Friday

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.

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31 thoughts on “Friday

  1. wow. I’m exhausted just reading about your day. I cringe at the thought of all those scary things one after another for MH and her mommy & daddy. Thank God for the happy ending with the contained tumor!!!! I hope your weekend is snuggly and quiet and full of happy things. Much love.

  2. Wow, what a rough day! I’m so glad it ended with good news! This is just what we’ve been praying and hoping for. The entire Greenville Attachment Parenting Playgroup is lifting up your family with prayers and positive thoughts as you journey through this valley. It’s great to hear that the valley isn’t ALL dark–there are bright moments of play and joy, prayerful moments, and fun moments filled with Patty the Platypus.

  3. There were 3 Bryant sisters! Robin? Adrienne? . . . !

    So neat how God gives us happy surprises right when we need them!!!

    Those tough, tough mommy moments must have been so very difficult! I am glad you could feel God’s loving presence at times, too! And GREAT to end your day with VERY GOOD news!!!

  4. You and Russell are doing great and I am praying for you all. I don’t know what color contrast they gave her but when I go to a different location for scans (called Carolina PET Clinical) they give me clear colored contrast to drink and it definitely tastes better. Hooray for the good news today! I think that makes all the difference in the world. Erin and I will be happy to come get Charlie and Poppy if you need them to play with us sometime. The hardest thing for me the last 3 years was learning to accept help and it was also the best thing that I learned to do! I’m glad you are surrounded by so many friends. “When I pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned.” Isaiah 43:2

  5. I know Nicole Bryant. Isn’t this a small world?! I was thinking about you guys and also praying. Praises that the malignancy is localized. I also wanted to tell you that I see a ton of patients who have been through surgery with Dr. Abahms and I have never heard one even so-so opinion of him. Everyone sings his praises. I will continue to pray and I would be glad to offer any other help you guys might need.

  6. Hi Erin, I saw the posts about your daughter that Lucy and Katie posted on Facebook and I just wanted to say that I’m thinking of you and your family in what must be an impossibly hard time. My son (also a Charlie) was a micro-preemie and was in the hospital for quite a while. During that time, I heard from people far and wide that they were praying for him. There was something so powerful and comforting about the thought of prayers being sent up for him from all over the country – so I wanted to say that I’ll be sending some up for your sweet girl from Alexandria, VA.

    Marie (Lamb) Griffin

  7. So thankful that you got great news after a long and hard day! God is so incredible and I am thankful that he is working in your life and in the life of MH – to coordinate all of these seemingly small details for his glory. Looking forward to the rest of the story.
    Praying continually,
    S

  8. Erin, your family is in my prayers. It sounds like you all have received the best news of a bad situation. What a relief that must be. Be well and hug all three of those kids.

    Best,

    Kait Barton Paden

  9. I’ve not met you before, but I can assure you that your family is in my prayers. I sit here tonight with tears dripping down my face astounded by your unbelievable strength. Guaranteed your sweet daughter feels it too.

    Katie Stephens Boland is my sister who’s kept me up-to-date with Mary Hazel’s prognosis. I am praying for you and wishing you all the best from Chicago. May God give you strength.

    xoxo

  10. Hello! I just found your blog through my sister-in-laws blog (not sure how she heard about you!), but wanted to let you know your family, especially your sweet little girl, are in our families prayers.
    My husband and I just lost his mother to cancer this past week. It was a rare form of cancer that spread quickly. I am SO happy to hear your daughters cancer is only in her kidneys. KNOW that we will be praying for you and the year ahead.
    I pray you can find comfort, knowing our God is in control!
    May God bless your family and Mary Hazel!

  11. I am Katie Boland’s mother in Cincinnati, Ohio. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Thank you, God, for some good news!

    • Mary Lu, thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers. We are humbled and overwhelmed by the response MH’s fight is getting.

  12. you are so strong, erin. I’m astounded on how u keep it together. u by far win the greatest mom in the world since I’ve known you. I am so proud if u. praying….

  13. As I stated in a previous post, as a friend of John Fleisher’s, I was asked to pray for you, and have been following your story this past week. As I had mentioned to you, I had a friend 6 years ago that had a 1 year old diagnosed with Wilms Tumor. I have no idea what your diet consists of, but they found per their research that artificial sweetners have been linked to the type of cancer that causes Wilms Tumor. (This is an article re: that link) http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/34040.php
    They chose to cut it out of their diet as a family, and as I said before, he survived the chemo treatments and all and made it through wonderfully. I have also known others who have used Juice Plus supplements for children who found this supplement to be very valuable when going through chemotherapy. It provides the body with all the nutrients of fresh fruits and vegetables which is very important when the child is going through chemotherapy and you don’t want to have to worry about what they are eating or not eating.
    I can tell through your writing you are a very wonderful mother! My prayers are continuing!
    -Kathleen Fairchild

  14. Erin,
    My heart aches for the path that you have been set upon. My oldest kiddo had some medical issues when he was little, and becoming a medical advocate for your kiddo is an interesting transition. Learning how to restrain him, give him nasty medicine, look into eyes that don’t understand is an almost unmasterable skill. More than anything as a parent, it’s exhausting. The strength and endurance of children awes me and is a blessing. As you scramble taking care of everyone else, because you’re a mom and that’s what you do, try to be gentle and kind with yourself. If your treatment path brings you to Houston, I live 10 mins from Texas Children’s and MD Anderson. I can give you a guest bedroom and a car to use. Many prayers and good thoughts, Catherine (Verlander) Evans

  15. Many many happy thoughts that the tumor is only in her left kidney!!! Of all the “good” news in all of this, that’s very reassuring! I’m so sorry you’ve and MH had to go thru all that horrible testing! 😦 I’ll be praying for much strength for your family, praying for the dr’s hands in this upcoming surgery, and most of all, praying for a full recovery for little MH!

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