A Letter from Mikey's Mom
We want to say Thank You first of all for your care and support for our son Michael. His nickname is Mikey. Since most of you don’t know him, I hope to try and give you a window into his world through my words. Mikey is 3 years old, born on December 30th, we spent New Years Eve in the hospital celebrating the birth of our beautiful baby boy and our 2nd son. Mikey was different from James, our oldest. He was bigger, louder and so full of energy! Naps were rare and he never wanted to miss out even if it meant staying up late! Before his diagnosis, Mikey loved his swim lessons at Lifetime gym in our hometown of Las Vegas. Mikey was our fearless 2 year old, he would climb up onto everything and jump off laughing, he kept up with his brother at our MMA gym and would run around, picking up medicine balls, jumping from boxes and even began learning to punch and kick the heavy bags. Mikey went everywhere with me, he loves being out and about and talks to everyone saying 'hello' and smiling every chance he gets.
In September of 2019 he began getting sick here and there, low fevers, coughing etc. At the end of October we were given the amazing news that he outgrew a kidney disorder called bilateral kidney reflux that he was born with. We left the hospital on October 25th celebrating our son's health and told him he was finally done taking his daily antibiotic which he’d been on daily since he was three months old and that he never had to go back there again. He hated those procedures and was so relieved to hear he was all better. Unfortunately, we didn’t know what was in store for him and us.
From the end of October through Christmas Mikey had the flu, strep and continuous high fevers with a few good days in between. He began complaining of back pain and knee pain. He slowly stopped being his active self and asked to be carried more than usual. This was all strange behavior for our active little guy, but numerous trips to our pediatrician showed that it was the usual body aches accompanying the flu or viruses that he most likely had. Our whole house was sick for the month of November, our oldest had the flu, then my husband and I both had it and we ended up cancelling our Thanksgiving. Since we all were getting sick we didn’t think that Mikey had anything different, just that for some reason he wasn’t able to get fully well.
On Christmas day, Mikey didn’t leave the couch. Toys weren’t even enough for him to get excited and he was pale and thin. It was heart breaking and I was tired of feeling helpless so I reached out to a trusted friend for advice. She immediately said to ask for a blood test. I went to Mikey’s pediatrician again and asked to be referred for blood work. We had Mikey's 3rd birthday party on the Saturday following Christmas and on New Years Eve morning went to get his blood work done. I assumed we wouldn’t hear anything until after a few days especially with it being New Years Day and many medical offices closed, but I’ll never forget the morning of the 1st day of 2020.
Mikey’s doctor called me and I could hear in his voice that something was wrong. He informed me that he thinks its Leukemia and to go directly to Sunrise Childrens ER for further testing. That day I knew I would be leaving my house and probably staying at the hospital for quite awhile. Without going into detail about the worst day I have ever experienced, Mikey’s official diagnosis was B-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. We stayed at the hospital from the 1st to the 14th of January and endured some of the most difficult times. Thank God for the amazing nurses, doctors, family and friends that took care of us all and showered us with love and prayers.
Mikey will face a 3 -year road map of treatment. He is a born fighter, but hospital visits are always a traumatic experience that he hates. We thank God that he hasn’t experienced bad reactions or side effects as of now.
The treatment for April and May is:
April 7th: spinal tap
April 16th: chemotherapy
May 1st: another spinal tap, and then begin for a second time a short-term steroid.
May 8th: begin another form of chemotherapy nicknamed ‘Red Devil’ (DOXOrubicin). The nickname of ‘Red Devil’ is because the chemo color is bright red. Years ago people stayed in hospital for two days when they underwent it due to the complications so scary phase he is about to embark on. Now they require the echocardiogram prior so they can screen if the heart will be affected.
So now that you know a little more about Mikey and how this all came about, I’d like to say 'Thank You' on behalf of my son and my whole family for choosing to get involved in Closet Clean-out for Cancer and showing your care and support for my son whom you haven’t even met yet. Mikey is now on his 3rd month of chemotherapy, he had his port put in so it’s much easier for him to receive the chemo and do labs, etc. Thankfully he made it through the tough first month being on the steroid medication, the second month going for weekly spinal injections and after 2 bone marrow biopsies, the cancer is considered in remission thank God. Now he enters an approximate 3 years of treatment involving much of the same, chemo, steroids and injections to be sure all the cancer cells were killed and that none return. We have great faith that Mikey will fully recover. Thank you again for supporting him and all of us. We will never forget this!!
Mikey’s mom, Jaimi Aburto