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The C Word, Part 2

February 9, 2011

{If you missed Part 1 you can read it here}

“His lymph nodes are swollen.  It’s probably just from a virus.  No big deal.  Happens to kids all the time.”

I’d taken him to our pediatrician the very next day.  You think you’re a paranoid mom?  Try calling the doctor’s office and telling them you want an appointment because your kid has a bump on his head.  Your son has a bump on his head.  Your son who has just learned to walk has a bump on his head.

But I knew something wasn’t right.  I knew it wasn’t the kind of bump you get from falling.  It was at the base of his head, where his head met his neck.  And it was soft and kind of sponge-y.

I know our pediatrician felt it.  I know he looked in his ears and his throat and declared it was probably just a virus.  He had no other symptoms.  What I can’t remember is whether or not he felt around on Brock’s belly.  Of course I don’t remember that – on that October day in 2009, feeling on a child’s belly held no meaning for me.  I didn’t know then, like I do now, that swollen lymph nodes combined with an enlarged spleen can be a sign of something much worse than a virus.

That first trip to the pediatricians office was on a Thursday.  On Sunday, as I sat in church, I told a dear friend and mentor of mine that I was worried about him.  That he had a bump on his head and that he was starting to get a rash on his arms and legs.  “Oh Vanessa.  Kids get bumps and rashes all the time.”  When I picked him up from the nursery they told me he’d been sleepy and just wanted to be held the whole time.  When we ate lunch at my in-laws after church I showed Jay’s mom the rash on his arms and legs.  “It’s probably just a heat rash.”

Right this second my bible is sitting in the living room.  And tucked in the back is the program from our evening worship service on October 4, 2009.  At the top, in my writing, “Do you think B’s ok?”  Jay must’ve shrugged his shoulders because directly below that it says “The correct answer is yes!”

The following day, Monday, was the only day of the week that I worked.  I left before Brock woke up and I didn’t see him until about 6 o’clock that evening.  He spent the day at work with Jay.  And he barely ate a thing.  And he slept almost all day long.

By Monday night, that ‘bump’ was still there.  His little belly looked swollen.  He was sweating profusely at night.  And his arms and legs were covered in the strangest ‘rash’ I’d ever seen.  Because it didn’t look like a rash at all.  It looked like tiny red pin prick dots.

After the chaos of trying to get kids fed and bathed and in bed, I sat down at the computer and consulted the only medical professional I had access to at that hour: Dr. Google.

tiny red pinprick dots under skin SEARCH

And my heart hit the floor…

{to be continued}

To read Part 3 click here.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Tommi permalink
    February 9, 2011 11:41 am

    Even thought I know Brock’s story, it is still so hard to read. I know how it turns out but the road to know was so scary for all of you.

    And for ” just” a math teacher, you break out some pretty fantastic writing.

    • February 9, 2011 10:08 pm

      it’s hard to write too. the road sucked and it’s hard to walk down it again. and i’m not even to the hard stuff yet. not sure how much longer i’ll keep doing this…

  2. Anna Emamghoraishi permalink
    February 9, 2011 3:20 pm

    I was one of those Sunday School teachers who held Brock that Sunday. He was/is such a precious baby. I was so shocked when I got the news of his diagnosis. I had just held him and cuddled him and while he did seem a bit clingy that day, he did not seem like he felt ill. He was just so squeezy and loving normally, this particular day did not seem odd. I am AMAZED how God has worked miracle after miracle in Brock’s life. What a blessing the whole family is!

    I’m looking forward to part 3. And I agree with a previous comment, you are a great writer!

  3. Donna Edwards permalink
    February 9, 2011 10:31 pm

    It’s hard to read, so I know it must be hard to write. I am so sorry that you and Brock and Jay have had to go through this. I am so proud of how you have handled it and grown though. Love you all.

  4. February 9, 2011 10:54 pm

    you know, you say aren’t that great of a writer and yet reading this is so powerful. my heart sank at the end of this entry and i know his story! i want to encourage you to keep writing it, even when it gets really hard to put it into words. i think it will be so good for you and a powerful documentation of God’s hand on the life of your family.

  5. Barbara Whipple permalink
    February 10, 2011 12:04 am

    My heart sunk when I saw the post till I started to read it and remembered you were sharing with us how you Found Brock’s Cancer.
    I hope you will submit it to some magazine (ask Brock’s Dr. if he thinks it would be a good ideas, see if he has any suggestions)
    Seems to me it would be helpful for some other parent somewhere who may be going through what you went through and not know to google or go to Web MD (which is a great site for info also)
    Keep it up
    God Bless


  1. The C Word, Part 1 « He Gives Hope
  2. The C Word, Part 4 « He Gives Hope

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