Theodore had just turned 7 months old when he was diagnosed with Hepatoblastoma, a rare solid tumor on his liver. He has a slight physical condition that we brought to our pediatrician’s attention and it was her diligence that allowed for us to go through the proper channels to discover his unfortunate diagnosis. We weren’t even remotely prepared, none of us were. But when someone tells you your first child has cancer at only 7 months old, all you can do is face it and do everything in your power to get up and face each day being strong for your own sake and for the sake of your baby. There is no other choice but to take on each challenge as it comes. And in Theodore’s case, they came often.
One of his chemo drugs would wipe out not only his immune system but his energy and electrolytes as well. Because of this, we spent more time in the hospital than we spent at home for the 7 months of his treatment. Some incredibly scary times were even spent in the PICU when his levels dropped low enough. Craig (Theodore’s dad) and me were forced to be strong alone with Theodore due to COVID regulations which made this whole process that much more grueling. But we always had our nurses, our angels, to help us through each moment of horror and of celebration.
After 4 chemo treatments, 5 central lines, 27 COVID tests, 3 NG tubes, one G tube and countless transfusions and repletion’s, Theodore had his resection surgery which, unlike everything else for this poor guy, went without any issues. Better than that, it was an even better outcome than the surgeons had hoped. A full resection with incredible margins! October 2, 2020 was the surgery and the first day since June 2nd that I was able to breathe. Theodore still faced a long road ahead- consisting of 2 more treatments and all of the complications, discomfort, pain and heartache they came with. But he did it. We did it. And as I type this, he is cancer free and sleeping soundly on my lap. His hair (of which he had a TON of prior to treatment) is slowly coming back along with his appetite and he is hitting every milestone, no matter how delayed he may be. There are still many years of monitoring and testing we need to adhere to and it would be unrealistic to think that all of our scary days are completely over, but I know now that he will rise above it with us helping to lift him up. Our little warrior has been through hell in his short lifetime and yet every day he laughs. Every day, he smiles. And every single day, we are overwhelmed with gratitude and happiness that this is where we landed. Because there were times where we just weren’t sure we’d make it. To anyone going through a similar experience, who are scared out of their minds and who are beaten down multiple times a day with heartache, to those who dream of brighter days...don’t lose sight of that dream. Envision it in your mind’s eye every day, keep breathing, keep rising with the sun each morning until the time comes where that dream is your reality. Nothing is impossible. There is a light that simply cannot be seen in such darkness but it’s there for you to bask in when your days of hardships lessen. Remind yourself how strong you are until you rise above it all....remind yourself... you WILL rise above it all. We love you.