Aaron's story starts like so many others. Aaron is a typical 14-year-old boy with the world at his fingertips. He gets good grades, loves all things sports, video games and playing with his friends. One night while playing basketball for his school team he took a fall. He jumped up and kept on playing. After the game, Aaron was in pain but within two days he was back to his normal fun self.
Fast forward about 2 weeks. After excruciating nonstop pain, multiple doctors, countless tests and scans, Aaron and his family could not prepare for the news they received.
As Amber writes, “We show up for the appointment and joke around with the nurses about Aaron still seeing a Pediatrician. After all, Aaron is 6'2, 200lbs and wears a size 14 shoe! The doc walks in and I can tell within a matter of seconds this is not going to be our normal visit. He looks at Aaron and tells him that he has Leukemia."
"I am sure that I missed the next few sentences until he said cancer. I am having a panic attack on the inside and can feel tears running down my face. Aaron is staring at the doctor and seems to actually comprehend what's being said. Did they confuse Aaron with some other kid? Aaron has a pulled muscle.”
The Shipman’s have a long road ahead of them. Aaron will undergo extensive treatments which will require Amber to reduce her hours. The medical bills are just beginning. Mike & Amber’s wishes are to provide Aaron and Aiden with “as normal” life as possible given the circumstances. They ask for continued prayers and encouragement for Aaron to fight this battle.
As friends of the Shipman’s, it is our ask to help offset the financial strain. This situation could happen to any of us. There is no doubt that Mike & Amber would help us.
Thank you for keeping Mike, Amber, Aaron & Aiden in your prayers.
We will provide updates and events throughout Aaron's progression. Thanks again.
Nearly two weeks after the fall, it's 12:30AM and all of a sudden Aaron is screaming for us from his bedroom because the pain is unbearable. He couldn't even walk up the stairs without our help. At 2:30AM, we are in the ER and they completed a CT scan. The ER doc diagnosed Aaron with two bulging disks and released him with pain meds.
The next day we take Aaron to see his Pediatrician who gets us a referral for later that day to see the Orthopedic Surgeon. The Ortho Doc looks at the CT scan and doesn't agree with the ER doc. His thoughts are that Aaron pulled a muscle in his back. He directs Aaron to do a week of physical therapy and continue pain meds. Aaron pushes through a week of physical therapy but the pain is too much.
The Ortho Surgeon orders an MRI this time but schedules it for 10 days out. As a mom, I can't accept putting my son through 10 more days of pain. After a "spirited" conversation with the doc office and insurance company, they amazingly had an appointment for him in 2 days (Friday, February 9). Again, Aaron pushes through the MRI. The doc informs us of no pinched nerves or disc issues. His treatment recommendations are 4 weeks of physical therapy, yoga classes to work on stretching the muscles and Ibuprofen. Great! We have a plan - our first born son is structurally sound so this is something that we can work on and fix. Basketball season is over but he will be ready for his first love...baseball.
Three days after his MRI, we received a call from the Pediatrician stating they would handle the follow up care for Aaron. They asked us to do some bloodwork and meet with the doctor at 3:45 to discuss the results. Sure, no problem! We are thankful for the doctor being so thorough with our concerns.
We show up for the appointment and joke around with the nurses about Aaron still seeing a Pediatrician. Afterall, he is 6'2 weighing in at 200lbs and wears a size 14 shoe! The doc walks in and I can tell within a matter of seconds this is not going to be our normal visit. He looks at Aaron and tells him that he has Leukemia.
I am sure that I missed the next few sentences until he said cancer. I am having a panic attack on the inside and can feel tears running down my face. Aaron is staring at the doctor and seems to actually be comprehending what's being said. Did they confuse Aaron with some other kid? Aaron has a pulled muscle. Some other poor kid has cancer.
Apparently, when a child has Leukemia the bone marrow is overactive and appears different in a MRI. The ortho doc knew but waited until he could talk with the pediatrician. At first, I was angry for him not telling us then I realized it was the best decision. What would have been the point of telling a mother that he thought her child had cancer on a Friday afternoon? There was nothing that could be done over the weekend.
- Teri Tomaw
- Makeda Joseph
- Sarah Mehlenbeck
- Makeda Joseph
- Teri Tomaw
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