Owen Miller is a typical 7-year-old boy. He likes playing outside, video games, reading, pizza, and spending time with his brothers. Owen is full of energy and runs everywhere he is going. When we need something around the house, Owen is the man for the job since he will sprint to get whatever is needed. When Owen plays Fortnite, he refuses to sit down and jumps with every move he makes. His Fortnite “workouts” usually involve Owen dripping with sweat and hard feelings when he does not win. He has the sweetest, most caring heart and does the best Jumanji impersonations!
A few weeks ago, Owen started to change. His full sprint turned into a jog. He started complaining of pain in his abdomen and back. His favorite foods did not appeal to him and eating became a nuisance. Doctors looked for all the normal things that might be causing Owen’s issues. On February 5th, Owen was brave and had his blood drawn in the morning to have some tests run. He returned home with Mommy since he was not feeling well enough for school. The doctor called around at 1:30 and said that Owen needed to go to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh as soon as possible. His white blood cells were very low, and they were concerned.
We arrived at the ER and Owen was quickly taken to a room where he was given an IV (he was not a fan) and some medicine to help with his nausea. They took some more blood and we waited for the results. Owen just wanted to go home and see his brothers.
After a couple hours, an oncologist came down to the ER and asked to speak in private. That is when we heard the word Leukemia for the first time. Everything was moving so quickly. There is no easy way to find out that your child has cancer.
Owen was transferred to the 9th floor of Children’s Hospital, which specializes in childhood cancer. The first night and day were rocky as Owen’s levels continued to drop and he became increasingly exhausted. He had an episode while going to the bathroom which caused him to faint and throw up. Luckily, we were able to catch him and the nurses took great care to help cool him down as a fever started to spike. He was given a blood transfusion on Saturday night and his energy has started to improve slightly. The days and weeks ahead will be important as we start the treatment process. Our plan is to keep you up to date with journal entries describing all the ups and downs along the way.
Katie and I truly appreciate all the love and support during these first few days. It is often said that it takes a village to raise a child. If you are reading this, it likely means you are part of the village helping Owen through this journey. One day should you ever need our support, know that we will be there.
Owen is a sprinter. We have no doubt that he will sprint his way through treatment and win his fight against cancer. There will be sweat and hard feelings along the way, but the finish line gets closer each day.