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 Hi there, Team JJ! We just wanted to give you yet another update on our little Superhero.  As you all know, JJ had surgery this past week to remove the new tumors in his brain.  But before we go into detail about that, we wanted to fill you in on a couple of happier events!

Because of the generosity of Team JJ, we were able to take JJ on a fantastic Disney vacation before he restarts treatment. We all had a total blast, but JJ in particular had an absolutely amazing time.  We spent 5 days in the parks and 4 nights at the Disneyland Hotel, making sure that the boys got to experience as much of the Disney magic as possible.  Needless to say, Cars Land was the highlight of the trip.  Thank goodness we were able to enter the park an hour early because it was ridiculously crowded once the gates opened.  The boys never wanted to leave Radiator Springs, thinking that Cars Land itself was actually Disneyland.  Every time we left Cars Land, JJ would say “I want to go back to Disneyland!”  Everything was so familiar to him that I think he felt right at home:)

While we were there, JJ’s buddy Zack and his mom Tracy (who Jon has known since kindergarten), came to hang out with us! Thanks to Tracy and her amazing photography skills, we were able to get a ton of great family pictures. JJ was excited to have someone his age to play with at the Happiest Place on Earth and they were so cute running around together. The boys rode tons of rides and JJ even braved Gadget’s GoCoaster in Toon Town and wanted to go again! Since it was extremely warm, all three boys had a blast playing for a couple of hours in the water area in Bugs Land…JJ’s shoes were wet for 3 days! 

This trip was exactly what we needed to motivate our family for the fight we have ahead of us.  We’re hoping that JJ keeps his memories of Disney fresh so that he fights to get well so he can go back again.  We had such an amazing trip and we will treasure those memories forever.  We can’t even begin to thank Team JJ enough for all of the generous donations that allowed us to take such a fantastic vacation!

On Saturday, August 11, Make-A-Wish unvieled JJ’s custom playground.  John Manchip Playground Design did an absolutely amazing job creating the perfect play area for JJ.  It looks like a train and has plenty of places for JJ to hide and climb. He loves it so much and wants to go out and play on it the minute he wakes up.

The final result surpassed our greatest expectations.  The quality and attention to detail make this a truly special gift.  We plan on playing on the JJ Moisa Express Train for years to come.  Thank you to Make-A-Wish, John Manchip, Coastal Lumber, and everyone who donated to the ground padding fund for making JJ’s wish come true.

Now, on to a more serious matter.  JJ had his tumor resection surgery on Wednesday, August 15.  Just as he always does, he handled it like a champ.  The surgery ended up being 8 hours…8 very long hours of sitting in the cafeteria waiting for the nurse to call us with updates every couple of hours.  The surgery went well and Dr. Sun was happy with the results.  He said he removed all of the solid masses and tried to fix up the soft spots in his skull again.  They opened up the same scar and as always, Dr. Sun stitched him up with machine-like precision.  There are several hundred stitches that look exactly like milimeters on a ruler. 

After surgery, JJ was put in isolation in the ICU (the private suites, as we call them).  He was groggy and crabby, but essentially the same old JJ. It is absolutely amazing that he can have his skull opened up and his brain operated upon and within an hour, he’s talking about the same things as before surgery. He baffles me.   

Even though I kept waiting for the seizures to occur like last time, his recovery was rather uneventful, thank goodness! Between the fear of seizures and the worst chair bed in history, I probably slept 4 hours the whole time we were there (and Jon slept in his truck).  Anyways, I digress.  The neurosurgery team came in on Friday morning and said that as long as his MRI looked good, he could go home that evening.  Thank goodness his MRI was acceptable because we got to go home and spend Friday night in our own beds. 

When we got home, JJ snapped right back into his normal self.  All of his lethergy disappeared and he started bouncing around the house like a normal 3 year old…not like someone who had been in brain surgery 48 hours earlier.  They took the bandages off his head before he left the hospital, so we’re keeping a close watch that Jaxson doesn’t touch JJ’s very visable incision.   

Even though we were only away from home for a few days, being away from Jaxson was EXTREMELY hard.  We missed his goofy little self so much! Jon’s mom, Nancy, stayed at our house with Jaxson, spending her days chasing after him.  Nancy says that when you watch Jaxson, make sure you wear your running shoes! We can’t thank Nancy and Dave enough for all of the sacrafices they make for us.  I don’t know what we would do without them.

So now we are just waiting for JJ to heal so that we can start the next phase of treatment.  Once his oncologist gets the pathology report back, they will schedule his SUPER CHEMO (well duh, what else would you give to a superhero like JJ??), and his bone marrow/stem cell transplant. 

We’ve made it over the first big hurdle successfully.  That’s one checkmark we get to put on our list.  That’s how we look at the road ahead, a bunch of seperate tasks that have to be accomplished one at a time.  Eventually, we hope that all of these small victories will result in an overall win.  We’re hoping every day that this course of treatment does what it takes to destroy these demonic cells.

Thank you all so much for all your positive words and vibes throughout the whole surgery ordeal.  It really touches us that so many people are rooting for JJ and hoping and praying for his recovery.  We are so lucky to have such a great support group. Thank you all a million times over.