Yesterday we took Ethan into clinic for his regular chemo and check up that he was doing every 4 weeks. When they did his blood test, his platelets were low. They said it was pretty common, and attributed it to a cold he had had or just being on chemo in general. They planned on checking his blood again in a week just to make sure they were rebounding. He also had a lumbar puncture where they drew and tested his spinal fluid. Our doctor called us later that night saying that they were worried, and they thought they had found leukemia cells in both his blood and spinal fluid. They asked us to return today for a bone marrow aspiration. Our wonderful home teacher came and gave Merrill a blessing, and assisted Merrill in giving both Ethan and myself a blessing. There were some amazing things promised us, but nothing specific to Ethan's diagnosis.
After fasting all morning, Ethan had his bone marrow aspiration as well as another lumbar puncture. Before he even went in, our doctors said they needed to chat with us after they did the aspiration. We knew it wasn't good news. The wonderful doctors did an amazing job of explaining to us that Ethan's cancer had in fact relapsed. He will have to undergo very intensive treatment for the next 1-3 months, depending on how he responds to the treatments. They said one month is pretty unlikely, but two or three months is more realistic. The goal is to get him into remission again. When he reaches remission, they will do a bone marrow transplant. This will involve more treatment to kill his stem cells, and then the transplant itself, followed by monitoring to make sure it takes. They said this hospital stay would be 4-6 weeks, barring any complications. Needless to say, the poor kiddo has a rough road ahead.
He will be admitted on Monday for about a week. They did say, however, that more often than not, they will send you home only to have you come back again with an infection, and they end up staying about a month. We are hoping to be one of the lucky ones that will get to stay home :) Ethan will have another long road ahead of being cooped up. They said he will not be able to go out much from the time he starts treatments until 6-12 months after his bone marrow transplant.
We are hopeful that all will go well, and Ethan will be able to fight off the cancer. He is an amazing little boy with such amazing spirit. He has matured so quickly, and is super obedient. I am so grateful that he has such a fighting spirit about him.
Again, I am so grateful for the help we have received, and the help offered. I don't know how we could make it without the help of our wonderful families and friends. Also, I am so grateful to our Heavenly Father for the blessings of peace and comfort that he offers us. I know without a doubt that he is aware of our family and aware of Ethan, and I am so thankful for that knowledge.
While this isn't easy, we will buckle down and go again. We will fight until there is no fight left.