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Welcome to Jack's CaringBridge site. It was created to keep friends and family updated about Jack's battle with Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS), a rare childhood cancer. Jack lost his battle with cancer on July 12, 2006. Just visiting our site lets us know you care.
This entry was written in June, 2005, as we began our journey fighting Jack's cancer:
On April 24, 2005, our family was at church, as usual. After the church service, Dan was sitting with Jack while Jack ate a cookie. Dan was rubbing Jack's back and he felt a bump near his left shoulderblade. He called me over to feel it, and said "There isn't one on the other side!" We were curious but not alarmed. On Wednesday (4/27/05) I took Jack to the pediatrican to check it out. He immediately referred us to a pediatric surgeon at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago. We had our initial appointment there on May 9, and were told that the lump was probably a fatty deposit in the skin layers, and we could either observe it or have it removed. We opted to remove it.
Jack had surgery on May 27, 2005, and after the surgery was completed the surgeon called Dan and I into a consultation room. He explained that there were "good" tumors and "bad" tumors, and unfortunately Jack's was in the bad category. The doctor said that when they went in to remove the lump, they discovered it was actually suspended in Jack's muscle tissue, rather than in the skin layers. This was a bad sign. Upon extraction, the pathologist verified that it was a round-blue cell tumor, which is cancerous.
You never expect someone to tell you that your child has cancer, and I certainly never did. At that moment my life's pathway took a sharp turn, and I felt as if time was going to stop. But it didn't, and our day went on...amazingly. Jack came out of the anesthesia, we dressed him and played with him. We met with the oncologist and were told what would happen next. We drove to my parent's home and spent the Memorial Day Weekend with our family. And now we are fighting an enemy that lives within our son...that we can't see and have no direct control over. All we ask from you, his friends and family, is that you pray for us and support us during this battle. Jack is an amazing little boy with inner resources of energy, strength, and endurance that just blow us away. With God's help, your support and love, and the talents of his doctors, Jack is going to use his inner superpowers to beat this disease.