We took Liv in to Primary Children’s on Tuesday, March 8th. She had labs drawn and we met with the Oncologist for several hours. Based on the physical examination, her doctor didn’t think that it would be cancer. She wasn’t really displaying any of the normal signs of cancer, other than she was very pale, but that was expected because she was so anemic. She started wondering if it was something in the bone marrow that wasn’t being produced properly or fast enough. She brought up things like aplastic anemia. Based on what she had observed she said she wanted to do both a bone marrow aspiration and a bone marrow biopsy and do them in both hips. My heart sank. I thought Liv would just have to have one poke in one hip, but now she was going to need two pokes in each hip. She told us once the procedure was done, it would take a while to get results for all the test she was running, so she would just plan seeing us in her office in a week to go over what she had found. We took Liv down to the RTU to prep for her procedure.
They were so great with Liv leading up to the procedure. They showed her step by step pictures of what it would be like, and they let her pick the smell she would get to breathe in her mask. She chose Cherry and was very excited about it 🙂 When I went in to the RTU with her to be with her until she fell asleep, I got a huge lump in my throat and a pit in my stomach. They laid her down and put the mask on her face, she locked eyes with me and squeezed my hand tight. It was all I could do not to burst into tears right then, but I gave her a little smile and squeezed back as she drifted off to sleep. I walked out of the room and bawled my eyes out. Rick and I anxiously awaited for about 45 minutes until they came to tell us the procedure was over.
The doctor sat us down and told us the procedure was harder than she expected. It was very hard to draw the liquid marrow out during the aspiration. They had to go in a few more times than expected 😦 She said sometimes that means something, but that it doesn’t always. She said she would send the labs away and see us back in a week.
Liv had been fasting since midnight so we decided to grab some lunch on the way home. She was still really sleepy and fell asleep in the car so we grabbed In N Out to go, and headed home. Two minutes before we pulled into our driveway I got a call. I recognized it as the hospital and my heart started to pound.
“Why were the calling?! Maybe just to see how Liv was doing. Calm down, Kori.”
I answered and heard the distinct accent of her doctor and tears immediately filled my eyes. I knew this was not good.
“I’m sorry to call you back so soon, Mrs. Roberts, but I have found something and would like for you to come back to the hospital so we can discuss it in person.”
That was one of the worst moments of my life.
We dropped Liv off at my house, where my parents were already watching my other kids. She was so excited to be home and was so happy to see her grandparents. Grandma got her a special present and that put a big smile on her face.
Rick and I headed back to the hospital and for the full 50 minutes I didn’t stop sobbing. At this point we knew it was going to be bad, so we were praying for the least bad thing it could be. Rick was so sweet and just rubbed my back, and told me that whatever it was, we were going to get through it.
We sat in the exam room for about twenty minutes waiting for her to come in. It was complete torture. She came in and gave us the sad news that our baby girl had cancer. Her marrow showed that it was Leukemia, but we didn’t have the results yet on what subtype it was. She began telling us what the course of action would be, if it were the type that she suspected it was. Liv would be checked in to the hospital two days from then and would be there for a week. They would start her on chemotherapy and steroids. My head was reeling. It was so hard to process it all. How was this happening!? How was I going to be able to do it all? What about my kids at home? What about Rick’s job? I was completely overwhelmed and couldn’t stop the tears from flowing.
The drive home was full of comforting each other and discussing what we would do make this work best for our family.
My baby has cancer. How is this happening?