Three years ago, our family’s world seemed to fall apart when my Mother was diagnosed with Fallopian Tube cancer. Our easy, breezy, happy lives suddenly felt heavy and sad. It’s terrifying when something like that happens to someone you love, and you immediately start thinking the worst. But time went by and treatment started and somehow it all just sort of became our ‘new normal’- we learned to adapt, while my mother began her battle. And three years later, after two intensive surgeries, and two cycles of chemo, my mom is doing well. We hope that after she completes an upcoming cycle of radiation, that we can say “BUH-BYE” to her cancer for good.
And while it never feels right hearing that your mom, or someone close to you has cancer, you learn that cancer does not discriminate. It can happen to anyone.
But, perhaps there is nothing more unsettling or unnatural than hearing a child has cancer.
Unfortunately, a couple of weeks ago, my sister (and co-creator of this little blog) Caroline, got the news that her youngest child, 15-month old Wes, has been diagnosed with high-risk Neuroblastoma stage IV. News that made all of our hearts just SINK. To say we’re all devastated, shocked, and sad is an understatement. Screeching halt? I think I heard it ringing in my ears for days.
To imagine how my sister and brother-in-law felt upon hearing this diagnosis just kills me. Life literally changed in an instant for them.
And for little Wes.
:::Gee and Wes practice animal sounds:::
Wes has a big fight ahead of him, and we prepared to see him through it. As the doctor explained, his cancer is highly aggressive and they will treat it aggressively. Chemo has already begun. Bone marrow transplant, surgery, radiation, and other procedures are on the horizon. He is GREAT hands here in Charlottesville at University of Virginia Childrens Hospital with a fabulous pediatric oncologist, and she has given us faith that Wes can get better. Caroline and Pei have been taking turns spending days and nights with him, and they are learning lots of new fancy medical jargon.
Caroline and her husband have been remarkably strong… I am just in awe of them. She is the one showing us how to get through this- with grace and love and a positive attitude. I have always admired Caroline’s mothering. She is a sweet mama with a ton of patience. She is celebrating the good days, when Wes is eating well, being happy, and smiling. He loves to make animal sounds, drink the hospital dry of the complimentary apple juice, watch videos on the iPad, and scribble on paper. A couple of nights ago, he even broke the 7th floor curfew and partied until past 10:00!
He is such a sweet boy.
Wes has lots of adoring cousins to FaceTime with, and so many friends and family members to visit him while he’s in the hospital. Surely Caroline and Pei will see a gazillion meals pass through their door, home-cooked by helpful, loving friends. Older siblings Avery and Jet have lots of playdates and school activities to keep them busy, and of course they have me, their “Shao” (Chinese for little Aunt) at their beck and call, their other Auntie (our older sis, Erika, who lives in Chicago) to send them kooky videos of her doing old high school cheers, and two sets of doting grandparents to love them up! One amusing thing we discovered, is that Wes and my Mom will be sharing the same Radiation Oncologist at UVA. How’s that for Funny-not-Funny? Hey, if it keeps our family on his mind more than usual, then it can only be a good thing, right?
We are Wes’s warriors, and we stand along side the Chang family as they begin this journey.
I am asking you loyal readers, on behalf of my sister, to please keep Wes and his family in your thoughts and prayers. If there is a community out there that can do that I know it’s the supportive, inspiring sewing blog one that Caroline and I have come to know and love over the last 3 (wait-almost 4!) years.
Lots of love,
27 thoughts on “Prayers for Wes”
Beautifully written post about a beautiful mother and family. Thank you, Erin! I’m thinking of you every day, Caroline. Team Wes! xoxoxo
Omgosh this is such sad news. I am crying so hard for all of you, but I do know without a dought GOD has given you so much love and support… to get you all throught this together. I also know GOD is the reason they will have the same doctor.. There is so much LOVE and HOPE and GRACE IN OUR GOD. HANG ON FOR DEAR LIFE and He will get you all throught this together… Prayers for all of you!!!!!!!!! Linda Lee
What an interesting world we’re in. My friends little boy was also diagnosed with cancer. It seems hard to know what to do but prayers are easy to offer up and willingly given. Good wishes, peace and fortitude be with you all.
oh erin, i am so, so sorry to read this. positive wishes and so much love to all of you. xoxo
So heartbreaking. Sending love and good thoughts for you all xx
Erin, I am just so heartsick for your family. The son of my husband’s cousin was diagnosed with this very same condition when he was 3. So hard. I have been praying for your entire family this morning and will continue to do so. Lots of love!
Go-Fight-Win Wes! Sending our love and prayers!
My heart broke a little bit when I read this. I will most definitely keep Wes and Caroline and their family in my thoughts. Fight the good fight, buddy!
I have no words… just prayers. All of the photos are lovely, but that one photo at the end is so incredibly precious. There is clearly oodles of love surrounding little Wes.
Reading this made me cry. I am sending all my love, positive thoughts and prayers. There is so much love shining through your words and the pictures, may this love carry you all through this journey and may there be sunshine and happiness at the end of it!
Sending best wishes for little Wes
I am so sorry your family is going through this. Sending you all lots of positive thoughts and hugs.
Oh, I don’t have adequate words…such heartbreaking news. Sending much love and hope and strength and grit and many, many moments of brightness for your beautiful family as you all rally for Wes. xoxo
Heartbreaking. … Dear little fellow. Thoughts and prayers for your family.
Erin, I am so very sorry to hear this. I’m in tears reading your post. I am sending many prayers and much love to Wes and your whole family. May the strength of your love help you to get through this and aid Wes in his battle. Hope and love are very powerful medicines in the fight against cancer. Stay strong xoxo
Erin, I will keep little Wes and his family in my prayers!
Oh, Erin… so sorry to read this! He looks like such a little champ, and there is such love in those photos. Sending a lot of love to all of you. And a lot of strength…I have no doubt you are a family of fighters. I wish I had more words to send your way, more something. I’ll be thinking of Wes and your families every day.
I can’t even process this. I read the post yesterday morning on my phone and you all (and Wes) have barely left my thoughts since. It’s just so awful and unfair – babies should never have to fight cancer. However, I know Wes has a strong support system and that you’ll all be battling this together. Please please let me know if you need anything in addition to my prayers! Take care you guys.
Beautiful words Erin, describing the heart wrenching scenario that The Changs are facing. We are praying for Wes daily, hourly sometimes, and sending you ALL a ton of love and light. xoxo M.E.
Blessings to you and your sister and her family . . . what a heartache for all of you. Trusting that you will feel supported and able to support at the same time. Prayers for you all!
My thoughts are with you and your family. Sending light and strength to Wes.
Love you all so much. Continuing to keep Wes and everyone in my prayers and very present thoughts.
will definitely be praying for the little dude!!!! this breaks my heart.
I am so sorry to hear about this. Sending positive thoughts to Wes and the rest of your family!
Things like this just seem so unfair. Babies and kids should get a free ticket out of cancer and other devastating diseases. I’ll lift your family up in prayer. gosh, it’s just so heartbreaking.
I am so sorry to hear about gorgeous little wes. Gosh what an absolute shock. My dad died if lung cancer one year ago this week so I know about that dooming feeling when getting that terrible news. But children are amazing in how they cope and recover. I am glad to hear he has a great team of doctors- it sounds like he will get the absolute best treatment. You have all been in my thoughts and I am sure little wes will fight through this. Lots of love, suz