After 5 months of massive swelling in the broken leg and bone that wouldn't heal, June '97 brought xrays that showed behind the steel plate and rods and screws, the bone had finall healed together. So Brandon was given the ok to walk on crutches. July 5th Xrays showed 5 inches of bone disappeared. And on July 10th, a biopsy showed a mass in his upper right thigh and spots in his lungs. A quick lab examination brought the diagnosis PNET (primitive neuro ectodermal tumor), a cousin to the terminal Ewings Sarcoma. The doctor offered to go into his room and break the news, but I told him that was my responsibility. After leaving recovery, I met Brandon in his room. As I got close enough for his fogged over eyes to focus on me, he saw a face with swollen red eyes, that had lost it's usual lighthearted glow. "It's cancer, isn't it Dad?" I choked up, pause and answered "Yes sir". He said, "From the look of your face, I'd say that it's pretty bad". "Yes sir, it is, at least according to the doctors. The swelling in your leg is a massive tumor that has eaten part of your bone. And there are tumors already in your lungs." How long do I have Dad? "The doctors say probably no more than six months."
He dropped his head for a minute, then looked back up to see the tears covering my cheeks. ". Thats a real bummer, isn't it Dad". I wasn't expecting that, and a grin popped up and I agreed, "Yeah, a REAL bummer, son." His next comment made me look at my son not as a 16 year old, but as a young man, wise beyond his years. "Well dad, in 6 months I get a miracle or in 6 months I get to go Home, I don't lose either way do I?" I silently, in the midst of tears, thanked God for what I had just been shown. A faith that put mine in the shade. A faith that over the next four years would seven times, deliver him from deaths door, just to confound the wise and show others, not Brandon 'cause he already knew, but to show others who was in control. It was his faith and gift of speaking that God bestowed on him that led four different pastors to describe my son as "the closest thing to a modern day Paul", that they had ever seen. My son taught me true faith.
In November, when the chemo had quit working, and his oncologist brought us in for a conference, we were told he had less than 3 months. His lungs were 60% covered in cancer, and she saw no way that that would change. Brandon asked her how his death would probably come and she explained breathing problems, shortness of breath, and congestive heart failure, probably dying in his sleep. He thanked her for her honesty, her care and her handling his case. He then told her to schedule a lung scan for March and he would see her then. She tried to tell him there was no need for
it. He told her that if he wasn't here, she could give his appointment to someone else. "God and I are now gonna make the calls, and I just ask you to do what I ask" She agreed. And in March when we returned for the scan, 98% of his lungs were clear. His energy and appetite had increased and he had grown 1/2 an inch. Now 6' - 4 1/2" and 250 lbs. Once again God and my son showed me what faith is all about. Little did I know a foundation was being poured inside of me that would one day hold me up like I had never needed it before.
I'll be back..........