Wednesday, April 29, 2009

More Baldies!!!

I think dad was feeling a little bit of peer pressure, because today he shaved HIS head too. And I have to tell you, I KNOW we had WAY too much fun with this one. I've got several videos we're posting here, and they're all hilarious so just watch 'em all.









And this is one of Garrett's best friends, Sam. He shaved his head last week too. Don't they all look so good with no hair? :)
On another note, Garrett has been losing quite a bit of hair over the past two days. yesterday he had white spots on the side of his head where he'd been pulling it out. And today he's got like a receeding hairline near his temples where he sleeps. And today when he took a bath, the tub was full of little hairs when he got out. Just from washing his head. Sigh. We all knew it'd happen.

Baseball Senior Night

Last night was senior night at the baseball game. Garrett obviously didn't play but he was still recognized. They saved him for last and let me tell ya: he sure got one heck of a round of applause! The support is never ending!
The proud parents and their senior!
Right after all this happened, the team lined up on the 3rd base line and faced the flag for the national anthem. During the prelude part of the song that announcer said a little spiel about Garrett that brought a few of us to tears including himself. They said "Notice both teams wearing yellow Livestrong arm bands. This is for Burley Bobcats Centerfielder and #5 Garrett Lyons who was diagnosed with cancer 3 weeks ago. He wants to thank all his teamates, coaches, teachers, friends, and family for all the prayers and words of encouragement through his battle with cancer." That was enough to make my eyes well up. Thanks again to everyone who has supported Garrett and our family through all of this! We love and appreciate every single one of you!

Monday, April 27, 2009

New Oncologist

Today Garrett and my parents met with Garrett's new oncologist in Twin. She had been on Vacation last week so they met with one of the other doctors in the office. She was apparently very thorough and nice. She met with them for over an hour making sure all the basics were covered and to make sure that everyone was on the same page with everything.

G-baby was supposed to be having his last treatment of this cycle of chemo before cycle 2 starts next week but now they are going to skip it. They did a blood test to check his white blood cell count and it way too low to do Chemo. So instead he has to go to the hospital every day this week to get a shot that will help his body boost his white blood count. They said that it isn't "bad" per say but it is lower than they would like. So if you see Garrett walking around with a doctors mask more frequently that is why. We don't want him to get sick with something stupid like a cold and end up in the hospital.

Good news though: the doctor said the first round of chemo is a pretty good indication how the rest of them will go. So the fact that he hasn't been nauseated and sick is a good sign that he won't be for the rest of the treatments. Yay for that. Also, G has gained back 4 lbs! Mom has been catering to his appetite and it seems to be working.

G is still super tired but is getting used to it for the most part. His hair has started falling out (in other places than his head). I keep teasing him that he'll have smoother legs than all of his sisters!

Oh and the doctor said they may be doing the surgery to remove his testicle between the 2nd and 3rd cycles of Chemo. They are not 100% on that yet but it looks like that is where he's headed. If they do that they will probably go back to Salt Lake to have that done. We'll keep you posted.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Support

They say that one of the biggest helps in getting through a cancer diagnosis is the support from family and friends. Garrett has definately had that. We have had so many people calling, sending emails, stopping by, bringing meals, doing yard work, offering prayers, fasting and so many more things. It has truly been a strength for Garrett knowing that he has so many people to help him along this journey.

Here is yet another example of support that he has recieved this last month. My dad took this picture and sent it to me. I know it has been said by others but we as a family can not thank everyone enough for all of their love and support. It has truly been such a blessing to have such wonderful friends and family!
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!! We can not express our gratitude enough.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Skin...

Garrett decided that it'd be a little too freaky to wake up one morning with all his hair on his pillow. So today he bit the bullet and shaved it all off. Kinda sad....that boy has some of the greatest hair I've ever seen!


We probably had a little too much fun with the clippers. We gave him a reverse-mohawk to start (like on The Grinch) and then did one side and then the other.



When all was said and done, I think we were all pretty suprized how good Garrett's head was. No lumps bumps or wrinkles. He still looks good, even for a baldy. Now please let me apologize right now for the video. I took it sideways, and there's no way to fix that. Pictures I can turn, but for some reason the videos are stuck. So turn your head I guess :)


To show his support, Parker told Garrett a long time ago that he would shave his head too while g-baby goes through chemo. So, true to his word.....after g-baby got his head shaved, Parker took the hot-seat and we shaved his head too. We even let Garrett have a go with the clippers.

And then the two boys together with their white heads. I'm sure they'll color up in a couple weeks or so.
Well what do you think?
I also just got off the phone with Robyn, Garrett's sister, and she said that tomorrow she is going to shave her son's hair (Lucas) as well. What a loving family! We're with you every step of the way Garrett!
Other news! Garrett went to school today! Yes, it was only one class (Government)...but he went! I heard him say he practically fell asleep towards the end, so I duno how much of that he's gonna be doing....but maybe once in a while. He said he gets pretty tired anyway, but sitting in class for about an hour.....well it's not like American Government is the most captivating subject on the planet.
Also, yesterday Garrett had his first chemotherapy treatment in Twin Falls. The cancer center there is quite a bit different than what he was used to in Utah. And it took about 5 hours from start to finish, instead of 2 to 3 like they originally thought. There was just so much to do for that first visit. But I think it'll be faster from here on out. We are so grateful he is able to get this treatment as an out-patient procedure so he can spend more time at home. So far, still no nausea.....just a few missing pounds and a lack of energy, ESPECIALLY at night. Thanks again for all the support! He's doing great!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Promenade...

Here's the video from Garrett's promenade. That huge cheer from the crowd brought tears to my eyes. More pictures from Prom are coming...

Ten Pounds

I've lost ten pounds on the chemotherapy diet!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Livestrong!

Don't you think this first picture is absolutely amazing? It's brought tears to many people's eyes! A friend of Garrett's, Carli Parish, took the picture and obviously did a great job. Thanks Carli! His baseball team made these homemade bands to wear during their games that say "GL 5" for Garrett! The cool thing is, the opposing team and arch rival team Minico also wore them during the game since Garrett has become good friends with a few of their players. In fact, during the game this picture was taken, his friend from Minico's team wore #5 and played centerfield for Garrett! The support from his friends and teamates has been UNREAL!


We also have to show our support for Garrett as a family so we are all sportin' our "Livestrong" bands every day as well! If anyone is interested in getting one to wear in Garrett's behalf, you can purchase them online for $1 each @ http://www.store-laf.org/wristbands.html

Welcome Home G-Baby!

Last night Mom and Garrett came home. They actually surprised me because the original plan was to wait till Thursday (today). However, the sooner the better. We were all rushing to get the house ready, and we decided to make a welcome home banner.

Garrett said he wanted pizza for dinner, so we ordered 3 stuffed crust pizzas. I'm sure it tasted amazing after all that hospital food.



Okay, the video is a little anti-climactic. But that's how it happened, so what can you do? We are so happy to have G-baby home. We've stocked up on lysol and germ-x (hand sanitizer) and spread it all throughout the house. Dad lysoled all the doorknobs and the hand-rail for the stairs.

First thing, when Garrett came home, we had to run to the pharmacy and get all his medications. I won't list them, but basicly it's stuff to help with the symptoms of chemo, and then his blood-thinners. I actually got to administer his blood-thinner injection, because apparently since I've given shots in the mouth, I'm most qualified to give one in the abdomen. Poor Garrett, he says that injection burns really bad when it's given. Luckily, it only lasts a couple minutes and then it's over. He gets that shot twice a day.

Today Garrett went to visit his baseball team, and then this evening went to watch the Junior Miss Pagent. With his immune system on the decline, he figured if there was ever a day that he should get out, it would be today. He actually had his white blood cells checked today, and the levels are low, but they haven't got down that much.... yet. They will continue to drop, and with it his ability to fight off sickness. I think it was pretty important to him to go to that competition though. Pictured to the right is Garrett and Paetyn after the pagent was over.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Another visitor


I just wanted to post a picture of one of Garrett's visitors. On Sunday Sam and his family came to visit. Garrett was so excited to see his friend. The support of his friends has been so great. He has really been blessed with some really great ones. Keep up the support.

Home Sweet Home

Well as I type this post Garrett is on his way to Home Sweet Home. He is so ready and excited to be able to sleep in his own bed! They should be home in Burley around 7pm'ish. I think more than Garrett, Mom is so excited to be home too. Sleeping on a small couch in a hospital room isn't the best way to get some rest either.

Today Garrett had his last chemo treatment of the 5 day segment for this cycle. He is handling the Chemo exceptionally well. The PA from the Oncology Department has been so impressed at how well he is doing. So far, he hasn't felt really sick just really tired. He has also lost his appetite. Nothing sounds good or looks good to him. Despite the sleepyness and loss of appetite he is in really good spirits...being G-baby. (Should this suprise anyone....no). He is a fighter and he is doing so well. Hopefully the rest of Chemo will be this way. He is only 5 days in to cycle 1 of 4 but if it continues going the way it is now than it will fly by.

Also today Garrett had the filter removed from his vein. The filter is the little thing they put in through his neck to catch any blood clots before they went to his heart. The doctors have been checking his blood every 6 hours to make sure that it is the right consistancy. His blood is right where they want it which means they have his blood thinners to the correct dosage so they could remove the filter because their should not be any more clots. This is really good news because they thought they would not be able to remove it for several weeks.

By the way--G-baby wanted me to wish Peyton Goodluck tonight at Junior Miss. He really wishes he could be there. You'll do great! Good Luck!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Pictures from the hospital....

I know it took us long enough, but here's a bunch of pictures from the hospital. This post may look long, but I'm not gonna write much. I think the pictures speak for themselves.


Garrett has had so many visitors at the hospital. Some cousins I've only met once or twice, lots of aunts and uncles, and even a few friends from High School.

And then of course, the fam-damly. He can't get rid of us!










Next are some pictures of just a few of the MANY posters he received. The first two are from the high school, but there are two more not pictured. And two of them are also practically full of signatures on the back as well.




And the lovely candy-grahm poster. I have to mention quickly about the peanut m&m's on the bottom right of the poster. You'll notice a little scribble on the bottom corner of the poster that says, "thanks for sharing." That bag of M&M's is empty except for 2. The signature below that: Rob Hansen. Garrett's young men's president. Didn't you know Garrett? All that candy is not for YOU! It's for you to share with your friends and family! We got a kick out of that.




And we couldn't have let G-baby spend so much time in bed without some entertainment! Here's Garrett sporting one of his MANY new beanies he got as a gift as he plays his x-box. It's too bad he'll be bald in the SUMMER, they need to invent a beanie that keeps your head COOL!
















And finally, Garrett with his nephew Lucas. That boy has the most adorable smile! He got to spend five whole days with g-baby before going home to Las Vegas.


Sorry the pictures took so long. We're so busy here. And there's so much to do at the house to get ready for g-baby to come home. I've got to scrub both bathrooms (we know how much bacteria resides THERE!) and lysol all the doorknobs. We want the house as bacteria free as possible so Garrett won't be any more sick than he has to be when he gets home. We're counting down the days G-baby!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Thanks whoever you are....

Here's a video of what we found when Dad, Parker, Katelyn and I got home.

We would just like to thank everyone once again for all the love, support and prayers. It has truly been felt by our family.

Today Garrett got his second round of chemotherapy. Today he got three medications instead of two, so it literally took about 3 and a half hours to get it all into his system. It's kinda interesting because those nurses wear a special gown, and gloves, and they place a barrier around Garrett's arm when they administer that stuff. It's pretty crazy that they're putting something so toxic they won't even touch it INSIDE of his body. But if it'll make the cancer go away, we're all for it.

Garrett got special permission to go down to the cafeteria today. According to mom, it was really nice for him to get off the 9th floor and have a little adventure. He got to take the elevator down to the main floor and get himself some ice cream.

Garrett has also had several visitors over the past few days. He's had LOTS of family come, as well as some friends from school. I know he is truly grateful for all the support, and I think he especially enjoys the company of his friends.

Katelyn and Jayne have taken several pictures at the hospital, that we are excited to post as soon as we can get a way to pull them off the camera and onto the computer. I'd just like to also add, that from my personal observation: G-baby seems to be in much better spirits over the past few days. I think the initial shock is over, and he seems very optimistic. He's being very friendly with the nurses and staff, and I've noticed a little bit of a light in his eyes this weekend.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Chemo---Day One

Garrett officially started Chemo-Therapy today. It was started today about 4 pm. He was able to stay in his hospital room where he could play a little X-Box while they pumped medicine through his body with an IV. It was a two hour long treatment with two bags of medicine. This is day 1 of a 21 day cycle. He will have 5 days of two hour long treatments followed by two shorter treatments on day 9 and 14. He will go through 4 cycles of treatment.

It is not really "medicine" per say but more like poisenous chemicals that will kill the cancer. The bad part is that it will kill all/most of his white blood cells. The white blood cells are the cells in your blood that fight infections. The Chemo will severly hinder his body's ability to fight off even the smallest of infections ie...the common cold. It will be really important that any visitors that G-Baby gets (and I am guessing it will be a lot since everyone loves him) will need to make sure that they don't come over if they are sick. I know it will be hard but it will be important to Garrett's recovery that he doesn't get exposed to anything while his immune system is down. Also, if you do come be prepared to be sanitized by Mama Lyons....I think she is stocking up on Hand Sanitizer.

Garrett is so excited to be home in his own bed. The hospital beds really suck. Even the nurse said, "You know the beds cost so stinkin' much you thing they could make them comfy". If everything goes smoothly with the first five days of Chemo he should be home in Burley by Thursday. So far so good...they have given him a lot of anit-nausea medicine so hopefully he doesn't get too sick. We'll keep you posted. Keep praying for him.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Message from G-Baby

Hi Everyone-

Garrett wanted to say "HI" to you all.

News from Home

Well, most of the family is with Garrett in Utah right now, but Parker and I are still home in Burley. I am writing this post because I have gotten several phone calls and door visits asking about Garrett having surgery. So I decided I'd better clarify. Garrett will not be having surgery this week. As all things in the medical field are...nothing is ever for sure, and surgery has been postponed till he's had a few rounds of chemotherapy. The doctors decided that it's too dangerous to take him off the blood-thinners right now (which would HAVE to happen if he were to have surgery). The chemo will do it's job whether he has surgery or not....so they've decided to wait a little bit. Last I heard, Garrett is supposed to start chemotherapy tomorrow. He must spend his first round of chemo (which lasts 5 days) in the hospital in Salt Lake. So if he starts tomorrow, we'll see him home Wednesday or Thursday. The rest of his chemo will be done in Twin Falls. So, hopefully (even though you can never count on it) things will go according to plan, and he'll be home next week.
Thanks for all the support and prayers!
Heather Lyons

Thursday, April 9, 2009

MRI news

Earlier today we recieved some really good news. G-baby had gone for an MRI scan of his brain to make sure the cancer had not spread there. The doctors were fairly confident that it had not but they wanted to double check just in case.

The results came back and....da da da....no cancer in his brain!!! Yay for small miracles.

Waiting it out in the hospital...

While we have been here at the hospital for what feels like months...in reality has only been a few days. The days for the most part have been filled with lots of sleeping...at least for G-baby...sometimes :) We are trying to stay positive and have a little fun...even if it is just a little.

Here's a good picture of Jayne trying to cheer G-baby up. The bandage on his neck is from where they had to do a procedure. During this procedure they had to make a small incision in his neck and with tiny cameras they put a stent in his artery near his heart so that if any of the blood clots break lose the stent has a little "umbrella" that will catch it before it damages his heart. The doctors are just trying to make sure nothing happens to our good man's heart...he's gonna need it really soon for some baseball! (PS- notice his cell phone in his lap...I don't think he would have survived the first night without it glued to his hands :))
Of course, being his big sisters we had to have a little fun teasing. The first 3 days Garrett was not allowed to leave his bed except for the few minutes required to go to the bathroom. We had to take advantage of this. The hospital had this poster on the wall so we filled it out...of course not much of it has to do with G-baby. He thought it was "hilarious" that we put his favorite book as Twilight...since he thinks his sisters are crazy obsessive with it. :) Our favorite part was his photograph...it took all day to draw those muscles.

Times News Article

In case some of you haven't read the news article published in the Times News on April 9th by Ryan Howe...Here you go.

COLUMN: Like Lyons
Bobcats inspired by teammate
By Ryan Howe
Life just threw Garrett Lyons a curveball.Last Friday during Burley's baseball game with Hillcrest, Lyons left after the second inning, complaining of pain in his ribs. It had been a slowly escalating injury that was thought to have possibly stemmed from a spectacular diving catch Lyons made at the Buck's Bags Spring Classic the week before.He couldn't breathe well. He thought he had cracked a rib. He tried playing through the pain, but it kept getting worse, so bad he couldn't sleep at night.Without Lyons on the field, the Bobcats lost to Hillcrest. The next day, Saturday, Lyons didn't even stick around in the dugout to support the team as they got swept by Century in a doubleheader. It was their fifth straight loss, and it felt like the Bobcats' season could be heading down the drain. The players were confused, some a little hurt, that their leadoff hitter and best outfielder bailed on them.The most perplexing thing was, Garrett Lyons just isn't the type to abandon his team or let an injury keep him off the field. Even players from other teams thought it was odd. A Minico player in the stands Saturday said that something must be really wrong if Lyons isn't playing. He loves the game too much to sit out.After all, this is the same kid who flew around the football field with reckless abandon, taking on guys twice his size. He's nothing if not tough, strong-willed and good-spirited. Nothing could stop him from competing.That is, until Monday morning, when Lyons left school early to see a doctor. X-rays revealed cancer.Suddenly, a five-game losing streak didn't seem that important anymore."It's definitely a reality check," said senior captain Kace Redder. "We were all devastated after Saturday because we were like, man, what's going on with our season? Then when we found out about Garrett, we were like, man, this doesn't even matter. This is just baseball. This is just a game."Lyons was diagnosed with testicular cancer, one of the most curable forms. According to Burley coach Devin Kunz, the Lyons family said doctors are very optimistic that Garrett should make a complete recovery, but he still has a long, arduous road filled with surgeries and chemotherapy. If anybody can overcome adversity, though, it's Garrett Lyons.As for the team, the news hit them hard. "There is not one person in the 950 students and faculty that don't love and respect Garrett Lyons," Kunz said.On Tuesday, the Bobcats' minds were obviously elsewhere as they fell behind 7-1 to Jerome. However, before the game they held an emotional players-only meeting where they decided to play like Lyons: Go full throttle, stay positive, play scrappy and never give up.Was there any doubt that the inspired bunch would rally and beat Jerome 12-9?Just like there's no doubt the source of their inspiration will rally to beat his foe, too.Ryan Howe may be reached at 208-677-8786 or rhowe@magicvalley.com.

The Diagnosis

Monday April 6th will be a day that will resonate with Garrett (and our Famiy alike) for the rest of his life. It was a day when, thinking he was just going to find out about a broken rib, he would find out something much worse. Cancer. The word we all cringe at when it is said. It now applied directly to him.

The diagnosis came by sheer luck. Dr. Grahmn thought to do a full chest x-ray to double check the pain in his rib. Anticipating a fracture he was shocked and sickened to look at the x-ray and see cancer spots in Garrett's lungs. Pale faced he entered the exam room where Garrett and Dad sat waiting. "It's not good" was one of the first things they heard and immediately Dad's heart sank. After the doctor explained what he saw in the x-ray they immediately had G-baby transfered over to the Cassia Regional Medical Center for further testing.

They started off with a CT scan of his body...what that revealed meant more bad news: Blood clots in his lungs. Immediately Dr. Grahmn called for an air transport team to life flight G-baby down to a hospital more equipped to deal with the events happing in his body. Unfortuately the air transport team would take too long so instead they assembled an ambulence transport team to transfer him to Salt Lake City

Upon arrival at the Intermountain Medical Center in Murray Utah he was met by a team of doctors: a team of 3 Internal Medicine Doctors, an Oncologist (cancer Dr), and a Urologist. These doctors immediately began working on figuring out what was going on.

The official diagnosis: Non-Seminoma Intermediate Testicular Cancer that has metastisized into his lungs and lymph nodes.

The normal treatment would be immediate removal of the cancerous testical and Chemo-Therapy. However, as you all know, G-baby is anything but normal. The blood clots are located in the lungs too close the heart for comfort therefore creating a problem for any surgery to take place. They decided against the removal of the testical and to move forward with Chemo-Therapy instead.

The plan going forward is that G-baby will start Chemo-Therapy here in Utah on Saturday. The chemo will take place after that up in Twin Falls. There will be 4 rounds of Chemo, each round lasting 21 days. Each round starts off with 5 days of two-hours per day treatments followed by one day a week treatments for the next two weeks. Then, 21 days later it starts all over again.

After all 4 rounds of Chemo they will take him to surgery to remove the testicle and then repeat all the CT scan's and chest x-rays to see where they are at. There is a really good chance that the four rounds of chemo will "melt" away the cancer. Please pray for that!