There are THREE main reasons why I am running this Marathon, one of those reasons is Camden B. Methvin.
I asked Camden's mother to share their heartbreaking story with me so that I could share it with you. Ashley is a single mother to two adorable boys. She moonlights as a nurse at a CNA to help give her boys the lives they deserve. As a nursing student by day, you can imagine what a blood cancer scare could do to the strength she has built up for her already challenging life. Please take the time to read the story below. It is real, heartbreaking, and one of the reasons why I am raising money to find a cure for blood cancers. Remember, "Every Dollar Counts". When you are done, if you feel it your heart to donate, please do so either through my page, (http://pages.teamintraining.org/sd/rnr12/sdalei), or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for other ways you can donate. Thank you.
World Stopped on a Dime... Let's help catch it in Time <3
by Ashley Methvin on Tuesday, January 24, 2012 at 6:08pm
It was January 2011 and just a routine visit with the pediatrician for a well check up for my two boys. (Ages then 5 and 9 mos). The baby had a cold but my oldest son, Camden, was perfectly fine. Everything was going great and as the Dr. began summarizing our visit and feeling Camden's neck to check lymphnodes before turning to myself and the charts... I noticed he wasn't moving. He kept feeling behind Camden's neck. I'm in the medical profession and immediately felt a knot tighten. He turned to me and said that he was a little concerned about the size because he wasn't exhibiting any signs of an infection; however with Xander (the baby) having a viral infection that Camden was probably just getting sick and would show more symptoms in the next few days. Sure enough he developed the 24hr virus his brother had and I assumed the Dr. was right on the $$.
Move along to middle May 2011. I was getting ready to take the boys out on the boat when my mother approached me and asked if I had ever made the follow up appointment or gotten any blood work? Since the bloodwork was optional, Camden DID get sick, I opted to not make him endure being pricked. Honestly, He hadn't been sick since that 3 days in January and we went almost 6 months without needing an office visit for anything. Perplexed about mama's question I grabbed my son and began to palpate (feel) his lymphnodes. To my shock I felt one almost the size of a golf ball right under his chin area and three more behind his ears on his neck. I FREAKED out! I called the Dr immediately and the set up an emergent appointment for the following day. I must have researched so many things that night... cried...and prayed that we'd get to the office and the dr would say it was nothing.
At the appointment, in walks Dr. Gonzales (The ABSOLUTELY MOST AMAZING Dr. Ever!!) He examined Camden and then asked if I had taken him for his bloodwork. I took Camden for the blood work prior to his visit at the office, so I said "yes" and that he should have the results within 24 hrs. Dr. Gonzales, looked at me and I could see in his face the concern. I told him "Don't sugar coat it, i've been in medicine for 9 years and I need to know and what's our next step"... He said, "Ashley you know lymph nodes enlarge when there's an infection typically and since Camden's been completely well for almost 6 months .. .he paused... we're going to need to rule out..." and I finished with "Cancer". In a flash, all my daily worries and plans just froze. My world stopped. Surroundings Blurred...and the Room was a hollow echo. I looked into Dr. Gonzales eyes for strength before I had to switch into mommy mode and not let Camden see my tears. Lord knows I didn't want him scared if indeed it was Cancer. Dr.Gonzales said, "Try not to worry right now because we'll know more when the bloodwork comes in".. Most people don't know but Leukemia will cause an increaase in WBC's but not Lymphoma. At this point Dr. Gonzales was trying to rule out if it was Leukemia or Lymphoma. We were out on the boat fishing and looking for Alligators when I received the phone call AFTER HOURS from Dr. Gonzales himself. The bloodwork didn't point to Leukemia, so now our next step was the Ultrasound.
I literally hounded the operator into pushing us in a time slot for the following monday. (They wanted me to wait almost 10 days) and by now I figured if it was cancer back in January then it's been almost 6 months untreated and I wasn't waiting ANY longer! We were in the room waiting for the Ultrasound within 2 days! Again, being in medicine has its perks but when it's your child it makes it even more scary bc you know what's normal and abnormal. We felt 3 lymph nodes in the Dr's office. I explained to the tech what we were looking for and why (She asked)... She measured the largest one first.. (**FYI: anything between 1.5-2+cm is typically Lymphoma) either way it's abnormal in size. With that said... she measured another, and then another, (I"m thinking "OK we're done") and yet she kept measuring and taking pics... I counted up to 15 and stopped. I was horrified...this wasn't good.
We were getting ready to go out on the boat when I got the call about the Ultrasound Results. I have always gotten "good" results over the phone because we live almost an hr away... but Dr. Gonzales called for me to come into the office with Camden. Upon his examination and going over the results he revealed that 27 lymphnodes were enlarged ranging from 1.5-2cm in diameter. He immediately notified me we needed to do a biopsy to determine if this was indeed Lymphoma. Again, the wait time was almost 2 weeks. I pushed and pushed... and was able to get him scheduled to meet with the surgeon within 2 days. We met and he scheduled the surgery for the following week. I contacted St. Jude and had already established a "Pre Registration" folder with St. Jude and their dr's were prepared to recieve report from our Dr. within the week with results to determine his treatment. Camden was so brave during the biopsy and wasn't too happy he had to wear tape on his face with the bandage...lol. He came through just fine and tolerated anesthesia well... but when the Specialist came out I didn't get "Doesn't look worrysome to me but we're sending it off to make sure"...Nope, I got "He did fine, Your physician will explain the results"... SERIOUSLY I was scared out of my mind. Surely he would have said something more positive.
The next couple of days were an emotional roller coaster. I won't go into all the details because my sis says "Don't write a Novel" (she knows I could ;) ) And yet again I was called to come to the office...and not bring Camden. That drive to Tallahassee was filled with SO many .. fears, tears, prayers... I could barely see to drive. At least I had the comfort that St. Jude was prepared to take him and all they needed was my Dr's authorization. I walked down the hallway and Dr. Gonzales came in, took his seat on the stool, and said ....
"Breath it's not lymphoma. I don't have an explanation really to explain why he had so many enlarged lymphnodes, everything was pointing to Lymphoma." All I could say was.. "My God...Praise God.. He's healed my Baby"!! I burst into tears, told him Thanks so much for staying on top of it and being up front with me. I bawled like a baby for a good 10 mins. My mom thought it was cancer bc when I called I was still crying.. GOD saved my baby.
UPDATE: To this day the doctors still have no explanation for Camden's Miraculous healing. He was examined by 4 doctors that all were sure we were dealing with Lymphoma. His lymphnodes are no longer swollen, he's healthy and making Straight A's in Kindergarten. I do obsessively check his lymphnodes randomly to make sure I don't feel anything abnormal, and Dr. Gonzales has been great with follow up. He promised to stand by us the whole way and he did!! He never allowed me to hear something "through the grapevine or nurses" .. He called himself. Camden is doing Great and is now 6yrs old!!
*I hope my story helped you connect on a mother's level about a Cancer that is taking so many lives both adults and children. Research is the key to defeating this monster...as parents we will defeat any monster for our babies... and this is no different. My sister, was so touched by this scare that she entered a marathon and is trying to raise money to Support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I was blessed that Camden's wasn't Lymphoma... But so many aren't. So many fight the battles daily and in the more advanced cases more research is needed. Please help join the fight!! Even a small $2 or $5 donation will help.