Monday, January 10, 2011

Why 2010 was the Best Year of My Son's Life

My son, Ethan, has had a very unusual first four years of life. Most of his first year was spent in and out of the hospital, receiving out-patient chemotherapy, three sclerotherapies, and intensive physical therapy - all due to a rare, non-cancerous (but very harmful) vascular tumor on his lower right leg. There was even talk of amputating his leg at the knee and/or trying some experimental adult chemotherapy. My husband was a full-time law student at the time, and even though I was the "breadwinner" for the family, I had to quit my job to care for my son during this unexpected and life-threatening illness. With my job, went our family's insurance, and we were incredibly fortunate to be able to have Ethan qualify for Medicaid.

By his second year, the tumor had begun to go away and I am one of countless people who can honestly say that "government-run healthcare" helped to save my son's life. We spent our time trying to catch him up to a normal level of developmental with physical, occupational, and speech therapy, as well as occasional check-ups with his oncologist. He learned to walk (late of course, due to the pain caused by the tumor on his leg) and finally started being able to have what you might consider a normal daily life for an American baby.