Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam
Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam

Friday, September 12, 2003

The Gates Of Hell...

Some of you may know that the daughter of my husband's sister, Kyra, was diagnosed with a brain tumor, aa3 on her brainstem, in 1994 just after her third birthday. At the time I was very pregnant with my oldest son Steven. Kyra bravely fought her tumor for 18 months and died in 1996 at age 4 1/2.

Steven was born 5 weeks early, with a host of problems, including cleft palate, gastroesophageal reflux, spina bifida occulta, asthma, a stomach that was twisted upside-down (gastric volvulus), holes in his heart, no hearing on his right side, limb length discrepancies, and other things I'm not remembering at the moment.

After a horribly rough early childhood, he has emerged as a wonderful and compassionate 9-year old who strives to excel and is successful in almost everything he applies himself to.

He was diagnosed with a brain tumor this last Tuesday morning. They admitted him immediately to the hospital and performed emergency surgery Wednesday to remove his tumor. The tumor is gone now, but I am being assured by his doctors that it will recur in short order, as it is a PNET and spreads through the CSF. He had a spinal tap and bone marrow aspiration this morning to determine if there is any metastasis already, we have no results yet.

Physically he has made a miraculous recovery and we are now home. Mentally, his circuits have been so overloaded with terror and feared medical procedures he seems like he is about to come completely unglued.

We have stepped through the gates of hell.

- Kathleen

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