The following email post did not post the part starting with “Please Pray…” (bold text)
Tomorrow Collin starts his first round of chemo. Although spending Christmas at home instead of in the hospital was nice, the thought of starting chemo was something I thought about constantly. I knew we needed to have a talk with Collin explaining to him that we’d be in the hospital for a while and that he’d be getting medicine that didn’t make him feel good. These talks are definetely not something I had planned for ever in my life, but the Lord gave Tom and I a perfect opportunity last night. Collin was jumping on the couch and he asked if that was okay to do. I knew he was asking because a month ago, he was restricted from doing anything that would make his leg pain worse. For those of you that are unaware, this entire process started because Collin woke up screaming in pain one night saying his leg/groin was hurting him. I was afraid he had a hernia so I took him into the pediatrician the next day. He examined him and every time he would rotate his leg in a circular motion using the ball joint, Collin would scream in pain. He then ordered an x-ray which apparently showed his right hip joint as having flattening which led him to tell us that Collin most likely had Legg Calve Perthes and he said we needed to see an orthopedic specialist. We did and the orthpedic doctor ordered new x-rays. By this time, Collin was no longer limping and the x-rays came back normal so he said that it was not the original diagnosis and he thought it was an inflamation caused by something viral. So he said that we should schedule a follow-up in two months, unless Collin started limping again. Collin started limping badly again the very next day. So I called in and he scheduled an MRI. The MRI took place three weeks ago on a Monday. The next day I received a phone call from the specialist saying that he needed to cancel our appointment- the three boys were all making noise so I could barely make out what he was saying, so I asked him to repeat himself and his words were “I’m sorry Amanda, but your son has a serious illness”. The MRI showed that he had cells in his bone marrow that were abnormal and consistent with Leukemia. So he scheduled us for an appointment with a pediatric onchologist for the next day.
Anyway, back to our discussion with Collin. When he asked if jumping was okay I knew immediately that he was asking because he was told not to do that stuff because it would hurt his leg. So I started the conversation telling him that when they were trying to figure out why his leg hurt, they found something in his body that was making him sick. Tom and I then proceeded to explain that we are going to have to go to the hospital a lot and he’s going to be getting medicine that might make him feel bad, because we are trying to get rid of the yucky or bad stuff inside him. We told him it’s okay to tell us when he doesn’t feel good, and he should because they can give him something to help if we know he’s not feeling good. We then proceeded to talk about how the medicine was going to make his hair fall out and so we were going to shave his head. He thought that was going to make his head bleed and that it was going to hurt. I had to explain to him that mommy shaves her legs and remind him I don’t bleed from that and Tom told Collin that shaving his head is basically like a really short hair cut. He didn’t seem to mind it so much then- especially when Tom told him that he would probably shave his head too and uncle Mike might as well. Overall, the conversation went better than I could have ever hoped. I want him to know why he is going through this, but on a level that a four year old can understand. I don’t want him thinking that Tom and I are trying to hurt him, or that he did something wrong, or that this is all happening because his leg hurt. I want him to understand there is a reason for what he is going to have to go through starting tomorrow.
I have to tell you though, that we are so very proud of him. He has (unfortunetly) grown up years in the last three weeks. He used to be so anxious and scared of going to the doctor that he would literally shake and cry when stepping onto the scale. The last three weeks, he has faced countless scary doctor things and has done so with lots of bravery! So I hope and pray that this brave boy can continue to be brave even when it hurts and even when it doesn’t feel good.
Because I know that chemo attacks both your good and bad cells, I am looking into different natural things that I can give him in between the chemo sessions, to help strengthen his immune system as well as fight the cancer. His oncologist supports this, as long as we clear it with her first to make sure that whatever we do does not counteract the chemo. My goal is to make him a smoothie everyday when he is home that is filled with fruits and vegetables as well as vitamins to help boost his immune system.
Anyway, I should probably get to bed so that I am not a wreck for tomorrow. Thanks again for your thoughts and most especially your prayers for our son and even for the rest of us. We are in need of it and greatly appreciate it.
* A God that hears our prayers.
* Family (and friends) that help watch the boys while I’m at the hospital, makes food for us, prays for us, and supports us.
* Auntie Chrissy- who has been a great distraction for Collin as well as a support for Tom and I.
* People that pray without ceasing.
* Collin’s love for his family. He loves his brothers so much and gives hugs and kisses are all the right times for mom and dad.
* The generosity of people. We are already overwhelmed by the kindness and gererosity of those around us.
* that the chemo will attack and kill the cancer cells in his body.
* that Collin would be brave this week and that he wouldn’t regress back to where we were last week when he wasn’t talking.
* That Cooper and Luke would be good even without mom and dad around.
* that everyone around Collin stays healthy.
* that Collin wouldn’t get sick or get any infections.