Childhood Cancer is Rough on the Heart

Steve McKinionUncategorizedLeave a Comment

See what I did there? You thought I was going to write about grief, sadness, sorrow; all realities of living with and through childhood cancer. But the heart I’m talking about is that fist-sized muscle in your chest responsible for pumping blood through your body.  The drugs used to fight childhood leukemia are rough on the whole body, but the … Read More

Tomorrow Harrison Becomes a Cancer Survivor

Steve McKinionUncategorized15 Comments

Last week, I came in late from a work dinner to find Harrison standing at the top of the stairs shirtless and sweating. He had been working out, something he hasn’t felt like doing in over a year. My eyes were immediately drawn to the scar on his chest where, three and half years ago, a surgeon installed a port-a-cath … Read More

Hurry Up and Wait, part deux

Steve McKinionUncategorized3 Comments

We have the preliminary results from Harrison’s bone marrow test and the doctors do not see any leukemia under the microscope. That is very good news. Of course, in the childhood cancer world, especially Harrison’s world, this isn’t the final test. Because of Harrison’s unique situation, samples have been sent for more intensive genetic testing that will confirm or contradict … Read More

Stand Down

Steve McKinionUncategorizedLeave a Comment

We arrived at the cancer hospital at UNC today in eager anticipation of a bone marrow aspirate and spinal tap to check for any remaining cancer. We left without them. But that’s okay. As you may know, Harrison’s case involves researchers from around the world. His case has been in the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of Clinical … Read More

You Can Check Out But You Can Never Leave

Steve McKinionUncategorized6 Comments

This Friday is a very important day for Harrison. He will have a bone marrow aspirate done to see if there is any evidence of remaining leukemia. They want to see, in essence, if the last three and a half years of treatment has failed. Can you imagine having endured three and a half years of chemotherapy only to discover it … Read More

We Can Have Ice Cream Again

Steve McKinionUncategorizedLeave a Comment

Last week Harrison had is final infusion of Vincristine, as awful drug that has nearly crippled him. The effects on his knees and ankles are horrific, making getting out of bed in the morning a challenge, and running almost impossible. He is glad to be done with that toxin (“glad” here being the understatement of the year!). Following that infusion … Read More

Saturday’s Darkness

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Today, Christians around the world reflect on the substitutionary death of Jesus. It is a dark day in Christian memory, as death has swallowed up Jesus and he has been buried, descending into the earth. He is dust returning to dust. The Saturday following Good Friday is a terrible reminder of death’s hold on humanity. Every person will die. No one … Read More

Stop and Take a Deep Breath

Steve McKinionUncategorized6 Comments

Fighting cancer cannot be easy. I’ve never had to do it, but I’ve watched my now thirteen year old son battle the disease for three and a half years. He’s been an amazing warrior. He’s fought cancer the same way he’s always played baseball: all or nothing! I’ve watched as the harsh regimen of chemotherapy  have raved his mind and body. I’ve … Read More

He Never Ceases to Amaze Me

Steve McKinionUncategorized3 Comments

NOTE: This is a repost of an earlier post from 2013, with some slight editing. One of the biggest highlights of Harrison’s fight against cancer was a phone call he received from Peyton Manning. When Harrison was at his lowest point, and the doctors were convinced he was going to die from the leukemia that refused to respond to chemo, … Read More

I Want to See You Be Brave

Steve McKinionUncategorizedLeave a Comment

Hours in clinic for chemo infusions and blood transfusions have been commonplace for Harrison. I cannot begin to count the number of hours he’s spent sitting in a blue vinyl chair waiting for life-saving drugs, blood, or platelets to finish infusing. I’m not sure how many people had to donor blood for him to be alive right now, but I’m … Read More