I think we all remember this time a little bit different. For me, I remember being worried when Teddy started showing flushed cheeks and a fever. He’d been sick before, we’d done the super high fever as an infant. That was scary, this was nothing as bad. That was at the end of January 2012. We spent most of February with small fevers and rashes that came and went. I even took him too an urgent care clinic because I thought the family doctor wasn’t doing enough. March 8th, 2012 they did some lab, we got a call after hours and were immediately sent to Bronson’s ER. Our family doctor was doing it perfect, testing any sooner may have missed it. They didn’t want to scare us till they had too. I’ll quote my wife’s perspective from caring bridge:
“We think it started early Feb. He had cold symptoms with a fever that would be normal in the morning and higher in the evening. So, the doctor initially prescribed antibiotics. The fever swings still persisted. At the end of the antibiotic course, a rash appeared. It looked like the rash for fifth’s disease (a common virus) and red bumps. This lasted about a week with the fever swings. The rash subsided, but the fever still persisted. The doctor ordered a blood test – we were in the hospital that evening.
We were admitted on a Thursday night. They took some bone marrow on Friday morning. Confirmed leukemia Friday afternoon. Had him in surgery on Saturday morning to install his port, take some spinal fluid and give him his first treatment medication. It all happened so fast!!!
Sunday, Monday and Tuesday were calmer days in the hospital.
Wednesday morning he received chemo medication through the IV for a couple of hours. They watched how he reacted to the medication. We were discharged Wednesday evening. We were happy to go home!”
She’s so positive about it compared to my memories. My strongest memory to this day is having to use the crisis restraint training I learned working at a group home on my fragile little 5 year old while he kicked and screamed at the nurses putting in PIC lines and IV’s. I sat in the car crying and cursing god the first night. After that, I researched the Oil Spill and wanted to blame them. I was certain there was radon in the basement, we still have the test kits around here somewhere. I blamed second hand smoke, processed cereal, vaccines, and about anything else I could come up with. As a dad, the hardest part is coming to terms with the fact that no matter how tough you may feel and how hard you try to protect your child, you really have no control in the face of something like cancer. You drew the short straw, you won the Sucky-ball. All that you can do is take a deep breath, realize what’s important and trust all the good people who’ve committed themselves to fighting this terrible disease. We’re still fighting. In many ways we’re a stronger family now than before though I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.
Jim Dixon (forever a cancer dad)