Type of cancer: Neuroblastoma
Diagnosed: April 2010
Hospital(s): Children's Mercy: Kansas City
Siblings: Chase (3)
Pets: 2 Dogs (Boxers) Ali and Emma
Ashton was born at 2:03 pm on Friday, April 23rd For 2 hours we thought we had a big (8 lbs. 5 oz.), healthy baby boy. His delivery nurse was giving him is first bath and noticed a mass in his abdomen. His pediatrician immediately consulted her team, did an ultrasound and called Children's and made arrangements for us that evening. It was then that she came in to give us the news and tell us what she thought was best. Ashton left in the Eagle Med at 9:00 pm and Brian and I left shortly thereafter. We made it to CMH by 1:30 the next morning. After that it was hurry up and wait for at least the weekend. We didn't hear much of anything until Monday morning when a flurry of doctors came and went. We kept hearing the word, neuroblastoma, but we were never directly given a diagnosis. Eventually, the following friday, a week after Ashton was admitted, we were told that Ashton had cancer. Later, after the biopsy results came back, we found out it was stage 3 intermediate risk. Ashton was a newborn with a tumor the size of a softball in his abdomen. The tumor is inoperable because it is wrapped around major arteries that would make surgery too risky. Therefore, our only option is chemo. The following Monday he was taken into surgery to place his Hickman. We were moved to 4 Hensen and began chemo that evening. Because Ashton's tumor was localized to the abdomen and it had not spread to lymph or marrow, his protocol for chemo was 2 cycles with the possibility of 4. After 2 cycles of chemo and all the other things that go with it (transfusions, lumbar punctures, fevers, line infections, emergency flights to KC and so on) his tumor had shrunk almost 50 percent. Although, that was a great response, we decided to continue with 2 more cycles of chemo. After all 4 cycles of chemo, his tumor was 90% smaller! We were thrilled! In that short time, Ashton outgrew his Hickman and it was no longer viable. Therefore, Dr. August decided that Ashton was done with chemo and now we were just going to wait and see what the tumor does. Like I said, we are thrilled that he is living a normal life; however, we are constantly fearful because the tumor is still there and it is still active. It is not growing, but it isn't shrinking either. We continue with the monthly urine analysis, abdomen CT every 3 months and MIBG's every 6 months. We realize that his CT will always show a mass; it will be there forever. However, we hope and pray that one day his MIBG with show NO activity. Until then, we count our blessings everyday and continue to pray for other families who are fighting for their kids.
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