Teddy Rodd's Journal
EARLY TOMORROW MORNING
Written Dec 1, 2013 10:34pm
Only two options left on the table...
An eighteen month marathon of back n’ forth to Denver laced with a cocktail of unthinkable that one would normally never dare to infuse into their sweet child’s body.
If just a hair of anything goes wrong, meaning decrease in neuro-function or any more tumor growth; then we proceed to option number two.
A six week sprint of daily treatments.
Would mean moving to Denver for even more of the unthinkable cocktail.
Each path carries its own benefits, short term side effects and long term risks.
So it’s really not a simple fork in the road. It’s more of a “which path to choose first.”
And the choice is fully ours to make and embrace.
There’s no medical, professional consensus on which path is best. All agree though, that if a hair of anything goes wrong, then we sprint for life with option number two.
“Teddy, we can’t make this decision without you.”
He’s grudgingly sitting on the entryway stairs, dripping slush and mud in his snow boots.
Rather annoyed, “So when we’re done talking about it, can we NOT talk about it again until Thanksgiving break is over?”
“Yep, not a word. Do you want the details? We can talk about the risks and side effects again if you want.”
“I already know ‘em.”
“So we think it best to move forward on the marathon.”
“I’ve already decided that’s what I want. Can I go back out and sled?”
Many have asked how they can help our family.
We’ve already maxed out our Children’s Hospital vehicle from the last four year journey; more than two-hundred thousand miles.
Need to purchase a replacement that will take us over the Colorado passes in winter storms.
Just an honest deal from a known, trustworthy seller.
Any ideas, please email me privately offline at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Teddy remains sweet, valiant and wise beyond his years. Somehow he manages to live in the moment; yet somewhat stoic and aloof.
Wish I could deal with it in similar fashion.
Hard not to think about what’s around the next bend in this marathon.
Gearing up for the sprint.
It’s late Sunday evening and much to Teddy's dismay, we just informed him that he leaves for Denver early tomorrow morning for his first five-day-in-a-row treatment.
At least we gave him his entire Thanksgiving break without a single reference to cancer.
Back on the ranch, tonight’s menu? Well of course it’s Fettuccine Alfredo.
His comfort meal…
Steve, Teddy’s Dad
CHEST PORT VERDICT
Written Nov 23, 2013 9:58pm
Dr. Nick pensively entered the consultation room.
Scans clamped up secret in his fist, “It’s bad. I’m so sorry.”
Teddy sat stone-faced.
Daring anybody to touch him.
Cancer’s growing again. This time towards the bottom of his spine.
Only two more options left on the table.
May amount to another 18 to 24 months of weekly (and at times daily) blood draws, chemotherapy, nausea, infections…and an assortment of other things we’d rather just not put in writing right now.
Need to make a decision soon on path forward. Already slightly symptomatic to the new growth.
The spinal chord is a tight conduit connecting the brain to the rest of that exuberant life that our youngest lives so out loud.
Wasn’t designed to accommodate an invasive tumor.
Wants to enjoy his Thanksgiving holiday and meal. Whatever path we choose will immediately begin the following Monday.
With a whole lot of back n’ forth up the Gun Barrel to Denver.
Oh, and the chest port stays put.
I’m still stuck on, “It’s bad.”
Steve, Teddy’s Dad
THE 50/50 DEAL
Written Nov 20, 2013 9:58am
“We have a problem,” were the words our oncologist pronounced one year ago up at Children’s. “How are you feeling Teddy?”
His cancer had returned in two locations.
Two nasty spots.
Well, it’s that time again. We head back up the gun barrel to Children’s this afternoon.
Our team of specialists would like to keep the chest port in for an additional six months.
Standard protocol for a recurrence.
Yeah, like that’s really gonna happen.
Teddy was rather resolute about it, “No way. It's not staying in. I want it out!"
He has his heart set on sledding and skiing all winter long.
Chest port, chemo and cancer free.
It’s been two-and-a-half years of weekly chemo over a four year period; not to mention all the nausea, surgeries, paralysis, meds, physical therapy, poking, prodding…and always wondering what’s lurking deep down inside.
But who’s really keeping track?
Maybe the kid just needs a break.
So after a few months of back n’ forth with his docs, they settled on what Teddy calls the 50/50. The surgery is scheduled for Friday to remove the port. If the scans look good, it comes out.
If the scans look suspicious, then the port stays put.
Somewhat bizarre that we’re hoping and praying for another surgery…
Steve, Teddy’s Dad