What a day of highs and lows! It ended on a high, so that’s what I’m thinking about right now.
Our day started early with a visit to our pediatric surgeon’s office. Dr. Abrams has a wonderful reputation in his field and everyone we meet sings his praises. Even MH approved of his fuzzy self when she stretched out her arms to give him a hug. He stopped talking, smiled at her and said, “Wow, I usually don’t get this reaction from my patients.” I’m hoping she charmed him so he gives her extra special care. We learned that MH is scheduled for surgery on July 7 (yes, Russell’s birthday) to remove her left kidney.
Our next stop was for another abdominal ultrasound. At first MH thought it was funny to get “jelly on her belly”, but the novelty wore off about ten minutes later. Since I was unable to nurse her this time, she was not exactly her normal chipper self. Oh, how she screamed, wailed, and thrashed around. It was not a fun time having to pin her down on that table and listen to her pleading cries. We got through it, though. We got through it.
Next we walked down to radiology for our CT scan. Russell’s cousin, Tracy, just happens to work in radiology and met us there almost immediately. Her presence was such a comfort to us all. I will never ever forget the feeling of warmth I had when she and three of her co-workers made a circle around me, Russell, and MH, held our hands, and prayed for our sweet baby girl. I cannot remember ever being moved so. For that few minutes, I felt like we had this invisible and impenetrable shield protecting our family from any harm that may come our way. I got chills and knew that I would not soon forget that feeling. (Love you, Tracy!) By this time, MH was sleeping peacefully in my arms. I hated to wake her up and make her drink the contrast dye required for her scan. I tasted it first, just to see what she was up against. As far as I could tell, it was actually battery acid. Oh, it was horrible. Who would every drink that concoction voluntarily? So, we had to get a syringe and force about 75 ml down her gullet. She was not pleased about this. In fact, the whole radiology ward can attest to how not pleased she was about this. She gurgled, spit, and choked up the nasty drink for about 20 minutes. Russell held her head while I forced syringe after syringe full of the goo into her mouth. I couldn’t look her in the eye because she pleaded with me so. Hard stuff. Then, to add insult to injury, it was time for the IV. Bless her heart. The nurses were good, but they had to stick her twice before they were successful. Again, I had to hold her and keep her from flailing right off the table. More hard stuff. After the IV was in, we had to wait for her to fall asleep before starting the CT scan. Our hope was that we would not have to sedate her for the test. But she had to fall asleep on her own before the dye ran its course. The clock was ticking. I have never heard a petite little baby scream as much as MH did at that time. She tried to get comfortable, but that bad old needle in her arm was not making her happy…at all. After a very long 20 minutes, she finally nodded off on her daddy’s shoulder. From there, we walked her to the CT scan where she thankfully slept through the whole thing! The test only took 10 minutes. When she woke up, she actually looked up at us and smiled her silly, toothy grin. The technician let her pick out a treasure from the treat box and now we have Patty the Platypus to remind us of her brave outing. Within a few minutes, MH was eating bagels and grapes and scooting around on her bottom to play with the giant beanbag chair. She was back in full force!
On the way home, Dr. Bryant (our oncologist) called with some wonderful news. The test showed that there is no cancer in MH’s chest and the malignancy is contained in her left kidney. “It was the best we could have hoped for,” she said. I could hear the brightness in her voice. She was almost as happy about it as we were. Russell and I high-fived each other. I finally exhaled. The weekend can now begin.
Now, this next part blew my mind. Dr. Bryant actually saw some of your posts on FB about MH! Turns out, she is friends with Katie Stephens Boland (and went to her wedding!) and read about MH through your amazing campaign for MH’s recovery. She also graduated from W&L in 1997. Talk about serendipity! That goes beyond coincidence. I think she was meant to take care of our baby girl.
A continued thank you to all of you who have loved us through calls, texts, e-mails and hugs. We appreciate every single one of you! Thanks to Barb and Katie for the use of their “extra” car. (And thanks to the others who also offered!) Thanks to Wil and Bill for picking up our van from the shop today. Thanks to DanDaddy for getting our flat tire repaired and playing in the parent / child soccer scrimmage at camp. (Charlie scored a goal!) Thanks to Mom for waiting with us at the hospital. Thanks to Gammer for taking care of the possums this afternoon. Thanks to Tracy for the prayer circle and face-to-face pep talk. Thanks to Tina for the moving FB campaign on MH’s behalf. We were overwhelmed. Truly. You are all angels to us!
We are looking forward to a quiet weekend of being normal. We will resume our fight next week. Keep those prayers coming. We love you all.