Welcome to Hunter's Page
In February of 2015 our always healthy, outdoor loving, sweet child got sick. It was different from a cold or virus. Something just kept pushing me as a mom that something was different. Our local doctor put Hunter in the hospital. We had numerous tests and antibiotics but his white count was way too high. He transferred us to Memorial. Within 5 days Hunter's neck doubled in size. The doctor wanted a biopsy. At this point he has been sick for a month with every test you can think of and some you have never heard of negative.
Hunter had lost 18 pounds he really didn't have to lose. He was throwing up, very tired, sweating and staying dehydrated. After the biopsy they were going to send us home to await the results. After two days at home and only 3 days to Hunters 13th birthday we got the call. Hunter had cancer. The mother in me took over because as a normal person I don't think I would have handled it well, but as a mom you push through. Next, we went to scans. On the way to the clinic from the scans Hunter collapsed. We were admitted back into the hospital with surgery scheduled the next day for a port to receive chemo the next day.
Hunter immediately started feeling better with the chemo. It was strange that the chemo seemed to reverse all his symptoms. He had stage 3 Non-Hodgkins Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma. Hunter was on a schedule that included 6 inpatient courses of chemo lasting 5 days each time. The first three flew by with only little or minor problems. Right before his fourth treatment something was wrong. Hunter was very, very sick and fatigued. He could barely stay awake for more than 3 hours. We rushed him back to Savannah. He had a very severe bacterial infection with 0 immune system working. Chemo had done its job and wiped out his immune system, but we needed it back to get him well. We had to stop treatment. Within 6 hours Hunter crashed. Blood pressure and oxygen levels fell quickly. We were rushed to ICU. We began an even harder battle. Not just fighting cancer but now fighting for each breath. We spent 28 days straight in the ICU, 5 surgeries and too many sleepless nights wondering if he would make it another day. Could his beat up, battered, oh so tired little body fight hard enough. He did! We came out of ICU to spend two more weeks in the hospital before returning home for 2 weeks to gain ground before continuing chemo. Hunter beat the odds.
In August of 2015, after a total of 110 days in patient altogether, he had his final round of chemo. This month we celebrate Hunter's three-year Cancer FREE Anniversary! He is our hero. Hunter taught us that no matter what you are up against you fight with faith and trust that our Lord still gives us miracles.
As parents, you never want your child to go through anything as terrible as cancer. We want everyone to learn from Hunter's story. Organizations like CURE make it possible for new research. CURE also helps families like us while we are going through this cancer journey by bringing food to us at the hospital, bringing us information on support out there that is available to us. There is a very BIG need for new research. All cancers are terrible and if we could find new better ways to treat each child then maybe there would be less complications and more survivors!
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