You may have noticed Jordan Miller hasn’t been on the radio for a little while. Take a minute to read this as he shares what he and his family have been going through — then say a prayer. We’re with you Jordan, Makaela and Xavier!
It all started with a cough.
Xavier had been experiencing a slight cough for some time. Doctors weren’t too concerned and continued to prescribe him antibiotics – that didn’t help.
We took him to Akron Children’s Hospital on Christmas night for an X-ray of the chest after my mom listened to his breathing through her stethoscope while opening gifts. Nothing could have prepared us for what was next.
The doctor came into our room and was very direct about it: The X-ray discovered a mass in our 7-month-old son’s chest. He was rushed in for a CT scan for a more detailed look.
It was a tumor pushing his lungs and wrapped towards his spine. It was cancer. Neuroblastoma to be exact.
We went numb. A parent’s worse nightmare became our reality while celebrating Xavier’s first Christmas. That holiday will never be the same for us.
Our baby boy, the child we prayed for, has been diagnosed with cancer.
Makaela and I called our moms at the same time. It was 1:30 in the morning at that point. I’ll never forget the screams that came out of them – all while holding my wife and baby and weeping ourselves. I honestly cannot describe the feeling. I had never heard some of the sounds on the other end of the phone. Doctors had to hold me up because I was shaking so bad. I wanted to vomit. We don’t remember much after that. We were admitted to the cancer floor at the hospital. Why does a floor for children with cancer even exist?
Xavier underwent additional testing. Doctors continue to use the term “favorable” when talking about Xavier’s cancer. We’re waiting on further results that could change it all.
It all sucks. Why don’t I have a tumor? Why’s it our baby? I’ll take every bit of this sickness from him. I have good days, and then I just get pissed at the world. I get so mad that I want to punch the closest thing to me.
He’s undergoing chemo right now. Multiple rounds of chemo and then scans to see if the tumor is shrinking. And then repeat until the tumor is gone (God willing) or small enough to remove with surgery. The tumor is pressed up against Xavier’s trachea and lungs all while trying to invade his spine. It’s a difficult tumor to just go in and get with surgery.
We’re grieving hard and so is our family. But let me say, you’re allowed to grieve as well. We understand the public nature of our life. Many of you have held Xavier or seen him with us in person. You’re allowed to have emotions about his diagnosis.
We are surrounded by an AMAZING team at Akron Children’s Hospital. The doctors aren’t sugarcoating anything. They’re answering every question we have, even the tough ones that no parents wants to ask. But they are also reassuring us that there’s a plan in place. Chemo isn’t going to be easy, but it’s necessary.
The uncertainty has left a pit in our stomachs, but we’re leaning on faith and family.
For those who have prayed, sent food/donated or have called/texted us. Thank you.
I’ll slowly return to reporting news and hosting my shows on the radio, but we’ve got to discover our new normal first.
We’ll be at Akron Children’s every week for chemo treatments, doctors appointments, lab work or scans.
If you see Makaela, Xavier and me out at the same time, please understand why we may keep our distance and why we may be wearing a mask. We’ve got to protect him. His immune system will be compromised more often than not.
Xavier is unable to attend daycare now due to isolation.
Makaela is off work for the foreseeable future. Thankfully when I get back to work, I can work from anywhere, including home or during stays at the hospital – but that’s the least of my worries right now.
Many continue to ask how they can help. We ask that you just keep praying.
My wife’s a teacher at Minerva. The Minerva Local School District is an amazing district and the support they’ve offered is great. Days into our stay at the hospital, the school delivered a wagon of snacks, drinks and other essentials.
To my wife. I can’t thank you enough. You advocated like crazy for Xavier for weeks all because you didn’t agree with his doctors who played it off as a cough. Your voice and persistence is the reason we caught this tumor when we did…which is all the difference. When he goes into remission and is declared cancer free, we will look back at your persistence and know that you saved Xavier’s life. You did so good. You were his voice. I love you.
To our family and friends, your unwavering support has been incredible. Our parents, siblings and close friends have been at the hospital at some point everyday.
To my WHBC and Mix. 94.1 family, thank you so much for the support and allowing me to take time without question.
To my team at the Free Press Standard and Alonovus, thank you for stepping up when all of this came up on deadline day.
To you, thank you for praying when you didn’t know what was going on.
In the blink of an eye, our lives have changed. We’re thankful for all the trips that we’ve taken with our son already. God allowed us to take those trips because he knew what was in store. We know more trips are going to happen in the future – we just need to get over this bump in the road and to that point again.
Makaela and I are exhausted. It feels like a bad dream that we’re unable to wake up from. But his fight is our fight.
Our son has cancer and it all started with a damn cough.