About a week ago, James and I were babysitting our nieces and nephews that live next door. The kids LOVE their Uncle James…especially the boys, who spend the majority of their time jumping on, rolling and wrestling with him. I’m always amused by little Baby Grant – who is 2 and a half – and will literally climb up and wrap his legs around James’ neck and come out unscathed when he’s tossed off onto the couch! It supports why his parents and family call him “monkey.” 🙂 The night was filled with giggles and endless energy and, of course, no one got to sleep until way past their bedtime.
A few days later, Father’s Day, the Gossling clan came over to celebrate the day together. The kids played and ran around, Grant included; though it was noticed that Grant would whine and say “ouch” whenever he was picked up. It seemed that maybe he had fallen and hurt a rib, his arm, or maybe his lymph nodes were a little swollen because he had been under the weather the day or so before.
June took Grant to the doctor for an x-ray to see what was wrong on Wednesday. The x-ray led to blood tests – which confirmed that Grant’s platelet count was entirely too low. The doctors informed June and Michael that this was an immediate concern for cancer and they needed to have him sent to the hospital right away for further testing.
I am astounded and humbled by how quickly a person’s life can change. And, in this case, it is far more than one person’s that has been changed forever.
Since the first doctor visit just this last Wednesday, the doctors have found a large mass on little Grant’s adrenal glands and another abnormality on the bone in his arm. At his age, Grant is now only the third case of high risk, stage 4 neuroblastoma admitted to the Aflac Cancer wing at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta this year.
Our hearts have been broken and constantly poured out in prayer since we’ve received the news. To try and put myself in June and Michael’s shoes is incomprehensible; though they say that the tremendous reaching out from hundreds in just the last couple of days has been a blessing to help lift the burden they now carry.
Grant was supposed to go into surgery for a biopsy this last Friday, but it was postponed until Monday due to a delay in him receiving blood in time. What a blessing that has been because it allowed a break from all of the testing and poking – to just breath… and better soak in all that has happened in such a short period of time. James and I were able to spend our afternoon with Grant, June, and Michael yesterday at the hospital.
I wasn’t sure how I would handle our visit. Walking through the wing to get to Grant’s room had me tearing up as I saw little babies in hospital gowns being pulled around in red wagons in the halls to some puppies that had been brought to cheer them up. Being able to see June and Michael finally since the news was calming and reassuring for me. For being in a more difficult place than I can imagine, they are both so faithful. Though they shared how heart wrenching it was each time they had to hold down their screaming baby for him to be “poked” or sedated for testing – they also spoke very positively and gratefully – – regarding the path that was paved leading up to this event, how they had been prepared, about how God has a plan, and about the flood of support, love, and prayers being offered up on their behalf. Visitors, comments, and love coming from family, friends, and strangers are keeping them strong in this rough time.
It really is incredible how little Grant is bringing people together and how good hearted the world is. You can read more details about it and Grant’s story with the daily little miracles/updates on his facebook page: Grace for Grant – it is kept up by his parents, Michael and June.
It was hard to see Grant in so much pain. He would cry as soon as June got up from his side in bed. He didn’t want anyone to touch him.
His body is weak and sore – they have a “Fall Risk” band around his ankle because even walking is not easy or even possible at this point.
I was impressed at how well he did when the nurse came in to check on him and give him more pain medications. He only fussed when they lifted his arm to take his temperature.
^^ even Spidey got his temperature taken ^^
Though the majority of the afternoon Grant was in pain and fussy – He allowed his favorite Uncle James to touch him and was able to get some smiles out of him, if only for a brief minute or two! These photos warm my heart…
Grant will go into surgery tomorrow. They will do a biopsy to confirm whether the stage 4 mass in his abdomen is mature or still immature and prone to rapid spreading. We are hoping it’s mature (which means it won’t be spreading quickly). If the tumor is a solid mass and easily removed, they’ll go ahead and take it out during surgery – but they said not to count on it. Though we already know Grant is high risk – these upcoming tests and biopsy will confirm exactly where all the cancer has spread and what types of treatments will be needed. Soon we will have more answers. Which also means that soon Michael and June will explain to their other three children (9, 7, and 4 years old) Grant’s situation. Up until now, they visit and know that Grant is “sick” but do not know the extent of it. They wanted to wait until more was confirmed. Using the “cancer” word will be hard because their beloved family dog currently has cancer and the kids all know that any day now he may be gone. When it rains – it pours …but God is always there.
^^ “hello?!?!” on the foot phone ^^
Neuroblastoma has no known cause – but starts in the nerves (usually around the adrenal glands) and can spread to the bones, skin, liver, etc. It is not very common – but occurs most often in young children/babies.
Prayers and thoughts are needed and appreciated.
For updates: GRACE for GRANT
x’s & o’s