Thursday, December 10, 2009

Memphis and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad, bump

Last December we noticed a large bump on Memphis' back. Just above the pant line on top of his vertebrae, looked as if there was a marble under the skin. It scared us. We started praying and made yet another appointment with the doctor. "'s Memphis. Hasn't he...and doesn't he have enough to deal with? Severe asthma. Verbal apraxia. My boy, Lord. My precious little boy. He is so small, Father...I mean...only 26 pounds and just three months shy of his third birthday He has already undergone surgery once in his short life us a way through this...this new...uh...possibility."

So. To the doctor we go. She has no idea what it is. Never seen anything like it before. We are told to keep an eye on it and call if we notice changes and "bring him back in 3 to 5 weeks." We wait. In five weeks time it doubled in size and the doctor tells us everything points to a fatty tumor. Now I don't know about you but, just the word "tumor" gives me pause I'd rather not take! At this point an MRI is recommended and away we go. The results are forwarded to a surgeon. We meet with him about a week later.

Calcified cyst. I do not particularly care for the word "cyst" either, but it is better than tumor. So Megan and I sigh. Book surgery to remove the thing. That's best they say. OK. About that time, Memphis gets sick. It always begins with an ugly cough and when the boogers turned green the surgery was postponed. Alright. Again we wait. Another appointment with the surgeon was scheduled for six weeks later. That time Memphis was ready and the surgery happened a week later with no complications. Thank God in heaven for His incredible grace! During post-op, however, the surgeon informed us that the object was not a cyst but a "solid mass". The word WE heard was.."tumor." Let us wait for the pathology report.

Memphis slightly resembled that you tube kid who was "drunk" after a visit to the dentist. He recovered very quickly though and the next day Megan and myself were heard countless times yelling "Memphis! Get down from there you JUST had surgery!" We are so thankful for the resilience of the young.

Pathology results came back and they called it a "Fibroma" with spindle cells. Not cancer. The best of results other than cyst they said. He recovered well and has no lingering effects...

fast forward to November of 2009.

We noticed two similar knots or bumps in the same area, scheduled another appointment with the surgeon, and yep...they have to come out. The presence of spindle cells indicate the possibility of cancerous cells appearing. "Lord, thank you for this precious little boy. Please help us be strong for him. Let this be it. Bring health Father"

He will have surgery again on Monday December 14 2009 and we will wait for the pathology results.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


"Daddy Daddy..." is what I hear when I get Home. It is one of the greatest sounds in all of my life. Usually, the refrain is lead by Memphis, my son. My son Memphis. Sorry if this seems see... tomorrow Memphis James will be my son; I will be a father again.

Tomorrow we have the final hearing for the adoption. He will be my son on paper as well as in our hearts. I love that boy; he has brought such richness to my life. I want to be a father to all my kids, but right now, there is nothing like being " Daddy".

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Adam Wade Catt, In Loving Memory

Grief is never an easy thing. Saying goodbye when you don't want to...and I do not want to... is so difficult. My family is coming to terms with the loss of Adam Wade Catt, my cousin. He is gone from those that love him far too soon. 39 years young, three children, a wife, countless family and friends; everyone of us wishing we had more time with him. More words from him. To see him smile again. I am cherishing every memory as I believe we all are.

Some of my very earliest memories involve Adam; I was not quite two years old when he was born. My family, his family and Uncle Neale's family all lived on the same block, less than four or five houses away. That is eight cousins in pretty close proximity. Our family is extremely blessed in the cousin department. They all have such diverse interests. The Allen boys had their love of all things reptilian. Lori taught me the art of arguing. Gina brought direction to us all and Melissa David Mark showed us video games and attempted to teach us the Rubik's Cube. I could go on for pages about the great cousins I have but this about Adam.

Soon we all moved away from our cozy little block and some even to different towns. Christmas and Thanksgiving were whirlwinds of fun though, as we all came back together for a time. I was a goofy West Texas junior high kid when Adam and his brother Gregor started spending several weeks over the summer at Grandma's house. Those were the best summers of my life. Adam and Gregor showed up with skateboards so I bought a cheap one just to play along. Soon I was hooked. We skated all over Lubbock, spent hours reading Thrasher magazine, and watching skateboarding videos. Our favorite was "The Search for Animal Chin"; we were fans of Tony Hawk before Tony Hawk was cool! We played Dungeons and Dragons and left paint at some of our favorite skate spots. I was a good boarder, Gregor was better. Adam was beautiful. He inspired me to try something new every time he picked up a skateboard.

Texas Frying Pan Lubbock, TX
Adam was small in stature but in a way he was larger than life. No, he didn't swagger; he...just...was. Every time Adam walked into a room it made you smile. His smile was the thing. He just really enjoyed...laughing. We saw the movie "Arthur" maybe eight times. In the theater. Something about that silly drunk Englishman made us laugh. Alot.

I spent a summer at their house and when I bought my first real deck, Adam was there. It was a
"Gator" by Vision. The wild Mark Gator Rogowski, was my favorite. Adam and Gregor helped me build it from the ground up; we even recreated part of the crazy design in grip tape on the deck's top side. A year later when that board was trash, especially after being accidentally run over by Grandma, Adam went with me to get a Hosoi Hammerhead deck. I still have that board today. Adam popped my shoulder back into place after a "totally rad" hand plant went wrong then helped me celebrate the effort. I miss him.
We had not seen one another for years but he's never been far from my heart. Adam, you and Gregor gave me some of the things I most enjoy in life. Skateboarding, Punk Rock, adrenaline rushes, and memories.

Every time I look at my son, Memphis, I see Adam. He too is small for his age, but fears nothing. When people meet him, even for a moment, he leaves an impression. Adam left a lifelong impression on me and I am grateful for all we shared. I love you and will miss you cousin.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Birthday Dreams and The Best of Things

I remember, as I watch my children, how I used to wish and pine for the best birthday present ever. That thing I just had to have. You know; the latest G. I. Joe or the "cool shoes" or that book I just had to read(yeah I was a weird kid). And the party. The theme was VERY important! As I get older I am just really happy to be here and be so blessed with family and friends that truly ROCK. I say this because I recently had the privilege of adding another notch on my belt of ages.

I awoke to a breakfast of fresh made chocolate cake and hand made cards from Megan and the kids. Each one had decorated a birthday card just for me! No words can describe the joy those cards brought me. Megan's card was a true group effort and one of the most imaginative things I've ever received. It had no fancy drawings or frills, just heartfelt birthday wishes, sweet words of love, and every time I opened it...all the kids broke into a well rehearsed rendition of "You are My Sunshine"! I closed and opened it several times to make sure it worked; they never missed a beat. That morning was The Best of Things!

So... to all of you who have walked with me these many years and days, helping me arrive at this moment safe, sound, and better by association.
Thank you!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Lots of Things...

Well, much has happened since my last post. Silas has passed the 5 month mark, Halloween came and went with incredible creativity on the part of my wonderful wife and kids, and I also have a new job!

Funny how long it takes a man to settle down and find a career sometimes. I've always worked, but pretty much just because I like to eat and so does my family. Anyway God has blessed me with a career in an industry that I find exciting, challenging, and... well, just what I did not know I was looking for. I am now a "Roofing Professional" as the maintenance, service and, repair manager at my new company. I'm very grateful and absolutely love it.

Brianna brought home two excellent report cards, Cody and Meyson are doing very well Homeschooling, Carson is smarter than all of us, and Memphis has us all learning ASL. Silas is growing and learning everyday. She sits up, she laughs, she watches everything, and goes wild in her jumparoo. I could spend hours and thousands of words detailing how proud I am of each one of our kids. I will spare you that, however, and direct you to the infinitely more entertaining Blog of my Wife.

ASL: American Sign Language. We are learning. Not fast enough, but learning. It is fun, being able to speak to one another across crowded rooms, in noisy or quiet places, even sharing jokes at times. We take a class, as a family, once weekly at the local deaf services center. Some are more excited to learn than others but all in all, I believe we are doing well. Some of you no doubt are wondering; why? Well...

Memphis has been diagnosed with Verbal Apraxia. Basically something gets lost in translation between what he wants to say and the cute noises he actually makes. Suppose you wanted to make a fist and ended up with the "Hook 'em Horns" sign instead(heaven forbid). This is the frusration Memphis deals with when trying to communicate verbally with anyone. Enter the ASL experiment. It works! His frustration, and ours, has been greatly decreased. We look at it as a blessing and opportunity. A new language opens up all kinds of new things. I do not think the kids understand what a gift this will be to them later in life.

One last note. Our beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders are ranked #2 in the nation for the first time ever! It has been alot of fun for Megan and myself to cheer them on.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Still Here

I know it has been awhile since I have posted anything and I really have no excuses. I am currently working on a few entries and will hopefully get back into full swing soon. If anyone is reading, please be patient. Thank you!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

It's a girl!!!

Well dear friends and readers, our newest addition has finally arrived!

Silas Nicole was born yesterday around 3:00 pm. She has curly blond hair, blue eyes for now and is a healthy eater. Silas weighed 7lb and 15oz and was 20.5 inches long! We are proud parents and very grateful for her good health. Megan is recovering well and hopefully we can go home on Wednesday. Silas is very lucky to have some of the greatest siblings ever and I am sure she will be smothered with an abundance of love.

On another note: HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our Brianna. She is a wonderful big sister already and now has another little sister to spoil.

I'm so proud of you Bri'!