Wilm’s Tumor 13 Years Later

Posted: April 15, 2011 in Uncategorized
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I use to dread April 15th.  Not because taxes are due (as if that wasn’t bad enough), but because it marks the the darkest and worst day of my life.  But thirteen years later it has become a day of thanksgiving.

Thirteen years ago we were told that our only son (at the time) who wasn’t even two years old had Wilm’s Tumor.  It is a rare form of kidney cancer.  Within days he had his right kidney removed and began chemotherapy.  The doctors gave us great hope and encouraged us with success rates and percentages.  But…it is still cancer.  So, we were overwhelmed with worry and fear.

I had always kept a journal.  It went silent on April 15th, 1998.  I didn’t record another entry until the following year.  My prayer life tanked as well.  Not because I was angry or upset with God.  I just didn’t have much more to say beyond “help!”   I didn’t sleep well for months.  I had images perpetually flood into my brain that were horrific in regards to the future.  And then there were the follow-up chest x-rays and ultrasounds and its accompanying fear (*note to doctors, nurses, and lab technicians – anxiety-filled parents read into every facial expression, eyebrow twitch, whispered conversation and nuance of behavior the fate of their child.)

And then…God rescued.  He healed our son, Isaac.  He got better.  And now he is a freshman in high school.  He is taller than me (not that that is a huge accomplishment).  And he is healthy.

So now April 15th marks an anniversary of rescue and healing.  And I’m thankful.

I don’t know if any parent will find this blog after googling Wilms Tumor because their child has just been diagnosed with the same thing.  But if so, I wanted to post this for you.  Because in the midst of my fear, I cherished stories of healing with children who had been diagnosed with the same thing.  So, if you are here let me say – there is hope.  There is healing.  You will sleep again.  Thirteen years later, I can speak to the reality of hope realized.  God’s peace and protection to you in the midst of it.

  1. sister says:

    🙂 🙂 🙂 :)!!!!!

  2. The Bishop says:

    This is probably your best blog posting yet (and there are a lot of good ones). That drive back from Arkansas that night was the longest, most prayer-filled of my life. It IS a day of Thanksgiving now. Thank you, Lord.

  3. heathhiatt says:

    Great post bro. Great post!

  4. the other ed says:

    This blog post is proof of God’s unfailing and relentless love and grace…It also serves as a reminder to me why I am honored to call you and your family my brothers and sisters in Christ…You are all awesome…and way to kick cancer’s butt, Isaac!

  5. K. Rex Butts says:

    Thanks for sharing this…wonderful reflection.

  6. Lori says:

    Thanks for posting that. I go for my 2 & 1/2 year scan in a few weeks. I too am grateful for God’s healing power and grace (but prayers in the next few weeks for continued healing would be very appreciated 🙂

  7. Els says:

    Thank you Sam. Yes, I found your blog through googling Wilms Tumor, and yes, my 2 year old is currently being treated for the same thing. She’s had the surgery and started post-surgery chemo last month. 4 down, 16 to go. So far so good, she’s doing great and is very brave. I have all the confidence in the staff here at the children’s hospital in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and in my little girl.

    Thank you for your encouragement, it really helps!

  8. Els – I appreciate you commenting. Peace to you and your little girl through the rest of the treatments. I’ll keep her in my prayers. If you wouldn’t mind (and I know this isn’t high on your priority list for understandable reasons), from time to time I wouldn’t mind hearing how she is doing. May you look forward to celebrating your daughter’s five year, 10 year, 20 year, and 50 years free of cancer!!!

  9. Megan says:

    Thank you for posting this, our daughter has a stage 3 wilms tumor

  10. Jaime says:

    We found out on April 16, 2012 that our daughter has Wilms tumor also. She was 18 months old then. We are almost finished with 12 weeks of chemo and then she will have surgery. I LOVED reading this blog entry, it gave me a lot of hope.

  11. Judith says:

    My son, who is 16 now, was diagnosed January 1998 with Wilms’. After surgery, chemo & radiation he relapsed. Again surgery, chemo & more radiation to his liver. We were given an almost impossible prognosis, but here he is 12 years later! Entering 10th grade, beautiful, healthy. I am so thankful every second, minute, hour, day and year.

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