Colton has smiled through everything. I mean everything! He loves to be a boy and play with animals and even in the dirt. He loves to play hide and seek. He absolutely loves the water. He also loves our family dog Gunner. My son sees any dogs and wants to take them home. He also loves fish, toy cars and bouncy balls. He’s the average 2 year old, tough and fearless!
I knew there was a chance he might have Retinoblastoma due to family history. Before diagnosis he had a lazy eye and watery eyes. Because I had cancer as a kid, we were told he might inherit it. So he was checked shortly after birth.He was diagnosed at 11 weeks old on July 10th 2015.
Colton has gone through systemic chemotherapy and laser therapy with ICG dye (green dye) to add pigment to his tumors for a better laser response. His first year of life he received laser ever 2-3 weeks. When he was two, it was every 3-4 weeks. As of June, he is now down to every 3 months.
The biggest struggle, aside from financial, would have to be my son’s allergy to the “go to” chemotherapy drug for his cancer. His tumors were also so light in pigment that the laser was not being absorbed well. The stress of feeling alone and having little support was also hard. With my son’s type of cancer we don’t see clinic much. It’s always surgery for eye exams and treatment. So meeting other cancer families is almost impossible. Needless to say the beginning of our journey was very very lonely.
I have two other children at home and during diagnosis there were times I would go weeks without seeing them. Since finding out Colton is finally stable after 2 years, we have tried to rebuild our bonds with our kids and finally have a sense of “normal”.
Colton has strolled though his life not knowing anything else. He has grown through infancy to toddler stage with the same hospital staff. Many of the staff members know him by name as soon as they see him. Some nurses have seen him grow up and my son loves them. Colton is the bravest kid I know!
Hope session by Casey Foggit Photography.