Monday, September 19, 2011

The Beginning

On September 14, 2011 our son Zack was diagnosed with ALL or Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. To put it simply he has a cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow. It is a liquid tumor so there are no stages, but he is in the High Risk category because he is 15. We are in day 5 today. So far everything is great.

Let's back track just a bit. Our hero Zackery the Strong started the out the month of September fine and healthy. About the 10th or so, his hands started hurting. Lady Lori, his wonderful second mother, took him to the healing wizards in his home town of Logan. They really thought that maybe the swollen hands were a minor infection, or an allergic reaction. The Wizards did all kinds of magic tests to find out what was wrong. After only a few hours the tests confirmed that he was infected with ALL, a terrible Curse that affects the blood and bone marrow. Lady Lori was more than upset, being that she got the news first. Immediately she called Lord Shane, our hero's father. He too was very upset. How could this happen to his beloved son.

Knowing that he must tell our Hero's mother he called Lady Hannah. She lived in the far Land of Sandy. She too cried, and called her husband Lord Robert. All the Lords and Ladies in our hero's family were devastated, hearing that their child had been infected by such a terrible curse.

"This can't be happening" Lady Hannah told Lord Robert. Within seconds she mounted her Dragon and flew to her son's side.
Lord Shane and our hero's older brother, Justin the Wise, were waiting for her and they flew the boy to the best Healing Tower in the Land.

At the Tower of Primary Children, the Wizards and Apprentices were wonderful. They got Zack settled in a great room with a wonderful view of the mountains of the Land of Salt Lake.

There they met the Warrior Wizard Nick Whipple. He is a strong and kind Wizard with strong arms and a mighty sword. It was he who explained what the curse was. He told them that the White Warriors in his blood (the white blood cells) had gotten sick and could not protect Zack’s body. He also said that the Red Warriors and Plate Soldiers were sick too. They were all infected with the Curse. To cure Zack they had potions that they would give Zack that would make him feel very sick, but would kill the curse, and help the Warriors and Soldiers get better. He knew that the potions were the best in the land and Zack would be healthy in no time (about 3 years…. )

The second day Zack had to wait all day to eat. The Wizard Team, Warrior Wizard Nick Whipple, Warrior Wizard Danae Goerl, Assistant High Wizard Jasmin Jensen and High Wizard Carol Bruggers, needed to check his spinal fluid (with a spinal tap) and the insides of his bones (bone marrow aspirate) to see just where the curse (cancer) was. They also needed to place a portal (it's really called a portal) in his chest so they could give him all the potions he would need without too many needles.
It was so hard for our hero. He did have his little sisters Jessica the Bright, and Heather the Sprite as well as his youngest brother Brandon the Brave come and visit. They helped him not think about his growling belly, but he is a growing hero and told the Apprentices that if they didn't get the tests done by 10 o'clock in the evening, he was going to eat anyway.
Around 6, they came to get him. They gave him a magic potion to put him to sleep and went to work. The Lords and Ladies waited and waited. Lady Hannah took Zack's little sisters and brother and Lord Robert home, for they had school the next day, then rushed back. The tests were done and the portal was placed. The sleeping potion had made him a little sick, but after a while he did get the big sandwich he wanted.

The next day (day 3) they started Chemo. This was a very special magic potion that would fight the terrible ALL curse. Zack knew that the potions would fight off the curse, but would also make him feel sick. With the first dose of potions he didn't really feel anything. Or, rather, he did, but wondered if the slightly funny feeling was just in his head because he knew what the potions would do. Mostly he just enjoyed spending time with his family. He had several visitors. His Aunt, Lady Amy came to visit, as did his grandparents, Lord George and Lady Olivia, both of whom brought stories for our hero to read. Lord Orson and Lady Marilyn also his grandparents also came to spend time with Zack. That night, Justin stayed to keep Zack company while the Lords and Ladies went home, and to friends castles to get some sleep.
Several days went by (days 4, 5, and 6) The Wizards would bring him a different potion every day, and would do magic tests to make sure everything was going according to plan.
For our Hero, it was almost fun. He could order anything he wanted from the kitchens, and play magic games with his brother, Justin, or read the books that his family had brought him. Most people expected him to be very upset about how things were going in his life. One of the Apprentices, Tomoko, told him that it would be ‘OK’ for him to be mad, or to cry because “This really SUCKS!”
He laughed, “Your right, this really sucks. I get to play X-box and have Steak and Shrimp for dinner” (That’s a direct quote). He wasn’t really feeling bad at all, and he knew that the magic potions were doing their job. He would enjoy feeling healthy and having fun, for he knew that tough times were coming.
On day 7 the Wizards’ tests showed that the plan was working and he could go home for a few days. He was very excited about this. Even though he had some fun things to do in the Tower, there was nothing like sleeping in his own bed, and playing with the Sisters that were too small to see him in the Tower. They were very close to him and he missed Daisy the Joyous, Annabelle the Quick, and Kylee the Small.
Once he was home he relaxed. He knew that hard times would be just around the corner. But for now, he was content.