Vernon Volumes text

Vernon Volumes text

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Anika's birthday party

On Sunday afternoon, Andrea and I took Paige to the Jacksonville Beach Humane Society to celebrate her neighbor Anika's 10th birthday. Shortly after we arrived, the kids lined up and got a tour of the facility and the dogs and cats that were available for adoption.

After the tour, the tour-guide brought a couple of dogs up to the party room to party with the kids.

The kids put on gloves and made dog treats out of pumpkin, oats, applesauce and greek yogurt.

It was a cute party, and a fun way to get to know some of our neighbors a little better.

Steak Out with the Fishman family

On Saturday morning, Andrea and I played in the Halloween tennis mixer at the club and in the afternoon we went to Amelia Island to eat at Steak Out with the Fishmans. When we arrived the kids threw bread to the turtles and fish. There was a humongous fish in the water that I don't remember seeing before.

After dinner the kids had some ice cream and then we walked over to the activities area and the kids played miniature golf. The girls played together and the boys split up and played together so it wouldn't take all night and for the most part everyone got along, although it did get a little competitive with the boys.

Paige at Bedtime

Last week we were getting ready for bed and Paige looked so colorful and cute. I decided to snap a few pics of her and she wanted to pose with her favorite blankie.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Spa day and pedicure for Andrea

To celebrate Andrea's completion of chemotherapy, some of her friends took her to lunch and got her some gift cards to the Spa at our beach club. On Saturday afternoon, Andrea went and got a pedicure for the first time since she had chemo.

Cookies and ice cream with Emily

On Saturday, a tropical storm blew through from the Gulf of Mexico and it rained all day long. We decided to invite Emily over for the day and Paige enjoyed eating lunch together and hanging out with her. In the afternoon it finally stopped raining and we went on a bike ride around the neighborhood. In the evening, we went to Insomnia for ice cream cookies, which were delicious.

Paige Tennis Match - Singles vs Ponte Vedra Champions

On Friday Paige played line one singles for her USTA team. She played a strong opponent who she goes to school with. Her opponent was a big hitter and really cracked some tough shots at Paige, but Paige was unfazed and hit the ball consistently and she won both sets 4-0, 4-0. There were some close games, but Paige played really well and it was fun to see everything that she's been learning come together successfully.

I took a couple of videos during the match and got one of their best points on video, although it was a point that Paige didn't win.

After the match, Abby's mother took the girls to see The Little Mermaid musical and Paige went along with them. She had a fun Friday night!

Thursday, October 17, 2019


Friday morning (10/11/2019), Andrea woke up with a few small itchy areas on her arm and on her side. There were only a couple, but they were irritating and Andrea got an appointment at the doctor's office to have them checked out. The nurse practitioner said they were likely an allergic reaction to something and recommended Andrea try some over the counter allergy medicines and anti-histamine cream. It didn't help, but we drove to Palmetto Bluff in SC anyways, hoping the hives would go away.

Saturday morning when Andrea woke up, the hives had spread all over her arms, down her stomach to her legs, and on the back of her head. She was going crazy with all the itching. She tried to tough it out, but it was just too much and we decided to head home. 

We arrived at the ER on Saturday night and while we were waiting, her lower lips started to swell up. Up until that point, it only seemed like a minor annoyance, however if Andrea's airway started to swell it could prevent her from breathing and that's something Andrea would like to continue doing. In the ER they gave her some steroids and medication and the itching slowly subsided.

Due to the lip swelling up, the doctor decided it would be best to keep Andrea overnight. Grandpa Rick answered his phone at 10pm and dropped everything to come help us out, we are so grateful that he was there for us. Grandpa stayed the night with the kids and I stayed the night with Andrea in the hospital. By morning, Andrea's lip was much better, but she still had some itchiness. By noon, Andrea was discharged and we celebrated with Grandpa and the kids at Valley Smoke BBQ for lunch. 

Andrea's continued taking some steroids through today and the rash slowly cleared up. Thankfully today she's feeling much better. We aren't sure what may have caused the hives, but the physician's guess is that it was related to the chemo. Hoping this was a one time thing!

Palmetto Bluff

Last weekend, on October 11th after work and school we drove to Palmetto Bluff SC for a weekend visit. Andrea booked us a nice house for three nights and we were excited to visit the resort and check the area out. Apparently Justin Bieber had just gotten married there a couple of weeks before our visit, and we'd heard it was pretty nice.

After we arrived, we unloaded all of our junk and bikes and then biked around the area to check it out. We stopped by the main hotel to check it out and sip some sweet tea, then we biked around the resort and played at the treehouse.

As it got dark, we went to the River House area for S'mores. They had a little bike cart setup with eight different kinds of marshmallows. There were three big firepits setup and we all enjoyed trying out the different flavors.

On Saturday morning, Andrea was feeling very itchy with hives (more on that later). I did a tennis clinic at 10am and then we decided to go biking down the Moreland trail. There were a lot of biking trails to choose from and there were lots of paths and paved trails throughout the area. 

When we got to the end of the trail, we played some football with the kids at a recreation area, looked around some shops, and then Andrea finally decided she couldn't deal with her rash any longer and we decided we would have to leave early and head home. We were disappointed we couldn't stay as planned, but we were worried about Andrea and decided it would be best to get home so she could be seen at the Mayo Clinic. We really enjoyed our short stay at Palmetto Bluff and hope to go back again soon for a longer visit.

Turtle Trot - Paige

On Thursday, October 10th, Paige and her class participated in the Turtle Trot fundraiser for her school. I took some time off of work to go and cheer her on. It was a little hot, but the kids had a water station for drinks during the run and the parents had spray bottles with colorful dye that they sprayed on the kids during the run. It was a mess, but the kids loved it, and the PTO raised a record $160,000 for the school.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Final Chemotherapy treatment - TNBC/IDC/BRCA2

Today was an important and emotional day for our family. We get to share the happy news that today was Andrea's final chemotherapy treatment. We've posted about her journey on the blog, but a quick summary: Andrea was diagnosed May 22nd with Stage 1 IDC breast cancer and has undergone a double mastectomy (6/11) , reconstructive surgery, and chemotherapy. The tumor was detected on her annual mammogram and although it was very small, it had started spreading in her breast tissue. The mastectomy surgery did not show that the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes, however the pathology showed that it was an aggressive form of cancer (triple negative) that did not respond to many of the available treatments. Chemotherapy was the only treatment option available and Andrea tolerated it well, although it's been difficult with the cold therapy (to prevent hair loss and neuropathy) and painful at times.

I am so proud of Andrea for staying strong, enduring, overcoming and remaining positive throughout these difficult months. Today, for the final treatment, we picked the kids up early from school so they could be present with us and to celebrate this moment with us. Andrea rang the bell today to mark the end of this chapter and we are hopeful she will remain healthy for a long long time. Once Andrea's body recovers from the chemotherapy she has one more minor surgery to finish her reconstruction, but for now we will all relax and celebrate.

We love you, and we are so proud of you Andrea! You are so special to me and to our family!