Monday, May 23: Carmen received a call from Isaiah’s doctor saying the results from a blood test were “alarming.” (For the previous 3 weeks Isaiah had been fighting a fever, his asthma was really bad, and he complained of intense soreness all over. We took him to the doctor twice; the second time they did blood work.)
Tuesday, May 24: Carmen called me as I was about to board a plane in Alabama to say that the doctor said I should come home immediately.
Wednesday, May 25: Isaiah had a cat scan in the morning. The results showed no obvious signs of problems. We were relieved but later got a phone call from the pediatric oncologist reviewing his blood work instructing us to admit him to the hospital. We spent Wednesday night in the pediatric ICU.
Thursday, May 26: Isaiah had a spinal tap and bone marrow test to check for cancer. He was in intense pain all day and very confused. We met with a team of doctors, nurses, social workers, etc. for the initial consultation. The diagnosis: Leukemia (at this point they couldn’t tell us which kind).
Friday, May 27: We received news that Isaiah has Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL), which is the “better” of the two possibilities in terms of survival rate. Isaiah received his first chemotherapy directly into his spinal fluid and had a semi-permanent “port” surgically placed in his chest, near his heart, for future meds and blood draws.
Saturday, May 28: Isaiah begins his oral chemo regimen. This is the stuff (dexamethasone) that really wreaks havoc. This began his “induction” phase: the first 29 days of chemotherapy.
Since Sunday: Isaiah has had some very painful days. His personality is being affected by the events of the week as well as the chemotherapy. He’s extremely tired of being hooked up to tubes and seeing nurses. He’s also had moments when he’s back to a tired version of himself – sweet, insightful, exclaiming “whoa! Dad did you see that dunk?” while we watched the playoffs together.