Our fight with cancer started with spent New Year’s in the hospital.
Happy Holidays from our family to yours!
Aaron was diagnosed (informally) with Lymphoma on 12/30/2016. It was a blow to our family that we thought would never happen. It was formally given its name after all the test, biopsies, and procedures on 01/05/2017 of Large B cell Lymphoma Non-Hodgkin’s. It wasn’t something we were prepared for, nor expected.
Aaron was diagnosed after a night of fun and play and started our long journey with Medical University of South Carolina and all the loving doctors and nurses there. They were quick to find out what it was and start his treatment. But they also made sure we understood the whole way and that Aaron was in the best care. We spent New Year’s in the hospital, but with smiles on our faces and celebrating it with all the nurses on the floor and what family we did have come visit.
Aaron started his treatment right then, and was pronounced in remission by 02 April 2107, just in time for his 13th birthday!! He had gone through more than any child should have to deal with at that age. Between the chemo, losing his hair, mouth sores that kept him from eating and in agony, to sleeping a week away hooked up to morphine drips and food supplements (TPN). He had to be home schooled from the time he left his school for winter break to the end of the year In order to make sure he would stay healthy and away from all the illnesses being passed around while his counts were low. Through it all though, he kept a smile on his face and laughter in his voice. He was the reason we kept going many days. If he wasn’t giving up or in, then neither were we!
As mom, I took leave of work for 6 months while he went through treatment and to get him through the first couple months of appointments. His brothers were worried, but never showed it. They didn’t like visiting the hospital much and seeing him hooked up to all the pumps. His stepdad (fiancé) stood right there by his side for whatever he could.
Now he is doing fabulous, in remission, and back to being a boy for the most part. We still have trouble with his studies some from not understanding while being homeschooled, and from his reading comprehension disability, but managing.
Life is getting back to normal for the most part. It has still been financially straining since I have switched positons at work to have better hours for the family which also comes with a slight pay decrease. The time off I took to be with him through all the treatments didn’t seem to bother us then, but has since caught up. Stepdad is a mechanic so his hours depend on what work is given to him at the dealership. He does what he can working 60 hours a week, but only getting paid for 30 maybe. But it’s what he is good at and loves. We don’t have as much or do as much as before, and hate having to tell the boys we have to wait to get something or do something they want, but they understand or seem to and are happy with that.
As we thought life was getting better, we now find that our youngest has a minor heart issue (First Degree A/V Block) and possible GI Issue that we are now working to understand. Seems life is always full of punches, but that is what makes us stronger. My boys were all born either very premature (Andrew at 8 weeks earlier) to just slightly (Ayden at 2 weeks early and Aaron 3 weeks). They have been fighters their whole lives and show us how every day.
We have learned from this that we as a family, are a rock, and nothing can break us. We may get scratched and chiseled at, but we stand firm together, helping each other. Instead of this tearing us apart, it has brought us closer together and we love each other more for it.
Christmas was/is starting to become a worry and concern of ours as parents, and we were trying to figure how to get second jobs and what would be the best gifts that would make the biggest impact without getting a lot. We feel like this maybe our answer or at least a very big help to not stress as much. For Christmas, it’s about family, and we always get the boys to their fathers in Florida to see their sister (Half) and it still may not be an option this year. But we will make it happen regardless of the consequences. We are family and that is what we do.
Aaron has continued to enjoy his music and video games through all and now learning to enjoy the outdoors more! He likes Xbox games, fishing, riding his bike, his high-top shoes (lol) and now learning to hunt. He is a very hyper child with a creative mind. Always thinking of projects and how to make things with what he has. He can figure out a way to make torn fabric into a knife pouch, a tent out of poles and sheets, an insect cage out of scrap wood and netting. His moods swing from acting like he’s 5 to being a teenager. It may be the ADHD or something else. But it gives him a mind for art and construction that not many have.
All three children are hoping to join the service one day to serve their country.
Thank you for the chance to share a little bit about my family with you! And we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all that you do for us!!