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Samuel Caine Hamilton

Sunrise: 04-02-06

Sunset: 07-27-06

Waking up at 6:30 am was not the beginning of a typical Sunday morning, April 2, 2006.  Back pains most torturing, I figured I just slept wrong.  I managed to get to the shower.  After a long and relaxing shower I crawled back into bed.  Nevertheless, the comfort state did not last.  So I returned to the shower.  After several attempts to relax and get comfortable were unsuccessful I came to the conclusion that waking my husband maybe a necessity.  Having two other children and never experiencing  labor pains in the back I was a little foolish.  So my husband and I put all the arrangements into affect.

Got to the hospital and the nurses thought I was overreacting explaining to me that it was not "TIME".  Shortly after I convinced them that I do NOT question my body things began to proceed.  While waiting for the doctor one of the nurses did that "routine check".  Discovering that Sammy had his hand above is head and was holding her finger.  Not really thinking that was the entire truth I dismissed it.  A few hours went by and the doctor arrived.  Believing that things would move forward the doctor did the "routine check".  The same thing happened to her - Sammy held her fingers, as well.  Water not fully broke yet and this kid is introducing himself before his debut.  Finally 6:31pm Samuel Caine Hamilton made his entry.

Life began as normal as there can be with a newborn.  The two older boys enjoyed having Sammy around.  The oldest, Gage, having been through this before just accepted what came.  However, the middle child, CJ, ate up the big brother role like you would not believe.  Excitement and pride just does not come close to describe how CJ felt.  He wanted to learn EVERYTHING, even how to change dirty diapers.

With a month almost behind us Sammy went to his 1st month doctors appointment.  During this visit the doctor questioned Sammy's color. Tests were done and discovered that he was a little jaundice.  With a light blanket ordered everything was heading on the right path.

Planning Sammy's 1st vacation was more than anyone could avoid.  Daddy was so excited to introduce Sammy & CJ to the dune buggy and the sandy hills of Oklahoma.  I think everyone sweat off at least half their body weight in the 100 plus degree weather.  However, Sammy could not get enough.  He was so comfy that he just slept and was content as could be.

After our trip we began to landscape our back patio.  Sammy enjoyed warm weather with a strong wind.  While the family worked on pulling weeds, dumping rocks and putting up a privacy fence Sammy swung in his little Whinnie the Pooh swing.  It became the running joke he was our supervisor - overlooking our labor.

Things were as good as it gets.  Cj and Gage had just finished their first year at a new school and Sammy was as playful as ever.  Sammy started a new game.  If you stuckyour tongue out at him you literally could watch the wheels in his head turn.  He was trying to figure out how he could do it too.  When he got his tongue out just a little past his lips the biggest smile would emerge.  This type of smile would reach ear to ear and the entire face would light up.

July 2nd we had a cookout.  The entire family plus some came over. During this time Sammy was enjoying his bouncer.  Even though he was about 5-6 inches to short to reach the floor.  You could not help but reach over and bounce it for him.  When you did one of those ear to ear smiles would appear.  Having so much fun he finally surrendered and fell asleep.

Thursday July 6 seemed to be run of the mill.  My husband and I took Sammy to his 3 month check up.  We had mentioned to the doctor that his belly was a little tight and bloated and if there was anything to give to him.  The doctor asked the usual questions.  We answered everything normal.  The doctor felt around and did not like how low Sammy's liver felt.  The doctor was a little nervous but it is better to be safe than sorry.  He sent us over to CMHS to run some tests.  We went.  Sammy seemed to be just fine.  He would be making typical baby sounds and laughing that evening. 

Doctor called bright and early the next day.  He had informed me that Sammy's tests were showing he was anemic.  He had informed me that he made arrangements for more tests and to go to the CMH downtown.  Still assuring me that it is better to be safe than sorry and not to worry. 

Sammy and I made our adventure to the hospital downtown and checked in at 9:21 am.  With papers in hand the staff was ready to begin Sammy's tests.  In between tests Sammy and I played, laughed and stuck our tongues out at each other.  It was between 2 and 3 pm when a doctor and nurse came in.  Both of them had such serious looks that I know something was terribly wrong.

"CANCER" screamed through my mind.  They said CANCER? They asked if there was anything they could do.  I thanked them and just stared at Sammy.  Just thinking - HOW, WHAT, WHEN all those questions echoing in my head.  Since I was alone with Sammy I finally had to leave Sammy to call my husband and tell him he had to leave the other boys at home and to get up at the hospital.

When Shane did arrive I sat down and explained to him what was going on.  We both broke down and cried, while embracing Sammy.

We got all settled in our new living quarters - Room 14 on the 4th floor.  Doctors and nurses were in and out thru the night

 Our first night stay we met a nurse named Jill.  She would soon be known asSammy's girlfriend.  It was quit odd when she was around.  Sammy's stats would be rather high, but if she came into the room they would drop drastically, but in a good way.  The two of them had just a strong bond.  It was such a bond that I knew this is how it must feel when a mother lets go of her son when he gets a wife or girlfriend.  However, at three months old I thought it maybe a little too soon. 

A doctor came in on Saturday explaining that a biopsy would be performed the next day.  The biopsies that would be done were the liver, bone and blood.  The doctor said Sammy did great and is in recovery.  We were transferred to the PICU.  We did not leave his side that evening.  The nurses from upstairs came down for the next day and a half asking where their baby was.

It was not until Tuesday when we were informed what type of cancer we were dealing with.  A team of doctors came in and explained how severe the situation was.  One of the doctors explained that it is a cancer called Rhabdoid and it is extremely rare.  They had several pathologist review the biopsies numerous times and each one of them confirmed - Rhabdoid.  The doctor went on saying Sammy may have days, maybe weeks but a month was questionable.  They did not know.  I interrupted asking, " So you are saying my baby will not see his 1st birthday?"  You could see the doctor attempting to hold her emotions back.  She shook her head with watery eyes and whispered no.  I would say that was my weakest moment.  A howling cry came from me.  The doctor came over to comfort me and shared some tears.  Shane was starring at Sammy with watery eyes.  Shane brought me somewhat back to a point of sanity and said I was scaring Sammy.  I think at that moment in time is when I realized I can not fight this and to help keep my baby comfy and secure.

We reclaimed room 14 upstairs and tried to play with Sammy.  He was alert but not his playful self.  He just laid about and watched everyone.

Doctors came in and requested to discuss our wishes regarding Sammy.  We made it clear that we felt a need to act somehow.  Doctors scheduled a visit to the cardiologist to see if Sammy's heart was strong enough for chemo. We dressed Sammy up in his sunglasses to protect his eyes.  Sammy began his 1st chemo treatment on July 12th - Vincristine.  He actually would only have two treatments.  Since he was so small any other type of chemo may do more harm than good.  Meanwhile, throughout the next few weeks Sammy would under go multiple transfusions.   Just a few times Sammy would cry with a slight whine.  No tears but the whine came out as someone saying "MOMMEEEE."  The first time he did that the nurse and I froze thinking it was one of us.  We both said, " It wasn't me," with laughter in our voice at the same time.  Knowing there was no chance that a three month old can talk, but when he did it a few other times we labeled it as our needed miracle. 

We were not exactly the best influence on the 4th floor.  We scared a few doctors thinking Sammy was a crack baby.  But let me back up and explain.  At the hospital they have a thing called Sweeties.  It is in a little single coffee creamer container.  All it is is sugar water.  However, when we needed to calm Sammy down we would dip his binky in it.  With Sammy instantly calming down we began to call Sweeties - Baby Crack.   It helped to break up all the tension everyone felt.  That the term "baby crack" became widely used.  We would have to admit we did keep all the staff on their toes.  On a personal note - Gabe watch out for missing fingers, Lisa if you put in it will come out and most of all Kathleen make sure you don't sprain your finger. ( HA HA HA )

Things went pretty smoothly.  There was so much love in our room that the pain of reality never really made an appearance.  It is hard to explain.  We choose to except the facts and not to have harsh feelings.  A friend, I met at the hospital, once said that there was a totally different atmosphere in our room.  She explained it was because we had excepted and did not fight reality as some families do.  There was just such a peaceful feeling when you entered.

Waiting for the calm before the storm Sammy woke up around 10:30 pm on July 26th.  It was probably the happiest Sammy, my husband and I were since we came to the hospital.  Sammy not drugged or anything woke up chewing on his left hand while pulling his right ear with his right hand.  Sammy kept this up for almost an hour and a half then fell back asleep.  Yes with all things this baby was going through he started teething.

Looking back at that hour Shane and I truly believe that it was a gift from Sammy.  He allowed us to see him, one last time as a typical baby - not sick and medicated. 

Sammy's breathing began to be more noticeable.  You could see the difficulties he was having with the tumor growing and pushing up on the bottom of his lungs.

Going through all Sammy's pictures taken at the hospital we noticed that we did not get a picture with one of his doctors.  When she did make her daily appearance she was more than glad to take a picture.  Not knowing this was going to be Sammy's last picture alive.

It was July 27th in the morning and everyone came in to say their "Mornings." We had a late start and CJ had stayed the night before.  So he and Sammy had their moments and Cj went to play and harass the nurses.  We got a call saying that a visitor was here so I went downstairs to fetch her.  On our way back upstairs Shane's uncle met us.  His eyes were blood shot and watery.  Not waiting around to hear him speak I took off.  Running through a hospital felt a little forbidden, but at the time you don't think about it.  I plowed into the room and sat down on the edge of the bed.  I said to Sammy that Mommy is here and it is ok to let go.  We love you and always will.  Sammy then took his last breath and was pronounced at 10:27 am, July 27, 2006.

A few hours went by and Shane realized the date.  His father's birthday.  We came to a conclusion that Sammy's life revolved around birth and new beginnings.  Sammy was born on his great grandmother's birthday, April 2, passes away on his grandfather's birthday and is buried on 3 of our friends birthday (we didn't realize), August 1.  We truly believe that the foundation was the best way to remember Sammy and his purpose of gracing us with his presence.

ON A PERSONAL NOTE

Sammy I know you were here for a very short time, but your time was not wasted.  You accomplished a lot in your brief stay.  You were the youngest yet strongest man I will ever know.  You were a traveler, a supervisor, boyfriend and fighter.  Even though you lost your battle you touched so many lives.  You made an impression on several people that crossed your path.  Your father and I hope that this foundation will  honor you in ways that we can not describe. We love you and miss you so much!!! 

With such a supported team - doctors, nurses and other families I just don't know how we would have been able to deal with all of the intense emotions.  With family and friends by our side it made our support group even stronger.  Thanks to ALL of you that helped us through the roughest time of our lives