Nolan started vomiting in the mornings over the summer in 2009, I took him to his pediatrician thinking he just had the stomach flu. Only this stomach flu continued to get worse. Nolan got to the point where he wasn’t just throwing up in the mornings, it was all day. He was loosing weight and having headaches. I continued to take Nolan back and forth to the pediatrician in hopes we could find out what was wrong. His pediatrician referred us to a GI specialist in Atlanta and after going over all Nolan’s symptoms, his GI doctor decided we needed to do a CT scan STAT.
I will never forget October 8, 2009. Nolan went in for a routine CT scan of his brain. After the scan he was handed a balloon and he skipped down the hallway where we were encouraged to wait in a sedation room. I was shocked the nurse was not letting us leave the hospital, and I knew then something was wrong.
I got a call from the doctor stating Nolan had a mass on his brain. They believed it was a tumor. Within two hours Nolan was in the MRI machine getting a scan of his brain and spine. Dr. Reisner met me in the hallway that night with the terrifying news that Nolan not only had one tumor but three. One in his brain, two in his spine and a sugar coating of cancer all throughout his brain and spine.
October 13, 2009 Nolan had a craniotomy to remove the largest tumor. It took about 7 hours including time for anesthesia and recovery. After surgery Nolan was unable to walk or eat by mouth for 18 months and he had only 4 weeks to recover before starting treatment. He had 30 radiation treatments, chemo before each one. After completing radiation he had 6 months of inpatient chemo. We were all more than thrilled when Nolan finished treatment in December 2010 with clean scans.
3 months later Nolan went in for routine scans and we found out he had relapsed with 2 tumors. We were discouraged but we were ready to fight again. The doctors were able to keep Nolan’s tumors stable for 14 months with an outpatient chemo until he relapsed again on May 1, 2012. He is now on a metronomic chemotherapy plan where he takes chemo daily. He is such an inspiration to all of us! He always has a smile on his face and is ready for his next adventure. Nolan enjoys visiting his friends in the hospital, playing with the therapy dogs, playing tennis with his friends from Georgia Tech, watching spongebob, coloring, fishing, playing with hotwheels, watching Nascar (especially Carl Edwards/Aflac) and swimming.
We hope and pray that someday there will be a cure for ALL these kids!
In 2012-2013, CURE Childhood Cancer is investing $1.7 million for research to find cures for childhood cancers. The goal of CURE’s Annual Campaign is to raise $600,000 by June 30, 2013. Please click here to make a contribution.