Wonderful Friends and Family,
We cannot thank you each enough for your continued emails of encouragment, your voicemails and MOST importantly, your prayers for our precious baby boy. Over the next several days, I am going to try to respond to each of you, but in the meantime, please accept THIS email as if I was writing it specifically to YOU. We have read your email, and we appreciate your words and the fact that you have told so many others about our son's situation. I am overwhelmed with emotion and humbled at the thought of all of the people nationwide that have heard and that are praying for our baby. God is so good in that way, and I can feel His strength and peace with me minute by minute.
I wanted to provide another update we received today regarding Ethan. Even though we will not have a final diagnosis until next week they are starting him on chemotherapy this evening. Waiting until next week for an answer before providing treatment puts his spleen at risk of rupturing, due to it's enlarged size, and that's a life-threatening just by itself. The spleen is enlarged because it's working overtime to fight off the cancer cells in Ethan's body... however, that's not really the spleen's job. The bone marrow is supposed to handle that aspect of one's body, but Ethan's bone marrow is not functioning. The chemotherapy will help ease the extra work the spleen is doing and help fight the cancer cells. The hope is that the spleen then reduces in size. He will be on chemo continuously for the next 4 days and begin the plan to look for a bone marrow donor. Then next week have a more definite diagnosis and we can start the rest of the treatment.
They have cautiously advised us that his cancer is more than likely what they call JMML (rare form of luekemia) and is very hard to treat. The have also advised that this will be a long road in regards to his treatment and that it will not be easy. Ethan is at risk every step of the way; however, I'm not limiting my son to those terms. He has been so wonderful throughout all of this so far. He smiles at us, he takes his bottle, and he acts just like he always has. Yes, my little boy (who's not even 3 months old yet) is very sick... BUT I believe he can be healed in an instant and I'm holding onto that hope every day.
Your prayers and your care help to quiet my anxious spirit. Even through the tears, I can feel a peace and a strength that's not my own and I know it is of the Lord. We truly cannot thank you enough for spreading the word of our son's condition and for all of the prayers that have been said because you sent our request to someone that you know.... it's truly amazing.
I was thinking last night as I laid here in the hospital bed about the story in the Bible where Jesus preformed a miracle by turning water into wine at a wedding. And I thought, if He cared enough about that couple's needs on their wedding day to provide a proper drink for their guests.... how much MORE does he care for a young, sick child. I am praying for a miracle here, and continue to ask for you to do the same.
I wish I could better express my gratitude for your love and support, but know that we are truly thankful for and continually encouraged by you.
I'll continue to be in touch....
(April 11, 2008)