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Brady's Powers

$3,912raised of $10,000 goal
39%

Organizer: Powers for Brady Beneficiary: Brady Mickey

Brady Mickey was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in March and needs our help to raise funds to cover expenses.

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Fundraiser Details

In February 2013 Brady started to get sick to his stomach. At first, we thought it was a stomach bug...

This continued until Brady was admitted to Greenbrier Valley Medical Center at the beginning of March. Six days into his stay at GVMC and things were still not getting better. A good friend made a phone call and on March 12th Brady and his family travelled to Cincinnati Children's Hospital. Here he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and began a six-month series of chemotherapy treatments. As of December 24, 2013, Brady has undergone 46 weeks of chemo with three more months scheduled.

Friends of the Mickey's coordinated this fund-raising event to help with medical and travel-related expenses and to show their support for a family who is much loved.

As of May 2014, Brady is doing REALLY well. Exceeding all of the Doctors original expectations. Cancer markers dropping to almost nothing. Scans look "beautiful " say the doctors. Still have three to six months of traveling back and forth to Cincinnati for the chemo treatments to be sure it's gone. So put them in your prayers and think on how hard financially it would be to quit your job to take care of your chi...ld and then pay for the week long trips to Cincinnati every two weeks. If you can please make a donation to continue to help the Mickeys in this marathon because the wonderful donations raised last year are all gone. Please take a minute out of your very busy day to send a check to them. Or it can be dropped at First National bank to be put in Brady's savings. Please pause. I know and understand how hard it is to break routine on crazy schedules but I think it is really why we are here. Bless all of you throughout your day.
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Updates

Updates

07/19/2014
by Powers for Brady

Blessed News

Posted 19 minutes ago

Hello Friends,

We arrived at CCHMC at 9:30AM on Friday for blood work. That was short and sweet and then we waited until 11:30AM to be admitted for the diagnostic surgery and biopsy on Brady’s abdomen and liver. It was 1:30PM before he actually went in to surgery and then it was a long three and a half hours later that we got to talk to the surgeon, Dr. Nathan. I personally wondered, “How long can a lapascopic biopsy take”. It became a little nerve wracking. In the end it was all very good news. Dr. Nathan could find no evidence of cancer anywhere in Brady’s abdomen. At one time his mesentery veins and arteries where so engulfed by the cancer that chemo was the only option. Dr. Nathan also preformed and internal ultrasound on Brady’s liver and only found one spot that appears to be nothing other than scar tissue from the cancer. The preliminary biopsy confirmed this, but we will need to wait until Wednesday or Thursday to hear the final results of this. So, the next step should be an endoscope and direct biopsy of his pancreas. No matter how that turns out we have very good options now. I stated to Dr. Nathan after the surgery, “that not many stage IV pancreatic cancer patients made it to this point where surgery might be an option”. He shook his head a little and hesitated and I said, “Or no one really gets to this point”. He said, “Well you’re right, except for your son”. I praised him and the team here at CCHMC and he said, “It really is about your son, there is something about him and his biology that has caused him to respond so well”.

The conversation end with me telling Dr. Nathan to keep doing their job and we will keep doing ours, “Praying”. God does answer prayers, in one way or another he always answers. Thank you.

We will be heading home tomorrow (Sunday) and it will probably be a week or more before we are sure of the next step; other than we know that Brady will have his next chemo treatment on August 5th, most likely no matter what the next test might be.

I’ll keep it short for now, for more will come later, but we knew that you would all want to hear about this blessed news.

BradysPowers!


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07/19/2014
by Powers for Brady

Milestone Ahead

Posted Jul 16, 2014 4:07pm

Brady and Peri made it home Sunday evening from Cincinnati. Brady wrapped up round number 30 of Chemo. Peri gave me the following news on Sunday…

They have scheduled us back this Friday at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital for a Laparoscopic Biopsy of Brady’s liver; the doctors expect (and we hope and pray) to find nothing, but this is the way to know for sure if the cancer is gone from his liver. If they find cancer cells we continue with chemo…. If his liver is cancer free they want us to go back the following week to do an Endoscopy Biopsy of his pancreas. If that is clear we discuss ending chemo and begin a preventive or maintenance phase of Brady’s care. If they find any cancer cells still in his pancreas we will then discuss having a surgery called a “whipple”. In the “whipple” they remove the head of the pancreas, the gall bladder, part of the stomach, the common bile duct….anyway it is a pretty serious surgery, but it takes out everything where the cancer started and is normally only preformed on Stage I cancer patients, but Brady has done so well this is now an option for him.

So in a few short weeks, there will be a lot going on in the Mickey Family; all leading up to a real milestone in this journey one way or another. I know we ask you to pray for us all the time, but could you all maybe remember Brady at 11:30am this Friday. That is when we are to report to Children’s to begin the first step, the biopsy of his liver. Brady is fully in the loop of where we are and what’s to come so he is a little (or maybe more than little) nervous. The thought of all of you praying and think about him at 11:30 will give us and him a great deal of courage. We hope to have some answers on the biopsy as soon as Saturday and we hope to be home by Sunday at the latest if all goes well.

I am sorry that we have a couple of updates right on top of each other, but I posted the last one before we knew this news. I will post an update of the biopsy results as soon as we have them.

Thank you prayer warriors,

The Mickey Family


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07/15/2014
by Powers for Brady

Enjoy Each Moment

  
Posted Jul 11, 2014   2:52pm

Brady continues to do very well and his biochemical markers are in the normal ranges. The doctors in Cincinnati are still working and looking for ways to help put an ending to this story. A happy ending I might add! Brady enjoyed The Greenbrier Classic and got to see his friend Jim Nantz again up in the CBS Broadcast booth on the 18th green. He has been spending a lot of time with friends and just the other night spent a long evening with his three older brothers and about half dozen of their older friends at a bon-fire party that was probably to “mature” for him! Oh well, Peri and I never said we were good parents, just parents. We were also invited to a summer 4-H camp closing ceremony where the campers held a couple of different events to help raise money for Brady’s travel expenses. The Mickey family appreciates their efforts and help very much. They asked Brady to give a speech and I was very proud of him. He really spoke well for a 14 year old right up until he used the word “crap”! Peri reminds me that it could have been worse.
Brady is in Cincinnati right now with Peri taking his scheduled chemo…don’t ask me what round this is, I’ve lost count…I think we are in the 30’s. It is truly a miracle how well he has been able to handle the chemo. They should be home this Sunday.

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own”, Matthew 6:34

The Mickey family has lived by this passage from Matthew for most of the last 18 months. Or at least versions of it, like, “THE TIME IS NOW” or "worrying about tomorrow only takes away from today's strength". We had to focus on that because deep down we really did “worry” and think about “what ifs”, but you can’t let those thoughts win. I don’t think I have ever shared with you the statistics of pancreatic cancer and I won’t go into a lot of detail, but now that we have come so far and Brady is doing so well I wonder how many of you really know how scary this cancer is. Pancreatic cancer is ranked as the fourth deadliest cancer in the United Stated. Lung cancer is number one, followed by colon cancer and then breast cancer. 60% of pancreatic cancer patients (like Brady) are diagnosed at stage IV because this cancer grows so rapidly and has very few symptoms until it reaches stage IV. Of the pancreatic cancer patients that are diagnosed at stage IV, only 2% survive past five years. The survival rate for all pancreatic cancer patients past five years is only 6%. The five year survival rate for lung cancer is 17%, colon 65% and breast cancer is 89%. So if a doctor were to say to you one day, “I have some good news and I have some bad news,” he might say, “The bad news is you have cancer, the good news is you don’t have pancreatic cancer”.
Most of you reading this right now probably think, ‘why in the world is he sharing all of this scary, depressing, ugly, stuff with us?’ ‘We don’t want to hear about this, we want to hear about HOPE and LIFE and LIVING IN THE MOMENT and GOOD NEWS and NOT WORRYING about tomorrow’….and I would respond, ‘EXACTLY!’ We never really want to think about the “statistics” and the “what ifs” and the “worries.” We want to think about all of the people we know that have survived cancer and some times we get caught up on being so focused on being positive and not worrying that we forget the unfortunate reality of this disease…. It’s scary. Any way you slice it, dice it or look at it; it’s scary and the only thing that gets us past the scary part is the love, support, prayers, thoughts, friendships, help, faith, humor, hugs, letters, emails, smiles, laughs, gifts and memories shared with family and friends. And no matter what, the cancer can’t ever take that away from us. Maybe we should even be thankful for the things that the cancer gave us. I know that may sound strange, but think about all the love, support, prayers, thoughts, friendships, help, faith, humor, hugs, letters, emails, smiles, laughs, gifts and memories that might have never happened or if they did happen might have been taken for granted. Cancer is scary, but it makes us live our lives to the fullest every day and everything becomes so much more precious and beautiful. Remember, THE TIME IS NOW. So enjoy each moment and remember how truly blessed we all are and let God worry about tomorrow. We love you and pray for you always.

The Mickey Family

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? ...

Matthew 6:25-27


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06/20/2014
by Powers for Brady

Cheeseburgers are a good sign

Posted 2 days ago

So here is the latest on Brady. No funny stories just some facts to keep you updated. As you know, Brady took an uneventful ambulance ride to Cincinnati on Sunday. By the time they got there his fever had come way down. He slept all the way so he was wide awake and feeling pretty good when they arrived. They did several tests and an ultra sound. The result from all of this is that they did not see any blockage in his pancreas, but there was some “sludge” in his gall bladder. That is really pretty good news. His blood cultures did show a bacterial infection so he has to stay on IV antibiotics for 7 to 10 days as a precaution. As of this morning all of his numbers are pretty much back to normal and the plan is to start cycle number 29 of chemo tomorrow. This means Peri and Brady will be in CCHMC until Tuesday of next week. Peri told me that “someone” did sneak him in five cheeseburgers last night and he ate four out of five; so that is a good sign (he had the fifth one for breakfast this morning ha-ha).

Peri has also had several visits and conversations with surgeons during this visit. When this all started 16 months ago surgery was not option, no way. However, Brady has responded so well to the chemo treatments that he may be a candidate for surgery now. The operation would be to remove the area of his pancreas where the cancer started. He will have a CAT SCAN of just his abdomen on Monday to help give the surgeons some more information.

That’s pretty much it for now. God Bless and keep up the prayers!

PS: Ms. Jana we received the prayer shawl! Peri will send a formal note of thanks later, but please thank Ms Debbie and your church congregation for us!


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06/17/2014
by Powers for Brady

Every season brings its own joy

  
Posted Jun 10, 2014   4:08pm

“If you wait for tomorrow, tomorrow comes. If you don't wait for tomorrow, tomorrow comes.” I came across this quote for the first time just the other day and laughed out loud when I read it. Whether we like it or not, whether we are ready for it or not; tomorrow comes. The good news is each tomorrow is a new day and a chance to start again. It is kind of like God is giving us a “do over” a “mulligan” with each new sunrise.

“Dear past, thank you for your lessons.” “Dear future, I am ready.” “Dear God, thank you for another chance.”

As Brady and the Mickey family enter this new season of summer we have so much to be thankful for this year. Don’t get me wrong the last 16 months haven’t been all wine and roses. Peri and I have both made mistakes and there have been plenty of times were we wished we had a free “do over”, but all in all we have been very blessed. There will be no medical updates in this carepage. We really don’t have any to give other than Brady continues to do very well, so well in fact this carepage is just to try and keep you updated on all Brady is doing.

Last week Brady met a very special lady for the first time. Her name is Mrs. Joyce Brookshire. For the past year Brady and Ms. Joyce have kept in touch. They have shared, notes, letters, thoughts and prayers, but they had never met in person. Ms. Joyce and her husband Roy live in Chattanooga, TN and I firmly believe that God meant for Brady and Ms. Joyce to meet. Through duties related to my job I ended up speaking with Ms. Joyce about a year ago on the telephone. Towards the end of our very pleasant conversation she shared with me that she had pancreatic cancer. I know God placed it on her heart to tell me.

Ms. Joyce and I remember this next part of the story pretty much the same way. There was silence on the phone; I didn’t know what to say. “What do I say? Do I tell her about Brady? Brady doesn’t have a childhood cancer, he has HER kind of cancer; I’ve never talked to anyone that has Brady’s kind of cancer before…. I know how bad this type of cancer is….what do I say.” Lot’s of thoughts raced through my head in what I am sure was only seconds, but it seemed like hours. Then with tears in my eyes I said something to the effect of, “Mrs. Brookshire I don’t know if I should tell you this or not, but I have a son, Brady, who is battling pancreatic cancer….” and from there we began to share our journeys. We ended that first conversation with a prayer and we have been praying together and for each other ever since.

So the Brookshire and Mickey Families have been planning to meet for some time and finally it came to pass that last week Roy and Joyce visited The Greenbrier for two days and Brady came to meet with his friend, Ms Joyce. I have posted a picture. It was a very blessed and joyous day. Ms. Joyce, this carepage is dedicated to you. You are always in our hearts and prayers and remember….THE TIME IS NOW! We look forward to visiting you in Chattanooga soon!

I also posted a picture from Brady’s eighth grade class field trip to Washington, DC last week. The thing I like best about this picture is that Brady just blends in. He’s not the kid with “cancer” he’s just another eighth grader from Eastern Greenbrier Middle School. Last year at this time it was just a hope that he would be well enough to join his friends on this trip. We never dreamed that he would not only be able to join his friends, but also be doing so well.

Next week Brady is going camping and he has already been on The Greenbrier River twice in his new fishing kayak that he got for eighth grade graduation…yes that’s right; believe it our not he has been able to stay caught up with his schooling and in the coming fall will be a freshman at Greenbrier East High School!

June 17th Peri and Brady will return to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital for another round of chemo and I will share with some medical updates then, but for now take care, God bless and keep praying ?


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06/17/2014
by Powers for Brady

Do you believe in miracles?

  
Posted May 25, 2014  10:37am

Friday, February 22, 1980, I remember that day very clearly. I was a sophomore in high school and spent that afternoon and early evening dodging any radios or televisions. I hid away in my room and tried to shut out the world. Why? Why would I do that? You see this was the year of the Lake Placid Winter Olympics and at 5:00 PM Eastern Standard Time the United States Hockey Team faced off against the Russians, but ABC was not going to televise the game until 8:00 PM! The game would actually be over before it aired on national television and I did not want to know who won before I watched the game! So, I sat in my room nervously waiting for 8:00PM. It may seem strange to you, but not to a boy who had grown up in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin and who had started playing hockey shortly after he started to walk. Team USA was not really expected to win. The Russians (OK I call them Russians, they were really The Soviet Union) had won 6 of the previous 7 Winter Olympic Gold Medals for Ice Hockey, but this USA team was special; you could feel it, you know they had a chance. I think you know the rest of the story; Team USA goes on to beat the Russians 4 to 3 and at the end of the game sports announcer, Al Michaels, is screaming “Do you believe in miracles, do you believe in miracles!? YES!!” It really did seem like a miracle…

In 1933 Kraft developed a new dressing similar to mayonnaise, but as a less expensive alternative. Premiering at the World's Fair in Chicago in 1933, the world was introduced to Miracle Whip. Now, Miracle Whip is pretty good, but to call it a miracle that might be a stretch.

Peri and I have been married for 23 years. It is a miracle that she has put up with me for that long! Or maybe it’s the other way around and it’s a miracle that I have put up with her for 23 years …probably not, the first scenario is most likely the right one.

The point I am trying to make with these little stories is that we as a society have come to use the word, “miracle” to describe things that really aren’t miracles at all. Merriam-Webster defines the word "miracle" as "an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs." A hockey game, salad dressing, Peri and I staying married for 23 years; I wouldn’t say these things in and of themselves are really “miracles”.

When you are told that your child has stage-four cancer you start to think a lot about miracles. At least you think a lot about one particular miracle; the one that will save your child’s life. You pray for it and you hope for it and you have faith that it will come because you know it is the only thing that is going to save your boy’s life. You start to want to hear the doctors use the word to describe your boy; people that are praying for your boy use the word more and more as he continues to get better and better. You want to use the word yourself, but you are cautious because you can’t really use that word until you hear the word “cured” and that is still a long way off…

Sitting in church this past Sunday listening to Father Chapin talk about faith, Jesus and miracles I realized, “wait a minute; he already is a miracle”. From the moment of his conception, to his birth, and everyday that he has opened his eyes and took a breath, Brady is a miracle. In fact we all are. Yes, I know that there are “scientists” that can explain to me how conception happens and why we live and breath and why we die. They can explain to me why the sun rises and the why sun sets and why a solar eclipse happens. They can talk about how the universe and the solar system came to be and that the earth is so many years old. In the end they will tell me that none of these things are miracles, they are all facts of nature.

This Friday Brady decided to give us another miracle. He had a PET scan to help us determine where we will go with his treatment and what options are available. We expected the PET scan to be good because everything was leading us to believe that it would be good. We didn’t expect it to be perfect. If you have cancer in your body that can be detected; a PET scan will detect it. Brady’s PET scan showed nothing. Nothing in the pancreas, nothing in the liver…..EVERYTHING looked perfect. His CA19-9 was also at a new low of 28 (remember anything below 37 is normal). Brady and Peri will be home Monday after Brady wraps up cycle number 28 of chemo. The tumor board at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital will meet on Tuesday and we are sure Brady and his latest scan will be a hot topic of discussion. We will probably get a call later this week to tell us what the suggestions are from that meeting. Keep it up prayer warriors!

Brady’s favorite TV show is THE BIG BANG. The theme song for this show starts with the following lyrics, “Our whole universe was in a hot dense state, then nearly fourteen billion years ago expansion started. Wait...The Earth began to cool, the autotrophs began to drool, Neanderthals developed tools, we built a wall, we built the pyramids, Math, science, history, unraveling the mysteries, that all started with THE BIG BANG!”

OK smarty pants scientists were did the “BIG BANG” come from? Is that “the miracle”? Whether it starts with “Our whole universe was in hot dense state…” or whether it starts with “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…” any sane person would have to agree it all started with a “miracle” and if that is true then shouldn’t it also be true that everything else leading up to this exact second as I am typing this WORD is also a miracle. Maybe Merriam-Webster needs another definition for “miracle”? Miracle = God. I think that is a pretty good one.

I leave you with this thought and piece of advice…. Don’t get hung up on waiting for that one big miracle; take time to enjoy the little miracles that happen everyday. And, if you are blessed to open your eyes tomorrow morning, sit up on the edge of your bed, see the sun shining and the hear the birds chirping, take a second and think to yourself, “ THANK YOU GOD! IT’S ANOTHER MIRACLE!”

God bless you all and thank you for the love, support and prayers


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05/20/2014
by Powers for Brady

Happy Mother’s Day

Posted May 10, 2014   1:09pm

Years ago I remember reading an easy by Max Lucado; in it he basically suggested that a person try replacing the words love and it with their own name in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. You remember that verse:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes and always preserves.”

Well, I tried it….

Mick is patient, Mick is kind, Mick does not envy…. I got that far before I quit. I thought to myself what a great motto to live by, but no one on earth could possibly answer yes to all of these things and use their name in place of “love”. Only one person in all of history could have done that and he was crucified almost 2000 years ago. Ah, I thought, that must be it; Max Lucado is trying to tell us to have a heart like Jesus and to live as best we can with a love like Jesus has for us.

Last week I came upon this verse again and remembered what Mr. Lucado had suggested. I tried using my name again and it didn't work any better than it did years ago, but it suddenly dawned on me that I was wrong all those years ago. For a lucky few there is a name that works in place of “love”. It doesn’t work for all of us, but I am very blessed and proud to say that my four sons belong to the special group of people that this does work for. So, Mickey boys just remember how very blessed you are….

“Mom is patient, Mom is kind. Mom does not envy, Mom does not boast, Mom is not proud. Mom does not dishonor others, Mom is not self-seeking, Mom is not easily angered, Mom keeps no record of wrongs. Mom does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Mom always protects, always trusts, always hopes and always preserves.”

Well, I assume most of you might like to hear how Brady is doing? After all, this page is called Bradyspowers. We met with Brady’s doctors on Tuesday of this week and he continues to improve. Terms and phrases that were used in this conversation included “remission”, “no evidence of disease” and my favorite “Brady is doing Awesome!” All of the MRI scans where clear, the CAT scan was clear and his Biochemical makers continue to move lower and lower in the normal ranges. There was a doctor making the rounds with Brady’s team as an observer from China. His name was Dr. Chang and I think he gave us the best news without saying a word. He spoke very little English and he kept pointing and Brady’s charts and scans; quizzing Brady’s lead doctor, Dr. Geller, as best he could in his broken English. In the end Dr. Chang stared at Brady and then a little smile showed on his face as he just shook his head in disbelief. At that point Brady ruined the moment by pointing at me and saying, “Are you crying?!” Ha-ha, “No I just have something in my eye”. The plan is to make sure we have beat the living tar out of this cancer so it is three more months of chemo just to be sure. So, sometime in August we will do scans one more time and see where we go from there. It is hard to believe that will make it 18 months straight of chemo. Just like Brady to try to set some kind of record or something.

In 1976 I remember hearing a song by Jimmy Dean called, “I Owe You (I.O.U.)”. Well actually to call it a song might be a bit of a stretch, it is more of a ballad, but it actually made the top 10 on the country charts back then. If you think you have never heard of Jimmy Dean you’d be wrong. He also has his name on a great breakfast product, Jimmy Dean’s Sausage! Anyway about the song, it is about a son thanking his Mom for all the things she had done for him over the years. Below are some of the lyrics….

Mom? You listening?" "Mom, I owe you for so many things, a lot of different services, like Night Watchman for instance, for lying awake nights listening for coughs, cries and creaking floorboards, and me coming in too late. Oh, you had the eye of an eagle, the roar of a lion, but ya always had a heart as big as a house. "I owe you for services as a short order cook, chef, baker, for making sirloin outta hamburger, turkey outta tuna fish and big old strappin' boys outta leftovers ..."I owe you for cleaning services, for the daily scrubbing of face and ears, all work done by hand, and for the frequent dusting of a small boy's pants to try to make sure that he led a spotless life, and for washing and ironing that no laundry could ever do, for drying the tears of childhood, and for ironing out the problems of growing up ... "I owe you for services as a bodyguard, for protecting me from the terrors of thunderstorms and nightmares, and too many green apples ... "And Lord knows I owe you for medical attention, for nursing me through measles, mumps, bruises, bumps, splinters and much more. And let's not forget medical advice either. Oh no, important things like "if you don't quit scratching that it ain't never gonna' get well," and "if ya cross your eyes like that they're gonna stick like that" and probably the most important was, "boy, you be sure you've got on clean underwear in case you're in an accident." "And I owe you for veterinarian services, for feeding every lost dog that I dragged home at the end of a rope, for healing the pains of puppy love ... "And I owe you for entertainment, entertainment that kept the household going through some pretty tough times, for wonderful productions at Christmas, 4th of July, birthdays, and for somehow making 'make believe" come true on a very limited budget ... "I own you for construction work, for building kites, and confidence, and hopes and dreams and somehow you made 'em all touch the sky, and for cementing together a family, so that it could stand the worst kinds of shocks and blows, and for laying down that good strong foundation to build a life on ...."I owe you for carrying charges, for carrying me on your books for the necessities of life things that a growing boy just gotta' have. Things like a pair of high top boots with a little pocket on the side for a jack knife ... "And one thing, Mom, I will never ever forget when there were only two pieces of apple pie and three hungry people, I noticed that you were always the one that suddenly decided that you really weren't hungry any how ... "These are just a few of the things for which payment is long overdue. The person I owe them to worked very, very cheap. She managed simply by doing without a whole lotta things that she needed herself ... "My IOU's add up to much more than I could ever ever hope to repay. But you know the nicest thing about it all is that I know that she'll mark the whole bill "paid in full" for just one kiss, and four little words ... "Mom, I love you."

Mickey boys you have a lot of IOUs to repay, I would start with the “Mom I love you” paybacks today. Peri, I didn’t tell the boys about this post or the Jimmy Dean song, but I did ask them to do something. I asked each of them to make out one of their own personal IOUs to you. This is what they gave me to share with you…

I owe you for always putting us and our happiness first….love Patrick

I owe you for EVERYTHING….love Ryan

I owe you for so much, too much to fit on a piece of paper, but I do know I owe you my gratitude and love….love Keegan

I owe you for taking me to chemo and spending so much time with me in the hospital….love Brady

And Honey, I owe you for teaching me what love is….love Mick

Happy Mother’s Day


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04/23/2014
by Powers for Brady

Are you asleep?  

Posted Apr 17, 2014   5:54pm

This week I was watching the morning news I noticed a story about the Pope Francis hoping off of the “Popemobile” on Palm Sunday in Vatican Square to take some selfies with the youth in the crowd. Now I barely know what a selfie is, but I thought how cool is that? Pope Francis really connects with people, he is humble. If cell phones were around 2000 years ago I bet Jesus would be happy to pose for a selfie with those who believed.

I know that is an odd way to start Brady’s update, but it gets better; I promise. For those of you who want to jump straight to the Brady news here is the latest. Wait….first take a moment and look at the new picture titled “a picture is worth a 1000 words”. It is a shot of Peri’s IPad and shows Brady’s results for his blood markers for cancer. Look closely at the CA19-9. CA19-9 is the main marker for pancreatic cancer. Now go ahead, look at it before you read any further…….promise. OK now you can read on…. The normal number for CA19-9 is the number you see the big 36! Brady has been very, very close but not quite hit the number 36 before now….Remember when he started chemo that number was over 254,000. He has also put on little more weight and is tipping the scales at right about 130 pounds. Prayer works!

Let’s get back to Pope Francis. As I was reading about the selfies and Palm Sunday service in Vatican Square I came across this part of the Pope’s Homily. He said to ask yourself this question, “Has my life fallen asleep?” He asked this after listening to a Gospel account of how Jesus’ disciples fell asleep shortly before he was betrayed by Judas before his crucifixion. I thought to myself I know that story in the bible, but I need to look it up, so I did.

Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26: 40:41

And then it hit me all at once, “I’ve been asleep”, I am just like Peter. When Brady got sick the first couple of months were filled with, well they were filled with everything and I was wide awake. However as the routine of going to Children’s Hospital fell into place and work got back to being work I let myself fall asleep. Go to work, go to bed, go to Cincinnati for scans, days off started to be spent doing nothing. I was just tired. I didn’t feel motivated to do anything. I wanted to but I just didn’t feel up to anything, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak”. When Jesus needed his disciples, his friends, the most they fell asleep. Can you imagine how they felt later? I don’t want to ever feel like that, no way. Peri and the family need me now. So WAKE UP MICKEYS!! Really, Peri you’ve been asleep too and so has the whole family. Winter is over, spring is here and it is time to live again, to be awake, to plan, to grow, to be.

As always love to you all and God bless.


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04/23/2014
by Powers for Brady

Endurance

Posted Mar 30, 2014  12:34pm

Endurance is the ability of an organism to exert itself and remain active for a long period of time, as well as its ability to resist, withstand, recover from, and have immunity to trauma, wounds, or fatigue.

Endurance may also refer to an ability to keep going through a tough situation involving hardship, stress, etc

Why do some people have more endurance than others? I think it boils down to one simple word, FAITH. Faith; believing in something when there isn’t any proof. Faith is a discussion that must finally be had with the person we see in the mirror, ourselves. Others can certainly influence our faith in one direction or another, but in the end it is up to us to decide what or whom we have faith in, what we believe in. All the training and preparation in the world will not get you across the finish line or reach your goal if you did not believe you would get there in the first place. How many of our journeys have ended because somewhere along the way we lost faith? How many of our journeys have triumphed because we never lost faith?

Brady has taught us a lot about endurance; endurance based on faith. He continues to have faith that one day he will not have to take chemo anymore and visits to Cincinnati will be just for fun. He has never lost faith that he will be well again someday and with that faith he continues to improve with each passing day. Brady’s recent visit to Children’s Hospital was once again filled with good news. He continues to put on more weight and his blood markers all continue to drop to all time lows. He has caught back up with his school work and his teachers say he is doing fine.

So, the next time things get a little hard and you think you might not be able to finish or reach your goal think of Brady and have faith. Faith will give you that little extra bit of endurance you need to finish.

2 Thessalonians 1:4 Therefore, we ourselves boast about you among God’s churches—about your endurance and faith in all the persecutions and afflictions you endure.

God Bless and thank you for all the prayers and love.


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04/23/2014
by Powers for Brady

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Posted Mar 18, 2014   4:18pm

I am know I am a day late, but the Irish Catholic in me just wouldn’t let me keep from wishing everyone a very Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Brady continues to do very well and we are all blessed by that. Mommy and Brady will head back to Children’s Hospital next Monday for another round of chemo and scans are set again for May 5th.

On Monday, March 17th last year, the day after St. Patrick’s Day, Peri and I began to call friends and family and give them the news that Brady had been diagnosed with cancer; we weren’t even sure what “type” of cancer at that time. I remember speaking to many of you like it was yesterday.

Brady has always been a big fan of St. Patrick’s Day and last year he wasn’t thrilled about spending it in the hospital. We had just moved to the cancer floor at Children’s Hospital the Friday before St. Patrick’s Day so we were really just getting to know the nurses and caregivers at that time. On Saturday, March 16, 2013 I remember asking one of the nurses, one that has become very special to us named Olivia, if there was a store near by so I could go and purchase some St. Patrick’s Day things to decorate Brady’s hospital room for a surprise the following morning. Olivia told me not to worry; that they had it covered. There were a lot of sleepless nights back then and during the course of the night as I would walk by the nurses’ station I could see that a lot of the people working on the floor that night were busy doing something. Whatever it was seemed to involve a lot of laughter, paper, markers, crayons, and scissors. At some point that night Peri and I managed to fall asleep for a few hours and when we woke up on Sunday, St. Patrick’s Day, Brady’s room was covered in dozens of handmade shamrocks, leprechauns, Irish sayings and in general anything green. In the wee hours of the morning Olivia and her team of “decoration makers” had sneaked in and created a St. Patrick’s Day to be remembered. Brady was quite surprised that people would do that for him; for the wonderful nurses and caregivers at Children’s Hospital it was just another way of showing that they cared.

Last year I shared with some of you parts of a prayer, “The Breastplate of St. Patrick”. Although it is a little long, I think that it is fitting to share it with you once again, in its entirety, for St. Patrick’s Day. God Bless and Erin go bragh!

“St. Patrick's Breastplate is a popular prayer attributed to one of Ireland’s most beloved patron saints. According to tradition, St. Patrick wrote it in 433 A.D. for divine protection before successfully converting the Irish from paganism to Christianity.”

Breastplate of St. Patrick I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, through belief in the Threeness, through confession of the Oneness of the Creator of creation. I arise today through the strength of Christ with His Baptism, through the strength of His Crucifixion with His Burial, through the strength of His Resurrection with His Ascension, through the strength of His descent for the Judgment of Doom. I arise today through the strength of the love of Cherubim in obedience of Angels, in the service of the Archangels, in hope of resurrection to meet with reward, in prayers of Patriarchs, in predictions of Prophets, in preachings of Apostles, in faiths of Confessors, in innocence of Holy Virgins, in deeds of righteous men. I arise today, through the strength of Heaven: light of Sun, brilliance of Moon, splendour of Fire, speed of Lightning, swiftness of Wind, depth of Sea, stability of Earth, firmness of Rock. I arise today, through God's strength to pilot me: God's might to uphold me, God's wisdom to guide me, God's eye to look before me, God's ear to hear me, God's word to speak for me, God's hand to guard me, God's way to lie before me, God's shield to protect me, God's host to secure me: against snares of devils, against temptations of vices, against inclinations of nature, against everyone who shall wish me ill, afar and anear, alone and in a crowd. I summon today all these powers between me (and these evils): against every cruel and merciless power that may oppose my body and my soul, against incantations of false prophets, against black laws of heathenry, against false laws of heretics, against craft of idolatry, against spells of witches and smiths and wizards, against every knowledge that endangers man's body and soul. Christ to protect me today against poison, against burning, against drowning, against wounding, so that there may come abundance of reward. Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ in breadth, Christ in length, Christ in height, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me. I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, through belief in the Threeness, through confession of the Oneness of the Creator of creation. Salvation is of the Lord. Salvation is of the Lord. Salvation is of Christ. May Thy Salvation, O Lord, be ever with us. Amen


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03/07/2014
by Powers for Brady

March 6...Life Day

  
Posted 1 day ago

March 6, 1521; Ferdinand Magellan arrives at Guam

March 6, 1834; after a thirteen day siege by an army of 3,000 Mexican troops, the 187 Texas volunteers, including frontiersman Davy Crockett and colonel Jim Bowie, defending the Alamo are killed and the fort is captured.

March 6, 1981; after 19 years of presenting the CBS Evening News, Walter Cronkite signs off for the last time.

March 6, 2013; Brady Mickey is admitted to the Greenbrier Valley Medical Center because he has been vomiting several times a day for three weeks and has lost about 30lbs. The doctors have not been able to determine what is causing this.

March 6, 2014; after dropping to a low of 92 pounds Brady Mickey now weighs 123 pounds and all of his cancer markers continue to be very close to or in the normal ranges. Brady is spending the day in Cincinnati Children’s Hospital for scheduled chemotherapy.

So maybe you don’t recall all these famous events that happened on March 6, but one will always stand out for the Mickey family, March 6, 2013. I remember Peri’s birthday, the boy’s birthdays, my anniversary date, the day I started at The Greenbrier. There are lots of dates that I remember that others may not because they are special to me. March 6, 2013 certainly wasn’t a joyous day like a birthday or an anniversary date, but it is still a special date to me and now….to you.
Every journey must start with a first step and March 6, 2013; was our first step on the road to being well again. The past 365 days have been filled with many steps, laughter, tears, prayers, anxious moments and many wonderful memories, in one word… life. Yes, life is the best way to sum up the last year. I am sure there is not one of us that will read this message that has not experienced laughter, tears, prayers, anxious moments and many wonderful memories over the past year; they are all part of everyday life. I have and I hope you have learned over this past year to laugh when you can and cry when you have to, to pray instead of feeling anxious and through it all cherished the wonderful memories, the moments, that together make up this special thing we call “life”. There will be other dates to come; the day we were told, “Brady has cancer”, the day we started chemo, the day Brady first got out of the hospital. The dates will continue to come and pass, because the journey of life never really ends it goes on and on. And although we may not like to think about it, the journey will go on and on long after we are gone from this earth.

Brady’s continued return to health is amazing. His CEA marker is 2.3, CA 125 marker is 8 and the one that was 254,000 the CA19-9 marker is 63. I think the thing that impresses me the most is his weight, 123 pounds. He still has a ways to go to get back to normal, but at least his pants will stay up now!

The last part of this update is for Brady’s enjoyment so bare with me while I direct this to him. Brady, I will remember March 6 as Life Day. (Now what most of you do not know is that Brady is a huge and I do mean huge STAR WARS aficionado and fan. Brady will totally understand what I am about to add although the rest of us might be doing a little scratching of our heads.) Brady the below message is for you, some STAR WARS trivia even you may not know….

PS: Brady, I saw the first STAR WARS movie when it was released in 1977. I was the same age as you are now.

"This holiday is yours, but we all share with you the hope that this day brings us closer to freedom, and to harmony, and to peace. No matter how different we appear, we're all the same in our struggle against the powers of evil and darkness. I hope that this day will always be a day of joy in which we can reconfirm our dedication, our courage and more than anything else, our love for one another." ?Princess Leia

Life Day was a Wookiee holiday celebrated by the inhabitants of Kashyyyk every three years. It was a celebration of the planet's diverse ecosystem and the many forms of life it encompassed. It also was a time to remember family members who had died, and the young ones who continued to bring new life to a family. Life Day was a sacred holiday, and many Wookiees considered it their duty to return to Kashyyyk in order to celebrate it. Life Day was held once every three local years for many generations, but during the Galactic Civil War, its importance to the Wookiees became more pronounced. Wookiees were spread across the galaxy, either because they had been enslaved by the Galactic Empire or for personal reasons, and they began celebrating Life Day each year as a way to remain in touch with their history. Over time, the holiday found its way into various other cultures.

Happy Life Day….

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16


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02/13/2014
by Powers for Brady

Nothing or Everything....

Posted 17 hours ago

Nothing is a pronoun denoting the absence of anything.

In nontechnical uses, nothing denotes things lacking importance, interest, value, relevance, or significance.

As far as his cancer is concerned, that is what Brady’s scans showed yesterday…. As we looked at the scans the Doctor said, “look there’s nothing there”. No tumor, no mass, his MRI looked like that of a normal kid. I’ve never been so happy to see “nothing”. There was no sign of the cancer in the images, nothing. Yes, it is very good news.

Brady’s worked pretty hard to get to “nothing”; 11 months of hospitals, doctors, chemotherapy, pain, sickness, travel, missed school, time away from friends, and on and on and on. Unfortunately, I have gotten stuck on that thought for the last day and a half, “he’s worked pretty hard for nothing”. How many times have I said in my life, “all of that hard work for nothing?” How many times have you said it? Or maybe one of its cousins: “What a waste of time that was.” “What was the point of doing that if it was going to turn out like this?” “All that work, flushed down the toilet.”
The more I have dwelled about “nothing” the more I have turned to “everything”. The goal has never been to get to NOTHING. In other words from the definition above: things lacking importance, interest, value, relevance or significance. Oh no, rather the goal has been about EVERYTHING. The goal has been the journey and keeping the journey alive. About having fun, being still, our deepest fear, peace and goodwill, the time is NOW, Rest Areas and potholes, confessions, marathons and birthdays. The goal has been built on, The Boys of Fall, wrestling, breaks, prayers, tears, numbers and lots of other things that we have shared over the past 11 months. We have learned to live better, love better and just better because of everything not because of nothing! God has used Brady’s cancer to make everything about us better.

This is all good news, but it also puts us in unchartered waters. Brady is “one of one” after all and as you know there is no protocol for us to follow. After discussing EVERYTHING with the doctors and Brady; the plan is to continue Chemo for another 3 months, but to take the treatments every three weeks instead of two and to lower the dose by 25%. Then we will check again in three months.
My favorite new phrase…. “All that hard work for everything!”

God Bless,

But Jesus looked at them and said, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

Matthew 19:26


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02/06/2014
by Powers for Brady

Have fun!

  
Posted Feb  2, 2014   1:29pm

So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life. That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 8:15

Sometimes in this hectic world we live in we just simply forget to have fun. Even when we remember to have fun most of the time we have to work to get ready for it. We also often put the added stress of expectations for the amount of fun we will have at our planned events. Tonight, Super Bowl Sunday, many of the fans watching will not have fun because their team is LOSING! Something they have absolutely no control over will cause them to not have fun. Of course if you ever heard Peri yelling at the television set when Notre Dame is playing you’d feel pretty certain that she believes she has some sort of influence on the outcome of the game. In fact during the Notre Dame / Michigan State game this past fall I am sure I saw the head coach for Notre Dame, Brian Kelly, look out from our flat screen TV and smile directly at Peri. The good news is Notre Dame won that game so at least Peri had fun! It seems to me that the older we get the more we lose sight of how fun it was to simply run through a garden sprinkler, catch lighting bugs on a summer's night, ride our bike with no hands, and on and on. None of that stuff took any planning and none of it came with preset expectations, we just had fun.

Well, thanks to some nice folks that put together an event to benefit childhood cancer, Brady and some of the Mickey family had some good old fashion fun last Saturday night. Have you ever watched professional wrestling on TV? You know Hulk Hogan, Jerry “The King” Lawler, The Undertaker… Well, imagine the small town homegrown version of that in an auditorium in Ronceverte, West Virginia, population 1,765. I went totally expecting to NOT have fun; come on really, pro wrestling in the little town of Ronceverte. Boy was I wrong! I don’t remember the last time that we laughed so hard, it was hilarious and Brady made it more hilarious by putting on a wrestling mask! See the attached pictures. The grand finale was Brady as the honorary manager/coach for the six man tag team match where of course Brady jumped into the ring and pinned one of the wrestlers from the other team in order to capture the championship! I was rolling!

Brady had a good visit to Cincinnati this past week. Chemo and all went as planned and his blood markers continue to be right at the normal levels. You may recall that a few weeks ago we had a little issue with getting some of Brady’s medicine because of a change of administrators with our insurance company. That is all taken care of now and Brady got a nice surprise this week. He received a letter of apology from the Vice President of Health Smart along with a very generous gift card to Game Stop which immediately burned a hole through Brady’s pocket as a he rushed to purchase an XBOX ONE the following day. Hey you’ve got to have fun, right?

So, I guess this is not much of an update this week, but get ready because on February 10th we will have scans and the decisions of what the next steps are in Brady’s treatment will be decided. We know that you are all still praying for us and Brady. God continues to hear you. No matter what the results bring on the 10th I am sure of one thing; Brady will continue to have fun and maybe now I will remember to as well.

God Bless, The Mickey Family


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01/28/2014
by Powers for Brady

Be Still...

  
Posted Jan 15, 2014   5:46pm

Be Still….

Peri and I were married in 1991 and our first son, Patrick, came along in 1992. As a young husband and father, I would have been well served to have been given some sort of training manual, brochure, guide, anything would have helped. As it was I did the best I could and modeled my parenting style after what I saw in my father. As I young boy growing up in Wisconsin some of my first memories of my dad where; he was big, he worked a lot, he expected me to behave, pretty much the same most of us would remember. He was a great dad; I remember going fishing on the weekends, camping, hunting, etc. As I got older I also realized he expected me to be the best. I did my best to make him proud and for the most part I did a fairly good job of doing that. I was first team all league in football, I was the wrestling team captain, I graduated high school with a 3.83 GPA…I still remember him calling out in the stands, “COME ON BOBBY!!” Go ahead and laugh. Now you all know my mom and dad called me Bobby…they both did until they passed away. I am glad my friends started to call me Mick, it sounds so much better than Bobby.

I guess I am getting a little side tracked….The point I am trying to make is I made a mistake as young father. When Patrick started to go to school and play sports, later Ryan and then Keegan I had one goal for them…. BE THE BEST. I even put more pressure on them; I wanted them to be better than I was. So, I expected them to be all league and more, team captain and more, make straight A’s and more, on and on… Looking back on it I am not sure how they survived it. After learning from my mistakes with Patrick and Ryan (and there were some really big ones) I have finally gotten better. Keegan and Brady have grown up under a different motto. I learned that “doing your best” is better than “being the best”. Now, there might be some of you that say, “what if doing your best isn’t good enough”? Well, I would have to agree with you in the world of business, professional sports and so on. Let’s face it; we live in a competitive world. However, when it comes to raising sons I have come to learn that “doing your best” is plenty good enough. Patrick and Ryan, I am sorry it took me about 20 years to learn that. I love you guys.

Peri will be the first to back me up on this; at Keegan’s matches I have learned to keep my big mouth shut (for the most part). I am not the assistance coach or the expert wrestling advisor. I am simply the parent and my job is to pray, cheer and support. In other words, just help him “to do his best” and win or lose love him the same. I am sure Patrick and Ryan wish I had learned that lesson a lot earlier.

All of this reminds me of one of Peri’s favorite verses from the Bible or least part of it. Psalm 46:10; “be still and know that I am God” I have come to know that I can not will my boys to be the best; I can’t train them or teach them to be the best. All I can do is my best to guide them; the rest is in God’s hands.

This past week was a little frustrating and scary. Brady came home from Cincinnati as usual and things were fine until we tried to get his post-chemo medicine on Monday. My employer has changed administrators for our health care plan and the new players in the game would not approve Brady’s previously approved medicine. Tuesday goes by and it is still not approved, Wednesday no, Thursday no. Friday comes around and now I am starting to get a little worried. I became even more worried when on Friday Peri took Brady for his blood work and his ANC count is 500. The doctors won’t even start chemo unless it is above 1000. So, on Saturday and Sunday I prayed. I prayed, “God I hope we haven’t screwed up here? Don’t let us skip a week of chemo. God don’t let the cancer grow. God an ANC count of 500; that’s pretty low don’t let him get sick. God help Brady. God help us get the insurance to approve this medicine. Brady, just do your best……”

On Monday morning Peri calls to tell me that insurance has approved the needed medicine and it is waiting for her at the pharmacy. She is going to take Brady for blood work that morning and we will go from there. She also tells me that Brady is preapproved for anything moving forward and there will be more battles getting anything approved for him…more than I prayed for. She calls me back a little later in the day and tells me that Brady’s ANC count was now 800 and he has gained 3 lbs over the weekend to reach a high of 118lbs. Better yet Cincinnati Children’s Hospital called and said bring him up, if his ANC is growing that fast since Friday with out the medicine he should be fine for chemo on Tuesday….more than I prayed for. Last night Peri sent me Brady’s CA-19-9 number….it was 66….a 66…Wow only 31 more points and that little rascal is below normal! I didn’t even remember to pray for that. Brady you obviously did your best this weekend and OK, I know, I hear you talking to me God…. “Be still and know that I am God”.

Thank you all for your continued support and prayers…it’s working. I leave you with this piece of advice. Do your best, teach your kids to do their best, and leave the rest in God’s hands.

God Bless.


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01/03/2014
by Powers for Brady

They are not so different....

Posted 1 day ago

As many of you know, Peri and I have a son named Keegan. Keegan is in the middle of wrestling season and is actually doing pretty good; he currently has a record of 20 wins and 4 loses. Two weekends ago as I was watching him wrestle I thought to myself how strange it was that God would give me two sons that were so different. I mean, there I was watching Keegan picking up 170 pound young men and through them to the mat like they were a sack of potatoes. He was the poster child of youth in its prime. Then I thought of Brady battling such a serious illness and how frail he looked compared to last year. I thought, “God I will never understand why you created them so different”. That thought stuck with me until last weekend….

Last weekend Keegan was wrestling in the semifinals of the Parry McCluer Tournament in Buena Vista, VA. Win this match and he was in the finals out of 16 teams…not bad. Last year Keegan missed most of the entire wrestling season due to an injury to his shoulder; in fact he had surgery on that shoulder last year right before Brady started to get sick. So, Peri and I really pray and hope for him to have a great time this year; he loves wrestling. Back to the semifinals… about a minute into the match I saw Keegan wince. No, that’s not right, it was not a wince; it was the face of pain, the face of injury; not just hurt. The referee saw it to and called an injury time out. Keegan walked over to his coaches and his shoulder; the one he injured last year looked odd and he was holding it gingerly. My mind raced and I thought there goes the season, his shoulder is out again. I felt sorry for him and Peri, me too I guess.

Well, Keegan swings his arm around some and talks to his coaches and comes back out onto the mat; the referee blows the whistle and we finish the first period with Keegan losing by four points and favoring his shoulder. At this point the future does not look bright. Keegan choose the top position to start the second round. For those of you that know a little about high school and collegiate wrestling this is not the choice his coaches would have made. He was down by four points and his shoulder is hurt; he should have choosen down. I thought, “What is he thinking”? A period in wrestling is two minutes long, that two minutes can turn into an eternity, especially if you are the nervous parent. To my surprise Keegan’s shoulder did not appear to be bothering him as the period progressed. To my greater surprise Keegan was man handling the wrestler who just beat him convincingly in the first round. With about 45 seconds to go in the second round Keegan turns his opponent to his back and holds him there with one second left in the round the referee slams his hand to the mat, PIN! Keegan WINS, Keegan WINS!! I am pretty sure that people heard Peri screaming all the way to the state line. She even told me she peed her pants jumping up and down. (Peri’s going to be mad at me for telling that part) We later learned that Keegan had slightly dislocated his shoulder and popped it back in himself during the time out.

In the span of few minutes my emotions went from nervous anticipation to dread and then pure exhilaration. I remember after the referee called the pin I just kept shouting YES, YES, YES! After Keegan had a minute to calm down I went up and asked him, “What were you thinking when you chose up for the second period?” He calmly smiled and said, “My shoulder was out, the guy was kicking my ass and I knew if I didn’t hurry up and pin him I was done.” I gave him a hug and sat back down in the bleachers. Then the most amazing thing happened; God whispered in my ear, “You see they are not so different; I gave your sons the same heart; they have the heart of a fighter”.

I have thought about that a lot this week, “They have the heart of a fighter”. 46 weeks, Brady has been taking chemo for 46 weeks. I did the math that would be 231,840 wrestling rounds. Brady may not be a wrestler, but no one can deny he is a fighter. I remember 46 weeks ago when Dr. Geller looked at Brady and told him, “we can stop any time you say. We won’t do anything you don’t want to do.” Brady has never said stop, he won’t quit. Just like Keegan he won’t let the little things (it was only a dislocated shoulder!) stop him from finishing his match. Brady’s CA-19 marker was the lowest it has ever been when it was checked last week, 89 was the number. Remember when it was 254,000! Scans are set for February 10th. We will review them and decide what the plan is after that.

Keegan was named “Wrestler of the Week” a few weeks ago. He got his picture in the paper along with a few facts about himself. The facts listed his favorite quote, which I didn’t know until I read it in the paper… “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure”. Wow, where did he come up with that? Google is terrific you can find anything; I googled his favorite quote and found that it was part of an excerpt from a book by Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love; Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles. In 1992 it spent 39 weeks on the New York Times best seller list. I never heard of it, but I am going to read it now. Below is the full paragraph, which has become an inspirational poem to some….

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Amen!


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01/03/2014
by Powers for Brady

Peace and Goodwill….

Posted Dec 24, 2013 3:18pm

Before we get to deep into Peace and Goodwill, let’s get a Brady update. Brady does well, heck he does great! Weight is about 110 to 115, markers are still normal and he is full of himself everyday. In a season full of miracles, he is one. Plan is still for chemo to continue on for the next three months.

Now for the Peace and Goodwill part….

How many times this year have all of you helped the Mickey family realize what these words really mean, hundreds, thousands, maybe more? This time last year everything was wonderful; all was right with the world and whatever problems we thought we had as family would soon become very trivial. I can still remember celebrating last Christmas Eve like it was yesterday. Peri got an IPad (which she seldom puts down now). The boys got the gifts they wanted and Peri bought all the men matching boxer shorts; which she made us model so she could take a picture. Yes, I posted it for your viewing pleasure. Try not to laugh too hard. Yep, everything seemed right with the world. Then a few weeks went by and Brady started to get sick to his stomach every morning…didn’t seem like anything. He would throw up, say, “that was weird” and go on about his business. He didn’t seem in pain, no fever. He was right; it was “weird”. Day by day he seemed to get a little sicker, he started to lose weight, he was throwing up more than once a day and soon the trips to the doctors started….. The doctors had lot’s of different opinions as to what was causing his symptoms, but who is looking for an adenocarcinoma of the pancreas in a 13 year old boy? Well, as Paul Harvey would say, you know the rest of the story.

So, you wouldn’t think there would be much Peace or Goodwill at the Mickey Home in the year of our Lord 2013, but as I said you know the rest of the story….or do you? I would like to make sure you do know the rest of the story.

Peri, Brady, Keegan, Ryan, Patrick and I have met some wonderful, caring, amazing people this year. People we never would have met if it wasn’t for Brady’s illness. We have been touched and moved to tears by the stories of others fighting life threatening diseases. We have prayed more, loved more and lived more in this year then we could have imagined and Along the way we have discovered the real power of BRADYSPOWERS.

God’s powers, our powers and most importantly YOUR powers make up Bradyspowers. Peri and I can not thank you enough for all that you done. It would take a life time to tell about all of the: kind words, thoughtful gestures, caring, gifts, prayers, help, love, patients, understanding, the list is endless….The rest of the story that we want you to be sure to know is that we, The Mickey Family, could not have survived this year without you. Without your love and support, I know, I believe, that there would not be Peace and Goodwill in my heart tonight. In fact, as I write this, I realize that this will be my first Christmas Eve were there is nothing but Peace and Goodwill in my heart. You have taught us what Peace and Goodwill really are and that is our greatest blessing this year, thank you. So to all of you Peri, the boys and I wish you Peace and Goodwill. Merry Christmas.

On earth, peace, goodwill……Heavenly Father, this special night, Christmas Eve, has caused armies to lay down their weapons. Families to reunite, fathers and sons to reconcile and mothers to love even more; wanting only that their children become lost in the joy of the season….but, we know it is not about a “season”. It is about Jesus and one special night when Your son was born and became man so that eventually He could die for us and take away the sins of the world. Grant us the serenity and the wisdom to only show peace and goodwill towards our fellow man everyday, but especially on this silent and holy night. Amen


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12/07/2013
by Powers for Brady

What time is it?  The Time is NOW!

  
Posted Dec  4, 2013   1:10pm

It has been a rather uneventful three weeks since our last update. Brady enjoyed his break from chemo and spent nights with friends, went to the movies, he even did a little school work here and there. He went back to CCHMC this Tuesday and began round number 19 of chemo. The plan is to continue on this path for another 3 to 6 months and then we will decide again what the best plan of action is at that point. Peri and Brady should be home Friday. Peri if you read this before you get home, I have cleaned the kitchen and downstairs and I plan to start on the upstairs tonight.

The past three weeks have been heavier on me and I am sure Peri as well than they were for Brady. Brady is a smart guy; he lives in the moment, he doesn’t dwell on what happened yesterday and he doesn’t focus on what’s going to happen tomorrow. He does not live by the motto “one day at a time”, but rather “one moment at a time”. I think I can learn something from him on this matter. I tried to explain this to Peri the other night and of course the two of us having a philosophical conversation is like Sheldon talking to Penny in “The Big Bang Theory”. Now Peri before you take offense at that comment, just remember how pretty Penny is….LOL.

I found the below excerpt the other day, it is from the writings of St. Augustine, who before accepting Christ led a pretty wild life, that is one of the reasons he is the patron Saint of Brewers…Only us beer drinkers might know that I suppose, but what he wrote almost 1600 years ago is probably even more true in this fast paced world we live in today.

"There are three times; a present time about things past, a present time about things present, a present time about things future. The future exists only as expectations, the past exists only as memory, but expectation and memory exist in the present." -St. Augustine

I truly believe that memories and expectations (hope) are very wonderful things, but the only time we can live in is now, this very moment. So I plan to spend less time dwelling on the past and less time guessing what the future will bring. I will be more like Brady and live in the moment.

I guess I should have just gotten to the medical update sooner, but it has become clear to me that Brady’s life is meant to be more than medical charts and medical updates and that means our lives are meant to be more than that too. So the updates include the growth and struggles we all share.

The numbers are…CA19-9-108, CA 125-10, CEA-2, weight-113lbs. What does that mean? The cancer markers have dropped even with the three week break and hover at or below normal levels and he has gained 10lbs in weight. We need to stop at more Rest Areas, YEAH!

So the next time some one asks me, “what time is it?” my answer will be, “the time is NOW!” and that is all that matters. God Bless you all for your prayers and support.

Father, not one of us can change anything by worrying. Instead of letting us spend our time worrying, help us to remember to pray instead. Prayer will help us through today so we can get to tomorrow. There are 1440 minutes, little moments, in everyday. We pray you will give us the strength to live in each moment and cherish it good or bad. We know You are there with us everyone moment and with that knowledge, we find the courage and strength to leave tomorrow in Your hands.

Amen


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11/19/2013
by Powers for Brady

Rest Area 1 Mile Ahead

  
Posted 6 hours ago

The running joke in our family is that Daddy will not stop at a Rest Area on long road trips. “You need to hold it” or “find an empty bottle” has been said on more then one occasion. We always have a good laugh when the, “find an empty bottle” line is directed towards Mommy. This of course is much to her chagrin; the last thing a mother of four needs when she has to use the bathroom is laughter! It is usually about that time that Peri gives us all dirty looks and throws in a few choice words that only a mother of four teenage boys would understand. Poor Peri, she knows this is the way I am wired. Rest Areas are a waste of time. My general response to Peri’s pleading to stop at a Rest Area is, “You can go to the bathroom when we stop to get gas!” I have grown fond of Peri’s general reply, “good grief Mick, we still have half a tank, I can’t hold it for another 200 miles”! Now this picture would not be complete if you did not imagine the four teenage boys in the back of the SUV shrieking laughter as this conversation rages on. For years Peri and sometimes the boys (but they could usually find a bottle) have looked longingly at the exit ramps to Rest Areas as we drive on. Occasionally in the past Peri would call me a few choice words as we drove by, but she learned quickly that only added to the shrieking laughter from the hoodlums in the back seat. So, she would sit quietly dejected and in pain, praying all the while that the fuel tank would spring a leak!

Well, we have made more road trips in the last nine months than we had planned to make for the rest of our lives and I think we are all the wiser for these trips, even me. I have learned that in the grand scheme of things what does five minutes at road side Rest Area matter? In fact, I have come to enjoy the time to stretch my legs and take a few minutes to marvel at the beauty of God’s creation. After all, most Rest Areas are usually in very picturesque, picnic like settings and the restrooms are CLEANER than any gas station. I still play around with Peri’s mind a little when she asks me to stop at the next Rest Area. I normally don’t say anything. I just keep driving and looking ahead; however, at the last possible second I turn my signal and pull on to the exit ramp to the Rest Area. I love the little look that Peri now gives me when she say, “Awe…you do love me” as we pull into the parking spot at the Rest Area. Amazing what stopping at a Rest Area can due to a women’s heart. In fact I have come to believe that if “the way to man’s heart is through his stomach” then “the way to women’s heart is to let her empty her bladder”. Hey don’t judge, I said it’s what I believe you don’t have to agree with me.

So, we got the news yesterday that the Medical Team at CCHMC wants Brady to stop at a Rest Area. No not really, what they said was it was time for Brady to rest before beginning his next six months of chemo. All of his blood work and counts say that he was medical and physically able to start chemo today as planned. But, why drive by the Rest Area if you don’t have to? The look and joy that showed on his face about being able to stop at the Rest Area, to be able to take a little break, was how Peri looks at me now when I stop for her, but it was multiplied 100 times. He was ready for breather and the team at CCHMC realized this more than we even did, but the old me is creeping out….What are we doing? Why are we stopping?! Why are we wasting time?!! Don’t you realize this might give the cancer a chance to start a come back?!!! Good grief, we aren’t out of gas yet; we need to keep going!!!! Then I heard a voice in my head, in my soul, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” and I realized this is good. We all need a little rest. We are all weary and burdened, lets not past this Rest Area by.

What’s next? We are going to stay at this Rest Area until December 3rd and then the goal is to hit the next six months hard, to finish this journey strong and not in pain. This is the point where our faith must be the strongest. For the next few weeks, there will be no doctors, no chemo and no CCHMC. We will have God and you. I know you have all given so much and I hate to ask for anything more, but I will ask. Please pray all the harder now, God is amazing and we are so close. Everyone is full of enthusiasm and energy at the beginning of the marathon, but not so much towards the end. Pray now with all the enthusiasm and energy you can gather.

“He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of rightousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.” Psalm 23:3-6


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11/19/2013
by Powers for Brady

The roads in Cincinnati have a lot of potholes.

  
Posted Nov 15, 2013   5:25pm

This is just a short message….

We have learned a lot of things by driving to Cincinnati every other week for the last nine months. One of the things we have learned (and I mean no disrespect to our friends in Cincinnati) is that there are a lot of potholes in streets of Cincinnati. I mean a lot! We have tried to take different routes to avoid some of the more bumpy roads, but we have not found a route yet that doesn’t have some big bumps in the road. Although the bumps are a nuisance they never stop us from going, I mean we have to take Brady to Children’s so he can get better. Not making the trip because of the bumps in the road just isn’t an option. So, we put up with the bumps, just another little nuisance on this journey.

This week Brady has had a few bumps. Two nights ago he had an infusion of platelets and tonight he is going to have another. Just as a precaution they admit him to the local hospital here at home for these infusions. Actually, it is more about being careful that there is no bleeding. I am no doctor, but it is my understanding that when your platelet count is low enough even a bloody nose could be life threatening. What’s Brady think about all of this. Number one; free Wi-Fi at the hospital for his computer, yeah! Number two; it is just another bump in the road, just another little nuisance on this journey.

You know last week when I was in Cincinnati with Brady for his scans they were repaving one of the roads that leads from the Hospital back to the interstate. I am sure the paving will be complete by the time Peri and Brady return to Cincinnati. We will at least have one street with no bumps in the road. Boy it will be nice to drive on that street; just a nice smooth ride with no bumps.
Lord, we rejoice in suffering, the bumps in the road, not because we like it, but because we know that You are using it to deepen our faith and strengthen our character so it reflects You. Give us the wisdom to see these difficult times, these bumps in the road, as opportunities to grow in grace. We know that one day soon You will smooth our path and remove the bumps in the road ahead. Amen.


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11/09/2013
by Powers for Brady

I have a confession to make….

Posted Nov  6, 2013   3:37pm

So, let’s get right to the point, the next lines you are about to read are directly from the report of Brady’s latest scans…the last scans were three months ago.

“Limited exam due to susceptibility from a presumed new biliary stent and motion artifact. The infiltrative mass centered caudual to the body of the pancreas appears significantly decreased in size compared to the prior exam, although accurate measurements are not possible due to the artifact. Previously described multiple enhancing lesions scattered throughout the liver have significantly decreased compared to prior exam. Only a few vague areas of signal abnormality within the liver remain.”

Alright I will save you the rest of the medical jargon. Here it is in laymen’s terms. Brady continues to beat the odds. His tumor has now shrunk to size where it is hidden by the small shadow “orb” on the MRI created by the metal stent in his bile duct. The cancer has not spread. Areas where it had spread too continue to clear to the point where there are just a few vague spots that may not even be cancer. Of his three cancer markers, two continue to be in the normal range and that pesky third one continues to hover just barely above normal.

So what does all this mean…it is all good news and the medical team is impressed with Brady’s progress to date. Of course, they have nothing to compare his progress to except for adults with this disease, but if I understood Dr. Keller correctly he said Brady is getting close to being one of the very few people with this disease to reach remission.

So what’s next? It will be four to six more months of chemo, the same regime that we are on now. You would think after Brady heard everything above he would be a happy guy, right? Not so much, all the good news above faded when he heard four to six more months….Brady had shared with us on Monday as we driving to the CCHMC for the scans that he was holding on to a little hope that maybe this time they might give him a “chemo pill” and he could come home and not have to stay. We told him that was not going to happen, but I think he held on to that thought as long as he could.

When Brady heard four to six months more he shut down and wouldn’t talk. He even had a little cry. Hell, he deserves to have a big cry if he wants. There is a cream that we put on the ports in his chest to numb his skin before they stick the big needles in. When the nurse tried to put it on he said, “No, just leave me alone. I need a minute.” Mommy, Daddy and the Nurse all said “OK” and walked out of the room. Maybe we all needed a minute. Peri bumped into one of our case works in the hallway and she told her about Brady was having a rough time at the moment. She asked if she could chat with him and of course we said yes. Two minutes later you could hear Brady laughing and talking his head off. After 15 minutes of this I went in and broke it up and reminded Brady that we had to get the numbing cream on his ports. He said, “I know just give me it, I’ll do it myself.” He laid back on the exam table pulled up his shirt, squirted it on, spread it around and said, “OK give me the patch to cover it”, which I of course did. When he was finished he grabbed the Ipad, raised the head of the exam table and said, “Tell them they can come stick me in 45 minutes” (the time it takes for the cream to do its magic). Well after that he was back to normal and ended up sending me to get him a bacon cheeseburger, fries and Dr. Pepper; all of which he wolfed down right before starting chemo.

Now back to my confession. In the summer between my 6th grade and 7th grade school years my Dad was transferred to a new work assignment and we had to move. Not only is it hard to make the transition from elementary to middle school, it is even harder when you do not know anybody at your new school. I was 13 at the time. One day early in the year as my luck would have it I said the wrong thing to the wrong kid. A few days later I was in a parking lot across from the school surrounded by about 30 other kids. The guy who I said the wrong thing to was taughtening me into a fight and I suddenly realized I was scared. Not just a little scared I mean pee your pants, can’t move a muscle scared. About that time he hit me flush across the jaw and that woke me up enough to move. I turned on my heels and I ran, I ran scared, but as I was running it dawned on me where was I going to run to? The principle’s office, home, hide somewhere; there wasn’t anywhere I could go that I wasn’t going to have to eventually face up to this other kid. So with about 20 of the 30 kids chasing behind him and me I suddenly stopped and turned around and just threw a punch. I wasn’t really aiming at the other kid, I was just swinging. Somehow he managed to run nose first into my fist and his feet went out from under him. The next thing I know I am on top of him and I am wailing the daylights out of him. I was scared the whole time and I thought if this guy gets up he will kick the $#&^ out of me. He finally called "uncle" and it was over. We actually shook hands the next day and we remained friends all the way through high school.

What’s my point? It’s OK to be scared, just don’t run. What’s my confession? When Dr. Mesoff told Brady he had cancer, he said that Mom and Dad were upset because they loved him and they didn’t want to see him have to deal with this cancer, but they weren’t scared and he shouldn’t be scared either. For almost nine months now, I have never told Brady differently. Well this is my confession, “Brady I am scared, but not so scared that I am going to run. I am scared, but I am going to stand with you and we are going to fight”. And Brady, its OK if you’re scared. And Mommy it’s OK if you’re scared. We just aren’t going run because there’s no where to hide, so we just have to keep fighting until the other guy says "uncle".

Thank you all, please keep the prayers going….GOD hears us and you


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10/15/2013
by Powers for Brady

Finishing a marathon is a state of mind that says anything is possible. 

Posted Oct 12, 2013   5:54pm

A few weeks ago a small group of dedicated endurance athletes completed a challenge that when you stop and think about it might seem impossible. They covered 78 miles on the Greenbrier River Trail in just less than 24 hours. Why would someone attempt this feat? I am sure the answer might be different for each person, but I believe that those brave souls that began this journey had a similar thought, “I can do this”. I mean if you didn’t think you could do it, if you didn’t think you could finish, why would you ever take that first step. Well, as fate would have it not all of the athletes that started this trek were able to finish. Some made it, some did not, but they all had one thing in common when they took that first step they thought, “I can do this”.

They also made this journey about more than themselves. They made it more than just a personal challenge to prove that they could do it. They dedicated their journey to benefit Brady and to raise funds to help Brady continue his own test of endurance and will. The Mickey family and all of the friends that continue help us and pray for us thank these athletes for their testament of endurance and will.

When Peri and I were first told that Brady had cancer, one of the very first things the doctor said was, “you thought you were in a sprint to a cure, but now you are in a marathon”. As our own journey with Brady and his cancer continues, I think back often about what that doctor said as we took our first few steps of this journey, “now you are in a marathon”. I remember the doctors talking to Brady; when they first told him he had cancer, when they told him about the chemotherapy, the liver stents. As I look back now, I think maybe once or twice Peri and I said, “I can’t do this”, but Brady never did. From that first step his attitude has been, “I can do this, I can finish”. I never ever have seen him show one ounce of doubt. Along with all the prayers and the excellent caregivers at Children’s Hospital, I believe Brady’s attitude is what has kept this journey going. He doesn’t think he can do this, he KNOWS he can do this.

So the CA 19-9 marker continues to drop, Brady has put on a few more pounds and he is stronger everyday. November 4th is the next big day when we will meet with Dr. Keller and review Brady’s scans that we will be taking on November 3rd. But really that is just one more step in this marathon that we are in and I know that Brady will take another step and another step and another…..

Can you imagine the great athletes above starting out on their trek, one thought in their mind, “I can do this” and then someone tells them, “OK take that first step, but we forgot to tell you something. We are not sure where the finish line is or how many miles you have to go, but you’ll know the finish line when you see it.” How do you suppose they would do at mile 79, 80, 81? That’s what amazes me most about Brady and what is also the most frustrating. He carries on, he keeps going, I just wish I could tell him where the finish line is, but I can’t. So, we keep going, but I do know one thing for sure; we will know the finish line when we see it!


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10/10/2013
by Powers for Brady

Happy Birthday Peri

  
Posted Sep 25, 2013  12:21pm

So today is Peri’s birthday, Happy Birthday Honey! Take a guess where she is spending it, at Children’s Hospital with Brady for another dose of Chemo. But fear not, I actually thought far enough ahead to take her to dinner and give her a present a few weeks ago when she was home. Today’s update is for Peri.

Peri and I met in late 1989; we were both working for a restaurant company in Lexington, KY. I remember the first time I saw her. She walked into a district mangers meeting about 20 minutes late. Her hair was up and she was wearing a white blouse, blue skirt and red shoes….She smiled at our boss, Lou Moore like she was on time and the rest of us waited for Lou to lower the boom! He didn’t. Her first impression of me, “I was a kiss ass”. My first impression of her, “she’s a ding-a-ling”. We each managed different restaurants for the chain in Lexington and didn’t see much of each other for a couple of months other than at meetings or in passing. Then we were assigned to switch locations, I went to her store and she came to mine. One location used computers and the other used good old fashion cash registers. Anyway, Peri started calling my restaurant almost every other night because she had problems closing out the computers (Did I mention that my first impression was “Ding-a-ling”). So, like a good coworker, I would go over to her restaurant and help her close out the computers and lock up. This went on for a few weeks and one night after we had locked the doors and said good night I went to my car and she went to hers. I had gotten a six pack of beer on the way to her store that night and decided to have one. Peri heard to top open and turned around and said, “You got beer!” She invited me over to her place and we split a six pack that night. We started to see each other more and more after that.

On Valentines Day of 1990 I got Peri a little teddy bear, some flowers, a card and a six pack of beer. You had to be there I suppose to get the whole picture I am about to describe, but it went something like this. I went to her apartment after she got off work and knocked on the door hiding the items behind my back. One at a time I gave her the card, the flowers and the bear. As I recall she said, “Ah that’s nice”. I then handed her the six pack because splitting a six pack a few months back had kind of been our first date. It wasn’t quite as romantic as I planned. She saw the six pack of Bud Light, threw the bear, card and flowers over her shoulder (I am not kidding) where they landed on the couch. She snatched a beer from the holder, opened it, took a big swig and said, “I need that, it was hell at work today!” It was that exact moment when I fell in love and knew she was the girl for me.

For 22 years now, Peri has somehow found the strength to put up with my faults and flaws. She has given me four wonderful sons that no father could be prouder of and through it all she has been the rock for our family. In the beginning 22 years ago, I use to leave her little love notes and post it notes with little messages (I think she has saved every one of them), but I don’t do that enough any more. So this little note is one of your two birthday presents today, Peri, we all love you.

What’s the other birthday present you ask? Well this is supposed to be an update page for Brady, right? So let’s talk a little bit about Brady! You may recall from the last couple of updates that two of the three cancer markers have been running in the normal range and that on the latest scans the doctors could not find where the cancer had shown on his liver. So like the old MEATLOAF song goes, “two out of three ain’t bad” and we only check the one remaining marker that is not at normal levels yet the CA 19-9 marker. Remember it was at 254,000 plus back in March, two weeks ago it 777 and today it is 347. Normal is 37 and below, but if you do the math the percentages say Brady has come 99.9% of the way. Only 310 more points to go……Happy Birthday Mommy.

Enough for now, we love you all and keep up the prayers!

PS a special shout out to Brady’s new friend, Mrs. Brookshire. Brady got your card and picked one out himself to send to you…..


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09/09/2013
by Powers for Brady

A day in the Life.....

Hello Everyone,

Well the Saga of Brady Powers continues. I think by the time we beat this cancer we may have enough to turn this thing into a book. Will Ferret (you may recall the new pet ferret) has kind of grown on the family and now that we have come to understand him he is kind of a cute little guy. I have learned that ferrets are not related to rats and other rodents like I thought, but rather they are related to Otters, Badgers and Weasels. I think that is a pretty good family tree because at times he acts like all three.

It was not a good weekend for the Mickey family as it relates to football. Greenbrier East lost and so did Notre Dame. Don’t worry Peri has taken sedatives and is recovering nicely. There is always next week.

Brady had some challenges of his own this week. His liver enzymes were elevated which led the doctors and us to believe that his liver stint had become blocked. Brady and Mommy arrived at CCHMC on Tuesday last week and after some scans and test it was determined that this was the case. On Friday Brady was shipped via ambulance two blocks over to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center to have a procedure to clear the blockage. MOST expensive 2 block ride in history. I tried to get Peri and Brady to take a cab, but Peri wouldn’t have any part of it. The procedure was performed by the same doctor who placed the original stint and everything went well. He also said that things looked much better in there than 7 months ago.

Saturday happened to be the Survivors Day Picnic for CCHMC at the Cincinnati Zoo so Brady got the day off to attend (some pictures are attached). Peri said he had a good time, I am sure Brady was looking for the ferret exhibit. Sunday, today, it is back to work. Brady’s liver was back to functioning normal and that means Chemo. He started Chemo number 12 around noon today. Mommy said he was in good spirits and doing well. I hope they will be home Wednesday evening.

If you are into praying and I know most of you are please pray for Daddy, Ryan and Keegan. Peri will have been gone over a week and we three boys live like pigs. The house is a wreck, laundry is pilling up, nobody seems to be able to flush a toilet or bring a dirty dish back to the kitchen, and heaven forbid we actually wash it! At least we are feeding the ferret and cleaning his litter box! So the plan is to go home tonight cleaning like crazy, MAKE the boys help and get or stuff together before Peri finds out. Oh heck, it just dawned on me, she probably reads this stuff!

In case any of you like to keep score all of Brady’s cancer markers remain in the normal range. Big SMILE

God bless, keep praying and we love you all.


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08/31/2013
by Powers for Brady

The Boys of Fall…..

  
Posted Aug 24, 2013   5:12pm

When I feel that chill, smell that fresh cut grass I'm back in my helmet, cleats, and shoulder pads Standin' in the huddle listenin' to the call Fans goin' crazy for the boys of fall

They didn't let just anybody in that club Took every ounce of heart and sweat and blood To get to wear those game day jerseys down the hall The kings of the school, man, we're the boys of fall

Well it's, turn and face the stars and stripes It's fightin' back them butterflies It's call it in the air alright yes sir we want the ball And it's knockin' heads and talkin' trash It's slingin' mud and dirt and grass It's I got your number, I got your back When your back's against the wall You mess with one man, you got us all The boys of fall

Kenny Chesney might sing it, but I have and do live it. There is no greater football fan that I know of than my wife, Peri. On Saturday mornings, I want to watch the news; she wants to watch Game Day. She loves high school football and her favorite show and movie is Friday Night Lights, “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose”. If you watch the show you get it, if you don’t watch the show, you should.

If you saw the movie who can forget Coach Gaines halftime speech in the championship game.

“Being perfect is not about that scoreboard out there. It's not about winning. It's about you and your relationship with yourself, your family, your friends and God. Being perfect is about being able to look your friends in the eye and know that you didn’t let them down because you told them the truth. And that truth is you did everything you could. There wasn’t one more thing you could've done. Can you live in that moment as best you can, with clear eyes, and love in your heart, with joy in your heart? If you can do that gentleman-- you're perfect!”

Well this fall it just won’t be about football and the boys of fall in my heart. Ryan our 18 year old started college this week. Brady starts the 8th grade on Monday, the 26th, going to school full time when he is home. Patrick the oldest started his senior year of college. And, yes we have one “Kenny Chesney” boy of fall, Keegan, who appears to be starting defense end for the Greenbrier East Spartans this year. Back to Coach Gaines speech above, when it comes to fighting Brady’s cancer the Mickey family and especially Brady are working to be perfect, at least as it relates to that speech because we are pretty dysfunctional otherwise…ha-ha LOL!

Brady’s markers….drum roll please!

CEA. Normal is below 5 Today 2.4

CA 125. Normal is below 35 Today 32

CA 19-9. Normal is below 37 Today 773 (but remember at one time this was 254, 367!)

Brady is giving it all he can; he can look you in the eye and say that…to me that makes him PERFECT.

What’s next? The decision has been made; three more months of the exact same chemo and treatment that we have done for the past six months. If it’s working why change?

God Bless everyone, please keep the prayers working, we are getting there now is the time to pray all the harder!


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08/31/2013
by Powers for Brady

Birthday, Good News and a Ferret

  
Posted Aug 11, 2013   5:40pm

The Mickey family (including when I was a kid growing up) has never been very good at recognizing or celebrating birthdays. We always kind of treated them like another day with a cake, a gift or two and card threw in for good measure. Well not this July 31, 2013. Brady Powers Mickey turned 14 years old! Peri and I loaded up the Expedition with Brady, the two middle boys, Ryan and Keegan and headed to Georgia to surprise big brother Patrick and celebrate Brady’s 14th birthday with everyone together. It was nice to have everyone together.

We returned home from that little trip and three days later Peri, Brady and I headed for Cincinnati for scans, tests and dose number 10 of chemo. Good news, they couldn’t any cancer in his liver that was big enough to measure, cancer “ulcer” in his intestine near his stomach was clear and gone and the pancreatic tumor had shrunk again. It started out six months ago just smaller than a softball and is now about the size of a golf ball. All of his blood cancer markers continue to drop as well. They are all either in or very close to the normal range. All this is good news. We are scheduled for chemo until September, two more doses. What is after that? That’s what we want to know and even the doctor’s are not sure. Brady’s case is so unique that there are no protocols to follow. I said to one of his doctors, “so, we are flying by the seat of our pants here” and he responded, “well we like to think of it as a tailored approach to Brady’s unique case". Bottom line, we still take it one day at a time.

OK about the ferret…..Some where during the trip to Georgia, Brady get’s it in his head he wants a ferret, you know the little weasel/rat looking things… I mean I heard him and his brothers go out of the condo door talking about getting Brady a pet turtle for his birthday and they come back with no turtle and are talking about ferrets. I of course said no way and that the doctors wouldn’t go for that either. Well we are home one day from Georgia and my lovely wife calls to inform me they are at the pet store and Brady is buying a ferret…Good greif Charlie Brown. So, Brady now has a pet ferret. Brady named him Will Ferret, get it, a bun on Will Ferrel. Well that’s enough for now God Bless keep the prayers going (they are working) and let me know if any of you want to buy a slightly used ferret ?


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07/17/2013
by Powers for Brady

Normal, what's normal?

  
Posted Jul 12, 2013   4:31pm

Normal, what is normal and who wants to be normal! Normal is being average, unexceptional, ordinary, unremarkable, usual…..and so on. So, why would anyone want to be normal? It’s boring to be normal. It’s NORMAL to want to be above average, exceptional, extraordinary, remarkable, and unusual; yeah that’s what we all want to be, we want to be special.

I remember months ago, it was March 12th to be exact, when Brady said, “I just want to go back to worrying about what to eat and what’s on TV. I just want to be normal again”. It was really the only time he has cried through all of this. It was probably a worse day (no it was a worse day) then when they told us we had cancer. Yes, I did say “we”. Anyone who has been through something like this would have to admit, the family and friends go through this together. We all fight our own battles and fears each day against the enemy. Some days are better than others.

Brady had a big week last week; he went to The Greenbrier Classic where he met Jim Justice the owner of The Greenbrier. Jim asked him for an autograph, which impressed Brady immensely since he had never been asked for an autograph before! He also met Jim Nantz, the CBS Sports announcer. Jim even managed to mention Brady’s full name on the live broadcast! Well bottom line, Brady now thinks he is famous.

On Tuesday of this week before he headed back Wednesday to CCHMC for dose number 8 of chemo Daddy and Brady kayaked down the Greenbrier River and went fishing. Brady caught about a dozen smallmouth bass in fact one jumped right into the boat with him! At one point we pulled up to the bank of the river to stretch our legs and do a little fishing from the shore. It was a beautiful day so we both waded out about waste deep as we cast our lines. Suddenly something bit my big toe! This caused to jerk my foot up, lose my balance and to Brady’s delight end up face down in the river. He laughed his @$$ off so I guess it was worth it.

Oh yeah, I started off talking about normal, didn’t I? Well cancer marker numbers are in for this week and……..

CA 19-9 marker: normal is <=37 last time 3558 today 2853

CA 125 marker: normal is <= 35 last time 129 today 86

CEA marker: normal <=5 last time 5.8 today 4.3, HEY! THAT’S NORMAL!

And who says Faith, Hope, Love and Prayer doesn’t work…Oh and it doesn’t hurt that we have the greatest team of Doctors, Nurses and Caregivers ever at CCHMC!!

God Bless and thanks for keep us in your thoughts and prayers.


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07/17/2013
by Powers for Brady

OK Break Time is Over....

  
Posted Jun 29, 2013   5:14pm

Well, ladies and gentlemen the last post was about Brady taking a little break from chemo to regain his strength.

Well break time is over! I know this post is a little late in coming, but Brady is returning home today after dose number 7 of his chemo treatment….all the cancer markes have dropped by half again, and one has even made it to 5.8. May not sound like a big deal, but normal is 5, that’s right he really is almost there! He has also managed to gain 9 pounds in two weeks, that may not seem like much but when you weight has been hovering between 98 and 102 lbs for two months making it to 107lbs is a big deal.

Brady continues to be more and more active and even manned his own kayak last week and paddled over and back about a mile each way across a beautiful mountain lake. Last Friday he walked with his Grandma, Marianna Hannah and led the survivors lap at the local Relay for Life. Just remember, a short three months ago we couldn’t get to walk to the end of the hall in the hospital, but Friday he covered a quarter mile without stopping.

I have lots of pictures that we need to post, but I don’t have the camera with me, I did post one….On this past trip Cincinnati, Brady wanted to stop in Pt. Pleasant, WV to have his picture taken with the Mothman Statue. Ah, the legend of Mothman, what was this “thing” that scared the inhabitants of this small community back in 1966. Maybe we will never know…. 1966 small town West Virginia, which would be scarier back then; an encounter with Mothman or being told you have stage four carcinoma cancer? Well it’s 2013 and not only are we not afraid, we face our fears and stand up to them and fight them. At least that is what Brady Mickey does. As for me I am still a little afraid of the Mothman.

Philippians 4:13

I am able to do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens me


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06/18/2013
by Powers for Brady

Hello Everyone,

Brady certainly has been busy since he got home last Saturday from Cincinnati. Peri and Brady got home around 4:30pm on the 8th and by 6:30pm they were at a benefit for Brady that was organized by some very good friends and attended by most of the community I think. He has spent several nights at friend’s houses this week and he went kayaking with me on The Greenbrier river this past Saturday (posted a picture). He then attended a friend of the families wedding reception that same night. On Sunday he went to another benefit hosted by a local motorcycle club, rode a motorcycle for the first time and gave a thank you speech….

You tell me, is he feeling better? Two months ago we could barely get him out of bed to go to the bathroom. He’s feeling better, smile.

The plan was to go to CCHMC tomorrow, Tuesday the 18th; however his counts for his immune system are just a little low for Chemo. So, he gets a week extra to get strong. He also weighed 103 lbs. today. That may not seem like much, but it is the first time he has topped 102 lbs. in months. The plan now is to head to CCHMC next Tuesday, we are all confident his immune counts will be fine by then.

God bless, keep the faith, prayer works.

“Because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
James 1:3 – 4


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06/09/2013
by Powers for Brady

The Numbers Are In.....

  
Posted Jun  6, 2013   7:27pm

Brady’s latest cancer marker counts are in…without prolonging it, see below

CEA
normal <=5.0 started at 36.7, today 8.6; 76.5% reduction

CA 125
normal <=35 started at 4270, today 248; 94.1% reduction

CA 19-9
normal <=37 started at 254572, today 7752; 96.9% reduction

Plain and simple Brady continues to be strong and is continuing to win his fight against his cancer, our cancer. Mommy and Brady will be home Saturday afternoon just in...


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06/06/2013
by Powers for Brady

Mommy and Brady go alone :-)

Posted Jun  3, 2013   6:10pm

Well, it’s been a while since our last update. Brady has been quite strong this visit to home and even felt well enough to have a friend spend the night this Saturday. He also went to the movies one night with his big brother Ryan. He and Peri are heading back to CCHMC in the morning for his 6th dose of chemo. I am staying home this time. They will check the cancer markers again and I am cheering and praying to get in the hundreds and out of the thousands, but all of that is in God’s hands…

"Sons are indeed a heritage from the LORD, children, a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the sons born in one’s youth. Happy is the man who has filled his quiver with them."


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06/02/2013
by Powers for Brady
Brady continues his brave fight against his cancer but he needs our help. Please consider a donation today...any amount will help he and his family with the cost of travel and his medical care. Any amount will be appreciated.

For those who have so generously pledged their support by making a donation: THANK YOU!!
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05/26/2013
by Powers for Brady

Make a Wish

Posted May 22, 2013  11:06am

Checked in to CCHMC yesterday for 5th dose of chemo. All is going well. The Make a Wish Foundation came yesterday and presented Brady with his wish..... A new laptop computer and WOW what a laptop! They also brought every accessory you could want to go with it. Brady was quite excited, I still wish we were going to Tahiti!!. I told Brady I wish we were going to Tahiti and he told me with a big smile, "if you want a trip to Tahiti get your own tumor". Haha.

All the cancer markers have went down again. The main marker has dropped from a high of 254,000 the day before chemo started to 19,000. The last count two weeks ago was 43,000, so we are certainly heading the right direction. The number to be cancer free is 37. 18,963 to go so we still have a way to travel, but we continue to head in the right direction.

Brady and Peri should be here at CCHMC until Sunday and then I will be back to get them and bring them home for 9 or 10 days. That is the pattern we are in and will probably stay in through the summer.

Not much more to report right now. Thank you for all the help, support and prayers.

Oh Lord, You have only begun to show Your greatness and strength of Your hand to me, Your servant. Is there any god in heaven or earth that can perform such great and mighty deeds as you.

Deuteronomy 3:24


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05/21/2013
by Powers for Brady
Well it has been a while since we posted an update, but you might say we are into the part of this battle were there is not a lot to report. The routine is going to CCHMC every 8 to 10 days and staying for 4 days to do the Chemo. Brady is heading back Tuesday, the 21st for round number five of his chemo treatments.

He STILL has hair and the chemo, as he puts it, does not make him as sick as the cancer did. He is tired and spends a lot time taking it easy, but that is to be expected. Some days he feels better than others, but we take it one day at time.

His second oldest brother Ryan went to prom last night, I have to say he cleaned up rather well. He and girlfriend, Sara, made a lovely couple. I posted a picture.

The ladies from Greenbrier East Highschool came to the Mickey Home two Saturdays ago and spread an entire truck load of mulch in about two hours. So we say to Paty Mosso,Abbie and Aidree Cook,Kristen Gibson, Lexie Tincher, Tyranda Martin, Cryslyn Dolan and Hattie Lynch thank you ladies, Your kindness and hard work is much appreciated! To our dear friend who donated the mulch, thank you very much! The yard has never looked so good and that is no easy hill to mulch.

Well we will send an update later in the week after chemo.

God Bless everyione.

Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me


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05/09/2013
by Powers for Brady

Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

I am so sorry that I am late posting this update. Good news! Brady’s cancer markers have reduced by half again! His main tumor has reduced in size by 40%. The spots in his liver are looking better as well and the cancer has not spread!

It was a stressful week knowing that we would be getting these big test results. It was quite a relief to hear the good news Tuesday morning. Brady then started his forth dose of chemo Tuesday afternoon. His spirits are good and although he acted like the news was no big deal, he certainly perked up quite a bit after hearing it. So did Mommy and Daddy.

Everyone’s prayers, loves and support have been overwhelming. We could not do this without you and our faith in God. God has been so amazing through out all of this and I think our son, Patrick, said it best; the Mickey Family is stronger now because of this trail we are going through.

Brady and Mommy will be home this weekend and we will be back in Cincinnati the following week for fifth dose of chemo. In another six weeks we will have more scans and we have faith that the news will continue to be good.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.


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05/08/2013
by Powers for Brady

Results from Tuesday's tests are in! The chemo is working and Brady's tumor has been reduced in size by 40%! Many thanks for all the prayers...keep 'em coming!


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05/05/2013
by Powers for Brady

How do you say thank you and make it mean enough? Do you thank the person who has prayed for Brady and us every day more or less than the person who brought food, money, help, love, care and on and on? I have come to believe you humbly and gratefully just say thank you to everyone for everything and thank God for everyday.“God gave us a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say ‘thank you’?” I have asked that question a lot of myself lately…. So, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you from the Mickey family for everything and everyone. The support we have and are receiving is unbelievable, inspiring and helps to keep us all strong.
Brady’s brothers continue to keep their heads shaved even though Brady still has quite a bit of hair. Peri likes being home and so does Brady, you just see a little more bounce in each of their steps. Daddy and the brothers like it as well...nice to know at the end of the day the family will be together. Brady went to school yesterday for half of the day and the reports I hear is that he had a good time.

We go back to CCHMC on Monday, May 6th for scans and tests. It will be the first big check to see if we are winning our battle against Brady’s cancer. From his markers and everything we know we think things will look good, but it will still be a sleepless night waiting to hear the results on Tuesday morning…One favor then, pray a little harder and longer on Monday evening for the Mickey family.

Well that’s enough for now, I promise an update on Tuesday once we get the news.


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