This is something I wrote in 2006 about this day, eight years ago. I just wanted to share here. Be prepared, it's long!!! (many more entries to follow in the coming weeks)
January 27th, 2005
We were pretty nervous about the MRI and didn't really explain to Cole what would happen. We got to the hospital bright and early on Thursday morning and waited for our turn. the radiologist came to speak with us and explain the MRI and the possibilities of IV and complications that could occur. The radiologist told us about contrast and that they use this occasionally to get a more detailed scan. He said it was rare that this was even needed. This was one less thing for us to worry about. We hated the thought of an IV in his little hand. Right after Cole received his sleepy medicine, Maw Maw, Paw Paw and Grandma showed up to be there with us. We had a hard time getting Cole to settle down and fall asleep for the MRI, even with the sedation medicine. When this finally happened, we went into the MRI room and watched him get placed on the table and hooked up to monitors. We were able to stay in the room with him during the enter MRI. It was so loud they gave us ear plugs. I'm not sure how he could sleep through it, even with the sleepy medicine.
Just when we thought they should be finished, the technician came in. We asked if there was a problem and he said "Oh, we're just running contrast." We instantly knew. Neither of us mentioned what this meant, but we knew. I will never forget the look on the technician's face. He knew, too.
Around 10:00 am the MRI was finally finished and we headed home. Cole was begging to stop at the book store, his favorite place. He was still so out of it, we really wanted to go home and wait for him to wake up a bit more.
We were turning into our neighborhood when Jason's cell phone rang. He had an urgent message at work from our pediatrician. He returned his call right away. The doctor didn't ask where we were or the normal "are you sitting down?" that you would expect. He just said we suspect your son has a brain tumor. I think Jason almost took out three different mailboxes. What a call to receive while driving down the road.
The doctor told us we had an appointment with a brain surgeon at 2:00 pm that very afternoon. We had several hours to wait and just didn't know what to do with ourselves. A large amount of emotions were pouring through us. We made a few phone calls to family and tried to keep Cole entertained and shield him from our tears at the same time. Meanwhile, Cole is begging for the book store and the "Thomas the Tank" table. We finally headed to the bookstore and were met by the familiar sites we always loved: books, lots of books and that wonderful train table.
Jason's mom, dad and grandma were still with us and now his brother was on the way, too. As soon as he got the call from his mom, he left work and he and his wife checked their son out of school. Time seemed to be of the essence. They met us at the bookstore and tried to comfort us while we were at a loss for words. Jason played with Cole while the parents drank coffee and looked from one to another. Being the mom I am, I was looking for brain tumor books. As a whole, we get used to looking up anything on the internet and find answers. I actually asking the bookstore girl if they had any books on brain tumors. Little did I know what a broad topic I would be dealing with. They didn't have anything at all.
At two o'clock in the afternoon, on a beautiful sunny day, we entered the doctor's office. We being me, Jason, Cole, Grandma Jean, Maw Maw, Paw Paw, Uncle D, Jamie and Michael. We asked for the biggest room they had. We were our of luck. The only place we could all fit was the waiting room. The doctor was stuck at the hospital in surgery so we weren't sure how long our wait would be. After waiting in an exam room for hours to see him, we were really nervous and anxious. The rest of the family was still sitting in the waiting room, just as anxious and nervous as we were.
Once the doctor finally arrived, he gave us the results. It was a brain tumor. They suspected medulloblastoma, which is a brain tumor located in the back of the brain. This certainly explained all the symptoms. The tumor was putting pressure on the part of the brain that causes the vomiting reflex, and also stopped the flow of the cerebral fluid, therefore, giving him headaches. The crossing was a direct result of the location of the tumor, as well.
Within fifteen minutes of shaking the very hand that would save my sons life, I was at ease. Later, I realized I was also very naive. In my memories of that day, cancer was never mentioned, although Jason swears it was. Long term side effects were not spoken of. Just strictly here's the problem, here's the solution. The doctor told us that they could do a small procedure to relieve the pressure from the fluid build up and then do surgery. We asked when and he said tomorrow. I didn't think anything would happen this quickly. It all seemed so cut and dry.
We asked the doctor how many times he had done this surgery and what would happen. He said he has performed brain surgery 100's of times. He had moved to Mobile just the month before. Had we been diagnosed any earlier, he wouldn't have been available. We would have had to leave the comfort and security of our home and travel without out family to some strange place to have Cole taken care of. As must as we would have loved to not have Cole sick for those six previous months, we realized how lucky we were that the tumor was found when it was. This was out second encounter with luck now. The doctor informed us that he would follow Cole forever to ensure this would never return again. He also said he would pray for Cole. That said more to me than anything else.
We all headed to McDonald's afterwards, for a happy meal for Cole and then went home. We made phone calls and explained what would happen to everyone we knew. What a mouthful of information to understand. We were sad and we were tired. Our family stayed with us for a while, playing with Cole and running to go get dinner no one could eat. I returned to my cozy bedroom to lie down. There's just something about feeling bad, emotionally or physically, that a soft cozy bed can fix. I had been feeling so sick to my stomach since finding out. Jason found me huddled under the electric blanket and joined me. We tried to talk about it, but were at a loss. We had looked up this type of tumor on the internet, but found no website that said your child will be fine, don't worry. It was a very long restless night. In the meantime, Cole had been playing and enjoying being with his family, having no clue what would lie ahead for him.
WOW, just typing it out makes me remember each moment, movement and thought from that day.
I thank God that Cole is here and doing well!! He's our little miracle!
If you made it to the end, thanks for reading!!