RAVEN: When did you become a mom?
FREDJANE’: I became a mother to my handsome son Mason 10/29/2015.
RAVEN: I’ve followed you for a while and you are truly a strong mama.. Could you tell me a little about the type of cancer your son had?
FREDJANE’: Thank you. Mason had a very common childhood cancer, Medulloblastoma he had a tumor growing on his cerebellum which effected his ability to walk. I literally had no idea. He never complained of anything. Two months before finding out I took Mason to see a eye specialist due to his eyes started to turn inward. They said everything was fine and prescribed him glasses, then his balance started being a little off. He was falling more than usual he couldn’t really balance himself like he usually could. I knew something wasn’t right but every Dr. literally said he was okay and would grow out of it.
RAVEN: What was your first reaction when finding out?
FREDJANE’ : My reaction when I found out I cried and cried. I mean finding out my two year had cancer was a true nightmare like WHAT? No way. The day I took Mason to the ER because he literally couldn’t walk and he threw up prior to his nap, the nurses was like he may have a UTI or ear infection. I demanded that they ran extra test and they did a CT scan and seen his brain was swollen due to fluid built up. The tumor that was growing was blocking his spinal fluids from draining from his brain. They immediately rushed us to ICU. I dropped to the floor and screamed the look on the nurses face I knew it was bad. The next morning, Mason got an MRI done and the oncologist was for certain it was cancer. Mason had emergency brain surgery the next day. I didn’t have time to adjust or accept what was going on everything was moving so fast. After surgery my son couldn’t talk, walk, move or nothing it was like a true nightmare.
RAVEN: How did you keep your spirits up for you & your son during that time?
FREDJANE’: Waking up everyday and watching my two year old son kick cancers ass with the biggest smile and still be his goofy self kept my spirits high. I knew God had him covered. He had his days but 85% of the time he was his regular self. Everything he went through endless doctors appointments, aggressive treatments, being stuck by endless needles, therapy, MRI’s etc. he smiled through it all. That’s what made me happy and let me know everything was going to be okay. I never cried in front of him. If he could smile and be happy all while battling cancer there wasn’t a reason for me not to keep my spirits high.
RAVEN: What was the biggest challenge for you?
FREDJANE’: This biggest challenge for me was accepting the fact my son had cancer. I was in denial for months. It was very depressing, then deciding to do treatments away from home was so hard. At one point we were down in Memphis by ourselves for months. I begged them to let him at least finish his chemo at Kosair. I was losing myself and that’s something I couldn’t allow to happen. Mason needed me, he was depending on my strength.
RAVEN: You’ve shared before that you had to give up everything to move to Memphis for a few months.. How was that experience? Was it hard for you?
FREDJANE’: It was truly the worst in the beginning. I was just starting my new job at Frazier, we just moved into our house we was just getting settled and we had to up and leave so unexpectedly. My social life was gone. Everything was snatched. When we got to Memphis I was like there’s no way im going to be able to do a year here. I absolutely hated Memphis. Whew chileee talk about the ghetto *laughs out loud* but St. Jude is such a great hospital. They gave us our own apartment and they helped us tremendously. Helped me pay bills that I still had back at home. Endless resources and they figured out solutions to everything that had me stressed out and they fed us good food *laughs out loud* but I still missed working. I was bored too death. I drove home almost every weekend which was tiring. Being away from family and friends at a time I needed them was the hardest, but they were very supportive throughout this whole journey. We missed every holiday due to his treatment but I still made sure he had a big Christmas even though it was just us two.
RAVEN: No mother wants to see their child sick, hurt, or in pain..Where does you strength come from?
FREDJANE’: My strength comes from the unconditional love I have for my son. I’ll do anything for him, if I could’ve fought cancer for him I would have. Being a single mom I’ve always had to figure things out on my own. So my “it ain’t nothing I can’t handle” mindset was in full effect. I did my own research on who/where was best for my son to seek treatment. St Jude specializes in the type of cancer Mason was diagnosed with. So I was like that’s where we’re head. This was a time my son needed me most and I told myself I don’t care what I got to sacrifice, I’ll give it all up for him and that’s exactly what I did.
RAVEN: When did you became to see progress in your son’s health?
FREDJANE’: Mason’s health started doing a dramatic turn towards the end of his chemo treatment. In the beginning we was told he only had a 30% chance of survival but once treatment started his tumors was shrinking and disappearing. Thank God!! We was finally starting to get good news and I was able to breathe again. It wasn’t all good in the beginning I didn’t know what the outcome of it all was going to be. So once we started receiving good news I was more relaxed and relieved. I knew my baby was going to beat this. He never let it take over him. He’s a true fighter!!
RAVEN: Now that your son has beat cancer.. What is your plans for life for the both of you? What are some of your goals you’ve been wanting to accomplish?
FREDJANE’: My plans now is getting back to working in the hospital. You’d think I’d be tired of it by now but that’s just something I love doing. I also plan to enroll into nursing school next semester. I plan to get into a home owners program as well. I literally came home and got right to it. I’ve already tackled some of my goals and we are moving soon. I also gotta make sure Mason has a normal of a life as possible despite the continuous dr appointments. I make sure he doesn’t miss out on being a two year old.
RAVEN: In this moment I’m leaving a space open for you to say whatever it is on your heart to encourage and inspire another mom out there that may be going through a similar situation.. Go!
FREDJANE’: I would like to tell any mother/ single mother that no matter what situation life throws at you, there’s NOTHING you can’t handle. Be strong minded and don’t let nothing or nobody discourage you and if you have a child with a disability, sickness, or anything just know God has them covered don’t listen to them doctors. God has the last say so. Keep a positive mind always. Don’t let your negative thoughts or worries distract you. And lastly PRAY ❤️