Our sweet baby, James, has been an absolute delight since the day he was born. He is the happiest, most content little boy. Well, he has never actually been "little" and has always had a large belly. It wasn't until he was around 13 months old that we began to notice a bulge along his right side. Despite the odd looking thing on his abdomen, James never showed any signs of illness. No infections, no fatigue, no appetite loss - nothing. At his 15-month check-up, everything looked great. We asked about the bulge, but it didn't seem to be making him uncomfortable and he didn't have any other symptoms so we agreed to look at it again at his next check-up. A week or so later, we had several family members and friends ask about his belly which confirmed our instincts to have him seen again.
We saw another pediatrician on Monday, July 9 who also did not see anything emergent about this bulge, but just to be safe an ultrasound was ordered for the morning of Wednesday, July 11. We took James to the ultrasound appointment and things went about as best they could for a wiggly 16-month-old who hates being restrained. Around 10 a.m. that same day, we received a phone call stating that the ultrasound revealed a large mass and we needed to make an appointment with the Blank Children's Hospital Oncology Clinic or head to the Emergency Department. Due to the wait at the clinic and our desire to get answers as quickly as possible, we headed to the ED at Methodist/Blank. While we were there, James had many blood tests and at CT scan. Most of the blood tests came back normal, but the CT scan revealed a very large tumor in his right kidney and additional smaller tumors in his left kidney. Due to the tumors appearing in both kidneys (bilateral), it was decided that James would be transferred to the University of Iowa Children's Hospital in Iowa City.
James arrived via pediatric transport ambulance that evening around 7:30 p.m. We arrived shortly after and were met with the oncology team, surgical team, pediatric team and many others. They explained many of the possible scenarios for James, but the first step was to get a concrete diagnosis. James had a biopsy of the tumor and a port placed on Thursday, July 12 and was officially diagnosed with Bilateral Wilms Tumor (Stage V nephroblastoma) on Friday, July 13. James is in good hands with the team of experts at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital. But even more, He is in the good hands of our loving Father who is much bigger than any tumor, any cancer or any circumstance we may be facing. We are relying heavily on our faith in Jesus to sustain us during this time and have already witnessed many prayers answered. We ask that you would continue to pray for Sweet Baby James and our family.
Psalm 34:17-19 “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.”