I don't have a picture to accompany this post today. However, let me just let you in on a little situation in our life right now. Our family is again facing that horrible, horrible thing called pediatric cancer. My cousin, Drew, and his wife, Jennifer, are at St. Jude's with their two-year-old son, Sam. Tuesday, (11/11), they took Sam to the hospital because he was clearly not acting right and was just not himself. That evening, a CT scan was done, and the next morning, their pediatrician was sitting at the bedside with them, explaining that a tumor had been seen in his abdomen. They felt a firmness in his belly. Sound familiar? At this point, they did not have a name. Nor even a determination of whether it was cancerous or benign. Soon thereafter, there was a strong suspicion of cancer, and a private plane was arranged for little Sam and his son to fly to St. Jude. His mom and a whole caravan of extended family were not far behind!
Today, they are sitting and waiting... waiting for a diagnosis. Waiting for a staging. Waiting for treatment ideas. And after talking to Drew's mom, my cousin, Cherry (you've seen her in my Canton pics!), it sounds like the options may be very scary. Soooo... as was the case with Jake, I try to keep people VERY updated and aware of EXACTLY what needs to be addressed in prayers.
1. Scans will show a SINGLE tumor. (NOT an additional tumor that would indicate advanced staging.)
2. Calmness and peace for the family as they wait. (We've been there. NOTHING can describe to you for you to even IMAGINE the feeling in the gut when this actually happens to a child in your family.)
3. TOTAL confidence in any decision that needs to be made by his parents. I have been made aware of some of the options for treatment, IF anything is seen, and the options are NOT good. SO... I revert to prayer request number one!!
4. COMPLETE thanksgiving and rejoicing for Sam's sweet life. Gratitude for St. Jude. Appreciation and LOVE for his family and so, so, so many friends who are travelling this journey with them.
I know some may be curious of the relationship between Jake and Sam. Here it is...
JinJin and Bonnie are sisters. Drew is Bonnie's grandson. So, Staci and Drew are second cousins. As far as I have ever understood, hepatoblastoma is a very, very rare tumor and one that happens rather spontaneously. There is a possible link to Jake's tumor and color cancer in the family. We never could find that correlation. Neuroblastoma, which is a tentative diagnosis for Sam, is the most common solid tumor in children. (Remember Stanton, Emma Grace, Madelyn, and lots of our other little buddies) As far as I know, there is no correlation. Cancer just is. It is a mutation of cells. It sucks. And until it is symptomatic, there would be no way to know it is present nor any reason to go looking for it!
I will certainly be doing my part to help this family. All I can do is offer prayer, love and support. Pops has created 300 "Believe" stickers, like the ones we used for Jake's fight. If you'd like to have me mail you one to use on your car or workspace or whatever, please go to mojoystudio.com and click on the button provided to have one mailed to you. I am asking for $5.50 for a $5 donation to go directly to the family and .50 will cover the postage. I appreciate your help and concern and COVET your prayers for sweet Sam! If you want to follow his story on Facebook, go LIKE Praying for Sam. Also, they are using the #samstrong in all the media otherwise.
Thanks for praying and believing!