Kyle was always a happy, healthy and active young boy who never missed school. It was a big surprise when he started getting sick shortly after turning 11 in 2002-headaches, vomiting, dizziness. For almost 2 months we would get calls from school because he didn’t feel well. He had multiple doctor appointments that couldn’t help figure out what was causing his increasing pain in his head. Disappointed, he was a trooper, dealing with the pain. Finally, one night he couldn’t take it anymore. He screamed and begged for the pain to go away. We rushed him to the ER. He cried and screamed the whole way, fogging up the windows. I held him the entire ride. At the ER the attending doctor suggested a CT scan. I will forever be grateful to her. It was a shock to see the large cyst in Kyle’s brain and be told that he had a tumor.
For a little over 4 years Kyle rode the roller coaster of cancer. Surgeries, radiation, chemotherapy, experimental vaccines. Going back and forth living in the hospital, and living at home but immunocompromised. Being able to attend school for periods of time and then having to be homeschooled. Cleared to play sports at times, having to sit out other times. A full head of hair, then losing it everywhere, then having it come back darker and wavy. Scars, specialty doctors, fatigue, loss of appetite, changes in the body, but always hope and determination that cancer would finally go away for good. Normal child/normal life, cancer patient/cancer life-it went back and forth.
The cancer leaked into his blood stream and spread. The pain was coming back. In 2007 he cried and asked to go to the hospital. He was so disappointed. He truly believed he could beat cancer. He was just so tired of the pain and disappointment. He knew. He was in the hospital for a week, giving his friends and family an opportunity to visit him. He was so loved. The best gift he gave his dad and I was his final hour-letting us hold his hands and talk to him while he was in a coma. Right after we told him “We love you, Kyle” he peacefully passed away.
The worst thing for a parent ever is to see their child in pain and not be able to do anything. That helplessness, like we let our child down, that we didn’t do enough. Because it’s not just a physical pain it’s the pain in their eyes, the sadness they think you don’t see because they are trying so hard to be brave for us!
I have so much to be proud about my son, but the way he dealt with cancer puts me in awe. I love Kyle so much. I miss him so much it feels like there’s a hole in me that can’t be patched. I think about him every day. I feel honored to be his mom and I know he is truly an Angel and I smile knowing he is my special Angel.
-Maya Bacon, mother