Baby Logan fights stage three cancer

BERLIN HEIGHTS Logan Trizna was an early Christmas gift to his family. By Valentine's Day the family was given the gif
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

BERLIN HEIGHTS

Logan Trizna was an early Christmas gift to his family.

By Valentine's Day the family was given the gift of knowing what was wrong with their sweet baby.

On the outside, the 4-month-old boy is like any other infant -- bright-eyed, full of coos and demonstrating the consistent need to be in his parents' arms. On the inside, a cancerous tumor the size of a grapefruit tells a different story.

"(He has) a cancer that affects his soft tissue and occurs in one in 20,000 children, and there are 350 cases each year," said his mother, Susan (Heide) Trizna. "His is the size of a grapefruit in his bladder, prostate area. Because of its size, it's a stage three cancer."

Susan said the fast-growing, cancerous tumor is fairly treatable through chemotherapy and radiation, with a 65 to 75 percent success rate if it's detected early enough.

"We had no warning signs," she said. "He was eating, sleeping and pooping regularly. You know, every baby has a little belly, we absolutely had no idea."

The Triznas said they were shocked the cancer, which usually targets children age 2 through 5, was found in their first born just nine weeks after his birth.

"We went for our two-month well baby check-up," Susan said. "We were trying to figure out who was going to hold him for the shots. (The nurses) came in and said something didn't feel right in Logan's abdomen. They ran a few tests, and the doctor came back and basically said, pack your bags, you're going to Akron."

Stunned, Susan and her husband, Ralph, took their son to Akron, where they stayed for two weeks and watched helplessly as Logan endured two surgeries.

"The nurses said we're lucky our primary care physician even found it," Ralph said.

Once Logan's tumor shrinks from the chemotherapy, the couple will take him to a specialist in Boston.

"They'll be using proton radiation to shrink it," Ralph said. "It's supposed to be more precise and easier to use on someone his size. One of our specialists said we should explore the option, and if it were his son, he'd do it. If a doctor says that to you, it's definitely something you look into."

His treatments are taxing the family's resources, but they know they have to do whatever it takes to make their son well.

"We'll be in Boston for a month and a half," Susan said. "He'll have radiation treatments five days a week. We've looked into apartments and haven't found any for less than $1,700 a month."

Between the weekly 150-mile round trip to Akron, medicines, co-pays on doctor visits and other costs associated with Logan's treatment, the Triznas said they're making do by focusing on what's most important.

"We're just so thankful his little body is keeping up with the chemo," Susan said. "You've got to treasure every moment you have with these little ones. The bills due tomorrow can wait."

Logan hasn't shown many side effects of treatment other than his parents said his cries are a little softer and his fine baby hair is thinning.

"He gets a little nauseous, a little tired a day or so after the chemo, but then he's back to himself again," Ralph said. "The nurses and doctors were surprised at how well he bounced back."

Susan said the tumor is shrinking, and with the radiation, the cancer should be eliminated. The 35 percent possibility the cancer could come back will always be a shadow over the family.

"Everyone asks how we do it," Susan said, tears pooling in her eyes. "I don't understand how you couldn't. It's not an option. You go on with everyday life."