Pleasure is the beginning and the end of living happily.
— Epicurus, (c. 341-c. 270 BC), Athenian philosopher, taught about atoms, serenity, freedom from pain.

Melissa and I are so disappointed. Max's catecholamine's continue to climb. Monday's numbers were VMA 146, HVA 99. The really adventurous can click on this link: Latest lab results.

We're trying to focus on the positive but realize that we're losing the battle against his neuroblastoma and need to take a chance and try something totally different (read: untested) in hopes it works.

Max's birthday party is this weekend. Melissa has pulled out all the stops and has organized an Indiana Jones adventure for the kids. It starts with getting a scrap of a special map and leads the kids through six challenges, culminating in finding the treasure (a pinata shaped like a treasure chest). A couple of Boy Scouts have volunteered to be the guides for the kids on their adventure through our backyard, so that we can take pictures and record video. Unfortunately, Deb can't make it on Sunday, but we'll do our best to capture the action ourselves. Honestly, we're spoiled now having the benefit of good photography versus our photography. It also isn't lost on us the significance of what this birthday represents and how for all practical purposes it will be Max's last. While hope remains, reality also has a place at our table, and I find myself increasingly looking at the calendar and our scheduled vacation in early August and wondering if I should move it up.

This week, we scrambled to set-up some amazing experiences for Max. On July 12, we will be holding a Jedi Training Academy event in our backyard with the San Diego Star Wars Society. Basically, our goal is to invite Max's Cub Scout den over for a summer den meeting. While den leader Steve teaches them about knots, a knock on the door will be heard, and (one/two) Jedi Knights will come in and announce that Lord Vader has been seen in the neighborhood, and the Jedi need Den 6's help to fight the dark lord and his gang of stormtroopers. After some rudimentary training, Darth and his friends (maybe Boba Fett too) will find the Jedi and their padawan, and a fight will ensue. This is similar to the production that takes place at Disneyland several times per day, and it is sure to be one of the most amazing experiences for Max and his buddy. Shhhhhhh.... Max and the other kids don't know, so don't spoil the secret.

Later in July, I've lined up for Max to visit with Stephen Silver at Comic Con which is held every year in San Diego. Stephen designed the characters for Disney Channel's Kim Possible, Danny Phantom, and other shows, and is an amazing artist and good guy all-around. Hopefully I can convince Stephen to draw Max a King Komodo which is a komodo dragon character from one of Stephen's concepts and Max's fav.


Anonymous said...

Hi, I can't wait to hear all about the party. I love the invite! God Bless you all and I hope it is the best bday party ever. Happy Birthday to Max from the Hanson kids.
Scott A., Kathleen, Sean and Heather.
Mommy too!

Anonymous said...

Luke is looking forward to celebrating #7 with Max, and we will continue to hope and pray for a miracle. Love, Holly

Anonymous said...

Dear Max,

Wishes too Many to Count
For Happiness
too Great to Measure.

Big Number SEVEN -- WOW!!!!!!!

Prayers, Hugs, and Love, Susan
Jenkintown, Pennsylvania
United States

Anonymous said...

My eyes are full of tears..my heart broken..my faith shaken..but the strength is still there to pray and pray for a miracle for Max! His 7th birthday will be the best ever!! Happy Birthday Max!! ENJOY!! xo Linny

Ryan said...

We are praying for ya'll here in Ga. We check on Max all the time, and love the Mashed Potatoes. I hope you don't mind, we put a link on Ryan's site. It sounds like you have some fun parties planned. Ryan would absolutely love both, especially the Star Wars. I hope your new plan kicks in and does the trick for Max. Peace, The Morgans

Anonymous said...

Ben C wishes Max the best birthday ever! And he's so sorry he can't be there, but he'll be there in spirit.

deb schwedhelm photography said...

I'm SO SORRY to hear about Max's numbers. I can't help but feel that I HAVE to be there for him...for his birthday. I just talked to Steve about everything...and I'm going to come shoot Max's party for an hour (that's my goal). Will have to discuss times with you.
Much love and hugs and happy birthday buddy!

Anonymous said...


awrightsd said...

Happy Birthday to MAX!!!!

Andy and Melissa,
The party sounds fabulous...but then again, we know what fabulous parents you are to Hannah, Max and Nicky.

We know how difficult it is to see the numbers. Please let us know how we can help your family.

Bob, Amy, Kevin, Shelley, and Angel Delaney

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Max.

Remember that 7 is a lucky number :)

Anonymous said...

Happy Happy Happy Birthday sweet Max! Looks like it will be the best birthday ever! I am sending lots of love, and lots of hope, to you today and always!
Hugs...Ms. Weitz

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