MAW Magical cruise for AJ

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by camarks1234, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. camarks1234

    camarks1234 Mouseketeer

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    Back Story:
    Our world changed forever March 17, 2008. AJ had been experiencing migraine headaches for several weeks. The morning of the 17th he seized and was rushed to the ER where they life-lined him by helicoptor to Riley Hospital in Indianapolis. He had a brain tumor that had burst near the brain stem.

    Lots of miracles happened Monday. Chris & I were in Las Vegas for business and had to rush back at the mercy of the airline. We finally got to the hospital around 9:00 that evening. Luckily AJ was in Gods hands that day and some very wonderful surgeons.

    7 months later with 4 surgeries, 31 radiation/chemo combo treatments behind us we have embarked on his mait. chemo routine. We have 6 cycles of that. 5 down and 1 to go. (It was a diagnosis of Medullablastoma btw)

    He is doing well. His last MRI came back with just a ghost of something, hopefully just scar tissue. They were able to remove approx. 95% of the tumor with surgery back in March/April.

    We are supposed to be done with his chemo in December (what a great Christmas present!) His last MRI in October showed no changes. Praise the Lord!


    Onward! We received the good news a couple months ago that AJ had been approved for his Make A Wish, which is a 4 night 5 day Disney Cruise. They talked a lot to him and told him he might be happier going to DW because it would be a longer trip for him, but he has been enthralled with ships and pirates for quite some time thanks to Pirates of The Carribean! :) We went to DW in 2004 and he saw the magnificent Disney ships in port at that time as well, so I don't know if that was an influence or not.

    I guess I should give you the cast, right? I'm new here so I don't know if I'm doing this right. :) (are we supposed to pick characters?)

    AJ (age 8 - wish child), would like to be Pluto (I think literally - he was pretending to be a dog today when the nurse was checking his breathing) :)
    Chris (Dad) would have to be Donald Duck
    Austin (13 yo brother), maybe Grumpy dwarf? :) J/k, might have to come back to him.
    Mom (me), AJ says Minnie Mouse (I don't think I'm that cute though) :)

    AJ and I
    [​IMG]

    AJ and Chris
    [​IMG]

    Brother Austin (taken this summer at a friend's pool)
    [​IMG]

    My current fave picture of AJ with Lucy (his special dog that has helped him through a lot of this. We got her for him in June after radiation treatments were over)
    [​IMG]


    We will be setting sail on Feb 1, 2009! (if all goes as well of course). We have heard they may pick us up and take us to the airport in a limo, so that has the boys twittering as well.

    That is all for now. AJ and I are in the hospital right now getting his 5th round of chemo and fun in the sun seems a long way away. Any advice offered we would love as we're new to cruising. We already reserved the Atlantis water adventure as our Naussau expedition.

    Chris & Austin plan on parasailing at castaway cay. AJ and I pretty much just want to relax on the beach there.

    More soon.
     
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  3. HeatherSue

    HeatherSue Join Date: March 2004

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    You've been through some really tough times.:hug: I'm glad AJ's chemo is almost done and that you've been granted a wish!!

    I'll be at Disney from Feb 3-10, but not a cruise. So, we'll probably miss each other.

    How old is AJ?
     
  4. iu97alum

    iu97alum DIS Veteran

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    Woo whooo! Another cruise wish tripper!! We're going in January! I'm so excited! Can't wait to hear more!
     
  5. camarks1234

    camarks1234 Mouseketeer

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    Oops, forgot to include AJ's age! He was 7 in March when he was diagnosed and turned 8 in April.
     
  6. camarks1234

    camarks1234 Mouseketeer

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    I read somewhere there is a pirate party at sea one night. I am going to try to find some fun pirate stuff for the boys to wear for that.
     
  7. oklamomof4boys

    oklamomof4boys DIS Veteran

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    You will have such a wonderful time! We went on a 4 night cruise Summer of 2007. Nathan was 8 when we went and had an absolutely wonderful time. My older boys were 10, 12 and 15- they all loved it to. In fact we booked another one while on board for NYE 2009- it will take us that long to save up for it!

    Nathan's first wish was to go on another Disney cruise- but our chapter would only do the 3 night cruise. So he opted for the WDW trip.

    Yes, there is a pirate night/party. Some even dress up for dinner ( we did). There is more food than you can possibly imagine! Something that my boys thought was really cool is that room service is FREE ( they do encourage you to give them a small tip- a dollar or so)! We never get room service so they thought this was really cool. Also, at dinner you can get a Roy Roger ( coke with cherry) or Shirley Temple ( sprite with cherry) for free- the waiters remember what drink you like and will automatically bring it each dinner- and they would load them up with cherries. My boys were in heaven! When I thought Nathan's wish trip would be a cruise, I read a couple of trip reports from cruise wish trips and they sounded very magical!
     
  8. Khalana

    Khalana Mouseketeer

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    Hi Christy,
    What a great start to your PTR!! :thumbsup2

    AJ sure has been through a lot. :sad2: Too much for a little boy. :hug: I love his smile, though, full of charm. :lovestruc His puppy is so cute too. :)

    I think you'll have a great time on your cruise!!! :woohoo: I wonder if there are any books that specifically talk aobut the Disney Cruises?? I know that there's a board on here about it, maybe the posters there would be able to give you more info. :)

    I look forward to hearing all about your adventures!! :)
     
  9. oklamomof4boys

    oklamomof4boys DIS Veteran

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    We bought the Passporter for the Disney Cruise- it is a great book that gave us tons of information!
     
  10. lookingforward

    lookingforward DIS Veteran

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    Oh AJ is going to LOVE the disney cruise! You all will. Atlantis has an amazing aquarium that feels like an underwater grotto/cave area. It was so cool. I do think there is a pirate party now on board with fireworks. It is a nighttime event if I recall so plan ahead and make sure your kids are well rested.

    The kids lab has some great activites, too. The nightly shows are well worth going, too. You will be so pleased with the cruise! :thumbsup2
     
  11. camarks1234

    camarks1234 Mouseketeer

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    ok, where do I find a passporter? Are they online somewhere? I've never heard of that. I'm so clueless! :) I like being a veteran at things not a newbie! :)
     
  12. lookingforward

    lookingforward DIS Veteran

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  13. teresajoy

    teresajoy <font color=deeppink>World's Proudest Aunt!<br><fo

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    Wow, you've all been through so much this year. I'm so glad you are getting your wish trip! :hug:
     
  14. maroo

    maroo DIS Veteran

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    Great Pre-trippie...AJ is so cute!! :) Very handsome!

    I am so excited about your trip. I have not been able to "follow" a Disney Cruise yet...so it will be so cool to watch you guys experience it! :)

    I am so proud that you guys are getting a WISH! It definitely sounds like you guys deserve it.

    And, I am so sorry that you were not right there when all of this started. What a very, very long day you must have had in those airports...awful. And I am really sorry about that!

    I am glad AJ seems to be doing well. I know you guys will enjoy your trip!!!!

    I am subscribing to your report, too! So I will get updates!! :) :thumbsup2
     
  15. camarks1234

    camarks1234 Mouseketeer

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    THANKS!

    Yeah, it was literally a parents worst nightmare. The longest day of my life and when they took him in for the surgery we were getting on the plane and he had a 50/50 chance. I have never been that devastated in my life.

    But....God works in mysterious ways. The boys were staying at my parents who live 10 min. from the hospital. We otoh, live in the country and it would've taken us 30 min at least to get him to the hospital if we'd been at home. They said he probably wouldn't have made it.

    So....I believe there is a big plan out there, so much bigger than me and I try not to second guess the Boss. :)

    Thanks for all the tips, we are very excited!
     
  16. iu97alum

    iu97alum DIS Veteran

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    I love my passporter!!!! :thumbsup2
     
  17. iu97alum

    iu97alum DIS Veteran

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    Ok, here are is my 2 cents
    Go to passporter.com, sign up for their newsletter. Then at the bottom of their newsletter is a code (a % off). use that code and go order the cruise passporter. I have the deluxe version but that's because we went to WDW last january and figured we'd be going again, so I bought the deluex and took out the WdW stuff (stored) and put in the cruise refill. :)
     
  18. oklamomof4boys

    oklamomof4boys DIS Veteran

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    That is beautifully said. You all have been through so much- it will be a well deserved break. I am glad somebody told you about the passporter site. I couldn't remember where I got mine!

    Carol
     
  19. tinytreasures

    tinytreasures DIS Veteran

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    Can't wait to hear about your trip
    glad you are almost done with Chemo
     
  20. mom2lilnick

    mom2lilnick Mouseketeer

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    Just stumbled on your PTR, AJ is such a wonderful, strong young man! Hugs and I can't wait to hear more.
     
  21. camarks1234

    camarks1234 Mouseketeer

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    thanks so much for the passporter advice. I ordered that and signed up for those forums as well. I don't know when I'm going to find the time to read everything but I'll try.
     

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