The pain was deep. My body shook deeply with fear and sadness. It seemed I was in a dream and I could hear myself saying "Wake up Lisa!!" My son's pediatrician, Dr. Kittams, had just given me the news over the phone, Isaac had cancer. That's all I remember. Isaac had just turned 14 months old when we discovered he had an optic glioma, a tumor growing along the optic nerve, causing blindness in that eye. The tumor was so large and close to the midline, risking vision in Isaac's other eye as well. We had to act fast, and after a whirlwind of MRI's and appointments he began chemotherapy. He was so sick and no longer the happy toddler I loved. I feared he would die. Six weeks into therapy we received news his tumor was still growing, seemingly resistant to the chemotherapy. Another impossible decision was at hand... he went on to have neurosurgery to sever the nerve and remove the tumor. After so many discussions, second opinions, countless journal articles reviewed... it had been long enough. Though difficult, we knew it was the right thing to do.
It's now been 10 years, and Isaac is Cancer Free. He was discharged from oncology and doesn't have to go back for anymore MRI's, blood work or even annual exams with the amazing Dr. Hastings.
Isaac's cancer took the vision from his right eye but has not come close to touching his spirit. Isaac is an overwhelmingly happy young man and nothing gets him down. His laugh and love of life is contagious. Isaac loves taekwondo, basketball, hiking and all things computers! We live everyday grateful for the cure that was provided to our son at Children's Hospital Oakland.
Watching Isaac take on 7th grade this year and beginning to really figure out how to navigate the world as a young independent man is an amazing gift to our family and we cherish everyday that he is here with us. We are grateful to the doctors and nurses that who treated Isaac as he continues to be a survivor.