Friday, November 09, 2012

Matthew

Last year, I told you all about a very young boy, the son of a former colleague, who was diagnosed with Leukemia. I thought you would like to see this fabulous update his mom posted yesterday. A few weeks ago, Matty's mom visited our campus with him and his younger brother and little baby sister and seeing young Matthew reminded me that there is reason to hope and prayer does still mean something.
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One year ago, life was uncertain. Matthew was weak, running fevers in the afternoon intermittently. One year ago, we were in and out of the doctor’s office with questions on why Matt seemed lethargic and had bumps on his body. One year ago, we received a diagnosis.

This year was a lesson. It was a true test of strength. We watched Matthew suffer and then we watched him thrive. Initially Matthew was confined to the walls of a hospital bed. He could not walk initially because he was so weak. Matthew lost his dignity. He had to wear a mask when he left the confines of his hospital bed. He was unable to see his friends and play. Matthew received surgery to implant his port, numerous blood and platelet transfusions, and strong doses of chemotherapy medications in his port and intrathecally.

In the darkness, we experienced light. We received the love of family, friends, doctors and nurses to brighten our days.

December brought a diagnosis of remission. This was the happiest day of my life. Matthew was able to go home. He began outpatient treatment, visiting his hospital team, Mary Jo, Suzanne, and Caroline. We cherished the love of Joshua and Matthew who missed each other so dearly. Family, friends and our community pitched in to help in ways that we could never be repay but hopefully pay forward.

January, Matthew re-assimilated into Pre-school, gaining dignity back when he was able to live like a little boy again and gaining confidence while playing with his friends. We saw him accept his life.

March brought the toughest stage of his treatment after the initial hospital admittance. Lucy blessed our world amidst it all. Matthew took such joy in his baby sister. Matthew had treatments nearly every day on some weeks. Bald, puffy but resilient he continued to play with Joshua, his neighbors, friends and attended school.

Summer came and Matthew began to flourish. His hair grew back. We began to laugh frequently and live. We swam at the pool club, attended the Y, went on vacations with our families and got together with friends.
We moved to Medfield in Sept. Matt began Kindergarten. His teacher describes him as always making them laugh with little stories. He met new friends and is beginning to read site words.

There are no words to describe how truly resilient Matthew is. He is so proud that he can do the monkey bars, kick a soccer ball, and read his mini books. He lives a life that most people could never imagine their children or themselves living. Matthew takes the pills, stereroids, fasting and treatments in stride. He displays sensitivity and love to the people in his life, intertwined with the spunk of a five year old little guy.

God has blessed our lives in so many ways this year. Matthew is alive, healthy and thriving! He teaches us courage, endurance, patience, faith and humor! Thank you so much for supporting us through this journey.

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