A Little Taste of Normal

Steve McKinionUncategorizedLeave a Comment

Eighth grade (Fall 2015) for Harrison was rather uneventful. Each month he made a trip to the pediatric oncology clinic at the hospital to give a sample off blood. It was a drag, to be sure, but compared to monthly chemo infusions, daily chemo pills, and every-third month spinal taps for chemo, this was nothing. He did miss school every … Read More

End of Treatment

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When Harrison was first diagnosed with leukemia in December of 2011, doctors told us his treatment would last three and a half years. That seemed like an eternity. We never imagined reaching the end of that terrible journey. He was in fourth grade at diagnosis, and would be finishing seventh grade at the end of treatment. Remarkably, that day finally … Read More

Catching Up

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I haven’t posted here in years. But that doesn’t mean nothing of significance has happened. In fact, more has happened since I stopped writing Harrison’s childhood cancer story than before. Beginning next week I am going to re-write the last four years of Harrison’s grueling journey fighting cancer and its horrible side effects. If you have not yet read Harrison’s … Read More

A Cancer Reminder Every Month

Steve McKinionUncategorized8 Comments

Every day Harrison takes a drug meant to keep his cancer it check. It’s just part of the drill for a child with an incurable cancer. In many way, his daily dose of Gleevec has become just another part of life, like brushing his teeth or working out. While nothing says, “You will always have to fight cancer,” like taking … Read More

Childhood Cancer is Rough on the Heart

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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 McKinionUncategorized17 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 McKinionUncategorized1 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