Kaiden is an exuberant and bright 5 year old, who is wise beyond his years. Most folks fall in love with him instantly because he has never met a stranger. He’s an amazing big brother to his baby sister, Lucy, and shows her so much love and affection! He loves all things cars and vows to own a purple Volkswagen Beetle with smiley face hubcaps when he’s older. He also said he wants to design Hot Wheels cars and real cars when he grows up. Hearing him talk about his future always reminds me of how far we have come. There was a time, not too long ago, when I didn’t know if he would live to see 5, let alone adulthood.
On March 25, 2010, when Kaiden was just two and a half years old, he was diagnosed with cancer. After an extensive brain surgery, we were told it was a highly aggressive, very rare Grade 4 malignant tumor called a supra-tentorial Primitive Neuro-ectodermal Tumor (sPNET). When speaking with our oncologist, she gave us grave odds at Kaiden beating this cancer. Her words were, “The odds are not great. They are not zero, but they are not good either.” She introduced us to a very aggressive treatment plan which included; 4 months of intensive chemotherapy to take place on a weekly basis in the hospital, 6 weeks of intensive radiation to the brain, followed by six months of oral chemotherapy. We were told of the many side effects and issues children who survive cancer have to deal with. If the cancer didn’t kill Kaiden, the treatments very well could or at least cause such severe side effects that our child would never be the same.
In June 2011, Kaiden’s first scans off treatment came back clear. We started to feel a spark of hope that Kaiden had beaten the odds. He has shown very little side effects from his treatments aside from the horseshoe shaped scar across his head and a small bald patch from the radiation. Our lives are showing some semblance of normalcy again and with each clear scan Kaiden receives, we feel more and more hopeful. Kaiden will continue to get scans throughout the years and the fear of cancer returning will always be apart of our lives.
Throughout his treatment, Kaiden maintained a positive, never give up attitude. I have learned so much from my boy during this journey. He took it in stride, rolled with the punches and continued to trust us, even when we had to hold him down so the nurses could administer treatment. He now bears a battle scar on his head, reminding us of what cancer tried to take. He is a warrior, he is fierce, he is Kaiden, The Destroyer, and cancer never stood a chance!