Morgon Emory - A 15 year old's battle through Leukiema
Who is Mo?
Morgon Emory is a 15 year old boy. He is my cousin. Although I haven't spent a whole lot of time with him and his family now that we are grown I still keep in touch as much as possible. Everything I know about Mo is from his Mom and from my Aunt Bonnie (Mo's Grandma).
Here's a little background on who Mo is -
Morgon had played soccer for many years until music became his extra-curricular activity of choice. He knows how to play several different styles of guitar but bass is probably his favorite. He has played the saxophone and also the bassoon. His Grandma Bonnie said he plays really beautiful solos on it. He participates in "Rock School" (link below) where groups of kids get together and organize into small bands. They put together a program of vairous genres of music and have great and entertaining concerts after every season. Some of the other musical entertainment Mo has done for special school related extra curricular activites include playing bass at a fine dining establishment for a fund raiser. Bonnie says out of everything he is missing out on his music is probably the one thing he misses most. Mo's Dad, Mark, has taken a couple of his guitars to Minnesota for him but having them in the hospital doesn't work very well. Since Mo isn't allowed to leave the hospital because his condition keeps going up and down he only plays when he can. Mo and a few of his friends used to have jam sessions and had put together their own little band group. Hopefully when he gets back home he will be able to jump right back in where they left off.
Mo plays in a band at Rock School
- Home Page
Rock School is a music program that gives young people the chance to play in a real band. At the end of each 3 month semester students put on a concert.
Morgon has always been an exceptional student. He has always liked school and has always been in the advanced classes.
Mo doesn't like his picture taken (what young man does). You will seldom see him smile for the camera. But that doesn't mean he is always a sour puss. He can be a very happy young man.
Church means a lot to him. He went to Young Men's group on Wednesday nights and also to church every Sunday.
He doesn't like all this attention that his illness has brought his way. But it is with all the prayers and uplifting thoughts (and the wonderful Dr's) that he keeps getting better.
In South Dakota a young person can get a drivers permit at age 14. Morgon has been driving for quite a while. Last summer he took classes to get his motorcycle permit. He would really like to have his own motorcycle when he comes home again. Just another thing to look forward to after this is all over.
Morgons fight with leukiema starts back in August. He was having stomach pains and when they were taken to the hospital in South Dakota the Dr. told them he needed to go to Minnesota for more test as they thought he might have cancer. I couldn't imagine the feelings that his mother went through. How terrifying for your child to have cancer. On August 29th the Dr's did a bone marrow aspirate and a spinal tap that revealed Mo had full blown Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL). ALL is a fast-growing cancer in which the body produces a large number of immature white blood cells (lymphocytes). What a road this wonderful family is going to have to go down the next few months.
A Calender of Mo's ALL battle
September 1, 2011 - Started first round of Chemotherapy. Morgon had no "major" side effects.
September 3, 2011 - Morgon's parent's had to give him the bad news of not being able to go back to school this year.
September 5, 2011 - Everything is still looking good, no side effects from having low platelets.
September 16, 2011 - Morgon's body goes into spetic shock due to a "germ" in his blood. Was taken to the ICU to be monitored closely.
September 20, 2011 - Mo is moved to the 5th floor! Plan is to resume chemotherapy on the 21st of September.
September 27, 2011 - Day 29 of ALL treatment. Mo had his "final" bone marrow biopsy and lumbar puncture for the "induction phase" of his treatment.
September 29, 2011 - Mo's leukemia is in DEEP remission!
October 1, 2011 - Hopes of Mo being discharged from the hospital to the Ronald McDonald house went away when he started spiking fevers.
Octover 6, 2011 - Still fevering up and down.
October 10, 2011 - Supposed to start next round of chemo but the Dr's want Mo's kidneys to be better recovered.
October 11, 2011 - Studies of Mo's leukemia showed IKAROS and JAK2 (mutating genes). The Dr's decide they want to hit it hard with 1 month hospital stay with intensive chemo, another month of chemo and then a bone marrow transplant.
October 12, 2011 - Mo starts the next round of Chemo.
October 19, 2011 - Nausea is bad enough that Mo isn't up for his excercise but his dad and brothers will be over from SD tomorrow!
October 23, 2011 - 2 more bags of blood and more platelets given to Mo.
October 24, 2011 - Mo's skin and the whites of his eyes turned yellow (jaundice).
November 2, 2011 - Mo is back in the ICU for high blood pressure and vomiting with the tube. He only had to stay overnight.
November 9, 2011 - Mo's leukemia is still in remission.
November 12, 2011 - Day 2 of next round of chemo. Causing Mo a bit of nausea.
November 15, 2011 - Mo started drinking clear liquids (huge step forward)
November 21, 2011 - no longer on Morphine.
November 24, 2011 - Mo starts having Kidney and Bladder troubles.
November 26, 2011 - Jaundice again.
December 3, 2011 - Mo had surgery on the 2nd. They placed a stent for ureter, replaced port for a hickman and pulled tissue from his colon and kidneys for a biopsy.
December 5, 2011 - Placed another P.I.C.C. line because 1 just wasn't enough. Switched back to morphine for pain.
Deember 9, 2011 - Mo was up and walking a bit today. Pathology on his colon showed no abcesses and no cancer. Mo had more fevers.
December 12, 2011 - More fevers and tranfused more blood.
December 17, 2011 - Nausea and vomiting and more fevers.
December 21, 2011 - No over night fevers and down on the morphine. Removed the drain from surgical site.
December 25, 2011 - Record breaking 3 days with NO fevers was broken yesterday. Mo still has nausea. He is completely off the morphine and given a patch with his pain meds.
December 26, 2011 - Another bone marrow aspirate/biopsy. Mo had little nausea and no fevers. No news on transplant as he has to have no fevers and his counts need to have recovered themselves.
December 28, 2011 - Pathology came back on bone marrow, no signs of leukmia!!! Finally a pass to be out of the hospital for a few hours to spend time with his dad and brothers. Dr's still have not decided where to go from here.
Mo's Mom, Jerrie, writes a blog about Mo's progress. She trys to write in it every day but with so much going on, there are days she misses, which is totally understandable. I am very thankful that she has the energy to write everyday and let us all know how Mo is doing. The whole time Morgon has been in the hospital she has been by his side. They have a room at the Ronald McDonald house where she can go to get a break from the hospital whenever she needs to. Below is the link to Morgon's Blog on CaringBridge. Please check it out and sign the guestbook. Although you may not know Morgon all the thoughts and prayers help!
A Blog for Morgon
Through CaringBridge, you can be a part of Morgon’s health journey by reading updates, viewing photos and leaving messages of love, hope and compassion in the guestbook. Your support will mean the world to Morgon.
Even with this horrible illness everyone would call Morgon a 'good patient'. He doesn't throw a fit about anything that has to be done, he just does it, or tolerates it.
Grandma Bonnie says -
"This past week has been about the most encouraging we have had since this all began - Morgon has been able to get rid of most of the tubes that have connected him to all his meds and feeds, and was given a couple of hours furlough from the confinement of the hospital and hospital room. This was the first time in over two months Morgon was able to step foot outside the hospital walls.
The other encouraging time was when the Drs declared that the leukemia was in remission. Even after all the side effects of the disease and treatment they are still saying remission. We are so thankful for that. One day at a time."
The family has learned that a year and more in the hospital, or close by, for continued care and treatment, are not uncommon for treatment of this disease. And they've heard from and about so many, many people who have gone through this same thing and years later can attest to a healthy and happy life.
There have been several fund raisers for Morgon and his family. Sentsry parties, silent auctions, selling of "Get Mo Better!" shirts and bracelets. There will continue to be fund raisers to help with all the bills and transportation for his family.
Mo has to be one of the strongest kids I've ever known! If I ever get put in a situation like his, I will be sure to look back on his strength to get me through.
WE LOVE YOU MO!!!! One day at a time to "Get Mo Better!"