Sometimes, the worst experience in the world can show someone exactly how strong and determined a human being can truly be. For Buffy Krajewski of Hamburg, she got to learn this fact by watching the actions of her courageous son, Tristan.One of the most exciting experiences a new mother can go through is getting a sonogram. It allows the proud mom to see the first images of her new son or daughter, and to be assured their child will be healthy.

For Krajewski, the day she saw the sonogram of Tristan was the complete opposite experience. As doctors looked over the images of her still-developing son, they noticed an unusual mass around his abdomen.

"It was so large, the doctors couldn't tell where it was coming from," said Krajewski.

What the doctors did know was that the large mass was causing significant problems for Tristan. It was in contact with all of his internal organs, pushing his tiny heart towards the wrong side of his chest. On top of everything else, the sonogram revealed Tristan had several spots on his lungs, but doctors were unsure of what they exactly were since it was so early in the pregnancy.

Once Tristan was born, he was admitted into his first surgery to remove the yet-unidentified mass. Soon after, Tristan began developing tumors throughout his lung, and was diagnosed with adrenocortical carcinoma, a rare form of cancer.

"When they found out he had a tumor, I felt nothing. I totally shut down," explained Krajewski. "And it was partially out of disbelief and partially that I didn't want to hear that my baby had something wrong with him."

And the news didn't get any better for the young mother. Doctors gave Krajewski and her husband Bryan the diagnosis that all parents dread - their

son would most likely not survive his battle with cancer. All Krajewski could think was that she was somehow responsible for the experience her son would now face.

"I spent my time beating myself up thinking that I must have done something wrong during my pregnancy," she said. "I felt like I had failed my son before he was even born because my body didn't protect him from whatever he had."

Soon though, Krajewski decided it was a waste of her precious time with Tristan to try and place blame. Right then, she decided she wouldn't waste any more time with her son and do everything in her power to help him pull through.

Since the day he was born, Tristan was in and out of the hospital constantly. But through everything, Krajewski and her husband were there with him every step of the way. Finally, after over a year of intense chemotherapy treatments, Tristan's cancer started to fade away.

Now 10 years old, her son is healthy and lively, and Krajewski finally had the time to reflect upon the experiences her family had recently gone through. For the first time in her life, she had the time to put down her feelings into writing. Once she started writing though, she had a hard time stopping.

When all was said and done, she had written what would become a full-length book. Entitled An Angel's Kiss: Embracing the Spirit of a Child

Born with Cancer, the book chronicled all the events and feelings Krajewski had struggled through.

Although she never intended to write a book, she now finds herself inspiring mothers who are going through the same traumas.

"When Tristan was born, I engrossed myself with anything and everything I could find on his cancer," Krajewski said. "I never found a book that said what I needed to hear."

Now thanks to her courage, other mothers have a commentary. Since the book has been published, the response has been overwhelming, she said. As long as she imparts one thing to people looking for answers, she is happy.

But for now, Krajewski and her husband are more than content to spend their days with Tristan and his younger brother, Noah.

"We now know that no one is invincible," she said. "We now know what is important and what isn't."

Contact Tony Kozuch at tkozuch@berksmontnews.com.

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