Skip to content

The C Word, Part 3

February 23, 2011

{I’ve been writing about the days that led us to Brock being diagnosed with cancer.  To start at the beginning click here}

From Part 2:

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…


The first page that popped up listed the symptoms of leukemia:
– chills
– fatigue
– swollen lymph nodes
– easily bruising or bleeding
– tiny red spots in your skin (petechiae)
– excessive sweating, especially at night
– distended abdomen from enlarged liver or spleen

Brock had every. single. symptom.

I called Jay into the room and he did what every good husband would do: reassured me that it probably wasn’t leukemia.  That there was no need to get upset and worried over something I’d read on the internet.  But still, my heart was heavy and my stomach was turning.  I called the on-call line for our pediatrician and spoke to a nurse at the hospital.  I explained Brock’s symptoms (but didn’t mention leukemia) and asked if she thought we needed to bring him in now or if it could wait until the morning.  She told us to wait.

I don’t think I slept all night.

And waiting for the pediatrician’s office to open at 9 made for a loooooong morning.

When our doctor walked in I showed him the red dots on Brock’s arms and legs, I showed him his swollen belly, showed him the lymph nodes that were still swollen.  The doctor looked at him, explained that the red dots were called petechiae and were caused from bleeding into the skin.  And then he called 2 other doctors into the office.

Nothing makes your heart race like having your pediatrician call 2 other doctors in to look at your son.

One doctor, whom I loathe, stood at the door, didn’t even touch or look at Brock and started rattling off orders about sending us for a cbc and a ‘red top.’  The other doctor, whom I love and would have been my 2nd choice for a doctor for my kids, examined Brock and spoke to me and our pediatrician about how we needed to do some blood work to figure out what was going on.

{Coincidentally, just a month earlier I had taken Jaycie to see that doctor – because ours was out of town – because I was concerned about some bruises she had on her back.  She’d had them for awhile and I knew, even before Brock got sick, that bruising was a symptom of leukemia.}

When they finished talking I looked them straight in the eye and said

“Do you think it could be leukemia?”

Our pediatrician said that he’d diagnosed 5 cases of leukemia in his 15 years of practice and none of them had presented this way, but that we would surely check to make sure.

They sent us to another floor for blood work and when we laid Brock on the table, I knew.  He was screaming and as I looked inside his mouth, his gums were bleeding.  A new symptom that hadn’t been there before, but for some reason, that’s what confirmed it for me and I just knew.

Jay’s office is a block away from our pediatrician so while we waited for the lab work to come back, Brock and Jaycie and I hung out there instead of going all the way home.  Jay was away from the office, shooting a commercial, so I was sitting in the office with his parents.

After we’d waited for several hours Jay’s dad said to me “Waiting is the hardest part…”

I love Jay’s dad and I know he was trying to comfort me but I snapped back with “If these lab results aren’t good, waiting is not going to be the hardest part.”

While I was waiting and worrying, a pediatric oncologist was taking her kids for a well-check.  Taking them to see our pediatrician.  And sitting in the exact same exam room I had been in with Brock just a few hours earlier.

“Hi Dr. M.  While you’re here, I need to tell you about one of my patients that I saw earlier today…”

{to be continued}

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Alicia permalink
    February 23, 2011 1:07 pm

    You make me cry like a baby each time you write. Thank you for sharing your story and your heart.

  2. Nancy permalink
    February 23, 2011 1:55 pm

    Vanessa, you are a very good writer, and you should write this as a book. Do the words flow from you easily?

  3. February 23, 2011 2:01 pm

    Your story is so beyond touching, and amazing for you to share this with others. As i began reading, I had goosbumps. As i finished, tears are streaming down my cheeks. Hugs to you, hun.

  4. Karen Brantley permalink
    February 23, 2011 7:18 pm

    Vanessa, I have been reading your Caring Bridge posts and just noticed your blog today. I have prayed for you and your family many times. You are a very good writer. Your faith in our heavenly Father will carry you through. His strength is made perfect in our weakness. I agree with an earlier post that you should put all of this in a book.

  5. Rebecca permalink
    February 23, 2011 9:34 pm

    you are a very gifted writer. I am hanging on your every word. I see a book in your future! My stomach is in knots reading this. What a battle you guys have fought. So thankful for the miracles God has done in Brocks life and I am always praying for his continued healing.

  6. May 16, 2011 1:44 pm

    I’m amazed at your mother’s intuition. Doctors need to listen to Mommas who say, “Something isn’t right!”


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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: