Logan

Bell Ringing/Port Removal Eve – #mamastrong unplugged

So many mixed emotions about tomorrow.  Having a child with cancer and going through continuous treatment is all I know.  I will always worry if his tumor will come back. I will always worry if his development will ever catch up.  I will always worry what my son’s life will be like in the future.  Will there be more side effects from the treatment.  Will he ever walk, will he ever talk, will he ever eat enough by mouth so we can get rid of the g-tube.

Getting my son through treatment is all I know. And I did it. We did it.  Yes, I am excited for this next phase in his life (our lives) in which we can focus on his development.  And yes, I wonder all those things but I am strong enough, my husband is strong enough and god damn it, Logan is strong enough to overcome all of these developmental delays.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t have doubts or worries or fears.  No one will ever understand the emotional roller-coaster of being a cancer mom and I hope none of you ever do.  It’s not a cake walk, it’s not all sunshine and roses….it fucking sucks.  But I’m not a quitter, neither is my husband and we all know that Logan isn’t either.  But I really just can’t express all my emotions and thoughts right now.

It’s weird…you would think I would be ecstatic, my son is ringing the bell and getting his port removed tomorrow.  This signifies the end of treatment.  Then I feel guilty for all of our other friends that are still fighting.  I feel guilty for some of our other friends that lost their babies to this disease.  I am crying as I write this because I honestly don’t know how to feel right now.

My therapist warned me about this…. the emotional roller-coaster that was on the horizon when treatment is officially done.

I have so much to do tonight before tomorrow and to prepare for my work week, I had to stop and get this off my chest.

As I sit in my office typing this, my husband is in the other room with Logan playing, I love the sound of that.  I am grateful that we get to experience that.  Many cancer families don’t.  Like I said, it’s part guilt, part fear, part excitement, part gratitude, and honestly, I sometimes wonder how we got so lucky to have our baby be the miracle.  I know I shouldn’t question that but this has been such a long road and we have seen the good, the bad and the ugly.  And yes, I know he deserves it, we deserve it, but again, the emotions I am feeling right now are so hard to put into words.

I am writing this in one shot, no edits, no going back and re-reading.  I just need to get this out and share.  I will be sure to update you all as our day progresses tomorrow. And I still need to write the blog post about GMA and Robin Roberts, don’t worry, I will.

Kevin, Logan and I will be on Spectrum News 9 tomorrow, interview with Jodee Kenney.  Then I will be on Channel 10 Tuesday morning at 6:45 am and FOX 23 at 7:45 am, with Nicol Lally and the morning crew.

To all the families at clinic tomorrow, I pray that your child gets the same opportunity to ring the bell that Logan does.  And I apologize in advance for the large entourage that will be there with us!

Thank you to everyone for your continues prayers, love, thoughts, etc.

This mama needs a glass of wine and bed….

Goodnight

#mamastrong

 

Posted by Jennifer Fogg in Logan, 1 comment

The Final Countdown….

The Final Countdown……..

WOW!  I can’t believe it’s been four months since my last blog post.  I just had to read it to see where I left off with sharing our journey.  There is so much to update you all on; mostly good, nothing “bad” per-say, just some bumps in the road. All in all, Logan is doing very well and we are just enjoying every moment we have with our #tinysuperhero.

Where do I start?!?! May was the golf tournament; June, we lost “Ocho”; July, Logan LOVES the water and had an MRI and hearing test, August…. well, I will get there soon.

Okay, here we go….

LOGAN STRONG FOUNDATION: INAUGURAL LOGAN CUP

On May 18, 2018, we officially launched the Logan Strong Foundation with our Inaugural Golf Tournament at Western Turnpike Golf Course.  We chose that location because that is where Keith and I, I mean Kevin and I got married (that’s a funny story I will share some other time!).   I’m not a golfer but have been to numerous golf tournaments in the past and was surrounded by the right people who do golf and know how to run a tournament.  Shout out to the Logan Strong Foundation Golf Tournament committee:  Sari Medick, Michelle Nolan, Marisa Multari, Whitney Pangburn, Joslyn McArdle and Shawn Enides.  For a first-year event, we netted over $30,000, which is unheard of.  We have since been able to get:

  • “No Touching” signs
  • “Ocho’s”
  • Donated $1,000 to The Massry Family Children’s EmergencyCenter at Albany Med
  • Charging stations for Melodies Center & Ronald McDonald House Room (in progress)
  • T-shirts and bracelets to help local families fundraise
  • Art supplies and other items to help kids and parents pass the time
  • $250/month in gift cards to distribute to Melodies Center families
  • And much more……..

I am so proud of the efforts made with this inaugural event and the infancy of the Logan Strong Foundation.  We are looking forward to helping more families in the future!  Thank you to everyone that has donated, volunteered, played golf or contributed in any capacity…. we are grateful for you all!!!!

 

 

 

“OCHO” = DEVASTATED

The end of each round Logan has to spend 2-3 days in the hospital for chemo as there is a drug that has to run alongside of it and it’s just easier to do inpatient.  At the end of Round 5, we LOST OCHO!!!  NO, we never did find him.  YES, I am completely devastated.  We looked everywhere for him once we knew he was missing.  Albany Med even called their laundry company and shared photos with their staff in hopes he would turn up.  The only logical answer is that when Logan got sick the last day in the hospital, Ocho somehow ended up in the garbage when they changed his bed sheets.  I literally cried for a week.  Ocho means more to me then to Logan, it was the first one he was sent the week he was diagnosed.  We have a couple that “look-like” Ocho or as I say F-OCHO (fake Ocho) or as Michelle says; “stunt doubles.” But Ocho will never be replaced.  Thankfully Ocho is in many pictures with Logan and he does have two others that look very similar.  They just aren’t as warn and thin…LOL, a thin octopus!?!?

Anyway, I got a tattoo on the inside of my wrist earlier this year and I kept thinking there was something missing on it. So, I have decided to get Ocho tattooed in that spot…can’t wait!!!!!!!

 

 

WATER BUG AND MRI/HEARING TEST

If you would have met Logan before his diagnosis, you would know he HATED water.  He would scream every time we gave him a bath.  This continued through the past year and a half or so until recently.  We decided to try to ease him into the tub and brought along some music to help.  This started to work, then it didn’t, then it did.  He finally started to like the bath.  So back in June, I reached out to Early Intervention and asked if Logan could get Aqua Therapy, there was a waiting list that he quickly went to the top of because of his needs. He now LOVES the water.  We went away with Aunt Sari and her family in the beginning of July and he spent the whole day in the pool with Aunt Sari (while daddy took mommy on an adventure, that’s another story).  Mommy enjoyed the pool there as well because it was a salt water pool, made me like swimming again!  Fourth of July we went to our friend’s camp in Sacandaga and I swear this kid spent the entire day in the lake.  We then had a birthday party a few days later and he spent most of the time in the pool with daddy.  I am so happy that he finally likes the water.  He allows us to bathe him no problem and is making such great progress at Aqua Therapy.

 

Now, let’s talk about his every three-month MRI.  On Wednesday July 11, 2018, Logan has another follow up MRI.  He has an MRI every three months to monitor where the tumor was.  This time they added an ABR (Auditory Brainstem Response) to measure the way the hearing nerve responds to different sounds, using a special computer while sedated.  We were really excited about this because although we knew Logan could hear (he loves music), we knew that some of the chemo’s he was/is on could cause hearing loss and his speech/communication was delayed.  It’s so hard to determine hearing loss on a child without this test.  It’s not like he can raise his hand when he hears a noise on the right verses left side.

Just the MRI takes about an hour.  Adding the ABR adds another hour to two hours. I’ve lost count the number of times this poor kid has been sedated! As we were waiting for Logan to wake from sedation, the hearing technician, came to share with us the test results.  She pulled us to a quiet area of the waiting room and told us that Logan has “significant hearing loss.”  So, I replied with, “Okay, what does that mean.”  Significant is a pretty broad term.  Is it significant because it’s more than 50% or because it’s almost 100%?  I looked at the paper in front of her with different numbers on it but she still wasn’t’ giving us a clear answer. My husband asked about implants, she didn’t think he would be eligible and/or it was necessary.  We asked if it was permanent and she said most likely but we don’t know.  This was the third time (if not fourth) that Albany Med’s hearing department gave us wishy washy answers.  We then asked what our next steps were and she said they wanted to repeat the test in three months (during his next MRI) to discuss hearing aids at that point.  They just wanted to make sure the tests came out the same.  Logan started to wake up so the nurse came and got my husband and father. I told them to go take care of Logan and I would sign the paperwork with the hearing technician to release his records to his other doctors and Early Intervention.  She then says to me, “Are you okay with this?”  I replied (crying at this point), “No, I am not okay with this but I’ve heard worse news in my life.  Just tell me what we have to do to fix it.”  It’s literally that simple.

After Logan woke up from sedation we went to see Dr. Adamo to recalibrate his shunt and get the results.  If anyone wants to see my kid being a complete pain in the ass, nutcase…. you should see them trying to adjust his shunt…. woah!!!!   The MRI came out clear – no change since the last scan.  This was great news!  We have been extremely confident and comfortable with MRI’s lately; as we know how well he is doing and the tumor will NOT come back!

We then proceeded to clinic for a check-up.  We had an appointment with Dr. Lucas that day as Dr. Weintraub was away at a conference.  Dr. Kenneth Lucas recently joined Albany Med as the Director of the Melodies Center and his sister Dr. Judith Lucas is Logan’s Developmental Pediatrician.  We discussed the results of the MRI a little more as he was checking over Logan.  Then, we mentioned to him the results of the hearing test and the “significant” hearing loss and that they wanted to rescan in three months then do hearing aids then.  Dr. Lucas said that if he needs hearing aids, why are we waiting, let’s get them now to help with his development.  Kevin and I agreed and Dr. Lucas sent the request to the hearing department.

Frustrated with how Albany Med’s hearing department has handled communicating the details of Logan’s hearing with us, we decided to get a second opinion.  Not that we didn’t believe the exams but I needed better answers than just my son has significant hearing loss.  We ended up going to see Dr. Kate Meade at Sunnyview who came highly recommend by two close family friends.  She was able to get us in within a week, did a similar sound booth exam and explained to us Logan’s hearing loss in a way we could better understand and figure out next steps.  Yes, Logan has significant hearing loss but it’s different ranges and pitches.  He can’t hear birds chirping or wind blowing and then also low, deep tones.  He can hear (obviously, he loves music) but is missing certain tones to help with speech development.   Within three weeks we ordered, got fitted and had his hearing aids in hand (well, in his ears)!

 

FAMILY MEETING….

Logan has had five rounds of very aggressive inpatient chemotherapy and protocol is to have eight rounds of outpatient chemotherapy, as well.  He just finished round 6 on Tuesday August 14th.  So, it’s normal for us to have family meetings every couple of rounds to discuss what our next steps are, if we are changing anything or if there is new research.  On Friday August 24th we had a meeting scheduled with Dr. Weintraub to discuss that last two rounds of Logan’s maintenance chemotherapy.  Unfortunately, Kevin couldn’t get out of work, so my in-laws came with me and we were going to call Kevin when we got in the room.  We got to clinic for Logan’s 10:30am appointment and were immediately greeted by Dr. Weintraub and our other friends at clinic.  She asked if Logan got a finger stick yet (bloodwork), I said no and she sent us down to do so.  Miss Jordan went down with us.  It was nice because she use to work in Dr. Adamo’s office but was now working at the Melodies Center. We came back up from the lab and met my in-laws.  Dr. Weintraub asked to speak to me privately, which was strange.  I was nervous, not knowing what she wanted to tell me.  Dr. Adamo just happened to be in clinic visiting another patient and was able to sit in on the meeting.  She pulls me into a room and says, “We’re done!”  I looked at her in shock and just started crying.  I asked if she was sure and she said yes!   I questioned her because we have had conversations in the past about possibly stopping and/or cutting back but that never happened.  Dr. Weintraub is extremely overly cautious and really does treat Logan as if he was her own.  She said there are new studies that show that the type of tumor Logan had actually acts like a lesser grade. Medically he was diagnosed with a congenital glioblastoma and they have come to find that they act like low grade gliomas.  Totally different than what we initially heard when he was first diagnosed last year.  She is now confident that Logan is going to be okay and that the tumor is not going to come back.

Still in shock, crying, I asked her what our next steps were then if we are done with treatment.  She replied, “We need to remove his port.”  That’s when I totally lost it, I knew now she was serious about being done.  WOW, just WOW!!!  Dr. Adamo was just as excited.  I couldn’t stop crying.  This was not what we expected at all.  I gave each of them a hug and tried to contain myself as I wanted to wait to tell my in-laws until we got into a private room.

We thought for sure we had two more rounds and three months left of treatment.  The last discussion we had with her was that we were going to eliminate the chemo that damaged his hearing and cut back on others.  Dr. Weintraub has mentioned to us before that she was thinking about stopping but this was really it.  We are really DONE!!!!!

I went back out to the waiting room where my in-laws were waiting with Logan.  They could tell I had been crying but neither they or I said anything.  We finally got Logan into a room and I started crying again and I told them that we were done.  We had the longest, tearful group hug!  I tried calling my husband but he didn’t answer.  I then went into the room next to us to tell Gracie and her mom, Laurie.  We were all crying happy tears.  I finally got a hold of my husband and Dr. Weintraub came back into the room so I put the phone on speakerphone so that she could tell him the news. Kevin was just as excited as I was.  But, I love that he asks questions that I don’t (didn’t) think of. He’s very analytical where I am the emotional one.  It’s a great balance.

To top off the exciting news of the day, we had an appointment at 4pm with Dr. Meade to pick up Logan’s hearing aids.  Kevin, Aunt Sari and both of my in-laws went.  The more the merrier, as we had to learn how to put them in and clean them.  We didn’t see anything drastic to Logan’s hearing immediately but as the days went on, you could see his interest in certain shows had increased and his belly laugh was so much greater than it has been.

So, that Sunday we had a Fogg Family Barbeque to celebrate Logan being done with treatment.  On Monday, I received the call and scheduled his port surgery for Monday September 10th.  That same afternoon Logan will ring the bell in clinic signifying that he has completed treatment.  I have tears and chills just thinking about it.  I can’t believe we are done!!!!

 

OUR JOURNEY IS JUST BEGINNING….

If anything, this just means that our journey is re-starting, continuing, getting better.  We can now focus on Logan’s development.  He will continue to get PT 2x/week, OT 2x/week, Special Ed 2x/week, Aqua Therapy 1x/week and Music 1x/week.  We have since added a speech therapist and a teacher of the deaf.  We are also excited that we have two more lovely ladies to help out with Logan’s care.  Miss Leanne Baker, who is another wonderful cancer mama that lost her beloved Ava last year.  And, Miss Tommie Burch, who is a family friend and knows sign language.

We are beyond elated to share the news that Logan is done with treatment and we hope that you will continue to pray for our little guy and follow our story.  We have so much more exciting things to share with you all in the future!

So, on this,  the first day of September, Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, I ask you to pray for all of our babies fighting and share our story.  Help us raise awareness and funding for all of these #tinysuperheros!!!!

 

 

 

#LoganStrong

#PuckCancer

#MamaStrong

#DuckPrints

#PrayerWarriors

#ChildhoodCancerAwarenessMonth

#MoreThan4

 

 

Posted by Jennifer Fogg in Logan, 10 comments

Happy Easter….my journey to God!

I was initially going to write this as a Facebook post but after really thinking about what I wanted to write, I wanted to make sure I was able to share it with all those that have been following our journey.

Let me start with how I was raised; my father was (is) an atheist and my mother was raised Catholic. My father didn’t want to baptize me but my maternal grandfather refused to have a grandchild not baptized and since my father was baptized Lutheran, they agreed that I would be as well.  My mother and my father did not raise me in the church, they wanted me to find my own way and make my own decisions.  Prior to meeting my husband, a little over seven years ago, I had only been to church maybe a dozen or so times.  I never disbelieved in God but I never “really” believed either.

Interesting enough my first tattoo was the Irish Claddagh cross with my middle name, Faith, down the middle of it.  Now, that in itself is odd, considering my middle name literally came from a baby book and had a hard time saying it as a child.  I would say “face,” not Faith.  I do love my middle name and I have “Faith” pictures, mementos, etc. everywhere in my house, car, office, etc.   Anyway, even when I got that tattoo at 18, I wasn’t a religious person.  I have always been a very spiritual person, but not religious.

Not until I was about 22, did I truly start believing in something bigger than me.  At 22 years old, I became pregnant, I wasn’t married or even in a relationship at the time and I had no clue what I was going to do.  I prayed and I prayed as to what I should do and God made the decision for me.  I ended up having a miscarriage.  Now, don’t get me wrong, that was a horrible and very emotional experience and I hate that it happened.  But it happened because God knew that at 22 and single, I was in no position to become a mother, nonetheless raise a child on my own!  I thank God every day for making that decision for me.  That is another reason why I believe he waited almost 20 years to give me Logan!

Fast forward to meeting my husband, finding the perfect career, getting married and trying to have a baby.  When we were ‘trying’ to have Logan we had to see a fertility specialist, literally to just give us a kick start in the process.  On one of the days I was headed to get testing done, I was the victim of road rage. I ended up doing a 360 on the Thruway getting off Exit 24 in morning rush hour and managed NOT to hit any other cars, including the guard rail which I landed inches from.  God was definitely watching over me that morning.

Everything about my pregnancy was easy…the only concern was Logan’s slightly enlarged kidney, which was a common abnormality, no big deal.  Then came the hemorrhage and he was born via emergency C-section.  I argued with one of the doctors who told us that Logan had a deadly platelet disorder and I said to him, “God did not give me this baby at 40 years old to take him away, you take him out and fix him!!!” Logan stayed in NICU for five days and was tested for everything and they couldn’t find anything wrong!  The called him the “Miracle Baby” of Albany Med.

Now that brings us to the day that Logan was diagnosed with a Glioblastoma. The doctors said that there wasn’t much they could do and to prepare ourselves for the worst.  Again, I couldn’t help but feel that ‘God didn’t give me this baby at 40 years old to take him away!”  This is when I put out there that our baby needed prayers.  I never shared Logan’s diagnosis in the beginning, just that we needed prayers!  Sure enough, three days later, the doctors came back to us and said that he had a Congenital Glioblastoma and were now ‘cautiously optimistic!’

I share all of this because throughout this past year, with everything we have been through with Logan, it has helped me reconnect with God and believe in the power of prayer!  Sometimes it takes the worst things in life to find the best things about life.  There is no doubt that Logan chose my husband and I to be his parents for a reason, all of the connections and ‘coincidences’ that have happened over this past year are surreal!  I say ‘coincidences’ in quotes because honestly, I don’t believe in coincidences, I truly believe everything happens for a reason….and God gave us Logan for a reason.  Because HE knew that we were strong enough and financially, mentally, emotionally and spiritually able to handle the situation and overcome!!!

Even though I have been going to church with my father-in-law and Kevin’s grandmother for the past couple of years, I found myself needing something more.  I needed to be closer to God, to understand God and learn more about the Bible and who these people were that we call the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit!!!  I needed to learn more so that I could raise my son in the church and help explain to him the Catholic Faith and how his parents believed and how strangers have prayed for him.  I needed to do this for my son, for all of you that have prayed for our family over the past year and most importantly, I did it for me!  I did it so I could be closer with God and have Faith in the world and in this Life.

So, last night at Easter Vigil, I received my first communion and confirmation at St. Joseph’s Church in Scotia, surrounded by my closest loved ones!

Thank you for letting me share this with you!  Thank you to my dear friend Bridget Wells-Smith for being my Sponsor through this journey. Thank you to my husband for your support always and my mom for helping to watch Logan the nights I had RCIA class.  Thank you to my in-laws who drove up from North Carolina to be there for me as I got confirmed.  Thank you to my BFF, Colby Enides, who is not religious but sat through the two-hour mass and even received communion, to support me.

Thank you to our Church Sponsors Dan Stec and Helen Burke and thank you and congratulations to Andrew and Maxwell who also got confirmed with me last night!  And of course, thank you Deacon Stephen Lape and Father Peter Russo!

Needless to say, my middle name is Faith for a reason and I chose Saint Brigid as my confirmation name as she is the patron Saint of infants, and also to honor my Irish heritage and my sponsor!

I hope you all had a very blessed Easter and Passover!

 

 

Posted by Jennifer Fogg in Logan, 8 comments

One year later….

One year ago, today, my life changed forever.  At the time, I thought my life was over, my world shattered and my heart broke in a million pieces.  I have been through a lot in my life; being attacked by a Rottweiler at 16, being beat-up by an ex-boyfriend, having thousands of dollars and a vehicle stolen from me, among other disastrous things, but nothing prepares you to hear the words, “your child has cancer.”  I’m crying as I type these words.  NO ONE should EVER have to hear those words, especially when it’s your child, a baby nonetheless.

I will never forget the look on the doctors’ face when he told us, or the words that he said.  Looking back, it’s crazy how everything happened and as much as it sucks, and I’ve said this before, everything happens for a reason and our son chose us to be his parents for a reason.  There are way too many things and coincidences that have happened over this past year to make me believe otherwise.  Too many people have come in our lives for a reason and at just the right time.  It’s so surreal!

Never did I think that when I became a mom for the first time at the age of 40, becoming a cancer mom was part of the package.  I hate that word, and I hate that I am a cancer mom, but I LOVE my son. I will, and would do, anything for him to make him better, and provide him with the best opportunities in life.  So, with that said, as much as I hate that I am a cancer mom, I AM PROUD to be a cancer mom and I am even more proud to be LOGAN’S MOM!

The emotions and experiences that we have been through this past year are so unreal.  It’s like watching a movie of your life, in real time.  This isn’t supposed to happen, this isn’t real….but it is!  And the reality is, we aren’t promised tomorrow but you bet your ass, I am going to enjoy every moment with my son and fight until the day I die for him to survive and get the best damn care there is!  I half-jokingly say that our life would be a great reality show if it wasn’t for HIPPA!  😉

I don’t even know where to start or really what to write at this point as I feel I do share a lot and am very open with Logan’s story and his progress.  It’s not easy, AT ALL, but we do it, every day!  I am so glad that this year is behind us and am looking forward to saying that for many years to come.  I don’t wish my son to grow up fast, but I do wish for these times to be a distant memory.

Just because my son is technically cancer free right now and we are almost done with chemo, that doesn’t mean we don’t have a long road of healing ahead of us.  Logan had a piece of his brain removed where the tumor was.  Thankfully because of his age, he has the opportunity to overcome any delays or deficiencies but we have a lot or work to do!  He is getting physical therapy and occupational therapy, twice a week each.  His special education teacher starts next week and we will also be adding in music therapy, weekly.  We are so grateful for all the people in our life and the services that are available to us.  But it’s a constant struggle and battle at times to figure things out.  I think this is what bothers me the most, the developmental delays.  It’s like I’m mourning the loss of having a “normal” child.  The baby that all parents envision, walking, talking, crawling, eating, etc.  We don’t have that, that is what I mean when I say “normal.”  Logan hasn’t taken a bottle since he was 5 months old.  This hurts!  He is almost 16 months old and barely stands, he should be walking by now.  He’s never crawled, nonetheless had more than five minutes tummy time!

When someone would say to me, “I don’t know how you do it, you’re so strong.”  I use to respond by saying, “You would do it too if it were your kid.”  But the truth is, I don’t know if they would or if they could.  I think the fact that we waited until our 40’s and established in our careers really helped with our understanding and dealing with Logan’s diagnosis and in turn helped with his progress.  He is doing as well as he is because of who my husband and I are.  And I don’t say that to “toot” our own horns, I say that because we are positive people by nature and truly try to see the good in any situation.  We both have done so much good in our lives, giving back, donating time and money, helping others, etc.  That is why Logan is doing so well and we have such a strong support system…because we worked our asses off for it and damnit, we deserve it!

We have had the right people in our lives, at the right time, always, throughout this whole situation.  From the time I became pregnant until now….the people that have been put in our path have been there at the right time, every time!!!  Why…because we deserve it, Logan deserves it and it’s God’s plan!  He is here for a reason and we are NOT giving up….EVER!!!!

Yes, our situation sucks but me sitting around crying about it isn’t going to make it any better.  Do I allow myself moments…abso-fucking-lutely!  I have plenty of moments but what is that going to solve, where is that going to get me or my son.  My son is a fighter because his father and I are fighters.

I am now back to work full time, I have new agents that I am training along with managing my own accounts.  I started the Logan Strong Foundation to honor my son and help other children and families battling this awful disease as well as being a mom and a wife, it’s exhausting.  But it also drives me!  I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am without the people in my life.  You all know who you are and I love you all tremendously!

This isn’t my best blog post, but I think it’s the most honest.  Thank you for reading and letting me share this journey.  I honestly thought today was going to be harder than it was, last night was worse I think because of the anticipation of today.  I want to celebrate today, not mourn the day.  The fact that we made it a year is HUGE!!!!  Considering that we have been told numerous times that our son wasn’t going to survive and he continues to overcome and prove that he truly is our miracle baby!  I can’t wait to see the BIG things the future holds for this #tinysuperhero!!!!

I now have a mission in life…..to help raise childhood cancer awareness and help to provide support to others fighting this terrible disease!!

#LoganStrong

#MamaStrong

#PrayerWarriors

 

Posted by Jennifer Fogg in Logan, 1 comment

Announcing the Logan Strong Foundation

Announcing the Logan Strong Foundation

Jennifer, Kevin and Logan Fogg are thrilled to share with you the establishment of the Logan Strong Foundation*. The Foundations’ purpose is to help raise childhood cancer awareness, and to provide items of comfort and support for children and families, while they are fighting cancer in and out of the hospital.

Our initial Event will be the First Annual Logan Cup, being held at Western Turnpike Golf Course in Guilderland NY, on May 17th, 2018. We will be doing our Foundation Ribbon Cutting just prior to Tee Off and are excited to be partnering with many local businesses for this event.  In addition, we will be hosting a networking cocktail hour and dinner starting at 6 pm, following the end of Tournament Play, for those who wish to support the Foundation and efforts, without Golfing.

We are excited for this event, and the possibility for helping families during this very difficult process, which we have experienced first-hand.

Registration for the First Annual Logan Cup Golf Tournament, and additional details on sponsorship opportunities, along with the Cocktail Hour and Networking Dinner, can be found at www.Facebook.com/LoganStrongFoundation.

*501c3 Status Paperwork filed.

Posted by Jennifer Fogg in Logan, 0 comments

2017 Reflection

2107 Reflection

As I look back on this past year, I am filled with mixed emotions.   It has been by far the WORST year of my life but also, the BEST year of my life.  I have learned so much, especially in these past 10 months.  I am not the same person I was this time last year.  I am changed, I am better and I am stronger!  I have transformed both personally and professionally; as a mother, a wife, a daughter and a friend.  I have gained many new, valued friendships and have let go of some that weren’t so healthy.  I have more patience and kindness.  I have found inner strength and courage I didn’t know I had.  I have added way more to my plate than I have ever imagined but it has taught me to balance.  (I would have never thought this situation would teach me balance.)  I am more focused as to how I spend my time and who I spend my time with.  So much good has come out of this bad situation.

 

So, to sum it up.  I’ve learned….

….to have more patience and kindness

….to trust and believe in my faith

….to believe in God’s greater plan

….to ask for help when I need it

….to balance my time

….to juggle a million things at once

….to put my son and my family first

….to focus on the positive

….that I am stronger than I ever imagined I could be

….that I have some really great friends

….and I also have…had some really shitty friends

….what is important

….when to let go and when to walk away

….way too many names of medicines and procedures I never thought I would know

….that mostly people are good

….that people don’t always know what to say or say the right thing

….that at the end of the day family is all that matters

….that everything happens for a reason

….to live every day to the fullest

….to let myself feel any emotion

….that my son is truly a miracle

….that my husband actually has emotions 😉

….that I am truly blessed with the best in-laws and parents

….that Childhood Cancer Awareness NEEDS MORE FUNDING

….that I work for an AMAZING company

…and how thankful I am to people near and far, who have reached out, even if just to share an encouraging word.  They say it takes a village; we are so truly grateful for the village that has encompassed us all in love.

And the BIGGEST things I have learned are:  Faith ALWAYS wins and Miracles DO happen!!!!

Thank you all for being on this journey with us!

Wishing you all a safe, happy and healthy 2018!

 

We are all #LoganStrong

 

#MamaStrong

 

 

 

Posted by Jennifer Fogg in Logan, 1 comment

Scan 12/20/17

Sorry for the delay in updating you all. It’s been a whirlwind of a day. We are exhausted to say the least. Mentally and emotionally drained. Scanxiety is no joke!!
 
Thank you everyone for your positive thoughts, good vibes and prayers….THEY WORKED!!! His scan showed NO CHANGE, everything is STABLE and if anything, it looks better. His ventricles are smaller, which means the shunt is doing it’s job and nothing else is growing!
 
I popped out of bed at 3am this morning with a sense of ease that everything was going to be okay today. Went back to bed, got back up at 4:30am and started getting ready, packing for an overnight, cleaning the house and getting Logan ready. Arrived at Albany Med at 7am, scan at 7:30am. This is was the first time I actually watched them put Logan to sleep. He was so calm and sweet. The familiar faces helped so much!
          
 
The scan went well, then we had to go to Neurosurgery to get his shunt re-calibrated. The MRI machine tweaks it. He hates when anyone touches his head. It takes at least two of us to hold him down to get anything done!
 
After that, we went right to clinic. Surprisingly, I was very calm all morning and was expecting to wait longer before we got the results. But, Dr. Weintraub stopped us in the hall as we were going to get Logan’s height and weight and said, “I have the best Christmas present for you….the scan looked great!” She had even already spoken with Dr. Adamo and the radiologist. Everything is STABLE!!! The two spots that lite up on the scan are of no concern, one is definitely scar tissue and the other spot they think is just a bunch of vessels. I cried tears of JOY!!!
Dr. Weintraub was also very pleased with Logan’s developmental progress.  We all agree that being at home has been good for everyone!!
 
Logan also had a special visit from his girlfriend Miss Giada today! She gave him kisses and supervised me feeding him! She loves her ‘Logan Olmstead’! LOL 
    
And of course he got some loving from Miss Jess! 
 
We were expecting to stay overnight today for chemo but Logan’s counts weren’t where they need to be yet for more chemo. So we will go back on Tuesday for that.
 
We also had a consultation with Peds Surgery to put a port in Logan rather than have the double PICC line. A port is internal as opposed to the PICC that hangs on his chest. He’s more active lately and had been pulling at it. Thankfully with his new formula he has been gaining weight and it was decided we could put a port in in a few weeks, after this round of chemo is over.  A port is also less risk of infection!                               
 
Logan’s dressing over his PICC line was peeling up so they decided to change it while we were there. Well, no sooner do they start to change it, it starts bleeding. This has never happened before. Dr. Weintraub said that maybe from the Peds Surgeon looking at it and pushing on him, it may have just irritated it. She wasn’t concerned. The nurses then continued to remove the dressing they just put on to put a new dressing on, then the inevitable happened…..Logan jerked his body and POP, his PICC line popped out! UMMMM…..this isn’t good! He needs this PICC line to get his chemo and he still has more to get, what do we do!?!? Thank GOD, Albany Med has some of THE BEST STAT nurses. They can put a temporary line in his arm on Tuesday for his chemo then he will get the port next month. WE love you Lauren Reynolds Kirkham and Clifford Estaris!!
   
 
We were also surprised with a bunch of New York Rangers hats that were donated to clinic. Thank you Laina for thinking of us!!
 
And it was #turkeyday!!!!
 
We got home around 2pm and passed out. We are now just getting unpacked and caught up.
 
So, again….sorry for the delay and THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for the positive thoughts and prayers….they really work!!!
 
We are ALL #LoganStrong
 
#PuckCancer
#TinySuperhero
#MamaStrong
#StrongasFogg
#PrayerWarriors
 
 
 
 
Posted by Jennifer Fogg in Logan, 15 comments

End of Round 5 (inpatient aggressive chemo)/Beginning of Round 1 (outpatient maintenance chemo)/End of Round 1

9/20/17 – WOW!  I can’t believe we are done with the better part of being inpatient for 6 months and aggressive chemotherapy.   It feels like the past 6 months have flown by but trust me, they didn’t!  It was rough and still continues to be at times.  Living in the hospital is the worst, having to pack a bag to stay with your baby for weeks on end is not the way any new mom expects to live their life!  Thankfully I was able to come home every few days, even if it was just for a shower or to get a good nights sleep.

But now, the real work begins!

There is still no visible sign of the tumor so Logan is technically cancer- free but I am not comfortable using that term.  Doctor’s call is NED or no evidence of disease.  He technically won’t be fully cancer-free until he has been in remission for 5 years.

It’s actually becoming a very lonely experience.  My husband is back to work.  My in-laws are still around but I am starting to feel guilty asking my mother in law for help all the time.  Both of my parents work.  All of our friends work.  So, it’s always just me during the day…alone, to not only take care of a sick baby but to also maintain a household and get some of my own work done, not to mention trying to work out and do “me” stuff.  How hard is it to take care of a sick baby….well first it starts at 7am when he wakes up.  He gets 4 medicines by 9am.  We then do some physical therapy, stretches, sitting up, etc.  We also practice the bottle.  By the time we are done with that it’s typically time for his morning nap (if he feels like taking one that day).  I then have at least one load of laundry to do from the morning or the day before.  I try to update his followers, check both my personal and business emails then it’s time to sit him up and try the bottle again.  Then on days we don’t have a doctor appointment or other places to be, I have phone calls to make for him.  Whether it be scheduling a doctor appointment, an at home visits, early intervention, insurance, etc.  It’s always something.  I am legit overwhelmed and have a million things going on in my head at all times.

 

11/5/17 – So much has changed since I began writing this blog post back in September.  We are now finishing up the first round of outpatient chemo, even with the hiccup we had.  My in-laws left almost 2 weeks ago now, so it’s mostly just Kevin and I.  THANK GOD Sari lives down the street and has been helping out A LOT!!!  There are very few people I trust Logan with and it’s not because I don’t think they will treat him well, he needs a lot of work.  Sari has experience with not just cancer and special needs children but she also ran a children’s play center.

I am trying to work more, as fourth quarter is the busiest time in my business.  I actually have to get up at 4am tomorrow, go to an enrollment, bring Logan to clinic then head back to my enrollment.  This is my life.  But I will do WHATEVER it takes to not only help my son but also my own sanity!  😉

People always ask, “Aren’t you happy to be home?”  And yes, I am BUT it is so MUCH HARDER at home.  I don’t have a call button to push for help if Logan gets sick in the middle of the night, or if I need a break to take a shower or go get a coffee.  I am “ON” ALL day long.  I get up at 5am, get Logan’s meds ready, work out (if I’m lucky) and get his feed up by 6am.  Then, I have to take a shower and get ready before my husband gets up to go to work, otherwise a shower doesn’t happen.  From there, the day is really a blur.  Between Logan’s feed going up and down about 4 times a day, he has therapy 4 days a week at home, laundry, dishes, phone calls, doctor appointments, emails, work, cleaning….the list goes on.  The next thing I know, my husband is home from work and it’s time to make dinner.  Then Logan’s feed goes up one last time and his nightly meds along with having to “flush” his PICC lines.

I have my moments, hard days, etc. but looking at this precious little boys face gives me the strength to keep going.  I finally made the decision to see a counselor and I did like him, that’s half the battle.  It’s just frustrating though because no matter who I talk to (professional or not), they all say the same thing….”you have every right to feel the way you do.”  Which is absolutely true, I just wish I didn’t feel some of the ways a lot of the time.  There’s times that I am miserable or cry for “no” reason.  Or I am mean, just because.  No one should have to live this life.  The one thing I did appreciate from this counselor was that he said, I need to reach out to people more instead of waiting for them to reach out to me.  He said because most people don’t want to intrude or know how to act or what to say, so I need to be the one to initiate the conversation.  This was an eye opener for me because I was feeling and thinking the opposite, that people needed to reach out to me.  But the truth is, the adrenaline is gone, the mama fight mode is faded and the reality of our lives is setting in.  He also told me that I have every right to grieve or to not want to do certain things with friends that have “normal” children, and that it was normal to feel that way.  That made me feel good.  It’s hard because I want to do things but not only am I super overprotective of Logan and his immune system but I also find myself comparing Logan’s progress to friends’ kids who are the same age or even younger.  And it’s so much easier said then done not to do that!  I’m working on it!

I wanted to make sure I posted something before we start Round 2 of maintenance chemo tomorrow.  Logan’s counts are good and he has been progressing so well that we are starting Round 2 a week early!  This kid is a true Rockstar!

Oh, and he can now hold his head up and can almost sit up on his own!!!!

I’m working on getting more consistent help (thank you Sari) and getting somewhat of a schedule.  So, I will do my best to update the blog more often.

But with that said….the next almost two weeks will be all about putting the finishing touches on this #TinySuperhero FIRST BIRTHDAY PARTY!!!  He will be a year old on November 18th.  You can mail him a birthday card to: Logan Strong PO BOX 2168 Scotia, NY 12302

Thank you all for continuing on this journey with us as we appreciate all of the love, prayers and support!

 

#LoganStrong

#MamaStrong

#StrongasFogg

 

 

 

Posted by Jennifer Fogg in Logan, 0 comments

**Exciting News**

 

As many of our close family and friends know, I have worked for Aflac for over 5 years and yes, I am also a policyholder.  When Logan was born, I added him to my Aflac policies because he was in NICU for five days and I figured I might as well add him to all of my policies now.  Not thinking I would ever have to use my cancer plan for my son.  But what most people don’t know is that Aflac owns their own children’s cancer and blood disorders center in Atlanta, GA., Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA), in which I have been donating to monthly since I started my Aflac career.

What is incredible (and ironic, let’s be honest) is that Logan’s chemotherapy treatment plan was developed at CHOA!  Working for an amazing company, being a policyholder, donating to an amazing cause and having Logan’s chemo protocol come from CHOA is an incredible experience.

So, with that said….

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta chose Logan’s story to share with the entire Aflac sales force in January 2018 at Kick-Off meetings across the country! That’s over 16,000 sales agents in the US, with over 500,000 accounts and close to 10 million policyholders.  Logan’s story is going to be shared to help raise childhood cancer awareness and future funding opportunities for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA).

CHOA flew their film crew and marketing team up from Atlanta last Wednesday and basically turned our house into a film studio on Thursday.  It was very overwhelming and exhilarating at the same time!! They made Kevin and I feel very comfortable and helped in telling Logan’s story clearly and concisely. This in turn will not only help in raising awareness but also in funding CHOA.  These children are innocent and in a lot of cases need nothing short of a miracle. They were also able to interview Logan’s doctors (Dr. Weintraub and Dr. Adamo) at the hospital (Albany Medical Center).

We can’t wait to see the final video!

We are so humbled and blessed to be able to share our story!!!  To be able to share our experience with thousands of people to help raise awareness and funds…..#GRATEFUL

To learn more about Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and how you can help, please visit www.choa.org.
 

 

  

  

 

Posted by Jennifer Fogg in Logan, 3 comments

Reality – before round 5

As I sit here on the eve of Logan’s fifth round of inpatient chemo, also my birthday, I am overcome with conflicting emotions. Part of me is excited to go back to the hospital and finish inpatient chemo once and for all but there is another part of me that just wants to stop and not do anymore chemo. While I would NEVER not do chemo, the thought does come across my mind. Just knowing the discomfort Logan will be in in just a few short days, kills me! He has no idea that by this time next week, he will be sick, miserable and in pain. But on the positive side, this is THE LAST inpatient round of chemo! My biggest fear, however, is that he regresses and we lose the physical and mental progress we have made in just the past couple of short weeks at home!

Logan makes so much progress at home! He is now okay with transitions, moving from sitting to laying down. He likes to be held now. He doesn’t fuss every time we change his diaper or get him dressed. He’s really trying with the binky and the bottle. He’s swallowing very well. He’s putting his hands in his mouth. He giggles. He has a tickle spot. He’s very observant and interactive. He’s making all sorts of noises. He’s entertaining himself. He’s doing NORMAL baby stuff….it’s such a wonderful thing to see!!!

But one thing we need to keep in mind is that he has a serious brain injury. And by “we” I mean his fans, our family and friends and yes my husband and me, at times. And by “serious brain injury” I mean he had a large part of his left frontal lobe removed. So when people have commented or reached out to me recently expressing how happy they are for us that there is no visible sign of tumor in Logan’s head, I may not respond as positively as most would think. People have said, “Aren’t you happy/excited/ecstatic?” and to be honest not really! Yes, I am glad to hear that there is no visible sign of tumor but that is minor compared to the big picture of the situation we are dealing with here. Our son was diagnosed with a congenital glioblastoma. He was born with cancer. This is just a small battle won in the long war we are fighting!

While I (we, my husband and I and our families) appreciate the thoughts and positive comments, this is not over! Logan is NOT in the clear and won’t be for a number of years. He was BORN with a brain tumor and is at risk for it to return. To kill the cancer he will have 5 aggressive inpatient rounds of chemo and to make sure it doesn’t return, he will have 8 outpatient rounds after that. He will be on chemo for almost two years….that’s A LOT OF POISON!!! Logan goes back to the hospital tomorrow night for his last round of aggressive inpatient chemo (about 3 weeks) then he will start his eight rounds of outpatient chemo a couple of weeks after that. Each of those rounds is 40 – 50 days, so his immune system will pretty much be permanently compromised for the next 14 months or so. This also means, we can’t send him to daycare, so I won’t be able to go back to work anytime soon. Thankfully we have a large support network and an amazing family that have offered to help so I can go back to work sooner than waiting for his chemo to be done.

The other positive is that Logan has been approved for Early Intervention through the county, so they are actually coming over tomorrow afternoon before we head back to the hospital to do his evaluation. I’m thrilled because we just found out that Whispering Pines will be doing his evaluation and I have heard amazing things about their programs and therapists! I’m also happy that most of Logan’s therapies can be done at home. I do some exercises and activities with him now on a daily basis, including practicing with a bottle and binky but having someone come in, evaluate and track his progress is very exciting!!!!

Yes, we have no doubt that Logan will beat and overcome cancer for good. However, not only are we dealing with chemotherapy for almost two years, we also have to deal with any deficiencies Logan may have due to the two major resections and the side effects of the chemo.

So as we prepare to go back to the hospital tomorrow please keep Logan in your prayers to not only kick cancer’s butt but to also overcome any deficiencies he may have.  We will continue to keep you all updated on Logan’s progress and any major happenings. Thank you all for your continued thoughts and prayers. We truly appreciate it!

We are ALL #LoganStrong!!!!

Posted by Jennifer Fogg in Logan, 8 comments