Jackson was a perfectly healthy, happy, sweet typical 2 1/2 year old little boy who was still that way when he went down for a nap one day mid-Oct 2015. He awoke from his nap screaming from excruciating belly pain & was inconsolable. He was rushed to the ER where after originally being diagnosed with constipation, the go to diagnosis for kids his age, I insisted on further testing while still there knowing I knew my child better than they did & they were wrong. That's when our lives were forever changed after being told Jackson's abdomen was filled with tumors. He was instantly admitted directly to the Oncology Department, which is where over the course of the next several days we would learn Jackson has Stage 4 High Risk Neuroblastoma, with an inoperable tumor. Not only that, the tumor had infiltrated his organs & spread to both his legs, his pelvis, his lower skull, & his bone marrow. They say life can change in the blink of an eye? For us it changed in the time of Jackson's nap b/c until he awoke screaming that day in Oct, he never showed one sign or symptom, yet his whole little body was unknowingly filled with cancer.
He immediately began chemo treatments in hopes of shrinking the inoperable tumor. Since he began treatment in Oct 2015, his response to the treatments has been nothing short of miraculous. His tumor did shrink, which allowed surgery to be possible. However, we were told going into it b/c of the location of the tumor being on his vena cava & it being attached to several other organs the risks associated with full removal were too high so they would get what they could & we would pray his last rounds of chemo & radiation would get the rest. Additionally, they now had learned there were actually 3 tumors in his abdomen, which only originally appeared as one b/c of the massive size of the main tumor. The day of surgery God guided the surgeon to where he was actually able to get complete removal of all 3 tumors, along with 1/5 of Jackson's liver, & also complete removal of his gall bladder. That day, just 4 months after diagnosis, Jackson became tumor free.
Now, just 6 months after diagnosis, Jackson is in his first week of what will be a tandem stem cell transplant. He no longer has cancer in his legs, pelvis, lower skull, or bone marrow. His last scan ONLY lit up where a few cells remain in the tissue of where that once inoperable tumor had resided. As long as he continues responding so well to treatment, he is expected to be considered cancer free at some point early 2017. God is SO good!