You know the joke, “Do you want to know how to make God laugh? Make plans.” I never knew the true meaning of that joke until my son was diagnosed with cancer. You really can’t plan anything when you have a child with a possible terminal illness. Everything hinges on how they feel; there are Doctor Appointments you have to go to, and million other things you have to get done. You learn things like how to give a shot, change dressing, how to hook up nutrition to their lines, and learn medical terms. Not to mention learn your way around a huge Memphis Children’s Hospital. As a mother whose child was just diagnosed with cancer, it all was daunting at times it felt like I was the only person in the world dealing with it, even though there were countless other mothers, and families going through the same thing.
Hi my name is Heather Frayer I am married to Tim Frayer and mother to Cassandra, Andrew, and Nicholas. We are from Rolla, Missouri. It actually started in December of 2011. Andrew, my oldest son, started walking strange and having pains in his legs that kept coming and going. I took him to the doctor and she couldn’t find anything causing the leg pain so we thought he had major growing pains. His leg problems were growing worse, but the doctors kept x-raying his legs and taking MRI’s of his Hip, and knees but the scans in those areas came out fine. I took him to an orthopedic surgeon in April of 2012 that is when he suggested that Andrew may have a bacterial infection in his spinal cord because Andrew couldn’t touch his toes. We came back for the MRI and that is when I heard the life changing words that your son may have cancer. We were referred to a Memphis Children’s Hospital. The shock of that moment is still with me even today. The next day an ambulance was sent for Andrew and me. We traveled to the hospital to find out what type and how long we were to stay for treatment. Andrew was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma and because of the location of his tumor, and the lesions that spread, surgery was not an option; also the cancer had spread to 5 other bones in his body. He was to undergo numerous chemo treatments and radiation too. He is so brave to have gone through all that, and somehow still had energy left to spare. Before Andrew’s stem cell transplant our family home in Missouri burnt down. Other than what we had in Memphis, my husband’s suitcase, and what my other children took (clothes and toys) up to Wisconsin while they stay with an aunt, everything was destroyed. By the grace of God, no one was hurt. The 3 Wishes For Her group was there for me. The bible studies on Monday nights were a welcome place for us to discuss God and life lessons, and just be there for support. I have made lifelong friends from our experiences. Today Andrew is in remission. We are coming home to Missouri to rebuild our family again. God truly has blessed my family and me even though I couldn’t see it at first. We will be coming back to Memphis soon for scans and an opportunity to see our Memphis family.