Our 3 year old son (Nathan) was diagnosed with Lymphoblastic Leukemia this last Thursday, 6/29. He had been sick on and off for awhile, ENT doc finally told us to go to ER when antibiotics weren't working and the blood work was taking too long to come back.
Laguna Beach ER tested Nathan's blood on admission and within 2 hrs we're heading to CHOC in Orange. The CHOC EMT and the LB ER doc both told us it probably was cancer but we'd need further analysis at CHOC. Actually, the ER doc told Casey and I his blood was consistent with leukemia but but it took the ENT's second nudging at the word "cancer" that we finally recognized our world suddenly turned upside down. Fast forward through a night of testing at CHOC...
Leukemia was confirmed pretty quick Thursday evening at CHOC.
Friday, 6/30 he had a "port" installed within his chest for his chemo and future blood work. Chemo began that evening. His body has been extremely receptive thus far and his blood labs are continuously coming back on target. All organs are fine and there are no masses (tumors).
We are grateful for the Oncology team at CHOC. Our lives took a detour within a blink of an eye and with another blink, we are in the arms of those that know what to do and how to beat this. They gave us so much hope Friday when we could only look in one direction. We laid with knots in our stomachs Thursday night thinking our baby boy might not make it. Well, he's still here and he'll be fighting the whole way. Actually, he kind of just watches "Daddy's Kindle" through his treatment, which is actually an Ipad but we won't tell the Apple people.
So good news...this is the "best" childhood cancer to have. 90% survival rate. Treatment lasts 3 years with the port staying in his chest for those 3 years. BI-weekly hospital chemo, home quarantine for first 9-months. Countless CHOC ER visits in first 9-months likely with infection/platelet emergency treatments. We are here in the hospital for probably the next 2 weeks. He has great health insurance and family support so financially we won't be shocked.
Casey's taking the next month off to stay with him every night. Baby Jacks (15 months) has been with Mike and Julie since Thursday. Steve went back home with Jackson on Tuesday night. Casey will be with Nathan 24/7 at the hospital or until she finally takes Steve's suggestion to go home..maybe just for a night. Love you "Mom"!
Our Oncologist is amazing. Casey and I are solid. We have been so tight throughout this. Steve had heard once how women were stronger than men. Then his son got sick and suddenly he had to get coffee every time it was Nathan's nose drop or tubby time at the hospital.
We know there is a long road ahead. We agreed that we'll take turns being both strong and weak. When one needs to let some emotional pressure out, the other is strong.
We were told early on that Nathan only has this shot because of other sick kids before him and the successful research that was achieved from their illnesses. We have a shot at saving our little boy because people before us have banded together to fight this thing. Nathan has a shot at this thing because there is a wonderful world of medical professionals, organizations, donors, hospitals, and people that take fighting cancer seriously. And for that, we are forever grateful.
Our hearts go out to all others that have been affected by cancer. Casey and I agreed right from the beginning that Nathan will beat this thing so that the 3 of us can walk others through it one day.
We are ALL doing this together.
NO ONE IS ALONE IN DOING THIS, INCLUDING YOU!
Steve will be updating this page as any new information arises. It's going to be a roller coaster but we're ready to do what it takes to restore our little boy back to health.