written by Pam, one of our Sunshine Moms
In 2012, Sam was born with Cystic Fibrosis. We had many challenges with his care. But we never expected what would happen in November 2014. He was experiencing a persistent fever, unexplained bruising, mouth sores, and chronic fatigue. Thinking that he had something CF-related, we contacted our local pediatrician and requested blood work be done.
On the Friday after Thanksgiving, we went to an almost empty hospital to have Sam’s blood drawn. Before I even made it back home, the doctor was calling me with results. He would only tell me that Sam’s white blood count was “extremely high” and that we needed to go straight to Children‘s of Alabama.
Our hearts were in our stomachs as we made the two-and-a-half hour trip to Birmingham. I prayed and asked God to please not let this be an extended “tune-up.” This is what we call the hospital stays for CF patients who need antibiotics and a little extra therapy after an illness or infection.
After two hours in the ER, the doctor came in as pale as a ghost. His voice quivered slightly as he sat on the edge of the bed and began to deliver the news. “I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but your son has cancer.”
Honestly, I can’t remember anything he said over the next few minutes. I felt as if my heart was going to explode and my mind was racing. My husband and I just huddled around our sleeping two year old and wept as never before. Immediately, the staff whisked us away to the oncology floor. Sam was given medicines through an IV to try to rid his body of the poison that had accumulated in his blood.
The next morning, he received his first dose of chemo, and his three-year journey with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) began. Since that time, Sam has been hospitalized for more than 80 days, received more than 15 spinal injections of chemo, taken thousands of doses of medicines, received over 100 doses of chemotherapy, lost his beautiful curly hair, and has experienced more side effects than I can count. Through it all, he has shown bravery and courage beyond compare.
God has strengthened him every step along the way and has carried Sam when his own little body couldn’t withstand any more. This monster called cancer has tried its best to destroy our child and our family along with him….but GOD.
GOD has been so very good to us and has shown us His sovereign grace and mercy every single day. This has not been an easy road, but it is one that we would travel again if it be God’s will. He has taught our entire family so much about love, selfless giving, and grace. Our warrior is seven months away from the end of his treatment protocol. We see light at the end of the tunnel…..HIS light.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9