January 31, 2017
It was a huge day. After waiting all through the weekend for Monday to come when we were supposed to get results of Calum’s bone marrow aspirate, we got no news from the doctor. My mind was racing thinking of all possible scenarios. I convinced myself that no news meant bad news. The phone finally rang Tuesday morning at 8am. Calum’s induction treatment had worked, and he achieved remission. The feeling of relief was indescribable. I held myself together just long enough to finish the call but, after hanging up, while in my kitchen, I bent over and sobbed uncontrollably. I haven’t cried so hard since he was diagnosed but, this time, tears of joy.
We would continue along the set treatment path with even greater confidence that he would be cured. Treatment would resume immediately and, over the next four weeks, he would go under anesthesia once a week for a spinal tap. It was going to be another tough month, but we had the gift of hope on our side.
The days leading up to this phone call were some of the most stressful of my life. While waiting through the weekend to hear news, we also landed back in the hospital with a fever. When a cancer patient with a port gets a fever, especially when a port is brand new, the doctors, to heir on the side of caution, attribute a fever (the sign of infection) to sepsis. If there is a medical device inside your body, you are at a much greater risk for sepsis and, if you are also a child, your risk becomes life-threatening quite quickly. Calum, being a three-year-old cancer patient, was a small person with a low tolerance for fighting infection, so his first fever following the implantation of his port was quite a scare. When we arrived at the hospital, Calum was treated with antibiotics and sent home after a couple hours, as they were able to tell quickly that this was not a septic event. It was hard on him though because the nurse had to access his port which was not yet healed, and his pain felt like a set back on the brink of what we hoped would good news. We didn’t get home from the hospital until 1am that Monday morning and waited through an extra day with no word about his prognostic testing results. These were physical and mental hurdles that anyone dealing with cancer has had to endure, but our end results were so worth the wait. We felt truly lucky and blessed and we would continue to pray for Calum and for everyone else going through hard times.