Many countries in the New World and elsewhere celebrate the anniversary of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the Americas, which occurred on October 12, 1492, as an official holiday.
For the Boyett' family; We are very thankful that Columbus founded America, BUT, for us, Columbus Day is a reminder of the day Nathan was diagnosed with cancer.
Nate had been sick for a couple of weeks prior, running fevers, ear infections, viral infections and so on. But the Sunday night before the Columbus day holiday, we noticed the enlargement of his abdomen. Constipation was our first thought, so we treated that immediately. The enlargement did not go away.
The following day, Columbus day October 12, 2009. Matt had the day off because of the holiday and I was at work. I called to make another appointment at the pediatrician and our scheduled time was 3:00. Matt and I decided we didn't want to wait that long and decided to meet at the ER.
*Side note: If you ever think that your life can't be turned upside down in a matter of seconds....you really need to understand that it CAN happen to you! When I left for work the morning of October 12, 2009, I never dreamed that I wouldn't come home for 6 weeks.
Back to the story, after 5 hours of test after test, we had a tentative diagnosis of a Wilms Tumor.
Some parts of these moments are very clear, and some parts are very foggy. I remember looking him in the face and saying, "I don't know what that means." I remember his reply very clear, "cancer, cancer of the kidney and you will be leaving shortly to go to Memphis, TN to St. Jude." With that one sentence, our lives changed forever. My baby was 1 month from being 3 years old. There is no way this could be happening. I got dizzy. I felt faint. I had to lay down on a gurney. I asked for water. All in the span of 5 seconds. I can't speak for Matt, he was dealing in his own way. I just know that after the initial shock, I remember Matt and I sitting on the gurney side by side saying, let's go to Memphis and fight this with all we have. The next day, we were in an ambulance on our way to Memphis. I can't say I remember the ride, because I was still an emotional wreck. I sat up front while my baby and nurses were in the back. They would tell me he was ok. I dont' think I even spoke to the driver the whole way. We got to Memphis, 2 days later Nathan had a 5 hour surgery to remove the one and half pound tumor along with his left kidney. He has the scar to prove it and he is not shy about showing you!
Today is Columbus Day, observed. In 2 days it is October 12. The date of diagnosis. You never forget the diagnosis date. One year to the date October 12, 2010, Matt and I established Nate's Giving Fund. It is a non-profit that is up and running with tax exemption and all. We are still in the fund raising process. This fund is aimed to help people financially while their child is receiving treatment for a life threatening disease/disorder.
We know how blessed we are, we count our blessings everyday. We try so hard not to let the things that really don't matter in the way of what does matter.
This past weekend Nathan and Coach Matt's T-ball team (Meridianville Storm) took home the Madison County Champion Trophy. It was amazing. It was a blessing to have Nathan to play on a t-ball team that Matt coaches. We count our blessings everyday. No one is promised tomorrow. And we know all too well how true that is.