When we moved to Madison and he started a new school, the same thing happened. Yet again, he stood in line so quiet and brave. When it was time for me to leave, there was that single tear rolling down his cheek again. And again, I went back to my car and bawled my eyes out.
When the doctor at the Emergency Room told us they thought it was cancer, I watched my son cry. I hadn’t seen him cry since he was a little bitty guy. He hasn’t had a reason to, I guess. We’ve had no death in the family since my grandpa's passing when he was little. It makes me realize we have been extremely fortunate.
I couldn’t stand to see him cry. I told him it would be okay. I told him that he was going to beat this. I held his hand. He choked back tears, sat up, and shook it off. I could see it right there. He was ready to fight this.
He hasn’t cried since that first weekend in December when he saw his brother after the preliminary diagnosis. Not even a single tear. He’s fighting for his life, and he’s doing it bravely. So nobly. I know he’s still scared. He has to be. It’s a scary thing, cancer. But he won’t give any indication of it. There hasn’t been a moment of self pity, even at a time when he would be entitled to it! He’s standing tall, valiant.
I’ve told visitors not to cry when they come to see him. I know it’s hard. I know when you first see him with no hair and much skinnier than before, it’s hard not to react. However, we’re not sad. We’re strong. We’re optimistic. We’re motivated. And we’re not backing down. Even in the hospital room, even when he’s sick and sleepy, we’re still upbeat and positive. We have no reason not to be. The nausea is just a side effect that will go away with Leonardo, and we’re killing Leonardo. That makes us very happy.
We met with the surgeon. The above picture is a before picture of the tumor. Chemo has decreased its size significantly. The picture on the rights is the surgery plan drawn by Dr. Miller. They will remove what is left of the tumor and then replace a piece of his bone just under the knee with a bone donor. They will attach it using a metal plate and some screws. They will also go in to the other leg and "mess up" the growth plate so it doesn't grow longer than the one with the tumor. He will have a cast for 6 weeks and on crutches for 3 months.
So as surgery approaches Friday, Parker remains brave. I ask him if he’s nervous or anxious. I am. He tells me, “No. I’ve got this, mom.” And then he gives me a giant smile. “Pain ain’t got nothin’ on me!”