Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

Wishing everyone a very 'Merry Christmas'. We've spent the holiday with family at our grandparents' lake house in central Florida. We've just barely survived the marathon present opening.

Dallas will start treatment later this week. We appreciate everyone's support and comments. We're blessed to have had such a wonderful holiday together with all of you.

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!


Friday, December 15, 2006

Holiday Update

Just a small update for those of you who are wondering the status of everything. All is well. Dallas will start treatment the day after Christmas at Shands, which will be nice since it's so close to Tallahassee and our family in central Florida.

We'll be spending Christmas at our Grandpa and Grandma's house on the lake in Tavares; always a beautiful place to spend the holidays. Dallas and David are really enjoying spending time with all their friends that are also home for the holidays. David's girlfriend, Alice will be home from Boston next week sometime and Brittney has her last final today at TCC. Also, I'll be coming home a week early (tomorrow) to spend some much needed time with the fam.

Thank you again to everyone for your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. You've all helped in some way to give us the strength we've needed throughout this ordeal. We're all very grateful and please continue to pray.


Monday, December 11, 2006


This past Friday, Dallas and I went down to Shands for his PET scan. PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scans are used to examine the effects of cancer therapy by characterizing biochemical changes in the cancer. The procedure is much like an MRI sans the noise.

While we were there, I talked with Dallas' doctor and we discussed the merit of clinical trials that Dallas currently qualifies for. Clinical trials have specific parameters that a potential patient must meet in order to be considered for enrollment. Dallas' doctor feels strongly that he needs several agents (drugs) working together to combat his tumor. We are considering more surgery which could benefit Dallas in several ways: 1. Surgery would confirm whether this is new tumor growth or effects caused by his previous radiation treatment 2. Surgery would provide a current biopsy and diagnosis which would aid in determining the best treatment options and possibly open more doors in the clinical trial world. 3. The less tumor the better!

Meanwhile, Dallas' Aunt Cissy had tried to arrange for some of the UF football players to visit with Dallas while we were there. The football team was busy (no doubt preparing for the national championship game against Ohio State). However, Dwayne Thomas, a former UF player who played on the '96 UF national championship team (some of you might remember this game-UF beat FSU in a rematch) came to meet with Dallas. Dwayne is currently one of the chaplin's for the football team. He is a warm, caring, loving individual who's smile instantly captivates. Of course, he and Dallas talked football and Dwayne let Dallas inspect his championship ring. Dwayne shared with us that his youngest daughter also has a brain tumor, an astrocytoma, the same as Dallas. The doctor who performed surgery on Dwayne's daughter is the same doctor that did Dallas' biopsy and placed his shunt. He would also be the doctor who would operate on Dallas now if we opt for more surgery. Dwayne's daughter is doing well; happy, healthy and back in school. Before we parted, Dwayne prayed with us, offered encouragement and gave us each a bear hug. What a wonderful man! I believe that God speaks to us through others and I know without a doubt the circumstance of our meeting was not a was Grace.

We should hear today on the results of the PET scan and hopefully make a decision on our next course of action.

Much love to all!


Sunday, December 10, 2006

My First Post

Billy, for some reason the movie "Outlaw Josey Wales" comes to mind with that saying. But I'm probably wrong.

I'd like to thank everyone for keeping up with me and my troubles. I also would like to thank everyone for all that you guys have done for me, I really do appreciate everything. You make the whole situation easier to go through.


Thursday, December 7, 2006

The Waiting Game

I heard from Duke today. Dr. Friedman (Duke) and Dr. Smith (Shands) will be talking later this afternoon to compare options available for Dallas at Duke to options available at Shands.

I've also talked with a doctor at Yale (she called me direct). She said she would be hesitant based on what she's seen, to concur that this is indeed new growth and not radiation effect. She said the PET scan Dallas is having tomorrow at Shands may be helpful but she doubted it would be conclusive.

Finally, we have been in touch with Dr. Kenneth Cohen at Johns Hopkins. It seems Dr. Smith knows him well and says he's a "good guy". We may try for a consult there as well.

That's all for now.

Shel (Mom)

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Not Much to Report

Unfortunately there's not much to update you all on. We're still waiting to hear from Duke. There is more involved than we realized in order to get Dallas up there for a consult, however, they now have all of the documents, lab results, and case work they need in order to determine how much they can help us.

Dallas is still doing great; still working, hanging out with friends, living life. He's been helping mom to move some of my boxes I left when I moved so I'm not his favorite person right now.

On another note, some of you have asked how to leave comments on this site for Dallas and our family. Signing up is free and you don't have to maintain your own blog or give out personal information. Simply click 'Post a Comment' and follow the instructions.

Hope all is well with everyone else and hopefully we'll have more by tomorrow.


Friday, December 1, 2006

The Dallas Beats Timmy Mission

The purpose of this blog is to keep the friends and family of Dallas updated on his battle against Timmy (The Tumor, Dallas's choosen name for his new buddy). Postings will be made by either Dallas himself, his mother or his sister. Since this is the first posting, I will update any who may not know the current situation.

We're tryng to get Dallas scheduled for a "PET Scan", which is a more detailed and advanced MRI (from my understanding). This will determine the exact size and growth of Timmy. Once we get those results, and perhaps before, Dallas, my mom and my dad plan on heading to Duke to meet with Dr. Friedman. Dr. Friedman is a world reknown neuro-oncologist that our doctor at Shands recommended we see.

So that's where we stand now. Dallas is doing great. He's playing PlayStation and "winning" from what he just told me over the phone. He's ready and willing to go wherever this epic battle to defeat Timmy may take him.

Finally, my family and I would like to thank everyone for all their amazing support. I don't know where we would be without you all. I would especially like to thank Judy and Carla for the hours they've poured into helping us reach the various hospitals, doctors, and foundations that we've been in contact with over the past three days.

Thanks again to you all and check back regulary for updates. Also, feel free to leave comments so that Dallas can stay in contact with everyone.