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My Story

The kids and I decided to enjoy a beautiful day at the park on Feb 3rd, 2013. The baby was in the baby swing on the far left, Alex was in the next swing and Max was racing for the swing next to Alex. At the last second, he darted in front of Alex, presumably to get to the baby.  Alex had a broken foot with a boot and couldn't properly stop and pretty well flattened Max to the ground. He looked like he'd gotten the wind knocked out of him as it took a second for him to process and then gasp, then cry. I picked him up and he melted over my shoulder. I sat on a bench and he just cuddled with me which was unusual for Max in the middle of the day at a park. Usually he'd protest with wiggles and race off for the slide. We sat there for what seemed like a while when he asked to go on the slide one more time. "Oh.. ok. He's ok!", I thought. 

We went home and he crawled right into bed with his daddy. After about an hour, Kelly said he was really hurting. I called his doctor and as I was on hold, Max threw up all over us both. The doctor told us to go to the ER. 

Alex felt devastated. Max threw up some more in the car. A bit of red. 

The CT scans showed what looked like massive hemorrhaging. The kidney looked like it was flayed open and probably would have to be removed. (What?!!) "But also, this shading is weird and could be a tumor.." the doc says. We just blew him off. What a jerk. Can't he see how freaked out we already are? 

They transported Max by ambulance to Children's Memorial Hermann. After a day or two they sent him home and said to do another CT scan in three weeks after the blood reabsorbed back into the body and they could see exactly how much damage was done to the kidney. 

Tuesday the 26th we went back. They told us it would be three days for the results. I was aggravated that they would make us wait another three days after stressing for three weeks. 

The next day our doctor called. It was a tumor. It had actually gotten bigger in three weeks. It was called Wilm's tumor. I could look it up. It's the best kind of tumor you can get. He'd have to come in today for surgery. 

I think our whole world crashed right then. Only I didn't know yet that Wilm's is cancer. That would come an hour later. Only I didn't know that it meant he'd probably have to have chemo. That came about 8 hours later. I didn't know it would mean a 9 inch scar across his tiny belly. That would come almost a week later. 

So here we are in the purgatory between a successful surgery that got the entire melon-sized tumor out and the long journey of chemo. He's thin. He's not eating well. He hurts and cries at night, not in full tears, but a whimper as he jerks with pain and holds his belly. 

When I cry, I feel bad for not being a strong beacon of positive energy for Max. When I'm ok, I feel guilty for not feeling bad that minute. I'm ok, then I'm not. 

Mostly, I'm grateful for all the support from our friends and family. 

Feed

Rad Drew signed Maximillion's Guestbook.

Hi, Heather, Your mom just sent me this site. You've kept a wonderful journal through this incredible ordeal. Give Max a big squeeze for me. I'm smiling at the thought ... Read more

Heather McMichael posted a new journal entry, "Beat Cancer Baby".

Honestly, I didn't think I'd be writing another update.  I thought we'd fade off into the sunset and people would wonder what happened to Max as he jumped and played in ... Read more

Heather McMichael added a new photo.

Heather McMichael posted a new journal entry, "Brave little Ring-bearer".

This was a rough week.I haven't updated in a couple weeks because we didn't have any news. We were in a good routine.  We got a reprieve from the chemo regimen and we ... Read more

Heather McMichael posted a new journal entry, "Lifelines".

For those of you parents out there, you know that moment when you settle into your favorite chair, relishing the moment of quiet?  No one’s around.  Your muscles start ... Read more

Heather McMichael posted a new journal entry, "Lifelines".

For those of you parents out there, you know that moment when you settle into your favorite chair, relishing the moment of quiet?  No one’s around.  Your muscles start ... Read more

Heather McMichael posted a new journal entry, "That Moment".

There should be a word for that moment when your whole life changes.  There should be a word for when your stomach drops and you realize at that exact second your life is ... Read more

Heather McMichael posted a new journal entry, "That Moment".

There should be a word for that moment when your whole life changes.  There should be a word for when your stomach drops and you realize at that exact second your life is ... Read more

Heather McMichael posted a new journal entry, "Sequestration".

No, I'm not talking about the goverment budget cuts. I tried to read about it, but I have a short attention span and - SQUIRREL!We haven't had a lot of news lately. We ... Read more

Heather McMichael posted a new journal entry, "Sequestration".

No, I'm not talking about the goverment budget cuts. I tried to read about it, but I have a short attention span and - SQUIRREL!We haven't had a lot of news lately. We ... Read more

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