2017 Finale Video

Friday, March 30, 2012

Future Plans

Its the end of the month and I am much happier now. My work load is 99% complete and I can take the day off this Saturday.  I don't even know what I am going to do with myself, maybe win the Mega Millions? I just got home and found out Lincoln had a temperature of 99.9 so we will be watching him closely. He also had shots today but he got a new toy airplane that helps him forget the pain of his treatment. It has now been 9 months since his diagnosis with A.L.L. (leukemia) and he is doing well. So far we have only been to the emergency room once because his little body was shaking after having chemotherapy. He has lost all of his hair and he looks good for a 3 year old baldy. He still has moments and meltdowns but no signs of the cancer returning. Emma has been on spring break but most of the week has been spent inside because she was sick. She seems to be doing better now and I think we will all feel much better once this record rainfall comes to a stop. This morning Salem had recorded nearly 8.5 inches to date for the month which is more than last year. Last year the rain kept going through May into June but I am hoping this is the end of it. My wife Jenny has been busy going to the doctor with Lincoln weekly, sometimes twice and has spent some time with her grandparents lately.

I am ready for a change and its not just the weather. I can only assume from day to day that my life will be lived as expected but it can change in a moment. This time I want the change to move me in a new direction. I'm not looking for a new job or anything and I am not giving up on raising awareness for kids with cancer but I feel like if I don't get moving soon I will be stopped short of something amazing.

I don't know what my future hold, but I know who hold's my future, and I don't think its these guys ;)

Whatever it may be I will always trust in these words.

This is all I need to know when I just don't know what I need. I hope you can trust in the Lord too because his plans never fail.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Rain, cancer and a banjo

Tomorrow its going to rain, you guessed it, in Oregon. I will be installing a fence and its going to be muddy and wet. Tomorrow my son will be fighting cancer as 1 of 3000 that were diagnosed in 2011. He will fight like Batman fights crime but he will not be the only one because 46 new kids will diagnosed tomorrow. I don't know what I hate worse sometimes, the rain or the cancer that takes kids lives but I know that neither of them will ever stop. Just for fun tonight I wanted to share something that instantly took my mind off of the suffering that I will face tomorrow. This is the first time I have even heard of this song so enjoy it with me before tomorrow comes, because when it does come I will be even more depressed only because I wish I could play the banjo as good as this  =)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Not Alone

I don't know if you know this but today is National Fight Against Childhood Cancer Day. I don't believe it is on any calender though because it is just a fact of life. Everyday a child is fighting for their lives against cancer in this nation, including mine. There is no cure for this deadly disease but there is hope as we share our fight with the world on a daily basis. Cancer is the number one killer of children next to accidents which are often because of risks that are taken. The only risk factor with cancer is being born. There is a child I know of right now that was literally born with cancer. This child never had a chance to take a risk because cancer shows no mercy. That is why we need to stand up, speak up and fight together to raise awareness for our kids who's only hope of having a childhood is in the small but growing army of people who will fight for them. Childhood cancer research is lacking greatly in funding because people have been ignorant for too long but there are many more opportunities than ever to raise awareness that will lead to funding breakthroughs in cancer treatments. We need to push the envelope in every area of social media when it comes to causes. I don't care what happened with the latest celebrity trainwreck, I want to know about the latest child who is in remissiom so we can celebrate these kids. If a child has lost in their battle against cancer, I don't want to stop hearing about the legacy they are leaving behind and the foundations that are being built in their names. As a war veteran who has fought courageously in a battle for our country, our kids who have been slain should be recognized in their battles. As long as it is called today there is a battle going on in someone's home or in a hospital. Today across this nation we need to remember that a families life will be changed with a new diagnosis, a single mom will have spent over a month away from home next to her suffering child in a hospital bed, and a parents worst nightmares will become reality as they say goodbye to their angel. Face the truth that it could be your child this very day and ask, what would I do if I could become part of discovering the cure before it could happen to my family? Today is the day, don't delay.....

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Life Songs

Lately I have spent time listening to music late at night while on the computer. I really don't like to listen to the radio unless its the weather channel, but I like my own playlists. Over the years I have listened to a lot of music and I like to play music with my guitar and sing, but I had taken a break from all of it as life seemed overwhelmed or stressed. Now when I have time I can put the headphones in and turn up my favorite songs and feel the way I did when I first heard these favorites. Everyone likes that Feeling that they once had, you know the ones that you never forget but you just can't explain them. A lot of feelings are actually remembered with songs and can bring back memories otherwise untapped. Since I got an iPod and use iTunes I have only purchased 1-2 songs from my favorite artists or albums. Sometimes they are not the most popular songs on the albums but the ones that I feel will stay with me and never get old. Music that is overplayed on the radio is very disturbing sometimes and that is why I like what I like.

There is so much music in the world today and there are so many who like one thing or another and many who like a good mix of it all. I like almost everything if it is pleasent, but some people only stick with a limited variety and it seems you can't listen to something they don't like in the car without feeling uncomfortable yourself. Then there are those people who will listen to the same songs in the car with you and you both start singing out loud unashamed because you both love that song so much.
I believe that music has a lot of influence in our lives that we don't really realize is affecting us. We like what we like and we stick to it like we stick to our best friends and we don't let anything get in the way of what we prefer to listen to.

Imagine a world without a song now. No melodies, harmonies, not beats or riffs, no instruments or special effects, not even someone humming a tune. I wonder how people would survive! That is how powerful music can be and music is just one form of media. I don't know of more than a couple of songs or movies that send the message about curing cancer and I don't think they are very popular but why would they be? People want to hear love songs, read books about mystery, watch tv shows about murder or listen to the news of natural disasters. I don't see very many ways to bring childhood cancer awareness into the media and that proves to be a huge challenge since media takes so much attention away from things that are really important like saving lives. Don't get me wrong because there are billions of dollars raised because of media for good causes, I'm just saying there is a lot of competition that keeps foolish reality stars paid well and leaves children with research methods that haven't improved in decades. The news stations are very competitive with each other it seems as they have the same top stories, weather or even commercials going at the same time. So whenever I have the chance to butt in to a news story comment thread on facebook to promote childhood cancer awareness, even if it is about the new phenomenom the Hunger Games, I'm going to do it. I'm on the frontlines for saving my sons life and I will stop at nothing to get the word out, our kids need a cure and they are much more important than that movie that just came out about vampires, sorry but its true.

I suggest that you turn on some good music sometime soon and find some feelings you haven't felt in awhile and let it inspire you to a day where you felt invincible and then go out into this world and do something amazing for someone else.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sticking With It

I used to live in Long Beach, Washington and I have spent a lot of time on the beaches of the west coast. People like the beaches there because they like the sand. We like to walk on it beside the ocean listening to the waves, looking for sand dollars. We sit in it and soak in the sun and kids love to build sand castles or even bury each other all the way up to their necks. The sandy beaches are peaceful and a nice place to clear your mind from the matters of this world.
While spending time on the beaches I have seen campfires and fireworks and people riding their bikes, but I don't think I have ever seen someone doing this and enjoying themselves.

To Bury your Head in the Sand can mean different things to different people depending on circumstances. For me it simply means being ignorant of the truth that if right before your eyes. When you are faced with cancer you cannot just bury your head in the sand and hope that cancer doesn't notice you as it comes in like a roaring wave. I have been out in the ocean and I have felt the force of the waves crashing down on me trying to take my last breath but it doesn't compare to what cancer is doing in our world to our kids. Cancer does not ignore anyone, and yet many people bury their heads in the sand because they do not want to deal with the destructive forces of cancers nature.

I challenge all people to take initiative and instead of popping their heads out to hear the latest celebrity gossip, find ways to keep your attention focused on kids fighting cancer. I want people to Subscribe to the Red Carpet Kids for a Cure http://www.facebook.com/redcarpetkidsforthecure and the Truth 365 http://www.facebook.com/theTruth365film that promote awareness so that their facebook is overwhelmed with kids who can be reached out to. I personally love to see the first thing on my news feed of a child that has No Evidence of Disease (N.E.D.) but I also have to endure the fact that I will witness a families loss on a weekly basis. Cancer can be conquered if people pull their heads out of the sand and Stick with the Program joining efforts to raise awareness, funds for research and eventually a cure. Just like you wouldn't let a child on the beach run out into the ocean with out someone close by, keep vigilant of our kids fighting for life. You wouldn't want this guy to be your kids life guard so take action today.

Monday, March 19, 2012

My Monday

Today was a good day, for a Monday. I took time off work to go with Lincoln and Jenny to his appointment and we drove all the way to Portland in a light flurry of snow. After most of the normal procedures Lincoln went through he got a surprise visit from Dustin, his Chemo Pal. There were a lot of kids in the clinic today and we had to go to another room so he could play with Dustins toys. I talked to the nurse and Dustin and gave them my new Red Carpet business cards and then pinned one up on the board with all of the pictures of kids. We left about noon and I was thinking about going to work for awhile. I felt a little sick this weekend and my back hurt pretty bad but I didn't have a lot left to do on a job. I got there about 2 and it took 2 hours, so I gave the customer both of my business cards and I was already on my way back home. When I got home I felt really good unlike most days when I'm wet, dirty and worn out. I had some left over chinese food and started reading through facebook when I came across a story that got my attention. It was a story of a father and child that tragically drown while in a boat without life jackets. The news reporter who commented on the story was heartbroken as this tragety happened on the mom's birthday. I started reading the comments from the posted news story and in my mind I wanted to ask where all the news stories about kids dying of cancer and other incurable diseases were, so I did. I don't know how the news reporter took it but I realized I was being fairly forward with the point I was making. Although accidents kill more kids in this country every year, cancer is still the number one killer and I make no apologies for speaking out against this horrible terrorist. When the news reporter said that they do A TON of stories, I said I'm sure you do, but it remains to be seen on a measurable scale. I felt I had to explain myself so I sent her a private message to let her know my story. I said that I realize that the news channels are looking for the Gems in the most current and relevent events of the day and people would rather hear about Snooki and Kim K. than kids fighting for their lives. Then I asked her to look at my page http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Red-Carpet-Kids-for-the-Cure/168832049858369 and told her that this is my favorite news channel. I hope she LIKES it ;)

I took a break and watched some kids You Tube videos with Lincoln and read Emma a story and now as I am watching both the Voice, DWTS and listening to the David Crowder Band "Oh, How He Loves Us" and as Lincoln is watching videos next to me, I think to myself when did I ever have a day like this in my life before cancer? My life will never be the same but for a Monday, it was a good one.
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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Wish Granted

This weekend was a short one so I had to make the most of it in one day. My back and shoulders were hurting from work this week so I didn't get out of the house at all today. Lincoln has an appointment tomorrow morning and as I was thinking about my schedule I decided I could take the morning off and go up to Portland with him and Jenny. I don't know what we are going to talk about tomorrow but we will have his counts taken and we will find out what happens next. We are thinking ahead to October after his treatment plan goes into the next phase to his Make a Wish trip to Disneyland!

I am planning on taking as much of my vaction time in October to make as many memories as we can on this trip and because both of our birthdays are in October. My job doesn't allow vacation days until at least September so it will feel like a summer break from school for me. Lincoln continues to do well with little to no side effects to the chemotherapy. He has his moments that can be attributed to his treatments but other than his hair loss his little body is taking it in stride. I want to continue to thank everyone who thinks of us, follows our blogs and prays because it still means as much as it did on Day One. Keep up with us and keep Lincoln close to your heart as we journey on for his complete healing.

Friday, March 16, 2012


I feel so restless tonight. Its raining outside, again and I have to work on Saturday, again. It seems like we have been going, going, going and now there is no where to go...we just have to hang on and ride the wave. This time of year the work outside is still slow but gaining momentum. The weather makes things ten times harder because its wet, muddy, cold and miserable. Now that the train has started to move its not going to slow down and I can't get off until October when I usually take vacatioin. We are getting a little cabin fever because the kids want to go outside every time the sun shows up for a moment, but its still to cold or windy and its back inside. I pay attention to the weather very closely and today we have twice the average rainfall for the month. That may mean we get a break soon but the forcast is still unclear about the next storm system moving in. I also notice the rest of the country, outside of the Pacific NW is having record heat for this time of year, but we are stuck on this side of the jetstream that keeps the storms rolling in.
Last week we had two days that were in the 60s and sunny, this after some record rain and flooding, but a few days later it was snowing on the valley floor again. I realize that my son is doing well for the time being and that it feels like an unusually warm day, but we still don't know what the future holds for him. Cancer is as relentless as the rain in the Pacific NW and it comes and goes, but as I have adapted to harsh conditions outside, I will learn to fight for my son whatever may come.

See more of my past blog with my pick of the week @ http://briansphirstblog.blogspot.com/2011/07/pieces.html

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Beauty of it All

Lincoln has lost almost all of his hair. He went for so long and we started to believe that he would never show signs of being sick but now he is like many kids fighting cancer. I didn't know this before but hair loss does not mean someone has cancer, it is just a side effect from chemotherapy which targets rapidly going cells like blood or hair. Unfortunatly people have a hard time looking at kids without hair knowing they are fighing cancer because they think it is part of the illness. No one would want to lose their hair because it is part of their identity and it is like losing a part of yourself. I want to share this music video so you can begin to look at children fighting for their lives as children who want to live a normal life, just like you and me, but without being looked at as sick, because even though they are sick the beauty of it all is that they are still with us.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Dressed for Success

Many years ago, when I was born, my parents wrapped me in a baby blue blanket and named me as their first boy. I was dresses with boys clothes and given boys toys and on my 5th birthday I got to dress up as Spiderman in front of all my friends. From the very beginning of my life I was identified as a male and that is something that can never change. Everybody is identified as somebody and that is who they become but a lot of people try to assume the identity of others. I saw this picture and it is cute but it has a couple of meanings to me.

It's true that the most important thing is to be yourself, but there are times when you have to wear different outfits. When I go to work I put on my uniform, hat and my work boots to walk around in the dirt. When I get home I clean up and comb my hair and get comfortable because that is what I like and that is who I am. No one can tell me that I need to wear my muddy clothes in my house and sit on my couch and play with my kids when I am wearing my dirty work uniform. If you want me to be something I am not then you are telling me that you dislike who I am. I hear a lot of people saying how others are judging them because they were born a certain way and that is just how they will always live their lives. I don't every want to be called judgemental again, but I don't want to hide the truth, in that I see we are all trying to identify with someone or something each day, and we struggle with this identity crisis. You see it on shows like American Idol where people aduition and get their moment of fame even though you would never listen to their voice on the radio. Their parents and friends have always told them that they can sing like Carrie Underwood but the judges don't let them through. They believed so much with their whole being that they would be the next big winner but they leave the show crying and sometimes cursing. Its a harsh reality check for them but they are not the only ones that have to face the ugly truth. The truth about every superhero with a cape in a comic book is that they all have a weakness when they are not in uniform. That is why you should "Always be Batman" when you can because you know that truth that you cannot always be Batman. We as the human race are like a grain of sand in the ocean, compared to the universe we live in, but there is hope when we can show respect and decency to our fellow human being. Read through the rest of Romans 13 in the bible and see that our true identity can be found in a real Superhero.

Romans 13:8
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not covet,"t and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.

Galatians 3:26-28
So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Losing it

I really need a haircut. I don't get one very often because I work outside with a hat on all day and I don't like to pay for them when I can just shave it off. I am getting older, meaning my hair is getting thinner, but I never thought my son would be bald before me.

Lincoln has lost most of his hair now from the chemotherapy. It was getting thinner and thinner but longer too. We finally had to cut it because it was to hard to manage. There is a little left, like on his grandpa Rick's head, but not much. Kids are not supposed to go bald before their dads, it makes me sad. I have some pictures on my blog that show how much hair he did have before leukemia lead to this and it is hard to believe he even had that much hair before. I don't know when it will grow back but I hope it does before he grows up to be like me and his hair falls out again.

There is a great organization I have heard a lot about called St. Baldricks. http://www.stbaldricks.org/
They have raised over $10,000,000 to find a cure for cancer in kids. Check out the website and make a donation before I lose all of my hair and so my son won't have to look like Charlie Brown his whole life.