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.
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,