Lit Like A Christmas Tree

Written by Mardon Hickford. Posted in Mom's Blog

We left the hospital late last night… there were mixed opinions from a couple of docs on whether he should be released but when one of them came in and said, “if you’re ready, I’m ready to sign your release papers”, we both looked at each other and said “RUN!” He just laughed at us. Jake is still really weak but he’s eating (a little) and he needs to be home where he’s comfortable and not so edgy. We had to be back in Clinic this morning to check blood counts and they were doing his MIBG (like a PET scan). In all of the rush to begin treatments there are still a couple of tests that need doing. This one was in the Nuclear Medicine area – the basement. Kinda reminds me of the old cartoons we grew up on, with Wylie Cyote and others, and TNT explosions… all in the basement. The contrast die lights up the body like a Christmas tree to show all of the areas that are cancer ridden. We knew we’d see some areas we weren’t aware of because of the nature of this disease. The arms were of particular interest, as he has complained off and on with them lately. Henry wasn’t able to be at this meeting so Meghan came. Thank God and thank you, my beautiful Meghan! Seeing your baby put under by profofol, the “MJ DRUG” (as they jokingly refer to it), is scary. They inject and he’s out, as in one second OUT! It’s emotional and I’m so thankful she was there to hold my hand and catch my tears. The test took about 1 1/2 hours and when he came out of recovery we was ready to eat… Chick Fil A waffle fries and chocolate ice cream from the hospital cafeteria! And we DID! By then it was time to head on up and check out the scans. As they pulled them up, they again went into prefacing mode. I’m learing certain mannerisms already and I could tell they felt they hadn’t prepared us well for this or maybe it was themselves that were unprepared. The screen was LIT! The cancer is everywhere. All of his bones. His skull, eye socket, jaw bones, arms, legs, spine…. everywhere. I know she could see my shock as I zeroed in on the skull bones. She was quick to tell me it isn’t the soft tissue, not the brain, just the skull. I’m sure that’s supposed to be reassuring but at that moment, it

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was all overwhelming. We spent a lot of time talking about what it all means and they are still so encouraging that the chemotherapy will take care of these areas. I’m glad, I need their optimism because today was another one of those “unexpecteds” that keep knocking us to the floor. His counts did show low so they are on the decline. They drilled us with the fact that fever means ER. NO chance. NO waiting. Just go! …Got it! Dr. Foster will be out of town this week so she wanted to be sure we understood that this is the week his counts bottom. He is on lockdown. The GOOD NEWS… we went home! We slept in our own beds and we spent time with his brothers and sisters and Gunner! God is good, we get some time at home!

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