Justin Miller Faces Childhood Cancer for the Seventh Time

by Lori Miller
August 7, 2013


Almost four weeks after Justin beat cancer for the sixth time, his latest scans revealed cancer in his bone marrow. Photo: Silver Kite Photography

Friday was the day set aside to review Justin’s results, signup for a study, and fill out consent forms. Unfortunately, things did not work out as expected.

Once again, we have found out, after just a few short weeks of being cancer free, that Justin’s cancer is back in his bone marrow and possibly two lymph nodes in his neck and collar bone.

We are beyond shocked.

Four weeks. That’s all we got out of this celebration. I know that each day of the past seven years has been borrowed time — Justin miraculously survived induction chemo and transplant, and I know they didn’t expect him to. He has survived cancer relapse after relapse, setback after setback, all by the miracle of God.

But I am not ready to stop spending my days with him. I am not ready to give up.

On our way back, Justin said to me, “Mom, stop feeling sorry for me. You know I can get through it. I have done it six times, I can do it a seventh time. They [the cancer cells] need to know how strong I am. Don’t worry about it, Mom. I will be fine.”

I am worried though. I am his mom, that is what I do — worry!

What are we doing to him, treatment after treatment, trial after trial?

I am trying to spend every last borrowed day I have with Justin until he is 75.

We are trying to save him. I don’t know any different. We are trying to help other children not have to go through all of this. I am trying to spend every last borrowed day I have with Justin until he is 75.  Stupid cancer is trying hard to change it!

Some days I want to say enough is enough, but Justin isn’t there yet. Justin is in for the fight — he wants to fight. He knows he can defeat the monster once again.

Justin, at the age of 10, is fully engaged in the decision making right now. He is aware that his body isn’t very strong, but he is not afraid to say his mind and spirit are both strong, and the faith and hope he has that he can beat it again is also strong. He is one amazing kid!

Things keep changing, and we will know more after Justin’s scans on Thursday. But for now, after much back and forth, we have decided to repeat the Hu3f8 antibody trial at a higher level. Justin would be only the second child on this new dose level.

Justin is in for the fight…He knows he can defeat the monster once again.

At this point, we are just hoping to keep the disease stable. Once he is more recovered, we can look at other options that don’t involve chemo. We really want to defer chemo as much as we can — we know his body can’t handle much more chemo.

At the end, Justin told me, “Mom, when you were crying about my cancer coming back again, I wanted to take you and say, ‘Have you met me?'” Meaning, he has this handled, not to worry.

We appreciate each of you — your thoughts, your prayers, your support. Thank you for checking in and following Justin. We will post as developments occur. We appreciate our family, friends, and of course, each and every member of Justin’s incredible fan club.

Thanks again for your love and support,

Lori and Justin

Read more about Justin’s childhood cancer story.