Life can change in an instant

22 May 2011

On May 15th, 2011, our lives were changed forever.  Learning that you or a family member has cancer is something that words cannot explain. We were shocked and terrified. And yet, it has brought our family closer than we would have ever imagined. Our love for each other has multiplied tenfold. We have come to understand what is really important in life. I know that this is why Heavenly Father gives us trials. He gives us trials to teach us and to help us grow. He knows what is best for us and he knows what we are capable of handling.  After this week, I know that there is nothing more important in this life than family.

On Sunday, Tyler was taken to the Emergency Room at Mckay Dee Hospital with severe stomach pain. We thought that his appendix had ruptured. A CT scan was ordered at around 10:20 pm that night to determine if Tyler had appendicitis and needed surgery. After a long wait, the results came back. There was a very obvious problem, and it wasn’t Tyler’s appendix. It was cancer.

Tyler was taken down to Primary Children’s Medical Center the following morning to meet with an oncologist. After more scans and tests, it was confirmed that Tyler indeed had cancer and it had spread to most of his organs. Surgery was scheduled for the following day to biopsy the tumors in order to determine what kind of cancer he had.

Surgery went well. The doctor was able to get the biopsy she needed. Tyler was cracking jokes right after surgery and we all felt a little better now that it was over with. We still didn’t have any answers though. The Doctor told us that it would be a few days before the pathology results came back. Only then could they tell us what kind of cancer it was, where it originated, and what stage it was in. We knew we would have to be patient for a few more days.

We were surprised when the Doctor came in with the pathology results the following day.  We weren’t expecting them for at least two more days. The news was not what we wanted to hear….. Tyler had a rare and serious form of liver cancer called Hepatocellular carcinoma and it had spread to most of his vital organs. They believe that Tyler has had this cancer for about 18 months. Many of you are asking how someone can have cancer for 18 months and not have any symptoms. Believe me, we are asking ourselves the same thing. Tyler had no visible symptoms that led us to believe he was ever ill. The Doctors were not giving us much hope and Tyler was scared to death. It was a lot of grim news for anyone to hear, let alone a 14 year old boy.

Tyler started chemotherapy the very next day. His first dose of chemo was called Cisplatin. It was given to him through an IV for approximately 6 hours. He tolerated it very well.  He slept peacefully that night and we knew that angels were watching over him and our family.  So many of you were praying for Tyler that night. We could feel it.

The next day was Friday and he received his second dose of chemo. It was called Doxorubicin. It is nicknamed “The Red Devil” because the liquid is bright red and it is supposed to be some very powerful stuff! Once again, Tyler slept well and we could feel the presence of angels in the hospital room with us.

Today, Tyler does not feel well. We know it is a sign that the chemo is doing its job but it is still difficult to watch him go through this. I can’t imagine what is going on inside of his body right now. There is a full out battle taking place.  They have kept Ty pretty sedated and medicated so that he will not be too miserable. He has slept most of the day. We did however, get him to walk to the window to see what a beautiful day it was today. Hopefully Tyler will be able to come home tomorrow.

I cannot explain to you the emotions my family has felt over the course of this week. I also cannot explain to you the peace and comfort we have felt. We are being carried by Heavenly Father.  We will never be able to thank all of our friends and family for the love and support they have shown. Complete strangers are offering prayers for Tyler. It is such an incredible and overwhelming feeling.  Thank you!! I know that we will get through this trial. We have a long road ahead of us. There will be good days and there will be bad days. We have to replace our fear with faith and know that Heavenly Father has a plan for each and every one of us. After all, it is ultimately in His hands.

We hope that this blog will help you understand what is going on with Tyler. We will post constant updates and experiences we have throughout this journey. We are all going to be witnessing many miracles through prayer and fasting. Remember…. we are all in this together now. We are “Team Tyler” and the only way we are going to beat this cancer is by working as a team and calling upon our Father in Heaven for help. I know with all my heart that miracles happen. Let’s get a miracle for Tyler!


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