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Greginator 048 copy
Thanks for stopping by!  Gregory is four years old and undergoing an Odyssey with  Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia.  JMML is an extremely rare leukemia, which affects Gregory's production of healthy platelets, red cells and white cells.  Basically his entire blood producing system.  Our Odyssey began on February 23rd when he was admitted for flu symptoms and dehydration.  We are currently in Seattle, WA under the care of Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA).  Gregory's only course of treatment is a Bone Marrow Transplant, also known as a Hemotopoietic Stem Cell Transplant (HSCT).  On April 21st we received that magic phone call, notifying us of a perfect 10/10 transplant match.  We arrived in Seattle on Monday, May 11. We were admitted to Seattle Children's on Monday June 1, to begin pre-transplant conditioning.  (AKA:  Heavy Duty Chemo).  Gregory's transplant began at 4:10am on Thursday June 11, 2009.  We were discharged after nine long/short weeks.  We are out-patient in Seattle and hope to be HomeHome by the end of September.  After a minor set-back, we were able to return to the Spokane area on Sunday, October 11.  Gregory and I are staying at our family's place on the water, for a few weeks.  The house is not quite ready and we want to be sure that the siblings are well.  We will be returning home, soon.

Whew!  We finally moved back HomeHome in August of 2010.  Gregory is still undergoing treatment for Graft Versus Host and this could continue for years to come.  Trying to teach his new Immune System to not destroy his body.

You do not need to have a LiveJournal account to comment.  You can comment anonymously and simply sign your name.  You can received journal update notification through CaringBridge.  There will be a link at CaringBridge for every entry at LiveJournal.  Simply click on that link and it will bring you to the entry here. 

I am also on FaceBook (Mindi Finch) and Twitter (MagnificentMndi) .  Sometimes brief updates are available there, before they make it to my LiveJournal.  My LiveJournal Twitter Feed can be found here:  magnificentwit 

Thank you to everyone who has/will touch our lives.  Everyone of you will forever be a part of our families history. 

The Odyssey Thus Far from MindiTheMagnificent on Vimeo.
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( 56 comments — Leave a comment )
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Mar. 4th, 2009 04:40 am (UTC)
Mindi & Larry--we are here for you guys however you may need us. You are in our thoughts and prayers constantly and we know Gregory's little spirit is full of will and spunk to beat this thing! Take care & stay strong. xoxo
Mar. 4th, 2009 05:52 am (UTC)
Thank you darling! All your good juju is going to make a difference. The road is going to be LONG, but we are up to it. Love you!
Mar. 4th, 2009 04:50 pm (UTC)
God Works Wonders
Hey Mindi! You are such a tough cookie! I just have to say your strength is enough to pull Gregory and your whole family out of this. I read your journal everyday and pray for you and that little guy. God is working MANY MANY miracles right now, not just for Gregory, but for your marriage! So happy to hear you and Larry pulling together. That is huge for your kids. I love you and have such faith that God is working his wonders inside Gregorys body. You take care and keep on being you!! Call if you need ANYTHING!! Love you tons :)

Stephanie Griffin
Mar. 5th, 2009 11:07 pm (UTC)
Re: God Works Wonders
Thank you so much for your support. I love reading your comments. I may not always get back with you, but know that they are making an impact!!! ♥
Mar. 4th, 2009 07:19 pm (UTC)
Hi Chick:

We are not people given to prayer, but I'm giving it a shot. We are thinking about you everyday and pulling for your whole family. Gregory has been blessed with a strong mommy and I hope you are taking care of yourself so you can stay that way. We would like to come visit but we are also crawling with cold germs so are going to keep those to ourselves for the next several days.

All my best to you,
XXO Sandra
Mar. 5th, 2009 11:16 pm (UTC)
Thanks, doll. Any kind of positive energy is what we are looking for, right now. I don't pray to "GOD" either. Yet, I do believe in the power of positive energy. Love you!!!
Mar. 4th, 2009 07:19 pm (UTC)
Prayers of strength!!!
Mindi and Family ~

We can't possibly imagine the road ahead, but know you've got a huge gaggle of people who have your back. We're praying for strength and peace for you all and the little guy who loves Sponge Bob!

Call on us anytime.
Jody Gentemann
Mar. 5th, 2009 11:16 pm (UTC)
Re: Prayers of strength!!!
Thanks, Jody!!!
Mar. 6th, 2009 02:16 am (UTC)
mindi i wanted to let you know that you and your family are in my thoughts. Let me know if you need anything. I am already on the list to be a bone marrow donor ( I signed up last year) so please don't hesitate to call me if you need something. call me if you get a chance Love ya Amber
Mar. 8th, 2009 07:24 am (UTC)
Montessori Lori
Couldn't resist the rhyme. SHMC Children's ONC became our second family and home away from home about a year ago now. You are correct. It is an amazing place filled with amazing people.

I don't know if anyone has offered this tidbit yet but... after our first re-admit we started keeping a bag packed with a couple of days worth of stuff so we could just grab it or have someone else grab it for us. Doing so removes a little of the craziness!

I don't know if its your style to let others do things for you but... do it anyway. As much as others would like to... they can't take the stress and heartache that comes with the C beast for you. They can however, help with some of the things that cause stressors in what used to be "normal" daily life. Meals, laundry, cleaning, taking the car to the shop, caring for pets... whatever is on your usual daily to do list. Not only does this help you out tremendously... it makes all those who care about you and your family feel a tiny bit less helpless. Something for everyone. Unfortunately its a long road ahead... save energy wherever you can.

We had a friend who started showing up with something for us to have for dinner each day. Even though it was only food... it was something from the outside that provided a little breath of fresh air. Not to mention, it made us more likely to eat!

The advice to have a "cancer free" place is great but it so consumes you I think it would be hard to pull off. What you do need however... as much as you won't want to do it... is a little time here and there away from all those who depend on you so you can take off the "armor" we put on to get our kid through it all. (Of course inevitably the Dr. will show up while you are away... you can count on it!) Even if its just half an hour for a cup of coffee or a walk in the hopefully soon to come sunshine, make sure you do it. Sometimes I just went down to the Ronald Room as we called it and watched something besides SpongeBob on the tube for half an hour!

The experiece is unique for each of us but there are some common experiences all of us in the PED ONC family share. Feel free to call.

Mar. 9th, 2009 01:23 am (UTC)
Hey,you two!
Thanks for sending me your link so I can see and hear you in my mind's eye and ear (or something like that). Mindi, what do you say to our community sponsoring a blood drive in honor of Gregory? I'll bring it up at the next board meeting if that's OK with you.
Meanwhile, Stay in touch with your spirit and with us!
Mar. 9th, 2009 03:19 pm (UTC)
Well Staci (livinthelight) on lifejournal posted your link i followed it to your page. WOW what a story thus far. You are truly the rock that Gregory needs right now. Everything else can wait. I read as far down as i could since you migrated over here. Gregory has endured a lot over the past few months and as your family has. I will not say that i understand your pain because i do not at all. I do know the situation i took care of an aunt that had cancer and went thru chemotherapy i had to make sure every one wore face masks, clean everything after people touch it she was limited to one bathroom and no one could use it because of the toxins from chemotherapy. We too had a supply of wipes, antibacterial hand gel, you name it. One thing is for sure we did take moment to moment and lived each day for that day and enjoyed the laughes we had together. All in all i know my words really are just that but i am sending you bunches of energy and light....take care and blessed be.

Tracy Heath
Mar. 9th, 2009 03:46 pm (UTC)
Re: HI!
Tracy~ Thanks for following along. Your words of support are priceless. Feel free to add us. We are going to be around for quite some time. Peace, joy, love & music, girl!
Mar. 9th, 2009 03:21 pm (UTC)
Ronald McDonald House
We stayed in the Ronald McDonald house when my daughter was born and sent to NICU...it is such wanderful organization and help so many families out. Hope they work out really good for you and your family.
Mar. 10th, 2009 12:54 am (UTC)
A lot of prayers from the other side of the mountains!
Mindi, Larry & the rest of the family,
We all want you to know that you are in our hearts all day every day! If there is anything that we can do, we will do our best to make it happen. And, if we don't see you before your trip to Seattle we will certainly see you then. Thanks Mindi for the daily updates. I'm checking them from work during the day, & at home in the evening. Hang in there. Solving the hard problems always takes a little longer.

We love you,
Don & Krise Ashley, Steven, Tabytha, Bianca, Berti, Jeanne & the rest of the gang.
Mar. 11th, 2009 04:06 pm (UTC)
Message from the Duncans
Mindi! Oh my gosh! I just happened to have a moment to check out Facebook...which by the way, I really don't know how to use but a local friend said to check on something...and there you were. Which led me to this site. AND I HAD NO IDEA WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN GOING THROUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Please, please let us know if we can do anything for you and your family. We will be praying for all of you!

I just made The Greginator a favorite, so I'll be checking in from now on!

Until then, sending you serious goddess vibes and all our love!
Mar. 16th, 2009 01:51 am (UTC)
Hello there, Mindi! Stephanie sent me an attachment @ your son. I am so sorry to hear about that. It just isn't fair that children have to go through things like this. I've kept Gregory in my prayers. If it would be ok with you, I will add his name to the Temple registry so that he will receive daily prayers from there too. Just let me know. I signed up for livejournal so I could send you a message. I will try to remember to check it to see if you would like me to do that. Take care & be strong. Joy
Mar. 16th, 2009 08:11 am (UTC)
By all means, Joy. Be my guest. He needs all the positive energy he can get. It all counts.

Thanks for following along. It's gonna be a rough ride, but the story needs to be told.
(no subject) - joytheodorson - Mar. 16th, 2009 01:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 17th, 2009 04:47 am (UTC)
Good luck at the dentist!
Hope all is smooth sailing with lots of smiles!

Mar. 18th, 2009 06:54 am (UTC)
Good Luck in your journey
Mindi- I came across your story through Facebook and Tana. My Dad has worked for radio stations across the country, and has been a part of St. Judes, he has even toured the hospital some years ago. He was very impressed with St. Jude and it's staff. They focus specifically children's cancers. I don't know if you have heard of them, but maybe through the St. Jude site you might find support and information? This past week his old station (KMPS) had a radiothon and many of the families around the area told their stories, which made me think of passing this on to you. I don't know if this is any help, but you never know. One sister told of a web site she started for siblings, but I was in the car and came in at the end, so I didn't get the web address. Good Luck to you and your family.
Mar. 22nd, 2009 04:48 am (UTC)
Re: Good Luck in your journey
Here is one of the stories I found on St. Jude's site. You may already know about this, and if not maybe this knowledge can be used to ask your Dr.'s questions. (Breanna Crowder: Pint-sized Pioneer)

http://www.stjude.org/stjude/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=4f7165cad7e70110VgnVCM1000001e0215acRCRD&vgnextchannel=aba462221d948010VgnVCM1000000e2015acRCRD&SearchUrl=search_results.jsp&QueryText=Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia

Again thinking of you and your family, good luck.
Mar. 31st, 2009 08:51 pm (UTC)
Today, at Starbucks
Dear Mindi,

You stopped in to the Starbucks at 29th today and had a brief chat with Cindy. I was the barista nearby, and couldn't help but to overhear the tragic news that your little guy has a rare form of leukemia. I was literally taken aback for a moment because I too have 3 children, ages 12, 7 and 5...and I couldn't imagine what you must be going through at this time. My heart was aching for you and your family. I copied down the info on the little card you gave to Cindy and thought you wouldn't mind if I stopped by your page. I immediately wondered if there was something I could do to help. I know there is a national bone marrow registry, but I don't know how to access it and get my blood typed for the program. I'm sure you know more about it than I do, so I was wondering if you might be able to email me some information on how to go about doing that. If I'm not a match for your son, maybe I'll be a match for someone else who desperately needs a bone marrow transplant. My name is Kelly and my email is: kellyasan@comcast.net ... I am keeping your family in my thoughts...

Apr. 12th, 2009 03:43 pm (UTC)
June 24, 2025
Mindi, What is the significance of June 24, 2025?
Apr. 13th, 2009 06:24 am (UTC)
Re: June 24, 2025
Gregory's Birthday is June 24 and the year is in the future, so that this post will stay at the top of the journal. *shrug* A forced "Welcome" sign.
May. 6th, 2009 08:59 pm (UTC)
To Gregory and Mindy
I am amazed and impressed with the strength both of you have right now. The community you have around you is incredible and will prove to be one of the most fantastic support systems u have going through this. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family!

Todd McEachran
May. 10th, 2009 04:48 am (UTC)
Carrie Horton mentioned your story to me and told me you were coming to Seattle for a BMT. My daughter Maddy (age 7) and I are at Seattle Children’s right now. She had her transplant on April 23. I just read about your story – you are a beautiful writer – and I can relate to so many of the feelings you so eloquently describe. Fear of the unknown, profound gratefulness toward your donor, appreciation for the simplicities in your life (your OfffSpring blanket) and the questioning of “how did we end up here”. I am so thrilled you found a perfect match donor – the BEST possible situation!

I can’t say enough great things about the team here. I feel like we are in such good hands (afterall bone marrow transplants were pioneered here and studies have shown this is the NUMBER ONE place to be in the entire world for a BMT). So far things have gone pretty smooth for Maddy. She had a similar conditioning regimen as Gregory – except for the Melphalin – and she tolerated it very well. Her counts started coming in on Day 14 post transplant and we may be able to leave the hospital on Day 25 – a week from Monday. So far (knock on wood) we haven’t experienced much noticeable GVHD.

You sound like you have an amazing family and a wonderful support system (who will no doubt be lifting you up even if they are far away). My biggest advice for surviving a long stay in the hospital – Skype. It’s a great way to stay in touch with your family and for all of the kids to see each other and continue to act silly with each other. The televisions here aren’t the best (and ours is usually on Disney Channel) so if you have an iPod where you can rent movies and favorite TV shows it will help the time pass. You will also be happy to know there is a knitting group that comes to the SCCA floor each week.

You and your entire family are in my prayers. Although the next month will be difficult, each day that passes you are one day closer to putting this chapter behind you. Please let me know if you have any questions as you start the next step in your Odyssey or if you would like to meet for a cup of coffee.


Susan Callahan

May. 18th, 2009 03:36 pm (UTC)
Just keepin my eye on you!
Hey Mindi the Magnificent!

Just wanted to send my love. Give that lil man a squeeze!
Jun. 11th, 2009 04:55 am (UTC)
i hope everything is well for gregory. Take care
Jun. 11th, 2009 10:31 pm (UTC)
a friend of Mary DuChene
love ...prayers & best wishes

continue to be brave & help your mom & dad to be brave too

ma & pa (Mike & Marilyn) from the Tri Cities
Jun. 22nd, 2009 05:10 pm (UTC)
Book Recommendation
Mindy - I don't know your taste in reading but I just finished A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter. It was first published in 1909 and now rivals Jane Eyre as my all time favorite. It is VIRTUE defined in a charming blend of Jane Austen meets Jean Craighead-George (My Side of the Mountain). Its a 5 star!

Gina Bloom
Jun. 25th, 2009 09:00 pm (UTC)
Hello, I'm at Children's Hospital too...
Hi Mindy,

My name is Catherine Bradley and I'm Linda Bradley's daughter. I work at Seattle Children's (in Outpatient Psychiatry), on Whale 3. I know how stressful it can be when a family member is hospitalized inpatient for such a great deal of time. I hope that Greg's treatments are going well. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I am in the building, and in the city if there is anything you need. Please feel free to email me or call me if I can do anything to help. I know my mom would extend the same courtesy if she were in Seattle, so please don't hesistate to contact me if there is anything I can do for you or your family.

Catherine Bradley
(206)920-2336 cell
Jun. 28th, 2009 11:32 pm (UTC)
You have a spirit that amazes me Mindi!
All my love and prayers to you and the Greginator and your family!
Jun. 28th, 2009 11:35 pm (UTC)
Hello Mindi and Family
I didn't mean to leave the last message as anonymous, it's just me Todd. Your strength does amaze me!!
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