Monday, January 7, 2008

The Worst 10 Hours of My Life

1:30 a.m.: We arrive at Primary Children's Medical Center. Since we're expected, we're spared the normal questions such as, "What seems to be the problem?" Fortunately, the rooms in this ER are private, so we don't have to listen to any wailing (at Timpanogos, the woman behind the next curtain was quite the whiner). Jacob's biggest problem at this point is sheer exhaustion. He manages to snatch some sleep as various doctors and nurses come in and out. I've brought the cat scan they did at Timp on a CD, which I hand over. About 4:00 in the morning I first hear the word "mass". As in, "I'm quite sure this isn't an infection, but some sort of mass that needs a biopsy." Feel free to imagine my thoughts. Describing them is beyond my ability.

5:00 a.m.: We're admitted to the surgical unit on the 3rd floor. We don't know what time the biopsy will be, probably late in the afternoon since we're not on anyone's schedule. Jacob falls asleep and I call Chris. I would say that was a difficult call, if it weren't for the much more difficult one to follow. I finally fall asleep about 6:15.

7:00-10:30: The day begins early, with more doctors and a brief meeting with the surgeon who will do the biopsy. He shows us the mass on the cat scan. No wonder Jake's having a hard time breathing out his left nostril--he can't. The mass is completely blocking his left sinus. Jacob manages to sleep through a lot of this, while I pace the corridors and call a couple friends. During this time, the doctors are trying to find the tissue sample that was sent up by UVRMC from the dentist. If it's big enough, they may not have to do a biopsy.

10:30: I'm on the phone with a friend when I see the surgical resident walk past. He recognizes me and waits. So I hurriedly get off the phone. I know it can't be wonderful when he takes me to a more private spot in the halls. Then he breaks the news: they found the tissue sample from the dentist, the pathologist has just finished his work, and it is cancer. He gives me a long name, the only part of which I remember is sarcoma at the end. He obviously feels terrible giving me this news. I'm trying not to dissolve in front of him. When he's finished, I call Chris. It's hard to talk, for both of us. After the call, I cry in the bathroom for a few minutes before pulling myself together. I have to tell Jake, even before Chris arrives, because the doctors will be in and they're going to move us to a different ward and I don't want him worrying about the unknown.

11:30: We're admitted to the ICS--Immuno-compromised Service. It's a closed ward on the 4th floor that houses oncology and transplant patients. We're going to get to know this place very well, but for now, I'm just a shellshocked mother who is wearing the same clothes as the day before, has had 45 minutes of sleep in two days, and has only her purse and a book with her.

All I can do is pray that it won't get worse.

2 comments:

Katie said...

I love the picture! Jacob is an amazing boy. He's goofy and deep, confident and introspective, focused and random. In other words,completely like you and Chris with little Matt thrown in for cool factor!

Matt and Brooklyn said...

Hey Laura! Brooklyn and Cairo and I are rooting for all of you, especially Jacob. Even though we've met him maybe only once, it's very important to us that he get better. He (and all you As) are in our prayers. Keep blogging, keep praying, and let us know whatever we can do to help beyond simply praying.

M, B & C