Taylor’s Story

 

Written on June 29, 2003


Taylor is our two year old son. He’s active, loving, and full of smiles. He loves monster trucks, monkeys, playing outside, and giving hugs. He also has cancer. Taylor has a rare form of childhood cancer called Rhabdomyosarcoma. Rhabdo is a soft tissue cancer in the form of a tumor. Taylor’s tumor is in his left thigh. Our son is being treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City by Doctor Leonard Wexler, one of the top sarcoma specialists in the world. He treats about 150 out of the 300 cases of Rhabdo diagnosed per year worldwide. Dr. Wexler expects Taylor to make a full recovery, but only after a year of intense chemotherapy, radiation, and a complicated surgery to remove the shrunken tumor from Taylor’s leg.

The way we found the tumor was nothing short of a miracle! On January 25, 2003, Taylor ran into our kitchen and slipped on the freshly mopped tile floor. Within minutes his thigh began to swell. Two hours later his thigh was so swollen that it was difficult to fit his pants up around his leg. It was as if there was a softball in his tiny two year old leg! My husband and I immediately drove him to the hospital where he was examined and given an x-ray of his injury. The results revealed that he sustained a large hematoma from a torn muscle in his upper thigh. The doctor claimed that his body would naturally reabsorb the blood in a month or two and he should be fine.

Two months had come and gone and there was no change in Taylor’s leg. By the end of the third month the mass had actually appeared larger and hard to the touch. Our pediatrician referred him to an orthopedic specialist. That doctor referred him to a pediatric orthopedist who then scheduled an M.R.I. A biopsy soon followed the M.R.I. The results concluded that a tumor was growing in Taylor’s thigh for the past six months or so. It was probably the size of an olive at the time of his fall in January. It had been growing up, not out! In fact, by the time we had the M.R.I. in late May, his tumor had grown up into his pelvic cavity and was pressing on his bladder! Taylor’s area lymph nodes were also affected with cancer.

That fall saved his life!!! His oncologist told us that had he not fallen and attained the injury which led us to find the tumor, Taylor would have become very sick in three to six months and it might have been too late!

My husband Matt and I have a strong faith in God. We believe very strongly that God never makes a mistake and He has a perfect plan for all our lives. We also know that putting our faith and trust in Christ as our Savior does not exempt us from life’s difficulties. It makes us stronger. Taylor is a gift to us from the Lord and we believe that He can heal him. God allowed that fall for a reason so that we would find his tumor just in time!

Our God is too loving to be unkind; Too wise to make a mistake; Too powerful to not be able; And too exact to have the wrong timing.

As of today, June 29, 2003, Taylor has completed one round of chemotherapy. After only one round, the tumor has already shrunken down out of his pelvic cavity! His lymph nodes are also down to their normal size! After only three weeks, his entire thigh is soft and noticeably smaller. God is so good!

As of today, July 17, 2003, Dr. Wexler can no longer feel the tumor in his leg and has reported the tumor as being down. This means that the tumor is nothing but dead tissue matter. After only five weeks into his chemotherapy, there is no sign of the active tumor in his leg! The treatments will continue to ensure that any surrounding cells that have survived will be killed.

Sometime in September, the dead tumor will be surgically removed followed by radiation at the site to ensure that all cancerous cells all killed. He will remain on maintenance chemotherapy for several months after his six weeks of radiation is complete.

On Oct. 15th, 2003 we found out that a new little one is joining the family. Taylor will become a big brother late next spring. Praise the Lord! God took the awful tumor and gave new life to Taylor as well as added a new life to our family.

As of Jan. 7, 2004, Taylor is cancer free! His tumor was sucussfully removed on Sept. 16th, 2003. Seventeen days of radiation followed his surgery. Dr. Wexler believes that he is cured and he doesn't expect the tumor to return. Taylor has two more maintenance cycles to complete before he completely done in early February.

It is May 2006 and Taylor is more than two years cancer free! He had scans every 3 months for the first 18 months post treatment. He now has scans every 6 months for 18 months. After July 2007, he will only require scans once a year for 2 years. Taylor will be done completly in the summer of 2009!

We would like to thank our family, friends, church, and community for all of your continued prayers, love, and support during this difficult journey for us and Taylor.

Jennifer Marmet