This is a story about a special little guy named Cameron who had blonde hair and blue eyes. In November of 2007 he was diagnosed with a soft-ball sized astrocytoma. His dad and I were, in a word, shell-shocked. The news from his pediatrician hit me like a ton of bricks. And, my heart dropped to my stomach, it felt like my world came to a screeching halt. I literally felt like my heart broke into a million pieces.
Cameron was immediately admitted to the hospital where the head CT scan was done. He was placed on the surgical waiting list; his surgery took place the day after his dad's 40th birthday. He was listed in front of other patients. The day of the surgery came and went (Nov.15th). He was in the hospital for 11 days the first time. We spent Thanksgiving Day there. He came home the day after. His next resection surgery took place in January. The surgeon then had to place a shunt into Cameron's head. We were in the hospital for 12 days that time. Then in February of this year), Cameron's shunt clogged up and we rushed him to the hospital which is an hour's drive. They did another CT scan and then told us that they were admitting him for emergency surgery to remove the shunt. Cameron wasn't responsive. Nothing. We were in the hospital for 16 days. We had to wait for the CSF to clear then they took him in for shunt replacement surgery and then I told the oncology people to go ahead and do medi-port surgery at the same time, which they did. The pathology people told the Tumor Board doctors that they found fast-growing cells in the resected piece that they had removed. By this time his dad and I had been through so much, that nothing that the doctors told us shocked us.
I spent days and nights with Cameron at the hospital while his dad came home and cared for Cameron's big sister, Christine, 13 and big brother, Kyle, 12. Cameron was stiff since he hadn't had any exercise and his head was so large from swelling. He was on all kinds of medicines, from anxiety medicine to HBP medicine and steroids. I prayed every day for his miracle. I had the chaplains from the hospital come in to pray for him. Well, he finally got his miracle. Since he's been home, he gets physical therapy 2 times a week, and he's talking up a storm and is getting back to his old self. He started chemotherapy 3 weeks ago and he goes every week to Akron Children's. He has some of the best doctors there taking care of him. He tolerates the chemo pretty good, but now it's starting to build up and is causing more side effects, but that's in prayer too, that these side effects will alleviate themselves. The whole time Cameron was in the hospital, I kept telling him that I knew he was in there somewhere, that his old self was there.
He's an amazing kid. The doctors and nurses are amazed by him. I told them that that's what prayer will do a person's spirit and body. They just look at me and are dumbfounded. Like they don't believe me. My wish for Cameron is that when he grows up into a man, that he'll share his story of healing with the world and will let nothing hold him back. For I now believe that he was a true gift from God and that He has special things for Cameron to do.
Update March 2009:
Since Cameron's original diagnosis of his tumor in November of '07, he has had numerous types of chemo meds. and he has had two more brain tumor surgeries, in June of '08 and then the most recent being done in January of this year. He is now into his 6th week of radiation therapy. He will be finished next week and we're praying for another miracle. He's been doing great through all of this. He continues with weekly speech and monthly occupational therapies. We've put physical therapy on hold for now. He will be going to pre-school this Fall with the hope of being able to socialize with other children his age. He's come so far in such a short time. The time has seemed to fly by us. With Spring coming, he's getting outside to play more and loves it. He's been our strong-willed little man. He loves to make sure people know he's around. A few weeks ago, he and his brother,Kyle got their bedroom made-over in a reptile theme. An organization called "Special Spaces" came and did the room for them. It's beautiful. While the group was here doing the room, they sent us to Columbus,OH. to see Disney on Ice and we all had a great time. Cameron really enjoyed seeing his favorite Disney characters. He's growing like a weed and is talking in complete sentences now, which is a miracle in itself.
UPDATE May 2010:
Cameron lost his battle with his brain tumor on May 1st, 2010. He had to have another brain surgery on April 15th and we were later told that the tumor had become malignant. He was home for 8 days when he had a seizure and a mini-stroke. We took him back to the hospital and he spent 5 days there before succumbing to the illness. He never regained consciousness.
We were truly blessed to have him for as long as we did.
by Janice Arnold