It’s been a while since I have written a blog post. Like a long time….
I meant to write an update last summer after our family vacation to Maine. Then I meant to write one for Logan’s 6th birthday in November. Then I was going to write a 2022 update and I also missed Logan’s 6-year cancer diagnosis anniversary in March 2023. Life is crazy and I need to make writing a priority again!
While this blog was initially created to keep people updated on Logan’s journey through cancer, it has really morphed into sharing my journey as a mother of a child with cancer, then a cancer survivor, and now navigating the life of special needs parenting with all the aftercare from Logan’s cancer diagnosis and treatment.
We (Kevin, Logan, and I) have been through HELL for the past 6 years. We still have our struggles, but we manage to make it through and always put our best foot forward. Okay, that last statement was a lie, but we try to at least. Trust me there are times that I completely lose my shit with Logan, he can really wear on my patience and I’m just glad there isn’t a camera around recording me sometimes, for real! It’s soooo hard sometimes to stay calm with him. Like REALLY hard, as I sit here typing looking at my arms and hands covered with scratches because he has been so grabby and scratchy the past few days!
I decided to do a quick update this morning, selfishly, because the Super Mom competition voting starts again today (link below) but I wanted to share why I am really doing it. While yes when the contest first started, I was like hell yeah, I’m a Super Mom, I totally deserve this trip, and want to share Logan’s story with the world. And of course, $20,000 would be a nice bonus. But now, that money could be a complete game changer for my family. Why? Let me tell you…
Back in February, Kevin, Logan and I took a road trip to Atlanta, Georgia to visit the hospital and one of the doctors that wrote Logan’s treatment plan. Logan was so good in the car, we stopped in North Carolina to visit my in-laws and stayed with Kevin’s best friend right outside Atlanta. I visited Aflac’s headquarters and got to meet with the President of the company. Oh, let’s not forget, I packed mismatched feeding supplies, so that was a crisis in itself!
When we met Dr. Mazewski (one of the doctors that wrote Logan’s treatment plan) at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, for those that don’t know, their Cancer and Blood Disorders Center are sponsored by Aflac, we obviously thanked her but also started talking about Logan’s feeding tube. I said that he’s 100% tube fed because of the brain injury and chemo (he threw up for the first 2 years of his life). While she agreed, she also said that it’s primarily because he missed that developmental stage of his life. The first two years of your life are when you learn how to eat. I immediately had an “A-HA” moment, like why didn’t anyone else tell us this before or why did we not know this!?!?
She mentioned to us about a re-feeding program that they had at CHOA and I had asked to be put in touch with them. I figured can’t hurt to have Logan’s team in New York chat with a team in Georgia. You don’t know what you don’t know and the more knowledge the better. I figured they could just share ideas of what works, what doesn’t, what we should try, etc.
Fast forward to almost two weeks ago now, I had a Zoom consultation with the head of the feeding program in Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. Sharp. We discussed Logan’s history, feeding therapy, and more. Little did I know that the re-feeding program there was an actual intensive 8-week program. Dr. Sharp shared videos with me of children with similar food aversions as Logan that were willingly eating by day 5 of the program, in which they have a 90% success rate! I was completely blown away!
He said they work with a lot of post-chemo kiddos. After chemotherapy, some people can develop an aversion to food, whether it’s the taste of food or even the desire to eat. So, they work with people of all ages to learn how to eat and what to eat!
I then asked, obviously, how would this work since we are in New York. The answer was simple, it’s an intensive 8-week IN PERSON program, meaning we would have to move to Atlanta for 2 months! After my initial shock, I said, okay, when can we start!?!?
The program is booked out until September, and we are in the preliminary stages of insurance approval, medical transcripts, therapy notes, etc. We also need to figure out the best time to go between school for Logan, Kevin’s job, my job, and my responsibilities events for the Logan Strong Foundation, amongst other things.
So, this is NOW why the Super Mom competition is so important to me. Winning the trip is great, and sharing Logan’s journey is HUGE but winning the $20k will more than help afford us the ability to take 8 weeks off from work and our day-to-day lives if it means my kid has a 90% chance to eat by mouth!
I will happily take 8 weeks off from my life if it means Logan will eat! I’m tearing up with excitement and joy just typing this! He has come so far with being comfortable around food and is now eating veggie straws, not just licking them and putting them back in the bag. He’s really eating them, licking, chewing, and swallowing!!!!
Between his therapist at school, our private home feeding therapist, and the work we do at home, Logan is not only comfortable around food but is willingly touching, licking, kissing, and biting. Funny, when I told Dr. Sharp that, he made a comment to the effect of ‘why are we wasting our time kissing food, it needs to be eaten.” Which, I was like…. you’re right!!!!
Cancer doesn’t end with treatment. Some kiddos have lots of aftercare and things to overcome while others have not so much. But they ALL have something!
Winning this Super Mom contest will allow me to keep sharing Logan’s journey and help his future in the process!
I’m not sure how long the contest will go but I just made it to the Quarterfinals, and I am grateful for all that have voted for me to get me to this stage. So, I ask, please continue voting every day and help us help Logan! https://thesupermom.org/2023/jennifer-hendricks-fogg
And I promise to start writing more as we have lots of good things happening to share!
And while I have your attention – check out Logan Strong Foundation’s GOLD GALA, tickets are still available for this Friday, May 19 at Armory Studios in Schenectady. https://loganstrongfoundation.org/events/gold-gala/
Thank you for your continued love, support and prayers!