A New Life

The Good Life - pg. 3    1    2    3    4    5    Next   

Mom took me to an ear nose and throat specialist on Monday. During the exam the doctor said that something was not right and that he would like me to have a CAT scan. It was really scary for mom to hear because it sounded so serious. The scan revealed that I had a golf ball size tumor at the base of my skull. The doctor made some phone calls and arrangements for us to be seen by a specialist in Salt Lake City the next day. He told mom that it could be cancer and that he would do whatever he could.

Dad had just started a job with the Painter's Union and mom was working at a Travel Agency. She made arrangements at work to be gone for the week and dad said he would take care of Mitch. The next morning we were off on the first of many trips to Salt Lake City.

The hospital was so big it took us awhile to find the doctor's office. Once we did the doctor saw me immediately. He reviewed the CAT scan and made an exam of his own. He told mom that I needed surgery to get a biopsy of the tumor and that while in surgery they would be able to tell whether it was cancerous or not. Because of the location of the tumor it was inoperable. The surgery was scheduled for the next day.

We left the hospital and were going to stay the night at my uncle Robert's home, but mom was so overwhelmed by all that had happened that day that she could not focus enough to drive safely. She almost hit a pedestrian with the car and decided to stay at the nearest hotel for the night. From the hotel she called dad and other family members and told them the news.

The next day was a very long day full of trials and discoveries. When the doctor gave me a sedative for surgery it had the opposite effect. I was so wound up that they set me in a room and the staff stood around me while I rolled around laughing so I wouldn't bump into a wall. It felt like I was being tickled so I called it the tickle medicine. Once it wore off they found another way to sedate me and the surgery began. Mid-way through the doctor came to the waiting room and told mom the bad news; I had cancer. They would need to give me a central line so they could administer chemotherapy and take blood without having to stick me every time.

While in surgery mom met a lady in the waiting room who saw that she was very anxious. She sat with mom and asked about me. She told mom that her daughter also had a central line and that when she first heard the same news she was terrified, but now she was grateful for the tubes and that her daughter didn't have to endure more pain. She had her daughter show mom her tubes and as mom looked in shock the little girl told her it was okay, they didn't hurt.

I was admitted to the Primary Children's Hospital and mom waited for me wake up. My face was swollen from the surgery, there were now tubes coming out of my chest and I also had a few stitches in my back from the bone marrow test. She always tried not to cry in front of me, she didn't want to scare me. The doctor arrived to discuss the treatment plan and it all sounded so foreign to her. She was still in shock that this was even happening.

The treatment plan called for six weeks of radiation and a year of chemotherapy, both to start immediately. Once the radiation was complete I would receive chemo for a week then go home for two and repeat. The first week at home I had no immune system and could not have visitors. Once my levels were up I would have a week and then go back to the hospital.

The doctor told mom that the type of cancer I had was rare and called Rhabdomyosarcoma, a muscle tumor at the base of my skull. He told her that it had a 98% cure rate and that the protocol I would be following would be monitored by doctors around the country. That sounded encouraging and so the treatment began.

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Philippians 4:6-8  NIV

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things."

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