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-   -   Austin 4, blind from cancer loves cards he can feel (https://www.splitcoaststampers.com/forums/need-lift-f63/austin-4-blind-cancer-loves-cards-he-can-feel-t528102.html)

caterinafmig 05-12-2011 10:09 AM

Austin 4, blind from cancer loves cards he can feel
Have just received a very special request for cards for a precious little boy, Austin who is three years old. He has bilateral Retinoblastoma and is blind in both of eyes. He loves, loves cards that he can feel or have music. When Austin gets cards in the mail, he takes his hand and rubs them across the card to feel them). Imagine doing that....how sad.

Health Status: Fighting Strong
Favorite Things: Austin's favorite thing is cars, Elmo, train, classical music and playing with the piano.
Stuff About Me: I am a daddy's boy....Elmo is my son...!

If God places it upon your heart to mail Austin a card, please do so. His hospital that he gets treatment in is in Philadelphia, PA and so they travel each month for treatment in PA from TX. Remember, music or puffy cards....he can feel or hear.

Thanks for your help...I know Austin is going to get cards and lets pray for lots of cards.

Austin Serrano
4129 Saginaw Lane
Carrollton, TX 75010-1187

Here is his site - you can read his story and see his sweet face.

Cole's Pages

caterinafmig 05-14-2011 10:49 AM

Bumping for sweet awesome Austin

scrappincanyon 05-15-2011 08:28 AM

Caterina - I just saw your post! What a sweet boy. I have some great dump truck stickers that have "sand" in the trucks and around the trucks, very feely touchy! I will get a card done today!


caterinafmig 05-15-2011 08:32 AM

Sherry, you are such a sweetheart! Thanks so much!! :D

caterinafmig 05-17-2011 12:25 PM

Bumping for sweet Austin.

caterinafmig 05-23-2011 04:31 PM

Bumping for sweet Austin

kittyn 06-02-2011 02:42 PM

many ways to do this. I made a rubic's cube in the early 80's for a blind friend...coarse and fine sandpaper, felt, foam, velvet, glitter paper...it doesn't have to be pretty to a sighted friend, but a lot of things you do already will work, i.e. drawing lines with glitter pens, ribbon borders, outlining, ...look at the next card you make, and think of what could work for the child...I bet each card you make has at least one item, texture, ribbon, line, whatever.

Like I said, it doesn't have to be pretty to us, but to a child...think feel. labrinth. puzzle. squares. geometric shapes...even simple shapes, like house, cake, car...almost things you can die-cut.

Hope that helps...and I am going to go through my stuff, and see what I can make.

BTW, do you know if he reads Braille yet, as in just his name?


caterinafmig 06-02-2011 04:56 PM

Mary, thanks so very much for your post - great ideas! Not sure if Austin reads Braille - he lost one eye quite a long time ago but just recently lost his other eye.

Again, thank you bunches!

caterinafmig 06-21-2011 10:19 AM

Thought to share this latest post from Austin's site. My heart so breaks for him and his family. Thanks so much for the cards.

Austin has an infection from his right implant. Gosh, the drainage is so thick that it is extremely difficult to get it clean prior to applying his antibiotics on his eye.

We had experience with his left eye but it wasn’t suture together like the right eye, plus the left eye did not have radiation so it was not as difficult to healed post-operative. This looked totally foreign to me. Poor Austin he fought with everything he got, I have no ideas how a 3 years old has so much strength.

It takes me sitting on him crying as usual with my thigh pinning on his head prying his eye open as his father applying the medications. Of course his father refused to do this because he would be on Austin hate list.

As soon as I am done, I would hold Austin immediately and tell him that I am sorry that I have to do this to him and that I love him. He tells me, it okay Mommy. It still hurt so much but you have to do what you have to do so he can heal soon. It is frustrating, but we are thankful that at least the pathology is negative.

We just hope and pray that it is just an infection, not an implant rejection. Since Austin do not have very much tissue in the right eye. They would have to redo it by taking tissues from his mouth and do a graft in his eye if that is the scenario which Dr. Shields has already prepared us for this on our last visit.

Please help us pray that it is just an infection on the right implant.

Thank you very much for checking on Austin.

caterinafmig 07-13-2011 06:34 AM

Update on Austin implant

Randy Trawnik took a look at Austin right implant to see if the clear conformer is still there and it is. This is not without him putting up a huge fight. Apparently, Philly uses a different type of conformer than Dallas so we it is totally new to us. Thank God it is still there; because we would not know how to put it back it, especially with right eye his eye being smaller than the left. Of course we don’t even know how to put the left eye in and out so it really doesn’t matter.

For now, we will just make sure that he has a bandage on 24/7 so that the conformer stay where it is until Dr. Spencer clear him for the prosthesis on July 14.

Since I just wrote down the follow-up date, I just realized that we have a conflict in our schedule. Austin is also schedule for his baseline MRI on July 14 post enucleation at Children’s, oops.

Okay, Carlos will need to re-schedule this since I am extremely busy.

Aside, from all this we will find out how often Austin follow up appointments is post double enucleation.

Austin is currently in summer school, happy & stubborn just like a toddler. He refused to put his pull-up on yesterday, he just pull it off and lay at the foot of my desk whining……”I want my diaper on”, hm…..I don’t know about this……..!

Of course, I refused to put it back on and he lay at my desk for an hour before giving up then he ask if he would have his big boy diaper on…..That’s my Austin!

Many thanks for checking on Austin and praying for our family.

caterinafmig 07-20-2011 04:44 AM


MRI ON 07 15 11 Report - Bad

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 2:15 AM

Austin had an episode of temperature over the week-end right after high MRI. We were in and out of the ER twice before it would go down. His temp went up as high as 104.8. This was fever of unknown etiology.

But the temperature was not what caught us by surprise. As we sat waiting for Dr. Bowers to come in so we can discuss what we thought will be Austin future treatment plan post double enucleation. He stand up went to the door and close it before he started to talk.

As a mother I know something was wrong. Austin’s MRI was abnormal with a small fluid collection behind the implant. The radiologist could not rule out progressive tumor.

Dr. Bowers discussed that they could possibly rule it out as suggested by the radiologist by taking Austin’s right implant out to see what is there. This was discussed with Dr. Spencer who told him that NO, not that easy.

I requested for the MRI to be read by Dr. Zimmerman, Dr. Bowers indicates that he will see the same thing. Carlos and I had to argue with him that all the other reports so far Dr. Zimmerman has been correct even correcting it with the pathology report. He finally agrees to send it for a second opinion but refused to send it from the hospital so we did it ourselves. That is another dislike about this place. We did this on the last MRI and they gave us an incomplete CD of the MRI. I had to argue with them and it went all the way to the hospital radiology director. They are still saying it was a matter of interpretation. I am just livid.

Anyway, we had already sent the CD to Dr. Zimmerman and sent everything to Dr. Shields. Austin will be seeing Dr. Spencer tomorrow afternoon. I am anxiously waiting to see what Dr. Spencer has to say. As for now, Austin is considered in critical stage. He will have another MRI in 6 weeks and then one every 3 months for a year that is if nothing grows.

Please pray that Dr. Zimmerman will read it correctly and that it is nothing there since they told us that the cancer does not have to spread through the optic nerve. It can go through other way such as this……........I really don’t know what to say. I didn’t sleep last night and I am just worry sick right now. It doesn’t help with me being sick either.

Anyway, I have to get some sleep. I have to work early tomorrow so that I can go to the doctor appointment with Austin.

Thank you very much for checking on Austin.

caterinafmig 07-24-2011 01:10 PM

Latest update

Updates on follow-up with Dr. Spencer

Sunday, July 24, 2011 3:35 PM

Austin’s second opinion will be read by next week by Dr. Zimmerman at CHOP.

Austin had his appointment with Dr. Spencer who cleared him for both prosthesis which he was put under anesthesia to have it done. It will be done in a week. I sure hope it will look as good as his real eyes.

Dr. Spencer did say that he does not know what is causing the abnormality in Austin MRI’s. He said it is a great idea to have Dr. Zimmerman re-exam it, but also let wait to hear what Dr. Gombos – MD Anderson & Dr. Shields at Wills has to say about it.

We did hear from Dr. Bianciotto who said that we should wait to hear from Dr. Zimmerman but also that

“It is very common to see enhancement of the orbital tissues after enucleation or other surgeries. I do not think it would be necessary to remove the implant at this point. The orbital biopsies done at the moment of the surgery were negative for tumor, which is reassuring. I agree with Dr Bowers' plan to repeat MRI in 6 weeks and then every 3 months. I think it is ok for Austin to have the prosthesis fitted. I will show the MRI report to Dr Shields tomorrow, she is not in today.”

We haven’t heard from Dr. Gombos yet. I will send Dr. Gombos the same thing I sent Dr. Zimmerman since Austin did radiation in Houston.

Mean while, Austin has been extremely excited everyday asking for his piano which he will be arriving sometimes the end of July or early August. My understanding from Bob Rosenthal the owner of The Piano Store in Dallas that this is a combine gift from: The Piano Store, Young Chang, Make a Wish of North Texas & Musical Angels.

We have prepared a special place for decorated so that when the piano arrives it will be a real special gift for him to remember. Austin has been practicing everyday on his little keyboard for the real thing.

I asked Austin if he missed his vision, this was his response…YES….My eyes was tearing quietly.

This is the first time that I really thought about this as his 2 years anniversary of diagnose coming up this horrible disease has already took both of his eye but I am very thankful that we still have our baby.

Later, I asked him if he remembered how Mommy looks like he said no. I took his hand and let him touch and feel my face then I said this is how your Mommy looks like baby.

I told him that you can always feels how your Mommy and Daddy face when you think you forgot how we look like and always remembered that we are here for you and we love you with all our heart.

Even though I can say those words, it still broke my heart looking at my baby……..

Please continue to pray for healing for so many of these children’s that are also fighting this horrible cancer.

Please keep Austin’s in your thoughts and prayers for the coming weeks and many thanks for the outpouring supports for our son.

caterinafmig 08-03-2011 07:31 AM

Today's update for Austin --

Austin's received his piano from MAW (Make A Wish) 08 02 11

Austin’s finally received his piano from Make A Wish of
North Texas yesterday at the Piano Gallery in Dallas.

This will be a month short from the day he made his last year. It will be deliver this afternoon today.

He was so excited to have it. He has been asking for it all month long.

Our journey started in September of 2010 when Austin could still see with his right eye. Needless to say I have mixed feeling about what has happen in the interim, but I am so happy to see Austin smile as soon as he touches the piano key board.

You have no ideas how it feel as a mother….

Austin’s next MRI is on August 30, 2011.

Thank you so much for all of your supports and prayers for our son throughout his difficult ordeals.

caterinafmig 08-21-2011 10:46 AM

A Sunday bump for sweet Austin!

caterinafmig 09-01-2011 08:27 AM

September is Childhood cancer Awareness month - 46 children are diagnosed everyday in this country and 7 lose their battle everyday. The color for our awesome kids is gold so please wear a gold ribbon and spread the word. Thanks!

germania73 09-09-2011 01:56 PM

I will be making cards this Weekend and will mail Austin 1 on Monday..
God bless

caterinafmig 09-09-2011 02:22 PM


Originally Posted by germania73 (Post 18710734)
I will be making cards this Weekend and will mail Austin 1 on Monday..
God bless

Thank you so very much! It will mean so much to Austin and his family.!

September is Childhood cancer Awareness Month

caterinafmig 09-25-2011 04:03 PM


If you can, please go for Austin and bring a friend!! THANKS!


caterinafmig 10-28-2011 02:15 PM

Here is the latest update on sweet Austin...

Happy Halloween!

It has been quite a while since I updated on Austin status. Everything has been quiet, he just had some minor bruises, cuts and bumps from Austin getting taller, not seeing so he is constantly hitting the granite kitchen counter. No stitches so far.

Austin is still having another set of prosthetic eyes being made. Thing just haven’t look right with his other 2 sets of eyes. This is quite stressful for Mom, since Austin cannot see. I just want it to look and feel right for Austin. This is important to me, especially now when he is developing his confident and self-esteem. Other kids around him will stare and ask question about his eyes. I just don’t want it to impact his self confident and self-esteem from the beginning. It probably sound silly because he is blind, but it make me feel better that I can do as much as I can to help reinforce Austin self-esteem.

Austin is schedule for his next MRI on November 11, 2011, then our regular follow-up labs and discussions of the MRI result the following Monday.

We are heading to Philly for Thanksgiving for a follow up exam under anesthesia with Dr. Shields. I hope the result of Austin MRI will be better or just stable would be good too.

Wishing everyone a Happy Halloween, Austin just loves pumpkins and this holiday. He feel it and smell it every chance he get.

addicted2supplies 11-13-2011 08:24 PM

This name sounds really familiar. Was he featured on the MACS website? I am pretty sure I sent an fuzzy Elmo card to him. :) It's been awhile so I think I will add him to my list this week. Glad to see the updates!

caterinafmig 11-14-2011 04:44 AM


Originally Posted by addicted2supplies (Post 18919906)
This name sounds really familiar. Was he featured on the MACS website? I am pretty sure I sent an fuzzy Elmo card to him. :) It's been awhile so I think I will add him to my list this week. Glad to see the updates!

Not sure about Austin being featured on the MACS website. Thank you so very much for putting this sweet boy on you list!!

caterinafmig 11-16-2011 05:50 AM

Here is the latest post from Austin's site...

Austin MRI's result on Friday

We got Austin MRI result from Friday. The enhancement and the little fluid pocket behind the eye appear remained unchanged. We will take that as good news.

We are heading to Philly on Sunday. Please pray for Austin.

I just have to mention that we have lost a very much closed friend just about a week ago. She is like a mother to me. I was devastated with the news.

The only that I can think of is how it is so awful for her family at this past weeks and the months to come with the holiday around the corner.

The only thing that I could think about is that Shelby said to me about a couples days before she passed away is that I sent her a photo of Austin with his friend John holding hand Austin in the play ground and a Great Dane who is also blind, she also have a sighted friend another Great Dane.

This is Shelby exact word to me which brought me to tears that I have been holding in for all this month: Christine, I love this. Okay, I have to be honest and tell you I cried when I saw John leading Austin. I love that John will lead him Christine, but it just hurts to know Austin will never see again. I know you go thru this everyday and I know it hurts you so much to think of things he can’t do. Okay I will shut up and now turn this around.

Austin, is still here with his parents and very much loved – Yes

Austin can still smell, hear, feel, taste – Yes

Austin is a happy well adjusted little boy – Yes

Sorry Christine. I never mean to bring you down. Today is just one of those days for me. I love each one of you!!!!! - Shelby.

Shelby always seems to know what’s on my mind. I burst out crying, even though I know that Austin is happy, it really saddened me that he could not see all the beauty around him. Especially around the holiday season, which he love so much. Last year around this time he could see. How things change so fast. I haven’t even put together Austin’s baby book yet.

They say the eye is the window of a soul, even though I know Austin is not any less than our precious and extremely smart child. I know that he would have loved to be able to see all of the Christmas decoration.

Enough of the sad stories, there is one thing that I do know for certain is that Shelby is real angel watching and praying over all three of us as we continues to marvel through our journey with Retinoblastoma.

I want to say that I wish Shelby family will continues to heal over this extraordinary shocking loss, because I am.

Shelby, I know you are watching and seeing this, we love very much and missed you dearly.

Carlos, Austin and Christine

caterinafmig 11-28-2011 12:16 PM

Please continue to pray for this sweet boy. Thanks

Austin Serrano has made a journal update:
Update on our Philly trip

Our exam under anesthesia went well in Philly for Austin. Austin eyes socket is really dry and we have to do better with eyes drop or ointment consistently. Austin’s also saw an occularplastic surgeon who indicated that he will need some additional eye reconstructive surgery for his right eye, but not for another 2 yrs.

Dr. Shields was being philosophical with us, she said if Austin were her child, she would go get him some glasses that look good on his face, have it tinted lightly. It should help diminishes any imperfection and abnormal stare from other children.

Meanwhile, Dr. Leahey will have Dr. Zimmerman re-read Austin MRI, since there is still the enhancement and the growth behind the right eye, although it has been stable with every 3 months MRI. We would be more comfortable if it were read by an expert at retinoblastoma.

We are going to take Austin to Houston to see Dr. Gombos for an exam also. Dr. Gombos of all physicians has been Austin main physician and he is extremely thorough. We are in good hand with him and would like to know what he thinks about the right eye opening 24/7.

Other than that Austin prosthesis look great with the color, the only problem is the left one kept flipping sideway or upside down. We have a schedule appointment with Randy next Monday to get it adjusted.

caterinafmig 12-04-2011 11:32 AM

Please continue to pray for sweet Austin and if you can, please send him a Christmas card that he will be able to feel or hear in some way since he is totally blind. His mailing address can be found in post @#1

Thanks so much!!

caterinafmig 12-06-2011 06:18 AM

Latest Update

December 1, 2011 Adventure.

Austin was in the hospital again on Thursday for a pretty severe abscess that has to be drain of all places his bottom, ouch! He has been a real trouper, not crying and fighting as much as he has before.

He was all dirty when we got home from the clinic so I had to put him in the showers. He fought me with everything he got, with me being a nurse I can be pretty strong, but this kid is strong. It was a battle with of who is stronger, of course I won, but not without a major fight and being sore all over.

Afterward, he came up to me and said I’m sorry for giving you a hard time Mommy. I was so surprise, coming out of 3 yrs old. I guess he is 3 going 30 according to many of his doctor due to what he has been through.

Children hospital just drained me out making me come back to do it, so it took all day Thursday and Friday.

He was miserable but has been all bubbly and sharp as a button. He asked me to play with him because the doctor did not give him the clearance to go back to school and daycare. I said why do you want me to play with you and he said because I LOVE YOU MOMMY! That just melts my heart.

Please keep Austin in your thoughts and prayers while Dr. Zimmerman re-read the MRI report from 2 weeks ago and that MD Anderson will give him a clean bill of health for at least 3 months anyway.

Aside from that Austin is all ready for Christmas. I am trying to get a Perkin Braille Typewriter for him for Christmas, he said okay, but I get toys too right Mommy? This child get about 1-2 toys every week, because we are trying to make up for the loss of his visions.

Please keep Carlos in your thought and prayers. He is in the hospital for a broken ankle and others issues.

We will be in Houston on December 12, 2011 and 13 for follow-up with the oncology team and Dr. Gombos.

I will let you know what we found out from Houston.

Thank you for checking on Austin and Happy Holiday from all of us.

caterinafmig 12-13-2011 08:11 AM

Date correction for post #25

Houston Follow-up

Tuesday, December 13, 2011 10:44 AM

Oops, typo on our visit in Houston. It's on December 19, 2011 and 20 for follow-up with the oncology team and Dr. Gombos.


caterinafmig 12-24-2011 05:11 PM


Austin Serrano has made a journal update:

Merry Christmas

We have had a rough couple weeks but everything is alright now. Make a Wish foundation has asked us to write a little about our story so I just want to this with everyone.

I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and thank you for all of your supports for our son throughout the past 2 years!

Austin Nathaniel Serrano born on Valentine's Day in 2008, was born a happy baby.This boy would find delight in every day, in every situation, handling everything in life with a smile and unforced laughter.Little did we know that this attitude would become a lesson in life for the rest of us.

Austin is the fountain of joy in our lives.Every sound he makes, every time he laughs, every time he carries an ordinary object as if it’s his best friend, everything about him makes us happy.How unfathomable it was then, to be told that the unthinkable was upon him, and that it was very real.

They are emotions so profound that your life is permanently transformed.On August 25, 2009, we had to endure the searing heart pain of being told our beautiful boy actually had very advanced tumors in both eyes.With no time to react or even begin to grasp the reality at hand, a retinal specialist told us that the eyes would have to be removed to preserve his life.

No words can describe the feelings of that moment.

Austin had Bilateral Retinoblastoma.This is a rare cancer affecting the retina, and Austin's prognosis was not good that he would keep any vision due to the extent of the disease.We were told that the first priority is to save life.We were faced with a life threatening, life altering diagnosis that may ultimately leave our only son blind with possible future secondary cancers.Austin fought cancer fiercely for two long years. Austin has since lost both eyes and is permanently blind.

One of the puzzling things in life is that in the darkest part of life we discover the most incredible people.The Make-a-Wish Foundation would be one of those remarkable heroes that have become part of our life.Our son's wish was what one might not expect from a typical toddler … a piano.Not just any piano, but one that Austin could fall in love with and enjoy all his life.

Austin has been listening to classical music since he was born every night at bed time.Austin wished for the piano so that his inner music could be heard!Austin wish has been granted, and now Austin has a magnificent piano he enjoys every single day and it's clear that this is a gift that will last a lifetime.Even though Austin can't see and is only 3, he has remarkable hearing and has demonstrated an affinity for music and an uncanny ability to recognize every key in a piano.

The most remarkable detail about Austin is that throughout all his treatment, and even after losing his sight, Austin remains exactly the same: happy every single day, takes every event with a smile and genuine laughter.Life tried its worst on Austin, and he remains undaunted.

Thank you Make-a-Wish, for the real joy you have brought to us and to every day in Austin's life.


Carlos & Christine Serrano
Austin’s Parents

caterinafmig 01-17-2012 08:32 PM

Latest update on sweet Austin.

Austin Serrano has made a journal update:

Happy Lunar New Year.

I am sitting here crying and laughing both at the same time. Austin’s left eye has been swollen/fevers and we have been push back and forth by the pediatric oncologist and the ophthalmologist. There is no resolution to why his eye is swollen.

The ocular surgeon took one look at his eye today, didn’t even take his prosthesis out. All his said his hi buddy, your eye look well. Please come back to see me in a year.

I found out that Austin’s MRI on 02/14/12 was not schedule yet, called Children’s and no one has call me back yet.

Today, I realized that aside of Austin medical issues. We as his parent has to teach him everything from using the spoon which he throw it at me and just sat there crying. This broke my heart. I didn’t know what to do but cried silently.

We have been successful with potty training to night no go either with is. He said Mommy please give me the pull-up……………….So, I gave in on this today too…….

I found this link that my cousin put on face book about Vietnamese New Year. Tình B

Well, Austin just listen to it, he said nice Vietnamese music Mommy leave it on please.

Well this was the end of a stressful day for us.

We really need a lot of prayers for Austin to be okay and for Mommy and Daddy to be able to tackle our new venture with our vision impaired child. As time go by, we are realizing more and more that it is a major task and one that has to be done, but we need help from school and Austin’s physicians.

caterinafmig 02-08-2012 12:28 PM

Austin's birthday is on Valentine's Day, February 14 and he will be four years old. Please remember that Austin has bilateral retinoblastoma and is blind from it so if you can make cards he can feel or even purchase a musical card, that would be great.

Austin Serrano
4129 Saginaw Lane
Carrollton, TX 75010-1187

Thanks bunches!!!

caterinafmig 02-14-2012 06:12 AM


Happy 4th Birthday Sweet Austin!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012 8:14 AM

Four years ago I gave birth to our only child. We named him Austin on Valentine’s Day of 2008. The name Austin is of French and Latin origin and it means “great, magnificent".

We didn’t realize how much it would really mean that until he was diagnosed with advance bilateral retinoblastoma and had to undergo the most extreme of treatments in order to try to preserve life and if possible, save any form of vision.

Today Austin turns 4 and although he is blind due to the severity of his Cancer, he has persevered through all the challenges that were put upon him and always has this delightfully happy smile on his face as he continues to face life undaunted.

Austin, you are our inspiration. You have taught us that life is valuable in any form, and you are the sunshine of our lives.

As always, Mommy and Daddy promise that we will always do everything within our power to protect and care for you as long as we are able to.

May God continue to bless us with the courage and strength to endure the road ahead of us, just as you have been so strong all these difficult years.

Always know that Mommy and Daddy are right along with you holding you as you go through these tough times.

We love you very much Austin.

Happy Birthday Son!

P.S. Austin's MRI was stable, next MRI in 3 months. He is having his port remove on February 27, 2012.

caterinafmig 02-27-2012 06:56 PM

Austin's update...

Port removed

Port is out today, back to school and daycare tomorrow, yeah!

Dixie14df 02-27-2012 11:26 PM

Bumping for sweet awesome Austin

caterinafmig 05-07-2012 02:17 PM

Update on sweet Austin

MRI today with follow up tomorrow 5/8/12

Please accept my apology for not keeping up with all of Austin's issues. I have been overwhelmed with other responsibilities. This is why I haven't posted for a while. Life has been really hectic. Thank you for your understanding.

If everyone could keep Austin's in their prayers for Monday as he will be going under for another MRI on Monday 7, 2012 with result on Tuesday with Dr. Bowers.

Please help us pray for a clear scan on Austin.

Thank you everyone for all of your support.


caterinafmig 05-08-2012 06:16 PM

Update on MRI

Austin Serrano has made a journal update:

Follow up MRI and labs results

Austin’s labs are within normal limit. There are no changes on the MRI on May 7, 2012.

According to Dr. Bowers, we will be back for MRIs and labs every 3 months until Austin turns 5.

This month will be a year since Austin had his remaining right eye removed. We have to schedule and plan for Austin’s follow up in Philly with Dr. Shields some time between May and June of 2012.

I just want to share something with everyone – food for thought. Austin has no memory of his own eyes. I was reading a story to him before bed time when I asked him what Elmo’s eye color is and he said it’s black and white.

When I asked him what is the color of his eyes, he said “I don’t know Mommy.” Austinis very quick to respond to anyone’s comments. He said “what are you talking about, Mommy? I have bionic eyes!”

Oops for Christine! Austin’s Mommy forgot you got bionic eyes…

Sometimes things happen to you that may seem horrible, painful, and unfair at first, but in reflection you find that without overcoming those obstacles you would have never realized the potential, strength, willpower, or heart that came as a result of that event.

Many thanks for all the thoughts and prayers!


caterinafmig 06-18-2012 10:06 AM

A new Update on sweet Austin...

Trip to Philly 5.18.12 to 5.21.12

Monday, June 18, 2012 5:09 AM

Austinwill start summer school on Tuesday this week, however we are on our way to Philly forAustin1 year post operative examination with Dr. Shields.

I don’t think he is excited about summer school since he has come up with so many reasons to help Mommy: This includes working with me as well as may I help you text on your phone.

This week will be the second week thatAustinwill have an exam under anesthesia. He is 5 days status post multiples dental procedure (14 filings & 5 crowns I think). It’s too many to recalled, especially when he went from nothing on his dental exam to this dramatic procedure.

He is still complaining of teeth pain, so we need to follow up with his dentist when we get back from Philly.

I guess he is excited about trip to Philly so he can go to the touch museum. He told Carlos Sunday afternoon that Mommy said that we missed our plane ride so he cannot visit the museum, but nothing about missing his exam with Dr. Shields.

Anyway, we are heading out and will updates from Philly.

Thank you for checking up on Austin.

caterinafmig 06-22-2012 04:41 AM

Austin Serrano has made a journal update:

Back from our trip to Philly 06 22 12

We are back from Philly. There is some redness, inflammation and dryness on Austin’s right eye socket, which is probably why he is complaining of pain constantly rubbing on it.

Other than that everything is well, we are good until his next MRI/physical exam in Dallas in a couple months and then eye next exam in November of 2012.

There is a little girl name Haley, she and her parents are going through the plaque in Philly this weekend. Please keep them in you prayers for smooth sailing in the next couple days.

Many thanks for checking on Austin, he is a really sweet boy.

caterinafmig 11-01-2012 06:44 PM

Update on sweet Austin

Halloween - 2012

Hi Everyone,

My apology for not posting any updates on Austin's for a while.Everything just went by so fast with works and trying to keep up with Austin education.

Austin is doing well over all. He has a MRI/check up at Children in Dallas in a couple weeks then our follow-up in Philly.

He is doing well in school, I think. He is teaching Mommy so many things about Braille and being visually impaired, etc......Although, Mommy have tried repeatedly to learned and has done tons of researches into Braille, being a parent of a visually impaired child, etc....!

There is no such thing but being thrown at it. The only thing I can say that is that would described our experiences is in one short sentence. It is like the ad from Nike...."JUST DO IT!"

So far we learned alot of information from our “friends” and believe it or not our “CHILD”.

About a couple weeks ago, much to our surprises. After we emailed Austin pediatric oncologist for help with extra OT at school.

We got a response: This is what he said: Changing the subject -- I have been very impressed with the therapy and services that you have found for Austin. The Child Life Specialist here at Children's, and I have been trying to identify additional sources of vision-impaired therapy and services for our patients with retinoblastoma and optic nerve tumors.

Would you be willing to share your experiences, contacts and ideas for securing vision-impaired therapies and services for children?

Wow....Carlos and I were very flattered by the compliment and we were thinking, hm if only he knows what we went through every day and still do today. Everyday is a new day. As I said above, we just follow the motta…..”"JUST DO IT!"……..Well, we really didn’t say that….to him. We just told him of course we will help in anyway.

Anyway, on another note…………I just had to with an update on Austin with him getting a flu mist for the first time this year after several years of getting the flu shot...!

This photo is him a yesterday after his first flu mist about a month ago. This is the 2nd flu after the flu mist……and he is still running fevers, headaches plus having nausea & vomiting even with Zofran, Motrin and Tylenol alternate every 3 hrs.

The flu mist is supposed to be better than flu the shot. NOT…..!!!

I have a special request for my friend/confidant and guidance -Jessica with Austin education, etc.

Please keep Jessica in your prayers as she is going through some diagnostic testing tomorrow.

Thank you for keeping up with Austin’s journal and God bless.

Happy Halloween.....!

View Austin's Page: Cole's Pages

caterinafmig 12-15-2012 08:45 AM

Way to go Austin!!! ♥

Austin Serrano has made a journal update: Bilateral Retinoblastoma

Philly trip 12 12 12

Everything went well with Austin’s exam under Anesthesia.We are back in 1 year now, unless something between now and then.Hopefully not, anyway Austin had a blast with friend Haley from Dallas.

As you can see in the link below and photo:He was leading the way with the piano and would not do a dual with Haley, such a typical boy….!

Dr. Shields had suggested that we get a glasses for him to help deflect the irregularity from his eyes, but also help with people talking so he doesn’t have to listen which in turn help his confident.Well, he never like wearing the glasses, but insisted that it has to be on so Dr. Shields can see him with it on so that she can comment that he look so intelligent as she predicted.This kid is something else.

Overall, we had a blast this trip.We got to see a lot of or Rb friends that we only see on fb with the exception for Wendy and Haley (they live 15 min from us).Haley is personality is fun and spitball of fire; she is just what Austin needs for a friend.I love you cutie and I am so glad your treatments is going well.God is good!

Last but not least, many thanks for following up on Austin journal, praying for him and leaving beautiful note for us.We love each and every one of you.We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

P.S.Austin is working on the Merry Christmas song, I will post it soon


caterinafmig 01-06-2013 11:00 AM

Austin Serrano has made a journal update:

Happy New Year!
~ 2013 ~
Happy New Year everyone!

We ended up in 2012 with some minor issues. Austin’s lost his right prosthesis and will need an exam under anesthesia for another molding for it since his right eye socket is still shrinking from the radiation. It’s ironic that the radiation has continues to works, but it did not kill the cancers in that eye….. :( Oh well, such is life.

Austin’s also had his ear clean out with wax and hanging tubes under anesthesia because his ENT cannot see anything behind the ear drums. I asked his ENT to put back both tubes since he is still getting sick a lot, in case the ear infection is a recurrent issues then the tubes will take care of the infections.

As usual, he will start the New Year by making his insurance deductable. I guess it is a good thing since we don’t have much to pay after the deductable.

I certainly hope he won’t be getting sick as much in 2013. As my friend Lizz said the CDC sure missed it on the flu shot/mist this year. Since we all have been sick especially Austin after the flu mist several times……!

School start on January 7, 2013 – Thanks God – I love Austin being home, but I have to admit, it is hard to work, concentrate and keep an eye on him too. He is a handful even though he is a sweet heart – Not really he will be 5 yrs old next month and argumentative with everything that comes across his mind.

I guess that is expected for a toddler, but Austin is extremely feisty. He fought Randy and me so hard when we tried to put in his conformer on that it wore him and us out. Well, I was sore for 2 days afterward. He negotiates literally with everything. This is why I am glad he is at school. I know he doesn’t do it with his teachers at school or daycare (I certainly hope not anyway).

Anyway, I just wanted to put a little updates on Austin and wishes everyone a Happy New Year!

View Austin's Page: Cole's Pages

caterinafmig 05-20-2014 05:18 AM

Some of you may remember sweet Austin who lost his sight to cancer. Sadly, this little guy got bad news.... here is the latest update from his Coles Pages

Update on Austin

There is nothing to say but to just say it. Austin was seen by the vice chairman of neurosurgery at MD Anderson. He said itis osteosarcoma induced by radiation that he received for retinoblastoma. This is extremely rare. According the neurologist, he has seenanother case 20 years ago.

Austin is scheduled for a craniotomy on Thursday at MD Anderson with Dr. Franco DeMonte. Surgery will be about 6 hours and approximately 5 days inpatient stays. We will be extremely busy on Wednesday for MRI/CT scan pre-op, etc.

The surgeon did discuss all this in front of Austin. He is aware of what's going on with him. I do think he is taking it rather quite well for a 6 years old boy. He is such a brave little boy.

I’m not sure what else to say other than thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers for our family.

View Austin's Page: Coles Pages | Austin Serrano's Page

Since Austin is totally blind, he likes cards that he can feel so lots of texture and/or shapes will be good. Thanks!

Austin Serrano (6)
4129 Saginaw Lane
Carrollton, TX 75010-1187

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