Our Battle Moving Forward…

superhero

Those who know our son, know that he is determined. Intensely driven. A fighter.

When playing sports, he gives his all. He doesn’t back down, and never gives up. A passionate and enthusiastic opponent.

His competitive spirit is strong. A teacher once commented on his report card that Ethan needed to remember that Phys-Ed class was not the Olympic games. That sometimes he should tone down the intensity a little.

Now is NOT one of those times.

We are counting on our boy to be a fighter. To give 100%. To never give up, no matter how hard the battle may be.

The results of the last MRI were not what we had hoped. The surgeon was able to remove most of the tumour. But with cancer, most is just not enough.

Some of the tumour had grown closely around some critical structures in Ethan’s brain. To have taken more, would have resulted in permanent damage.

This type of cancer, Ependymoma, is extremely rare. There are only 10 pediatric cases in all of Ontario. Ethan’s doctors have repeatedly told us that it is a ‘stubborn’ cancer. Difficult to treat. Recurring often.

But our boy is stubborn too.

Very.

His doctor says he’s counting on it. That this journey will be difficult and we need our boy to be determined and strong. To always maintain hope. To never give up.

The operation that Ethan had today was to implant a port. This provides access to Ethan’s veins without the need for repeated IV’s. The port will be used for taking blood when needed, and for administering medications.

Our next step will be a short course of chemotherapy. The list of probable and possible side effects is completely overwhelming. If we had any other option, we would surely choose another way.

But this is the best chance we’ve got right now.

There will be other treatments to follow, depending on how the tumour responds to chemo. We know the various pathways of treatment, but not which one Ethan will need. There are many unknowns.

Last night, Trevor and I sat with Ethan and did our best to share this information with him in a way that was honest, but not overwhelming. I have no words to describe how heartbreaking it was to have this conversation with our son. It is something no parent should have to do. Ever.

We are caught somewhere between numb and weary. Too tired even for tears. Wishing one of us could take his place. Shelter him from the pain and fear. Restore his life to one of playing basketball with his friends, avoiding homework, squabbling with his siblings, and riding his bike.

The carefree life of a boy.

But for a time, his life will revolve around treatments, clinic appointments, MRI scans, and hospital stays. This is our present reality.

We are not strong enough to get through this on our own. Please continue to pray for Ethan and for our family. Pray that his response to treatment would astound the medical team. That Ethan would be granted a miracle of healing.

Thank you again for your kind words of encouragement, and for your prayers. We are grateful to those who have helped with childcare and rides for our other children, and to the many who have provided delicious meals for the ones at home. Your love carries us through each day.

May you be richly blessed,

The McPhersons

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42 thoughts on “Our Battle Moving Forward…

  1. I’ve been so touched by your story. I’m a friend of Courtenay. We worked together for a short time. I don’t know you or Ethan. But I’ve been praying since Courtenay first posted this and the link to your page. I feel so strongly that this is going to be a miracle story. I can’t even imagine how hard it is to watch your child go through this. You are not alone. There are angels all around. Blessings to you and your family.

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  2. We will continue to pray for a miracle for your dear sweet boy! I pray that he will be such a living testimony to the power of God that the doctors will be astounded. Big Hugs to you my dear sweet friend!! xoxo

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  3. We love you guys so much. Please let us know anything we can do. We can have kids up, or I can go down, we can prep meals to send, etc. Anything at all to ease some burden. If I could take away the true burden I would. I hate cancer. I hate that our wonderful and amazing Ethan is going through this. 😦 We will not stop praying. We believe in miracles.

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    1. So sweet of you Jenny! I know that you guys would do anything you could to help. I know you have been through dealing with this awful disease with your mom. It is truly awful and we hate it too. Hate seeing our boy go through all of this. But amen to believing in miracles. We truly do as well. Keep praying! Love you!

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  4. Cindy Trevor and Ethan….standing in the gap for you guys…..this is a real hard pill to swallow but I want you know that God is in control…He sees, knows and hears your prayers….I believe that Ethan is a fighter and will come through this as a living testimony….high fives Ethan as you fight this battle as it belongs to the Lord. Blessings and peace

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    1. Hi Richard,
      It has been years! Unfortunate we had to reconnect under these circumstances, but thank you so much for your prayers and words of encouragement! We believe, as you said, that God is in control. This may not make sense to us, but there is a plan. He is a good Father who has plans to prosper us and not to harm us.
      Blessings,
      Cindy

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  5. Dear Father God we are asking for a miracle for Ethan… please lord Jesus give strength to Ethan and his family… please heavenly Father take this cancer from his body, give this young man the strength to conquer this demon called cancer…

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  6. Keep strong Ethan you can do it you have proved it this far and you can do it through the next step, you are a beautiful child of God and he will carry you through this and your Mom and Dad and rest of family, My blessings and prayers are always with you as you journey though this battle Keep strong and always keep your faith one step ahead of the journey Many Blessings and May God hold you up with all the heavy burdens he will take this from you just ask and you will receive his blessings

    Rhonda Allen\
    MHBC

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  7. We could never imagine the pain and suffering you’re going through and wish we could lighten the load that’s been put on Ethan and the rest of you. I’m thankful you have your faith that helps you in this fight. We’re sorry we’re so far away and are unable to help you through this but we pray for all of you every day and our hearts and thoughts are with you everyday. We don’t call, not because we don’t care but that we know you have so to be doing what you’re doing and don’t want to take that time from you. You’re the first, and the last ones we think of each day and throughout the day. Always in our hearts and prayers. xo

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    1. Awww, Velda that is so sweet of you. Truly we know that you care. Thank you for praying. That means the world to us. Once things settle down a little, maybe Trevor will get a chance to give you a call.
      Love and hugs,
      Cindy

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    1. My dear friend,
      We are the ones who are so richly blessed to have Ethan call us Mom and Dad. Knowing that so many people are praying for us truly brings peace and confidence.
      Much love,
      Cindy

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  8. Thank you for your honesty. You have expressed yourself very well and we know how to pray and support you better. When Ethan’s bag is in I will drop it off at your house with a meal for those that are home.

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    1. I am such an avid believer of alternative medicine. I know of several stories where, if you are open to it, Cannabis Oil, the CBD has helped many patients and others suffering from multiple different diseases. Just a suggestion. Praying for Ethan and his family. Blessings sent to all.

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  9. PRAYING GOD”S ALMIGHTY HAND OF HEALING ON ETHAN!!! PRAYING FOR SUSTAINED ENERGY AND GRACE AS YOUR FAMILY GOES THROUGH THIS WITH HIM!!!!! “Oh LORD, do what ONLY You can do!! We need You to heal Ethan!”

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  10. There are so many sad stories that come my way. But Ethan has stuck with me. Every night before I go to bed his name just seems to cut through all my cluttered thoughts. And I pray. It may be your mother’s heart that has touched me but it is GOD who is calling people to prayer. So hope abounds. Love is real.

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  11. Cindy and Trevor,
    The LORD sustains him on his sickbed and restores him from his bed of illness. Psalm 41:3
    The LORD will protect him and keep him alive, And he shall be called blessed upon the earth. Psalm 41:2

    The Lord’s people, your sisters and brothers in Christ, are standing in prayer united and are praying for miraculous healing for Ethan, we are praying for strength and energy for all of you as you walk this journey together, we are thanking him (before we even know that there is healing) for healing so that even the doctors will be astounded at his mighty power and will believe in God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Love you guys! The Shapardanis Family

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  12. Thinking and praying for Eathen and his family , I can’t imagine the many emotions you all must be feeling! Thankyou Lord that as his parents say you have given him a strong will to fight ,Lord would you use that for his good right now would you be the center of this difficult battle help them though would you fill them up with your love and your comfort bring each heart peace for this must be so overwhelming ! Lord your word tells us you are with us in the storm , may they all feel you in this storm may you protect them with your armor protect there minds and the hearts from the work you have all ready done and are doing and going to do , you are faithful and meet us in all our circumstance Thankyou for that you bring healing that only you can do our hope is found In you alone , Lord would you remind them of the Miracles that you have done not only the ones that we read in your word the miricles in our own life’s big and small to show us how big you are ! That nothing is impossible for you ! You are in control , Lord we pray the doctors and the care givers you would give them wisdom and knowledge to treat Eathen , guide the hands bring healing to all that needs healing ! You know Eathen buy name you know the every hair on His head , Thankyou that we can come to you call on you , give our every thought and worry and anxiety to you Thankyou that you take our burdens and make them light , May you do a miricle for Eathen , may all that are seeing this see your love your peace and your comfort to know that you are there you love them and comfort them ! Lord we also pray for His parents for the guidance and the wisdom for Eathen parents that they would be so clear and have the assurance in there heart and if there is a different way may you provide that ! Thankyou Lord for hearing our prayers as we join together and call on your Son Jesus our Saviour to bring healing may all the praise and the glory be all given to you ! Amen

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    1. As I read your lovely words of encouragement, it reminded me of something I have heard my husband say to several people. That although the turmoil swirls darkly around us, we feel protected in the eye of the storm. It is so true. The overall peace that we have is amazing. Yes, we are tired and overwhelmed at times, but all things considered we are coping well in God’s strength.
      Blessings,
      Cindy

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  13. Dear Trevor, Cindy and dear Ethan, you are a very strong boy, and you fight this monster with all you have. I want you to know you have a whole town fighting with you, your Mom and Dad. You are not alone, and most of all , our sweet boy, you have Jesus with you every step of the way. Sending warm fuzzy hugs to you and your family.

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  14. As I read this about your precious Ethan, I know that our God is far greater than this cancer. I will pray your prayer of Ethan’s “response to treatment would astound the medical team. That Ethan would be granted a miracle of healing.” YES. and Amen. Caring through Christ, ~ linda

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  15. We are fighting this battle with you in prayer. We love you McPhersons. We will continue to support you in whatever ways we can. Our Lord will never leave you nor forsake you, He is good, all the time.
    We are triumphant over the enemy with the words of our testimony, thank-you for sharing and praise God as He continues to provide, bless and work miracles for you. xoxo

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  16. I cannot imagine this journey you all are on. I have a small inkling as we have journeyed with surgeries, tests, and chemo with my mom. But with a child … I cannot imagine. Know that Ethan and your family are in my prayers and will continue to be as I pray each morning. May our God supply all that each one of you needs as you face each day. May He bring healing and strength to Ethan, yes, even through the hands of doctors and medicines and chemicals – for He is The Physician overseeing it all. Blessings and hugs!

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  17. I am a friend of Angelas and attend her church Crosslands. I just want you to know that there are many people in prayer for your son and your family, many that you don’t even know. May God fill your with peace and hope. May He be the light and strength your son needs, May He be the Great Healer in this situation.

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