Blake Conklin Blake Conklin’s Journey

First post: Dec 9, 2018 Latest post: Nov 18, 2020

Welcome to Blakes CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate all your support, prayers, meal chain, gifts and words of hope and encouragement. We can't thank you enough for visiting and cheering on our little boy Blake during this very difficult time!


Blake is our sweat, innocent, lovable, outgoing  seven year old, who is a boy that loves so much. He loves his family, friends, god, school, sports, the lake, hockey, soccer, skiing, fishing, animals and the list goes on and on was just diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) which is a type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many immature lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell). 


What, How, & Why were the questions that ran through mine and my husbands minds. He has always been our healthiest kid until this point. 
So what happened, how did we come to this? Well as we look back it started sometime in the end of October, beginning of November where he started complaining of right arm pain. On November 2, 2018 we took him in to the Raitor Clinic in our hometown and they proceeded to do x-rays on his arm. The x-rays came back fine and he was told that maybe he injured it from a fall at hockey or it was from wrestling with his dad, so we managed his arm as best we could. 
Life went on as he stayed off the rink and stopped wrestling in the house to let it heal. After about two weeks, his arm never seemed to fully heal. He was starting to teach himself to just use his left hand, so Lenny and I scheduled him with the pediatrician at St. Lukes in Duluth on black Friday.  There they did x-rays again, gave him a sling, which actually helped and then scheduled him for the following Monday to see an orthopedic.  
That same evening after his appointment he started getting a cough, so we assumed he was getting a cold from either the doctors office or possibly someone at Thanksgiving.  
The next day comes along and we go about our day setting out all our Christmas decorations and all was good until that Saturday evening.  Blake begins crying of pain now in his upper leg.  He cries so bad that we decide to take him to the ER in Cloquet at about eight thirty.  We are there for about an hour in a half, where they do x-rays on his leg and do a bunch of blood work. The ER doctor came back and determined that Blake was going through growing pains and possibly going through something viral.  He sends us home with papers on growing pains, shows us how to stretch his leg and to take pain meds as needed.  We get home, give him pain meds and get him ready for bed. He comes out of bed and says he is going to puke.  Now, we are thinking he definitely has the flu with the muscle aches and vomiting.
 Sunday comes, the vomiting stops, and Blake just relaxes around the house that day. Evening arrives and Blake is so excited because his arm is better.  He can finally move it like it should .  
Now, it is Monday and he goes to his orthopedic where they were going to do an MRI on his arm, but since his range of motion came back they just had him do some strength tests.  The orthopedic also examined his past x-rays, saying it looked like he damaged his right shoulders growth plate and that Blake should take off one more week from hockey to let it fully heal. We also mentioned that now his arm was better, but now his leg was hurting. The orthopedic never looked at his leg, since we were just at the ER and the ER determined it was growing pains. 
Blake deals with these growing pains aka his leg pain, then he starts to get knee pain and then he starts to get more and more tired....that is when we knew something wasn't right here and decide to take him back to his pediatrician at St. Lukes to get him checked out again. Now, before Blake's appointment Lenny and I are trying to be doctors and we thinking /googling all possibilities of what it could be. We thought it must be lymes disease or mono, but never did we think CANCER.  
A day before Blake's appointment, we went around to all the places where Blake had been seen and got all his medical records.  Hoping that would help to figure out what is really going on with Blake.  On  December , the day of Blake's pediatric appointment, Blake's receives a body exam, then the doctor reviews medical records we brought and notices something on the blood work from the ER. She says she wants to do some more blood work and compare the two because there was something that looks off.  Blake goes and does all of his lab work and we are sent home.  At this point we are still thinking Blake has either lymes disease or mono, but again never thinking CANCER. 
We get home around twelve from the doctor, Lenny goes to work and I stay home with Blake and the twins.  And around two in the afternoon Lenny and I receive a call from the doctor with the lab reports of Blakes blood work and at that moment that was our 911, our Pearl Harbor, a time you will never forget, it was our worst day.  Blake's doctor slowly says, I'm sorry, I  don't know how to tell you this, but Blake has LUKEMIA and you need to get him to the hospital as soon as you can.  We both collapsed in shock, in tears and disbelief.  Our beautiful little boy has CANCER.
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