Nathan and I have decided to set up this Caring Bridge site in hopes that we can keep our family and friends both near and far up to date on what is going on. Our family has been thrown quite the curve ball in life, and all of our time and energy is spent snuggling on our little boy while also trying to absorb as much information as our brains can contain!
Many of you are aware, but many are not aware that on December 14th, 2021 we took our youngest son Eliam (22 months) to the clinic for concerns of an ear infection. They treated him that day and started him on his first round of antibiotics. Nine days later he was still showing signs of an ear infection. We took him back in and determined that he had a secondary ear infection and still fluid in the original ear. We then started him on a second round of antibiotics. This time however about 3 days into the new antibiotic he developed an allergic reaction. They stopped him, and proceeded to start him on a new antibiotic. While on the third antibiotic, we were scheduled for a follow-up visit with our primary care pediatrician. On Sunday January 2nd, we noticed he started to have slight bloody noses, and started to have a fever. On Tuesday January 4th we got a call at 430pm from our amazing daycare provider that his temp had spiked to 104. We took him to the walk in clinic, and was treated for a standard viral infection. his follow-up appointment was scheduled for January 6th at 330pm. The morning of January 6th the clinic called and said that they were able to get him into the pediatrician that morning. So at about 930 I arrived at the clinic with Eliam. When we got there he was still lethargic, did not feel good and his skin was a yellowish color. The doctor decided to run a handful of labs. When we got back to the room after labs, a few minutes later the doctor came in. She uttered the words "Heather we have some of his labs back, and I have to tell you it is not good." She stated that our little boy is very sick, and we need to get him to Bismarck. She stated that she believed it was cancer. As all can imagine those are words that no parent ever wants to hear. My heart sank into a million pieces. I squeezed my boy tight. I called Nathan, and between sobbing, I told him that we need to pack and bag and head to Bismarck right away.
We packed a quick bag, snuggled our two oldest children, kissed them goodbye and prepared to be gone for a couple of days not ever imaging what the next 48 hours would hold. Nothing could have prepared us for what we were walking into.
We arrived in Bismarck and were greeted by the oncology team and they wasted no time running every lab test in the world.
We briefly visited with the oncologist on shift. She stated that after reviewing the labs from Dickinson, and consulting with her team in Fargo, it is showing that Eliam has Leukemia. To say that was the worst news of our entire life is an understatement. She stated that we needed to stabilize him and that he would be transported in the morning by ambulance to Fargo. Our little man was in desperate need of blood as he was highly anemic. He received a blood transfusion that night as well as a platelet transfusion. The blood transfusion went as planned, however the platelet transfusion did not. He had a horrific reaction to it. He spiked over a 110 fever and was shaking uncontrollably. They immediately stopped the platelets and gave him anaphylactic medication. They were finally able to stabilize him and successfully give him the platelet transfusion.
On Friday January 7th Eliam and Nathan were transported to Fargo via ambulance and I followed right behind.
Once we got to Fargo they again started what seemed like a million and one tests. We, along with many friends and family were praying for the best outcome and praying that he tests were wrong. Saturday morning January 8th, we were given news that we never wanted to hear. Our little boy had a received an official Leukemia diagnosis. We were in shock (we still are in shock). We had never in a million years expected that what would have seemed like a clinic follow-up visit for ear infections would lead us to 48 hours later receiving a cancer diagnosis.
On Sunday January 9th, our little 21month old little boy was admitted to the OR where he received a central port, a bone marrow biopsy and a spinal tap. They placed one round of chemo into his spine as that is where Leukemia cells tend to congregate.
Once out of surgery we were waiting to hear from the oncologist as we knew he had Leukemia but we were not sure of what type. We were given amazing news that Leukemia was not found in his spine or his head (God gets all the praise here!).
We now know this. Eliam as Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia B Cell. (ALL-B Cell). We know that it is the most common and the most curable of childhood cancers. For this, we are thankful.
Today Eliam received his first round of chemotherapy along with another blood and platelet transfusion. We are in the induction phase of his treatment and most likely will be in the hospital for 1-2 more weeks. After this, we will need to remain in Fargo to they are able to keep a close eye on him. After that, we should be able to return home. Some of his treatment can be done in Bismarck, and some of it can be done in Fargo. At this point we have no idea past the 28 days. He will need another bone marrow biopsy after the 28 days and from there we will get a better roadmap of what our future will hold.
As you can imagine, this news is devastating on so man levels. We are trying to manage our life here in Fargo as well as maintain our role as mom and dad to Emsley and Kenaniah back in Dickinson. Please know that we love having people reach out, but please be patient as we don't always respond back right away. Our life is split right now, and we are spending every waking minute with our son and in the spare moments we are facetiming with our other children back home.
We thank everybody for the prayers and support. We have said over and over the last few days that we are blown away by the goodness we are surrounded in. The goodness of people in our life both near and far. We ask that you continue to pray for our son. Continue to pray for complete healing. We also ask that you continue praying for Emsley and Kenaniah. We want to not loose them in this process. Finally we ask that you pray for the chemotherapy to take a very minimal effect on our little guys body! There is power in prayer, and we are agreeing with everybody along the way.
We will do our best to keep this updated as we know more information, we will share.
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