Matthew's Story

Liver Cancer
Chemotherapy, surgery
Cancer Recurrence
Waiting For A Liver


JANUARY 1994 TO MAY 1996

1994 and 1995 were wonderful years. Dave took Matthew swimming and everyone helped him watch and play construction, farming, and whatever else captured his fancy. His favorite neighbors were the Kildare family and Ellen and Pete Pinkerton.

Matthew was fun to play with but he also began to show his three and four-year-old willfulness. Let’s face it -- sometimes he was naughty. One day we were all gathered around the dinner table at our house. One thing led to another until Lynn put him on a "time-out" chair in the other room. We proceeded with the meal, trying to ignore his periodic screams. After some time, when Matthew didn’t receive any reaction from us, he proclaimed, "I’m picking my nose!" He thought that would surely bring immediate attention but, when it didn’t, he repeated his announcement several times, even adding that he was eating his boogers. I’m sure that Matthew thought we’d never ignore such an admission! Little did he know, we were all almost bursting with suppressed laughter.

I don’t know if Matthew learned his lesson that day or not. I do know that I had learned a lot. One of my hardest lessons was the old adage, "Take one day at a time." For someone like me, that was a big turn-around but I began to take hold of each good day, to savor it, and leave tomorrow where it belongs, to tomorrow. Another thing I learned was to accept God’s care and wisdom. My prayers have become, "Please hold us all in your loving arms." I know that no matter how much I love Lynn, Matthew, and Dave, God’s love is greater and wiser.

And yet, we all wanted some assurances from the doctors. Was Matthew cured? All they could say was that, statistically speaking, if there was no recurrence in three years, they would define a cure. Immediately, we were looking forward to his fifth birthday, December 28, 1996, three years away. It didn’t work out that way.

Except for a few scares when blood tests showed some unusual liver activity, Matthew was in remission for two years. When x-rays failed to show any new tumors, those unusual blood counts were discounted as results of growth spurts, a cold, or other infection.


Matthew in remission, 1995

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