Orlan is a little boy who loves construction vehicles, animals, and music. His talkativeness rivals his mama's, he is incredibly goofy like his papa, and he loves trying to surprise our birds so they peep at him or fly away. Orlan's grandpa summarized his personality in a sentence: "He is easy going, but never stops going." He therefore is down to do anything and everything you can think of, but he can outlast even the most enthusiastic person. He notices every detail around him and has an incredible memory. He sees his extended family most weeks and has made friends at the in-home daycare he's attended for almost 2 years.
A few months before his 3rd birthday, Orlan was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, affecting only 1:200,000 children. The only signs were a persistently itchy head, and later, a small bump. To treat it, he has chemo one week each month for a year. He’s also closely monitored with frequent bloodwork, MRIs, and consultations with his specialist providers.
For the first half of his treatment, Orlan had one hospitalization with an emergency surgery to reduce the size of his primary tumor due to it growing too quickly and negatively impacting his health. He visited the ER twice due to an extreme reaction to his chemo medications. Then in January, we learned that Orlan is cancer free! His MRI showed no evidence of disease. He will still do chemotherapy through May in order to reduce relapse risk. Chemo weeks are tough, but we've found a combination of medications that manage his side effects reasonably well. Between chemo weeks, he's generally able to live his regular life. There's been a few weeks where we had to keep him in home isolation due to him being too severely immunocompromised to see others, but apart from those, he's been doing great.
Jaime dropped her work hours a bit further (to half-time), and Alex continues to miss a week of work each month for appointments. Donated money helps us pay our bills and to maintain a sense of normalcy for Orlan during this year of treatment and the many years of monitoring to come.
Thank you, so much, for your support. We look forward to the time when we can repay the generosity to others.