Happy Birthday Zach!

A one year update

Very frequently in conversation friends make a point to ask, “So how’s your son doing?”  I’m grateful for how people remember him.  Many people tell me how they have prayed for him too.  It also prompts me to give an update here on the blog since so many of you followed his story last May when we discovered and treated his retinoblastoma.

Today, Tuesday, March 27th, 2012, is Zach’s first birthday.  It’s amazing to think that he’s already one year old.  Time sure flies!  Zach is a happy, joyful boy (believe me, he’s ALL BOY–in a house with six sisters, he’s catching on).  He’s almost always smiling when he interacts with us.  He enjoys exploring the world around him–like on Saturday when we took a two hour letter boxing walk turned hike.  Zach is a wonderful part of our family and we cannot imagine life without him.

As you can see from this photo, his prosthetic eye is a beautiful match to his real eye–this photo shows them both off very well.  Thanks to Emily Alberta of Angel Snap Photography.  Thanks also to Greg Dootz, Zach’s ocularist–see Update #5 and Update #12.

What about the cancer?

We thank God that Zach has a 100% clear report up to the present.  When the surgery first happened to remove his eye, the pathology report confirmed that the cancer (which filled 80% of his eye) was fully contained.  It has not grown beyond the perimeter of the eye or down the optic nerve.

Zach has an exam under anesthesia (EUA) periodically.  Sarah and Zach have now gone back to U of M Hospital for five exams where they put Zach to sleep and examine his good eye up close to scout-out any potential cancer.  So far so good.  There’s no trace of cancer in Zach’s good eye.  Thank God for his powerful protection and mercy!

Next steps

The next steps for Zach are as follows.

  • He will continue to have the EUA’s about every 4 months (this first year it was every 2 months, and now they are spacing out more and more)
  • He will begin wearing glasses soon–he has already been fitted for eye glasses to help protect his one remaining eye from any scratches or injuries.
  • He will grow up like normal kids playing in similar ways and learning to see with his single eye.
  • We’ll keep having a medical exam on his eye from now through the end of childhood in ever decreasing frequency (i.e. once per year once he’s beyond 5 or so).
  • At some point he’ll come to understand how he’s different and we’ll help him to understand the implications for him.

By the way if you’d like to read or see all the posting about Zach from this blog in order, click on the tab on the bar on the upper left labelled ZACH.

Thank you to all of you who have left comments along the way.  I don’t always have the time to reply to each and every one, but I do read every word when I approved the comments.

Thanks for praying for Zach, asking about him, helping our family, or whatever you have done.  Today is a great day to celebrate–Happy Birthday First Birthday!

Tim

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14 Comments

Filed under Parenting, Zach

14 responses to “Happy Birthday Zach!

  1. Cindy Corwin Lobb

    Sarah and Tim,

    Happy Birthday, Zach! What a wonderful day! Thank you for posting the update on him. I think of all of your family, and Sarah’s extended family fondly and often, but I’m out of the loop since I’m not working with her Grandmother anymore.

    Thanks be to God for his protection and guidance for Zach! Here’s to many, many more birthdays!

    Fondly,

    Cindy Corwin Lobb

  2. maryellen

    Rev. Tim : Oh my! What a blessing to see Zach’s picture! Just look at his radiant, contagious joy, which immediately reminds me of you. What a smile and look at his little teeth! The words of Psalms 139 so touche my heart and cause me to praise God as I look at Zach. Yes, there have been and are prayers, from more and often than you know. First birthday — such a day! Just look at what God has done! Happy Birthday!

  3. Kamille Karlson

    Happy Birthday to Charmer #7! Praise God for His Gracious Mercy to Zach and to all of us!!

    In His Grace, Kamille Karlson

  4. Chuck & Joann Dean

    Tim & Sarah Thanks for sharing your experiences and how God has been with you every step of the way. What a wondeful testimony of God’s Grace. Happy Birthday Zach!!!!!
    Chuck & Joann Dean

  5. Bob Muhleck

    PTL !!!!

    Bob Muhleck

  6. Kriss Rautio

    This is absolutely wonderful news and an answer to prayer.

  7. Carol Jacoby

    What a beautiful boy. Rejoicing with you in the favor of the Lord on Zach and your family. May he “grow with wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.”

  8. Barbara Smith

    Happy 1st Birithday, Zach; enjoy every minute of i! We are so thankful you are doing so well.
    Love, Dennis and Barbara Smith

  9. Todd Nado

    Great news indeed, Tim! I have known a person who lost an eye when he was very, very young, and he was just as normal a person as can be, and you would not know he had the use of one eye only unless you knew. The only time you could really notice anything was when he maybe got a little tired, But, he was hardly impeded by having sight in one eye only, and he became pretty successful in business, and even got a pilots liscence and I remember going up in his plane from Willow Run airport to the Howell Airport, we flew. Zach should lead a pretty normal life, bro, as you know and have been told also.

  10. Jean & Ralph Porter

    Tim we can sum it all up in two words:

    PRAISE GOD!!!
    Thanks for sharing this beautiful example of God’s grace with all of us.
    Jean & Ralph Porter

  11. JOE & CAROL peterson

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Zach!
    Thank you for blessing us with this update. One year old and what a charmer with his beautiful smile and sparkling eyes. God is great and we see his loving care in your darling little boy. Our prayers continue as he grows into the man God has planned for him to be.
    Blessings, Joe & Carol Peterson

  12. Janice Stokes

    Hi Tim! Zach is a beautiful son! I love his smile and his beautiful blue eyes. I can’t believe he is a year already.
    Love and friend ship!
    Jan Stokes

  13. Robin

    Praise the Lord for such a happy little blessing to our family. Looking forward to celebrating Zach’s birthday on Sunday.
    Love, Mom

  14. Irene G.

    What a beautiful boy. God bless all of you and the doctors and other specialists who have through His grace worked miracles!
    Irene G.