August 3rd, 2011 by Erin Chance
Patrick has enjoyed his best summer in recent memory. His last 5 summers have been dominated by intense treatment, hospitalization, and travel. This summer, due to many factors that I am going to refrain from venting about here, his treatment has been minimal. This has allowed him to spend a ton of time playing with friends, fishing, tubing, going to the beach with his best friend, and relaxing in the mountains. It has been a joy to see him experience summer the way healthy children do. I will be posting some pictorial evidence of his fun shortly.
I fervently wish that this summer was all about good news and good times. Unfortunately, we have recently learned that Patrick’s catecholamines (neuroblastoma-specific urine markers) are rapidly elevating, confirming that his disease is progressing in an aggressive fashion. While not surprised by this news, we are sad and frustrated. Yesterday he started IV chemo in an attempt to quell the progression of disease. He will receive chemo every day this week and then we will see where we are. We are in a scary place because despite Patrick’s stem cell rescue in April, his platelets are very low. This severely limits our options for treatment and we will likely be transfusion dependent by next week. We will, however, continue to fight with the options that are available to us. We will continue to maximize his enjoyment of all the things he loves. We will PRESS ON.
As a family, this summer has been difficult and magical at the same time. We have lost so much… our mountain house, our beloved dog, Banks… but we have increased our bonds of love in the process. We have endured some heart-wrenching sorrow and helped each other mend. We have struggled through extraordinarily emotional conversations and helped each other see the pathways of hope, healing, and love. We have enjoyed some really spectacular times together, including one of the best weeks in the mountains we have ever had. As this journey (and sometimes just life in general) gets more difficult, we are experiencing deeper pain and deeper love. And as I struggle with questions and, honestly, some anger about why this is happening to my son, I am reminded that He endured a similar experience with His Son and that we are never alone. We may never understand, but we are never alone.
Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
We are so thankful for all of you who continue to love and support us. What a blessing to have you in our lives!