Levi Merritt

First post: May 16, 2018 Latest post: Feb 22, 2019
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The morning it all started I stopped at Dad's house to see the kids before I went to work.  It was dad's weekend and I was going through mommy withdrawal.  Dad said Levi had a slight fever but otherwise felt ok.  We had been battling sickness all winter at our house so didn't think much of it other than - here we go again.  I made it through an entire day at work- I was relieved.  Maybe "sick season" is over and we will finally get a break from doctor's offices and antibiotics.  I got to daycare to pick up Levi.  As many of you know, I work as an oncology RN, and the moment I laid eyes on Levi my nursing radar went off.  He looked pale and felt very warm.  I remember thinking to myself- here we go again, is it the stomach flu- we just couldn't seem to catch a break.

Immediately after getting home, I put Levi into my bed and took his temperature.  It confirmed what I suspected- high fever.  I began asking him questions like does it hurt anywhere?  He would tell me his leg, arm, and head hurt.  He said he was tired.  I started putting on his pajamas and was contemplating if I should take him to Urgent Care or wait until tomorrow to bring him in.  I knew something wasn't right.  As I took off his P.J.'s I began noticing bruises all over his shins on his legs.  I didn't think too much of it because what 4 year old boy doesn't have them.  But, then I saw a huge bruise on his foot.  The bruise was about the size of baseball- what was that about? Having worked  in hematology, I started thinking the worst- many of you who know me know I can worry and I found myself quickly going down that road.   I stopped myself from going down that road-  there is no way my son has anything serious going on. I told myself to stay calm and keep your cool.  So I continued investigating.  Looking closely,  I noticed he had small petechiae under his eyes, on his chest, upper thighs, and neck.  Petechiae and bruising-I was getting more concerned.  I knew then I needed to take him in and find out #1 if his foot was broken and #2 if his labs were okay.  

Fast forward to Urgent Care.   I remember telling them everything and showing them everything that I had seen.  We agreed to check a complete blood count. Getting more nervous- they had to take blood from his arm.  He was scared, I was scared.  Blood draw successful, now we had to wait.  I knew when the door opened and the PA came in with a copy of the lab work it was not good.  She proceeded to show me his labs, I took one look and my heart broke. My hematology background was a blessing and a curse.  At that moment I knew it was bad, they told me we would need to be admitted to the hospital that night to do further testing.  With that Levi and I started our journey together.  That night we found out he had leukemia.  I was alone with him when I found out and wanted to scream, cry, hide, our lives would forever be changed.   There is a song by Ben Rector, When a Heart Breaks- listen to it if you haven't - life can change in an instant- each day you have is a blessing - treasure it!  

It has been a whirlwind since Levi was diagnosed on April 9th 2018 .  I have been so grateful for all the love, support and kindness of everyone- I will do my best to post updates at least once/week .  Levi is my hero  and would like to share and let you all be a part of our amazing journey!  Until next time- Levi Strong-  We got this !!! Together we can move mountains!!!!!

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