Friday, 04 January 2013
Hey everybody, sorry for not posting sooner, but I just want all of you to know how grateful I am for the support, prayers, and well-wishes. The love and compassion I felt from you guys was so wonderful. I still don't know how to express in words how beautiful it is to have so many people out there sending their prayers and thoughts for my son.
Regarding my sons condition, he is doing so well right now. Yes, it is neuroblastoma, and yes, it is cancer, but we are lucky in a lot of ways honestly. The type of cancer he has has better outcomes in babies, so the younger he is, the better the chances. And also, as I said before, this type of cancer is one of, or the only kind, that goes away on its own sometimes. With children that are just a few months older than Riley, doctors sometimes just watch and wait for the tumor to go away on its own in lieu of treatment. The doctors said that if Riley had been a few months older, and if the cancer hadn't enlarged his liver so much, they probably wouldn't have needed to do any chemotherapy. But since he is only two months old, he is undergoing two treatments of chemotherapy. Each one lasts for three weeks. For the first three days of treatment, he gets the chemotherapy drugs in the hospital, and then he comes home with us and we give him medicine to raise his white blood cell count. Right now we are home, and this Friday we will return to the hospital to start the second and last treatment.
We thought we would have to be going back and forth to the hospital for transfusions if his white blood cells were too low, but he has done so well he hasn't needed it. The VNA (Visiting Nurses Association) nurse comes on Mondays and Thursdays to take blood and his numbers are great. And he still hasn't lost his hair! The doctors seem pretty sure that he will, but I'm still kind of hoping they're wrong. But if he does, oh well, as long as my beautiful boy gets better. His belly is already a lot smaller too! And he hasn't gotten sick, or really seemed sick at all. He's smiling all the time now and is a normal baby in most ways.
I am just truly so grateful that things are going so well. Kyle and I, and our families, are just trying so hard to stay strong through all of this. It's terrifying finding out your child is sick. You wonder if you could have prevented it, or why your child is the one who has to suffer. But instead of thinking about the negatives, I have to focus on all the positives. Riley has a 90% chance of a full recovery without it ever coming back. And thank God for that. It could have been so much worse. Yeah, he's one out of only 800 cases a year, but that just means he's special. =) We are very blessed to have such a strong little boy.
So that's about all the news I have about Riley. Since we have been home, things have felt a little closer to normal. Christmas was wonderful. My older son Alex had such a great time. This is the first Christmas that he actually had some idea what the hell was going on, and he was super excited to come down and see all the presents. It was so sweet to see his face light up. He's growing so fast every day now, and he is talking constantly. And he loves his little brother so much! Obviously he doesn't know what is going on, but it is so sweet to see him around Riley. He knows he needs to be careful, and it's just beautiful to see. This Christmas really was so special to spend with my whole family together. The only person missing was my brother who is still in Afghanistan. But we did get to video chat with him, and I got to show him his new baby nephew. It's those moments that are the greatest gift, truly.
Again, thank you all so much, and please continue to send your prayers and positive thoughts. Love you all!