Les had another clear MRI this month – Praise God!!! We are continually thankful for God’s hand in our lives and look forward to what 2005 brings. Les is continuing to gain in strength and stamina and has not had any problems eating. We go for our monthly checkup tomorrow and hopefully will start the process to schedule the removal of the g-tube.
I’m including our Christmas letter below for those of you who haven’t seen it.
Hi! Please let me introduce myself. My name is Goofy and I’m an I.V. tree. I have been living with the Fountains since August of 2003 and I got my name because my 5 wheels always want to go in different directions and I’m hard to control. I was given the job of holding Les’ food bag and pump after his appetite dropped off from the chemotherapy he was receiving for his brain cancer. I’ve recently been relegated to my box and put out in the garage because Les doesn’t need me to help him eat anymore, but over the last year I overheard Jason and Cecillia with Les as they tucked him in each night, reviewing what they had done that day. Sometimes Les was already asleep as they whispered about the events of the day, which brought them home late. Oh, and by the way, the cancer has been gone since November of 2003, and Les doesn’t need any more chemotherapy.
Les was excited to watch Jason build an electric guitar from a kit (Les had purchased a purple strap for it as a Christmas present that year). Jason had fun fine sanding, finishing and assembling it. He played it numerous times at church during the winter and enjoys the results of his effort. When not playing his guitar at church, Jason heads up the team that mixes the sound for Sunday services. During the week, work at Griffin Laboratories is keeping Jason busy with new employees and all that that brings with it. He seems very satisfied with his responsibilities and challenges.
Les had a big year and got to do some exciting things, some of them for the first time! In March, he celebrated his 5th birthday with representation from his extended family and a Bob the Builder birthday cake. For more details on this and other activities, please visit Les’ website, www.lesfountain.com.
On Mother’s Day the Fountain’s attended Courageous Kids at Sea World (co-sponsored by the American Cancer Society), an event that celebrates the moms of the children who are in, or were in, treatment for cancer. There were crazy games, crafts and lunch. Cecillia was on the San Diego news playing musical chairs. She didn’t win, but she had a huge smile on her face when she got home.
The following weekend saw me holding down the fort while they were in San Diego for an event called Celebration of Champions. This event is a major fundraiser for the cancer care center at Children’s Hospital in San Diego and includes a celebrity relay race with the kids in treatment or recently completed treatment. Les “ran” (actually rode in his hot rod) his relay leg with Trevor Hoffman! He’s a relief pitcher for the San Diego Padres. Later that same day they attended the Padres game and Les and Jason got to stand on the 3rd base line during a pre-game show as the “champions” were celebrated again.
In July we all went to San Diego for a week; Cecillia and Jason enjoyed a wonderful vacation while Les spent 5 days at day camp. While Les was at Camp Reach for the Sky (sponsored by the American Cancer Society), Jason and Cecillia would venture off to various local activities and enjoyed some freedom. They toured the Taylor guitar factory, went to a funny production of “Triple Espresso” with Cecillia’s Grandma, and spent a day (and evening) at Sea World. They disappeared for a couple days and I heard later they had been over at the Hotel Del Coronado doing an island tour, swimming at the pool, and enjoying some great food. Les had a wonderful time at camp, made lots of friends, and is looking forward to returning in 2005.
I saw Les go through many changes this year. He got stronger by the day and slowly put on weight as he exercised at PT, OT, and Gymnastic classes. He chose to attend the 2-year-old Mommy & Me gymnastics class so Cecillia could be by his side as he utilized the different floor apparatus. Most of his hair disappeared this year and then grew back again allowing him to realize his dream of having “Calvin” hair; the spiky, saw tooth like hairstyle of the comic strip character from Calvin & Hobbs. He wears it proudly, just like Calvin did.
Les finished chemo in June ‘04 and I saw a whirlwind of activity here at the house leading up to his “graduation.” In fact, I got moved to a new room so I could continue to be with Les. Cecillia designed his new bedroom in a “Rescue Heroes” theme. I’m surrounded by bold colors on the bed, toy/bookshelves, and drapes. Some of Les’ favorite “Heroes” are displayed on the walls.
My/Les’ old room became a school room/office where Les is home-schooled by Cecillia. I could hear him in there learning phonics, language arts, science, math, history, art, and music. He certainly is smarter than an I.V. tree. He would talk to me about what he had learned as he was drifting off to sleep.
Cecillia has been keeping herself busy teaching Les, playing taxi driver for Les, as well as the house chores, and scrap booking if she can. Jason is often the one to put Les to bed at night because Cecillia is just exhausted! Les’ appointments are getting further and further apart which is one of the reasons I’ve been relegated to the garage. He doesn’t need me to hold his food anymore. He is eating with Jason and Cecillia again.
Well, I would guess this is the first letter you have read written by an I.V. pole, and I hope it will be the last since I’m not living in the house anymore (they allowed me computer privileges this time, but soon I’m moving on to the next little kid who needs me). I did observe some exciting things during my stay at the Fountain house. One of the most touching though was at bedtime when I got to hear Les and his parents reading the Bible and praying. Though I didn’t understand all of it, not being human and all, I could see that their faith in God could brighten up an otherwise tough day. That heaven place sounds pretty cool too, so if you have any questions about it, I’m sure they would be glad to share with you.