Our sweet Elijah has been battling Epitheliod Sarcoma cancer since May 2014. We need all our prayer warriors reaching out to our Lord and Savior.
Several of you have asked so I guess it's about time to fill in the background of our precious boy.
About a year ago, Elijah started complaining about his neck hurting. He was coming off a season of baseball so we naturally thought it was a minute injury connected with that.
As summer moved into fall and he was still complaining, waking up in the middle of the night with horrible pain, his mama took him to the doctor. The pediatrician felt confident it was a muscle strain and would heal on its own over time.
Winter arrived along with basketball season and Elijah wasn't any better. His pediatrician referred him to a Sports Medicine doctor. She felt, as did his pediatrician, that is was a severely strained muscle. Because he is a bit of a worrier, she attributed the pain to muscle spasms ignited by stress. She referred him to a physical therapist.
All the while, the pain would come and go without any definitive triggers. He might play basketball one day and be fine. He could play another day and have to be benched because he was in so much pain. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason for the spasms/pain.
The physical therapist worked with him for several weeks. She was constantly touching/massaging his neck and never had a reason to think it was more than what the Sports Medicine doctor had diagnosed-a very strained, spasmodic muscle. We were constantly encouraging him to do the exercises and stretches the PT had taught him. No one had any idea what was going on inside his little body.
On Thursday night, May 22, he brought to our attention a knot he felt in his neck. It was about the size of a golf ball and was protruding from his neck. A neighbor of Becky's who is an OT suggested icing it overnight and calling the doctor first thing Friday morning.
When Elijah woke up Friday morning, there appeared to be a second knot. Becky called the after hours number. Upon learning of the duration of his pain and of the two knots, they told her to take him to the ER.
The ER doctors took X-rays, but soft tissue masses don't show up. Since he had been dealing with this this for such a long period of time, his pediatrician pushed the ER to an MRI. Based on the MRI results, the doctors were confident it was cancer. Elijah was sent to Levine Children's Hospital at that point.
After a biopsy, numerous scans, and consultation with doctors around the US, it was determined that Elijah has Epithelioid Sarcoma. ES is a very rare type of cancer usually found in young adults; only 500 cases have been identified since 1970. However, it is even MORE rare in children. So rare in fact that Elijah is THE ONLY child to EVER have it in his neck.
The doctors at Levine are amazing! Elijah's plan has three phases; phase 1-radiation and chemo, phase 2-surgery, phase 3-chemo. This will be a long process with a surgery that will be life altering for him. At this point, the cancer has woven itself into his vertebrae and is as close as you can get to, without touching, his spinal cord. He has a long road ahead.
I personally don't understand WHY this has happened to the sweetest, most thoughtful and selfless boy I know. He has the purest of hearts I can only pray to have. When I start to ask myself (and God) WHY, I HAVE to remind myself that GOD DOES HAVE A PLAN! I completely trust what He has in store although I may not understand it right now.
Elijah is an angel on earth! I have no doubt God has big things in store for him! Our fight has just begun and WE ARE READY!!! God has armed us with His armor and His army of Prayer Warriors!
God bless you all!
PO Box 5011
Concord, NC 28027
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