In April, 2010, when Andrew was 2 1/2, a tumor was discovered behind his eye. The tumor was removed, but it was found to be an aggressive cancer. He endured seven months of chemo and six weeks radiation. In December of 2010, the day after his last treatment, he was rushed to the ER with an almost fatal bacterial infection. He survived.

He is now seven-years-old!! I don't visit here much, because during the ordeal, this is where I dumped everything--my rage, my fear, my sadness, my ugly, my hope, my everything. But I want all of you who supported and prayed for us to hear his updates. You helped me survive, and I am deeply thankful. Every once in awhile, I will check in to let you know how he's doing. Please continue to pray that cancer will never return to his body. Thank you.

Friday, August 27, 2010


Did you just hear something?  That was me, finally releasing the breath I have been holding for 7 weeks.  I need to buy some wood to carry around with me because I have become so superstitious about writing something down, and then having it bite me in the butt.  So I have waited until now to tell you all of the things that DIDN'T happen in Houston.

Drum Roll please.....

1.  We never spent one night in the hospital.  NOT ONE NIGHT.  Do you know how humanizing that felt?  We did all of the chemo outpatient. It had to be modified due to the radiation, so outpatient was possible for all of it.  My packed duffle bag of bedding stayed in the closet the entire trip.  SEVEN weeks away from the hospital.

2.  Andrew didn't lose his eyelashes.  I know that may seem trivial.  But when your son has lost all of his hair, you hang onto things like eyelashes.  And his are so long and beautiful (if I do say so myself).

Eating a colorful cupcake in celebration of his last radation treatment.

3.  His skin doesn't have an appearance of redness, like a sunburn, which I assumed was a given.

4.  He is not blind.  Always a big positive.

5.  He did not have red irritated eyes.

6.  His lacrimal gland was not destroyed.

7.  His hearing is still great.

8.  We did not have to stay any longer than expected. Nothing delayed us, and there were SO MANY things which could have.

I AM SO THANKFUL!!!  Thank you for the prayers.

Things that DID happen:

1.  Andrew gained weight, about 1/2 a pound.  While his blood is taking more of a beating, he seems to otherwise be coping with the chemo much better than before.  He is happy and able to eat, most of the time.

2.  We had a vacation we would not have had otherwise, albeit extra long and painful.  We had times of fun and exploration.

3.  We met some amazing people.  And especially one amazing nurse.  Thank you C.

Every morning before radiation, Andrew would growl "like a dragon" at all of the treatment staff. 
They bought him a dragon as a going away gift.  So sweet.

4.  Do you know the Radiation Team bought Andrew balloons, cutie patootie clothes, a toy dragon, cars, and a truck to be taken apart and put together with a drill?  AMAZING.  If one has to put up with 6 weeks of radiation, this was the place to do it!!

At the end of the treatment Andrew got to hit a gong.  He hit it over and over and over and over again.  Good thing he couldn't read the sign:

So thank you for your prayers. I so often find that I pray and pray and pray, and then when the thing I prayed for comes true, I chalk it up to natural occurence. Not really fair, is it? There are obviously still many anxieties, and side effects that could rear their UGLY head in the future, but for now, I will be thankful.

If you are near some wood, knock on it hard for me. 

In...and out....In...and out.  My breathing has gotten a little more steady. 

But now I'm going to go sob somewhere.


  1. Yay! One hurdle down! So glad you get to be going back home with none of the terrible things you mentioned happening. *knocks on wood* I'm really really glad to hear it. :)

  2. My heart is just overwhelmed! I cannot imagine how you are feeling!!!! I bet the sound of a gong never sounded more beautiful!!!!

  3. Dear Friend, I join you in tears of relief..I'm sending prayer after prayer for your family. What a wonderful, sweet celebration for Andrew! God Bless you, Sharon

  4. Oh I have tears in my eyes!! I'm so glad that Houston is behind you (and that it's not completely a big, black, scary memory).

    ENJOY being all together at HOME.

  5. I find myself breathing a huge sigh of relief right along with you. I'm so glad for all the things that didn't happen! You get to go home now! Enjoy!

  6. Oh, I have not been reading your blog for very long but I so wish I could just give you a hug right now. Go sob, go get all that pent up fear and held breath out of your system. I will knock on wood and hope for the best of news.

  7. Knocking very hard down here in Oz. Glad you got the hat - so happy you're through that stage. Onward and upward!

  8. Knocking on wood and praying God's best and His peace, comfort over you and your precious family, especially Andrew. Hugs to you!

  9. Knocking on wood here as well! Much love to you all. XXOO I am sure it will take a little time to adjust being home but I look forward to hearing all the good news coming your way. :)

  10. oh, friend, your mama heart is so big and full and i learn from you and i ache that you will know more and more goodness... and so much love to your little andrew... xoxo

  11. knocking on wood and saying prayers for you and Andrew.

  12. Oh, I hope he banged the heck out of that gong over and over and over again! How therapeutic for all of you, and what a great way for him to release the stress and anxiety he probably can't articulate yet. And the dragon and all the gifts from his caregivers ... It makes my heart happy to know there are people like that out there. So glad you are home and breathing again!!

  13. so glad you get to return home and yay! for eyelashes. i also wanted to tell you that after reading your post about all the books you've been reading, i got Lance Armstrong's from the library. i just finished and it was a great book. an amazing journey, and a powerful, well-written and thought out book. i'm going to have to read some of the other ones you mentioned.

  14. ::insert tune to Amazing Grace:: Now, sing the final verse that just repeats "Praise God, praise God, praise God, praise God..." Still praying for Andrew and your famiy reunion.

  15. I just read your story and my heart goes out to you. I am praying for your family and your beautiful little boy.


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