My name is Nicole, and my husband, Travis, and I are the proud parents of four wonderful children: Lexus, 17, Leon, 14, Lane, 9, and Luke, 3; unfortunately, our wonderful family has recently been dealt a very difficult hand.
On September 13, 2018, we took our sweet daughter, Lexus, to the doctor to have a bump on her leg examined. At first glance, the doctors thought it was a cyst; they lanced it and she was sent home on antibiotics. They sent the mass to St. Mary's in Grand Junction, Colorado, for a biopsy. We had to follow up every two days with the doctor to keep an eye on it.
Seven days later, we received some bad news; the biopsy came back and they said it could be Ewing sarcoma, a blue cell tumor, or some other type of rare malignant cancer. Because these cancers are rare, the doctors decided to send the mass off to the Mayo Clinic for further examination.
On September 20, 2018, Children's Hospital called; we had to drop everything and be there the following day. We live over 4 hours away from Children’s and have three other kids, animals, etc.; not to mention, September 21 was our son's 14th birthday. Our son's only wish for his birthday was for his big sis to be okay.
“Scared” was an understatement for all of us.
On September 21, 2018, Children’s did an x-ray on Lexus’ leg and chest and ran some blood tests. During the appointment, the doctors said her tests looked good. (Thank God!!!) They told us that the following Monday we had to return for an MRI to look at her muscle, fat, and tissue; and we were to return for a follow-up appointment the next day. My heart sank. We were very scared hearing this news.
On September 24, 2018, we headed back to Children’s nervous but hopeful. Seeing Lexus go through the MRI was very hard to watch and it was scary. She did great, though!!!
The follow-up appointment the next day was so nerve-racking. We had to wait for the results. They told us they hadn't seen anything funky on the MRI, and that they were happy with the results. (Praise God!!!) However, we still hadn’t heard back from the Mayo Clinic; that was hard. Children's requested a rush on it, but still no answers; they couldn’t tell us “No” or “Yes” to the dreaded "C" word.
So they sent us home, thankfully. Lord knows we needed that; we missed our boys and our home. Heading home, we continued to pray and remained hopeful. For two very long weeks, we remained living our lives as usual, but deep inside we were still scared to death. I began to worry, “Why weren’t we getting the call?” ¬¬ (I’m thinking, “No news is good news,” right?!?!) I had so many people asking about Lexus, but I had no answers to give them and that was hard. It was eating me alive.
On October 10, 2018, the dreaded phone call came. I can remember right before the call I thought to myself, “Why weren’t they calling?” Then ring . . . ring . . . It was the hospital; my heart sank. She has Ewing sarcoma. This is a rare cancer that attacks the bones and/or tissue.
So now it’s time to find out where the tumor is located. Honestly, my mind was blank, my body was numb, and I couldn't even speak. I began to cry. I couldn’t process anything. Fighting back tears, I asked the doctor, “Will you please call back when my husband is home.” She politely obliged and called back later.
On October 16, 2018, Lexus is scheduled for a PET scan of her whole body, other tests and scans, and an appointment with the doctor.
On October 17, 2018, Lexus will undergo surgery to place a central port in her chest for chemo. She will also have to complete a bone marrow test.
Children’s is currently working on gathering a team and preparing a treatment plan. The doctor has already prepared and talked to us briefly about the treatment.
The doctor said, “Be prepared for treatment to be upwards of 9 months, every two weeks. She will have five days of treatment, and on the sixth day, they will flush her body. This is a very aggressive treatment and there will be a long, hard road to recovery.”
This is more than a lot to digest and extremely hard to swallow. I have faith our brave, sweet girl can pull through this, though. No one wants to see their child or any child go through this. I would take her place in a heartbeat so that she didn't have to go through this. She is a young, beautiful 17-year-old with her whole life ahead of her and big, big dreams left to fulfill.
This has been such a challenging year for my family in general. We made a decision for my husband to leave his job, after 9-1/2 years, so we could try to relocate to another state, but that, unfortunately, didn't work out so well. He worked really hard trying to find a new job, and at times, that was a challenge; but he did find a job that offered benefits. (Thankful and blessed!!!) Even though the pay is nearly half of what he used to make, we still manage to get by. If he takes off too much more time, though, it will be time off without pay, which is scary, to say the least. He is our sole provider and our only means of income.
I’m a stay-at-home mom, and I home school my kids and take care of the household. I have been working on overcoming my own health issues as well here lately.
As you can see, this is a lot for my family, and we are all so emotional right now. Lexie is super strong, but she’s very afraid. We are all trying so hard to hold it together. This is more than hard, as parents, but for her, I can’t even begin to imagine her thoughts and what she feels. We talk often and she talks about the whole thing, her fears and worries; just about everything. We even hug each other and cry together. She is our brave hero!!! We love her and our boys to the moon and back and more. We are doing our best to get through this, but it’s been hard, even on our boys.
Here is where we ask for your help:
Many have asked how they can help, so I'm setting up this account. If you see it in your hearts and are able, we ask that you please share this and donate if you can. We are more than thankful and with the help, support, and prayers from others, this is helping us tremendously during this difficult time. We cannot thank you all enough.
We are very unsure where this will land us financially, what will happen, what will be covered. The bills have started coming in already and so far it’s around $3,000 after insurance; not including other tests, lab work, office visits, etc.
On top of our normal day-to-day living expenses and bills, we will now be faced with this looming debt. The additional costs will range from time off without pay, travel, lodging, medical costs and much more.
We live over 4 hours away from Children's Hospital. On top of that, it’s almost wintertime and we live in the mountains; so during treatment, our family will have no choice but to split up.
When Lexie’s treatments start, Lexie and I will travel via taxi to Denver, Colorado. The taxi will drop us off at one of two locations. From there we will have to get to the hospital. The hospital will help provide transportation and, of course, family will help out too. We will also be getting on the list for Ronald McDonald House so we will have a place to stay. We will be returning home the same way, via taxi. As you know, this will add up fast. But at this time, it’s the only way.
So once again, if you can help, we would greatly appreciate it. We are also requesting prayers and good thoughts.
Please help us fight and beat this rare childhood cancer not only for Lexus but for other kids as well. Together we can conquer this!