Brady's Powers

For: Brady Mickey
Organizer: Powers for Brady
of $10,000 goal
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The Story

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 was doing REALLY well. Exceeding all of the Doctors original expectations. Cancer markers dropping to almost nothing. Scans look "beautiful " say the doctors.

In August 2014, Brady's scans were "clean" but recent scans show that he needs more chemo. So, Brady, Peri & Mick are again back on the road to Cincinnati quite often.

So put them in your prayers and think on how hard financially it would be to quit your job to take care of your child 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 in 2013 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. We know and understand how hard it is to break routine on crazy schedules but think it is really why we are here. Bless all of you throughout your day.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on October 30, 2015 by Powers for Brady
Walk Through
Posted Oct 24, 2015 5:54pm

I apologize that I am have been so delayed in posting an update.

Brady came home from Roanoke Memorial Hospital on October 19th after 27 days in the hospital. He completed 10 radiation treatments and three chemo treatments. After all of this it was the first time in his fight that he actually lost all of his hair. The good news is that he has a great looking head and was never worried about the hair anyway. His spirits are good and he is trying to get out and do some things when he feels up to it, but for the most part he rests in his bed and researches on his computer and watches TV.

A few weeks ago a very good friend sent me and email with the attached verse, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me”. Now that is a nice way to put it. I am sure that we all remember the Psalm 23. The famous words are, “yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me”. At first I was rather upset, I was a little pissed to be honest. I mean no was dying here; at least not today. This was not the valley of the shadow of death it was just one more step in the journey, right?

Then it really dawned on me what my friend was trying to say. “Even though I walk through the darkest valley….” That verse, these words are not about despair, they are about hope. We, none of us, ever stay in the “darkest valley” we are just walking through and the greatest thing is that no matter what we feel we are never alone because “I will fear no evil for you are with me”. All of us are just walking through this journey with Brady and if any of us thinks that cancer is not evil and just a “disease” I would love to meet with you personally and share some stories.

So please keep the prayers going and know that Brady is doing much better than he was four weeks ago. He went out last night with one of his brothers and their friends and had a fun time at their local hang out. He is positive and had another round of out patient chemo on October 23rd.

Now I am sorry to share this news, but you are all our friends and our prayer warriors and I could use your help. The company that I work for; OK let me correct that, “worked for” decided that my position was no longer needed. Bottom line, I am looking for employment. I am not overly concerned about finding a new job nor is my wonderful wife Peri. God closes one door and opens another and I believe we will prosper, but we would appreciate you prayers in this regard.

I wonder sometimes how people without faith handle things like this. That was a thought I had for a about a second. Peri and I have unfortunately watched families fall apart because of their’s child’s illness over the last couple of years. You can’t hardly believe it when you hear about a father or mother leaving their family and their child because of a serious illness, but trust me we have seen it happen. I unfortunately have had to tell hundreds of employees that their job has been eliminated and most cried and screamed, but their were the few that smiled and said, “It’s not your fault, I understand and I wish you and the company the best”. When the Director of Human Resources gave me my news she was in tears. I think I failed, but I tried my best to offer her my comfort and tell her it was OK. And you know what it really is OK. We will walk on through this dark valley. It is not the valley of the shadow of death it is just another step in journey and we ARE NOT staying here, because our God is greater than that. We love you all and your faith and our faith will carry us all through this.

Thank you for all of the prayers,

The Mickeys

Posted on October 4, 2015 by Powers for Brady
One More Hurdle
Posted 17 hours ago

Bow hunting season begin September 27th. Unfortunately Brady did not get to go hunting on opening day. Instead he spent the day in Roanoke Memorial Hospital. He has been there since September 22nd with no sure date of when he might come home yet.

On Thursday September 17th Brady didn’t eat much and vomited once. Friday was a little worse and Saturday the 19th was really his last decent day. A good friend of ours was able to obtain a Parker’s Crossbow for Brady and we went to his house to sight it in on Saturday evening. On the way there Brady talked about hunting and maybe even taking up turkey hunting, it was a great conversation and he seemed very happy. We had a great time sighting in his crossbow and on the way home we even stopped to get him some McDonald’s. Unfortunately, Sunday and Monday became vomiting almost nonstop and by Monday evening the 21st we figured we should probably head to Roanoke since Brady was scheduled to do chemo there on the 24th any way. However, Brady convinced us to let him stay at home one more night and go on Tuesday morning. He later admitted that his plan was a bad idea.

Tuesday the 22nd began at 4:00am with Brady continuing to get sicker and Peri putting things together to head to Roanoke ASAP. We left the house a little before 5:00am. About half-way to Roanoke, which is about a 90 minute drive, Brady had some complications. His face and limbs became numb, his speech was slurred and broken, he got scared and about all he could say was, “I need help, I need hospital, please”. Luckily we were about 15 miles from Low Moor, Virginia which has a small hospital right off of I-64. So Mom became nurse and Dad became ambulance drive and with the pedal to the metal we pulled up to the ER of Allegheny Hospital. I think I scared the receptionist out her wits when we rushed into that place. Brady was in pretty bad shape his limbs had drawn up, he couldn’t unclench his hands, breathing was rough and he was scared, but it seems like God is always sending Brady an angel. The emergency room nurse happened to be Katie T. who was Brady’s first baby-sitter when he was just six weeks old! Although she hadn’t seen Brady in many years that connection was still there and she was going to take care of her baby. She quickly moved things along to help Brady and politely, but firmly motivated all of the staff including the doctor to do the same. And along the way, she even found time to comfort Peri.

Well, after a rather intense hour or so Brady got some IV fluids and began to calm down. He even started cracking jokes with the ER staff. We believe everything was brought on by severe dehydration and a panic attack. Once he was stable we loaded him in an Ambulance around Noon (EMT team hand picked by Katie T. herself with strict instructions to take care of her boy!) and Brady was transported to Roanoke Memorial. CAT scans were done, Ports accessed and on and on the story goes. CAT scans showed that a tumor about the size of a golf ball was on the head of his pancreas and that of course was causing the lack of appetite and vomiting. Brady had chemo as planned on September 24th and is now getting his nutrition in the form of a TPN bag. Parenteral nutrition (PN) is feeding a person intravenously, bypassing the usual process of eating and digestion. The person receives nutritional formulae that contain nutrients such as glucose, amino acids, lipids and added vitamins and dietary minerals. It is called total parenteral nutrition (TPN) when no significant nutrition is obtained by other routes. In other words Brady has not eaten much of anything since September 19th.

Brady also started a 10 day treatment of intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) on September 30th. It is an advanced mode of high-precision radiotherapy that uses computer-controlled linear accelerators to deliver precise radiation doses to a malignant tumor or specific areas within the tumor. IMRT allows for the radiation dose to conform more precisely to the three-dimensional (3-D) shape of the tumor by modulating—or controlling—the intensity of the radiation beam in multiple small volumes. IMRT also allows higher radiation doses to be focused to regions within the tumor while minimizing the dose to surrounding normal critical structures. Sorry I don’t mean to sound like a doctor, but it is the only way I know to give you the details. He will complete his last radiation treatment on October 13th.

The doctors and nurses, everyone is excellent at Memorial and our team in Cincinnati especially Dr. Geller are all on the same page. They all agree that the best place for Brady is in Roanoke right now. His radiation doctor has done thousands of these procedures on pancreatic carcinoma and although they could do the radiation treatment at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. He would be their first for pancreatic carcinoma. Now with that being said, when I asked the doctor in Roanoke how many times he had done this radiation procedure on a 16 year old, he smiled and replied, “This would be the first”. Typical Brady he needs to be first in everything.

This all might sound like doom and gloom, but it is not. This is just one more step, OK maybe more like one more hurdle, in our journey. Everyone is VERY confident that Brady will respond very well to the radiation. Dr. Geller and the teams in Roanoke are already talking about what the next steps are for Brady after we shrink or eradicated this tumor completely. The radiation doctor said it would be a one in a million chance that Brady would not respond well to this treatment. Although Brady is not feeling great his sense of humor remains and he his spirits are high especially right after he gets his morphine injections, pun intended. You may remember that Brady went on a trip to Texas this summer and he was chaperoned by one of the pediatric nurse from Roanoke Memorial, well guess who his favorite nurse right now? You guessed it, Nurse Karen, another angel.

Keep the prayers going and know that God continues to work miracles and send us angels like you. Much love, the Mickeys.

Posted on September 14, 2015 by Powers for Brady
Posted 1 day ago

I apologize to everyone for being so late in getting you what is really some pretty good news about Brady’s latest biopsies and other medical reports. It has been a hectic, confusing, stressful two weeks and things are just starting to simmer down a little.

As I told you all in the last update we expected to hear some news about Brady’s biopsies on Tuesday. However instead of a call from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital we got a call around 10:00am from the high school nurse at Greenbrier East that Brady wasn’t feeling well and wanted to come home. By the time Peri got him home his temperature was 101 degrees and we were headed to be admitted to the local hospital. We got Brady started on IV antibiotics about 2:00pm, his fever at that time had climbed to 104 degrees. Brady’s temperature came back to normal quickly after we got him started on the antibiotics and he was released from the hospital 48 hours later.

On Wednesday afternoon we had conference call with Dr. Geller from CCHMC in Cincinnati. Brady had 15 liver biopsies and only 2 showed “some cancer cells” 13 of them were totally negative. These were not just random samples the doctors were targeting areas on the PET scan and MRI where they thought there was cancer. They used ultra sound during the biopsy procedure and the surgeon who preformed the procedure said they were confident that they took the samples directly from were the tumors were located. So there is good news number one. They are also took five biopsies from the head of the pancreas and all five of these were negative. Good news number two. During the conversation with Dr. Geller last week and this week we thought the some of the things we were seeing on the MRI and PET scans might be do to infection, but Brady showed absolutely no signs of infection last week. So last week 2+2=7! Nothing made sense, markers were saying near remission, scans were showing cancer, biopsies were not…and then the infection hits and at least this week the math is closer to 2+2=4; things make a little more sense.

The conversations that were had last week about very harsh chemotherapies and extended hospital stays in Cincinnati all went out the window. We have decided on continuing the treatments in Roanoke on the same schedule 3 weeks on 1 weeks off, but this time we will use a second infusion chemo called Abraxane and we will increase the Gemcitabine by 66%. Dr. Geller shared some recent studies combining these two drugs and they looked very positive. Good news number three.

For those of you that sent us the notes, words of encouragement and prayers to keep the faith, thank you. God continues to work miracles and watch over Brady. Brady should start chemo again some time around September 24th. He has a round of oral antibiotics to complete to make sure the infection is out of the away before starting chemo. Archery Season starts September 27th… Brady will be ready for the first day of hunting season!

Our good friend Bill sent this verse last week just when we need it…

“Do not be afraid, for I am with you.”
Isaiah 43:5

Posted on September 14, 2015 by Powers for Brady
A Little Rest and Some Tests
Posted Sep 5, 2015 3:49pm

Peri and I had a great three days relaxing at Stonewall Resort August 17th, 18th and 19th. I have attached a few pictures just to prove we really took some time away to just have some fun together. We went fishing; OK I went fishing and Peri sat in the boat. We played golf; OK I played golf and Peri sat in the cart. Just kidding on that one; Peri actually took a golf lesson, bought a pair of golf shoes and played 15 holes with me before she said, “we’re out of beer, I’m hungry and I’m ready for the hot tub!” We went for walks, Peri had a massage, we went on an evening cruise on the lake and we had some great meals. All and all we had a good time and we will return someday to Stonewall Resort with all of the boys. Oh remember when I told the boys no parties…well they actually did a pretty good job of behaving. Keegan even remembered to give Brady his medicine and take him for his blood work last Wednesday.

We returned to the real world on Thursday, August 20th back to work for me and Peri took Brady to Roanoke for a round of chemo. Actually it was a little more than back to work for me on this particular day. A few months ago a dear colleague and friend, Bruce McGinnis passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack. In his honor some folks at The Greenbrier decide to host a 5K in Bruce’s honor and raise money for a scholarship fund in Bruce’s name. I assume you have read some of my posts about trying to lose some weight and working to get in better shape? So it would make sense for me to try to run in a 5K, right? After all five kilometers is only about 1.6 miles, right? WRONG! On Thursday afternoon I learned from a friend that my math was way wrong and it is actually 3.1 miles, WHAT!!!!? Three miles…I can’t run three miles, I am positive that I have not run three miles sense I was in my early 20’s! But, I had already told dozens of people that I was going to “run” and I mean “RUN” in this thing, I couldn’t back out at the last minute and say oh yea I was just kidding I am going to walk. Well I managed to survive and although I came in dead last for the people who “ran” I managed to finish in 37 minutes. I know 12 minute miles, not very impressive…trust me the fact that I wasn’t sucking oxygen and on the way to the hospital at the end was impressive enough!

On Saturday, August 22nd Peri and Brady took Keegan back to Marshall to start his second year of college. He has changed his major to nursing and hopes to become a pediatric nurse some day. The house will certainly be a little quieter without out Keegan and his constant stream of visitors.

So on September 1st as planned we got up and headed to Cincinnati at 8:00AM for our PET scan appointment at Children’s Hospital which was scheduled for 2:30pm that same day. The PET scan was fairly routine and we met our friends Karen and Sandy for dinner at Outback that evening because that is where Brady wanted to go. We met with Dr. Geller the next morning at 9:30am to discuss the results of the PET scan and although Brady’s CA19-9 had dropped a little lower which is a good thing the PET scan did show some areas of concern in the liver and head of the pancreas so Brady was moved on to preparing for needle biopsies later that day. After the biopsy procedure they kept Brady overnight just to be safe at Children’s Hospital. It was the oddest night out of all the nights that I have ever spent there. There were no buzzers going off in the middle of the night, no chemo pumps, no nurses checking on Brady every two hours, it was peace and quiet…almost made it impossible for me to sleep.

As we move into our third year of battling this awful, disgusting, horrendous, pathetic, ugly, evil, disease…sorry I got carried away…the simple word “cancer” doesn’t due justice to how I feel about what Peri and Brady have had to deal with because of “cancer”. Anyway, back to what I was trying to say; after almost three years I have learned that there are going to be bumps and disappointments, fear and anger, but this time for some reason I am particularly pissed off. I know I shouldn’t be and I know God has a plan, but sometimes it’s hard to remember that. However someone told me something the other day that I pray might be true. They said, “You have been chosen for this, Brady has been chosen, God doesn’t leave anything to chance and He doesn’t make mistakes”. “You have been chosen because you are strong. You, Brady and your family are light and an inspiration for the rest of us.” Now, I don’t think that if this person knew everything there was to know about the Mickey family they would make that statement, but it was comforting to be reminded that God does have a purpose even if we don’t understand exactly what it is.

So it should be Tuesday, maybe Wednesday that we hear from the team in Cincinnati what the results of the biopsy tests are. From there we will have to regroup and plan on next steps for this journey. When I know more I will share it with you; until then thank you for all of your prayers and support.

Posted on August 25, 2015 by Powers for Brady

Sweet 16

Posted Aug 12, 2015 4:46pm

Sixteen is the minimum age for getting an adult job in most states and provinces across the globe.

Sixteen is the minimum age that one can drop out of school in many states of the United States.

In the Netherlands, 16 is the age when all adult rights are granted.

Sixteen is the minimum age at which one can donate blood with parental consent in many states.

Sixteen is the legal drinking age in Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Italy and Portugal.

Sixteen is the minimum age to get married with parental consent in many countries and without parental consent in Scotland.

A sweet sixteen is a coming of age party celebrating a female's sixteenth birthday.

Well, luckily for Peri and I Brady is way to lazy to want a job, he likes school, we don’t live in the Netherlands, Brady hates needles and giving blood, he doesn’t like beer or booze and he doesn’t have a girlfriend. Most importantly he is not female so we didn’t have to throw a big Sweet 16 party. BUT Brady did turn SWEET 16 on July 31, 2015. Happy Birthday Brady!

On to the updates; Peri had her check up with her plastic surgeon on August 4th and all is well. She looks great and we have both been watching our diet and trying to do some exercise. She says she is going to take up the game of golf. We shall see about that, her putting isn’t bad, but her swing looks something like a cross between a ballet dancer doing a Fouetté (for those of you that don’t know that’s when the ballerina spins around on one leg) and a rabid raccoon trying to fight its way out of a cloth sack. Don’t worry we will get her some lessons and she will be beating me in no time. Keegan heads back to Marshall University on August 22nd and Brady started his sophomore year of high school on August 6th.

We were in Cincinnati for scans and test on August 10th and 11th and the news was good, but not great. Brady’s cancer markers continue to head in the right direction and are at or below normal levels. However, the radiologists are stilled concerned with things that they see on the MRIs. The wording that they use is that several lesions in the liver continue to grow slightly in size and there appear to be some new lesions; “this is concerning in a case of metastatic disease”. They don’t know if the spots are cancer or scar tissue all they can confirm is that they are there and they appear to be changing. The cancer markers in Brady’s blood work say they are not cancer, but we need to find out for sure. So we will do another month of the chemo treatment we are on beginning August 13th and return to Cincinnati some time in the first week of September for a PET scan and possible biopsy so we can better understand what we are dealing with. It’s just one more step in the journey. Brady seemed to take everything in stride and although he isn’t thrilled about heading back to Children’s Hospital so soon he understands it is the right thing to do. He was in good spirits as we drove home, but when we got home he headed straight to his room and closed the door. Brady spends a lot of time in his room. We would like him to get out more, be more active, do things and I have really never understood why he doesn’t. I mean for the most part he feels fine. He certainly has the strength and energy to do things when he feels like it. I just don’t understand why he spends so much time alone in his room.

Maybe today I understand a little better. As I was driving to work this morning listening to an oldies station on the radio a song by The Beach Boys came on; not one of their big hits and not one of their songs that I am particularly fond of, but for some reason (probably God) I really listened to the words this time.

“There's a world where I can go and tell my secrets to, In my room, In my room
In this world I lock out all my worries and my fears, In my room, In my room
Do my dreaming and my scheming lie awake and pray
Do my crying and my sighing laugh at yesterday
Now it's dark and I'm alone, but I won't be afraid, In my room, In my room”

Maybe when Brady is in his room on his computer by himself playing what I consider to be mindless video games maybe, just maybe, that is really the time he is locking out any worries or fears, he is dreaming, scheming, praying, crying and laughing. Most importantly that’s the safe place, the place he won’t be afraid. Wow, who knew a Beach Boy song could be so heavy or maybe it’s just me and my crazy imagination.

Peri and I are taking a few days next week and heading to Stonewall Jackson Resort just to spend a little mommy and daddy time together. I am sure that Keegan and Brady can survive a few days without us! PS boys…NO PARTIES!

Please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers and we will give you an update in September.

Posted on July 18, 2015 by Powers for Brady

The River

Posted Jul 6, 2015 12:52pm

I suppose that you have all been waiting anxiously to hear the news of the Mickey Boys outing on The Greenbrier River. So here is a recap of the trip. We left the Mickey home at about 5:00pm on Sunday and headed north to Renick, West Virginia where we decided to start our trip. Now this part of the river can be to low to canoe and kayak at this time of the year, but as luck would have it the rain fell hard on Saturday night so the river was actually up a few feet out of its banks. That is great for floating, but bad for the fishing so we did not do any fishing on this trip. We put in at Renick around 6:00pm; four boys in Kayaks and Dad in a canoe. This will make sense later, but canoes for the most part are best if operated by two people, but none of the boys wanted to ride with old Dad so I was left to fend for myself. It really wasn’t that bad though; I grew up in Wisconsin and remember paddling canoes before I started kindergarten. In fact, at one point on the river Patrick cracked a joke saying, “Hey guys look at Daddy he thinks he is Sacagawea!” as I swiftly paddled past of all of the youngins in my trusty canoe.

We stayed that night at the camp of the McClung family in Spring Creek and had a wonderful time! We put up the tents and started a camp-fire. The boys handled dinner and made Hobo Packs with venison, potatoes, carrots, etc. and roasted them on the fire. They were awesome. The boys stayed up late, but I crawled into the tent fairly early only to be awoken in the middle of the night by a pounding rain. I mean it rained hard, but the tents we had are pretty good ones and we stayed dry. Well most of us stayed dry; Patrick and Keegan had decided they were going to sleep under the stars in their hammocks. I think they ended up on the porch of the McClung cabin for most of the night.

We woke up the next morning, got our stuff together and headed back down the river. The plan was for Mommy to pick us up at Anthony later in the day. Because of the rain the night before the river was flowing pretty high and what can be a four hour trip was probably only going to take about two. There also is a solid Class III rapid a little above our take out point at Anthony that had me a little concerned because of the amount of water that was flowing down the river. The morning was pretty uneventful and the day started clearing, the sun came out and we were all having a fun time. As we started to approach that Class III I was telling you about it quickly became apparent that on this day it was closer to a Class IV than a Class III. For minute I thought about telling the boys to pull over and we would go around, but by the time I had that common sense thought it was to late the boys were already in it. I came down last. Now remember I am in the canoe by myself and for a brief second I had a wise thought of moving to the middle of the canoe to help balance it, but by the time I had this brilliant idea it was too late and I was into the rapid. There were a few scary seconds, but we all came through the rapid with no problems and it was pretty much an easy float the rest of the way to Anthony or at least I thought it would be.

Ryan reminded me that there was one more little rapid before we got to Anthony it was usually just a Class II, but it was most likely going to be a Class III on this day. I wasn’t to worried though, we had all just come through a Class IV with no problem. Patrick went though the last rapid first and it really didn’t look that difficult, in fact it wasn’t. I went next. This is where the part about being only one person in a canoe really comes into play. As you are going through the waves and rolls of a rapid the front of the canoe will pop up fairly high because there is no weight in the front. I did have some camping stuff and a cooler in the front, but not enough to balance out my 215 lbs that was in the back. So when the front of the canoe pops up for a brief second you can not see the water directly in front of you, all you see is the empty front seat of the canoe. When the front drops back down you can see the river again. Well as my luck would have it I picked a bad line through this last little rapid and about a third of the way into it the front of the canoe popped up and as it dropped back down I noticed that the rock I thought was deep enough underwater to float over was not! With no weight in the front of the canoe I ran right up onto the rock until my fat butt in the back of the canoe caused it to bottom out. For a fraction of a second I thought about jumping forward to help the back of the canoe clear the rock, but it was too late. The last possible rock I could have hit, the last possible spot in the river that I could have tipped got me. The river got the better of me and I went for a swim.

I don’t know how many of you have went for a swim in whitewater, but when you get to Class III and above you better keep your wits and pay attention. If you get stuck between the canoe and rock it can end badly, if you get your foot hung in rock it can end badly, hit your head on a rock…anyway you get the picture. The first thing I thought as I came up for the first time was, “WOW I didn’t touch bottom the river is deeper than I thought”. The second thing was about shoving the canoe away from me down river. You might think trying to grab hold of the canoe would have been better, but that is not a good idea. An upside down canoe in a rapid is not your friend. After all it just tossed you into the river! The third thing I thought was, “MY FOOT JUST TOUCHED A ROCK, BAD”! So, I quickly got my feet up and pointed down river and back stroked on my back. This is the safest way to float through a rapid (well that’s not exactly right; the safest way would be to stay in the canoe in the first place.) the only problem with this method is every time you hit a wave in the rapid you go under, but only for a little while, if you remember to hold your breath when this happens your OK.

Luckily Patrick caught the canoe before it floated away down the river and after a few hundred yards I made it to shore with my paddle still in my hand and my ball cap still on my head. I still wonder how in the world that cap stayed on my head. Patrick had managed to pull the canoe over to the side of the river another couple of hundred yards down river. As I started trekking down to meet up with him and the others I was taking inventory of what was probably floating down the river, cooler, the extra paddle, (That's why I held onto my paddle. Haven't you ever heard the expression, “up the creek without a paddle”!), camping stuff, water bottle, life jacket. Yes, I said life jacket. You don’t think I would actually be smart enough to wear the darn thing! To my surprise when we flipped the canoe back over everything was still in it! I can only assume that the canoe flipped so quickly that when it did everything just floated up underneath and stayed there nicely for us. Nothing was lost. Well actually one thing was lost, the pictures of the trip. The digital camera was in my shirt pocket and although the camera made it, it and the pictures on it did not survive the dunking.

We straightened everything up and I got back in the canoe and we headed down to Anthony all joking about Daddy going for a swim and laughing. However, we all knew that what had just happened could have gone bad really quickly. I had a few seconds where I thought this might not end well. When the river is up like that and the water is moving through the rapid faster than an Olympic sprinter can run things can go wrong quickly. It wasn’t until I was out of the rapid and swimming towards the shore that I relaxed a little. For a few seconds there was fear, there was that little voice in my head, “I could die”. But, then I was out of the river and the boys were safe and everything was fine and my fear quickly went away.

I have spent a long time telling you about a river trip to make the following comparison. I spent a lot of time this week thinking about that fear I felt for a few seconds. It was real and it was scary, but it only lasted a few seconds. I have watched Brady have good days and bad days over the last two and half years. I know that there are times when he doesn’t think about the cancer and he just enjoys life, but I know there are also times that he can’t help think about his cancer. I am going to be more patient and understanding when Brady has those days where he doesn’t want to talk much and doesn’t seem to want to do much of anything. Maybe, just maybe, those are the days when he is dealing with his own “rapids”. And no matter how much you know that everything is going to be OK when you are in the “rapids” it is impossible not to be scared. You’re my hero Brady and I pray your river is nothing but calm water from here on.

Medical report: all continues to be good, counts, numbers, etc. and chemo continues to go smoothly. One little funny story that Peri will kill me for telling; on the first day Brady started to take his oral chemo again Peri had a “Peri moment”. They left early that day for Roanoke because Brady also had infusion chemo scheduled on that day as well. Peri took the oral chemo with them so she could give it Brady later in the day. This is the funny part, she only took ONE PILL! Seriously, I’m not kidding after I joked about it in the last post it came true! Don’t worry we are getting it right now and Brady is doing fine! We travel to Cincinnati on August 10th for scans and tests and meet with Dr. Geller on the 11th.

God Bless!

Posted on June 26, 2015 by Powers for Brady

It was flat…

Posted Jun 18, 2015 4:54pm

That was Brady’s response when I asked him how Texas was. However, all the pictures that were sent to us over the past week tell a different story. I would say Texas was bubbling, effervescent, full of spark and energy… Of course Brady was referring to the geography; Austin, Texas is considered to be in the Texas Hill Country. Brady said, “They obviously don’t know what a hill is”. Other than that Brady has not said a whole lot about his trip other than he had fun and there was plenty of good food. I posted a few pictures, but there are way too many to post them all. Mommy survived as well. I was a little worried about the Momma Bear being away from her Cub for a week, but upon his return she gave him a few quick sniffs and a lick behind the ear it was just like they had never been apart. OK… you might need to understand bear behavior to get that last reference, but that was pretty much how it went.

So after a week of meeting whales at Sea World, being sworn in as a junior deputy, riding in fancy sports cars and on horses, motorcycles and wake-boards…catching toads and making friends, visiting water-parks and the Texas State Capital…switching planes in Atlanta and Chicago O’Hara Brady informed us that this week we should expect him to do nothing but sleep and eat. Fair enough, we’ll give you a few days to rest up Brady.

Today was a little bit of getting back to reality. In fact it started yesterday with blood work. All of Brady’s numbers and counts looked good, really good and so this morning it was back to taking the pill... I MEAN PILLS, PILLS!! IT’S TWO PILLS!! Come on you gotta laugh about it, right? And then Peri and Brady headed for Roanoke for his once a week, one-hour chemo session. We will do another cycle of this treatment for the next month and then it should be time to visit Cincinnati again for scans and discussion of what to do next. I need to share one more important medical fact with you; Brady’s CA 19-9 marker is 25. The streak continues with this number being in the normal range and just a few points lower (better) than the last time we checked it.

I look back sometimes to past posts and remember good times and bad. Two years ago on June 17, 2013 I posted about Brady kayaking with me down The Greenbrier River for the first time. That was a good day. Last year on June 16, 2014 I posted about Zip-Lining…trust me that was a bad day; at least it was for me! Brady, he had a blast! This Monday and Tuesday all of the Mickey boys, Patrick, Ryan, Keegan, Brady and Daddy will spend a few days together on the Greenbrier River. I am sure that Momma Bear will be pacing the floors until we all return safe and sound. Brady going to Texas was one thing, but trusting all of her Cubs with me for a few days is another story. Hopefully Momma Bear will give me a few quick sniffs and a lick behind the ear when we return.

Sometimes you just have to remember your blessings. For three years in a row June has been a pretty good month for the Mickey Family and even with all he has had to face and deal with Brady can still find time to just be a teenage kid.

God Bless and a few prayers that we all survive the river trip without incident couldn’t hurt!

Posted on June 8, 2015 by Powers for Brady

To everything turn, turn, turn

Posted May 29, 2015 4:09pm

To everything turn, turn, turn
There is a season turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven

Some people only know these words as lyrics to a number one hit by The Byrds in 1965, but the original song actually comes from Chapter 3 of the Book of Ecclesiastes (KJV), just minus the turn, turn, turn part. I have always found it strange that so many people know this song, but don’t recognize where the lyrics come from. I wasn’t exactly dialing in the radio to hear this song in 1965; it was just a little before my time. However, I have always liked it and agreed that yes, there is a time to every purpose under heaven. I alluded to this in my last post on May 7th and now much like Paul Harvey (for you youngsters he comes from back in the 1960s too!) you get to know the rest of the story.

Before I go one about heaven and purpose, let me share with you how Brady is doing. Early this week Brady and I along with a friend spent two days in the wilderness of Cranberry Glades trout fishing in one of the best if not the best trout stream in the eastern United States. You can not drive there. You have three choices, walk, bike or ride a horse. We choose the bike option. So we rode bikes on a gravel access road that followed the general route of the Cranberry River for a total of 25 miles in two days. Now you may not think that 25 miles on a bike is much, but remember this is West Virginia and it was a gravel road. Trust me it took some muscle power. Brady handled it with flying colors and had a great time. He cleaned his first trout, ate his first trout cooked on a camp fire and slept under the stars. If he can handle all that with a smile he is doing pretty darn well. If you would prefer a medical diagnosis we check his CA19-9 every two weeks and today it was 27, two weeks ago it was 27 and so the streak continues with his CA19-9 being in the normal range (36 and under) for three months now. Your prayers continue to work… Oh yea and don’t forget June 8, Brady leaves on his trip to Austin and San Antonio.

Now for the rest of the story; you might have asked yourself what was the last Bradypowers post all about? A lot of talk about unanswered questions, what ifs and God’s will is not always our will? Back on March 19 Brady began this new chemo plan that he is currently on; you all know by now that involves taking an oral chemo and an infusion chemo once a week. Some of you might recall that I said Brady would take the pill once in the morning and once in the evening for two weeks and then not take the pill for two weeks and we would do this for two months. Well that is exactly what we did. Here’s the kicker, the rest of the story… We, Peri and I, misunderstood the doctors and we didn’t pay close enough attention to the prescription on the bottle. The proper dosage was TWO pills in the morning and TWO pills in the evening. For two months we only gave Brady half the dosage of his oral chemo! We discovered our mistake on May 6 the day before Brady’s last update on Carepages, but remember what I said then….God doesn’t say “Oops!” There is a reason and there is a season; there is a God and we are not Him. For the past month every time we checked Brady’s CA19-9 there was that fear that we might have to face the questions, “What if we had given Brady the full does…?” “What if we, What if they, Why did…” You see all those questions I talked about rolled through our heads, but God and your prayers watched over Brady.

Enough of that heavy stuff, now for something a little funny… Dad (me) was concerned about how we tell Brady he now had to take four pills a day instead of two. I didn’t want him to worry about the cancer, mommy, me or anything. I just wanted everything to be alright and for him to start taking the proper dosage. I am a genius… I come up with a plan to tell Brady that the drug company has started making the pills in 25mg instead of 50mg so he will now have to take four pills instead of two per day. HE BUYS IT and all is good… no, not so good. I am an idiot. The first day Brady starts the pill again Peri gives him two in the morning and Brady looks at them and says, “Mommy something is wrong with these pills. Daddy said there were 25mg now, but these say 50mg”. Peri of course said, “Well Brady your Daddy thought he was doing the right thing, he kind of fibbed about that. We were giving you the wrong dose, but everything is fine”. Brady responds with, “Well that was stupid. Daddy can be an idiot” Peri’s response, “Yep”.

We are blessed, Brady goes on his trip to Texas next week, we still have the Kayak and fishing trip planned for the end of the month and Brady has been nominated as a candidate for an adventure called “Hunt of a Lifetime”. Hunt of a Lifetime is a non-profit that helps young people battling life threatening illnesses go on big game hunts all across North America. What does Brady want to hunt? Grizzly Bears…

God bless.

Posted on May 15, 2015 by Powers for Brady

Faith is about trusting God

Posted May 8, 2015 3:34pm

“Faith is about trusting God when you have unanswered questions.”
Joel Osteen

Who, what, where, when, why and how; these are the words that usually begin our questions and many times we ask questions that just can not be answered. When Peri and I were first told that Brady had cancer Peri’s first question was, “How did this happen?” She knew as she asked that it was a question only God knew the answer too. Since that time we have had countless other questions that have began with words that begin with a “W”. They have also been impossible to answer and no matter what the question was or which “W” word the question began with they all really came down to the same question. “What if ________ (fill in the blank)?”

What if we had _______? What if we hadn’t________? What if they ________? What if we_________? What if this ________? What if I ________? What if, what if, what if….

No one can answer, “What if” because none of us ever get a chance to go back in time and try the other options. We make a choice or we make a mistake and that is that. It can not be undone. We can spend all the time we want thinking, “If only I had _______?”, “What if I _________?” None of this second guessing, wringing of our hands or just plain worrying will do us any good or change what has already been done. What we can do is to remember that God doesn’t say, “Oops!” We may not always understand why God allows certain things to happen, but we can be certain that God is not making any mistakes! We just have to have faith that God knows what He is doing.

Now, here is the part that can be really difficult for most of us to accept, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9. It is natural for us to want our choices or mistakes to always turn out the way we want them to, the way we hope they will, but who are we to think that we know better than the Creator of the universe and everything in it. At the end of the day, it comes down to a simple truth and I think a quote from the movie RUDY says it best, “Son, in 35 years of religious study, I have only come up with two hard incontrovertible facts: there is a God, and I'm not Him.”, Father Cavanaugh, RUDY. In others words, yes there is a God and we must have faith that He has a plan even if for the moment we have more questions than answers.

Without further delay here are some answers about Brady. We traveled to Cincinnati on May 4th and 5th for Blood Tests, MRI, CAT scan and the normal three month check up. Brady’s cancer markers (all three of them) remain in or very, very close to normal ranges. This is now two months in a row and very good news. There were a few spots in Brady’s liver on the MRI that we need to continue to watch, but with the markers being where they are Dr Geller was not overly concerned. Our plan is to keep moving forward with the current treatment of the pills and chemo at Roanoke Carilion Memorial for the next three months. Brady will start this process again on Thursday, May 14th.

It appears that Brady is going to have a very busy June! June 8th through the 14th he will traveling to Austin and San Antonio, Texas with a group called the Sunshine Kids (a nonprofit that helps children and teens with cancer forget about cancer for a while and enjoy being a kid again). It is an all expense paid trip and we are quite sure Brady will have a ball. We picked out a suitcase for him the other day (his first) and talked about getting an ID so he would be able to take his first airplane trip! It will be the first time since, since, I can’t remember when, that he will not have Mom and Dad hovering over him. There will be a nurse from Roanoke Carilion hospital traveling with the group and there will be chaperones, but no Mom and Dad…who knows he might not want to come back home! Then in late June we are still planning the three night Kayak trip down The Greenbrier River. I think Peri is about to burn my credit card because of all the gear I am buying for this trip. I have even started to get in a little better shape for the trip; I can’t have my four sons making fun of their fat, out of shape Dad for 72 hours straight! We are in the beginning stages of planning some other adventures for later this year, but we will share more of that as the plans come together.

To wrap this up let me share with you with Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.” In other words, He’s got you covered!

God bless,
The Mickey Clan

Posted on April 21, 2015 by Powers for Brady

It’s a New Season …

Posted Apr 16, 2015 3:21pm

One of Brady’s favorite shows started its 5th season on April 12th, Game of Thrones. For those of you that have never heard of Game of Thrones it is an HBO series based on Novels by George R. R. Martin. By the way, Brady has read all of the novels as well and he likes those better than the HBO series. For those of you that know about Game of Thrones, you might think it is somewhat of a rated “R” show and rather mature for a 15 year old and I would agree with you. However, Brady has had to grow up much faster than most teenagers and is already mature beyond his years so we allow him some leeway in this regard.

I don’t think Brady enjoys all of the fantasy aspects of the Novels as much as he enjoys the fact that you need to pay attention to keep up with what is going on and nothing is predictable. I also think he enjoys that some of the quotes from the Novels and the show make you stop and think, like this one, “Bran thought about it. “Can a man still be brave if he's afraid?” “That is the only time a man can be brave,” his father told him. Or “Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness.” Now maybe it is just me and Brady but these are the type of quotes that cause us to stop and ponder. You can only be brave when you are afraid? Your weakness can be your strength?

When I was Brady’s age one of my favorite Novelists was the famous Jack London. I remember rereading The Sea Wolf, The Call of the Wild, White Fang and his short stories such as To Build a Fire over and over again. I would try to understand passages like this one from To Build a Fire, “The trouble with him was that he was without imagination. He was quick and alert in the things of life, but only in the things, and not in the significances.” It has taken a lot of years, but I think I have come to understand what Jack London was trying to say with this line. In the story Jack London is really referring to fact that the main character knows that it is 50 below zero, but he doesn’t imagine or understand the significance of that fact. Being outdoors in weather that cold can kill you.

If we take Jack London’s passage outside the context of the story it applies to life in general; I think there is a bigger meaning that Jack London was also touching on. Imagination takes some time, time to stop and think about the things that we experience in life and understand their significance. If we don’t do that then moments spent with friends and family is just one of the things of life.

Now… take a moment and imagine that we didn’t have those moments with friends or family and suddenly the significance of life becomes crystal clear.

The last report that I gave you for Brady’s CA 19-9 count was 57. That was back on March 20th. Two weeks ago it had dropped to 37 (back in the normal range) and today it is 36. So we are blessed that the new treatment appears to be working and Brady’s cancer markers have been in the normal range for the past month now. Brady started back on his two week cycle of taking the pill today and he began his three week cycle of chemo today as well. We continued to be blessed. Brady will have his blood markers checked again in two weeks and in mid May we will travel to Cincinnati for scans and plans.

Let me leave you these three thoughts from the stories that Brady and I have read.

You can only be brave when you are afraid, your weakness can be your strength and always take a little time to imagine and understand the significance of life.

God Bless

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