Saturday, 21 February 2015

Hope

Dominic was supposed to be dead by now.

He never got the memo.

We got the results of Tuesday's bone marrow biopsy, which in December had shown the leukemia was back for, presumably, the last time.

Back then it measured in at 0.7 per cent of the sample.

This week it's 0.07 per cent.

That's not a typo. He has one-tenth the amount of cancer now than two months ago.

Why? Shut up. How? Be happy. Our doctors are as astounded as anyone else.

Their best guess is that the graft versus host disease that was considered our last gasp attempt at killing the remaining cancer actually did start to work, just a lot later than anyone expected. He got those final infusions in October, remember. And he did get GVHD, but when his bone marrow started recovering so did the cancer. For a while, at least.

The fact there still is cancer prevents the doctors from completely reversing course and suggesting he's no longer going to die. As long as it's in his system it will eventually grow back. But why it would be going away? He shows no outward signs of GVHD and he's not even on any steroids to suppress it anymore.

All we know is what we see, and that's the same two-year-old we had at Christmas. He's more likely to cry if he doesn't get his way, but we've decided that's not because something is wrong. It's because he's two.

The oxygen test we did came back with results that require him to be hooked up at night, but not during the day. His nose doesn't run 24/7 anymore so we think he's finally rid of the pesky virus he had for about four months.

Cautiously, the doctors at the Alberta Children's Hospital are switching gears. His blood counts remain low so in a couple weeks he's getting a stem cell treatment from the same donation used for his bone marrow transplant last year. This time there won't be any chemotherapy to reset his blood; we just want more of whatever is happening.

We hadn't bothered with the tumours in his brain given the prognosis, but next month he'll get another MRI. The new presumption is they're going away too.

I should be falling to the ground crying in joy. Instead I'm just tired and confused. We've been trying to wrap our heads around coping with an impending death. Living each day without thinking ahead. Now we have to consider the future again.

It's time to let a little hope back in.

8 comments:

  1. Praying! And personal experience tells me that God still does miracles!

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  2. And how good Dominic looks without those tubes! Sean -- your child wants to stay with you at least a little while longer. Very happy for you and Trish that you get the gift of more time. Continue to cherish the days and hopefully there will be so many that the good memories will crowd out any of the bad ones. We continue to send positive thoughts and prayers.

    Betsy

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  3. I think I understand in a tiny way how you are feeling, because when I read this I was simultaneously overjoyed and stunned and relieved and scared all at the same time. And he's not my kid and we've only met once. So for you and Trish, it must be so overwhelming. I don't think the human heart is THAT good at multi-tasking! And yet, there's hope and it's a powerful force, so I am going with "overjoyed" as my emotion. Dom seems to always have had his own agenda, so why not this, and why not now? He looks so fantastic, and all I can say is, you all deserve no less than as long as possible together. What a kid! What a family - you and Trish are amazing. Thanks for sharing. Go Dom, go!

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  4. Dom...I have never even met you, but think of you often. Having two little children of my own, you are not only an inspiration to me but to my kids. Carry on inspiring and beating the odds....you are amazing. P.s. you look adorable above!!!!!

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  5. Mighty Dominic with the mighty laugh. You make me a better person Dom, and keep fightin you little bundle of joy. Awesome news guys, can't wait for the next play date.

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  6. Praise God!!! for He is GOOD!!!
    I am smiling broadly as I read and finish reading your blog...
    All things are possible through God...
    keep believing Rooney family! It is my prayer that the cancer will be completely gone, that Dom lives to an age unexpected. Oh but that has already happened - I explain this as a miracle no matter how many days, weeks, months, years you have left.... treasure every one with your child who God has given to you twice now a miracle! Hugs
    Anne Cameron

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  7. Thank God... keeping the prayers going! Thanks for sharing your hope.

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  8. Your story doesn't get any less remarkable. Outstanding. Whatever is going on, and whatever is to come, for now you have a happy two year old who is having quite an adventure! I couldn't be more delighted. Big smiles from NJ!

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