I have the most wonderful news! Our pediatric oncologist called us this evening to share a most hopeful update. He started by saying that some of the test results have been very strange, not at all what he and the team had expected.
The initial biopsy results, from samples taken during the first surgery, had indicated Ependymoma. A nightmare of a diagnosis. We had been told that this was an incredibly stubborn tumour, extremely difficult to treat, and having a high rate of recurrence. The prognosis after failing to achieve a complete resection (removal of the tumour), was not good.
We were heartbroken at the bleak outlook, and yet never lost sight of hope. We know that we serve a mighty God. We believe that He is able to restore that which is broken, whether that be a grief-stricken heart, a shattered life, or in our case a very sick little boy.
Those who know our son, know that he is determined. Intensely driven. A fighter.
When playing sports, he gives his all. He doesn’t back down, and never gives up. A passionate and enthusiastic opponent.
His competitive spirit is strong. A teacher once commented on his report card that Ethan needed to remember that Phys-Ed class was not the Olympic games. That sometimes he should tone down the intensity a little.
Now is NOT one of those times.
We are counting on our boy to be a fighter. To give 100%. To never give up, no matter how hard the battle may be.
The results of the last MRI were not what we had hoped. The surgeon was able to remove most of the tumour. But with cancer, most is just not enough.
As I look out the window of our ICU room this morning, the sun is shining brightly and the maple trees are beginning to turn a most beautiful shade of golden orange. A welcome change from grey skies and rainy days. Perhaps a gift for today, to lighten the burden we are facing.
Ethan’s neurosurgeon told us that the surgery went well. That he believes he was able to remove most of the tumour. Some had to be left behind because of the way it had grown so closely around some critical ventricles in his brain. Attempting to remove more may have subjected Ethan to permanent damage.
An MRI is the only way to confirm how much of the tumour remains. Once that information has been obtained, the team will be able to decide how best to proceed.
This weekend has been special. Time spent appreciating the simple pleasures in life, and enjoying the company of each of our children. Facing a health crisis of this magnitude certainly changes your perspective on what is important.
My oldest daughter took her three youngest brothers out to the movies tonight to help pass the time, and ease some of the mounting anxiety.
While they are out, I wanted to take a couple of minutes to share some specific prayer requests, so that you know how to pray for our boy most effectively tomorrow while he is in surgery.
We have be asked to arrive at McMaster by 6 am. Ethan is scheduled for another MRI at 7 o’clock. Please pray that the technician is able to take clear pictures of the tumour that will effectively guide the surgical team as they undertake this delicate operation.
Read more at https://prayers4ethan.wordpress.com/
Much love to you all,
My dear sweet friends,
I have been absent here. At times, struggling too much to engage. At other times, simply caught up in the busyness of life – finishing my social work degree, parenting my seven children, and trying to keep up with the endless battle against laundry, dishes, and piled up messes.
But I’m back, because I need your help.
My family is at the beginning stages of dealing with childhood cancer.
We need your prayers.
I have started a blog to share this journey with our family, church community, and friends. A place to share updates, prayer requests and praise reports as we experience the faithfulness of our God.