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A testimony from the heart of Price's mom, Jana.
Oct 28, 2014 – I worked half a shift at the hospital, and it was raining. After work I was driving to Little Rock to pick up doors for our new house, singing praise music, singing & crying, thanking Jesus for my healthy children and praying for their safety.
That afternoon Price came home from school not feeling well. He laid down to rest. When I went in his room to check on him before we went to bed, I found him seizing. His face was blue and he was foaming from his mouth. I fell to the floor screaming, “What’s wrong with my baby?” I completely fell apart and felt paralyzed. Bryana (Price's sister) offered to help Bryan (Price's Father and my dear husband) take Price to ER and I said I would meet them there. I was unable to function. I gathered my composure and ended up riding on Angel One with Price to AR Children’s. Price did great and was released after a few days. When we got in the car coming home from Children’s, Price said, “Jesus held me in His arms the whole time”. Bryan and I were both surprised by what he said. Price didn’t talk a lot so for him to blurt this out, and not say anything before or after, was unusual.
On 11/17/14 Price turned 13 & the next day we had follow up CT scans of his brain to see what could have caused the seizure. We were in the CT for over 3 hours and in my gut, I knew something was not right. After scans, we were taken to the ER to meet with a doctor who told us they found a mass in Price’s brain...possible cancer! It was a parent’s worst nightmare. It was as if I was out of my body and someone else was being told this horrific news. I was numb & in complete shock.
The following day, as Price was resting on the couch, he asked me if he was going to die. My reply was, “Baby we’re all going to die & only God knows when or how. I could die right now of a heart attack."
Price had brain surgery on 12/1/2014. About an hour into the procedure, the surgeon came out and told Bryan and me he was positive it was Stage IV Glioblastoma. Clueless as to what that was, we started searching the internet. The more we read, the more we crumbled! The words “NO CURE” tore us apart. We left LeBonnheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis and went straight to St. Jude. We discussed the pathology reports, it was Stage IV Glioblastoma, and they reviewed their treatment protocol with us. Treatments began with oral chemo and radiation. Price would always tell his doctors and treatment team that “God’s got this” or “It’s in God’s hands”. Price never wavered, he never complained or asked "why me?". While we were falling apart, Price was witnessing to every doctor we saw at St. Jude.
I would cry in the shower, begging God to not take my baby, pleading for Him to heal Price on earth. Deep down I knew that Price would not be healed on earth. I knew that God had bigger plans for Price’s life. It was so hard to pray because I was so angry. I put on a brave face for everyone but I was crumbling inside. I tried to stay positive for Price and everyone else. I could not talk with anyone about my gut feeling. I thought if I didn’t talk about it, maybe he would be okay. Maybe Price is going to be the first person to beat Glioblastoma.
After radiation treatments were completed, we came home and he continued to take his oral chemo. When Price had scans scheduled at St. Jude, we would lay in his bed talking (after his seizure, Price never slept alone) about how nervous we were about the scans. We started praying asking God for good clean scans with no new cancer. We were both crying & hugging each other when Price looked at me and said, “Mom, either way I’ll be okay”. I knew he was right. Neither one of us realized the magnitude of those words. Later on Price did not even remember saying this, but I did. I knew Price knew Jesus and we both knew he would go to heaven one day.
In July 2015, Price started stumbling and falling a lot. I knew something was not right. I called St. Jude, we went in for scans before his Make-A-Wish trip, and they saw shadows but felt they were from the radiation treatments. During the cruise, Price would often say he didn’t feel well and his falling was getting worse. As soon as we got home, I called St. Jude again and we went in for more scans. Our worst fear...he had 3 new tumors that were inoperable. The only thing we could do was start a clinical trial since the traditional treatment was not successful. We all wept as I held Price in the St. Jude waiting room.
We started clinical trial and within 3 days Price lost his ability to walk. His tumors were very aggressive. Price was in a wheelchair and he loved to get pushed around. The trial consisted of 2 adult oral chemo drugs and they made him so sick. One afternoon at St. Jude, Price grabbed my hand and said, “Mom you get me, I don’t have to say a word, you just get me”. He was right, I did get him.
The chemo kept Price so sick. He was unable to lay still through the scans and due to his vomiting, they could not sedate him. He was hospitalized and we were told they did not believe the trial was working. There were no more treatments that could be done, only comfort care.
I was so angry with God, I would catch myself yelling “God all I asked for was for him to not suffer!” In my fits of rage, as I was punching my hands, I was reminded of Jesus. Why did I think my child was better than Jesus was and should not suffer? Jesus suffered for our sins and willingly gave His life for us, so my son would go to heaven. Immediately I was humbled. I apologized to God for my anger as tears ran down my face.
Price hardly talked from that point on. All he would say was, “talking about it is not going to change anything so I don’t want to talk about it” and he was right. When we asked Price what he wanted all he said was “I want to see my friends”.
The day Price passed away 3 of the horses got out of the fence somewhere, they had never gotten out before or since then. Bryan & Bryana went to get the horses and I was sitting in the room with Price. I was holding his hand telling him that daddy and Bryana would be back soon, they had to go get the horses that got out. Price took his final breath with just the 2 of us together.
How do you go on after you lose a child? F-A-I-T-H!!!!!!! This is our temporary home, it’s not goodbye…just see you in a little while. I KNOW Price is in heaven & I KNOW because of Jesus I will see Price again.
The last 4 years have been a struggle!!! So many emotions, questions, reliving the experience, remembering the hard times and wondering if I could have handled them differently. Satan has a heyday making me doubt myself. Then I remember who was in control, NOT ME, but God & He loved Price even more than me. He is perfect & satan is NOT. God chose Price because not just anyone would make the impact he has made. Price fulfilled his purpose on earth and God was ready to call him home.