Wednesday, February 11, 2009

For the love of Hunter: Waiting for cure can be taxing on mom, dad, sister and this beautiful boy

The body in receiving high doses of chemo to kill everything including leukemia reacts differently in each of us.

And so it is with 6-year-old Hunter, preparing for his last major dose of chemo to finally beat leukemia and get him on a regular dose of maintenance medicine to fully pursue being young once more.

For the past several Wednesdays, his body has not been producing enough white blood cells to survive another high dose of chemo. Mom and Dad go to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital with hopes each week of starting on the final stretch of life-saving chemo. But each time the blood counts have turned them back.

And the delay can be devastating, as it was this morning when I joined Team Hunter at the hospital in rooting for his medical triumph.

The question becomes after several frustrating weeks is "what is wrong?" And the worst question is "has the leukemia come back?" I know the roller coaster feeling from my continuing fight with the same disease.

Hunter had a great weekend in the warm weather. He was riding his bike and throwing baseball. He did not want to come inside the house. The boy and the wonderful weather were one.

So the white cell count was mystifying this morning. That led the great staff at Monore Carell to take a bit of Hunter's bone marrow to see if the leukemia had returned. Then mom and dad and big sister had to wait six hours back at home for the results.

Hunter REMAINS in remission. Hooray! God answers all prayers!

So next week, Team Hunter will return to Vanderbilt. And we'll see if his body is ready for the last big round of chemo ... and his ultimate return to regular, rip-roaring life.

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