My son Isaiah is a wonderful 11year old boy. He is a very caring and loving brother to his younger brother named Joshua. Isaiah loves any kind of sports; baseball, football, skateboarding and still loves his stuff toys. He also loves mixed martial arts and recently won 2nd place in his first Grappling Competition last December of 2010.
Our lives changed when Isaiah was 18 months old, my sister noticed a bump on his head and being a first time mother I took him right away to his pediatrician to have it checked. The doctor measured the bump and took some blood work. She alsosent us to get x-rays & CAT scan done. Within the same week she told us that it might be (LCH) Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis but they would not really be sure until we met with an oncologist. She also told us Isaiah might need to have a skull biopsy. An appointment was set for us to go to the Children's Hospital of Columbia Presbyterian to meet with Dr. Kara Kelly who is a pediatric oncologist at the Herbert Irving Child and Adolescent Oncology Center. She explained to us more about LCH, and described what was going to happen to our son including the need for chemo treatment for the next six months.
On January 10, 2001 Isaiah had biopsy of a skull lesion and medi-port placement. The biopsy of the skull lesion came back positive for multisystem (bone, skin, lung) LCH Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis II. We were devastated.
LCH is a rare disease that is caused by an excess of white blood cells called Histiocytes. It can attack the skin, bones, lung, liver, spleen or the central nervous system. The disease can be a life-threatening.On March 19, 2001 a skin biopsy - atopic dermatitis was done. Soon, after the biopsy of the skull lesion, Isaiah started the chemotherapy: Vinblastine, Etoposide(VP-16), Mercaptopurine(6-MP), Prednisone(steroid) with a full skeletal survey and CAT scan once a week for six months. I thanked God, because Isaiah did not have any nasty complications from the chemo or need a stem cell transplant.
A week before Isaiah turned 2 years old, his oncologist told us that an important decision was made; the doctros determined that chemotherapy treatments would stop and they would just continue routine surveillance for disease recurrence. Isaiah would only need to return for skeletal surveys, and blood work every six months, We rejoiced on December 8, 2002 when the doctor told us that the skeletal surveys no longer showed evidence of disease and that we could discontinue even the routine surveillance for disease recurrence, as he is no longer at risk for recurrence! It was the perfect gift for Isaiah and for us. We celebrated his 2nd birthday with two cakes that said "Happy 2nd birthday" and "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED".
I always considered Isaiah cancer-free from the day he took his last chemo treatment. But the thought that the cancer could return is always my first question to his Oncologist. There was no better feeling than the day the doctors told me Isaiah showed no symptoms suggestive of recurrence of LCH.
Now, Isaiah's days are filled with attending mixed martial arts school and doing all the things most 11 year olds like to do.He is preparing for his 2nd competition this April and June.