Monday, December 24, 2007

A Message From Darla, Mark, Bethany and Tyler

When I think back to previous Christmas' and New Years, I think about how I feared the season being over and the change that comes with a new year. This year I do not feel that way. The year 2007 definitely was one with more change than I could have ever imagined. To say it was the worst would not be truthful as we are able to celebrate with both our children in good health. My grownup Christmas wish is for health and peace. Without these two things nothing else means anything.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Kara and Jamie for all that they do keeping everyone informed of what is happening on Tyler's journey with Leukemia. It has served all the "readers" with up to date information and allowed us to read all the comments and prayers. We felt the closeness and were glad to hear from many people that we just never would have expected to hear from.

To everyone else who has traveled with us this far, thank you for being there in whatever capacity it was. We have certainly discovered how fortunate we are to have so many wonderful family members and friends that have supported us and have just been there to do whatever needed to be done and more! We will never forget. What a privilege to have so much love and support. Thank you God for the strength you give us everyday to face the challenges.

Thanks for your continued thoughts and prayers.

Merry Christmas and all the best for a wonderful new year.

Darla, Mark, Bethany and Tyler

Monday, December 10, 2007

December 9th Update

Tyler went for his bi-weekly check-up this week, and we are blessed to be once again informed that his story is indeed a "success story". He is gaining strength everyday, and is basically looking more like a healthy six year old. Darla, Mark, Bethany and Tyler did a great job last week on the Telethon on Stars. I was very proud of them, to hear them talk about such an emotional issue. Their message was clearly understood. As I watched the segment, I reflected on how our situation has changed since this time last year. Honestly, I don't think any of us could ever fathom that our little Tyler would be on a telethon, reaching out and informing the general public about the needs in pediatric care. It has really brought home the concept that anything can happen, at anytime, to anyone. As Darla so eloquently voiced, Tyler's illness has made us even more thankful for every little aspect of our lives.

Please continue to pray for our family.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

*** Telethon of Stars ***

SPECIAL NOTICE: The Wallis Family will be appearing on the Telethon of Stars tonight at about 8:30 pm, and tomorrow night at about 6:30 pm. They will be broadcasting a taped segment about Tyler's journey, as well as a live interview.

The Telethon of Stars will be airing on CFCF - 12.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

November 27th - No News Is Good News!

Tyler has been doing fantastic this past week. He visited the Children's last Tuesday and was given the best news that we could hope for, Bethany's bone marrow is working 100 percent in his little body. Her healthy blood cells are allowing Tyler's system to bounce back. Tyler is doing a great job walking on his own, and has all but abandon his wheelchair and walker. He managed to visit Santa Claus at an outdoor mall so as to avoid any potential germs.

We had fun poking fun at him, and teasing him that his vacation from school is almost over! The doctors have forecasted that if things continue on this path, he will be back at school in January. Bethany finds this particularly amusing as she is now the sole child leaving the household in the morning.

The entire Wallis family will be on the CTV telethon on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon. There will be a segment dedicated to Tyler's struggles, and will document his journey through his bone marrow transplant to his time at home. I am looking forward to being able to compare Tyler's present state to the images just after his operation. I can guarantee that I will be watching this touching tribute through my tears.

Please continue to pray for our entire family. We still have many obstacles to face, but are thankful for the prayers, kind words and support that we are so fortunate to have surrounding us.

Friday, November 16, 2007

November 15th Update

Things are slowly returning to their usual path at the Wallis household. Tyler has been issued a few weeks free of any scheduled hospital visits, and he continues with his home schooling schedule. He has made great strides towards walking on his own, and even took some steps without his walker today. His sense of humour has returned to his little boy ways, with his desire to annoy Bethany returning in full force. We are so thankful to hear his laugh, and his singing every morning when he wakes up. Darla and Mark are amazed by the fact that upon rising in the morning, Tyler is the first to wake and starts everyone's day with a song. His voice truly is music to our ears.
Please continue to pray for our little man.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

November 6th Update

Halloween was absolutely spectacular. The weather permitted Tyler to spend the evening outside, meeting people who had read about him in the local paper, or who had seen him on TV. He is now a local celebrity, with most people calling him by name. He was able to go door to door, as Dr. Maya chaperoned his trick or treating. Tyler had a change box for the Children's Hospital and was more focused on getting spare change than Halloween candy. When the house owners opened their doors, he was sitting in his wheel chair, in his Spiderman costume asking, "Avez-vous des sous?". We received over a thousand trick or treaters, and were complimented many times over on Shaughn's amazing creativity. We have been blessed with Tyler being home for the last two weeks, but he will soon return to the Children's for his routine tests. He is still very weak, and still unable to walk, but we are hoping that he is able to see his physiotherapists more than once every two weeks. The little man is still exhausted, asking to go to bed most evenings. We often have to remind ourselves that although he has been through more than most adults, he is still just a little boy. Please continue to pray for his healing. Thank you again for your kind words and support.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

An Extra Special Halloween!

Sean has been working extremely hard to put his finishing touches on Tyler's Halloween display. It really is sensational, and we will all be partaking in assisting Sean and Maya in making the evening extra spooky. Tyler is very excited and has been wearing his Spiderman costume all day. Pulse news has been at the Wallis household today, to get some footage, and they are hoping to have a segment on the local news and maybe even the national news. Keep your TVs tuned tonight, and please come stop by if you can make it out to our area. There will be warm coffee, but the best Halloween gift of all will be having Tyler taking part in the whole thing. It is so awesome to have him, Darla, Mark and Bethany home. Keep those prayers coming!

Friday, October 26, 2007

October 26th Update

We have been blessed with the news that Tyler will not have to return to the Children's for another two weeks. He has been spending three days a week being tutored by his new tutor, and has returned to his little boy ways. The house is looking spectacular as Halloween is quickly approaching, and Sean is putting the finishing touches on his highly acclaimed masterpiece. Hopefully we receive lots of trick or treaters to partake in this fantasy landscape. Tyler is still using his walker, and is struggling to walk, but we are confident that he will be running around independently soon enough. Baby James managed to pull Tyler's feeding tube out today, but Tyler ate and drank very well on his own. Mark is capable of putting the tube back in, and Tyler assures me that it is not a big deal. Please continue to pray for Tyler's strength.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

October 16th Update

Tyler has spent the last week catching up on some much needed sleep. It seems as though his little body realizes that it can finally relax, and get back to feeling comfortable in his own home. He has developed a routine that now includes having a teacher from the school board visits him three times a week, for about an hour and a half each visit. He is excited to be involved with a new activity. Sean, Maya and their three boys have spent three evenings at the Wallis house, decorating the front lawn with Halloween decorations. They have done a spectacular job displaying spooky paraphernalia like spider webs and witches’ cauldrons. Both Tyler and Bethany (and Mark too!) are very excited about this festive display. It is very well lit at night, and if you haven’t seen it yet, you should take a drive over to sneak a peek. Tyler is still being fed most of his nutrients through a feeding tube at night, but his appetite is creeping back slowly…somehow I bet it is back in time for Halloween! Please pray for the little man, as he has his routine check-up tomorrow. Hopefully he won’t have to visit the Children’s again until next week!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

October 10th Update

The past week has gone by very quickly, with Tyler settling into his new daily routine. He is still being fed by a feeding tube in the evening, but Tyler is gaining his appetite slowly. He is asking for certain foods, and sometimes his eyes are bigger than his stomach, but at least the desire to eat is there. He still has a strong aversion to chocolate, which is a common complaint to individuals who have received chemotherapy treatments. Tyler, Mark and Darla spent the morning at the Children’s to run some routine tests on Tyler, and his results could not have been better. He appears to be producing his own, healthy bone marrow, and although most patients are required to return for checkups every few days, Tyler’s results have permitted him to return in one week’s time! This is wonderful news. I am confident that Tyler will be busy playing with Bethany, as they seem to be catching up on time lost. Please continue to pray for his healing, as he is still not walking on his own, and has a bit of a ways to go to his full recovery. However, he is certainly on the right path.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Tyler Is Finally Resting In His Own Bed!

Yesterday morning, Tyler was granted a day pass and Darla and Mark were informed that Tyler would be discharged today. You can imagine our surprise, as we never imagined that he would be home before mid-October. The Wallis’ spent the morning clearing out Tyler’s hospital room, and thanking the wonderful staff that helped Tyler on this road to recovery. Darla reflected that she felt as though they were leaving for a trip, as the nurses waved goodbye to Tyler as they excited the automatic doors on the Oncology floor.

It was wonderful to see Tyler getting ready for bed in his room, and taking a bath in his own bath tub. Tonight, I am comforted with the knowledge that, after 8 weeks in the hospital, Tyler is finally resting in his own bed, with his Spiderman sheets. We have yet so many things to be thankful for this weekend. Please continue to pray for our little man as he gains his strength and is slowly regaining his desire to climb and play. He is slowly returning to his active, little boy ways.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Top 10 Things We Are Thankful For

Since Thanksgiving is just a week away, I thought I would compile a Top 10 List of things that we are thankful for. I am confident that this list could surpass 10 items, but I will keep it to 10 items that we are thankful for this week.

Top 10 Things we are Thankful for This Past Week:

10 – Tyler’s visit from Astronaut Dave Rhys Williams
9 – Tyler’s teachers that visit him at the hospital
8 – All of Tyler’s nurses, doctors and volunteers
7 – Spaghetti Eddie and Valerie
6- Tyler taking steps without his walker
5 – Tyler slowly regaining his appetite and eating Poppa’s cooking
4 – The large amount of money Team Tyler raised to put towards finding a cure for Leukemia and Lymphoma. We raised over $10,000. Awesome! Team Tyler placed second for top fundraisers!
3 – Everyone who donated and who walked last night at “Walk the Night”.
2 – Friends and family, near and far, who have said prayers, written emails, made meals, given gifts, given hugs. We will never be able to express our gratitude for all the love and support you have shown our entire family.
1 – Tyler getting another day pass today and sitting down to supper with us in the comfort of his home, surrounded by the unconditional knowledge that he is loved and supported by many.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A "Most Precious Surprise"

As per my daily routine, I called Mark on Saturday morning to see how things were going at the hospital. It was quite early, so Mark told me that Tyler was still asleep and that he was just about to jump into the shower. About an hour later, my doorbell rang, and to my astonishment, Mark was standing at my doorstep holding the most precious surprise I have ever received. TYLER! In his own words, he told me, “I thought you were going to cry when you saw me, Auntie Kara.” I suppose I have been doing a lot of crying around this little man, and although I let it out in private, I made sure that I did not shed one tear on such a happy event. I covered him with hugs and kisses, since for the past six weeks, I could not touch even one little inch of his body. Needless to say, he seemed glad to have my hugs and wet kisses, and I was very generous with them! As I was hugging him, I asked him if it was hard to not touch other people, and he sighed, “Yes, it was very hard.” He had been granted a day pass, today and yesterday, so he spent two beautiful sunny days outside of the four walls that have been his home for the last 6 and a half weeks. His color was great, and he had looked as though he grew a bit.
He received a new walker this week, and was pleased to show me how strong he is. He has had a very busy week, taking a few steps with his walker daily and trying to eat a bit more than he has been. Randy Tieman paid a pleasant visit to Tyler’s quarters to interview him. Now Tyler is not only a radio personality, but he will be on television too! Things seem to be on the mend, although a slight fever seems to be appearing on occasion. Monday brings more tests for Tyler, to determine the cause of this on and off temperature. Once again, thank you for all the support you have shown through emails, comments on the blog, and phone calls. Team Tyler has raised over $5000.00 to put towards finding a cure for this terrifying disease. If you are interested, please come and walk to honor this brave little boy. Please continue to pray, as we still have a long road ahead, but we are thankful for every little step and obstacle that he overcomes.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

September 15th Update

Tyler went through some routine tests this week, in hopes of determining the source of his low fever. Early on in the week, a blood clot was located in his system, for which he was placed (once again) on blood thinners. The next development was a small infection in his lung, which the doctors are keeping a close eye on. He is slowly, and ever so reluctantly, eating small amounts of food. This morning, Mark and Poppa were able to work as a team, in helping Tyler ingest a small container of yogurt. If you have called up to the hospital, you may have been surprised to hear Tyler answering the phone. His energy level has increased, and when calling to see how his day is going, I have been very pleasantly surprised to get a first hand account of things. This smart, witty and stubborn boy never ceases to amaze us with his strength.

Thank you to all those who have generously donated to the “Light the Night” walk that Darla, Glenna and I, as well as Erin, Michael, Tracey, Brenda, Barbara, Maya, Jonathan, Jean, Nancy and Marilyn are partaking in. Laurie, thank you for this wonderful idea. If you would like to join us on the Walk, please feel free to follow the link under Tyler’s picture on the left hand side of this page. Follow the same link if you would like to make a donation. We now have raised over $2000.00 in honor of our little man. Thank you for your prayers and support!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

September 9th Update

Tyler took a trip out of his room yesterday, to the “Park in the Sky”. This is a solarium-type park at the Children’s, which allows patients to get a bit of fresh air, without leaving the hospital. Bethany and Hailey visited as well as Tyler’s buddies Robbie, Caitlin, Michael, Karen and Jamie. He was very pleased to see all his friends! He is speaking much more, calling Darla at 11:30 at night, just to chat. He now has a feeding tube in his nose, as he is reluctant to eat. Today, he had some rice, although it didn’t stay down very long. He also received a blood platelet transfusion today, which is an expected occurrence. Although he was disappointed that he was unable to play in the park today, he now has something to look forward to. Visitors are still not permitted in his room, but hopefully he will be able to exit his room soon, for some hugs and kisses. On September 28th, our friend Laurie has organized a team to walk in Tyler’s honor in support of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada. We encourage you to join us in this walk, or to donate to this important cause. We have placed a link on this blog (to the left) or you may contact anyone of us for more information. Thank you for your prayers and support!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Thursday, September 6, 2007

September 6th Update

Yesterday evening, I visited Tyler and arrived just as the doctor was preparing to remove his port. A port is a direct line to main veins in his body, which enable medication to enter through one tube, and go directly into a main artery. Tyler has had this port for four months, and yesterday, the doctors determined that there was an infection developing. As his white blood cell count is increasing everyday (today he is at 1200! Up from 900 yesterday), it is more than likely that the infection is a sign that his body is gaining its strength, and is becoming capable of fighting off “bad” germs and bacteria. The whole procedure to remove the port took about 45 minutes, with Darla, Mark, the doctor and a nurse, holding Tyler and talking him through the process. He did not shed one tear, but would release a blood curling scream when he was overcome with agony. When the port finally was pulled out, Tyler had a wound that resembled a bullet hole, on the left side of his chest. Needless to say, he was exhausted last night. Today, he drank a milkshake that he made, with Nurse Laurie, which was the first thing he has eaten in weeks, but is finding it challenging to keep his medication down.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

September 4th Update

The past week has been quiet and stable. Tyler is still receiving morphine to ease the pain of the sores in his digestive system. The doctors have confirmed that they are indeed healing. His white blood cells are increasing in number, which provide evidence that his body is getting stronger. Not only will these cells heal his canker sores, but they also provide evidence that his body is slowly beginning to produce its own healthy cells. Tyler is still not speaking, choosing to speak to only a certain few. Please pray his psychological strength as well as for the healing of his little body.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

August 29th Update

Things are progressing on the straight and narrow. Tyler’s doctors and nurses are pleased at his healing, and he is building strength with every passing day. On Saturday, Tyler completed his (what we hope to be) his last chemotherapy treatment. He still has incredibly painful sores in his mouth, but we are hopeful that his body will soon build antibodies to fight the infection. He is having fun shooting water from a syringe, at Dr. Mitchell and his nurses. His best time is during the evening, as he seems to have taken a liking to taking early evening naps. Mark is feeling under the weather today, so please pray for his health and strength. It was mentioned today that there is a possibility of Tyler returning home in a few weeks, and we are very thankful for such an optimistic outlook. Thank you for all your prayers, inquiries and support!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

August 23rd Update

The past week has been stable, with Tyler having small fevers and chills, and vomiting, but nothing that has not been manageable. His nurses and doctors, as well as the rest of the excellent staff at the Children’s have made his solitary stay more enjoyable. The nurses have played along to his commands, with one even going underneath the computer table to make him laugh. We truly cannot thank these earthbound angels enough. Today, Tyler’s mouth is extremely painful from the canker sores that have developed, but he is being treated with morphine to ease the pain. Bethany’s remarkable recovery is also something to marvel about, as she still has not complained of any back pain whatsoever. Please pray for Darla and Mark, as they are finding their rigorous schedule challenging, and exhausting. The entire Wallis unit is doing a phenomenal job throughout this tiring ordeal.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

"Bestest Birthday Ever"

We celebrated Tyler’s birthday, watching him through his room window yesterday. He opened many presents, which had been wiped and sterilized so as to avoid any unnecessary germs in his room. His favorite toy was a gun that shoots foam balls. Tyler enjoyed shooting the nurses, Nanny, Poppa, Darla and Mark. The hospital provided presents as well as a special birthday cake, as Tyler is on a strict diet. At the end of the afternoon, Tyler expressed that this was his “bestest birthday ever”. Today, his body is retaining fluid, and the doctors are keeping a close eye on his saturation levels. He needs to expel the chemicals that have been used to medicate him, but his body is being stubborn and keeping what it needs to get rid of. Bethany is not complaining of any pain, and is truly a remarkable little girl. She must take an iron supplement twice a day, which she does with ease, and hasn’t been slowed down in the least. Thank you for the birthday wishes, and prayers. Hopefully things will continue on this straight and narrow path towards Tyler’s recovery.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Happy Birthday Tyler!

Today is Tyler’s sixth birthday. We are heading up to the hospital early this afternoon to celebrate the start of a new year. Bethany is doing very well, pleased and relieved to have the procedure over with, and is in not complaining of the pain that she feels in her back. Tyler has an infection in his ports, and a slight fever this morning. Please continue to pray for both of their healing.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A New Start

Bethany was admitted to Day Surgery at 7:00 this morning. She completed her task, and was left to recover, while she watched Tyler receive her bone marrow, with her blood. She was home by 3:00, but is tired from her ordeal. Tyler did very well today, joking with the nurses and I was told he was even complaining of boredom this afternoon. It is now 7 pm, Darla and Nanny will be here shortly to pick up Bethany, as everyone will have an early night tonight. So far the only negative outcome of today was Tyler developing a rash from an allergic reaction to his antibiotics, which are not directly related to the transplant. Bethany is medicated and not complaining of any pain, yet. She returns to the Children’s in the morning to have the bandage removed from her lower back. Thank you for your prayers and support during this much anticipated event. This day marks a new start for Tyler.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Two Brave Children

Tyler has official completed his treatments, and is well underway to his transplant tomorrow. He began his chemotherapy with a 10 hour session, followed by two one hour sessions in three days. He is in great spirits, playing Dominoes with Nanny, Darla and Mark, as well as playing Bingo through the phone with Bethany, who visited him on Saturday and Sunday morning. The doctors have noticed that he is developing canker sores in his mouth, but as of yesterday afternoon, he is not feeling any pain from them. As I write this, Bethany is at the hospital giving a blood sample in preparation for tomorrow’s procedure. I have asked her on separate occasions, whether she is nervous for the operation, and she is sincerely confident that the doctors will take good care of her. She has told me that they have medicine for the pain, and that she will be in and out in one day. The bravery, trustworthiness and confidence of these two small children take my breath away. Thank you once again for the kind words, and prayers that you have shared. Please keep Bethany, Tyler, Mark and Darla at the forefront of your minds tomorrow as they undergo the long awaited transplant.

Friday, August 10, 2007

August 10th Update

Tyler’s course of radiation is now done, and he is onto the next part of his treatment, chemotherapy for the next three days. He was taken by ambulance twice a day, to the General, where he received an hour long session of radiation. His favorite part of the ride was watching Nanny and Poppa balancing on the small ambulance seat, and joking that they were going to fall out of the back. He has now been placed on a restricted diet, much to Tyler’s dismay, and is limited to the type of food that he intakes. For supper the other night, he was served Polynesian Pork, and was definitely not impressed. He is not yet feeling too sick, and is busy painting and playing games. His room has been sterilized, and things from the outside are not permitted into his proximity. Visitors must use a telephone through a looking glass to speak to him, and only Darla, Mark, Nanny and Poppa are allowed to be within the walls of his home away from home. Following the three days of chemo, he will have one day of rest (Monday), and his transplant is slated to take place on Tuesday. Bethany will be admitted on Tuesday for her end of the bargain, and will most likely be released the same day. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

August 8th Update

Things surged ahead as planned this morning, with Tyler receiving his first bout of radiation. Although I have not received the finer details involved in his day, I thought I would simply state that he is settled into his room, at extension 26909, at the Children’s. Tyler was vomiting after the radiation, which is an expected side effect. Your prayers and thoughts are greatly appreciated, and certainly needed at this time.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

August 6th Update

Today was Mr. Wallis’ funeral. Tyler spent the day with Mrs. Roach, as we are taking every precaution to avoid exposing him to large crowds of people. He got home later this evening, and as we mourn the passing of Mr. Wallis, we also worry for the unknown that lies ahead for Tyler. We are thankful that he has spent the last three weeks regaining his strength, and childhood. Yesterday, his friend Matthew came for a visit, and the boys spent a few hours playing. Darla, Mark and Tyler have an appointment at the General at 7 AM tomorrow, as Tyler will start his radiation and chemotherapy treatments for the next 3 days. Please pray for Tyler, Bethany, Mark and Darla as they are embarking on the path to Tyler’s full recovery.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Mr. Bert Wallis

On Thursday morning, Mark visited his Father and was surprised to find his father still in bed. Sadly, during the night, Mr. Wallis passed away. With Tyler’s procedure beginning on Tuesday, Mr. Wallis’ viewing will be on Sunday, with his funeral taking place on Monday.
Please pray for everyone’s strength and patience at this time.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Fishing on Lake Champlain

As scheduled, Tyler went to the Children’s on Tuesday for tests and some chemo. Things are looking very good, and he was granted permission to travel to his trailer for the day. Yesterday began with Mark, Bethany and Tyler calling Mix 96, and speaking to Cat and Lisa. They did a very good job, and actually called when they were on their way to the States. Tyler told all of Montreal that he was going to go fishing on Lake Champlain, which he did! He was given a walker to use to assist him, and he is now attempting to walk with it. He is tired today, as he had a very active day yesterday. The Wallis family had a well deserved break from the whirlwind of the hospital, and were able to enjoy a relaxing day as a family.

Friday, July 27, 2007

July 27th Update

Tyler visited the hospital once this week, on Thursday, for a round of routine blood tests. Everything is in check, and Tyler is getting stronger each day. The doctor has now set a tentative date to start his radiation / chemo treatments in preparation for his bone marrow transplant. He is expected to enter the hospital on the 7th of August, with the actual transplant taking place just under a week later. This coming Tuesday, Tyler will receive some outpatient chemotherapy, a bone marrow aspiration, and lumber puncture but if all goes well, he will be spending this weekend at home. His days this week were busy. He spent a “water day” at day camp at church, which Bethany attended all week. He visited Nancy, Daniel and Tiffany, and actually was permitted to push Daniel into the pool in his work suit. This event turned out to be the highlight of his week! He is now moving fluidly from his wheelchair to other locations with the use of his arms. His legs, however, are notably stronger. He is in good spirits and is enjoying this window of time being a ‘regular’ kid.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

July 20th Update

Tyler visited the hospital twice this week, for routine blood tests. He is doing well, but needed a blood transfusion today, as his white blood cell count was low. This is a side effect to his last chemotherapy treatment, and actually demonstrates that the chemo is doing its job in his little body. Overall, Tyler is getting stronger, using his upper body to move himself from his wheelchair to the chesterfield. He has been busy playing with his cousins, enjoying his time at home. His appetite is slowly returning, but he is still having difficulty with his taste buds (yet another side effect of the chemo!). Tyler’s next appointment is on Monday, and we hope that he is able to enjoy a relaxing weekend at home with his family. Well...as relaxing as this active little boy would like it to be! Please continue to pray that his body is in the best condition possible, as mid-August is just around the corner, and this is now the expected date for his transplant.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

July 14th Update

The evening following my last post (on Monday), Darla was called and told that Tyler would be entering the hospital for a four day round of chemotherapy. Tyler went into the hospital on Tuesday of this past week, and was released last night (Friday). The goal of this round of treatment was to keep his body in remission, and he seems to be gaining strength day by day. When I first got to the house today, Tyler was in Mark’s van helping his Dad vacuum. He was smiling and looked more like his old self than he has for awhile. Although he is still not walking, he is much stronger and is capable of moving himself from his wheelchair, and onto the floor, crawling to get to his desired location or toy. He stayed awake until the wee hours of the morning, playing and talking with Bethany, as he hadn’t seen her all week. They had lots of catching up to do!

Monday, July 9, 2007

A Rainy July 9th Update

Darla, Mark and Tyler trudged up to the Children’s yesterday for another round of blood tests, in order to determine whether the transplant will take place this week. Results were called in, from the dedicated Dr. Mitchell on his cell phone, and it was decided that Tyler’s treatments and transplant would be bumped a few weeks (about a month). Tyler’s liver enzymes were up, as an expected side effect to his past chemotherapy treatments. As the doctors want Tyler to be in the best possible shape to start his bout with radiation, we will now be looking at August as the month for his whole procedure. All in all, the little man is doing well, eating, playing and basically gaining more strength with every passing hour. His current course of treatment will be as an outpatient, receiving chemotherapy in order to maintain his current level of cancer free cells. The family has Monday and Tuesday off, as Tyler’s next visit to the hospital is on Wednesday. Tyler still has low immunity, so the family will be sticking close to home during their downtime. Thank you for your continued prayers and thoughts.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

July 4th Update

The Wallis family packed up Tyler’s things for his long awaited hospital visit today. However, they were informed that the entire procedure will be moved to next week, as Tyler’s body needs to be in tip-top shape. Tyler was given a blood transfusion, in hopes of strengthening his little body. Darla and Mark are psychologically and physically exhausted, as they have been anxious these last few days, expecting to start the lengthy process towards recovery, but are confident in Dr. Mitchell’s decision. A quiet evening was spent at home as Poppa prepared supper and Nanny visited. Visitors are limited as Tyler’s immunity has gotten lower in the last few days.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

July 3rd Update

After much anticipation, the start to Tyler’s treatments has been delayed. A trip to the hospital on Friday uncovered a high level of enzymes in Tyler’s liver that remained high yesterday. The family will take another trip to the Children’s today for an MRI, and also to determine whether another change to the treatment schedule is due. Last evening was spent playing videogames, and snacking. At one point, there were two Nintendo DS, a Game Cube, and music going from the radio. Tyler has become very skilled at playing videogames. He also seems to have mastered the French language. For a boy who only completed half a year of kindergarten; he is capable of translating many words from French to English, as well as carry on a conversation in French. We joke with him that his blood transfusions were probably donated by French speaking individuals! Please pray for Darla and Mark, to give them strength through such unknown territory, as they are fully aware of the complications that may occur. We expect the road to recovery to be very long, but we pray that there will be few bumps along the way.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Getting The Ball Rolling...

Tyler heads to the hospital on Tuesday to get the ball rolling towards his transplant. During the past week, Tyler was up early for visits to the Children's for tests, scans and results as the doctors are keeping close tabs on his progress. A dentist appointment was even thrown into the mix, to make sure that every inch of him is in the best shape possible. Tyler's appetite is back in full effect, with him craving "Bits and Bites" at all hours of the day and night. He is enjoying munching on Tsatsiki and pita. Tomorrow's schedule includes blood tests, and hopefully some time with family, as we are not sure how long Tyler will be in isolation. Sitting with Tyler, at the laptop, I came across a quote that he kept repeating, "the first step to better times is to imagine them". Hopefully we can allow our imagination to take a back seat soon as better times are surely around the corner.

Monday, June 25, 2007

June 24th Update

A date has been set for Tyler to commence his treatments leading to his bone marrow transplant. Starting on July 3rd, Tyler will be shuffled between the General (for his radiation treatments) and the Children’s (where he will receive chemo, a room, and their extra TLC). The transplant itself, will occur on the tenth of July, if all goes as planned. At this point, Tyler is spending much of his time sleeping, and has been vomiting in an expected response to one of his medications. He asks to be put in bed, as he is still unable to walk, but is regaining much of his strength in his upper body. As Darla was putting him to bed the other night, he told her that it should be expected that he is so tired, as his “body works hard”. On Friday, we celebrated the beginning of summer with a cake, but were also celebrating Tyler’s start of his new life. We are hoping for a quiet week this week, as we are aware that, for the next few months, Tyler will need extra time to recover from his procedure. At this point, we see but glimpses of our old Tyler, with his smiles, jokes and squinting, thoughtful eyes. His trustfulness that his (and your) prayers will be answered is insurmountable. His patience for his weaknesses and uncomfortable situation is overwhelming. Please continue praying for this brave little boy.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

A Busy Week

Once again, this week has proven to be a busy one for Mark, Darla, Tyler and Bethany. On Monday, Bethany had an appointment with the psychologist at the Children’s to once again discuss her role in the transplant. On Tuesday, Tyler had an appointment at the Children’s for some tests, and then he had to be taken to the General to begin the process for his radiation treatments. He was weighed and his picture was taken in order for the specialists to determine his dosage and plan of attack. Tyler was then returned to the Children’s for another appointment, but was asked to return on Wednesday for more tests. Thursday, he has another appointment for blood tests. The test results from last week have determined that Tyler’s body is free of any Cancer cells. The doctors were hoping for this result as it will be very helpful when he undergoes his transplant. He is still in good spirits, but is understandably exhausted. Darla and Mark are also exhausted. Thank you to everyone who checks this webpage, and keeps Tyler in their prayers. He is such a strong, caring, sensitive little man, who often takes a moment to say a prayer for others in need.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

June 13th Update

The Wallis household has been an active place these days, especially with Tyler at home. On Monday, Bethany met with Dr. Mitchell and a psychologist to discuss and help her understand her role in the bone marrow transplant. On Tuesday, Tyler had his lumbar puncture, as well as a bone marrow aspiration. These results will be available later on in the week. Darla and Mark were asked to return to the hospital to meet with Tyler’s doctors to discuss the course of events culminating in the transplant. The doctors are looking at Bethany’s donation of her healthy bone marrow, to her little brother, to occur on July 10th. Tyler will have to receive radiation treatment coupled with chemotherapy in order to make his body ready to accept Bethany’s bone marrow. The process leading up to, as well as recovery time, will take approximately six weeks. Darla and Mark had many of their questions answered, as there was so much information made available to them. Today, Bethany went to the Children’s for a check-up that gave her the green light for her donation. As it was Darla’s birthday, we celebrated by getting together as we have much to be thankful for. The next few days should be quiet, as there are no doctors appointments scheduled for Bethany or Tyler. Please continue to pray for both Tyler and Bethany.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

June 9th Update





Tyler checked out of the hospital this afternoon, just in time for the traffic jam on the Champlain Bridge. After over an hour in the car, he finally made it home. He spent the afternoon enjoying the sunshine, and watching Bethany cool off in the pool. He was extremely tired this evening, but was looking forward to a good night sleep in his own bed. He is scheduled for a three night stay at home, if everything goes well. Tyler will have another lumbar puncture on Tuesday, so we will wait and see what the doctors decide for him then. We are thankful and happy to have Tyler at home.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

June 6th Update

Tyler’s room was an active place today! Lots of people visited from his physiotherapist to the arts and crafts technician. He was very energetic, watching television, cutting and coloring, sitting up in his chair and talking up a storm. His treatment started in the late afternoon. If all goes well, Tyler will be allowed home this weekend, for an extended stay. He didn’t rest all day as he finally had the opportunity to spend the day playing like the little boy that he is.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Tyler the Trooper

Tyler was granted another day pass yesterday that allowed him sometime at home with his cousins, Nanny and Poppa and his aunts and uncles. We were hoping that he would be allowed home again today, but he is in need of another blood transfusion, which takes about 3 hours, so Tyler just can’t fit a visit home into his busy schedule. The doctors will begin his next Chemotherapy treatment tomorrow (Wednesday), and are looking to perform the bone marrow transplant at the beginning of July. We are praying that this round of treatment is less harsh on Tyler’s digestive system, thus producing less sores in his mouth and throat. When asked if something hurts or if something is bothering him, Tyler rarely complains. He is such a trooper!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

A Day Pass!

At the very last minute this morning, the doctors gave Tyler a day pass to enjoy. Upon leaving the hospital, he paid a visit to the church to see some very familiar, supportive faces. He then returned home to take advantage of his day. We took a trip to the park, and spent some time playing with friends. He had to be back at the hospital between 8 and 9, but his day of fresh air truly tired him out. It looks as though his next treatment will overlap with this hospital stay, but we are very thankful that his “counts” are good. His immunity is high, and he is looking very well. His little body is still producing more mucus than usual, and food just doesn’t taste the same, but Tyler really is taking all these inconvenient side effects in stride. Thank you to all who have shared stories of survivors. We are keeping our eyes on the path ahead to recovery, no matter how long it takes.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

May 31st Update

Tyler is still visiting the Children’s. It has now been 16 days since he checked-in to the hospital and we are truly hoping that he will be discharged soon. He is still not speaking, and is very reluctant to eat as it must be painful, and the taste of food is distorted due to the effects of chemotherapy. He is participating in the many in-room activities that the hospital organizes, such as music therapy and physiotherapy. Although he seems to be getting bored and is surely frustrated with his predicament, Mark and Nanny are able to coax some small smiles from him from time to time, but even for Tyler to move the muscles that form a small smile must hurt him. The doctors are optimistic that this strong little man will soon be feeling much better.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Exact Match

Tyler is still being kept at the Children’s as his sores have not yet subsided. He has improved slightly in the last few days, and has managed to take a few sips of juice here and there. On Thursday, the doctors blessed us with the news that Bethany is an exact match with Tyler, and thus will be able to provide healthy bone marrow for a transplant. Although we are still seeking information on the topic, and attempting to understand the details involved with the procedure, we are relieved to receive such wonderful news. Now, we simply wait for Tyler’s system to bounce back from this treatment, and wait for further instruction. Please pray for Darla, Mark and Bethany at this time to give them the strength, energy and perseverance to continue in this exhausting routine. Most importantly, pray for Tyler. He is such a strong little man. I cannot put into words the strength and courage that he is demonstrating while dealing with this excruciating and frustrating pain.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

May 23rd Update

Today marks the 8th day that Tyler is at the Children’s. His stay has been lengthened as he has been having difficulty excreting the chemo from his system and has thus developed many canker sores in his mouth and throat. This painful condition has made speaking, eating and swallowing, in general, very difficult. His Lumbar Puncture went well yesterday, but we will receive further results further on in the week. Although we are not sure when Tyler will be released from the hospital, we are confident that he is in the best of hands.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Small but Mighty

Tyler has been in the hospital for his three day treatment, and seems as though he will not be released until at least Monday. He received a transfusion yesterday to give his little body a boost, but everything is considered to be ‘normal’. He has been busy catching some shut-eye and watching some movies. His visitors must once again be limited as his little body is once again susceptible to any germ that it encounters. He now has a trademark shirt that truly sums up the essence of his courageous spirit, “Small but Mighty”. Keep those prayers and good thoughts coming!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Awesome Results

What a busy day Tyler had today! First stop was the Children’s for his blood tests which yielded awesome results. His counts proved to be the best yet, and thus his 3 day round of chemo will be started early. Tyler went to visit his buddies at school during lunchtime, and was very excited to see so many familiar and friendly faces. Today, he was thrilled to receive a beautiful book on pirates from Sharman. Thanks a bunch, Sharman! This will really help Tyler pass the time, and was extremely nice of you! Tomorrow, Tyler must visit the hospital in the AM for his Lumbar Puncture, followed by a return to the hospital at 9 pm for a three night stay for his chemotherapy treatments. We are very thankful that his blood tests were so good, but are now anxious to get this round of treatment out of the way!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

May 12th Update

Tyler’s blood tests showed that he is now more susceptible to germs and must remain close to home so as to avoid picking up any viruses. Visitors have to be limited, so Tyler and the Wallis Clan spent a quiet Saturday at home enjoying their time together. Their day started off with delicious omelets, and Tyler convinced his Dad to help him tidy up his room. He has so many toys and gifts to organize that his room now resembles Toys R Us! He had a good day today, and fell asleep before 9 o’clock. He is slated to return to the hospital next weekend for another round of treatments.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Nanny's Birthday & McHappy Day!

Today we celebrated Nanny’s 65th birthday and McHappy Day! Tyler spent the morning on the deck challenging Darla and Nanny to a game of Chutes and Ladders. It got mighty hot, so Tyler requested that he be placed inside on the chesterfield, to observe the daily going-ons of the Wallis household. Still refusing to take any naps, Tyler stayed awake, and seems to enjoy talking now more than ever. The whole family visited for dinner to celebrate Nanny’s big day. Poppa made fish, and Tyler finally had some tzatsiki that he had been craving for days. Mark bought Tyler a fancy pair of gloves to use with his wheelchair so his hands don’t get dirty when he steers his new set of wheels. Tomorrow, the gang takes a trip to the Children’s to get Tyler’s blood pressure routinely checked and to check on his catheter lines, as the one in his leg popped out last night. Thanks to Tyler’s nurses and their phone skills, this awkward situation was corrected.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

A Visit To Hospital Friends

Today the Wallis family made their familiar trek to the Children’s for their 8 AM appointment. Tyler fasted last night, and arrived to their early appointment in hopes of attaining encouraging news. Needless to say, Tyler was not able to have his Lumbar Puncture today, as he received his anti-blood clot medication too close to the procedure. We will wait to hear from the hospital for another appointment. The trip wasn’t totally wasted as Tyler got to visit his friends on the 8th floor, and left with another armful of gifts. Thank you to Maria’s congregation for the thoughtful gifts and encouraging words. Thank you once again to all the staff and parents at St. Lawrence Elementary for their support and generous meals. Thank you to everyone who is praying and keeping Tyler in their thoughts.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Craving Fish

Tyler went for an appointment this morning at the Children’s. His blood tests come back with very positive news with regard to his blood counts. He is still extremely tired, and managed to fall asleep at 7 this evening, as he was fighting keeping his eyes open most of the day. Poppa came for a visit, and Tyler requested that he make fish as he was craving fish. Darla noted that throughout her pregnancy with Tyler, she too craved fish! Tyler has an 8:00 AM appointment tomorrow for yet another Lumbar Puncture. He is such a brave little soul, and even reported that this procedure doesn’t hurt. Please pray for good news, as he will only get these results later on in the week.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

May 5th Update


What a difference a week makes. Tyler has completed his first 5 day installment of intense chemo and has been given a pass to stay at home this weekend. Darla and Mark have been armed with a truck load of medicine, including injections, pills and liquids, to keep Tyler on his path to healing. Yesterday, we went for a walk so Tyler could try out his new set of wheels; a custom fitted wheelchair. He decided to spin his wheels as fast as he could, and then throw his hands up in the air, mimicking enjoying an amusement park ride. Tyler also spent some time playing an adjusted game of baseball in his backyard. By day's end, he could hardly keep his eyes open, but refused to rest so as not to miss any of the action. Monday brings another trip to the hospital, with blood tests to evaluate Tyler’s little body’s progress.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Inspirational Attitude

Tyler’s treatment regime has begun once again. This treatment will last for 5 days and will be an intense one. His immune system will once again become susceptible to anything that comes its way, so his visitors will have to be limited. He is still being such a strong boy, and remains interested in everything that is going on. His old fashioned manners bring a smile to many, as he thanks the nurses for completing the slightest tasks for him. His attitude and courage are inspirational as we are so aware that his little body must be feeling so ill.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Focusing on the Goal

Darla received the call from the doctors this morning and it appears that Tyler needs another round of chemotherapy. His treatments will be intensified and will start tomorrow. This is incredibly difficult news to receive, but we are gaining strength from focusing on our ultimate goal; Tyler’s return to good health so he can once again resume living the life of a normal 5 year old. Please keep praying for our little man.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Waiting...

We held our breath as another Thursday arrived. Although we waited all day for the slightest news on his lumbar puncture, there was no news at all to be had. The doctor will call Darla tomorrow at home with the results. Tyler seems to be gaining more energy in his voice, but is still exhausted by the end of the day. He is awake at 7 in the morning, ready to face the day, but refuses to rest until bedtime. He is at home tonight, sleeping under his Spiderman sheets, looking forward to a new day tomorrow. We are praying that his test results come back with good news.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Night At Home

With every passing day, Tyler is developing more physical strength. Tyler’s physiotherapist had him ride a tricycle in the halls of the oncology floor to strengthen his leg muscles. He is capable of taking a few steps on his own, and even enjoyed a massage today. This morning, he had a lumbar puncture, and we anxiously await the results which will most likely take until Thursday. Last night, and tonight, the Wallis family unit was reunited under one roof, as Tyler was discharged to sleep at home for the first time in 7 weeks. By the end of the day today, Tyler was extremely exhausted. Being the stubborn little man that he is, he refuses to sleep during the day, as he doesn’t “take naps anymore”. I am sure that his former daycare teachers can attest to that one!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Piñata Time

Tyler enjoyed another day at home today. Darla drove up to get him around lunch time and he spent the day lounging about, talking to visitors. He was very excited to see his girlfriend, Dulcy, Christopher and their baby Jaden. After supper, Tyler finally got to break the piñata that Auntie Kara bought for Bethany and him, to celebrate Tyler’s day pass. Bethany, Mackenzie and Baby James were on hand to help swing the bat to release popcorn, jubejubes and other treats. Tyler now refers to the Children’s as his “hotel” and doesn’t seem to mind returning to his room for the night. The nurses and doctors, as well as the housekeeping staff play a very important role in his life. Thank you to all these special people that brighten Tyler’s stay!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

A Visit Home!

Tyler had the opportunity to spend eight hours out of the hospital today. He decided that he would like to go home and spend some time enjoying the gorgeous weather and sunshine. When I arrived at dinner time, Tyler was in his backyard on his swing, basking in the rays of the setting sun. We had a delicious dinner, at the family table, with Tyler finally sitting in his usual seat next to Nanny. This was Tyler’s first time out of the hospital since he was admitted seven weeks ago, so it is understandable that he was exhausted by the end of the day. Tyler looked forward to returning to “his place” at the hospital. When he arrived, there was a special note from one of his friends at the hospital, waiting for him on his pillow. We are all very thankful for his day pass, and look forward to seeing him at home again soon.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Update and Thank You's

Tyler’s appetite is insatiable! He is craving lots of different types of food, and he just can’t seem to get enough. The doctors have mentioned that he may spend a few hours outside the hospital, as in going to the park, in a wheelchair, and we are hoping to get him outside for some fresh air and sunshine. We are nervous to stroll too far, so we will definitely stick close to the hospital when we decide to take him out.

We really would like to thank everyone for their generosity and support since the beginning of this. Thank you to everyone who has visited with Tyler, Mark and Darla. Thank you to St. Lawrence School for their support of cards, good wishes and awesome gifts for Tyler and for the love and kindness you are providing Bethany. Thank you to the girls at the Montreal General Hospital for giving Tyler a Nintendo DS, which is helping him pass the time. Thank you to Centennial Regional High School for their gifts and cards, and for lending Mark a laptop which has proven to be very handy. Mark has downloaded some pictures of Tyler onto the laptop to show the doctors. Thanks to Diane Cooper’s company for the digital camera to take these pictures. And a very special thank you to the parents of Tyler’s classmates for making wonderful meals, that have saved us so much time and energy. We are truly grateful.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

April 17th Update

Tyler has had a superficial rash the last few days. The doctors told us it was caused by something outside of his body, like from soap used during one of his procedures. Although we don’t have a direct cause, it seems to be getting better.

Mark has been applying compresses, and Tyler tells us he is being wrapped like a Mummy. His fever and blood pressure have been stable and “normal” for the last two days, with no other side effects. He has been removed from other antibiotics that he has been taking, and has a bit more energy than he has had.

A physiotherapist visits him to help with strengthening his leg muscles. He can now take a few steps on his own, and is able to sit up for longer stretches of time. Day by day, he is slowly getting stronger.

Introduction


Thanks to our friends Jamie and Karen, this blog has been assembled to keep all of Tyler’s friends and family updated on his healing process. It has been a scary journey so far, but his strength and courage has kept us all going.

Two weeks before his March Break, Tyler came down with a cold. Darla decided to keep him home from school, as any typical mother would. After a week of fighting off the cold, Tyler went to the doctor and was given medication for an ear infection. In the following three weeks, Tyler visited the emergency room twice, and the infectious disease clinic when at last we decided enough was enough. Blood tests were finally performed to uncover the nightmare that every parent fears.

Tyler was diagnosed with A.L.L., a treatable form of Leukemia, on March 13th, 2007. Once at the Children’s, he began his chemotherapy treatments, and was given further tests to determine what was going on inside his little body.

It has been 6 weeks since Tyler has been in the hospital. He has had two seizures and has had two stays in the ICU for observations. Although small in size, Tyler has proven to be an extremely resilient spirit. When we fear the worst, or are scared, this child has an overwhelming confidence in his doctors and in our prayers. He has reassured us numerous times that, “Lots of people are praying for me”.

We thank you for all your support and concern. For the love that we feel from you, and especially the love that you have shown Tyler. Although we do not know what tomorrow brings, we are confident that things can only get better from here.