May 22nd, 2009 will forever be marked the day the world fell out from underneath us. That is the day that I heard cancer and baby used in the same sentence.
Let me back up though first for a moment. I am sure you are asking yourself how we found ourselves where we are.
Over the weekend Ezra had got bit by a spider and had a handful of bites on him, we were concerned they were venomous spider bites. He was also limping in the leg that the bites were. We took him in to see the Dr.s and they basically said just to monitor him. They ordered an x-ray for a precaution because of the limp.
Its those x-ray results that changed everything.
The radiologist noticed abnormal markings in his bones, which can be indicative of leukemia. They of course said it was just a precaution but we needed to see an oncology Dr. to follow up.
The oncology Dr. looked him over and did not see any of the typical tell tale signs of Leukemia. He told us not to worry and had Ezra’s blood drawn to rule Leukemia out.
Later that night we got a phone call and were told some of the lab results looked abnormal, and were told to bring him into ER. They did more labs there, and it was by far the worst night of my life ever.
Results came in, and although they were still waiting on one more result to officially diagnose Ezra, they told us then that they thought he had Leukemia.
We sat there in our curtain enclosed area in the ER weeping, holding our sweet little boy. So many questions swirling in our heads. Why him? Am I to blame? Could it have been prevented? Is he going to die? What next?
The next morning an oncology Dr. came in and gave us the official news and told us Ezra had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). Some of his first words to us were “ He is going to be fine, he is going to go on to graduate college, be a father, and a grandfather.” In my darker hours, I find myself revisiting those words often. I cherish those words. I need those words. Those words keep me afloat, they give me hope, peace, and reason.
It still doesn’t make any sense to me, how did my perfectly healthy baby go from a limp to Leukemia? Ezra did not present any of the typical symptoms of Leukemia, besides being pale. But if you have seen me or my other son, the paleness is no cause for alarm.
The reason Ezra was not yet exhibiting symptoms of ALL was because it was still really early. Typically when kids are diagnosed with ALL they have any where from 60-90% cancer cells (or blasts as they call them) present . The disease does not usually present itself till 25% blasts are found. Ezra’s were at 15% at diagnosis.
We caught his cancer on a complete fluke, and we caught it really early.
Sometimes fate has a beautiful way of interceding, thank you Mr. Spider.
So Ezra spent his 2nd birthday in the hospital receiving chemo.
His bone marrow was tested a week into the chemo to see how he was responding. They only found 1-2% cancer blasts left. This labels Ezra as a rapid early responder, which is highly favorable. He will be tested again at day 28, were they expect to find his cancer has gone into remission.
Ezra will receive three years of chemotherapy treatment. Most children recover completely from this cancer, and go on to live a normal cancer free life.
Prior to Ezra’s diagnosis my husband and I always talked about how there was something special to Ezra. There is a light in Ezra , that not every child encompasses. His light is infectious and can put a person at ease, make them laugh, or make them cry. He is a sweet old soul, who is knowledgeable beyond his years. He is a fighter.
He will make it through all of this just fine. He has been braver than I can ever imagine myself being.
He is my hero.