We started this journey in August 2010, all because I thought Joshua had feet problems. I guess it was my mother’s intuition that something just wasn’t right. Then we arrived at the hospital only to find out it was a tumor and it would have to be operated on. That was a tough pill to swallow indeed. But I just prayed for God to give me grace. It is so amazing that all I ever asked God for is grace. I knew it was a storm of some sort so I just trusted God would take care of my baby – my 10-year-old baby that is. He shall always be my baby.
In August we had our first surgery. The surgery took like a little over seven hours and when he woke up he was not really moving. Our particular hospital said he would be able to go home in two days and all I could think was, “Are they crazy?” My son wasn’t moving on one side, he was just laying down and he wasn’t talking. I knew he wouldn’t go home in two days. We actually stayed there 13 days and then they said we could go home. So the nurse gathered our medical supplies and ordered a wheelchair as Joshua would need it when we got home. So we went home and a week or so later my mother and stepfather took him to the oncologist while I packed my apartment up to put it in storage.
Well, my mom said she would call after the meeting and hours later I received a call. The doctor said like 6-8 weeks of radiation and a year and a half of chemo. All I could think was, “There has gotta be a better place for Joshua because a year and a half of putting him through chemo would be just horrible.” So I started to research. I did several days of research. Then we had a family meeting days later and I still was upstairs researching. I had seen commercials about St. Jude but hadn’t researched it yet and then a couple suggestions were St. Jude.
I went back to my computer again. What I read about St. Jude was awesome and they actually had a team of doctors that dealt with just medulloblastoma – you can’t get any better than that. We made several calls. Actually, I called that day, a Sunday, and she told me to call back at 8 a.m. and who I needed to ask for. Needless to say, when we talked to Mrs. Tina she got everything together for us – free housing, transportation, free food and best of all, #1 medical care and it didn’t matter if you had money or not. St. Jude made this experience not as scary and I can’t say Joshua has ever been scared. I can truly say this is a hospital of hope.
They give you lots of hope when you are going through this scary situation. God was right there holding my hand. Treatment was six weeks of radiation and four months of chemo. When we got to our second housing, we met tons of friends and sometimes we would cook out or sometimes they would bring Joshua happy meals or toys. We will surely miss them! Because of this experience, I am so much stronger and have become an even better mother.
I appreciate the little things. I thank God for blessing my family and strengthening my faith. I can’t believe we are done. It became reality when they took his line out and even Joshua said, “Yay! The bad cancer is gone.” See, I told you chemo don’t have nothing on me. I am happy to say for now the cancer is gone.