30 DAYS/30 STORIES® 2023
On May 2, 2022, we took Ethan to LVHN Express Care for a fever and what we thought was a cold. The nurse practitioner was concerned about how he was breathing and sent us to the Children's ER at LVHN Cedar Crest for further testing. Initially it appeared that he had pneumonia, but after further testing and imaging a 5cm mass was found growing off his thymus. During his stay at Lehigh Valley Reilly's Children’s Hospital, he had a chest tube inserted in order to drain fluid from his lung that was coming from the mass. After testing the fluid, he was found to have T-cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma. We had a 2-week hospital stay in order to drain the fluid from his chest, receive antibiotics, have a PICC placement, bone marrow biopsy, spinal tap, and then port placement to begin his chemotherapy treatments.
In June 2022, his repeat scan showed his mass had reduced in size and was then considered to be in remission. Over the last year, he has received numerous chemotherapy treatments in clinic and at home, multiple spinal taps, hospital admissions, platelet transfusions, blood transfusions and other medication treatments to deal with side effects. We have encountered bumps along his journey which included multiple hospital stays and trips to the ER.
Now we know all too well the life of pediatric oncology. A year ago, we never would have imaged having to deal with a life revolving around cancer treatment for our son. Hearing a doctor tell you that your son has a mass in his chest, and he has cancer is something you never want to hear…and it is something you will never forget. The doctors and staff have become such an important part of our lives. We couldn't be more grateful for them and what they do. What we have learned during this journey is invaluable. Cherish every moment we have with our son, the good and the bad. Now he is getting the chance to be a big brother and starting to enjoy activities like a normal toddler as his treatments become fewer and further in between.
PCFLV has helped us throughout this journey. They have provided assistance so we did not have to worry about our expenses like groceries, gas, and turnpike tolls to get Ethan to his treatments. PCFLV provides children and their families with gift cards, tickets to events, meals, toys, and so much more. PCFLV supports these warriors and their families so we can focus on our children and have some relief during such difficult times in our life.
Written by Ethan’s mom, Ashlee
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