On December 8, 2008, Tanner went to school and after school went to basketball practice. He participated in basketball practice, and when he came home said, "Mom, my stomach really hurts." So, I asked him where he hurt and he showed me. My biggest fear at that time was his appendix. I suggested we take him to the ER and he asked if he could just take a shower and then see if he felt better. We let him do that, and of course he didn't feel better. My husband took him to the ER. They were there a long time and my husband and I had to trade places. After the CT scan, the doctor came in and said that Tanner had an enlarged kidney and needed to see his family doctor in the morning. Lots of thoughts went through my mind as I work in the medical field. I knew if it was an infection, then they would have given him an antibiotic and they didn't. I didn't really think my answer would be the one we got the next day. Our family doctor is also one of my bosses and our clinic is like extended family. I just sat there for a minute when he said Tanner has cancer. He had a right nephrectomy and finished chemotherapy (which he never really was able to get a full dose because he would get too sick) in June. We followed a spot on his lung that I just knew was cancer for 8 months before it was big enough to biopsy. Our oncologist said he would be very shocked if it turned out to be relapse because Wilms’ is a fast growing tumor diagnosed by the age of 5. So, I said prepare to be shocked because there is nothing normal about Tanner's case! She came down the next morning to his room and said you were right, it is cancer. So, this time he required 8 rounds of radiation and then 24 weeks of chemotherapy. He is now 15 and is inpatient right now doing his last treatment. He will have scans on May 2nd!
Written by Elisa Creed, Tanner’s Mom