This is the ongoing story of our five year old son's battle with stage 3 Rhabdomyosarcoma in his abdomen. He recently earned his wings and entered the kingdom of heaven. He is full and surruonded by God's glory. He is our little hero and an amazing example of the adversity that children can overcome. God is our Healer, now that medicine is done, GOD will begin. All the glory belongs to HIM
Sunday, February 5, 2012
Christian's self portrait
On a beautiful sunny day you find yourself walking down a tree lined street enjoying the fresh air and the families playing in the park. As you stroll along the walk you find yourself following a precocious little girl and her mother who is talking on her phone. The mom doesn’t notice the little girl starting to drift towards the street off the edge of the curb. You look ahead and watch a truck cruising towards you with no hope of stopping before hitting the young girl. You know you can save her but it will require a physical grab, tuck and roll while you whisk her out of harms way. As the truck slams on its brakes you grab the girl and hit the pavement while the truck tries to swerve around you. You look down at the child lying in your arms – the little girl smiles at you and says, ‘you saved me’. You feel a small pain in your back but the hurt is nothing compared to the look of gratitude on her mothers face. You saved her little girl's life. You saved her everything.
Evelyn at the park
Now imagine that little girl is in fact a little boy, he is not walking a beautiful green avenue but lying in a hospital bed trying to fight cancer. He is about to get hit by a truck, his truck is chemotherapy and without you he will die. In order for this little boy to have a chance at survival he needs a bone marrow transplant. But because less than % 30 of bone marrow donors is family related he needs somebody to say yes. He needs somebody to take the step and register to become a bone marrow donor. He needs somebody to say I don’t care if I am a little sore the next day. He needs somebody to say I might be scared of the procedure but if a small child can fight through cancer then I can fight through this. If you are his lifesaver you will have a small portion of your bone marrow removed (under sedation). The next day you will feel a little sore – perhaps as though you slipped and bruised your back. But when you realize that you just gave a little person (or a big person) a chance to live – the pain seems to fade to black.
Underducks are my favorite!!!!
We are so fortunate that Christian is able to use his own bone marrow because his cancer had not metastasized to the rest of his body. But many pediatric cancer patients are not so lucky. You have the opportunity to give someone a chance at life. Christians’ upcoming treatment will involve six consecutive days of chemotherapy. The levels of toxicity are so high that it completely wipes out his bone marrow. I won’t go into the physiology of bone marrow or its purpose for our body but lets just say it keeps us alive (creates blood products, immune system components etc.) Now most chemotherapy negatively affects the bone marrow to some extent but the amount the Christian will get will not only wipe out his bone marrow but it will not recover on its on (well it would but it would take months or years) which is why he is getting a bone marrow transplant. One day after finishing his last chemotherapy treatment he will receive his own stem cells over two consecutive days. This stem cell transplant then becomes like any other organ transplant. You must wait to see if the body is going to reject the new product or accept it. If the body is able to assimilate with the transplant, it is considered grafted. In Christian’s case we will know when his body is able to use the stem cells when his counts return from zero after the chemotherapy.
I don’t find it coincidence that when Christian was first diagnosed with cancer both Chris and I felt very strongly about bone marrow donation. We held a bone marrow drive in hopes of getting 1000 people to sign up in Christian’s honor. We didn’t quite make it to 1000. Now it the time to take up the cause again. The best bone marrow donors are young males over the age of 17. It is hard to imagine that somebody would chose to not become a donor, that somebody would chose to not save a young child’s life. If you don’t sign up, if you don’t take the time out of your day to donate blood or swab your cheek, this is what you are doing. Reading this back I know I sound quite harsh but there is nothing more harsh and desperate than pediatric cancer. Please choose to help somebody today. Click on the link below and agree to become a bone marrow donor. All you have to do is fill out an online form, swab your cheek with a kit they send to your home and then send it back in a postage paid envelope. That is it. The next time there is a blood donor clinic in your area please go and donate. Christian will be receiving many blood and platelet transfusions in the next three weeks. Without these donations he would die. Please help us buck the stigmas surrounding bone marrow and blood donations.
Tuesday morning we will be going to the hospital in hopes that Christian will be ready for his final treatment. If his physical exam goes well then we will begin his treatment on Wednesday. Thanks for your continued support and prayers.
Today I am thankful for:
1.Beautiful spring day in the middle of winter
2.Muscle soreness from amazing workouts
3.Listening to Christian tell us he wins at swordfighting because, “I got the moves”