Author's note: I am hesitant to publish this, knowing that people we care about are going to learn some not-so-good news on a web site as opposed to a phone call. However, with such a large supportive community, this is the only way we can inform them all. Telling the story over and over is hard. So please forgive me now.
You know when those moments happen that change your life forever? Where you are one person one second, then before you can even finish a breath you are someone else entirely?
This happened to me when Vampbaby was born. With Vampmommy passed out from the drama of delivery, I made my way to the nursery and said to the nurse at the door, "I'm here to see my son." At that moment, I felt the sutble shift from suddenly being a young thirtysomething to being someone's dad.
The next moment came yesterday, when I spoke the following words to a someone at the house we've been staying in while Vampbaby was in the hospital.
"My son has cancer."
Yes, I am now the father of a child with cancer. In our "talk with he doctors" yesterday, Vampbaby was diagnosed with an incrediby rare and incredibly nasty form of cancer. Only 200 children have been diagnosed with this tumor since 1985. I won't get into the scientific details here, only because what we have been told is that existing literature and information available on-line regarding this cancer is completely inaccurate.
What I will say is that there is one form of treatment that has been discovered that has shown success in the few kids that have been diagnosed over the past few years -- and the doctor leading the treatment is out of Boston. So, close to home is the one man that can work to ensure that I have a son to blog about in a year.
We are home now, and our son is enjoying a day surrounded by family and friends, walking and talking (and throwing the occasional temper tantrum) as normal. The team in Boston will be processing the data from Declan's surgery early next week, and later in the week we will meet with them to begin the process of treatment . . . Which will take a year.
The optimism and sense of closure we felt with the success of his surgery has quickly faded. We are deep into some dark territory, and the enemy before us is about to make the next year of our lives a nightmare. But we are comforted by the love and support shown by people who have tuned in here, and we will continue to use this space to update everyone on Vampbaby's (and our) journey. I hope as well to continue to use this space to muse about parenting, even though my parenting is about to take a very difficult, trying and scary turn.