At first, the thought that MY daughter would have cancer was unheard of. It always happened to someone else’s kid… Not mine!. As such, when her fever, joint pain and weakness was being diagnosed, I became ignorant and somewhat angry when her pediatrician suggested that we see an oncologist. We had been to many specialists over a period of thirty days. Each trying to nail down the cause of her weakened condition. But, to see an oncologist suggested the unspeakable. I guess my thinking was.. if we don’t go, they can never say it is cancer.
After an initial exam, Dr. Paul called me to suggest that we perform a Bone Marrow Biopsy. That would give us a more definitive answer than any other test we had done thus far. I was thinking that biopsies are painful and I didn’t want to put her through that. He assured me that she we be asleep during the procedure.
When the results came back positive, my wife and I were simply shocked, crushed and devastated. We had no idea what this meant, what to do, a million things rushing through our minds.. everything was blurred. Treatment had to begin right away. At the hospital, we were afraid and unknowing. We were signing papers, discussing surgery, treatments, protocols, side affects, reactions …All happening so fast. Then Dr Paul slowly gave us an entire education on what was about to transpire. He explained everything at our level. He was not intimidated by questions and always explored options with us. He has brilliance and an untiring passion in his field of study.
My wife and I are deeply involved in the Christian faith and our church. When news spread to the congregation, there was a tremendous out pouring of prayer and support. Through God we were able to find peace and comfort during the most intense phases of treatment.
In social media, we had started a page and on that page I wrote this to my daughter whom I call Peeg:
“Peeg!! I am SO sorry that you have to go through this.
This is a very dangerous illness and we need to focus …
I want you to know that I will be by your side through this entire thing.
I will do EVRYTHING in my power to get you better.
We will attack this illness with medicine, prayer and a positive attitude.
I am SO proud of the person you have become – My daughter –
I have watched you grow into this perfect young lady –
NO ONE will take you from me.
We will get through this together.
I admire your bravery and your strength.
The doctor was amazed at how well you did today with your first induction treatment.
Lets keep fighting – I LOVE You PEEG!!!!”