DX Day ... 6 years have past since that dreaded day! The day we first learned of the monster called DIPG

Teresa Lamoureux Gaudet

It was 2 yrs ago today that our nightmare began. I remember that day like it was just yesterday. Cory was now throwing up just from moving his head so I left work, picked him up & called his doctor to tell them I was on my way in to see him with or without an appt. Once at the docs office Cory further explained that he had been having trouble using his left hand and he was weak on his left side. The doc said he’d order an MRI for sometime that week. It was a bad winter with lots of storms and they were predicting more. I remember telling the doc that I wasn’t leaving his office until there was an MRI scheduled for that day and I didn’t care if I had to drive 6 hrs. to one that was available. At the time, Jim was up on the roof at one of our properties shoveling snow off) I remember how nervous I was for Cory and how I told him to be brave and stay in the MRI for the entire test because we needed to know what was wrong. He was so claustrophobic and afraid of needles (it needed to have contrast, which meant needles) He did awesome and stuck it out. We were just walking through the door back at home after his MRI when the doctor called and said he wanted me, Jim and Cory to go to his office ASAP. Although he did not want to, I made him tell my what they found. I remember calling my neighbor Tracy to see if she could have Nicole longer (until Nicholas got home from work- she had gotten her off the bus for me) I remember calling Jim and telling him he needed to come home and why. I remember contemplating how we were going to tell Cory. I called my sis Deb and she immediately started crying. When the doctor walked in, he told us that it really didn’t get worse than this and that we had to take him to Boston Children’s Hospital right away and they’d be waiting for us. Cory burst into tears. He knew what cancer meant, he had lost his Pepere, Grandma & Auntie to Cancer. We first had to go pick up the MRI to bring with us to Boston. I remember calling my sis Denice once we were driving. I remember how upset she was, I was! I didn’t know it at the time but Cory had already texted his brother Nicholas before we had a chance to tell him in person. He had also texted his cousin Heath and his friend Jeff, I believe. We stopped at home real quick, just long enough to pack stuff for the hospital as we knew we’d have to stay there for while. Nicholas was so distraught, I felt awful leaving him alone to take care of Nicole. When I think about how scary it must have been for him, being here and being strong for Nicole but wondering what was going on at the hospital and worrying about Cory. When we finally arrived at the hospital it was lots of waiting and talking to many doctors. It was a very long night. We heard the words “terminal” “not much they could do” “prognosis - death and how sorry they were” We were all very scared but trying to stay strong. I remember talking to my mom and her telling me that God only gives us what we can handle and that I was strong. I remember telling her that I had already lost 1 child and I was sick of being able to handle shit and being strong! (I didn’t put it so nicely though) Cory was a mess, he talked a lot about wanting to fish again, wanting to see people! It was a long night and we did end up getting another snow storm. My nephew Nate ended up driving Nicholas, Mikayla & Nicole to the hospital so they could see each other. It was a 3+hr drive in the snow. The boys talked, played xbox in bed together. Nicole was nervous about seeing him in the hospital bed. Cory told us that he wanted a big party when he got out of the hospital, he wanted all of his family over, he wanted to see everyone. So the night after he was released we did just that. We had over 50 people at our house - all family. Even his cousins and their kids from Cape Cod came up. It was on that night that we explained to everyone what Cory had and what his treatment plan was going to be. It was then that we told everyone that he/we only wanted to hear positive. Cory had already made the decision to “live” with cancer not be “dying” from it. My children and their cousins grew up and matured so much during the next 19 months. I am thankful for my family and friends that helped me and my family - the support we received was greatly appreciated and very much needed. Cory hun, not a day goes by that you are not in my thoughts - What I would give to hear your voice just one more time or get one more of your amazing hugs! I thank you for always being able to make us laugh, even right up until the end you would do silly things just to get a giggle or a smile out of us. I cherish the many nights in bed cracking up laughing. I thank you for showing your brother the importance of hugs! He hugs be every single time he sees me and I credit you for that Cory! Nicole has a new sparkle in her eye which I truly believe is from you. I know you are with her daily, helping her cope! We thank you for all of the many signs you leave us to let us know you are never far away! Before you passed away Uncle Bob (may he too rest in peace) told me you were an Angel on earth sent to us by God and I truly believe that to be true Cory! And now you are a beautiful Guardian Angel in Heaven watching over us all <3