“The answer is, ‘Jesus.’ The answer to everything eventually comes down to My Son…Jesus.” These are the words I heard God lay on my heart as I asked Him how to answer the question we have all been asking…What is growing inside of Bennett? So before I share the pathology report…let me first share our eternal report. Jesus is in control. His ways are good and we will always serve Him. He is both powerful and loving. And because of this, He is the only answer we will ever need. So as you read the report below, this is what you need to remember…we are resting in the strength of a big God who goes before us and who has already won the battle.
On Wednesday morning, we posted that we did not expect to get the pathology report until Friday. Literally a few hours after we wrote that, our oncologist walked into our room. She told us that much to her surprise, the pathology report came back early and the tumor is in fact malignant. It is not Hepatoblastoma. Bennett has an Extrarenal Malignant Rhabdoid Tumor. Don’t google it. Don’t look it up. There is not much out there…and what is out there is either not understandable or very discouraging…or both.
Rhabdoid Tumors normally form in the kidneys and are extremely rare. Bennett’s kidneys are fine though. When these tumors do not start there, the second most common origination is in the brain. An MRI was done on his brain today and the scans came back showing that he has no tumor or cancerous activity in his brain at all. AT ALL. Praise the Lord! So the fact that he has a rhabdoid tumor that originated in the liver makes this incredibly rare. There are less that 20 cases a year in the country of children having a rhabdoid tumor originating somewhere outside either the kidneys or brain. So the plan is still the same as before…shrink it with chemotherapy to the point it can be surgically removed.
Our oncologist also told us that this tumor is very aggressive and does not always respond well to chemotherapy (in fact, it was the one tumor she was hoping it would not be). So even though he is still testing positive for RSV, she does not want to wait to begin chemotherapy. So we begin tonight. TONIGHT! Bennett is sleeping right now as I type and the nurses have begun giving him his pre-chemo medicines to help his system deal with the side-effects of chemotherapy. The first drug will be given to him in the next hour, and more drugs over the next four days. This will begin the first cycle that will last 3 weeks. We will post more about how it all works later.
This news was obviously not what we wanted to hear and we felt like the wind had been knocked out our sails most of yesterday. But for today, things like the good MRI report, Bennett resting better and actually getting some laughs out of him tonight have all helped put a little pep back into our step. And the notes, texts and phone calls continue to come from you…and Jesus is using you to give us a giant hug. Thank you for being His arms in our lives right now. There have been some powerful conversations and interactions that have strengthened Megan and me over the last 24 hours. I plan to write about those in the coming days, as well as specific medical prayer requests and other family needs throughout the weekend. But for now, just pray that God shrinks this tumor enough to be removed.
The last thing I’ll share is this. I never thought I would be excited to sign a document authorizing someone to do chemotherapy on my son. But I was. I felt like I was suiting up for battle and there was a wave of excitement that poured over me. I also never expected to lay hands on and pray over a bag of chemotherapy drugs and ask, “God, use this…and let it be powerful.” But that’s exactly what I’m about to do. After all…the pathology report does not give us the answer. It’s only the beginning of a journey to prove that Jesus is the answer.