Written by Mardon Hickford. Posted in Mom's Blog

Yesterday we went in for our CT scan.  All went pretty well.  They told us we would have to sedate Jake, we didn’t.  He did great. He did need an IV and that wasn’t a nice experience but we were in and out in a couple of hours.  The nurse that was overseeing us was nice enough but not overly warm and fuzzy, but as we left the CT scan, her demeanor changed.  She brought Jake two very nice toys for being so brave and then she hugged me, told me to be strong, and she would be praying for us.  Henry and I just looked at each other, both of us thinking that was odd.  Today we found out why.   Our meetings have usually consisted of words like tumor and mass and anomalies. The word cancer hasn’t been used that often.  This gave me hope, even though the definition of all of those always circle back to the word cancer. They had prepped us that they felt “the place of  origin would be found elsewhere, probably in the abdomen”.  All I’ve been praying for is that it’s not there.  We can deal with bone cancer but it’s hard to wrap your mind around the idea that your child could have cancer in the abdomen – the abdomen is so vague and vast. I’ve been praying and praying and praying all day, all night, every waking moment… “God please take this, don’t let it be in his abdomen”.  Our doctors entered the room together, they sat down and began.  “It is cancer.  It has all of the characteristics of Neuroblastoma and just as we suspected the origin is in Jake’s abdomen.  The mass is about the size of a grapefruit and there are spots in the liver.  The next step is to biopsy and we can do that tomorrow.”  The LIVER!?? I couldn’t breath.  Henry’s eyes welled up, his voice was unsteady.  He asked a couple of questions. They said the abdomen, they never mentioned the liver.  How could they know that though, right?  They continued, “We’d like to start treatments as soon as possible… Jake will need a chest port.  We can do that at the same time as the biopsy.  And while he’s under we need to get bone marrow and see if it’s in the marrow.”  WHAM!!!  We were stunned… how much more?  When will we know everything?  What is the biopsy good for? So many questions and they answered them all .  We found that the biopsy stages his cancer and it gives them the cells to officially diagnosis him as Neuroblastoma as well as other exploratory measures to help them plan Jake’s treatment. We would head into surgery tomorrow and they would have all of the pathology results back next Thursday.  How does this happen?  Last week we were living with a “healthy” four year old boy.  A week later, our world was spinning out of control.

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