Aidan’s Father’s account:
It was Monday, September 13th and I was enjoying an uneventful day at work when my wife, Katie, called crying. She said, “We just had a blood test and they think Aidan has Leukemia!” I told Katie I would come straight home and we would figure it all out together. I turned to my boss who knew we were expecting a baby soon. She saw the look on my face and with a hesitant voice said, “Is the baby coming?” I told her and my concerned coworkers what my wife had just told me. It was not until I actually said it out loud that it became a reality to me.
During my frantic drive home I dug through my emotionally disjointed memory banks trying to find any recall of the word Leukemia. I remembered hearing the word several times in movies, books, magazines and passing conversation, but I could not remember any facts or statistics that would give a structure to the situation. Only that it was one of the most nightmarishly horrific words ever spoken, and I based that off of the way it had always been said. Every time I had heard the word, the person saying it either unconvincingly choked back tears or whispered the word as if it was the name of a recently passed loved one. So, I knew the word leukemia was associated with death.
When I saw my wife I knew that she had the same lose definition of the word that I did. I don’t think I need to embellish how long the next 5 hours felt to us. My wife and I thought we were losing the only person in the world who meant more to each of us than the other, and my son’s mood was noticeably affected by the growing group of ill informed adults waiting impatiently for answers.
“97% curable, not 97% treatable… curable!” Dr. Weiser had saved us from the darkest rock bottom depths of our own overactive imaginations. Leukemia was not the death sentence we all thought it was, Aidan has the most common and treatable form.
We have been able to move on to our new norm with a positive perspective. Now we are focused on making Aidan comfortable with the changes he has to endure. He has to wear a Hickman, which is tube that runs from the front of his chest under the skin up to his neck, into a vein and back down the inside of the vein close to his heart. He does not like it. He knows it is in him and that creeps him out. He has been put under sedation three times now, once for the bone marrow test to confirm leukemia, a second for the Hickman, and a third for the spinal tap and the first dose of chemo. When something hurts he doesn’t cry any longer than absolutely necessary, and he tells us what he doesn’t like and why it’s stupid. He understands everything as well as I do, and doesn’t pull away or fight anyone with anything. During the good times he enjoys scaring the nurses with his new creepy clown mask, and he never breaks character. During the bad times we rest and watch Goosebumps or Sponge Bob. He will have nearly three years of treatment and all of the side affects associated. Aidan has many ups and downs ahead of him, but the good news is thanks to the good doctors at Wesley hospital we will make it through.