Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Dark Days...

This is a story told from a tired mothers heart. Please see below the beginning story of Landon Riddle as told by his mother Sierra's  pictures & words.

Landon was Diagnosed with T Cell ALL Leukemia on September 30th 2012. He was given a 8-10% chance to live 24-48hrs. It was the absolute most terrifying day of my life.

Landon had a mass of Leukemia cells forming a mass in his chest. This was putting too much pressure on his Lungs, airway, and heart.... They could not even intubate him to help him breathe. They made him comfortable as possible and told us to get prepared.

Landon showed them whose boss! The immediate chemotherapy he was given at Diagnosis disintegrated the mass & his body flushed it out!!! He then had surgery on 10-3-12 to place a port onto one of the main Arteries on his Heart, the chemo will be administered through here for the next 3-4yrs we are told.
 It did not take but 30 days for the Chemo to start taking effect on Landons physical appearance...

And soon Landon's quality of life was also affected by the harsh chemos & medications....

Landon was vomiting 30-50 times per day, every day by December. The Drs answers for this was narcotics & nausea medication. Landons vomiting still persisted. Soon Landon was unable to eat or even drink water. I had to fight tooth & nail for the Drs to put Landon on a TPN (IV Feedings) They informed me Landon would only go a few days without eating and then would start again.

 They were dead wrong. Landon showed us his true inner fight and did not eat for a whopping 25 days. Not a grain of rice went into his mouth. His Doctors were astounded. Landon started to eat on the 26th day but for a few more weeks did not eat enough daily to keep himself alive & was still on IV Feedings 24hrs a day. Through out this whole period of pure hell we were given SO many medications for Landon, yet none of them seemed to really help & all came with horrid side effect which then required MORE medications.

                                           Landon was so ill from the Second Course of Chemo all he could do was vomit & sleep.


                                      Literally....Chemo every 6 days was killing Landon...


We Spent more time in the Hospitals At Primary Children's in Salt Lake City than we did at home.. or traveling to get there as it was 300 miles each way from our home. Soon Landon's life was just one Chemo Injection after another, weekly Blood Transfusion and/or Platelet Transfusion's, hospital stays, procedures with anesthesia, Life Flights, needle pokes, being force fed medications, and so many other tragic things for a 2 year old to go through...

Through all of this Landon was such a fighter, he amazed us every week with just how strong he was!

Soon we were looking for something, ANYTHING that would save our sweet Landon & keep him alive!!

 Many prayers were sent up from all over the United States for an intervention, for something to be brought to us that could help Landon make it through this treacherous chemo régime! We knew he would not make it much longer at this rate.... So we prayed for a direction to seek

As we searched for a miracle Landon missed every single Holiday due to Chemo & how deathly ill he was.. On Halloween Landon was being rushed to the hospital. On Thanksgiving we were in Salt Lake doing Radiation Treatments & got to come home for 2 days to eat and then rush back. We didn't even have the energy to cook... On Christmas Landon opened one present (we were SO hopeful for a good day) and then promptly puked all over the floor :\ On New Years we were down for the count as well & Finally on Landon's Birthday he was in the hospital getting a Blood Transfusion. It was never ending it seemed. and the pain and suffering of my sweet little boy was never ending as well.

I knew in my heart at this point that there had to be another way. There had to be something somewhere that could help fight Cancer without costing my son his life! The Chemotherapy was going to kill my son before the Cancer at that point. I had nothing else to loose as I was about to loose my son, a position I know all too many parents have been in themselves. But where to turn? What to believe in to be true as far as other treatments?!
In the world of childhood cancer,  Chemotherapy, Radiation & Pharmaceutical's are the Gold Standard... the ONLY Standard as I would soon learn. It is tested on millions and has a set Survival Percentage, a thing most other nontraditional cancer treatments do not.  While the chemo was treating my son’s cancer, it was also killing him at the same time.  I held my son in my arms and almost watched him die twice.  How could I not act?  Should I let my child die slowly and painfully just to protect the ‘traditional cancer treatments'?
I believe that it is the responsibility of EVERY parent to look at EVERY option for their child who is suffering with a life threatening disease.  The doctor is not responsible for our children, we are.  It is our responsibility to ensure that they receive the absolute best care possible that not only treats the disease, but also protects their quality of life.

My mom Wendy and I realized very quickly that Landon was not doing ok in chemo treatments, he was not the typical child and was not reacting to the chemo as most children do.  He was not in the category of "most children on chemo".
Wendy put in hundreds upon hundreds of hours researching different claimed "cures" for cancer. Many showed promise but had absurd side effects or possibly toxic effects, which is what we were trying to avoid obviously! There was one though, one that was not toxic, could not harm Landon & had shown to be very successful in killing many different kinds of cancer! Armed with the results she came to me & showed me her findings.

 Then it came time for me as Landon’s mother to make some tough choices. It was one of the hardest decisions as a mother to make. But that didn't change the fact that a decision had to be made in order to save my son. But it did seem a bit far fetched what she had found & honestly sounded ridiculous! A family friend sent my mom some information on Cannabis, better know as Marijuana, Pot, Weed, The Refer, or Dope for the post hippies like my dear mom :) Even with our initial reaction, (your kidding right pot killing cancer?!) my mom did her due diligence & started researching Cannabis vs Cancer. She was blown away! She did more digging & more digging from very reputable Medical Universities & Government Sources all with the same results. Cannabis was showing to kill cancer cells. Our prayers had been answered right?
Not so much. In all the looking & looking, my mother found that there is not one child with Leukemia that has been treated with Cannabis solely, no chemo added. And there are less than a handful using Cannabis with Chemo. But we couldn't stop there, we had to search farther into this & see if it could help our Lander Doodles! And we did.....
 What we found will blow you away! Please check out my next piece in the Team Landon Blog Series, "Cannabis Brings Hope to Team Landon"
Our good family friend Dawn, (pictured above holding Landon) set up Offer Hope for Landon within days of his Diagnoses & started fundraising for us and creating Team Landon! Without Team Landon we would not be where we are today & we would not have been able to afford to get Landon to Treatments each week. We have so much to be thankful for & we appreciate every single person who has supported us with donations, prayers, well wishes, calls & texts and by coming to support us in the trying times of hospital stays! Please help us share Landon's story so that other children do not have to suffer while going through Cancer Treatments as he did!!
Twitter: @hopeforlandon
Instagram: teamlandonandcannabis


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