“I woke up at 4 am to hear wolves yapping. I was still pretty groggy, but then suddenly I shot up: ‘They’re yapping because they’re circling me.’ I ran out of the tent to see five sets of eyes in the dark — three on the left and two on the right.”~ Dan Stourac
Our cancer journey began like many families whose children are diagnosed with leukemia – with symptoms and signs that we initially discounted as common, normal ailments of childhood. There were no red flags, no reason for cancer to even be a blip on our mind. But looking back now, we can pinpoint the start of Foster’s cancer journey.
I wouldn’t be here today if not for that new treatment protocol. It was tough on my body, but it saved me. That treatment would not have been possible without research. It seems almost miraculous when I think about it.
Mason was six that day in January. Telling a six-year-old he has cancer, what cancer is and what could possibly happen to him was an out of body experience for me. He’s six. How is this possible? He is only six. Our world spiraled out of control.
I will never forget that moment, coming out of the MRI suite when the technician directed me toward a room where Shelly was sitting, waiting for me to return. Shelly had already been devastated by the images and what the radiologist had said. The images revealed a massive brain tumour, which we later confirmed as a group 3 metastatic medulloblastoma – one of the worst and most aggressive forms of childhood brain cancer.
We learned to live in the moment in a way that only something like this can teach. Joy could be found in heartache and hope was hidden in the darkness. The support around us bolstered us and helped us crawl through the unknown life-territory we had been forced to travel.