Cancer Survivor Stories

Steven the Cancer Crusher

Steven before diagnosis

“I never thought my life would change the way it did. Never did I think it could happen to us, to my child. Hearing the words “your child has cancer” was the day I started mourning and haven’t stopped. I just learned to function like a machine for survival and mental health so to speak. Steven was suppose to be celebrating his 10th birthday on the same day he was to start the 4th grade, but instead he was in the specialty services oncology unit at Kaiser Permanente getting a bone marrow aspiration and spinal tap done along with blood tests.”

“One week prior to his diagnosis he was playing just fine and full of energy, being a wise guy and telling funny jokes. We went swimming that weekend and I noticed unusual bruising on him. We had just picked up his big brother Cris from the JROTC program in Carlsbad and celebrated by swimming and being together as a family. He had two bloody noses that weekend. “I asked him why do you have bruises? Is someone in summer school hitting you?” Being that we don’t use physical punishment for our kids as a form of discipline I knew something was wrong. I felt it, I knew it. Those bruises were not normal.”

“I took that following Monday off work and took him to get his blood drawn. I was scared the doctor would call CPS (child protective services) because of the bruises but she seemed to be very concerned in a different way. I didn’t hear from her that day after the blood work so I thought everything was fine. The next day I received a call asking to take him back to the lab to get more tests done and then he had to return again for an x-ray. My husband took him while I was at work.”

“At 3:30pm Tuesday, August 1st the doctor called and said I would be receiving a call from the Oncologist because his blood work showed his cells were rapidly dividing and his platelets were very low which explained the bruising. I screamed….I panicked… I was in denial and so angry. The oncologist called me a few minutes later and that’s when our journey in crushing cancer began. Steven was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and it was in 85% of his body but did not reach his cerebral spinal fluid which spared him from additional chemo treatments and radiation. Something to be so grateful for.”

“He had surgery and his first chemo treatments that Friday. Thus his chemo treatment began, however we didn’t know he would need to be in treatment for three and a half years. Steven went through four phases of intense chemotherapy treatment. He is on his fifth phase now which is projected to end November 28, of 2020 and 6 months later he will have surgery to remove his port-a-cath.”

“I’ve watched my son lose his hair and go through mental anguish because he is a lot older and very involved in his care. He even made the decisions on how to proceed with his sedation protocol because it’s what he felt was appropriate. Of course we have our input but we respect his wishes because he makes a good point when he says it’s his body and he trusts God. I wish my faith was as strong as his. Steven had to leave school and not engage in any contact sports and his interaction with the world was now limited. For him being so very social and involved in everything the community had to offer, this was devastating for him. This took its toll on our family. We felt alone and scared. Our community showed us the most immeasurable amount of support financially and emotionally and the support is still as strong as when he was first diagnosed to this day.”

“Steven reached remission after his first phase of induction! The best news was that his MRD (minimal residual disease) was a .006 ! We were so happy but devastated that he still had to continue with the worst to come of chemo treatments. I watched him lose weight, lose his hair, lose his humor and go into a dark place at times. He couldn’t eat and he just wanted to be normal. We spent so much time in the hospital that we decided to stop feeling sorry for ourselves and do what we could to help others because eventhough to be frank, our life sucked at the moment, we still were breathing while others took their last breath and didn’t wake up that morning. We started looking at all the wonderful things people did to help us and we decided we wanted to help heal ourselves by helping others who found themselves in the same predicament as us.”

“So began our blood drives, t-shirt sales, bike runs, and we appreciated our life so much more even though we wanted nothing more than to be a pre-diagnosis dysfunctional normal family again. We know that even though we are going through this and have a long road ahead, we have a platform that can be used to bring awareness and Steven wants to use his voice to bring awareness to pediatric cancer. We have seen the devastation of a child losing their life at such a tender age more than once. That affected Steven and his sister to the point where they argue about who is going to bring more awareness and who will be the doctor that finds the cure, Steven or Eva. We never knew the severity and the increasing rates of pediatric cancer so we want to use our platform and with the help of our community bring awareness to this cause. We never know what others are going through, some would love to have our bad days. Currently Steven is in in the maintenance phase of chemo. He takes chemo every day and on Wednesdays he takes a double dosage of chemo. He takes anti-seizure medication daily called Keppra after suffering a seizure from methotrexate toxicity to his brain after a spinal tap. He coded last March after contracting RSV. He couldn’t breathe and I tried to keep him breathing until the paramedics came. He coded on his way there and when we got there I heard the words on the hospital intercom “CODE BLUE 1st floor ER module 2.” I was screaming for my son trying to take it all in trying to stay aware to give the doctor any info I could provide for them. He was intubated unsuccessfully until the 3rd time. They said they may have to take other measures if the third try didn’t work. I prayed and said to them just do it. Try again. They did and it worked.”

“Looking back I see how strong Steven is, how much passion he has for helping others and know it’s our calling. In just a few days we will be having a bike run to help two families whose daughters are battling leaukemia. We decided to give back and help others because so many helped us without hesitation. We have met amazing survivors, fighters and angel families who all have stories to tell and voices to be heard. It’s our hope to be able to help, share and bring awareness and help each other crush cancer one day at a time, one kind act a time. We will continue to give back and find people to give blood and who want to make a difference as long as God allows us. Steven’s motto is “with pain comes strength” and that is what we live by.”

Wendy Davidson- Steven’s mother

Instagram: @shuugaa_shuugaa

You-tube: “Teaser!Steven Davidson- Lowrider Roll Models”