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Republished Update from Caring Bridge

Hi everyone..

Christmas has been nearly impossible to provide updates through anyway, so its a good time to work those bugs out. Christmas is a lot fun but feels busier and busier every year! Josh is doing great! He finished his last day of radiation on Tuesday, which was great. He had one 14 day course of radiation to two areas of his spine. His scans and pain level will dictate whether they treat other affected areas, but for now they’re done. His T1, and T7-T12 were radiated, and his C2, which is just at the base of his head, is an area they are considering radiating in the future.

The hospital does a great job providing volunteers that are so sweet and very passionate about the job they do! =) For those of you that have been a part of someone’s radiation or have received radiation yourself, you are probably aware of the bell that hangs on the wall beside the check in desk. When you finish your course of radiation you get to go and ring the bell and everyone claps for you. And there is a little old woman who volunteers who is passionate about getting people to ring that bell! A small thing, but when Josh first began his radiation we walked in on this little old man ringing the bell and having his hand shook and back patted while he walked out of the radiation center smiling. So cute! When I showed up yesterday to take Josh to his last day of radiation I came with a toy car from Radiator Springs, a superhero t-shirt, some of whom gained their super human abilities after being exposed to radiation :), and a no-sew fleece blanket of superhero’s, which I quickly learned boys don’t find quite as fun to assemble as girls! Never too late to learn something new. I made Josh wear the t-shirt, and brought a camera for the “bell-ringing” ceremony, of which I cought the last 2 1/2 second of on video…grrrr. You’ve got to do those things though to make this journey fun. And Josh is a good sport, even though it was one of the ugliest t-shirts I’ve ever purchased for a grown man.

Like I said, Josh is doing really well. His pain is still under control, he is in good spirits, he is able to rest as much as he needs to, he gets out occassionally for short outings and even does some of his juicing himself. I’m going to post a link to an article that explains some called a “burn pit” that were operated in 80 locations across Iraq and Afganistan. Joshua operated a burn pit for a short period of time while stationed at the prison of Abu Ghraib, and now they are seeing a connection (for obvious reasons when you understand what these burn pits were) between many illnesses, like cancer, and those soldiers exposed to burn pits. Joshua is pursuing compensation and will be working with some individuals who will be filing his claim.

Okay, although the ending is rushed cause I have to pick up my kids from school…I’m glad to at least be able to update those of you who are so faithfully praying and supporting Joshua and our family. I pray your Christmas is a wonderful one and I will try to update as much as I can!


December 22, 2011 - 1:04 AM

Chad Nicholson - Ring those bells!

December 22, 2011 - 5:40 PM

Luna - Naomi, I’m glad you’ve found some info on burn pits. While Miguel was out visiting Joshua at the VA hospital in Chicago, I was home doing research…I’m an environmental risk analyst, and we deal with carcinogenic exposures all the time. At first I thought Joshua’s condition might have something to do with radon – potentially at Abu Gharib. But the more research I did, the more the signs all pointed to burn pits. I saved a ton of information, articles, links to my home computer and would be happy to share them with you.

December 27, 2011 - 10:10 PM

Will Jennings - Hi Josh,

Sending you and yours the best in thoughts, prayers and intentions. Keeping you all close in our hearts. I’ll keep checking the site(s) to see what needs or things might be of benefit and count on us all to come through as best as we are able.

For whatever reason, when I read Mia NUssbaum’s update (how I learned about your current circumstances and challenges), all I thought about was shaking your hand and exchanges eye contact…and quickly figured that was all being driven from something inside that comes out in your work, in your smile, in your grip.

Anytime, any day, all day, as always,


January 31, 2012 - 2:20 AM

Patrick Jehle - Hello, Joshua.

I believe my wife, Jenny Boully, forwarded an email to you from me. I hope this comment finds you well on the way to recovery.

I know it must be incredibly difficult, so I figure you can use all the help you can get. Here is a new interview with Dr Thomas Seyfried, the biologist and neuroscientist at Boston College I mentioned in my letter. Given that you seem sympathetic to dietary treatments, I thought you might like this further explanation of Seyfried’s work. His thesis is that the damage to the mitochondria of cells precedes the genetic damage – that, in effect, the whole of medical science has it backwards. Pretty bold claims, I know. He argues that targeting energy metabolism is the safest, cheapest, and in many cases most effective way to manage cancer. It is also a proven treatment (used at Johns Hopkins on children) for seizures. According to Seyfried, a restricted ketogenic diet along with 2-deoxy-DG-glucose (or 2-DG) and phenylbutrate (off-patent drugs that are administered in very low doses) put tremendous strain on metastatic cancer cells and either stop or radically slow down their growth. (The reason he recommends 2-DG and phenylbutrate for metastatic cancers is, as he explains in the interview, that some metastatic cancers take up a significant amount of glutamine in addition to glucose, and these drugs block the uptake of glutamine.) Here it is (please ignore the delirious title of the interview, which makes it sound like spam or quackery):

I wish you all the best and look forward to meeting you soon. Please take care and stay strong. And I hope you enjoy your first semester teaching at Columbia. I know Jenny is tremendously excited to have you on board.

Patrick Jehle

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