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On Monday, Feb 14 2011 we found out Mickey was diagnosed with a type of cancer called Ewing sarcoma. By 3 AM tues we were in Rochester, Mn with appointments at Mayo tues afternoon. We met with the oncologist and all the "team" on Tues, and had a full day of tests on Wednesday. Thursday was more low key with only 2 appointments. Surgery was Friday. This type of cancer is most common in boys age 10-20 and usually presents in the long bones and pelvic region from what I understand. For it to present on the scalp like it did is so rare there are only 2 other cases in the world, one in China and one in Israel. We always knew Mickey was super special:-)
In the early fall of 2010, Mickey and I were driving down the road and he asked me, "mom, is it normal if you bump your head and the bump just stays there?". Of course I said no, and asked to feel the bump he was talking about. It was a good sized lump on the upper back, left "corner" of his head, if you can try to visualize that. The weirdest part about that, was the nigh before I had given him a haircut, and I never noticed it! I even used a clippers and it didn't catch on it or anything... We took him in to see a general surgeon in Detroit Lakes that was recommended by Dan and Nikki McCollum, Dr. Khaled Zreik, or Dr KZ as most everyone calls him. He and his nurse Vicky are wonderful people! I can't say enough about them! When he looked at it the first time, he was convinced it was a lipoma, which is a fatty, non-cancerous tumor and very common. He did say it was a little rare to see one on the scalp however. We could have had it removed in his office that day, but decided since it was "harmless" to wait and see if there were any more 'natural' solutions besides surgery. The thought of someone cutting into my childs head was just something I had to process through first. A couple months passed, you know how time flies, and the way "life" just takes its toll. Mickey had gotten a loan from the farm and bought himself a snowmobile. Nope, not MY idea! At first he didn't have a decent helmet that fit well, and he was wearing one that was too big. It must have irritated the scalp where the bump was (or so we thought) because at Christmas time his aunt Nikki M rubbed him on the head and noticed it was quite a bit bigger! It wasn't supposed to grow like that! Matt and I decided to get a second opinion from our family physician and a general surgeon in Fargo that he recommended. He also thought it was a lipoma, and wanted to schedule surgery in the operating room. We were told by Dr KZ that it could be an in-office surgery, and just liked him better anyways, so we went back to him. I am so glad we did! When we went back, he was still willing to do it in-office, but would have rather done it in the OR. We decided on the in-office for financial reasons. He made sure Mickey would be as comfortable as possible, and also reassured me that Mickey's well being was very important to him. The day of the surgery, it was supposed to take him 20-30 minutes...it took an hour and a half. When he came out of the room he was drenched in sweat. I will never forget that. He informed me that the reason it had seemed enlarged was because while riding snowmobile or something he must have ruptured an artery, and it kept bleeding and clotting. The reason it took so long was because he had a hard time controlling the bleeding. He wasn't expecting that. At the follow up appt to take the stitches out, Vicky told me we needed to make another appt in a couple days to go over the pathology reports, but thursday came and they called to reschedule, results weren't in yet. The next appt was also rescheduled. It took 3 weeks before we could go in and find out what was going on because the Fargo pathologist couldn't believe what was showing up, so it was sent to Mayo for a confirmation. Dr. KZ and Vicky were visibly upset when it was time to give us the news on Monday, February 14. The reason for all the bleeding was because the tumor was cancerous...Ewings Sarcoma of the scalp. He insisted we only go to Mayo, because of how rare it is for this cancer to form on the scalp, (Mickey is #3 in the WORLD). Vicky got on the phone right away and got us an appt for the next day at 2PM. After getting the other kids squared away, letting the necessary people know what was going on, and making sure things were figured out for the store, we were on our way to Rochester and arrived at our hotel at 3 AM. This has been, by far, the scariest journey we have been on, but we have been blessed by the love and kindness of so many people, and there are people all over the world praying for our son. Since that first horrible week of getting the news, and having to wait for all the tests and results, things have gone about as good as we could hope for. I truly believe God has a purpose in all of this. We may never know what that purpose is, but it is my hope that He will reveal it to us in His way in His time...
Phil. 4;4-7 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.