This may be a hard read but for those new to Cannonball Kids' cancer it's an important one.
April 19th I sat on the edge of a hospital bed with my husband aside me at Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando, Florida. Setting the scene, I was 38 weeks pregnant with our twin boys. We were waiting to hear from the doctor as to what might have been causing Cannon to limp. Cannon was 20 months old.
It was 7am on a Saturday morning and in walked the oncologist, Dr. Giusti. He pulled up a chair and said "Your son doesn't have a bone infection I'm afraid."
"I'm afraid"... that implies it was worse than a bone infection.
"Your son has neuroblastoma cancer."
The night before, Dr. Giusti had called us on the phone and told us he suspected Cannon had this but at that point I new nothing about neuroblastoma or what it was. Between 9pm and 7am I had read everything I could find and was now well-equipped to ask the right questions.
"What a stage?" That was my first question.
I read that stage 3 had better prognosis than stage 4 and that stage 4 was only around 30 percent survived.
"Oh, it's definitely stage 4."
Like an elephant standing on my chest, I said in a low voice what I thought was a rhetorical question:
"Yes, but he is not going to die?"
The response was earth shattering...
With a tilt in his head and a mouth scrunched up he said
In my mind I was thinking, "Why did you answer that? I don't really want to know."
He went on to explain that this was a very, very aggressive cancer and that scans showed it to be all over Cannon's body. That it was wrapped around every organ and in particular I recall the words:
"He is going to have to fight."
Fight? Fight for what? He is 20 months old - how does he fight?? Cannon at that time was very soft I'
in temperament, not like Michael or me. In fact, he was such a good, sweet kid that I could never figure out how I made that: I am not soft or sweet... he was everything I wasn't and I loved that!!!
Cannon turned into a fighter... the next year and a half he fought like a rockstar!!!
The fear with the cancer Cannon has is it often comes back. If it does, chances of beating it are much less than beating it the first time. The reason we set up our Foundation is to help with that. Let's kill the cancer properly the first time. Not the second, third... the first!!!! Let's cure cancer in kids and not leave them deaf, infertile and with learning difficulties and challenges that will consume their adulthood. NO... let's do better!! Let's fix this damn problem once and for all. I'm sorry to curse but this disease has me angry! My friend's sweet daughter just relapsed with neuroblastoma after two years of no evidence of disease (NED). That's not fair or right and now Ava has treatment plans for the next two years and she already did treatment for two years - she is only 5!!!! Her mum has three other kids, too!!
Let's do better.
Let's Cannonball Kids' cancer.
Once and for all!
Please consider coming to our block party tomorrow (intersection of Ivanhoe Road and NW Ivanhoe Blvd.)
or donating online. We are close to our goal to fund our pediatric brain cancer project and need your help...
I am very thankful for every dollar - it all HELPS.
Written by Mumma-Bear
Cannonball Kids' cancer
Thankful For The Fight
328 Days No Evidence of Disease
No Relapse Ever