It’s been a couple of months since our last update. They have been very busy! Thank you for the support from everyone both financially and emotionally they REALLY appreciate it!
I’m so happy that they have been able to continue with some yearly traditions and keep some sort of normalcy in their life J
Dayna got a much-needed break by going on the annual Seattle trip and then Dayna and Zachary were able to rent a camping trailer and go to Stoneyford for their yearly trip.
There are many ups and downs but these little breaks are fabulous!
See below. I also included some photos from their trip to Stoneyford.
Thank you and please share :)
Zachary Parham Update 5/11/2017
It’s been a little while since my last post about Zachary. Between the last two phases he had so many delays because of low blood levels. It almost seemed like his body just needed a little bit longer than most to get back to where it needed to be. Zachary finally started his 3rd phase of treatment (Interim Maintenance) on April 20th. Every ten days we head to Portland for treatments for either a one or two day appointment. We have been extremely lucky to have been at the Ronald McDonald House during his stays. The weather has been pretty extreme during our last few trips that it has made for some interesting driving discussions and delays. Zachary’s appointments consist of Lumbar Punctures with high doses of Methotrexate and high doses of Vincristine into his spine. The doctors have had to slowly increase his chemotherapy to allow his body enough time to get used to the higher doses as they think the high doses of the Vincristine is what is causing his Neuropathy. So far, so good on the Neuropathy. Zachary has not had to use his wheelchair or take any pain medication for about 5 weeks now. It’s been so nice to be able see the change in his personality to the change in his general appearance. His hair is starting to grow back, he is walking, he is not in pain and he is smiling more. Of course, I am hopeful that this will continue!
On May 4, 2017, I packed up the trailer for our annual Stonyford trip. What most of you probably don’t know about Stonyford is that I have been going since 1995 and Zachary has been attending since he was born in 2001. Stonyford is a camping trip with a group of individuals from around the country that come together during the rodeo weekend in Stonyford, CA. The group is known as the Corkill Ranch Wildbunch and they have been marching in the Stonyford parade for at least 40 years now. The Corkill Ranch Wildbunch is our extended family that we see once a year. We spend 5 days with our family trying to catch up on a year of our lives!! This year our theme was “Superheroes”, which was so appropriate for the fight that Zachary is enduring. The idea of being Superheroes was one of Zachary’s’ ideas last year. We vote on our theme for the following year as a group. The Wildbunch was so extremely supportive of Zachary! #TeamZachary was all over the banner, our t-shirts, our bracelets, our costumes, capes and so many more…. and the love we felt while there was absolutely amazing! We love our Corkill Wildbunch Family so much! Thank you for everything!!!
In mid-June, we will once again be heading back to Portland except this time to live again! Yep, Zachary’s next phase will mean that we must be in clinic every few days while in Portland. We will most likely be living at Ronald McDonald House for a month or longer during his treatments. He will once again be going back on his clinical trial chemotherapy and it can only be given while in Portland. We are hopeful to get together with some friends and family while we are staying in Portland again next month.
The Sparrow Club of Oregon will be hosting Zachary’s final assembly with his school, North Valley High School on June 1, 2017 at 11:30am. They will be acknowledging students who have helped to raise money for Zachary and his fight with Leukemia! We are so very excited for this assembly!
Thank you so much to everyone who has continued to fight and pray for Zachary! We are still asking for financial help due to the mounting medical bills we are receiving. Please share Zachary’s story as much as possible. Thank you to everyone for your continued love, prayers and support! #TeamZachary #Stuffallgone
Lots going on in Zachary land... He also had a birthday! Happy 16th Birthday Zachary!! While he was a little disappointed he couldn't do exactly what he wanted for his birthday, he did have fun ? His friends from school even through him a party! He also got to have a pizza party. Scroll below the update for more sweet photos.
*Here is the latest update from Dayna. Thank you, everyone, for your support!
Not much has changed in the last couple of weeks for Zachary. He has had many visits to Medford for more chemotherapy. Since Zachary is still Jaundice and is still suffering from the Neuropathy, the doctors have had to forgo some of his treatments. Even though he got to skip a couple of chemo treatments, his stays in the hospital have been extremely long and exhausting.
During a few of his stays, he receives blood and/or platelet transfusions. His counts have been really low, so he has needed more than his fair share. Zachary is still using a wheelchair to get around. When he is at home, he has to crawl around on his knees to go to the bathroom and to get to the car. He can transfer himself into the car pretty well with the use of the wheelchair. He has some good days, but for the most part, he is still in pain all the time and doesn’t have much of an appetite. He is on numerous medications that make his tummy very upset, plus the chemo makes him feel sick too.
On Friday, March 17, 2017, we packed up the car for 7 to 10 days for our 4-hour trip North. We were told by the doctors in Portland that we would be spending at least a week, if not more. We got up there about 1:00 pm for his 1:30 pm appointment. At his appointment, many things happened. There turned out to be an issue with Ronald McDonald House, and the hospital didn’t have a solution for us to have a place to stay for the full 7 or 10 days. Very poor planning on their part! I won’t go into all the details, but let’s just say that before we make another 4-hour trip North, I will make sure that we absolutely have a place to stay. Zachary received his chemotherapy, and we headed home about 6:00 pm that same day. We got home that night about 10:30 pm. It made for an 8-hour car ride! Not fun for Zachary under the circumstances! This mama was NOT a happy camper!
Interim Maintenance is Zachary’s next phase of treatment. It will begin sometime in the next couple of weeks and last for about eight weeks. Since his blood counts are still very low, the doctors have to wait for his counts to recover before they can begin his next treatments. Once his counts have recovered, we will once again be heading North for more treatments. His treatments will consist of chemotherapy, high doses of Methotrexate into his spine, Lumbar Punctures and Bone Marrow Biopsies. Once he finishes this phase, he will go into Delayed Intensification which will last about 8 to 10 weeks. During all of these phases, he will still be receiving high doses of chemo and more Lumbar Punctures and Bone Marrow Biopsies.
We are still asking for financial help due to the mounting medical bills we are receiving. Please share Zachary’s story as much as possible. Thank you to everyone for your continued love, prayers, and support! #Teamzachary #Stuffallgone
Hi, all! Please take a moment to read the latest on Zachary. He has been going through SO much pain and nausea the last few weeks. His body is trying to fight so hard that it is causing a whole new host of issues for him. He still smiles :)
They have had some very cool stuff happen too. SO many people are supporting and pulling for his full recovery. It's amazing. I have attached some photos from the shoot they did for the Sparrow Club of Oregon as well as photos from the assembly even they had in Zachary's honor.
These past few weeks have been tough for him and his family. Please share this page, say some prayers, send happy thoughts and let's help ease some of the financial burdens that are growing weekly.
Below is from Dayna:
The last two weeks have been extremely difficult for Zachary. He started having pains in his feet, and each day the pain would become more intense which prompted the need for pain medicine. The following day his pain was much worse, and at that point was able to see his doctor in Medford. It was discovered that he has Neuropathy in his feet, one of the side effects from the chemotherapy. He can’t put any bearing weight on his feet. The doctor increased his pain medicine and put him on medicine to help with the Neuropathy. Currently, he can’t walk! He has been known to crawl to the bathroom and the car. ☹ I have had to get him a wheelchair and had to get a disabled car sticker for my vehicle.
He is still receiving chemotherapy four times a week. He receives the first dose on Wednesdays at the hospital, and the other three days I have to give him his chemotherapy through his port. Today, Zachary had to go back to the hospital for a blood transfusion because it was discovered he has Jaundice and some of his liver counts were high. Hopefully, with the new blood, his counts will have a chance to recover some before his next round of chemo. If his counts have not recovered by next Wednesdays appointment, then the doctor may skip his chemotherapy all together. I think a break might do him some good. It would give his body a chance to rejuvenate before pending appointments up in Portland at Doernbechers Hospital. On March 22, 2017, I will be taking Zachary up to Portland every 10 days for clinic appointments and in May and early June he will have two trips that require us to be up in Portland for 7 to 10 days at a time!
On February 28, 2017 Zachary was officially adopted by the Sparrow Club of Oregon. There was an assembly held at his school. What a wonderful organization! The teens at Zachary’s school were absolutely amazing! They cheered him on and after the event gave huge hugs and then formed a big circle so they could do a prayer chain for Zachary! Very powerful! There were two teens that came up to Zachary’s Dad, Lance and handed him money. One teen handed him $40, and the other teen handed him a $100 bill! It was overwhelming to see the love and encouragement that they showed Zachary. Lance and I were truly speechless! Thank you to the Sparrow Club, The Grants Pass Active Club and to the students and faculty at North Valley High School for being Sparrow Strong for Zachary!
A couple of weeks ago, Zachary received a visit from the Make-A-Wish foundation. They came to the house and interviewed Zachary for about two hours regarding his wish. He had to come up with three possible wishes. Of course, we are hoping that Zachary will be granted his first wish and we are still waiting to hear whether it will be possible. I can’t divulge what his wish is until Make-A-Wish approves it. Hopefully, it won’t take long to get an answer. Stay tuned! Anyone have any guesses on what they think it might be?
All of your love and support have meant so much to all of us! Zachary continues to need your, love, support, prayers and happy thoughts. We are continuing to receive mounting medical bills! Please continue to share Zachary’s fundraising page and encourage others to share too. Remember that any amount helps Zachary, and he will continue to fight with all of your love and support! Hugs and love to you all! #Teamzachary #Stuffallgone
Here is the latest. Zachary is smack in the middle of some brutal treatments. Keep the positive thoughts and prayings coming. He has a VERY long road ahead of him.
I know it's asking a lot to ask you to share this page but just think if you were in this situation. No one prepares for this type of thing and no one wants to go in debt and have their lives turned upside down. Every dollar is going directly to an account to help pay down some of the mounting debt.
As most of you know, Dayna does not work due to her own health issues and she is also now full-time caregiver to Zachary. His Dad Lance is working hard and is right there by their side to help and support.
Hopefully, they can still live some sort of "normal" life when he starts feeling better! They are all going to need and deserve a break or a vacation!
As you can see from the photos below- he is STILL smiling :)
Please read Dayna's update below. Thank you!
"Zachary started his second phase of chemotherapy about three weeks ago. Every Wednesday he is admitted to the hospital at 5:30 am and has a whole day of treatments. He is sedated and receives a Lumbar Puncture and receives chemotherapy right into his spine. He also receives chemotherapy through his port. Thank goodness he has a port!
The doctors check his blood counts as soon as we arrive at the hospital, and then the doctors decide the best course of action for him that day. Every week of treatment so far, Zachary has received a blood transfusion. He receives three bags of blood which take about 5 hours in total. Sometimes he receives platelets if his counts are low. For the first few weeks, I have had to administer his chemotherapy at home, three times a week. The doctors and nurses have given me lots of training. He is my first, but most important patient on my road to becoming a nurse!
Zachary has been confined to home because the doctors don’t want him out in public. He is very weak and sleeps about 15 to 18 hours a day. He is having shoulder and mid-back pain, so we hope to get him into a chiropractor and a massage therapist soon. In mid-March, Zachary’s doctor in Medford will be going on maternity leave. We will be heading back up to Portland every ten days for his treatments. It’s a four-hour drive each way. We will be doing this for at least two to three months or until such time that his doctor in Medford returns from leave. It’s going to be expensive!
We received our first medical bill from OHSU. Almost $8,000! That was only for his first stay. It doesn’t even include chemotherapy costs yet. We haven’t even received a bill from Rogue Valley Medical Center yet. I am still applying for every grant and financial assistance that I can. Your help is so much appreciated! We are incredibly grateful to those who have already donated. Please keep sharing and give if you can. Remember that even $5 helps! Zachary still has years of treatments ahead of him, so we have to keep his fundraiser alive!!!"
The week started off a little rough but he is doing much better today. On Sunday morning, the 29th he was extremely weak, pale, and lightheaded. He was admitted to the hospital with his counts being virtually zero all around. They did a blood transfusion (three bags of blood!) and two bags of platelets. He went home that evening still weak but getting better!
2/1/17 Zachary decided it was time to shave his head. His hair was coming out anyway and I am sure it was annoying to have hair all over the place. His dad decided to shave his head with him. What an awesome thing to do for and with your son! Here are a few pictures. I think they look great and as usual, Zachary still has a smile on his face. What a trooper.
Zachary’s family thanks everyone for all of the prayers and support. They have a long way to go so they will continue to need you all!
Hi all! Here is the latest update from Dayna ? Thank goodness they are home and he is responding to treatment just how the Doctors hoped.
Dayna has applied for every possible grant, financial assistance etc to help cover the extensive costs they are and will be incurring for the next 3 years. Nothing has come through yet as it takes time for forms to be processed. Fingers crossed they qualify for some of these programs!!
Any assistance, every dollar helps ease the burden they are enduring. As you can imagine, this is not just about finances, it's about support emotionally as well. This diagnosed has flipped all of their lives upside down. There has been no down-time since it all started. Hopefully, things will start getting better real soon as they get into their new "normal" way of life.
Thank you all for all of the prayers and contributions! XOXO, Cindy
Zachary update - January 26, 2017
Zachary’s Bone Marrow Biopsy has come back. Zachary is in remission! WAY TO KICK CANCER to the curb!!! He is not out of the woods yet. Still, it’s amazing news! Most people think of remission as being totally free of cancer. While this is true per his doctors, they say that there is still a chance that the cancer could be hiding somewhere in his body. Therefore, for the next two months, he will undergo another intense round of chemotherapy, called Consolidation. Zachary has finally settled back home in Grants Pass for his next phase of chemotherapy which started Tuesday evening the 24th of January. We arrived at Rogue Valley Medical Center in Medford, OR for his next round about 7:00 pm. Zachary had to be hooked up to IV fluids all night and had to be well hydrated for his next round of chemotherapy that he received into his spine, while sedated. While he was sedated, the doctors successfully inserted a port line. The port line goes into his chest and he will be able to receive chemotherapy directly in the port, which means he won’t have to be stuck over and over with needles. YAY! Zachary will be receiving chemotherapy at home, three times a week for the next month. He will also be receiving 3 more lumbar punctures over the next few weeks. He will be admitted to the hospital every Wednesday morning, receive the chemotherapy into his spine and will have to be hydrated all day via IV, then he will be able to go home late Wednesday evening. We will heading back up to Portland in March for further treatment at OHSU/Doernbechers Children Hospital.
We had a visit from the Sparrow Club Of Oregon and they have officially adopted Zachary as a Sparrow Child and will be working with Zachary’s High School. At some point, there will be an assembly held at Zachary’s High School in his name. More information is coming so stay tuned! We are super excited because Sparrow Club is an awesome organization and they have helped so many deserving families.
Zachary has been very tired and weak and is sleeping a lot. He hasn’t had any nausea! I hope this continues! He is in pretty good spirits, despite everything. He hasn’t been able to return to school because the doctors feel it’s risky with his counts being so low. Getting a cold or flu could be difficult for him to fight. His body is already fighting so much!
Zachary is losing his hair at a pretty rapid rate. Zachary and his dad are going to shave their heads together. J What a thoughtful and generous Dad to do something like that for your son! We will post pictures when they finally do.
A few of you have asked about visiting. Yes, he can have visitors! Make sure you are not sick or haven’t been around anyone who has been sick. You will be required to wear a mask, though. Come on and come visit! I know he would love to see you!
We are still incurring tons of expenses, and please remember that ANY donation amount helps us out so much. Please give, if you can. Our family appreciates it so very much! J
Keep up the prayers, happy thoughts, and good vibes! Hugs and love to all! #TeamZachary
Happy Saturday! I am updating for Dayna, Lance and Zachary.
Thank you to everyone who is supporting them. Every dollar helps with relieving a little bit of stress financially and it is very much appreciated. XO, Cindy
Update on #Teamzachary
It’s been about 10 days since my last update on #Teamzachary
What a difference a week makes! Last week we were at clinic almost every day. The first day of clinic last week was very long. Zachary’s counts were very low so that meant a blood transfusion, platelets, and more chemotherapy. The blood transfusion takes almost all day to give. He needed 3 bags of blood, so that made it even longer. There are lots of waits in between the blood transfusions, chemo’s and platelets because we have to make sure that he is not having a reaction to one of them. Zachary did awesome, as usual! He is still on his steroids, and they have been doing a number on him. His face poofed up some, then his feet poofed up, along with his blood pressure. At his appointment on Tuesday of last week, the doctor saw fit to put him on water pills because of his puffiness and blood pressure. It took about 2 days to really start seeing a difference in his feet. I am glad to report that his feet puffiness and blood pressure have both come down. Good call, doc! Zachary has hardly had any sickness. I am so thankful for that because I remember all too well what that sickness is like. He has nausea medication if he needs it, but he has only had to take it once. Keep fingers crossed!
This week we were in clinic on Tuesday and again today. Zachary’s counts were pretty good on Tuesday. He had chemo and didn’t need any transfusions! Yes! We were out of there in about 2 hours. My husband, Zachary’s step-dad Craig drove up to Portland on Monday so he got to go on our adventure to the hospital on Tuesday. It was nice to have my hubby there for support! He flew home yesterday. Thank you for bringing by car! Today we were back at clinic. I told Zachary on the way to the hospital that we would probably be there all day. I thought that he would for sure need a blood transfusion. Gosh, sometimes it’s so refreshing to be wrong. His counts were still pretty good. :) No transfusion and no chemo today either! Yippee! We were out of there in under an hour. Yes!
I almost forgot mention that during our month long stay that Downtown Portland received over a foot of snow. Zachary’s dad, Lance has been traveling back and forth on the weekends in some really ugly weather. The State has been pounded by snow, which in most of these I-5 corridor cities they don't see much snow. Keep in mind that it’s a 4- hour drive from Grants Pass to Portland. Grants Pass received over a foot of snow right after we flew to Portland. Then this week it snowed here. We have decided that it would be best for his dad to stay home this weekend because of the treacherous conditions in Portland and this morning it was 12 degrees. Brrrrrrr……….
Of course, being the freakazoid I am about germs, I have been even more freaky about germs now that my boy is sick. If I hear anyone cough around me and Zachary, I say to Zachary “cover your mouth and nose with something quick.” I know he’s getting so sick of me saying “did you wash your hands?” I think and hope that’s it’s finally sinking in because he is telling his friends what to expect when he gets home and he’s telling his friends to keep their distance. Teeee heeee…I can hope it’s because of me being a freakazoid. LOL!
Next Tuesday, we will be at clinic for the last day of Induction Phase I. This day is very important. Zachary will have another Bone Marrow Biopsy and Lumbar Puncture. This will allow the doctors to see if the chemotherapy is working and how much, if any Leukemia is still in his body. We are obviously hoping for good news! Depending on the outcome of his Bone Marrow Biopsy, we hope to be able to leave to go home on Wednesday, January 18th.
The next phase of Zachary’s journey is called Consolidation and it lasts for two months. We hope to be able to treat in clinic once a week, in Medford for the next month and a half. During Consolidation, Zachary will once again be receiving chemotherapy once a week. After the first month and a half, we will be coming up to Portland again, for at minimum, two weeks. Zachary will be admitted to the hospital for those last two weeks as he will have to be monitored very closely. The doctors will hit his body pretty hard during the final two weeks of Consolidation! Beyond this time, I don’t know much about the plan for his next phase. It isn't because the doctors don’t want to share this information, but they don’t want to overload you with information and there are so many “what ifs” with Zachary's case.
Zachary is an amazing young man! He never complains, he always has a smile on his face and of course, the nurses love him! He is, and will always be my biggest HERO! Keep up the fight my sweet boy! Together we will conquer this!!! #TeamZachary
I'm sorry I haven't done any updates yet. Now that the holidays are over I will make sure to keep you all current.
Dayna will also update from time to time. I don't want her to have anything else to worry about so I am getting info from her and passing it along. :)
This update is from Jan. 3rd from her Facebook. As you can see from the photo, Zachary is still smiling :)
I will add a couple of more updates shortly. Thank you to everyone who is supporting Zachary and his family!
Update on #Teamzachary: Day 17. Zachary had more chemo today. He gets chemo every Tuesday and Friday in clinic at OHSU/Doernbechers. His blood counts are very low. He had to have a transfusion of platelets today. He's very tired and very puffy and swollen from all the steroids. He has some pain in his knees but seems to be better with walking. Since his counts were so low today we have to go back tomorrow for a blood transfusion. If his counts don't improve soon, he may have to be put back in the hospital. The transfusions take about 5 hours, so we will be at the clinic for most of the day tomorrow. The steroids are making Zachary very hungry. It seems like I can't feed him enough, but that's one of the side effects of the steroids. We know the chemo is doing its job because his counts are so low. It's not good for him to be in public, so we can't even go out to dinner. :( He is in good spirits. Please keep the prayers coming! He has a LONG road ahead of him still and he hasn't even lost his hair yet. Thank you to everyone who has donated to his fundraising campaign. Keep it up and spread the word if you can. We can use all the help we can get! We love you all! Happy New Year! #Teamzachary all the WAY!!!