Friday, March 1, 2013

No Worries Here

Crossposted to Ima on and off the Bima

Tuesday, 2:23pm: Snow is falling thickly outside. Afterschool activities have already been cancelled. I'm in my comfy clothes, working on the computer while Solly naps. When the phone rings, and I see that it's the school, I assume it has to do with the snow.

School nurse: Hi, I have Sam here and he says his knee hurts. And he is worried because it's just like before.

If I tell you that I nearly dropped the phone...if I tell you that I burst into tears...if I tell you those things, I know you would forgive me for losing my cool.

I asked to talk to Sam. In a very calm, small, quiet voice, he said, "Mom, it feels just like when I was first diagnosed."

I swallowed hard.
My seven-year-old knows the word "diagnosed" and uses it properly in a sentence.
We discussed whether he should stay at school or not. With the snowstorm, and only about 45 minutes left in school, he decided to miss gym but rejoin his class for music.

And I called the clinic.
In tears.

They were, as usual, amazing.
As a fellow pediatric-illness-parent-friend said to me, they know every nook and cranny of the cliffs that we are ready to jump off. This one was a pick-up-my-kid-in-a-near-blizzard-and-drive-all-the-way-to-Milwaukee-for-an-MRI kind of cliff.

But they talked me down. He had gymnastics on Monday. Maybe he wrenched it? His joints and bones could be affected by the chemo and this could just be residual effects. It could just be normal-kid-aches-and-pains.

Sam had a clinic appointment scheduled for today, Friday. A regular check-up. The ones that I'm not supposed to worry about. The ones that they told me were just for routine.
That we would notice symptoms if anything was happening.

Tuesday night, he limped around. He took a bath. He snuggled while we read Ramona Forever.
As he went to bed...he said, "I hope it's not leukemia."

I said, "me too."

By Thursday, he was fine. No pain. Except the one inside my stomach, waiting to have a medical professional PROVE to me that he was fine.

I was up all night last night waiting for today's drive to Milwaukee. What would the results say?

It's all fine. He's fine.
Numbers normal.
No worries.

Well, not at least until next time there's a false alarm, right?
Chocolate pudding & a movie at 10am? You know we're in Cancerland for the day.


  1. I'm so pleased to hear that the test results are all negative (I mean that in the most positive way possible). I can only imagine the anxiety you've felt this past week. Did my long run (18 miles) with Sam on my mind today. Blessings to you and your family.

  2. Thank goodness. I can't imagine how nerve-wracking it must be to be off treatment, on high alert. As much as I despise being in the thick of chemo with my daughter, I don't think I'll feel a whole lot of relief when we're all done.

  3. Phyllis, no doubt this will go on a long time. all sorts of normal things will put fear in all of you. but G-d willing only false alarms.

  4. Sam's an amazing kid, and I know this from just three posts. I'm sorry it wasn't a false alarm, but I'm glad that at seven, he's able to articulate accurately - and without too much drama - what's wrong, so that he can get the treatment he needs, as quickly as humanly possible. I will keep him in my thoughts and prayers (and his parents and family, too, of course).