AS TOLD BY HIS MOTHER CLARA
When the ultrasound tech at Children’s Mercy uttered those words to my Mom and I on July 25th 2001, my heart shattered. Born on November 13, 2000, Wilson Allen Bledsoe proved from day one just how strong and determined he could be. He had a few minor issues all the while just being a typical happy baby.
Prior to his diagnosis, Jason (Wilson’s dad) told me that Wilson seemed "too fat" and that we needed to watch what we were feeding him. He’d also been having trouble with bowel movements and throwing up after most bottles or feedings.
I took him to our doctor’s Nurse Practitioner who had said he had an umbilical hernia and constipation. She had said it was perfectly normal for a baby his age to not have consistent bowel movements and to expect constipation. When I brought this news to my Mom, she flipped. She said there was no way what the Nurse Practitioner said was right. I got a second opinion from my Mom’s doctor.
We took Wilson to see Dr G. After doing an initial exam, and he agreed that Wilson had an umbilical hernia which he would grow out of. Though what his Nurse Practitioner said about the constipation was not right at all. Dr G. felt that something wasn’t right with Wilson.
Dr. G’s office called my Mom and told her to find me and to get Wilson to Children’s Mercy Hospital (Kansas City) now. After what seemed like an eternity, we finally went back to have Wilson’s stomach looked at. I felt so bad because he hadn’t had anything to eat or drink and was being quite fussy. I was holding Wilson when the tech uttered the those words “I’m going to have to refer you to an oncologist.” My mom looked at me, panicked that I was going to faint.
The official diagnosis was Stage 3 Neuroblastoma. A tumor the size of a soft ball had been growing from the adrenal gland of his right kidney, pushing his liver and stomach to the left side of his body. The cancer doctors said that if had we ignored what was going on, things could have been very different.
On August 1st, almost a week after being diagnosed, Wilson's tumor and kidney were removed. The night after the surgery Jason and I received a call from the hospital (we were staying at the Ronald McDonald House nerby). Wilson had stood up in his crib pulled out all his tubing and was trying to get out of the crib. I knew in my heart that he wasn’t going to let this hold him down. He was going to fight and fight hard.
Wilson then went through 4 months of chemotherapy finishing up the last round on his 1st birthday. There were a few rough patches but Wilson showed true courage and strength, still being a typical baby. Almost a month later, we were given the best early Christmas present ever. The cancer was gone, Wilson was in remission!
I’m very grateful that I listened to my Mom and sought that second opinion from Dr G. who is now Wilson’s doctor. When Wilson or I share his story with others we hope it will inspire and give them the courage to fight and never give up. Wilson is now a healthy teenager. He enjoys playing soccer, writing, and his Nintendo DS.