|Jonathan at 8 years old|
A few weeks after his chicken pox episode, I could tell he still wasn't right. He was very listless, lethargic and kept complaining of body aches on his side and legs. The pediatrician thought it might be Guillain Barr Syndrome which sometimes occurs after chicken pox with the same symptoms he had. The tests were negative. As time went on he just seemed to be getting worse and worse, and the doctor was performing more and more tests to find out what was going on.
A.L.L. as it is called is a type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many immature lymphocytes-. It's cancer of the white blood cells and bone marrow. It is the most common type of cancer in children. One of the risk factors is being White or Hispanic. The symptoms, of which he had all of them are: fever, easy bruising, dark red spots under the skin caused by bleeding, bone or joint pain, pain in the groin area, pain below the ribs, weakness, tiredness, paleness, and loss of appetite.
I was devastated!!! I did not know what the future held for him, and for me or if there was a future. I was carrying the baby brother that he begged me for. He was so ecstatic when I told him. I had gone through in vitro fertilization (IVF) and found out that I was pregnant after three attempts. My fear was that God was blessing me in giving me a son, but taking my other son away. I couldn't take it!
Jon was discharged in remission on June 5th 1999. I became a robot with his home medications. I even administered his home chemo shots. I made sure everything was timed to the minute. I remember standing there holding the needle, watching the clock and as soon as it was time, I would administer the injection in his thigh. He was such a brave soldier, not flinching or crying--a real trooper. I think God had a plan, my being pregnant with the baby brother he longed for distracted him at times. When I was ready to give birth the hospital allowed Jon to stay with me in my room. He became such an expert on needles that he yelled at the nurse assuring her that she was administering my IV wrong.
A Real Scare.....
|Happy 13 year cancerversary|
Dr. Jay gave Jon a good prognosis. He was at a good survival rate age. At that time the survival rate was 1 in 88. He was also under 10 so his chances were good as long as there were no relapses. He was amazed at how well he responded to treatments. Jon endured 3 years of intense chemo treatments which lasted for hours, then he would go in for periodic spinal taps where a spinal needle was inserted into his lower part of the spinal column to collect fluid and administer medicine. Thank God there was never any relapsed.
Now, Jon is 21 years old and has been cancer free for 13 years. He doesn't seem to have any adverse effects from the cancer or the treatments. Jon is like any normal 21 year old, but yet I still worry that it might come back. I guess, as a mother, I will always worry. I thank God he was given another chance.
Diana Lumbrazo~ is 52 years old. Married to Rocco Lumbrazo. Mother to Jason 31, Jessica 28, Jasmine 24, Jonathan 21, and Michael 12 1/2.
Grandmother to Jayden 6, Trinity 3, Gabriel 18months, and Gavin 1 month. Diana retired from the NYC Police Dept. on February of 2012, after 25 years of service. Now, Diana is taking it easy. reading, knitting, doing lots of exercise and basically enjoying her life.
Jonathan Mulligan~ is 21 years old. Jon graduated from Minisink Valley High School in 2009. He has decided to wait on college until he makes a career choice. One of his choices is to be a Police Officer. His mom says "keep thinking." Currently, he works at American Eagle.
Editors' Note: We really want to thank Diana and Jonathan for sharing their amazing story. Wishing Jon many many more years to come. Good luck in all your future endeavors. We are sure you'll do well. We wish Diana a happy retirement and much health. Thank you both. xo