Sarah came downstairs and said “mom, my tummy really hurts and I can feel something when I push on my abdomen”. I touched her tummy and I could feel something too and when I touched her tummy she was in ALOT of pain! We’d been through this for months starting back in July. Sarah has not been healthy in months and her doctor has continually pushed us off with things like growing pains, pms, not eating enough protein, and etc. Basically, her doctor has done nothing since Sarah started getting ill in July!
I took Sarah to the ER in Stevens Point and this is where our nightmare began. Oh God, I can’t believe how close I was to loosing my precious baby girl when I stepped inside that ER.
The usual stuff happened when we arrived, height weight, blood pressure temperature, putting her in a gown – but then, something strange happened. They put an IV into her. At that moment, I was mildly concerned. The doctors came in and took some notes, ordered some blood draws and tried to find this “something” in her tummy – they couldn’t feel it. We were told the blood tests would come back in about 30 minutes. Over an hour and half passed before the doctor came in with a look on his face that nearly brought me to my knees. Something was definitely wrong.
I took a deep breath and tried my best to put a smile on my face just for Sarah’s sake – bursting into tears and showing her how scared I was wasn’t an option at that point. The doctor said that her white blood cell count was “elevated”. There were a few other things that was said but everything was a blur right. At that moment, I explained to the doctor that her dad was an over the road truck driver and asked him if this was serious enough that he needed to come back to Wisconsin now? The doctor said it was extremely important that he get home as quickly as possible to see Sarah.
My mind travelled back to 19 years ago when my Aunt Nora got the news that my cousin Christy had lukemia. The first thing I remember them saying was something about her white blood cell count being elevated. Today is close to the same day that Christy was diagnosed – she didn’t live to see the end of January.
The doctor ordered more tests including an MRI? or was it a CAT scan? I don’t remember what it was – they put her in a long tube and took images of her abdomen. What I do remember is that the technician was talking and smiling and joking with me when she first started the scan but suddenly things changed and again I knew something was wrong.
They finally discovered the problem – Sarah had a very large mass in her abdomen. The doctor called Marshfield hospital and spoken to a cancer specialist there. At midnight they told us that we’d be getting transferred to Marshfield and that we could either drive ourselves or she could go by ambulance. Since we weren’t expecting a hospital stay, we needed to go home and talk to the boys, pick up clothes, and etc. before going to Marshfield.
Around 2 am we finally got checked in and settled into her room. She was admitted onto a cancer floor in a hermetically sealed section where each room had it’s own air system. They said there would be a bunch of doctors in to see her early in the morning.
Once the doctors arrived, it was a flurry of activity. As soon as the Dr decided on a course of action everything happened very quickly. He removed a very large tumor from her abdomen (10cm x 8cm x 15cm). We were left with alot of unanswered questions. What was it? … what caused it? … was it cancer? They said they’d be running tests on it and we’d know more when those results came in. She still had a long ways to recovery, she was fighting a bad infection from this mass; they were giving her a broad range of antibiotics to fight it off. Lastly they said she wouldn’t be able to go home until they had the infection under control and to do that they had to identify and answer questions about the turmor.
Rough night last night – poor girl was in quite a bit of pain. But today she was doing well, up and out of bed once. Still not going home until at least Tuesday or Wednesday. Also biopsy results won’t be back until Monday
Darrell was taking care of the boys over the weekend but my concern was for who would take care of the boys once he went back to work.
My mom, Kent, and the boys all came up to see Sarah and we all went out to Scotty’s for pizza. Also some friends of Steve’s from church came to see her as well and they brought me food too. I just couldn’t believe the outpouring of love and support from so many people.
Sarah and I spent New Year’s Eve together in her hospital room. I never left her side except for when everyone came to see us.
Sarah was finally up and walking; they put her on oral antibiotics and removed the IV antibiotics … eating a bit more … just baby steps to recovery
Preliminary pathology came back and everything looks good …NO cancer! White blood cells are getting back to normal … after 5 days, we’re finally going home together to see the rest of the family.
Sarah got her staples out today …she’s recovery quite well. Going to go back to school for a few hours on Monday. She’s been eating like a teenage boy lately!