Surviving Pediatric Cancer: Zach’s Story -St. Louis Children’s Hospital

Let’s get our balls and tee and let’s go play some baseball. I like to play sports You ready? That’s what I like to do a lot. He’s a unique child with everything he’s been through BAM. There you go. I play shortstop and second base in baseball and then I play a shooting guard in basketball. He grew up really fast with everything that happened. When he was four, we were having some problems with him. Not sleeping through the night, complaining of a lot of mouth pain and we couldn’t figure out what it was. What they discovered was there was some type of a tumor that started on the inside of his jaw line. And they took him into surgery and did a full-fledged biopsy and that’s when they came out and told me that he had rhabdomyosarcoma. Rhabdomyosarcoma, it’s a muscle tumor. What was concerning with Zach was that it showed up in multiple places at the same time. Find out that he’s stage four. So it was like a life-changing event. I’m a single mom and found out was going on and just went upstairs to our room and I just stood in the shower and cried. We just decided we were gonna have a good attitude. We were gonna do everything we needed. They started us on Chemotherapy. We did the radiation and that went for about four and a half weeks. We had a little bit of a rest and the cancer was actually gone and we were in isolation bone marrow unit for right about four weeks. It was really hard for me. Just being in one little tiny room for a month. I was fine for about four years, and then I had a reoccurrence of the same cancer, rhabdomyosarcoma. It was in my chest wall. He had to start all over again. Poor guy, we put him through more surgery, more radiation. Chemotherapy itself is hard to give, especially in a young child. And then, he had to get a megadose, so to speak. He just recovered really fast from that. Did really well. It helps a whole lot if they stay positive and are ready to face the challenges that come with treatment. And I think both he and his mom are very much that way. And then I had just regular check-up scans and stuff like that to make sure nothing’s going on. And then they found I think it was like a little tiny shadow and they didn’t think much of it. And it was in my neck. He came back with a mass in his thyroid gland in his neck. He had a secondary cancer, most likely cause by radiation treatments that he received to the jaw and the chest. In November of 2008, he had his thyroid removed. It was amazing because we went into the hospital and started doing all this and he just grew up so fast and just started talking to people and came out of his shell. Watch this amazing throw of awesomeness. It like changed who he was in a way. This is almost done, Mom. Zach certainly is everybody’s friend on the floor. It made him appreciate life a little more than a lot of kids do at his age. He had to grow up a lot faster. I like to cook. Sometimes I forget he’s only 12. Kind of displays your personality sometimes. Generally, what we see is these kids that are diagnosed with cancer and have gone through a lot are way ahead in years and maturity than their peers are. Just because they’ve been through more Look I can see your hair. The team of people that work at Children’s Hospital and help these kids are amazing and they’ll do everything and anything they can for their kids. And staying informed and active in the decisions along with the child, probably the best advice I could give. We’re not just talking about treatment, we’re talking about the whole experience. That whole team experience I think goes a long way in helping them feel better. We were there for his six-month follow-up in December and he gave him the all clear. He does not have to go back for a full year. I want to be a chef or a cook even. I would like him to reach the rightful age of sixty-something, you know. Cause when he was four and we first found out, I was thinking I’m gonna be lucky if he sees ten. And every year we tick off, I’m just like this amazing. It kind of makes you build as a person. Going through that stuff. A lot of people don’t understand how it is. A lot of kids are just handed stuff. I wasn’t. Thanks for cooking dinner. And I just hope that he can go out and just wow the world like he’s wowed me. Cheers. Good job. Thanks. Plastic cups. Wow.

9 thoughts on “Surviving Pediatric Cancer: Zach’s Story -St. Louis Children’s Hospital

  1. I was actually neighbors with Zach for about 5 years and every time I would go down to his house with my brother he was always happy, when we did go down their we would play zombies with nerf guns and we would play at the big church next to out houses so it's really nice to see him now doing good.

  2. Zach is currently 7 years cancer free and going into his senior year at St. Louis University High School! Just thought you might like to hear the update!! MOM

  3. Way to go Zachary! Great news….wishing you the very best for many years to come.I have no doubt you are living each day to the fullest..prayers sent your way❤️💙

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