A friend had mentioned to me that Zach's symptoms are flu like and asked if that is how he feels, while I politely thanked him for asking and then thought maybe I would enlighten him as to the difference of the flu versus a very rare life threatening cancer. Sadly there are too many parents in our world that know everything there is to know about DSRCT, and as I do several times a day pray for God to take away this horrible disease and give our children the long, happy healthy lives they so rightly deserve. But for those who may read this page please understand that this is not a "Flu"! Besides the sickness that the cancer brings, the treatment is just as bad if not worse. If you can imagine almost every day feeling totally exhausted, running a high fever, the constant feeling of wanting to throw up, dizziness, confusion, hospital stays weekly, numerous different drugs that cause so many side effects, I V antibiotics are mandatory to fight off any and all infections, as when Zach's levels are so low they don't register on a medical scale. Blood transfusions several times each month, and the anguish that goes with knowing that without the special generosity of strangers your hemoglobin may not recover, and of course the complete loss of hair, which at first is stressful in its own way.These are only some of the effects of this and almost every cancer, and then probably the worst side effect is the uncertainty, the enormous scare and fear that each child or young person faces every minute of the day, including while having very upsetting dreams. The very thought of not knowing what each day will bring, perhaps the only certainty being more of the same, and the questions, confusion, wondering when will the treatment stop, when will I find my CURE! No, our loved ones are not suffering from a seasonal flu, or cold, they are taking on the greatest challenge of their lives, head on and without surrender!
I have followed many children and young people and their families since June 19th, of this year, reading their stories of hope and faith, of doubt and fear, and remain in absolute AWE, at how each and everyone of you are able to wake up each morning, which is actually several times during the night, and awaken your incredible inner strength, put on the happiest face possible for your children, and family and friends when we can. Some of the families children I follow everyday are Marc, Walker, Sebastian, Sabrina, David, Gabby, Max, Morgan, Ross, Sam, Andrew, Alyssa, Lisa, Robby, and Dalton. Please forgive me for only mentioning a few of our special children, there are so many, and I really try to pray for you all, but I have to admit that I have to save most of my time praying, hoping, loving and supporting our Zach, I hope I do not sound selfish. There is the sweetest little boy that many of you may know, as his Mom so bravely and generously shares so many incredible photo's of him, and tells us all everyday how Gabriel is doing, but if you don't, let me tell you, Gabriel has been a real source of power, and faith for Zach, me and our entire family. He and his Mom Erica, remind me every day that so many families are going through the same days, same emotions and challenges, and Gabriel says it all in his smile, the twinkle in his eyes, and the things he says, or sings.
As I mentioned to some yesterday, Zach has found a real "Happy distraction" in a little puppy, his name is "Brutus" and is a mix of Pug and Chihuahua. We have always had big four legged members of the family, but when Zach and his new "Chug" met, there was an instant bond, so what could a Dad do! It is these unplanned circumstances that bring happiness and distraction that are very much needed, whenever and where ever we may find them.
Zach will fight hard over the next few days again, fending off infection and all the side effects, and then he will start Round 8, shortly thereafter he will have a series of test, P.E.T. scan, M.R.I. and others to assess the progress of this treatment, in preparation for surgery at M.D. Anderson in Texas. Please remember how grateful we are always for your support, love and kindness, and that we continue to pray and ask God for his healing hands for our Zach, and for you all, God Bless, take good care and be safe!