About Us

Our family of 6 (dad Adam, mom Sherry, big sister Abby and little brothers Isaac and Brady -- who was born on December 14, 2010) joined the ranks of pediatric cancer fighters when our 4-year old son Logan was diagnosed with a dangerous and highly malignant form of brain cancer in mid-August 2010. Logan's cancer journey began abruptly on Sunday, August 15, when his right eye suddenly turned inward during dinner. Twenty-four hours later, we were checking into Children's Hospital Oakland and finding out that life sometimes takes you places you'd never, ever imagine yourself going.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Half-birthdays, Dancing and an Unpleasant Surprise

In a little more than an hour, Logan will be exactly four and a half years old. I've always paid mental tribute to half-birthdays, if only in a jovial sense, but this particular half-birthday is no joke. It's an accomplishment. An event to be celebrated in earnest, if only because back in August, I wasn't sure he'd make it to his half-birthday. So I'm grateful that we're here, on the eve of January 31st, and wondering how to most appropriately mark the occasion. Half of a birthday cake? Half of a present? Half of the birthday song? I suppose the possibilities are numerous.

Today was a good day for Logan. He cuddled next to me on the couch while we watched the original "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory". He gave me the latest news from Ponow, his home planet. Later there was plentiful enthusiastic dancing set to Abby's recital DVD from 2009; he knows just about every routine and does a surprisingly good job of reprising the moves. I routinely note to Adam that his joints are so loose and his limbs so free that I think he'd make an excellent hip hop dancer. I'd love to see that happen some day. He was also back in sweetheart mode, offering up lots of hugs, kisses and unsolicited I Love Yous that both gratified me and broke my heart.

It's so hard to be close to him. I know that sounds strange and backward, but it's the truth. It's hard to hug him and cuddle with him and listen to his affectionate words because it's so hard to imagine life without them. Given our circumstances, those thoughts meander in and out of my mind like children playing in a revolving door: They come and go whether or not I want them to do so. I have trouble living in the moment and enjoying it for what it brings because I let my fears about the future get in the way. I'm working on it; I'm working on keeping both feet planted in the present instead of one in the present and the other in the future. But it's so hard. It's so not me.

Last night after dinner, Logan came up to me with a huge smile, and put his hand out for a dance. We were watching "Beauty and the Beast" and the scene where Belle and the Beast dance in the ballroom was playing. So we danced. And memories of our first dance together came rushing back: He was four days old, and we were at a friend's wedding reception in a chic San Francisco bar. Our night was coming to a close, and Adam was talking with the groom across the room. So I took my tiny baby boy in his little blue outfit and wandered onto the dancefloor for a quick turn. I was trying to be cute at the time, but the memory is like gold to me now, so precious in its rarity and simplicity. When I returned from my trip down memory lane, I looked at my giggling, hairless 4-year old and felt tears sting my eyes as I wondered if we'd ever share another dance. Would we dance together at his wedding reception, bringing our first dance full-circle? I don't know. And not knowing is so painful for me. All of this is just so overwhelming, even now.

Even now, 5 and a half months later, a shock still courses its way up and down my spine whenever I realize the seriousness of our situation. No one expects the Spanish Inquisition. No one expects cancer. It's not on anyone's to-do list; an item that can be completed and then simply checked off with a pencil and forgotten. It leaves an indelible mark, a scar. I wonder at times if I'll always feel this way or if eventually the shock-value will wear off, leaving a hollow, stark sort of awareness in its stead.

I don't know. I do know that I discovered something today that put a damper on my mood. Adam left his email account open, and I saw that the oncologist from Boston had written back a few days ago with regard to the MRI films we'd sent for a second opinion earlier this month. I went cold when I clicked and read his words: He and his team saw no significant reduction in tumor size from the first MRI, but the contrast looked significantly better.


So he and his team were essentially in agreement with the radiologist at CHO who had originally read the scan. I went into a tailspin and read the words over and over again, trying to process them, confused over why Dr. T and Dr. S had viewed what they all saw so very differently. Dr. T seemed so confident about his interpretation of the scans and so positive about Logan's progress. But now... I'm not sure who to believe. The doctor in Boston did note that the lower contrast could well be indicative of dead or inactive tissue, but all in all, their read was less favorable than Dr. T's. I was crushed. Deflated. My plush, hope-woven rug was yanked out from underneath me.

I know that there's no real reason to believe that Dr. T was wrong. After all, Dr. S concurred and he reads many, many neuro scans on a daily basis. And Boston doc did agree that cycle 5 of chemo was the right way to go, so he did agree that the treatment was doing its job in adequate fashion. But suddenly, my cushy comfort was gone. And no one likes to be thrust into discomfort.

But maybe having my rug removed wasn't a bad thing. Maybe I'd gotten too comfortable. Maybe I'd become a little too neglectful of intentional prayer-time and I needed a kick in the pants to get it together. As much as I feel tormented all over again, I'm also trying to view it as a blessing. The words may have been scary to read, but perhaps they were nothing more than a wake-up call telling me that I need to get back on my game and rally the troops all over again. As Adam noted, we do have another MRI coming in just a few days that will tell us more.

My, this has been a rambling, incoherent little ditty, hasn't it? I'm sorry for that.

Please keep praying for the MRI and for Logan's total healing. Amazing things can still happen. Though my world may rock and roll and shake like an earthquake, God is still a solid rock and He is the master of miracles. Bless you and good night.


  1. Sherry, thank you for sharing the joyful stories of your dances with Logan. I pray that you will share many, many more over MANY years. I am so sorry that Satan reared his ugly head and filled you with fear in the form of an email. I so wish that the image of those words could literally be deleted from your head and your heart! We continue to pray that Jesus will heal Logan completely, right here on earth. I also pray that the MRI will prove to everyone beyond a shadow of a doubt that the tumor is radically smaller than before, or that it is gone completely!

  2. just sending one up for logan. happy half birthday to an amazingly resilient and brave little boy, and his mama, his rock. you've gotten him this far and i have no doubt you'll be dancing with him again and again for many years to come.

  3. Re: putting his hand out to have you dance with him. wow!! What a touching and heart filled thing for Logan to do. What a sweetheart.

    It sounded like you were having a very nice day with your sunshine. I am sorry to see it deflated by that email. Cancer is nothing but a roller coaster ride I know. It seems the highs and lows can be separated by so much distance and it takes a toll on your emotions, belief, stamina, strength, etc.

    I will continue to ask for prayers for Logan. If that is what I can do to help you, then that is what I will do.

    Prayers and thoughts are with you.

  4. What sweet dancing images I now have in my head.

    Could it be that this type of cancer is uncommon enough that even the experts can't agree on what they see on the MRIs?


  5. Love the dancing. That's fabulous. I am confident that you will have many more dances with this amazing little boy. Funny that you mention that today is his half birthday. Justin and Megan made cupcakes fir me to bring over tonight. Houngan use them to celebrate this special day :)

  6. This post had me in tears. I know you will dance with Logan at his wedding. xoxo

  7. Sherry, Thank-you again for opening your heart to us. I've come to believe those golden moments are Christ's way of encouraging us through the difficult times of facing Satan's doubts. May the hope we have in Christ fill you today and consistantly praying for Logan's MRI this week to show no tumor, and bring Glory to God. Remember: Mt 19:26, (NIV) "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."


  8. It's so hard to write after reading such beautifully written, heart-felt messages about what's in your heart Sherry. My eyes continually well-up with tears when reading about all the wonderful memories you and Logan have already made in 4 and 1/2 years. They are beautiful, wonderful memories. I'm simply praying for God to give you and Logan, as well as all your other sweet sweet children, plenty of time here on earth to make more of these unique and special memories together. I totally understood what you meant when you wrote it's hard to be around your sunshine. It makes so much sense. Because when you sit and have these wholesome and gratifying talks, hugs, "i love yous" with him it must automatically set your mind to question how many more of these you'll share together. Praying praying praying it's MANY!!!

    We sang a song at church yesterday and once again found myself sobbing over the lyrics in regards to Logan. It was shouting so much hope to me. I prayed the lyrics as we sang them:
    Healer lyrics

    You hold my every moment
    You calm my raging seas
    You walk with me through fire
    And heal all my disease

    I trust in you
    I trust in you

    I believe
    You're my healer
    I believe
    You are all i need
    I believe
    You're my portion
    I believe
    You're more than enough for me
    Jesus, you're all i need

    Nothing is impossible for you
    Nothing is impossible
    Nothing is impossible for you
    You hold my world in your hands

    My two favorite lines are "You hold my every moment" and at the end "You hold my world in your hands"
    I am praying that God would hear and feel all of the requests being lifted up, that we all want Logan to stay here to live a long, full life and that we trust, with God as his Healer, that he can!

    We love you guys.

  9. Michele Starkey asked me to read your blog. My prayers go out to you. I'm posting a link to your blog on my Facebook page asking for prayers for you, your son, and your whole family.