Apr 29, 2019 Latest post:
Oct 12, 2019
Chase is a rising senior at Carrollton High School, a member of the Carrollton Trojan Varsity Football Team, and a volunteer in the Children's Ministry and is in the Student Ministry at Crossroads Church in Douglasville, Georgia. He was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 Lymphoma Cancer. This website was created to share his journey with those in our community that would like to walk with us and pray for Chase along the way. We know that Chase will have a testimony to share like no other. This is the story of his journey, but this is only the beginning....
This last week has been harder than anyone in our family could ever have imagined. It has been surreal and unexpected. But even in the midst of our crisis, we’ve endured because God has held us together and He is making us all stronger!
Chase began having some stomach pains 2 weeks ago and after a few days of it not going away, Tracy took him to urgent care on Tuesday April 16th to get it checked out. The doctors at Urgent Care said that Chase had a stomach ulcer and prescribed some medicine to treat it. On Friday April 19th, we went to church for Good Friday service as a family. When we got home, Chase tried to go to sleep, but by midnight, his pain was unbearable. We decided to take him to the emergency room.
When we arrived at the ER, the nurses immediately took Chase back and began running some tests, blood work, and hooked him up to IV fluid. Later, the doctor came by and talked to us and Chase about his pain and symptoms. He witnessed Chase’s pain level and said “I would not feel comfortable seeing him like this without ordering a CT scan”. So, we had a CT scan done right away. A couple hours later, the doctor came back in the room, sat down across from us, and told us that he had reviewed the CT scan and Chase had some spots on his liver that appeared to be “metastatic disease”. Confused, I asked “What is that?” He said the word that no parent ever wants to hear: Cancer. It felt as if everything in my body fell to the floor. How could the Urgent Care doctor think it’s a stomach ulcer and this doctor think it’s cancer??? We were in total disbelief. He explained to us that they were transferring us to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to be seen by the Children’s Oncology Team.
So super early morning Saturday April 20th, we arrived at CHOA at Egleston. The Oncologist came to talk to us and let us know that she had reviewed Chase’s CT scan and saw some lesions on his liver that they were very concerned about. They showed us the imaging of his liver and pointed out that all of the dark areas that we are seeing are not supposed to be there. Those are the areas that they are concerned about. They were all over his liver. I asked her what she thought was wrong with him. I asked “Do you also think he has cancer?” She said “It could be something very serious, but at this point we just don’t know. There are many things that could look like cancer, but are benign. And there is always the possibility that this could be some type of rare infection that looks like cancer that we just haven’t seen before. There would be no way to know what this is without doing a biopsy of the lesions on his liver.” So, she told us that they needed to admit Chase so that they could monitor him and manage his pain over the weekend and schedule a biopsy of his liver for first thing Monday morning. Chase did not want that to happen because this was the day that was supposed to be his Junior prom. He already had everything in place and ready for prom: his date, tux, shoes, friends, a scheduled photo shoot, and his hair was braided. This was terrible timing. He kept asking the doctors if he could just leave for the day and go to prom and then come back. It meant a lot to him to be able to go. And it was breaking my heart to think that he was going to miss out on his prom and be in the hospital instead. The initial answer was “Absolutely not. We can’t allow you to leave” We asked again, and the Oncologists met as a team and decided that they would allow us to make the final decision together as a family. We decided to allow him to go to prom. We felt strongly that would be the best choice. You can’t get that experience back. And we knew that whatever was happening in his body, God was ultimately the one in control. We agreed to bring him back first thing Monday morning. So we left the hospital armed with some strong pain med prescriptions and headed back to Carrollton to get ready for prom. So Saturday afternoon, Chase went to prom. It was a perfect day. We got great pictures and made memories that will last forever.
Sunday morning April 21st was Easter Sunday. We had 3 services at church that day. Even though he was enduring pain, Chase served in Children’s Ministry for the first 2 services that morning. And we went to service together as a family for the 3rd service. Tracy, Karstyn, Chase, Sophie, and I all sat together and worshipped together as a family. After church, we gathered a few people from church around Chase and we prayed and believed God for his healing. There is no doubt in my mind that Jesus will heal Chase. And we don’t think it’s a coincidence that this whole thing happened on Easter weekend. The scripture that kept resonating in my heart that day was Isaiah 53:5 “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities, the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” BY JESUS’ WOUNDS, CHASE IS HEALED!
Sunday afternoon and evening, we seemed to have control of his pain, but he spent most of that time asleep. In the middle of the night, his pain became heightened beyond what we could control with meds so we called back to CHOA and spoke to the Oncologist on call. They told us to bring Chase back to be admitted.
So he was admitted at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston super early morning Monday April 22nd. He’s in room 3227. They put him on medicine that was able to manage his pain. He also had a biopsy of his liver and then we began the long process of waiting for results. This was the hardest part of the process for me. Waiting. The biopsy was the test that would finally tell us exactly what was going on with Chase. Why has he been hurting for the last two weeks? What is going on inside of his body? The Oncologist said that we should hear something in the next day or two. So I filled my time with highlighting scriptures in my bible about healing. It was encouraging to be reminded over and over again that God is a healer, He’s fighting our battles, and nothing is too hard for him.
So, needless to say, we have all had a lot to process. It feels surreal to hear that your child has cancer. And it hurts to watch him suffer. But we know that we can trust our Lord. He goes before us in all things. He is with us always. He surrounded us with the best doctors and nurses you could ever hope for. And he placed us at the best hospital in the world. We know God is taking care of Chase and all of us. He cares immensely for us and calls us daily to take our burdens to him. Part of our calling is to invite others to walk with us (in the highs and lows) as we walk with the Lord. And we are inviting you to walk with us. We will need our village to get through this journey.
I know the biggest question has been "How can we help?!" Tracy and I haven’t really known how to answer that question, but we are quickly learning that we can’t possibly carry on our normal life responsibilities while also caring for Chase here at CHOA. We will need to lean on our village. We will need people walking with us.
A friend sent me this scripture for Chase: Jeremiah 32:27 “I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” Did you catch the 32:27? Same as Chase’s room number 3227! God’s got this.
To Donate to Chase, go here: paypal.me/chasemcdanielstrong