30 DAYS/30 STORIES® 2022
Nicholas is 9 months old. He was diagnosed in June with Wilms kidney cancer. Our journey has just begun. We found his tumor by complete accident. We have 5 beautiful children… anyone who has this many knows how often you’re home with none. My husband and I had a night this summer with only us and Nicholas. Everything was fine, not a worry in the world. There were no signs of Nicholas’ future. We ordered out our food for the night, and I went to change Nicholas into his pajamas for bed and change his diaper. Stephen went to pick up our food and to my ultimate surprise, there was blood inside his diaper along with clots. This all happened is split seconds as my husband walked back in the door. In panic, I started yelling, “we need to go…we need to go get him to the hospital immediately!” We arrived at the Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital, where we were admitted to be checked out and do testing. We later found a tumor inside Nicholas’ left kidney. While doing an ultrasound on his intestines, because the ER doctor insisted they knew best (only 70 year old men pee blood), I was certain it was not coming from his rectum. The accidental finding of Nicholas’ tumor was said to be a miracle by several doctors to follow, as his age is not usually when they detect these types of tumors. Our family has grown by multiple oncologists, physician’s assistants, nurses, and students as well as families who have been or are going through a similar diagnosis. As we need 25 doses of chemotherapy, we are not quite out of the woods, but we are walking down this pathway with people who have been or are dealing with this themselves. I can only tell you this, I couldn’t imagine my life as a mom with a sick child, but I couldn’t do it without the incredible support this community has provided for my family and me. In days after we found out that our baby has cancer, it was like looking in a tunnel with no lights, almost numbing to the point that I didn’t believe there could be an end to the miserable feeling or nightmare I thought I was having. We are on chemo dose number 5, and I/we are learning how to deal with it and live differently. We are growing closer as a family. We are working together for our warrior, and we are surviving. I won’t say it’s not hard or emotional. But we are doing it!
Written by Nicholas’ mom, Megan
Please consider helping children with cancer and others in our community by scheduling a blood donation at Miller-Keystone Blood Center: https://donor.giveapint.org/donor/schedules/zip