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30 DAYS/30 STORIES® 2022


September 26th


AJ was diagnosed with T-Cell Leukemia on 2/09/20 and went through 2 1/2 years of a tough chemotherapy treatment plan. He is truly a champion, and I am happy to say that on 6/11/22, AJ was able to “Ring the Bell” and has completed his chemo medication!! We had a party with family and friends to celebrate AJ’s end of chemo and were ready to try and regain some normalcy in our lives.

Unfortunately, life is not that normal yet! Yes, the cancer is gone, but anxiety has taken its place! The day AJ rang that bell was surreal, and it was filled with so many emotions. I saw an overwhelming look of accomplishment in my son’s eyes. I saw happiness, joy, and also, a new and different sense of fear. A fear of now knowing how to live without being sick. A fear of trying to fit back in with his peers and even the fear of not having to take his meds that helped keep the cancer from growing. What now? There are no more constant clinic visits to check his blood and tell him he’s doing great. Now we have sleepless nights because AJ had a headache for 2 days or he had a fever last night! Now AJ checks his pillow every morning to make sure he’s not losing his hair, and I constantly find myself wanting to hold his hand because that’s what I did for the last 2 1/2 years. It is just a whole new kind of scary that you know you shouldn’t feel but just can’t help from feeling!

Every day is a blessing, and we are slowly trying to deal with our new obstacles. I know we will get to a good place, but it is going to take time. This journey has changed our lives, but I am thankful for the strength we have to get through each day. Cancer did not break us it just changed our path in life a little! With the love and support from the other families and the lovely ladies at PCFLV, we know we are not alone. PCFLV is always there for us, showing us that no matter how hard things feel, we can always count on them to extend their hands and lift us back up. Their support and compassion are appreciated more than I will ever be able to truly show them.

Although we may go through difficult times in life, I trust the process and I know that we were meant to go through this. I am grateful for each new day that I am given, and I know that this has made our family Stronger!

Written by AJ’s mom, Debra

Please consider helping children with cancer and others in our community by scheduling a blood donation at Miller-Keystone Blood Center:

If you would like to donate in AJ's honor

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