Joey Lauzon’s 4 month year old son is fighting his own battle, after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer neuroblastoma. Immediately following Joey’s birth it was discovered that he aspirated meconium and was having breathing problems. The doctors immediately transferred him to the neonatal care unit in hopes of stabilizing his condition. Although a chest X-ray revealed a mass, doctors believed that it was a normal finding.
Joey spent fours days in the NICU showing no signs of improvement. The neonatologist at South Bay Hospital then decided to order a consolation from Boston’s Children’s Radiology Department.
“When I looked at the images, I felt this was a pretty worrisome finding. There were subtle changes in his ribs, and his trachea was displaced and narrowed, which suggested the mass had been there for a long time,” says Ecklund. She recommended that Joey needed to transferred to Boston Children’s NICU.
“Our South Shore team did a wonderful job, but we were so happy to go to Boston Children’s, because we knew they could figure out whatever it was,” says Katelyn.
After a series of tests, including a MRI, CT and a biopsy, it was determined by doctors that he had an enlarged liver. An enlarged Liver is a very common finding in nueroblastoma a very rare cancer in infants.
Joey’s presentation didn’t fit the typical case, says Shusterman. “Neuroblastoma is about the last diagnosis we would expect in a baby with respiratory distress.” Later that evening, baby Joey’s oncologist confirmed Joey’s diagnosis—stage 4 neuroblastoma. A tumor the size of an adult fist was pushing on Joey’s spine. He was then started chemotherapy right away.’
“We were upset about the diagnosis and also relieved that they decided to treat Joey right away,” says Katelyn.
After spending five weeks in Boston’s Children NICU, Joey received his first two rounds of chemotherapy. Meanwhile, Joe Lauzon and Katelyn then prepared themselves for a possibility of up to eight rounds of chemotherapy and maybe surgery after to remove the remaining tumor. Doctor’s have stated that Joey is stellar patient and he has responded very well to treatments.
In March doctors did a full body MIGB scan, it showed that the tumor had nearly disappeared. Giving Joe and Katleyn the great news that little Joey could now graduate from Chemotherapy.
“We’ll continue to follow him closely, and now Joey and his parents can get back to normal baby things,” says Shusterman.
“Having a baby is tough. Having a baby with cancer is tougher,” says Katelyn, who gave birth to Joey on January 12 at South Shore Hospital.
BY: Michelle Luce