After Chloe Cress was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in 2018 and she stayed in the hospital for 18 months, she can finally go home for Christmas because she’s in remission!
In June 2018, it turned out to be something more serious for the teen. At the time, Chloe’s father, Shawn Cress, thought that his then 12-year-old daughter only required physical therapy.
But a fever followed, which prompted lab tests that “didn’t look good,” doctors said. By then, Chloe was suffering from back pain.
The Cress family, based in Kingsport, Tennessee, turned into a referral to Niswonger Children’s Hospital in Johnson City, about 34 miles away. There, Chloe underwent a CT scan, and doctors found a giant tumor near her heart that had spread down to her esophagus and into some of her vertebrae, causing the back pain.
Chloe was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer – alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, which is cancer in the skeletal muscles, according to the American Cancer Society. Less than 12 hours after they received the devastating news, Chloe was flown to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, and the family has been there ever since.
On Tuesday, doctors told the family the good news—the cancer was in remission. Aside from returning for follow-up appointments every three months, this means that the family can finally head home on Dec. 21 just in time for Christmas!
Last Christmas, the family was able to go home for a few days, but they had to drive back to St. Jude on Christmas Day for appointments on Dec. 26, 2018.
“This one is more exciting because it’s for good,” Shawn said.
But after 18 months, going home to Tennessee almost feels “surreal.” There were days when it was hard to imagine that this day would come, but here they are now—perfectly confident in the knowledge that Chloe has beat stage 4 cancer!
Chloe feels happy and relieved about finally going home. She won’t be able to return to school right away, and will probably be bedridden for the rest of the school year. But that doesn’t matter—what’s more important is that she’ll get to spend quality time with her family and her dogs at home.
Congratulations on beating cancer, Chloe!