Tommy Peterson's Story:
“Is the bump going away?” Tommy asked.
How do you tell a beautiful, sweet, funny, loving 6 year-old boy that the brain tumor he has been fighting is growing bigger each day?
Our journey with childhood cancer had started 10 months earlier. What we were told was just the flu, ear infections, and allergies that would not go away became something scarier when our son could not walk to the bus. We went to the pediatrician again and they sent us to the ER of Children’s, Egleston campus.
Within minutes, Tommy was intubated and sent to CT. “It is something in his head” and “Is Tommy your only child?” These are the statements that I will never forget. The “bump” was a tumor called medulloblastoma. We just called it Bob.
After weeks in PICU, a craniotomy, a brain biopsy, a tracheostomy, seizures, and radiation with a chemo boost, Tommy finally woke up and asked, “Why did Daddy make us move here?” The radiation had shrunk the tumor and decreased the pressure in his brain enough to bring him back to us.
We thank God that radiation gave us another 10 months with our precious son. Radiation kicked Bob’s butt!
We went through four rounds of chemo, biweekly clinic visits, multiple hospital stays for infection, MRIs every 6 weeks, kidney damage, home IV therapy, nausea and Tommy getting weaker and weaker.
And then the news that we were dreading- the tumor was growing and the worse words a parent can hear, “Tommy will not survive this tumor’”
We just tried to savor every minute. Tommy rode the FOX 5 helicopter, went for a horseback ride, rode in a fire truck with the sirens going and went to Disney World. We even went back to school because Tommy wanted to be “a regular kid.” With every trip, Tommy just wanted to be at home. He was always cheerful and had a joke for everyone. He loved everyone, even the grouchiest of teenage brothers and sisters. He loved Spongebob, video games, and playing with his friends.
No mother should ever have to tell her son that the bump is not going away and that heaven is a great place. No mom should have to tell her son that it is ok to go…
I wonder if we put him though the chemicals, radiation, surgeries for nothing, but I would do it all again to have one more day, hour, minute with my sweet boy. I love and miss you Tommy Charles Peterson Good Boy!
About September & CURE'S Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time:
September is recognized as National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. This September, CURE Childhood Cancer has committed to raising awareness and raising money to help find a cure for childhood cancer in our lifetime and put an end to this terrible disease through a special program CURE's Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time!
Please help us in our goal of raising $30,000 in the month of September while honoring special CURE kids each day of the month who have been affected by childhood cancer.
For more information, please click here.
About CURE Childhood Cancer:
Founded in 1975, CURE Childhood Cancer is dedicated to conquering childhood cancer through research, education and support of patients and their families. Since its establishment as a grass-roots organization, CURE has focused its efforts on improving the care, quality of life, and survival rate of children with cancer.
The founders, parents and a dedicated pediatric oncologist, joined forces to support laboratory research that would translate into immediate care for children with cancer.
Since that time, CURE has raised millions of dollars to fund cutting edge research at the Aflac Cancer Center Blood Disorders Service at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University School of Medicine.
Through innovative programming, CURE also provides support for stricken families, providing them comfort and support during their time of devastating need.
Visit us online at www.curechildhoodcancer.org for more information.