Kamden’s journey started a few years ago, actually. Kyle and Lindsey tried for two long years to start a family. Finally after seeing a fertility doctor, having a surgery, and taking special medication, Lindsey became pregnant in February 2014. Her pregnancy was uneventful; she and the baby were healthy, she carried him to full term…delivering a nearly 9 pound baby boy in November 2014! Kamden was just perfect. Over the next six months, Kamden thrived and grew, and was a perfectly normal baby until May 2015.
Kyle and Lindsey had noticed that Kamden seemed more fussy, was no longer sleeping through the night, and was not using his legs as much. All of these issues were attributed to other things like growth spurts or normal baby issues, but everything still seemed “normal.” But when Kamden caught a respiratory virus the first weekend of May, that’s when everything changed. The typical coughing, sneezing, and wheezing that comes with a virus seemed very extreme with Kamden, and he was not getting any better, even after his doctor prescribed breathing treatments and steroids. So Kamden’s pediatrician ordered a chest X-ray just to be sure everything looked okay. That’s when they found the mass.
Kamden’s doctor called Lindsey that night when he got the X-ray results and told her that they needed to get Kamden to Riley Children’s Hospital that night for further testing to get better images of what was going on in Kamden’s chest. The next several days at Riley Kamden underwent several tests, scans, and biopsies to diagnose his condition.
On May 12, 2015, the doctors were able to definitively diagnose that Kamden had stage 3 Neuroblastoma, a cancerous mass. And in Kamden’s case, it was a very large tumor in his chest that originated from his spine and neurological tissue during formation in utero. Kamden’s tumor was encompassing the entire left side of his chest, collapsing his left lung, shifting his heart and aorta over to the right side, and causing severe compression on his spinal cord. Chemotherapy was immediately started, and just that fast, Kamden was a pediatric cancer patient.
Fast forward to now, October 2015. Kamden has just finished cycle 6 of the estimated 8 cycles of chemo. After every two cycles of chemo, Kamden has an MRI to check and see if the tumor is responding, and so far, it is shrinking!! As long as the tumor continues to shrink, the doctors will want to continue with the chemo, up to 8 total cycles. Once the tumor is small enough to safely operate, Kamden will eventually have surgery to remove it. So far, Kamden has tolerated treatment fairly well. There have been good days and bad days, but he is such a fighter! Even through chemo treatments, Kamden has managed to catch back up to his milestones. Now that the spinal cord compression is decreasing, Kamden is able to use his legs once again. (Hence, Kickin’ it with Kamden!) He is now crawling, pulling himself up to furniture and wanting so badly to start walking, which is huge considering just a few months ago he couldn’t use his legs! Kamden is also starting to gain some weight again. Although things are improving and Kamden is currently tolerating the treatments pretty well, he still has quite a journey ahead of him. If things stay on schedule, Kamden could complete his chemotherapy regimen before his first birthday!
A huge thank you to Meagan Burris Photography for the amazing images.