Welcome back to Billy's Page . # 23

    Welcome back *wink* . We have been "surprised" once again with a call from The Childrens Dream Fund !! You remember , the Great folks who arranged for Billy to meet Ryan Styles and the cast of the Drew Carey show in L.A. ! Well.................You'll just have to check back later to hear all about Billy's Surprise !!
     Wed. 10 Sept. 2003
    Billy's 1st Pitch(click photo for bigger image) Here is Billy's surprise !! Billy was invited to be the "10 th man" , Special guest at last night's Major league Baseball Tampa Bay Devil Ray's game at Tropicana Field here in St. Pete. ! The Childrens Dream Fund Called us yesterday morning to invite Billy as the Devil Ray's "Tuesday's Champion" , and of course he accepted *wink*

    Billy and Rocco Baldelli(click photo for bigger image) Billy was taken to the playing Field where he watched the players practice , got ton's of autographs , and talked to the players . To the right is Billy and his favorite Devil Ray (rookie) Rocco Baldelli . Billy was in total awe while he was on the Field with the players . Although the Manager , Lou Pinella , was un-available for an autograph , Billy did get one from the man who sign's the paychecks , Vince Namolli , the Owner of the Team !! I think he was the 1st to sign Billy's ball .

    Delmon Young and Billy (click photo for bigger image) To the left is Devil Ray history being made ! Billy is about to receive the very 1st autograph given by Delmon Young as a Devil Ray . Delmon Young is one of the nations top prospects , and drafted # 1 by the Devil Ray's . He was signed to a multi-million dollar contract moments before this photo , and Billy was his very 1st autograph as a Devil Ray , and major league ball player !! The Devil Ray's have been trying to sign him for the past 4 months or so ! There were news people from all over the country at the game last night to witness this occasion .

    Also , before the game , we were invited to have dinner in the Stadium Dining room . The dinner was fantastic , and we were stuffed !! Mike and Erin , who represented the Tampa Bay Devil Ray's were gracious Host's , and presented Billy with an equipment bag full of Devil Ray collectible's ! Every thing from team posters , to a baseball glove and Devil Ray beach towel !! Thank you two so much for everything you've done for our Son , you should be commended .

    A "Great Big Thank you" also to The Childrens Dream Fund for once again giving Our Son the opportunity to live out any young boy's dream *wink* , to meet his favorite major league baseball players on there own field ! Thank you Andrea .

    To top it all off , we saw one of the best baseball games the Devil Rays ever played ! The Devil Ray's won the game 11 - 6 . The game was full of home run's and great play's which were in perfect view from our GREAT seats !! The team we played was the Toronto Blue Jay's .
     Fri. 12 Sept. 2003   {727-898-7451 room 477 bed B}
    Well , Billy had his counts checked today . His Platelets were very low and he had a fever of just above 101° , so Billy was admitted to the Hospital for a minimum of 72 hours(3 days) to monitor his fever . As usual , he'll be watched for any sign of infection which may have caused his fever . As you may have learned by following Billy all these months , it is expected after each chemo session for Billy's counts to be very low , and for Billy to have a fever , so he is re-admitted to the Hospital to be on the safe side *wink* . Billy's ANC was only 100 , and being that his platelets were as low as they were , he'll probably need a transfusion as well . He was doing so good , and was a bit upset when he learned he would be admitted . His next chemo session is scheduled for the 24th of this month , a 6 day session , and he really looks forward to the days off in between sessions . These fevers cut the days off almost in half , so he winds up spending more and more days in the Hospital because of it .
     Mon. 15 Sept. 2003 Home !
    Billy was released from ACH this afternoon . All of the test's (culture's)that were done to identify an infection came back negative . Billy's fever was (as usual) caused by the effects of the chemotherapy on his system . The Buc's loss yesterday didn't do much for his system either *wink* ! Billy was able to attend his tele-class (Geography) this afternoon , and he shouldn't lose any ground do to his Hospital stay .

    Billy wants to tell all of his Friends on the east coast to be very careful later this week because of the Hurricane that is due to come ashore , and to keep him informed , through his guestbook or forum , as to how everyone is , and He wishes everyone the best of luck .
     Fri. 19 Sept. 2003
    Well , Billy's counts are on the increase but he is still bothered by a persistent cough . Billy's ANC was at 7700 , and all his counts were at or above average . Billy will be getting an MRI of his lower (rt) leg on Tuesday , Dr. Letson (Billy's surgeon) requested it be done . Billy will also be getting a CT Scan of his chest and face , as well as a bone scan of his entire body on Monday . This has been a "non-stop" week , and it looks as though next week will be the same . Billy will also be admitted to ACH on Thursday for his next round of chemotherapy (6 days) . This will be the last "scheduled" 6 day chemo. session , Billy has 2 more 1 day sessions left to complete his 48 week protocol . It has been a very long year , yes , this Sunday will be 1 year since Billy was diagnosed to have cancer and this Journey began . I hope the up coming year is a bit easier on Our Son .
     Wed. 24 Sept. 2003
    I knew from the beginning of Our Journey that this would not be an easy task . Living the fact that our Son has cancer , and seeing on a daily basis , what this awful disease can do to these children and their Families . It is with a heavy heart that I write this entry ; Billy lost another of his "cancer Friends" , and only found out yesterday while having his counts checked . His good Friend Furman lost his battle with cancer last week , Furman would have been 13 years old yesterday . When Furman was diagnosed Billy was his 1st room mate during his initial Hospital stay . Furman's battle with cancer was a short fight , and I can tell you that he was as brave as any child could have been . We are truly going to miss him , would you please say a Special Prayer for him , his Parents , and Friends . Furman was the 3rd child Billy has befriended who has passed away . Billy has been quite about this news , and I can't begin to imagine what he is thinking . We will not confront him as to his hidden emotions , but welcome his emotions when he is ready to share them . Billy has handled his dealings with cancer in an "un-childlike manner" . Billy has an attitude , beyond his 11 years , and I only hope this is a good thing . This past Sunday was Billy's 1 year anniversary since his diagnosis , and tomorrow Billy will start his final 6 day session of chemotherapy , after which , he'll have just 2 more 1 day sessions . I have yet to say this but , I can't wait till this is all over . Will it ever be "all over" ?

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