Wednesday, December 23, 2009 - MRI at Covenant hospital.
This morning Ed, my mom and I took Oliver to get his MRI. He was still nervous to get it, he cried in Dr. Suh's office because he was scared when he heard the first talk of it. He also didn't want to have his blood drawn. Earlier we had shown him a video of how the machine would look and sound in order to try and calm his fears, but he was still scared. He wanted Ed to go into the room with him and he held his hand the whole time. He had to get an IV for contrast and got his blood drawn as well, in order to rule out a blood disorder. Before he went in for his MRI, the MRI technician asked him what kind of music he liked as he could wear some headphones during the MRI. He thought for a minute and said, "Our house in the middle of our street." Which is a song from the 80's! He's such a funny kid! Anyways... my mom and I sat in a waiting room around the corner for about 30 - 45 minutes. We heard him say ouch once, but didn't hear him cry at all. He was a trooper! They came back in when it was finished and we decided to head to Village Inn for breakfast.
We were almost finished with breakfast so my mom had taken Oliver to the restroom, when Ed's cell phone rang. It was the double vision specialist from Marshalltown, Dr. Suh, with the news that would devastate any parent. I could only hear Ed's side of the conversation, but read the little scribblings on a piece of paper that he wrote throughout the conversation such as "Inoperable brain tumor", "Pontine Glioma", "Center of his brain". I was in shock. I'm still in shock over two weeks later. I just started to cry. Ed was still on the phone when my mom and Oliver came back to the table. I just mouthed the words 'brain tumor' to her and she couldn't believe it. We couldn't talk about it with Ollie right there, but we finished quickly and went to the car. I cried quietly as we dropped off my mom and Oliver. She told us that he could stay with her and play for the rest of the day. Ed's parents had the rest of the kids and so Ed and I just drove home.
Ed searched 'Pontine Glioma' as soon as we got home and the first thing he found was a blog about an 18 month old where the prognosis was very grim. We realized then and there how serious his diagnosis was and just both collapsed in tears on the bed.
I can't put into words what that feeling felt like. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around it. I've never cried so hard in my life. You never think that this will happen to you. I thought of all of the stories that I've heard of people losing their children and I remember thinking, "I could never be strong enough to deal with that." I can't believe that this is happening, but I know I don't have a choice. I HAVE to be strong enough because there is no other option. I HAVE to be strong enough to deal with this and pray and do all I can to help him through this, whatever the outcome may be. I HAVE to be strong enough to accept the Father's will. Everything happens in the Lord's time. I am so grateful to have a knowledge of the gospel and faith that all will be made perfect someday and although I don't understand everything now, I will someday and until then I can feel the peace and love that He offers to His children.
After a little while Ollie's pediatrician called and talked to Ed and he told Ed that he talked with either Dr. Suh or the pediatric radiologist who had read the MRI. I'm not sure if he talked to the pediatric neurologist as well or not. During the conversation we were told to meet with a Dr. Menezes, the pediatric neurologist down in Iowa City at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinic (UIHC). Ed asked about the time frame which he had seen online and our doctor told us that sounded correct. We were devastated. I couldn't look at a picture of Oliver without just bawling. I couldn't get it together... I just couldn't stop crying. I can't even explain how it felt. You can't imagine until it actually happens to you.
The kids all came home and I had the worst crying headache that I'd ever had in my life and went to bed at like 7:30 pm. The rest of the day is just a blur in my memory. I can't even remember what we had said to the kids or when we actually told him that he was sick. I think we told him that he was sick the following day. We didn't know how to tell him that he actually had cancer. It's such a scary word for kids to hear and understand.
***It's been two weeks now and my head still feels like it's spinning so I'm working with my fuzzy memory at the moment trying to update people on what's been going on these last few weeks. I'm currently writing from the hotel room down in Iowa City (January 6th, 2010).