My baby has what? A tumor where? How can this be?
| You know that feeling you get when you know that something really bad is going to happen. Imagine a life in which you never have any other feeling. Imagine waking up petrified and never having a break. Imagine the buzz of a constant adrenaline rush. Imagine being told your baby has cancer. NOW you've got it. I'm sure of it.
I can still remember the moment that I knew. Yes, you read it right, I said the moment that I knew not the moment I found out. That was the worst moment. I knew when he looked up at me and said, "The Tylenol's not working anymore, Mommy!" I knew when we were in week two of antibiotics and steroids and the swelling just kept getting worse. I knew when my (dead) mother was waiting for me in the control room of the CT Scanner to give me a hug. And then ... They told me...my sweet eleven year old boy had Cancer.
Of course, even though we live less than ten minutes from a regional cancer center, my son had to travel seventy miles for treatment. They don't do Pediatric Cancer. Neither did I until my son was diagnosed.
I can usually make it from my front door to University Hospital in significantly less than one hour. Not this time it took forever and was over before I knew it. What a paradox I had become engulfed by.
The doctor was reminiscent of all the leather patched courduroy blazer wearing professors you ever had in college. And he swept us up into his world. The newest model of the Enterprise could not touch the speeds at which we were processed and slammed into the system. We got into the hospital at 3:11 PM and by 7:00 PM my baby had been poked, proded, and lit up nine ways from Sunday.
We were now part of a treatment team.... being evaluated for a protocol and handled by a primary nursing model of family centered care. (Good thing I am a registered nurse myself or I would have been totally lost instead of just shot into outerspace).
The next morning we scanned him after we filled him full of radioactive isotopes. From the scanner he went almost immediately to the operating room where he was multi-tasked to the max. "As long as we have 'im under we'll try to coordinate all of the disciplines to get all the procedures done at one time." quipped the absent minded professor. So off he went for a bi-lateral bone marrow biopsy, biopsy and excision of the lymph nodes, lumbar puncture and insertion of the Hickman catheter.
I sat in the waiting room feeling as though I had been transported to another dimension all around me people were waiting for their children. Only their children were having tonsilechtomies, and ear tube placements. I just sat and prayed that no one would ask me what my child was having done. That was one contest I would have been all to glad not to have won.
The whole thing was surreal. It was as though I was watching myself go through this whole process. I found myself trying over and over to wake up from this awful dream.
My kid has cancer and I am in a bad mood. Imagine that.