In the morning he returns for 25-days of radiation therapy..
"Now I am ugly" is what little Alexis said when his hair started falling out from the chemotherapy. His mother shaved his head so he would stop becoming upset each time more hair fell out. Brenda told Alexis, "No! You are very handsome. Remember how you looked in the old photos? You are handsome."
Like so many little children, Alexis loves super heroes, so I told him about the Marvel Superhero named "Daredevil. "He is a blind super hero! He wears a red costume and mask and although he cannot see, his hearing became so sharp that he can hear when the bad guys try to punch him! He uses his cane to beat the bad guys!""
I returned the next week with some Daredevil comic books that Brenda will read and describe to him. The little guy was so happy that he took the comic books that he can only see in his imagination with him to the hospital.
I added Daredevil items to our Amazon Wish List, along with other items for the blind children in the colonias.
In the morning he returns for another round of chemotherapy.
Alexis is slowly adjusting to the world of the blind as he fights cancer with an aggressive regimen of chemotherapy. We are paying to have a stent inserted. (It is a tiny wire mesh tube. It props open an artery and is left there so that a new needle is not needed each time he receives his treatments).
Some days are very good. He recently played with large building blocks and built a castle by touch. Also, there is the night that he said that he could see the moon.
He was outside with his mother when he turned and pointed directly at the moon. "Look how beautiful the moon is tonight!"
His mother asked, "How can you see the moon?"
"Alexis replied, "I can see it with my heart!"
Months of chemotherapy began on June 24th.
Now facing the reality of being blind and the fact that although he was told after his last eye was taken, he would be all better and going home, is not true.
Because he will have so many chemotherapy treatments, doctors tell us they want to put in a stent so they will no longer need to keep using his veins. So many needles in such a little guy (or probably anyone) can cause real damage to the veins.
I cannot think of one single thing to say to this little boy that will bring him cheer.
We met Alexis after his left eye was removed. Doctors tried conventional cancer treatments to destroy the tumor on his eye, but surgery was the only option. We made a prosthesis possible for the little boy and helped with follow-up visits.
Alexis lives with his parents and his sister in a very humble house. The dirt road we take to his home is very narrow. The steep climb up the hill to his home takes us past the site of a campfire used for cooking and to cinder block steps we climb to enter the house.
Although the house is made from scraps of lumber and cardboard, his father is gradually building a small cinder block house.
We helped Alexis when additional tumors were detected in his remaining eye.
The hospital lab report in October of 2018 were wonderful. Cancer was in remission. However, the November lab report was devastating. The cancer returned and was spreading. Doctors were afraid to operate and prescribed a different type of chemotherapy.
By the end of the year, doctors said that the only solution was to remove his remaining eye. The biggest fear was that he might not survive the surgery or that the cancer had spread to his brain.
His left eye was already replaced with a prosthetic when his right eye was removed. No cancer was found to have spread to his brain. However, the lab eventually determined that it is likely the cancer spread to other parts of his body. On Tuesday, June 18, doctors will begin more tests of his neck and stomach.
Alexis asked if we could buy but tickets so that he could go home for the weekend with his mom, to see his sisters and other family members. We got him home, ordered pizza, gave his some new toy cars, and remain hopeful that Tuesday's tests will reveal that he is all clear.
We know that he is likely in for a hard fight, but we know that he is up to it. We've met teens that doctors said would not survive to see their second birthday. Aileen, a 16 year old, was born totally blind and is an artist, a singer, and babysat her siblings when her mother had to work. We work with Acuna's teacher of the blind and she stands ready to help Alexis as does Aileen and all of the children and parents that come to the classes for Acuna's blind children.
Alexis and his mother do the hard work. All that we need to do is help with the money needed to give Alexis every possible chance to survive and to thrive.
June 19 Yesterday doctors found that his organs were clear of cancer, however there are cells on his eyelids. A strenuous series of chemotherapy will soon begin and continue for 3 months after he is cleared by a pediatrician.