Peter’s first birthday was one for the history books. We traveled that morning for a second opinion that our oncologist had arranged. We certainly weren’t getting any glowing reports or treatment opportunities where we were so we figured, why not?
It was his first birthday, right? I’m sure God’s plan includes a birthday miracle for our little boy, we had, after all, waited so long to become parents. A terminal diagnosis can’t be part of the plan. Dennis’ sister, Sandy, joined us to be an extra set of ears. We had two appointments scheduled for that day and we were a little apprehensive when both doctors walked into the exam room together. How efficient I thought or is it? Turns out that they had nothing to offer Peter and they combined the appointments so we wouldn’t have to hear the painful news twice. “There are no life-saving treatment options available for your son, in fact he has two-months to live.” “Take him home and enjoy the time you have left.” What a devastating moment in time! We all heard more than we could handle,
February 4, 2004 was the day that I cried more than I had ever cried in my life, more than the day of diagnosis and more than all of the difficult days and nights leading up to it. We collected Peter and ourselves and drove to the King of Prussia Mall. We parked the car and headed to the Picture People. We were in search of his first and only birthday photos. Dennis and I were barely able to force a smile but Peter smiled, laughed, and charmed in his little blue hat and big brown eyes.
When the photographer said she had all of the photos, Dennis, in tears, swept Peter into his arms and left the room. The poor photographer had no idea what was going on and looked at me bewildered. I shared our morning news with her and she walked, crying and speechless from the room. The manager had the entire photo-shoot developed for us and we left the mall with the saddest set of first birthday photos you’ve ever laid eyes on.
Please take a moment to view Peter’s virtual birthday party video, below, and join the celebration by donating $13 or more to the Peter Powerhouse Foundation, so he can continue to improve the lives of kids with cancer.