• Billie Lang

1 Year Cancer Free

In August I met the Robinson family after they entered my giveaway for a family lifestyle session. They had told a story in their entry that had hit home with me, as I and many of you have had someone who has been affected by cancer. Being a parent I am thankful that we have two healthy children and that I have one less worry in my small world.

Family of 4, 2 year old cancer survivor
Robinson Family

Cayla and Wes have two beautiful boys Wyatt who just turned 5 and Maverick who is 2 years old. At just 18 months old Maverick was diagnosed with a brain tumour, and on August 2nd, 2018 a CT scan revealed there was a mass in Mav's brain. It was so large that it was blocking cerebral fluid from passing to his spine, therfore creating the pooling of fluid on his brain.

That night Maverick went through the first of three surgeries.

Surgery number one, was to create a drain to decrease the build up of fluid in his brain.

Surgery number two, happened a few days later removing the bulk of the tumour.

Surgery number three, was to resect the most complicated section that was entwined amongst Mavericks cranial nerves. For complete resection of the tumour, 2 cerebral nerves were also removed. The removal of these nerves complicated Mavericks breathing and swallowing abilities and resulted in a fourth surgery to place a trach for breathing and a G-Tube for feeding.

The tumour measured 6cm in diameter, Maverick was in surgery for a total of 17 hours and he spent 78 days in the hospital. Maverick completed 33 rounds of radiation and most recently 6 rounds of bevacizumab IV treatments after developing radiation necrosis. Maverick was able to finally come home on October 16th, 2018.

While all these numbers play an important role in telling Mavericks story. We are celebrating numbers that tell another story. A story of courage, determination and never ending love.

Today we are celebrating the numbers:

3, is the number of different communication techniques that Maverick uses and continues to improve with daily.

7, is the number of days of the week Maverick wakes up happy and requesting to practice his walking and other therapies.

124, is the number of days Maverick has been eating food orally with our his G-Tube.

180, is the number of days that he has mastered his speaking valve.

202, is the number of days that Maverick has been home with his family.

365, is the number of days with no evidence of the disease reoccurring.

I met Maverick on August 25th, 2019 and I totally admire this little guys determination. He walked the entire way to the park and truthfully just wanted to play with his brother and keep practicing with his walker.

Wyatt, 4 at the time of our session, was so patient and loving with Maverick and in true big brother style he made Mav feel included and loved. While the boys went for a walk I spent some time with Cayla and Wes to learn more about the family and give them some time for themselves.

Through all the tough times and moments sadness, Cayla and Wes have done what any parents in this situation would do. They survived. I wanted to make sure they had a photo or two to remember their connection, because it is so easy to get caught up in just keeping it together. Just a few moments to reconnect and feel each other's love and it came through so beautifully. Cayla and Wes were totally open and receptive to my reconnecting prompts which allowed us to create such wonderful images for their family.

So as the Robinson family reflects over the last year they are reminded of all the family, friends, coworkers, neighbours and strangers who reached out to them in their time of crisis. They thank all of you for helping them persevere. The kindness they were given will never be forgotten and continues to passed forward every chance they get.

Happy 1 year cancer free Maverick!

Little boy in superman t-shirt walking with mom assistance.
Maverick practicing walking with mom

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