I guess the easiest place to start is at the beginning of the year, in late January, Maureen had just taken Liam to his two year visit and everything was was looking good for our little man. Liam is your average 2 year old, he especially enjoys music class, riding his bike and hanging out with his buddies. He has been healthy as horse the first two years of life, a sniffle here and there, but nothing serious. In early February, he felt sick and sleepy for a few days which was out of the norm, so we took him to see the pediatrician. After looking him over, they found he had an ear infection. About 10 days later, Liam started tugging at his other ear and we noticed he had a bit of a swollen glad, so back to the doctor’s office we went. We continued to battle the ear infections and general sick feeling through February.
Liam was still feeling a little sick in the beginning of March, and the doctor thought he might have mono. The mono diagnosis lead to a few jokes about the kinda ladies he had been hanging out with…but we at least felt better that we had found the issue to why he was feeling so crummy for the past few weeks. Even though we thought we knew what was going on, we started to notice some odd symptoms. Liam had been spiking fevers for more than a week, and then we started to notice he seemed to have some tenderness in his neck when we changed his shirt. A few days later we notice he had a lump on his head that seemed to appear over night and we attributed it to him bumping his head at the zoo with his buddies the day before. After a day or two the lump was not getting any smaller and Liam was not complaining when it was touched, which was rather odd for a big goose egg. We scheduled an appointment to see the doctor again in late March, and a few days later the test for mono came back negative. Since we had seen a few of our pediatrician’s partners over the course of March, we requested an appointment with Liam’s primary doctor to review what was going on the past few weeks, and on the morning of March 29, 2010 we started down a road that would change our lives forever.
The morning of the appointment Liam had a hard time sleeping and Maureen had gotten up with him around 4:30 am. Since he was not sleepy at all, he used his charms and convinced her that they should probably do some coloring. A few minutes went by and Maureen noticed that Liam was not using his left arm. We were at the doctor’s office first thing in the morning and Maureen noticed a small bump on the side of Liam’s face. After examining Liam, our doctor called a colleague at Children’s Hospital who agreed to see us that afternoon.
After examining Liam on Monday afternoon (3/29), they decided to admit us so they could expedite testing. The initial thinking was that that Liam might have Langerhans cell histiocytosis. On Wednesday March 31, Liam went into surgery for a series of tests including a biopsy on one of the tumors…by the end of the day the Kelly family was changed forever. We sat down with two of the doctors that would become part of our core team and late in the day they informed us that Liam had neuroblastoma stage 4.
Feel Free to keep up with our story here: http://www.liamsgang.com/.