summer swim lesson sessions. He is going to get a kick out of his sister having to sit and wait for him in the heat for a change! Elle will be taking a babysitting course this summer and will do sleep away girl scout camp for the first time ever in Galveston! I'm really excited for her.

Kevin and I will be heading up to Philly with Hans on Sunday. We were fortunate to receive tickets from CHOP through a grant supported by SW airlines. We can make those donated miles last longer.

Thanks for checking up on us.


Monday, May 10, 2010


Wow - I can't believe what a slacker I am becoming. I'm sorry not to get to posting sooner.
This mostly means we are busy and doing well.

Hans is working with his teacher right now. And our guys are ripping out countertops and sinks. He is working okay despite the noise. He just had some end of the year testing, doing okay - a little behind on the reading, but really, we'll take it!

We had a great mother's day. We had to go back to the beach for some more boogie boarding. It's so fun to see Hans ride the waves right up onto the sand. I just giggle the whole time. We are putting 'beach house' on our wish list!

So far, things are going well. Hans did so great with this last round - no real side effects - and counts didn't dip too too far, that we didn't even have to go in for a re-check on Friday. I love it, feel like we're playing hooky!

We all renewed our pool passes and Kevin took the kids out on opening day. (I was out knocking on doors for the census.) The only problem is getting Hans OUT of the pool.

We had a really special brush with fame last night. And, silly me didn't even get a pic when I had my camera right in my purse. We stopped for dinner in Houston at the original Mama Ninfa's (on Navigation) www.mamaninfas.com. This is a very authentic, old Mexican food place complete with sloping floors and ladies hand rolling tortillas when you walk in the door. Mama Ninfa actually claims to have first dished up the fajita back in the 1950's. We had just finished dinner and noticed two lovely, dressed up ladies walk by our table. A little later, we were walking out the door and we were approached by one of the lovelies. She was talking to Hans wanting to know all about him, and then she said her name, Melissa and it hit me that she was Melissa Gilbert (from Little House in the Prairie). She is in Houston with her play - Little House on the Prairie - she plays Ma (we had looked into getting tickets when my mom was in town, but her visit wasn't on the right date.) Anyway, Ms. Gilbert was wonderful. She sought Hans out to commend him for his strength and bravery. She left us with a token - a Pandora bracelet with a little house charm. She said that the people in that little house had suffered and endured so much, and yet were so brave in the face of it, that it could serve as a reminder for Hans to continue to be so brave. It was really a beautiful thing that she took such time and effort to make a connection with our family. It made me feel like that's what people should be out doing with their celebrity.

I was obviously (being a girl named Lara growing up in the 70's) a HUGE Little House on the Prairie fan and Melissa was able to confirm a long standing debate I have with my memory! Did Little House really compete with Monday Night Football so that I didn't get to watch every episode? Yes, she confirmed, it aired Monday night. Funny how you find some things out.

Hope you all had a good Mother's Day.


Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Counts are still okay

Hi there,
Sorry it's been a few days.

Hans had decent counts at clinic yesterday. Once over the weekend he complained about mouth pain. Since mouth sores are a documented side effect of the Millennium, we had doctor R. take a quick peek. Fortunately she didn't see anything

We got scan dates for two weeks back up at CHOP. So, when you think about Hansie, please think some nice happy thoughts about improvement! This time he will undergo Bone Marrows, CT and an MIBG. What we are hoping is that the bone marrows and the CT are still clear, like they were back in Dec. I'm also hoping for some improvement in the MIBG.

There is a chance that Hans could have a change up on meds, or we might stay with the Millennium for a little while. We shall see.

I am trying to convince Hans that Honey needs to learn her sight words, that way he can have fun and work with me on sight words at the same time. He's doing okay with his homebound school. It does seem like he's one of the boys to which math comes more easily than reading.

Just a quick update. Counts will probably be down this weekend, but that's okay - we've got lots to do around here. We're redoing our countertops, so we have to get ready for our guy to come on Monday. That's kind of exciting!

Happy Cinco de Mayo.