Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Childhood Cancer Awareness: Nolan

We were first introduced to Nolan right after Liam's diagnosis.  Our neighbor worked with Nolan's grandma.  The boys had a few things in common; same oncologist, same pediatrician, birthdays days apart.  Here's Nolan's story

After a long struggle to have a baby we were blessed with Nolan born on March 5th, 2010.
He had never missed a day of daycare from any illness and was a happy thriving little baby boy. When we took him for his 6 month appointment, our Pediatrician, Dr. Goins, felt what she believed to be a hernia. We were referred to a Pediatric Urologist, Dr. Perez, for a look to see what he thought. I remember reading hernia’s are common in babies and they are easily corrected by a simple surgery, never seemed like anything to be too concerned over. We were in the Urologist office by the end of the same week as Nolan’s 6 month appointment. When the Urologist felt the hernia, he described it as a hard mass and had a concerned look on his face. He gave us all the what ifs and cancer was one of the what ifs. I’m not sure about Keith, but I couldn’t bring myself to believe our baby could have cancer and this was probably just the Doctor being cautious and covering all bases to let us know what the worst case scenario would be. Nolan was scheduled for surgery the following Tuesday, one week after his 6 month appointment. Nolan was a trooper the morning of the Surgery, we were nervous. He was taken back to Surgery right on time, by the time we packed up our stuff and headed out to the waiting area we received a call from the OR. The tumor was completely wrapped around his testicle and there was no way to save it. Tumor…tumor?? I tried to reassure Keith, maybe tumor was just a term being used and we didn’t know what it really was yet. Everyone associates tumors with cancer. The Nurse came right out and we signed the consent to have his testicle removed. The actual surgery was over with really quickly and Dr. Perez reassured us we made the correct decision regarding the removal. He had sent the tumor to pathology for a quick test in order for us to have an answer whether it was malignant or benign. He would have the answer before we left the recovery room. We went back to see Nolan, while we were packing up we had our answer…cancer. There was no way for them to know what type yet and pathology would need a few days to determine. We were at Blume Pediatric Hematology and Oncology by the end of the same week.

October 1st, Nolan was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma. He had another tumor on his right adrenal gland extending into the other half of his little body. The weekend before he began his long journey We took him to a local festival and he went to bang on a drum at Drumstrong, it finally sunk in at the point our baby was about to start a long fight at only 6 months old. We pulled ourselves together and kept positive for Nolan.

Dec 10th, Nolan began walking at only 9 ½ months of age and in the middle of chemo!
Nolan completed 4 rounds of chemo and went in for a tumor resection in Jan 2011, not all of the Tumor was able to be removed during the Surgery. Scans showed active tumor still remained after surgery, we just had to wait for the biopsy of parts of the tumor that had been removed. Because of the great communication between all the Doctor’s, we didn’t have to wait long to hear the news, the remaining tumor was maturing and dying off on its own, no more chemo!
Nolan remains cancer free after two years out of treatment! And even has a baby brother, Ryan born on 11-18-11!
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1 comment:

  1. Beautiful story of a beautiful little boy! Nolan - you are a tiger!