The early morning hours of April 30th were terrifying for Josh and Stacey and later for family as we learned more about what happened and how Josh was doing. Josh had been sick with a bad cold for the past few months and had a doctor’s appointment for the morning. Josh couldn’t fall asleep that night and at one point stood up and immediately fell face down. Josh’s mother came to the house to stay with the kids as Stacey took Josh to the hospital in Sheboygan. In the emergency room, the staff found that Josh’s blood pressure and sodium levels were at lethal lows, he had lost half of his blood, and his kidneys and liver were both in complete failure. It took 8-10 nurses, doctors, and specialists four hours to stabilize Josh enough to move to the ICU where he spent the next eight days.
Josh was discharged from the hospital on May 14th only to be readmitted 48 hours later. On May 21 Josh and Stacey met with their care team and decided the only way forward was to transfer to St. Luke’s in Milwaukee and hope to get on the liver transplant list as soon as possible. After 4 days in the SICU and two weeks at St. Luke’s, Josh was discharged to be home for only 24hrs before heading back to St. Luke’s ER. Upon re-admittance he was approved for the active liver transplant list. He is now at home with his family and waiting to hear that there is a liver available for him.
At home, Josh needs 24/7 care which comes primarily from Stacey. Almost every day brings an appointment for blood draws, blood transfusions, or other procedures which help keep Josh stable until he has the transplant. Fortunately, Josh’s mom has been able to be the primary caregiver for their four children which is a blessing. The family is so grateful to have Josh home and stabilized.
Josh and Stacey feel very blessed for the support that their family, friends, and community have shown in the past few months.
As Josh said after being in the ICU for a few days, “Wow, I didn’t know so many people cared.”
Our story starts back in April of 2017. I was told you have breast cancer. Everything from that point has changed for us. After hearing I had breast my 1st thought was my kids. I am there mom and I can not die. My attitude from that point on was darn right I will not die. From that point I had surgery, completed 8 cycles of chemo, 33 radiations treatments. For the most part my treatments were only complicated by normal side effects of chemo. I felt worn out, but, was please I could get through it. By the end of October I was done. Felt relieved to go back and see my co-workers even just part-time. I returned to work full-time in January 2018.
Fast forward to November 5, 2018. This was my yearly check with the oncologist. We had plans to take the boys to the dells that weekend to celebrate the 1 year anniversary cancer free, and it was my birthday. Doctor walked in asked how our summer was. We truly had an amazing summer with our boys. He just said I hate to tell you this, but, your cancer has returned. My heart broke into a million breaks. The fact I had to tell my kids a second time. We took the kids on the trip and didn't say anything until a later date. I had surgery 2 days before Thanksgiving. Decided to started my chemo while still on leave from my surgery. Chemo was started on 12/19/18. This chemo proved to be a little more difficult for my body. I required some transfusions and wasn't able to get every treatment as I had hoped. I finished chemo April 13th 2019. I feel blessed to be here with my husband and kids. We enjoy the greater things in life that we maybe didn't think about so much before. I'll admit having cancer once can be financially difficult. Twice in 2 years has made it even more difficult on our family. We feel truly honored to be considered for the gift of life.
The Greenwood family has had their hardships however Monica Greenwood always would say “at least
we are together and have our health.” Until shortly after Dexter Greenwood’s 5 th birthday, a lesion was
found behind his left eye. The Greenwood family was sent immediately to Children’s Hospital
Emergency room. The doctors had no idea of what they were dealing with yet. Two days were spent
doing blood tests and MRI’s. The Greenwood family was sent home to wait. The doctors scheduled
Dexter’s first biopsy in July 2018. The biopsy was sent to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. After three long
weeks of waiting the Greenwood Family received the devastating news. It was Malignant Peripheral
Nerve Sheath Tumor. Finally, the family had a name for this terrible monster. Then family learned that
the solid MPNST tumor had eaten his bones behind his left eye, causing Dexter’s brain to sit on his eye
and that there was no cure.
The Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor has slowly been disforming Dexter’s eye and face by
pushing his eye outward and down position. He is aware of it and doesn’t like it. Dexter wears fun
masks to try and hide it. His prognosis hasn’t been good from the start however now he is terminal.
Surgeon’s can’t remove it, its inoperable. No chemo or radiation has worked which he tried since his
last birthday. The family has been in and out of Children’s Hospital every week for days then more
admissions for weeks at a time. It’s been for nothing. This July 2019 marks a year since the diagnosis.
Dexter is on an experimental drug to at least keep him stable. This Greenwood family doesn’t know
how much time he has and is now trying to give him everything they can until the tumor will eventually
take his life. Monica Greenwood stated, “it’s been financially difficult which is the last thing they want
to think of so she is happy and proud for a community that reaches out to a family like us.”