My son Jaxon was just four years old in 2017 when he was diagnosed with medium to high risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia. It was a shock to me. What I initially assumed to be growing pains was actually deteriorating bone marrow density and a spinal compression fracture. Whoever heard of a preschooler with a broken back? I had no idea what lay ahead. I was terrified.
About a week before taking Cohyn into the hospital, I had measured his head, which sounds weird, but I was a nurse at the Alberta Children’s Hospital and I worked on the neuro unit. To this day I still do not know why I measured his head, but I did and we thank God for that. His head circumference went from 50% to 96% in less than two months from his 12-month checkup.
Sloan and Ryder are blood brothers. They’re not just best friends who nicked their palms with a jackknife and squeezed their palms together to mix their blood. No, these boys are blood brothers in the truest sense of the title.
A cross-country runner, Irish dancer and self-described science nerd, Colette was just a normal 13-year old kid. But there was nothing normal about the pain she was experiencing in her stomach. Due to the pain and an accompanying virus, Colette visited her doctor. The doctor ordered scans which revealed a mass in her stomach.
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.