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Fighting For Chansen Part 2: Coral Springs Family Waits On Pathology Report For Ailing Son, Hoping For Unlikely Good News



CORAL SPRINGS, FL – Weeks after getting the news that no parent ever wants to hear: “Your son has cancer,” my family was at a hospital exam room, getting word on what kind of cancer Chansen was facing.

It’s likely liver cancer, the doctor told us. Not a good thing.

As we sat there, my thoughts went back. Far back to the first time Chansen was diagnosed with cancer.

He was 6-years-old. We were summoned away from him to a cold conference room with a whiteboard and medical staff.

I remember the words so clearly as if they were speaking them now: “The bad news is we believe your son has leukemia. The good news is it is not spinal cancer as we had feared because that could have left him paralyzed,” the doctor said.

Then I recalled the second time he fought cancer.

We were in a hospital room too, this time Chansen was 11 and sitting next to me: “We looked at his spinal fluid, it is cloudy. We need pathology to confirm, but it looks as though cancer has returned in his spinal fluid,” the physician told us.

Both of those times brought us tremendous pain, fear, and disbelief.

Now it was all coming back.

Moments before the hospital staff told us Chansen likely has liver cancer, my husband, Bill, Chansen, and I were in that exam room as the doctor pulled up the CT scan and showed us the tumor on his liver.  It was big.  A big round mass, half the size of the largest solid organ in his body, hanging off the left lobe of his liver.

We had been hoping for lymphoma, as crazy as that sounds. It has a good prognosis and outcome in most cases.  It was clear from the scan that was probably not what we were dealing with. Liver cancer is a much tougher diagnosis.

We’re now waiting on the pathology report to officially reveal what kind of cancer this is.

I am not certain yet what those results will mean for Chansen and the road it will take us on this time around. Not even the medical team is sure.

Chansen took the news the same way he took his relapse when he was only 11.

“I have beat it before, and I will beat it again,” he told me, his thumb up indicating “I got this.”

Chansen is amazing in his acceptance of what the universe hands him. I took the news not as well. I did not show it to Chansen because I have always felt that if he is not scared or worried I am not going to allow my response to make him think he should be.

But I am a mom, and like most mothers, my children are my world.  I squeezed my husband’s hand. He reassuringly squeezed it back, silently saying to me “I am with you through this.”

All I know for sure is Chansen is bright, smart, kind, and brave. He is only 20 and has ambitions of becoming a history teacher someday. Dreams of taking the past, and teaching the world’s future the lessons learned from humanity’s wrongs and rights.

For me, he’s already taught me plenty, more than any other person in my life.

He’s got a lot to offer this world.

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