Saturday, May 1, 2010
A little history...
Levi Nathan Whitesell was born on March 17, 2010. He was actually scheduled to arrive a few days later, but he decided instead that he wanted to be a St. Patrick's Day baby. Stephanie was at work, started having pretty serious contractions every few minutes, and we ended up heading to the hospital that evening. They were able to get Stephanie in for a c-section a couple hours later, and he was born at 9:46 pm. He was 8 lbs 15 ozs, and 21.5 inches long. From day one, he was a beloved part of our family.
Levi has an older sister - Caylee Grace Whitesell. She is just over 2 years old, and loves her little "bubby". She is ultra-concerned when he cries, kisses him goodnight every night, and loves to hold him (even if it is only for a few seconds at a time). Caylee is our little sunshine, and she and Levi are on the fast-track to be lifelong best friends. We can't wait to watch them grow old together.
A couple of weeks ago, Stephanie noticed a spot behind Levi's ear. We didn't think too much of it, we thought it was a bruise or just one of those spots that babies get. He started to get more spots though, and the old ones weren't going away. She made the call to take him into the doctor's office to get them checked out. The doctor examined them, went back to read some literature, then came back into the office very concerned. He ordered stat chest and abdomen and chest x-rays, blood work, and urine tests. He wouldn't, however, tell Stephanie what he was checking for.
The next morning Stephanie and I went into his office to see what was going on. The tests came back ok, but he wanted us to head to Riley or St. Vincent's hospital to check for neuroblastoma, which is apparently the most common form of childhood cancer. We were pretty shook up, and immediately scheduled an appointment at Riley.
This past Monday, we took Levi to Riley for more tests and biopsies. They took three of his spots completely off, and performed an ultrasound of his abdomen. The ultrasound results came back ok, and they were able to preliminarily rule out neuroblastoma. We were relieved, but didn't realize that the finding gave way to some more formidable diagnoses.
We had to wait all week for the results, which we finally received yesterday afternoon. We found out that Levi has leukemia. We are supposed to head down to Riley again on Monday morning, and have to pack our bags for a long stay. They are planning on performing a biopsy of his bone marrow and genetic testing. There is a possibility that he will have to start chemo on Wednesday, and we may need to think about a bone marrow transplant. These are all very scary words for us.
There are many, many unknowns at this point. We are relying on God's strength and the prayers of literally hundreds of people around the country to get us through this. Levi Nathan is a tough little guy; he will beat this. It will be a long, hard road, but we know that God has bigger plans for him than what even we are able to see now. We appreciate your prayers, support, and thoughts.
Michael & Stephanie