Nic’s Story

 

Nic

Let me introduce you to Nicholas Gibson. Nicholas is an outgoing energetic nine year old. He currently is in third grade and loving every minute of his elementary years. Nicholas  loves sports and finished his first year of tackle football. This is a sport he thoroughly enjoys and one he loves to play with his brother, Colt an. We are thankful for everyday and every year we have had with Nicholas and continue to look to the future with anticipation and great happiness for the gift he is.

 

Nicholas was born January 25th, 2003. What proud parents we were, both Linda and I, another boy to add to our family and an older brother excited to meet his new buddy. Nicholas was a challenging pregnancy; Linda started getting contractions as early November of 2002, and actually had several hospital visits prior to him being born. As we welcomed Nicholas into the world things were going great, he was growing and maturing right on schedule. At roughly three months of age we found ourselves in a constant battle with upper respiratory infections to the point he need a nebulizer. Fighting our way thru months and months of infections with no apparent root cause we were referred to a Gastrologist. What started out as a routine visit quickly turned into the most devastating time in our lives. At the visit the doctor felt a mass in Nic’s mid-section , The doctor indicated that it almost felt as if his liver was anatomically reversed in his body, he said it’s not common, but does happen and it would not affect his life in any way, shape, or form. The doctor ordered a CT scan to examine the internals of Nicholas’s anatomy to see what was going on. What happened next is almost a blur. We arrived at Children’s Hospital on the evening of October 28th 2004. At this point we met with the doctors and they informed us that his liver was where it was supposed to be, the unfortunate part was they identified a mass on his liver. The mass needed to have a biopsy. A biopsy, we said, what is that? This is where we check to see if the tumor or mass in benign or malignant. In short, is it cancerous? Our hearts sank. What do you mean cancerous? No way, not us, not Nic? Why?

 

The very next day, Linda and I were pulled into a room with the doctors and told Nicholas had a rare form of liver cancer called Hepablastoma, it affects typically one in one million children. We were devastated, our lives would forever change, and we were now staring at the monster known as cancer. Nic immediately started an aggressive form of Chemotherapy to reduce the size of the tumor with the hope of achieving total and complete surgical resection of the tumor. Three months passed and the chemothearphy treatments continued and we targeted a surgery date in mid-February for removal of the tumor. As the date approached we were both excited and scared. Two days before the scheduled surgery date we received a call from our oncologist, the surgery was cancelled. Cancelled, why, what for? The surgeons deemed him inoperable. What does that mean; I mean I think I know what it means, but what do you mean? To our horror the surgeons discovered two more tumors buried deep within Nicholas’s liver and did not feel comfortable performing the surgery anymore. We were mortified. We were referred to the Mayo Clinic for further consultation.

 

We arrived at the Mayo clinic the following week and met with the doctors there. After many worry some minutes the doctors assured us that Nicholas was in safe hands and they felt confident in their ability to remove all the tumors. As parents, we felt better, but still were extremely scared. The date was set, Nicholas was scheduled for surgery and all the praying and support for the past six months was about to come to a head. Nicholas went in for surgery at 8am, we were told he would probably be in surgery for five to six hours, the surgeon came out after three and half hours, our hearts sank. We thought the worst; obviously something is wrong or worse. Much to our dismay, the doctors informed us the surgery went great and Nicholas was being moved into the recovery room as we speak. We were delighted.

 

The surgery was a complete success. Nicholas spent two weeks in Rochester recovering from the surgery and then was hit with one final round of Chemotherapy back in Minneapolis. After a long and extremely stressful nine months, Nicholas was released from the hospital to begin his new life. Follow-up visits occurred every 3 months initially, then six months, and then finally annually. I’m happy to say after many visits, many appointments, and many tears; Nicholas is here today as a proud little nine year old, full of life with a smile that makes you melt.

 

Please support your local cancer charities and people in your community affected be this dreadful disease. This disease affects millions annually and it does not discriminate its victims. We were blessed to have great family, great friends, and an unbelievable support structure to help guide us thru these challenging times. We are eternally grateful for every day we have with Nicholas and you can never take for granted the gift of life.

 

Thank You,

Kris, Linda, Coltan, and Nicholas Gibson

 

A Special Thanks to:

The Children’s Hospital of Minneapolis

The Ronald McDonald House

The Make-A-Wish Foundation

Spare-Key

The Caring-bridge site

And the list goes on…