The doctors all say the worst is over.
Zane Davidson has been receiving chemotherapy to treat acute lymphoblastomic leukemia since June. The 11-year-old Trafalgar resident has struggled with the side effects from the chemotherapy — nausea, vomiting and neuropathy, a nerve disorder that causes the sensation of pins and needles.
“It wears on him, emotionally and mentally,” said Matt Davidson, his father.
Zane was diagnosed with leukemia in June. The blood cancer is notoriously aggressive, so doctors at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health charted an aggressive course of treatment right away.
Every other week, Zane is admitted for four or five days for an intense bout of treatment, so that doctors can monitor his blood cell levels continuously.
The chemotherapy wipes out his body’s immune system, making common diseases incredibly dangerous. Most of the time, Zane is restricted to his house. He cannot go to school, and his parents are hesitant to even take him to the grocery store or out to eat.
“We can’t justify the risk of taking him out and catching something,” Matt Davidson said.
As a result, it’s easy for Zane to get frustrated and wonder why he can’t play with his friends, go to a movie or even stop into school.
The Davidsons have taken precautions to help release some of the stress building up, both for Zane and the rest of the family.
The whole family is seeing a counselor to work through the emotions that come with cancer.
“We don’t necessarily look at it like we need help living with each other, but rather to guide us as we move through this,” Matt Davidson said. “A lot of it is, we just rely on each other.”
Zane is in the final two months of the most intense chemotherapy. Starting in April and May, doctors will scale back the frequency of hospital visits and trips to the doctor. Instead, he’ll start taking a milder, oral chemotherapy daily.
That treatment will last until 2017. The long timeline is just something else to deal with, and the family tries to focus on Zane’s treatment in weeks and months, not years.
“It seems like forever, though,” Matt Davidson said.
School: Fifth grade at Indian Creek Intermediate School
Parents: Matt Davidson and Susan Davidson
Cancer: Acute lymphoblastic leukemia