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Conner is the happiest boy I’ve ever met. Despite everything he has been through and everything he still has to endure, his laugh and smile are so contagious! He loves superheroes and dancing. He loves to take care of his sisters (he has 4) and he loves spending time with me (he’s a momma’s boy). School is his absolute favorite place. He loves reading and learning and playing with his friends. Aside from cancer, he is a typical 7 year old boy.

Two years ago, Connor was very tired all the time, which wasn’t normal, and he had a lot of bruising on his legs. The final warning that something was wrong was petechiae, his blood vessels had raised to the surface of his skin from his forehead to his ankles. On September 4, 2015 he was diagnosed with B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

He’s on a 3 1/2 year treatment plan, including chemotherapy at the hospital as well as at home. He receives frequent spinal taps, I lost count after a dozen and we have a little more than a year left. Our whole family struggles, emotionally, mentally and physically. This is the hardest thing in the world to go through. He’s just a small child and he’s been through more than most adults will go through in their entire life. Watching a nurse dress head to toe in protective gear to put poison into a child’s body is the most awful thing. It’s hard to explain that to a child; “it’s ok for the poison to be in your bloodstream but the nurse has to protect herself because it’s toxic”, it makes no sense. It’s all a struggle.

Cancer has definitely changed our family life. I am a basket case now, I constantly have to be on my toes. The fear of Conner getting sick from coming into contact with someone that is ill, is almost crippling. We don’t go anywhere in public without Lysol, hand sanitizer and usually Purell or other antibacterial wipes. It’s stressful, simple things like going out to eat or enjoying our local zoo can be a nightmare. Kids just want to be kids, they want to touch everything and without even thinking their fingers go into their mouths. Now there’s panic and sanitizer and madness. Chemotherapy has wiped out his immune system so fighting a common cold is something his body is incapable of right now.

Connor’s support page

Hope session by Nikki Cashen Photography | Facebook | Instagram

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