Friday, January 30, 2009

andrew day #3 chemotherapy - from mom

every day andrew and I go to "work" or at least that is how it seems to me as I walk thru this process of being at MD anderson with andrew. It seems like another world here..full of appointments and schedules to keep, running from one hospital to the next. I watch as all kind of things are done to my son and all kind of medications are put into him. and I am amazed (but not really) how he is the same andrew that we all know and love. every nurse or doctor that takes care of him he makes laugh, every cancer patient he sits next to he engages in conversation, every person in the elevators or the mass amounts of hallways he has a good word for. I see how he encourages with a joke or a smile all he comes in contact with and I am proud of him as his mom for his humor and his courage. I am proud of him for the man he has become--always motivating others to do great or feel great about who they are. I see how much strength and courage he gets from all of you who love and support him. thank you for all of your prayers, love and support. it is what sustains us.

Andrew has one more full day of chemo for the first round. we both look forward to today (friday) when he gets to be "unplugged" from the 24hr bag of chemo that runs thru his system and the final day of being hooked up to the five hours of additional chemo that runs thru.his body But now he has medical people that begin to look forward to having him as a patient because they know it will be a :"great day to fight cancer"

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Some thoughts from Andrew...

To the best support team any human could have,

Well guys, I officially started all the fun this morning at 8am central time! I have to start off by saying that the Texas Med Center is enormous. You can have appointments in different buildings that are blocks away from where you are currently having an appointment and you have to hurry along like you're in college again and you stayed too long at your favorite hangout before class! When in a hurry you take trams, or golf carts. My Mom and I prefer the golf cart treatment, it makes us feel big time! haha....The day started off by getting my port put in where the drugs will be administered during the four day cycle. Very easy process, pain free, they made it easy on me with a few loopy pills! Besides that it went very smooth. Then it was on to get my first day of my first cycle of the chemo (Round 1 day 1) I stayed in the hospital about 5 hours, receiving all three chemo drugs today. I will go back Wed, Thu, and Fri for those 5 hours. Saturday I get a shot then I am done with Round 1. I am currently receiving chemo as I type this, its very cool. I have a backpack that has 1 of the chemo drugs, and a bag of fluids in them-so this is a partial outpatient process which is cool to get to home every night and get "mama's cookin." I will have this backpack with me every day until I return for my shot on Saturday. I feel really good today, actually better then I felt in a long time. I was laying there today thinking about god, my incredible family, my great friends everywhere, work, sports, jokes, teased my mom a little bit to get her laughing .....I was in the the right state of mind to start this process today. The chemo takes a few days to "kick in" and by days 7,8,9 is when I may not feel as well. Every single person who has sent cards, emailed, text, phoned, blogged, visited, facebook'd (ok I promise to get a facebook account in the next 48 hours! haha) gets me so excited and energized....The amount of prayers is unbelievable....One day at a time, but today was a GREAT first day!


And now on to some business...

** Many of you have been asking how you can donate other than paypal. A benevolent account with Bank of America has been opened for Andrew. Please stop by your local Bank of America branch and ask to make a donation to The Andrew Moritz Medical Fund. The teller will be able to look up his account for you. You may also make a check out to The Andrew Moritz Medical Fund and mail it to me and I will deposit it. Please email me for my address if this is your preferred method. PLEASE let me know if you encounter any problems or have any questions.

** Many of you have also been asking, "how can I help???". We really appreciate every one's concern and at times have felt at a loss as to what to say to you. I talked in length to Andrew tonight and he mentioned that he enjoyed listening to his iPod while sitting for his 3 hour chemo session. It occurred to me that he would appreciate some iTunes gift cards so he can add more music and movies. Just an idea for those of you who want to help out.

I will leave you with this picture that a banking friend of Andrews sent to me. Don't ask me about it, because I have no clue!!! Just know that Andrew is the guy in red. I'm sure all you US Bank people have a funny story to go along with the picture!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Houston Address

A few people have been asking for Andrew's address while in Houston to send cards and well wishes. This will be his address until about February 22:

Andrew Moritz
Three Hermann Museum Circle Drive
Unit 4218
Houston, Texas 77004

Andrew starts chemo on Tuesday, so please keep him in your thoughts and prayers. I will post updates as I receive them. Also, please keep in mind that Andrew might not be up to talking or returning texts, emails, etc. So please be patient with him and if you don't hear from him, please check the blog.
*growing up andrew had the above gladiator picture taped to his bedroom door, as he liked to say that he was a "soldier in battle". i thought it was appropriate to post the picture as andrew enters his battle this week. let's all become prayer warriors, as well as soldiers alongside andrew, supporting him through the greatest battle of his life.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


First of all, isn't this a stellar picture of Andrew? Not only was he destined to be a Husky from the beginning, but a clothing connoisseur as well.

Andrew has been back in St. Louis since last Friday 1/16. He spent the weekend with friends, doing "normal" life events and also working out an enormous amount of details. After much thought, prayer & discussion, Andrew has decided to receive treatment at MD Anderson Hospital in Houston. His doctor recommended that Andrew stay in Houston for the first two "cycles" of chemo. As Tyler explained, a cycle consists of 4 days of chemo and 17 days of recovery. Andrew will fly to Houston first thing Monday morning 1/26 for orientation at 10am. They will also insert the catheter into his shoulder at this time. He will then begin chemo on Tuesday 1/27. Chemo will not require Andrew to stay over-night in the hospital, so he will be renting an apartment for the month he is down there. Someone will be with him at all times. We have several people lined up already, but if you are interested in taking care of Andrew while he is in Houston, please email me at

Andrew's doctor recommends that he receive 6-8 cycles of chemo in Houston and then they will discuss other treatment options. We have to understand how rare Andrew's cancer is. There are not many oncologists who know how to administer the specific type of chemo required for his cancer. MD Anderson specializes in sarcoma cancers and if an oncologist does not treat this specific type of cancer, they will not know what side effects to look for. Andrew's doctor currently is treating 3 other people with DSRCT. At this time, we feel Andrew going to Houston is the best option for treatment.

The bracelets have been ordered and we expect them towards the end of next week. We will send them to our designated bracelet sellers at that point. I know all of you are anxious and sit tight and we will have them soon! Thank you for your excitement!

As Andrew begins this journey, there are many unknowns and a lot to fear. Now is the time to rally behind Andrew and let him know how much we love him. All of our hearts are heavy, but if we stand together on his journey, we will share the burden. Please continue to do an amazing job of showing Andrew the love. He reads every single comment, email and text - so keep them coming.

Friday, January 16, 2009

MD ANDERSON Appointment

Yesterday at 1:30 Andrew had his appointment with Dr. Araujo at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in the Sarcoma Department. Below is a summary of the results.

  1. The diagnosis of Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumors was confirmed.
  2. A treatment plan was recommended. It is a 21 day cycle that consists of 4 days of treatment and 17 days of rest.
  3. The treatment involves a very high powered chemotherapy. Radiation and surgery are not recommended at this time.
  4. Treatment involves 3 drugs, all of which will be administered through a catheder inserted just below his collar bone: 1) Ifosfamide - this is given on the first day of the cycle 2)Doxorubicin: this is given over a 72 hour period starting the first day of the cycle and ending on the third. 3)Vincristine: this will be given over a 3 hour period each of the four days of the cycle. Then 17 days of rest, and it starts all over again. Dr. Araujo, recommends that Andrew be in Houston for the first 25 days, this will allow him to receive his 1st full cycle, and the 4 day treatment portion of his second cycle.
  5. Side effects include: hair loss, nausea, fatigue, numbness in the hands and feet, cramping, bleeding bladder, low white blood cell count, decreased kidney function & low potassium levels. The levels of chemo are very high compared to other treatments, due to the fact that this cancer type (sarcoma) only responds to intense chemo. The doctor can regulate the dosages and add other drugs to help with all of the side effects and only time will tell which ones will affect Andrew.

Andrew is taking the next few days to digest this information and formulate a plan. This is a lot to take in at this time. On one hand it is great to have a path to proceed down, and a vision as to how Andrew will beat this disease. On the other hand it is very, very difficult to grasp the enormity of what Andrew has in front of him. In the next couple of days a plan will be formulated that will include where treatment will be done, what time it will start, and also, how all of you great supporters can help Andrew. Please pray for wisdom during this time, so that the best decision for Andrew is made. Thank you for all of the support, donations, and prayers - it means a lot to Andrew and our entire family. When the final plan is decided, I will post all of the details, until then understand that Andrew is carefully weighing all of his options.



Thursday, January 15, 2009

Appointment today in Houston

Hi friends. Andrew and my husband Tyler are in Houston today and will meet with the doctors at MD Anderson Hospital at 1:30 central time. They just confirmed an appointment for him yesterday, so we scrambled to get them on the plane and to Houston. But they should be arriving shortly and as soon as they get out of the appointment and I learn any new information I will share it here.

Keep the pictures coming...they are great!

Also, we are in need of several different people to volunteer to sell 50 or more bracelets to support Andrew's expenses during treatment. If you would like to commit to doing this, please leave your full name and email address in the comment section.

Thank you!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Hello all, today we added a PayPal button that allows all of you to donate cash to help Andrew offset the cost of treatment, travel, etc. that comes along with this terrible cancer. These funds will be used 100% for Andrew's expenses that aren't covered by insurance. Additionally, when Big A smashes this cancer in the face, the remaining funds will all be donated for continued research of this rare (and stupid) cancer. In addition to giving funds on this page, we will be organizing events and bracelet sales that will give you an opportunity to show your support for Andrew. Thank you so much for continuing to show your love.

- Tyler

Travel to MD Anderson (Houston)


Thank you for the continued well wishes via text, phone, blog, etc. They are all great keep them coming! I wanted to update everybody on what's going on with my travel plans to go be seen by the MD Anderson Sarcoma unit this week in Houston, Texas. I have gotten a small education in the "process" of being referred from one hospital to another. The folks at MD Anderson have been great in helping me track down the numerous tests that I have had done already here in Seattle, its just been a matter of getting the actual live samples from the different labs, so that they can have them for their analysis/recommendations. I should be seen Thursday/Friday. It kind of feels like trying to get your first real job (haha)-Calling, following up, wondering, waiting, calling again! Im sure many of you remember that good ol feeling! Talk to everyone soon.


Monday, January 12, 2009


hi friends and family. elizabeth here with a request for your photos of andrew! i know you have them, so please send them my way so i can add photos of you and andrew to the slideshow on the sidebar. i have been limited to the pictures on my camera and want this blog to represent all of andrew's life.

so here are the details: please email your pictures as an attachment or send them via Google's Picasa web albums. Send them to: Please limit the number of photos to no more than 5 at this time. if we become low on photos, i will send out a request for more.

in other news, here is the latest article (well not really article, more like blog post) about andrew. be sure to check it out. i will add it to the sidebar as well.

and like always, thank you for all of your support. we continue to be amazed and are blessed beyond belief.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Quick Saturday Hello!


To all the Laurelhurst, Eckstein, CAYA, Roosevelt, Franklin Quakers (FQ!), UDUB teammates and friends, Ballard Saturday Morning Hoops crew, USBANK Seattle and St. Louis friends/coworkers, Mike Duffs crew, 206 and 314 area code pals, and all Friends and Family who have checked into this amazing blog that my sister put together. It really touches me in a way I can't describe. Everyone of you who has posted has lifted my energy with each note that you have took the time to send me, I can remember great personal experiences with each and every one you guys-childhood til now. Every encounter has had one commonality-laughing, telling jokes, shooting the breeze, loving life, and appreciating everything we have. I realize this is not going to be an easy process to battle, but I am ready for the fight and cannot wait for the times that are ahead with each and everyone of you as we have many more of the same experiences together that we can remember for a lifetime. I am going to beat this, there is no question in my mind. Each and every persons prayers and thoughts lifts and encourages me everyday, so keep it up. We are going to kick this thing in its butt, and be an encouragement and example to people that anything is possible in the world through positive energy, tremendous support, and the power of prayer. HAPPY SATURDAY!


Friday, January 9, 2009

Seattle Sportsnet

Click here today to read the article written about Andrew.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


I have to start out by saying how overwhelmed we are by the outpouring of love, support and encouragement we have received. Thank you to each and every one of you who cares about and loves Andrew. This news has really shaken Andrew up - but the phone calls, texts, emails, blog comments, etc have lifted his spirits and have given him confidence that we are all behind him and that HE WILL COMEBACK AND BE HEALED!

Today Andrew's heart was tested to read it's baseline and determine how much his heart "can handle" during chemo. He has a strong and healthy heart, so as Andrew said, "crank up the chemo"... :)

He also spoke with his oncologist and received the results from his PET & CT scan. They did not find any other tumors (other than the ones we already knew about in his liver & soft tissue of his abdomen) throughout the rest of his body. We can count this as good news!

That wraps up his tests here in Seattle. There is still no definite plan, but his oncologist is working to set up an appointment with the doctors at MD Anderson Hospital in Houston, TX. We hope Andrew can fly out sometime this weekend and get started with treatment.

I also want to mention that there are many people working behind the scenes to help brainstorm and organize fundraisers to help offset some of the costs. Please keep checking back, as we will post events, sales, etc and ways you can help. Many people have expressed interest in general financial giving and our hope is to create a non-profit so we can make your contribution tax deductible. As for now we will set up a paypal account for donations. I will post that information here once we have it.

I will leave you with this funny picture of Drew's niece Riley. This picture is for you Andrew, as I know you love how "crazy" she is.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Journey Begins

Dear Friends & Family...welcome and thank you for taking the time to read this blog. I am Andrew's sister Elizabeth (the oldest of the girls) and will be posting most of the updates. My husband Tyler and other sisters will post updates as well. We hope it will serve as a place where you can come and receive the latest news and updates on our beloved Andrew. Let me begin by telling you a bit of what has taken place over the last 10 days or so...

Andrew was in Seattle visiting friends and family for Christmas. On the evening of Saturday December 27 Andrew started experiencing some pain and discomfort in his abdomen. He had a big day of eating - so thought nothing of it until he was unable to get to sleep that night, as the pain worsened and worsened. My mother finally encouraged him to go to the ER around 2:30am. He was in the hospital for several hours where they took an x-ray of his abdomen and found a few tumors. He was told they look cancerous and needed to see an oncologist right away. The next day him and my mother met with the oncologist, underwent several more tests and discovered tumors in his liver and abdomen area. The next several days consisted of tests and another meeting with the oncologist. The lab's initial tests were only able to confirm that, yes, the cells were cancerous, but we were told they needed more time to do more testing.

Just this past Monday, 1/5/09, Andrew and my mother were back in the oncologists office to receive the diagnosis. They learned that Andrew has an extremely rare form of cancer: desmoplastic small round cell cancer. Click here for a definition. This type of cancer is so rare, it is hard to find much information or research on it. The doctor explained there is no "cure" for this type of cancer, meaning it can not be put into remission. The doctor said his option is to undergo chemotherapy for 1 year - 1 week of chemo in the hospital and 3 weeks recovering at home. It is an aggressive type of cancer, according to the doctor, therefore making the chemo aggressive as well. The hope is the years worth of chemo will shrink the tumors enough to where they can strategically operate and remove all of them.

Andrew had a PET and CT scan this morning and has one more test tomorrow morning. From here, we don't know what the plan is. Only two places in the country deal with this specific cancer: MD Anderson hospital in Houston, TX and a hospital in New York. Andrew would like to fly to Houston in the next few days to meet and talk with the team of doctors there.

Since he lives in St. Louis, MO, Andrew needs to still decide where he will receive his treatment - Seattle, St. Louis or Houston.

That is all the news I have for now. We believe in a God who is bigger than us and One who can perform miracles. We as a family and friends are devastated and muddling through a tremendous amount of grief right now. We do cling to the hope we have in God and are praying and begging God for complete healing. WE ASK THAT YOU DO THE SAME!!!

And please pass this website along to anyone and everyone who knows and loves Andrew.