Why Are We Here?
We’re here because Jorden has desmoplastic small round blue cell tumor (DSRBCT), which is a rare cancer that affects children by tumor growth in the abdominal cavity.  The tumors cause pain and fluid buildup in Jorden’s belly.

The Plan
Jorden is on an aggressive treatment plan.  He will have chemo on weeks 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11.  The hope is that there is sufficient tumor shrinkage by week 12 so that we can get to step 2 of the plan: surgery at MD Anderson in Houston.  Once the tumors are removed during this surgery, Jorden will get an abdominal chemo bath – where the remaining cells are killed off in a new chemo process.

Nelson has shared the following analogy with Jorden:  During the off season, professional athletes use this time not only to get bigger, stronger, and faster – but also to heal from any injuries/surgeries before the next season.  Jorden has bought into this and is ready to do whatever it takes to be BASEBALL READY!  Doctor Sutphin, Jorden’s primary doctor at Arnold Palmer, overheard this conversation and told Jorden, “That is my mission and purpose – to get you, Jorden, BASEBALL READY!”

Coach Chris Mills has been Jorden’s coach for the past three seasons and has been an inspiration to the Apontes. Coach Chris always tells the kids “Think Positive and Positive Things Will Happen” so when Jorden is feeling down, Nelson asks him “What does Coach say?” and encourages him to repeat “Think Positive and Positive Things Will Happen.”

Jorden’s Thought Process
As you can imagine, Jorden is sad that he has cancer.  He is sad the he can’t play with his friends or even go to school with his friends.  He’s sad that his hair will fall out.  He’s very disappointed that he isn’t moving up to the majors in little league, and that he can’t play travel ball.  He worries that he “won’t be the same.”  With that said, Jorden is a TOUGH and DETERMINED young man!

We are keeping Jorden informed of every aspect of this journey.  Once he understands what is expected of him, he takes it in and then executes.

Jorden’s First Round of Chemo
After Jorden’s first round of chemo (Dec 27th – Dec 29th), he had a very difficult time with pain and nausea.  He wanted desperately to go home.  However, the doctors wanted him to stay in the hospital for several days so they could monitor him.  Before they could release him, they told him he needed to walk, he needed to be eating and drinking without throwing up, and they needed to have his pain under control.

When Jorden was able, he started walking the floor and eating and drinking (with effort and encouragement).  However, he had overwhelming stomach pain.  They had him on a morphine machine that provided a dose every 15 minutes, but had given him a button to press whenever he felt he needed more. The button didn’t really release any extra morphine, but enabled the doctors to track how many times he felt severe pain.  The last several days he reduced the number of times he pressed the button and the doctors gradually reduced his dosage.  Every morning Jorden woke up hoping to be able to go home.  Each time he was told he couldn’t yet go home, he was really bummed.  All he wanted to do was go home; he knew that each day he was there was less time that he could be home before he has to return on Tuesday, January 10th.

Jorden completed his first round of chemo like a champ!  An unexpected side effect was pain in the jaw, and it made Jorden concerned that something was wrong.  He was less concerned when he was told it’s a side effect of the chemo, but the pain made it hard for Jorden to eat nonetheless.  Nelson pointed out that his jaw was hurting anyway even when he was not chewing so why let the pain beat him – he might as well eat anyway.  Like a trooper, he understood and fought through the pain and started to eat.  You can imagine how happy Joanne and Nelson felt when Jorden finally asked for food.  They were happy enough to eagerly dash out to Wendy’s, Taco Bell, and even the cart outside of the Amway Center to accommodate him!

Lisa Crump spent some time with Jorden and explained that she also has the same side effect when she has her chemo, which made him even less concerned.  Also, Jon Crump brought over his special chicken and rice soup that Mrs. Lisa enjoys after every chemo session.  Jorden ate some, but Joanne ate it like it was going out of style!  Thank you, Lisa and Jon.

Each time Jorden has eaten food and kept it down, the Apontes have been ecstatic! 

One more huge step that shows Jorden’s “Do Whatever it Takes” attitude is that he swallowed a pill for the first time.  He hates taking pills so that was another BIG WIN!

Coach Tim has told Jorden that he can help coach the Spartans, and Jorden was happy to hear that.  He really enjoyed his visit with Johnny Damon, and he has enjoyed and appreciated each visit from friends and family.  He hopes that his friends will still come and see him now that school has started up again.

Jorden was released from the hospital this afternoon.  Yay!  Unfortunately, he is still in constant pain and is on morphine to control it.  Once the pain is under control, he will finish his 4th grade studies; it’s important to him to finish the 4th grade with his class.  Jorden says over and over that he just wants to be a kid again – but as frustrating as this is for him, he is reminded each day that he is still Jorden by the friendship, support, and visits of his friends.

If all phases of treatment go well, Jorden will be back playing ball and being his normal self again.  This is our path, our direction, our goal, our hope.  We are receiving prayers from around the world – from family, friends, and even strangers.  Please keep praying! 

Thank you to everyone for supporting us through our journey, for supporting our son and future major league baseball player – Jorden.