as told by his mom, Deb.
On February 5, 2014, the world changed forever for me, my husband and our four children. That was the day that we were told that our 14-year-old son, Jarod, had cancer.
It started out as a small lump on his ankle that was surgically removed. The surgeon was not very worried; cancer wasn’t even a thought. Within four months of the surgery, however, the lump had grown back with a vengeance. His ankle was three times the size of what it should be!
Jarod had another, more invasive surgery on his ankle and, six weeks later, we were sitting in PMDU. Jarod was diagnosed with Peripheral T-cell Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. We were told that treatment would be harsh and would begin immediately. Jarod would require a bone marrow biopsy, a PET scan and a portacath placed in his chest for them to administer chemotherapy through.
We learned that the cancer had not reached his bones or other organs and that it appeared to be localized in his ankle. This was the best news that we could hope for! He would need six rounds of chemotherapy that would require hospitalization each round. He would also be hospitalized several times for fevers, dehydration and mouth sores. We also faced a fear of possible relapse shortly after treatment ended.
It has been two years since Jarod finished treatment and he is doing GREAT! He returned to school and his grades are amazing! He is working hard to obtain the four credits that he missed and he is determined to graduate with his class. He started riding horses after he finished treatment. It has been so incredibly therapeutic. He has advanced so far that he is now competing in horse shows and has become quite an impressive barrel racer!
I still have a very hard time talking about “2014”. It was the kind of news that could break a family but instead it made us stronger! We realized very quickly what a very strong support system we had. Our family and friends stepped up to help in every way possible. We felt extremely loved and fortunate that we had so many amazing people in our lives.
Childcan was also there with us every step of the way. I don’t know what we would have done without Childcan. They provided us with meal vouchers, gas cards, hospital parking passes and even helped pay our mortgage when we had fallen behind. Childhood cancer causes a huge financial strain on a family and Childcan helped relieve some of that strain. Childcan also introduced us to Renee, the most caring and compassionate woman you will ever meet. She was so easy to talk to; even to this day she is still checking in with us. We are forever grateful to Childcan and everything that they do!