Caleb’s Story

    On January 18, 2013 Caleb was diagnosed with hepatoblastoma a rare form of liver cancer, he was only 16 months. It was the size of a texas grapefruit, the biggest and only thing you can see through the x-rays. This was very hard on us espeiallly because he had no obvious symptoms. It was my motherly instint that made me take action.

    Caleb received three courses of inpatient chemotherapy between January & early March. Although Caleb’s tumor was shrinking it was sitting in the middle of his liver so we were told he needed a liver transplant. On March 21, 2013 he had his liver transplant which was an adult spilt liver. He was only on the list for 16 days, which was truly a blessing. He recovered well without complications.

    In April Caleb received one additional cycle of inpatient chemotherapy. Since the tumor was really close to all of the other organs they wanted this chemotherapy to clear any residual cancer cells. This was the hardest chemotherapy for Caleb, it made him develop ascites. Ascites is a collection of fluid in the abdomen. This ascites made him have lots of significant complications. His abdomen swelled was so much it was difficult for him to move and even breath. He had numerous procedures to drain the fluid off his abdomen & towards the end they had to place a drainage catheters in him. This problem caused Caleb to be hospitalized for three months, with significant amount of time in the intensive/critical care unit.

    Eventually the caused of Caleb’s ascites was identified and he underwent a procedure to his new liver which help the ascites resolved. He did really well for 6 weeks after his procedure, it was a dramatic change. He was rapidly losing all the fluid. He re-accumulate the fluid and he had to have another procedure. We were only admitted for three days, the shortest hospitalization stay we had ever had. His post transplant complications have been very challenging but we are happy everything has gotten better.

    Caleb is in remission & is comfortably at home. He is still going through many challenges. He has physical therapy – he had to learn to walk again, speech therapy- he is very smart but during our hospital stay he did not want to talk much & occupational therapy- helps us with eating. He is still on the feeding tube but we are slowly making progress. All therapies are three times a week, so he still has a very busy schedule.

    Although Caleb has had rough days and surgeries, drainage, drainage catchers, feeding tube, TP nutrition, MRI’s , ct scans, blood drowns, chemotherapy, multiple types of medications (totaling 10) and so much he always showed us his DANCE moves & has SMILED through it all. Everyone knows CALEB as THE CHAMP – “The People’s CHAMP” he has been in the ring fighting this battle like a true champion. It’s been a very hard rocky jorney but we have been privileged to be in the ” THE CHAMPS” ring corner during this challenging fight.

    We want to THANK all the doctors, nurses & medical staff for Caleb’s care at Texas Children Hospital. You all have showed shown us caring, love & patients towards our son CALEB. We greatly appreciate everything!

    Caleb’s Facebook page: Team CALEB

    -Elsy Espinoza


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