This past week Ian had a checkup with his oncologist. We already knew his February MRI came back clear. We don’t sleep much until we get the results, so the doctor called us as soon as he received the scans. Every time Ian has an MRI we worry that it will reveal something abnormal. I doubt we will ever be comfortable with Ian’s checkups, but a clear MRI scan is cause for celebration. What we didn’t anticipate at his checkup is Ian’s doctor’s shock and enthusiasm over the results.
It has now been two years since the completion of Ian’s Cancer treatments. It snuck up on us. This anniversary marks a significant decrease in the likelihood that the Cancer will come back. The doctor was amazed. Because of the rarity of Ian’s tumor (no child has ever had this type of Cancer before), he never would have predicted this outcome. He kept asking, “Are you sure there are no problems or concerns with Ian’s health?” Our resounding answer: None!
This is nothing short of a miracle. For those of you who have been reading about our struggle from the beginning, do you remember when I asked all of you to pray for Ian not to have the consequences the professionals told us were bound to happen? If Ian had to be one in a hundred-million to have this Cancerous brain tumor, then could he be that one in a hundred-million not to have brain damage or learning disabilities? Could he not be confined to a wheelchair? These consequences were normal for a child with any kind of brain tumor, not to mention a rare, Cancerous one. Could he please just be a normal boy after every difficult treatment he had to endure? Ian has confounded the odds.
The doctor was expecting Ian to have at least some developmental issues. Immediately following Ian’s treatments, it was difficult to determine if Ian’s brain had suffered. He was only four when he was diagnosed, but now, at seven, we can measure his mental, physical, and intellectual growth. How does he compare? Ian is reading and passing his math and spelling tests, keeping up with his classmates. Not only can he run and jump, but he is excelling at hockey. In five short months Ian learned to skate forwards and backwards, and he is now scoring goals. He just joined a club hockey team and is able to keep up with the children that have been skating for a year or more.
The other consequence that we have to watch out for is the damage the radiation treatments may have done to his body. His pituitary gland and other vital organs may have been affected. It isn’t until children reach puberty that doctors know for sure if anything has been damaged. It will be another waiting game for those long-term results, but the recent blood tests show no damage whatsoever at this time!
Our prayers have been answered. Ian is one in a hundred million!