Tuesday, April 15, 2014

About Memphis, Mountains, and a Cancer Diagnosis


 photo ABCMemphis.jpg
I do not like to visit Memphis...it brings back memories and unrest.


 photo Devon3_zps43d0eddb.jpg  photo Devon2_zpsbdbbf8ad.jpg  photo Devon_zps4cf2a60d.jpg
This is Devon Jeremiah.
(Jeremiah means "God will raise up; God will set free.)

I held it together while I was talking to my daughter, who called me at work from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, to tell me that Devon had cancer.  I had just left Memphis the day before because I had missed several days of work, and I planned to go back on the weekend.  No words can describe my feelings while hearing my daughter cry and I was three hours away!  I wish I had stayed in Memphis and let work take care of itself, but I must have convinced myself that it wouldn’t be cancer.  I assured LesLee that I was on my way.  After hanging up with her, I called Mom and completely lost it. 

Devon was only four months old when he developed a painful knot on his leg. It tripled in size in just a couple of days.   His local pediatrician diagnosed him with sarcoma, and sent him to St. Jude that same day.   LesLee, 18, and her (then) husband, Josh, 19, drove up alone; my two sisters and I left a short time later.   I felt very inadequate as an adult and as a mother; I just did not know what to do.  I cannot imagine managing this as a teenager (or any age).   LesLee is so strong.   

In Memphis, Devon’s blood count was very low, and he was given a blood transfusion.  While preparing to do a biopsy of the knot, the nurses told LesLee that if it was indeed cancer, they would go ahead and put a chemo port in his little chest.  When they brought him back, he had the port, and that’s when LesLee called me.      

There was a lot of prayer for Devon.   Prayer is powerful, never doubt that.  I truthfully do not know if there were originally cancer cells found or not, or if cancer was just the assumption. But, as the doctors were preparing for surgery on Devon’s leg, a look at the final test results showed not even one cancer cell in that child’s body. 

The doctors then studied Devon’s medical history (remember he was only 4 months old) and realized that just before the knot formed, he'd been given a shot of Rocephin in his leg for a 104° fever that wouldn't break. With that information, they figured out that he had a hematoma from the needle sticking into a muscle, not sarcoma, and the origin was no Factor 8 (the clotting factor) in his blood. His diagnosis was changed from sarcoma to hemophilia. The port in his chest was then used to supply him with Factor 8 instead of chemo. He is now a healthy, handsome and very smart 11 year old.  At his last check up, both he and his brother, Ashton, had normal blood counts (an impossibility if one has actually has hemophilia).   


 photo Mountains.jpg
I love the Great Smoky Mountians
 photo Moon.jpg
Full moon view from my back yard
 
Mingus Mill, Newfound Gap Road, Oconaluftee, NC photo 20101022_565.jpg
Mingus Mill (Great Smoky Mountains)
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Mingus Mill (Great Smoky Mountains)
Roaring Fork, Gatlingurg, TN photo 20111030_184.jpg
GSM Love!
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Just in case you didn't realize it...I love the mountains...

7 comments:

  1. Normal blood count? God is good! Woohooo, Jesus! :D

    And if the doctor who said that baby had cancer is the same doctor who ordered the injection into his thigh, I hope your daughter switched to another MD.

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    1. There's a group of 4-6 doctors (the best in our area) and I am not sure who gave the shot (probably the nurse) and who made the original diagnosis. Maybe they should have looked over the records and made the connection...but that didn't happen.

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  2. That would be a scary thing to deal with; such a terrible diagnosis to get at any age, but especially terrible for a little baby. Thankful that the doctor restudied the medical report and came to a different conclusion. I know one thing I pray for people dealing with a sickness, illness, etc., is that the doctors will have the wisdom to figure out what is going on and then know how to treat it. I'm sure someone prayed a similar prayer for Devon.

    Loved all your M pictures!

    betty

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    1. Thanks, Betty! Yes, I pray that prayer often...the wisdom and guidance of the doctor.

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  3. What a story...I was in tears. He is an adorable little guy, too. Your photos are amazing. I love the mountains, too...and the moon!

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  4. A heart-warming story, and Devon has indeed grown to be a handsome young fella. A great post. The other pics are nice too. LOL

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    1. I can never tell the story without tearing up...even after all these years.

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