The Day Our World Changed
I’ll start by backing up. We had a great summer. We played, swam, hit Kemah, did all the things you do with lots of kids. However, throughout the summer, we had boughts of low grade fevers off and on with Jake. He complained of his legs hurting from time to time and as the summer progressed, the leg pain became more consitent. He complained of both legs but it was really the left leg more than the other. He’d state it, seem a little uncomfortable, then bounce around like a normal four year old, swimming, playing with Gunner, riding his bike, rough-housing with his brothers. He also complained of tummy aches but they’d disappear a few hours after he mentioned them. His appatite started to change but nothing unusual. Four year old boys begin to get a little more picky and naturally, they like to voice some kind of control over what they can and can not do… typically that means food choices. Henry noticed that when he ran a temp, his tummy and back would feel really hot but his head would register about 100 – nothing worrisome but kind of strange. We have a LOT of kids, we have a LOT of little bugs come through the house, and just about the time we would be ready to take him into the pedi, he was all better. Then the second week of September, he had bad tummy aches, higher fever, some type of bug… we thought. BUT the next weekend his tummy dissented, he was miserable, and we couldn’t knock out the fever. He really complained of the leg pain and pelvic pain. He cried and cried and we thought he was constipated. He was clearly in pain and he wasn’t himself. Our “all boy”, boy, was not right. Then the tummy went down, the fever subsided (sort of) and that was it. Back to normal – sort of. He still didn’t look right and he still complained of his legs and belly but he would play and wanted to go to school. We seemed to be on the mend but we could tell that he just wasn’t right. We headed into the pedi.
As we sat there talking to Dr. Wong, she listened, really listened. She wanted to do blood work. We agreed. We also wanted to x-ray his leg. She sent us down for blood work – they came back
I remember falling backward off of a swing when I was a little girl and having the wind knocked out of me… that’s what it felt like. Jake in my lap, I had to tell myself to take a breath. Tumor. Texas Children’s. Oncology. Possibly Osteosarcoma. Cancer. Those were all words I remember her saying, I can’t even remember how or in what context… but our world was changed that day. That was Thursday and we were scheduled to be at Tx Children’s on Monday – that fast!