Sunday, December 11, 2016

Cam's Last Chemo!

DECEMBER 3, 2016
Our Beloved Friends and Family!
We apologize for our busy lives and not updating the blog for a couple months. The last few months of Cam’s cancer journey have been tedious and strenuous on Cam and our family, but we could not be happier to announce that last Saturday Cameron finished his chemo treatments and is doing so well! His last chemo treatment was a 5-dayer and he was pretty out of it, sleeping majority of the time. He doesn’t remember much of those 5 days, which is probably for the better. Cam started his final bag of chemo at 3 in the morning and was able to be discharged around 1:30pm for (hopefully, we pray) the last time ever!

We celebrated with Cam as he was deaccessed from his port for the last time and shed some joyful tears! His nurse poked her head in and said, “Cam, we’re ready for you!” When our family walked out of that room, the most hopeful and joyful feeling came over each one of us! When Cam rounded the corner, there stood 25 of Cam’s nurses that had treated him so well for the past 9-months, applauding for him and cheering him on for the major accomplishment! They sang to him and gave him gifts, followed by Cam’s victorious ringing of the bell! After dreaming of this moment for 9-months, Cam finally walked over to that bell and rang it so loudly, several times, that I’m sure everyone on our floor could hear it! It was such a beautiful experience to watch Cam celebrate and close the door to that difficult time period of his life!

Cam will have his final MRI and PET scans on Tuesday, December 13th and we will know if the cancer is gone completely! We will be holding our final family fast on that day and we invite each of you to join with us!

Words cannot fully express the fullness of happiness and joy that we each feel along with our immense gratitude for each individual person that has been there for our family to help bear us up in our time of need. Our family has been so very blessed with ministering angels from day one, and we could not be more grateful to our Heavenly Father and each one of you!

 The hair on Cam’s head is growing back so soft and fuzzy and going in all directions. They say that chemotherapy patient’s hair typically will come in a different color and coarseness, so we are anxiously awaiting what Cam’s will look like!

Cam is regaining his strength and is already hitting up the gym with his little brother, Dylan. He will be starting physical therapy on his leg within the next couple weeks and will start strengthening his muscles and correcting his limp. 

We thank you all again for all of your love and constant support to each of us and love you all more than you will ever know!

With love,
The Forte Sisters

Monday, August 1, 2016

Look who came over last week... AND WANTED #31 ON HIS HEAD!!

One of our close family friends, Donny Hartman, came over last week to visit before he starts his 8 hours a day for five days of treatment. He was recently diagnosed with testicular cancer and his prognosis is three treatments of chemo! We have all been touched by his admiration, especially Cameron! Donny was blown away by Cameron's positivity and outlook on his situation. Cam's story has touched Donny's life and he was so adamant with having Cam's football number, 31, written in sharpie on his head! We ask all to keep Donny in your prayers these next two months as he conquers this disease! We're all rooting for you Donny! We love you and your beautiful family! 

This past week Cameron was scheduled for his first treatment of chemo from his "break" (Well if you call a "leg reconstruction" a break...But he did have a good break from chemo for two weeks as his body healed and attempted to regain his strength.) It was so refreshing for him to have his mind clear and not all foggy from the chemo...Even considering the oxycodone... His mind is quick and he was loving being able to eat food and have it be enjoyable. He said he gained about 70% of his taste back. But the time had to come and Cam is continually kicking cancer's butt! Luckily he only had two days in the hospital, but boy were they brutal! We would say that this round of chemo has been the most difficult as his body is weaker and not as strong with fighting the chemicals. We're feeling all of the prayers and blessings of the priesthood as Cam is regaining his strength and his spirits. The fight isn't over, the journey may be long, but we're not giving up until it's all gone! Thank you everyone for all of your love and support! We love you guys and are continually grateful for all of the service and encouragement our family has ben given. 


Monday, July 25, 2016

Pokèmon, X-Box, and Good tasting food

Post surgery - Pre 7th cycle of chemo

Hello our Forte Fighters!
This week was AMAZING to say the least! Obviously, Iron Man Cam is healing at a Iron Man pace! His blisters have healed up, his stitches have scabbed over, and he finally was able to bend his knee yesterday! But... Don't kid yourself, his leg and arm still throb on the constant. Thank goodness for pain killers though! :)
We definitely have been counting our many blessings as a family. With pain killers and fast healing being at the top of our list, believe it or not, the new Pokèmon craze follows on that list as it has brought our Cam-o motivation and instant gratification to push himself and let us push him around the neighborhood in his wheelchair collecting Pokèmon! (Us sisters like the workout as well as we push all 210 pounds of him up our gnarly draper hills! Haha.)
Cute Kristi and Lindsey came to visit! Love them!
Cam's good friends, Austin and Tate also moved the X-Box upstairs so Cam could play from the couch... So zombie shootings or minecraft can usually be heard from our living room when all the boys come over to visit! :)
Rad Toby at J Dawgs gifting
Cam with a rad T-shirt!

Another blessing this week has definitely been food! Since its been four weeks since Cam has had Chemo, food has been getting its taste back! So since he goes in for Chemo tomorrow, food will go back to tasting like metal. So we made sure to go get Cam a J-Dawgs polish dog! Where we actually met the owner, Toby, and he asked about Cam's crutches. What a cool dude, as he ended up looking up THIS blog on the spot and told Cam, "the million dollar man", what a fighter he was and gifted him this cool t-shirt and some certificates to make sure Cam gets his J Dawg fix when needed during this fight! :) Thanks Toby for putting a smile on our Cam-o's face! :)

Anyways our dearest family and fellow Forte Fighters, Cam goes in for chemo tomorrow. Thank goodness it's only the 3-dayer though! Please keep him in your prayers that this poison won't have any dramatically negative effects on his healing leg and slightly still swollen arm!
We love you all!!

Love, The Forte Sisters! 😘

p.s. videos below:
1. Cam catching his Pokèmon
2. Cam's Pokèmon groupies: Jo, Dom, & Dylan
3. Cam punting a football from his wheelchair at Draper Park.. #hesstillgotitbaby

Sunday, July 17, 2016

This Post Is Only For Strong Stomachs--Viewer Discretion Advised

Update: Day #4-#10 Post Surgery

Not even surgery can stop Cam. Keaton and Cam. The party don't stop.

Wise words from Keaton Bills ;)
Day #4 was the best day since before his surgery. As mom says, "He got his piss and vinegar back!"👏🏽 Cam was more alert and determined to get on his feet! First thing he said in the morning was, "Mom, what do I have to do get out of here!? 
The two requirements to be discharged from the hospital were first, to be able to physically get to the bathroom on his own, and second, to be able to have a bowel movement all on his own! 
His audacity came back and he miraculously was helped up on his feet and he slowly made it to the bathroom, but it was no walk in the park. It was an incredibly hard feat. With no feeling in his left leg and his right arm, the nurses got him a walker and manufactured an arm rest to accommodate his nerve damage and palsy in his arm. The nurses started him on nerve healing medication and he is feeling more every day.

With fire in his eyes, Cam set his goal and far surpassed it.  Cameron blew everyone away as he bolted down the hallway 6 days after his surgery determined to get out of the hospital and get home. All the tenacity he had in football he now has fighting this fight!🙏🏽 

All of the nurses were astounded to see him after being practically bedridden to crutching down the halls of Primary's singing "This Is How We Do It!" Cameron is back with all the piss and vinegar he had during his football seasons! Don't mess with Forte!

He was laughing because Austin kept feeing him the biggest bites!
After 3 blood transfusions, his blood counts are good and his platelets are coming up on their own. He had several visitors including Austin, Keaton, Whitney and Jaden.  Cam had to eat before his physical therapy and Mom knew he wouldn't feel as comfortable if she fed him like usual with his friends there so she put Austin in charge and he made it so fun. Cameron was laughing and having a blast! Cam's many great friends have been such tender mercies. More like angels!😇

Mimi's mom and sister, Kristi and Lindsey came to visit Cam
We love our Stan!
No one has been there more than this beautiful lady, Traci Roberts<3
What a treat it was to have Cam's 2nd cousin, Seth Atkinson,
come to visit our sweet boy and give him a beautiful blessing.

Bishop Reynolds and Ryan Hansen gave Cam
his 2nd blessing of the day. Ryan's 1st blessing ever

Cam was determined to get home. He did his stairs, bolted down the hallway, went potty, and all they could say was, "let's discharge you!" After his two blessings the day before,  all I can say is, "THERE IS POWER IN THE PRIESTHOOD!"
Bye Bye Cancer, Hello New Leg

Cameron is now a Bionic Man! After a few days, the Man, Dr. Lor Randall, Cam's Surgical Oncologist, came to change his dressings and we got a nice view of his masterpiece!

300+ Internal Stitches later... Dr. Randall did an incredible job!
Coach Don Eck, Cam's Favorite Coach,
 brought his a CCHS football sweatshirt.

Cam's favorite Anesthesiologist, Dr. McKay Bateman,
who gave him his miraculous nerve blocker!

Cam's favorite male nurse, Tyson

The picture below is extremely graphic but if I can handle it as his wussy, blood-fearing, older sister, then you can too! Sit down for this one.

I am giving you a second warning.
If you get grossed out… Do not look at the next picture🙈

Here a picture of Cameron's old femur with the 40% left of the tumor encapsulated in a thin layer of muscle alongside his new femur, partial hip joint, and knee. UNBELIEVABLE.
The surgical team built Cam's new leg at the time of surgery to make sure that it was the same length as his old one. Thank goodness for technology and modern medicine!

All disease has been removed! 👏🏽🙏🏽

His original Rod from repair of his broken femur, nine months ago… Is still inside of that bone… 
Found out two weeks ago that the rod was a conduit for the cancer cells. Dr. Randal didn't want to mess with the original hardware for fear that it would spread the cancer. It only takes one cell! Dr. Randall is full of metaphors and used one to describe what would have happened if he touched it. He said, it's like a fork in a steak. When you pull out the fork, the grease just spreads!
Long story short, they removed everything.
Another metaphor he used was that we just did nuclear warfare on our boy and now we will be going in with ground troops for six more months of chemotherapy to hopefully annihilate this disease forever! CAM IS IRONMAN!

Cam's old femur 9 months ago.
One month after his bone break.

Cam's new hip joint
Cam's new leg--CANCER FREE

Weekend Extravaganza

This weekend has been a difficult one, but it didn't keep Cam from going out and having fun! On Friday, Cam went to Draper Days and his friends carted him around in his "Mercedes Benz" wheelchair. This chair is incredible. It is very complex and comfortable, so Cam says.

There was a float dedicated to Cam by the CCHS Cheer Squad in the Draper Days Parade on Saturday morning. The float had the date and time of a 5K they are hosting on September 10th for Cam. The 5k is called "Fight Bone Cancer & Fight For Forte" and they will continue to post updates on Facebook for more details. Our family was not even aware of it but it was so sweet and warmed our hearts. Cam being wiped out from the evening before, heard about the float and decided to muster up his strength to stand up and get in the car to go see it. Getting into the car takes anywhere from 5-10 minutes being that his right arm and his left leg are debilitated. Cam and my Mom made it for the end of the parade and he was able to see his float. 

Gregg Godfrey gave Cam tickets to go to the Nitro World Games and he took Keaton and my parents. There was a designated area with handicapped accessibility and turns out they were prime seating with the view of the entire ramp. The athletes would land all of their tricks directly in front of their seats. Not a bad way to spend his Saturday night.

Our tribe supporting from Powell <3

Monday, July 11, 2016

Post-Surgery Update

Post-Surgery Update:

On Thursday, Cam had his 9-hour surgery and the surgery went very well. After his surgery we had the chance to talk with his amazing surgeon, Dr. Randle, and we were informed that his titanium-cobalt femur is stronger than any normal femur. With the long duration of the surgery, Dr. Randle said he was grateful for extra helpers because they had to move a lot of "real estate" around. Cam has big thighs! Haha. They performed a nerve block in his leg to help him with the pain and so far it is doing an exceptional job.

Cam was in recovery for a few hours when they noticed his right arm was swelling and there was limited feeling from his shoulder down. He could not move it without help from his other arm. Considering the long duration of the surgery and Cam's big size (Dr. Randle calls him a strapping young man), the muscles on his right side were damaged causing rhabdomyolosis. His kidneys were struggling filtering out the byproduct from his damaged muscles from his blood stream and he had a lot of blood in his urine. He stayed in the ICU his first night so the nurses could keep a close eye on both his kidneys and his arm.

They later said that Cameron has Saturday's Palsy in his arm and it is expected his heal slowly on its own. Cam has blistering bed sores on his shoulder and slightly on his leg from laying on those areas for such an extended amount of time and his surgeon said they will heal slowly along with his arm.

The next few days in the hospital have consisted of slow progress, blood transfusions, and small movements, but slow progress is always better than none.  Because Cam is a cancer patient he was expected to have a slow recovery, but the palsy in his arm is very uncommon. Luckily he is in the best care possible and the doctors are taking good care of him! On Sunday afternoon, with the help of 3 nurses, Cameron was able to stand up to help with blood circulation. Cam has a new girlfriend and her name is Oxycodone ;)

Cam appreciates all the kind visits he has had this week. Thank you all for your prayers, your love, and your concern for Cameron! We love you all so much and feel so blessed to have such a strong village behind us.

the Forte Sisters