That was the sound, not unlike a record player needle scratching across an LP, of one life screeching to a halt, in order to violently change directions.
Last week, I took the baby in to the doctor. She'd been vomiting some yellow stuff, and one side of her abdomen was swollen and hard. I hoped it was gas/indigestion, worried that it might be a blockage of some kind.
The pedi immediately sent us to get an xray. 15 minutes later, in the car on the way home, she caught me on my cell. Instructed me to instantly turn around. And head for the ER at the children's hospital.
Well, it's a week later. After an ultrasound, echocardiograms, xrays, CT scans and slicing her open to do a biopsy, we know that Little Warrior has bilateral Wilm's tumors in both of her kidneys.
Amazing how fast your perspective changes. You become grateful for such crumbs: we're grateful that it's Wilm's; they have a good rate for cure. We're grateful that they both have "favorable" histologies. We're grateful that the lymph nodes biopsied were clear.
We're profoundly grateful for our friends and family who are enabling us to just concentrate on LW right now, while they take care of the older 3.
And we're learning that just because something is a cliche, just because you know about it, doesn't mean it won't happen to you. 5 levels of grief? Yup. Have been experiencing them all. Incredulity -- a baby with cancer??? That's the most ridiculous thing I ever heard of. Rage at the situation, at the tumors themselves. Especially once I learned that the reason she's never been as roly poly as my others were was because the tumors were gobbling up her nutrition. MY wonderful, homemade breastmilk was being consumed by these tumors? That's like a criminal breaking into your home, stealing your goods, beating up your sister, then eating the birthday cake you made for her birthday. WTF???
Right now, she's recovering from the surgery. Surgery that hasn't actually done anything in the cure, it only provided us with information. Next step is chemo -- hoping to start it either day after tomorrow or the day after that.
Do I sound calm? I guess I am, at the moment. First you cry. And in my case, then you cry more. Then more. Then more. Then more. And then, it's time for the journey to begin.
Journey to ministerial life. It just became much simpler.
Journey to life.