Max's courage and bravery goes beyond his years. This has been a battle we never thought he would have to face. And to complicate matters, it wasn’t a straight forward diagnosis. B-Cell Lymphoma is typically found in the lymph nodes and in the lymphoid tissues. In Max, it was discovered in the bone of his right arm and left leg around his knee. The cancer had spread and the oncologists were blunt. "Without the proper immediate treatment, the consequences would be devastating". Additionally, it was so rare that the doctors at Memorial Sloan -Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, one of the premier facilities for cancer treatment in the world, had never seen it before. We immediately sought the best care for Max. Max immediately started a two year intense leukemia protocol of chemotherapy at MSKCC, and our family refocused our life’s purpose.
2008 ~ 2009
For two years Max valiantly went to the hospital and took his medicine. He did his best to overcome the cancer. In June of 2009 he completed treatment. On October 13th, 2009 the doctors removed Max’s port. This was a milestone. The port was surgically implanted in Max’s chest the day of the biopsy. They only remove the port after treatment, and once the patient is believed to be in remission. This is good news.Max climbed up onto the operating table and lied down.
We watched the anesthesiologist slowly administer the anesthesia. Annemarie and I watched him fall to sleep. I kissed him on his head, and then we left the room. Twenty minutes later he was in recovery. Shortly after, I left the hospital to go to work. I walked out the glass doors onto 68th street and headed up towards First Avenue to catch a cab. While walking I felt a sudden jolt of joy. For a slight moment , I felt like I did the day of my high school graduation. I wanted to throw my cap up in the air and celebrate. But then reality set in. I felt more like the father of a soldier, who was just told that the war is over, and his son is coming home.